Question of the Day: Do You Pack Pepper Spray, Too?

Reader Kurt P. writes in asking about pepper spray, confessing that in addition to his gun, a non-lethal option gives him the warm fuzzies. He won’t get any argument from RF who’s already proclaimed in stentorian, Obi-Wan-like tones that the Kimber Pepperblaster really is the the backup gun you’ve been looking for. Especially while taking Fido for a stroll. And if you’re not going to carry a gun – either by choice or force of law – a pocketful of capsaicin sure seems to beat a keyring and some spare change. So how about it? Do you include pepper spray in your arsenal?

comments

  1. avatar jwm says:

    when last i checked the kimber spray wasn’t legal in ca. i got my wife and daughters pepper spray that is legal. as for myself i carry a kershaw speedsafe. that’s how it is in ca.

  2. avatar Michael B. says:

    Doesn’t it have a tendency to blow back in your face? If not, I might consider it. Good less than lethal option for encounters of the Stupid Drunken Kind.

    1. avatar 40&2000 says:

      I don’t know how the kimber blaster works but sprayers can spray back at you. I was in a group of people next to someone whoe got sprayed. I caught a little as did a few other people including the sprayer. Me and the sprayer were irritated about as much as if we were cutting up a bunch of onions.

      1. avatar Benji says:

        Nope, doesn’t work that way as it is not a spray. That is the main selling point. It is two propelled shots of gel. I have a couple of them.

  3. avatar Hooda Thunkett says:

    Wonder what a prosecutor would make of that if you end up using deadly force. “Why didn’t you just spray him instead of shooting him? You had the pepper spray.”

    1. avatar Steve says:

      I guess you have to pepper spray him after you shoot. No ballistics on a pepper cartridge, I bet.

  4. avatar Q-train says:

    I work in a correctional setting, through experience and training not everyone is effected by pepper spray. However, if i take a shot of OC I am pretty much out of the fight. So as much as I do not recommend it, you need to know how it affects you. Whether you want sprayed in the face or just shut yourself in a closed room/garage/shed and spray it in a bucket. You should know what it feels like and how you will react to it.

    1. avatar Chaz says:

      Good to know. My little Sabre Spitfire I’ve read doesn’t have much range.

  5. avatar Chris Dumm says:

    The Pepper Blaster is an excellent non lethal option. Backspray is less of a risk, because it shoots a small viscous liquid charge instead of an atomized fog. Range looks to be about 20 feet, but it’s important to aim for the face and you’ve only got two shots.

    1. avatar Aharon says:

      “because it shoots a small viscous liquid charge instead of an atomized fog”

      That’s great product feature information to know about the Pepper Blaster. I might get one though I’m also thinking about getting bear spray. Does bear spray work on two legged attackers(?) and I don’t mean a grizzly standing upright.

      1. avatar Gyufygy says:

        A friend of mine worked in an animal habitat with bears, and all the employees were issued bear spray for their work keychains (shottie was in the office and required a supervisor or someone else with training and liability insurance, I think). From what she said, the spray was just pepper spray with a much higher concentration than you can normally get, and using it on people was generally a no-no. Of course, if it were that or a bullet to the head of an attacker, the bear spray probably wouldn’t be frowned in as much, although the dumb bastard who now feels like his face is melting into a puddle at his feet might prefer the .45 caliber injection of lead to the cranium.

        Of course, this is just one animal habitat’s spray. May be different at other animal places or for everyone else. I don’t know.

        1. avatar Aharon says:

          Thank you for your response Gyufygy. I appreciate it.

        2. avatar matt says:

          all the employees were issued bear spray for their work keychains

          On a keychain? What good is that? In case the bear is all ready on top of you, or you want to spice up a omelet? The 9oz can I have is the size of a 20oz coke bottle with a fogger nozzle.

          and using it on people was generally a no-no.
          The manufacturer UDAP at least says its fine to use against humans.

        3. avatar Gyufygy says:

          Matthew: On the retractable work keychain they keep attached to their belts. It’s mostly in order to stall the bear long enough for it to wander off or someone above their pay grade to get the paintball guns loaded with pepper spray and the shotgun. It’s also East Coast black bears, so the wilds bears are usually not that aggressive to begin with, and only certain employees with training and equipment go into the habitats with the bears in captivity.

          Also, it’s funny how there are multiple types of “bear spray” available, including ones that may in fact be different from your own.

