About Pepper Spray
Self defense pepper spray is a hot burning and blinding liquid that can incapacitate an attacker by causing pain, temporary blindness, skin burning, nose irritation, throat swelling, mouth salivation, coughing, and other respiratory issues.
Pepper Spray Origins
The use of pepper spray as a self defense tool dates back to ancient times when it was used by indigenous people in South America as a way to ward off attackers. However, the modern formulation of pepper spray was developed in the 1970s by a man named Kamran Loghman, who was working for the US government at the time.
Loghman was tasked with developing a non-lethal alternative to tear gas for use in riot control situations. He discovered that oleoresin capsicum, the active ingredient in hot peppers, was an effective irritant that could be used to incapacitate individuals without causing long-term harm.
After several years of research and development, Loghman created the first pepper spray formulation and patented it in 1982. The spray was initially intended for use by law enforcement agencies but soon became popular among civilians as a means of self-defense.
How is Pepper Spray Made
Pepper spray, also known as capsicum spray, capsaicin spray, OC spray, oleoresin spray, bear spray, and Mace, is made from capsicum which is a natural oil derived from hot chilies and peppers. The spicy compound is normally grounded up, mixed with a solvent such as ethanol or propylene glycol to suspend it in liquid, sometimes blended with preservatives or coloring agents, and pressurized into a cannister.
Pepper Spray Strength
The effectiveness of pepper spray is normally measured by its strength, which is determined by its Scoville Heat Units (SHU) rating. The SHU rating is a measure of the amount of capsaicinoids present in the pepper spray, which is the active ingredient that causes the burning sensation when it comes into contact with the skin, eyes, and respiratory system. Capsaicinoids are the compounds that give peppers their spicy flavor, and they vary in potency depending on the type of pepper and the concentration of capsaicinoids in the pepper.
The higher the SHU rating, the more potent the pepper spray will be, and the more intense the burning sensation will be for the attacker. However, it's important to note that a higher SHU rating does not necessarily mean that the pepper spray is more effective, as factors such as the delivery method, the amount sprayed, and the attacker's tolerance level can all affect its effectiveness.
Pepper sprays available to consumers typically range from 0.18% to 3% SHU, with some specialized products reaching as high as 10% or more. The strength of pepper spray is regulated by law in some countries, with restrictions on the maximum capsaicinoid potency that can be included in a product.
Types of Pepper Spray
There are many different types of pepper spray available to consumers, and another subset of pepper sprays only available to law enforcement and government officials. The three main types are pepper spray, pepper gel, and pepper foam. The most common type that we see in retail stores and amongst consumers is pepper spray. However each type can be further categorized into sub-types such as:
- Stream Spray: This type of pepper spray shoots a concentrated stream of the chemical compound in a straight line, making it easier to aim accurately. It has a longer range than other types of pepper spray and can be effective against multiple attackers. However, it can be affected by wind, and there's a risk of blowback.
- Cone Spray: This type of pepper spray releases a cone-shaped mist, which can cover a wide area and is suitable for indoor use. It can be effective against multiple attackers and has a lower risk of blowback than stream spray. However, it has a shorter range than other types of pepper spray and can be less accurate.
- Fogger Spray: This type of pepper spray releases a cloud of mist that can cover a large area and is ideal for use in open spaces or crowded areas. It can create a barrier between you and an attacker and can be effective against multiple attackers. However, it has a shorter range than other types of pepper spray and can be affected by wind.
- Gel Spray: This type of pepper spray releases a sticky gel that can stick to the attacker's skin, face or clothing, making it difficult to wipe off. It has a longer range than foam spray due to its density and is less likely to blow back towards the user. However, it can be affected by wind, and it can be less effective against multiple attackers.
- Foam Spray: This type of pepper spray releases a foam that can cling to the attacker's face and is ideal for use in close quarters. It has a shorter range than other types of pepper spray and is less likely to cause blowback. However, it can be less effective against multiple attackers.
Pepper Spray Uses
As a tool that can incapacitate humans and animals, there are many uses for pepper spray. The most common use for pepper spray is as a self defense product for citizens. Civilians may use pepper spray when out in public to ward off aggressors, when in their home or car to deter carjackers, and when out on runs of jogs to fight off predators.
Pepper spray is also widely used by hikers, campers, and outdoor adventurers to ward off animals such as bears, coyotes, and mountain lions.
Pepper spray is also commonly used by law enforcement and government officials as a less-lethal means of apprehending and controlling suspects, as well as crowd and riot control.
Lastly, postal service workers are sometimes equipped with pepper spray to ward off aggressive dogs when delivering parcels.
Pepper Spray Benefits
Pepper spray is one of the best less-lethal self defense products on the market because it can disable an attacker from distance without having to make physical contact. This allows women, police officers, and young adults the ability to protect themselves against larger assailants while maintaining their distance. It's also very effective and can seriously incapacitate an aggressor regardless of his size and strength.
Pepper spray is a great option for personal safety because it's affordable, portable, and convenient. The non-lethal product is very easy to use by simply pressing down on a button or squeezing a trigger to release the spray. Pepper spray is also legal in many cities, states, and jurisdictions.
Pepper Spray Negatives
Pepper spray should be owned by anyone legally able to do so, but there are some risks associated with is such as:
- Limited range: pepper spray's range is 6-10 feet which allows the user to gain some distance from an attacker but is not as effective as a long-range firearm like a gun.
- Environment dependent: using pepper spray in windy conditions can result in blowback and affecting the user or others nearby, or misdirection and missing the target.
- Ineffective against certain individuals: Pepper spray may be less effective against people who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or who have a high tolerance to pain.
- Legal restrictions: Pepper spray may not be legal in your jurisdiction, and there may be restrictions on who can purchase or carry it.
- Possible health risks: Pepper spray can cause temporary respiratory distress and eye irritation, which could be more severe for people with pre-existing medical conditions.
How To Use Pepper Spray
Pepper spray is very easy to use and has straightforward functionality. Simply aim the nozzle and press the button or pull the trigger. Users should also practice deploying the spray on the ground and without people around to get comfortable using the device. Always make sure to carry pepper spray in a convenience location like on a belt loop or in an accessible pocket. Aim for the eyes and shoot in short bursts so that you can calibrate your shots. Once you've sprayed the attacker move away from them so you don't come into contact with the spray, mist or any collateral.
Pepper Spray Fashion
New innovations in the pepper spray industry have allowed the personal safety device to be carried as more of an accessory rather than a weapon. Modern day pepper spray can be purchased in jewel-decorated dispensers, professional emergency-labeled bottles, and inconspicuous lipstick cannisters.
Future of Pepper Spray
Pepper spray will always play a large role in law enforcement and individual personal protection due its excellent benefits. In the future we should continue see pepper spray developments such as smaller cannisters and perhaps even mini one-shot cannisters, more potent compounds, and more precise release mechanisms.
Don't wait until it's too late - take action now and buy our powerful pepper spray to defend yourself and your loved ones.