  6. avatar Bpjester says:

    Sometimes I have OC, and sometimes I have a Taser C2. It depends on what is more appropriate.

  7. avatar Joseph says:

    My backup is a second gun and/or extra magazines. I just walk away from drunken idiots.

  8. avatar Aharon says:

    I sometimes carry my Filipino 28″ fighting sticks that are made from some very hard woods. No dog or drunk would want to get knocked with them (not that I would ever want to have to do it). My sticks would be illegal in NYC to carry. Here, in Portland, they are admired.

    1. avatar MotoJB says:

      I trained in Modern Day Arnis for quite a while…getting back into it. Those sticks hurt!

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        Those are pretty badass – especially in the hands of a trained user.

  9. avatar LeftShooter says:

    I very often carry pepper spray as a less-than-lethal alternative and/or when CCW is not allowed. I’ve been told to spray into the chest area (harder to get the spray out of one’s clothes, perhaps?) and not the face as the effect will be more prolonged. Anyone got any expertise on that issue?

  10. avatar JGlanton says:

    A veteran cop told me that he insists that his daughters and wife carry pepper spray at all times. And not those little keychain jobs. He gets them a big can that shoots a jet of the spray a good distance and teaches them to hold the button down until the can is empty.

    Be careful of what gun safes you buy. A three-year old may be able to open it. Check out this video.

    We are providing a detailed report and analysis of eleven different popular gun safes produced by Stack-On, GunVault, and Bulldog to warn the public of the dangers inherent in some of these products because the manufacturers nor their major retailers will do so. In that report you can view eight different Stack-On models, one produced by Bulldog, and one manufactured by GunVault. A similar design defect is demonstrated in an inexpensive safe for storing valuables that is sold by AMSEC, a very reputable safe manufacturer in the United States. Unfortunately, their digital safe with their claim of a “state-of-the-art electronic lock” can also be opened (literally) by a three year old because of a common mechanism used in the industry that is subject to circumvention.

    Three different models of Stack-On safes and one AMSEC safe can be opened by a three year old. These safes demonstrate what we believe to be defective security-engineering by these companies.
    http://youtu.be/erGOJxQIf5c

    1. avatar matt says:

      ttag all ready did a article with this video

  11. avatar MotoJB says:

    I bought pepper spray for my wife and daughters…I carry a benchmade and know how to use it.

  12. I absolutely will not carry pepper spray. My back up gun is a back up gun. You see, the Mrs has asthma and even though I got certified as a defensive spray instructor years ago, we wont carry or use sprays as I know it could be lethal for her to be in the immediate vicinity of a discharge of spray. Before she was officially diagnosed, she had an exposure when a can leaked three rooms away from her and her throat closed up enough to warrant medical attention and a call to the local FD for a hazmat response to find what was loose in the building.

    1. avatar Edwin Herdman says:

      I hope some more people will look at your post seriously. I wouldn’t want to carry something that could leak and kill an innocent bystander. Sprays and gasses aren’t useless, but they seem problematic to me (I’ve mentioned it before, but gas didn’t really seem to help the Russians save the hostages at the Moscow theater in 2002; in fact the mysterious gas has been blamed for many patron deaths).

      I’ve noticed some reports about the possibility tasers have killed, though, too, and with that comes a lot of hard questions about escalating situations because a product is “less than” lethal (properly, only called “less lethal,” not less than).

      I think a lot of what this comes down to is the old “why did you do X” question, which LongPurple addresses nicely. There’s a Twain quote for everything.

  13. avatar Accur81 says:

    I’ve been pepper sprayed several times, but only tased once. The taser was an X26, and it took me out of the “fight.” Pepper spray will not take me out of the fight. I’ve been hit by several police – grade 10% OC solutions. I will definitely have trouble seeing, but I can still breathe reasonably well, and I can definitely still fight.

    Pepper spray is not a terrible option, but is far inferior to a taser. You can expect to be second – guessed if you use a gun while having pepper spray in your possession. For me, the liability isn’t with it. A taser will most likely either work immediately, or immediately fail due to a miss, probe disconnect, etc.

    I would only use pepper spray if a firearm and / or taser were not available. I would not trust my safety to a weapon that would not effectively stop my own attack, and I am definitely not the toughest guy out there. For example, and 18 year old could use pepper spray in many places where they could not legally use a firearm.

    I think many people over estimate the ability of pepper spray until they see it fail. But it’s a (relatively) free country, so your self defense options are your own personal choice.

    1. avatar Bpjester says:

      I am an OC instructor as well. I’ve been sprayed enough times that the effect is not all that bad anymore. I can still shoot, fight, handcuff, or call on the radio. For some people, OC has a debilitating effect, and for some people there is no effect. The rest of us fall somewhere in between. Though, I have never seen, or heard of anyone resisting a correct Taser shot.

      1. avatar matt says:

        The taser just make this guy stronger. Look at how hard he bitch slapped the cop, he stumbled 15 feet back and had to take a knee.

    2. avatar jwm says:

      accur81, i’ve tried to convince my wife to switch over to a taser but she like the spray. my question about the tasers is how effective are they on dogs? we do run into loose pitbulls once in a while in my area. not every day but enough to cause a concern. living in ca just about rules out a carry permit.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        Tasers will work on dogs, but aiming is critical. The C2 holds one shot with a max range of 15 feet. The X26 in police guise usually has a single shot with a reload cartridge in the grip. The X2 has two shots. It would be very difficult to hit a fast dog with both taser probes. All Tasers works as contact stun guns in the event of a miss.

        Every dog I’ve sprayed lost the will to fight, and spray is easier to aim. Bear spray, I’ve heard, works very well on dogs. Spray also works on other animals. That’s probably why mail guys typically have pepper spray, and it what I’d recommend for dogs.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          thank you for the info. i’ll look into the bear spray when the cans they have expire. as for staying in the fight, i was hit enough in training in the service with tear gas that i could still function. it was by no means fun, but it could be done. our instructers used a machine that they referred to as a”pepper fogger”. that thing would cover a large area in gas quickly.

  14. avatar Curzen says:

    yes. foxlabs mean green.

  15. avatar Right! says:

    I’m assuming my post was deleted because I am retarded, not Bluish.
    While wearing the Blue I was engaged by an ashhole who was trying to choke me out.
    I sprayed him at point blank range in the eye.
    I inhaled the splash back. Bad JuJu, very bad in fact.
    Do not, I repeat, Do Not inhale after some ashhole chokes you out.
    Fast foward to Civy Street:
    Your attacked, you defend yourself or other innocent life with Terminal Force. When you are patted down, it is discovered you have pepper spray.
    PA askes WHY you did not deploy the PS?
    You were looking to Kill Somebody.
    Murder One

    1. avatar racer88 says:

      I carry PS (Fox Labs). I do not see it as a backup nor an alternative to lethal force. It is part of the force continuum.

      Situational awareness / avoidance –> PS —> lethal force.

      I’m not going to fight mano-a-mano with a drunk guy. And, running isn’t always an option…. say when I’m with my wife or family. However, I have no desire to deploy my pistol in that scenario (if I don’t have to).

      Gun is for when my life is in immediate danger. PS is for drunk guy who just won’t leave me alone.

      If I have the unfortunate experience of being forced to use lethal force, I don’t believe the mere presence of PS will convict me of murder. I’m just not buying that simplistic view. Anyone have actual cases to cite?

      Why didn’t you use the PS instead of the gun? Because PS isn’t for saving my life.

      1. avatar racer88 says:

        I carry PS along with a gun and use each as indicated for the same reasons as LEOs do it.

        1. avatar racer88 says:

          Talking to myself… I don’t USE each… better said: I keep and carry each. I hope I never have to use them.

    2. avatar LongPurple says:

      I recall Mark Twain reported on the trial of a man who killed a dog with a pitchfork when the dog was attacking, trying to bite him. The opposing lawyer asked him “Why didn’t you use the handle of the pitchfork instead of the tines?”
      The accused answered “Why didn’t the dog attack me with his tail?”

      It all depends on the circumstances.

  16. avatar IdahoPete says:

    I carry the pepper spray when I walk in my neighborhood, mostly so I have a less than lethal option for dogs. Haven’t been attacked, but I have had a few loose dogs follow me down the sidewalk barking. I would prefer to deter one in a way that does NOT involve explaining to the police why I fired my .38 in a residential neighborhood. The .38 is for the dogs who aren’t deterred, and for the occasional wolf pack that wanders through the area. Just in case they mistake me for a vegetarian. (“Vegetables ain’t food – vegetables is what food eats.”

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