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View Full Version : Pepper Spray for Self Defense



RayMich
01-24-2012, 02:17 PM
First off, I want to apologize if this is not the correct forum for this question. I looked and could not find a more appropriate forum for my questions.

Mods, please move this if this should be elsewhere.
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My son recently started snowplowing for a company and his work is mostly at night and often in not very desirable neighborhoods. He is not allowed to carry any firearms while working, but he is allowed to carry pepper spray for self defense. Yeah, I know, he should look for another job, but here in this state with unemployment running way above the national average, it is extremely difficult to find work that pays more than minimum wage and be able to pay the bills.

I am about to purchase some FOX 5.3 Self Defense Spray for him, but I have ZERO experience with any OC spray and I need some expert advice.

1. FOX Sells two different types of spray patterns and two cannister sizes



They sell one type that shoots a STREAM up to 19 feet and another shoots a CONE patter with a range of 15 feet.

They also sell them in 2 oz and 4 oz cannisters.
So, which spray pattern would you guys recommend for this situation, where he is mostly behind the wheel of the plow truck, but often is required to get out and shovel sidewalks etc.?

Which size cannister would you recommend carrying?
2. Where can I purchase belt holsters that would fit each size cannister (2 oz and 4 oz) for carrying the self defense spray?

Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Garloch
01-24-2012, 02:52 PM
The cone spray is worthless outdoors if there is any wind. Where I live, there is always wind, often strong wind. I have carried stream spray for many years, and have had to use it on dogs a number of times while out jogging. The cone spray would not have worked. It does increase the odds of getting a good blast in your opponent's face if the aim is off, as long as you are indoors. Or outdoors if you live in an area where you can guarantee there will be no wind, or close to none.

The 2oz can is plenty large. I carry that (just pulled it out of my pocket to check the size) everywhere. I always carried the smaller size when running, as it had a clip and would work in jogging shorts. It worked fine for that, and the 2oz seems like a cannon in comparison. I don't think 4oz would be necessary. It would be kind of like carrying four or five happy sticks on your belt instead of two normal size mags for backup.

hermosabeach
01-24-2012, 03:28 PM
My first can of OC was 1 year past expiration. I tested it and was shocked that it was such a small stream.

I carry the 4 oz in one of my BDU pockets and have cans in the door pockets of my cars

I would suggest that what ever size and style you purchase you get at least 1 extra to practice with.

Go into the back corner of the back yard or into a field. Get ised to how far it will spray. How it covers when you move your hand side to side.

When a dog is on your leg is not the time to figure out how to use the safety. Twist. Turn a level. Lift a cover. Etc

ArneNV
01-24-2012, 04:57 PM
Google the UDAP Pepper Spray website. I know, it is designed for bears, but if it is good for a grizzly bear, it ought to work on people. Kind of bulky, buy my neice carries a large canister in their chest holster while running every day. I think John Farnam, who is kind of big on pepper spray, endorses Fox Labs products.

hermosabeach
01-24-2012, 05:09 PM
I spoke with a OC distributor and he had some interesting feedback on OC shelf life

The best propellant that he had seen was found to be a very very mild carcinogenic compound

As a result they now use that propellant in Bear Spray as it is more stable, lasts longer and has some other benefits.

As bears do not have lawyers, the propellant is ok.

Fox, Magnum are both know brands

Ragsbo
01-24-2012, 05:11 PM
A agree with going with the stream spray. Size?? Will he be carrying it in the truck only or outside as well? Sounds like both. I might suggest you keep the larger can in the cup holder of the truck for use there and a smaller size on his person if he has to get out. I would also suggest he gets a taste of it's effects before he has to use it. That way he knows what to expect of he gets it on him as well as the bad guy but he'll know he can fight through it.

Echo_Four
01-24-2012, 05:13 PM
Fox Labs is my favorite. I'm currently forced to use Top Cop, and it is interesting as well. The Fox is a little hotter, but at this level it isn't really that noticeable, it all burns the crap out of you. The Top Cop is the gift that keeps giving, I have yet to find a way to turn the heat off- it will continue to be painful for 36-48 hours at a less intense level.

Regardless, the cone is OK if you buy the larger can and don't mind getting plenty on yourself as well. You can ensure that everyone in the area is covered up if that's what you desire. The stream is usually much more effective, though getting some practice is never a bad idea. And, for what it is worth, taking a dose yourself isn't a horrible idea. It gives you the knowledge of how long it takes to start working, it isn't immediate.

fldback
01-24-2012, 06:09 PM
Good advice given so far.

Personally I'd go with the 4 oz can.

I'll add a vote for Sabre Red Crossfire. It's propelled by CO2 and can be fired from any position, not just upright. It's the one we prefer at work, just not the one we always get to carry. FWIW even First Defense works just fine on most people. My only experience with Fox Labs was with a trial 9 oz can they sent us. We thought we were going to choke out on the stuff and we didn't get the direct exposure.

One other benefit to testing how the can of OC works is he will get a chance to experience what it's like to get some exposure himself, because he will experience some exposure if he has to use it in a self defense situation. It burns, it sucks, get over it and get the heck out of there!

Fitpro
01-24-2012, 06:23 PM
You might take a look at Kimber pepper spray. It shoots a foam stream 13' at 90mph, which sort of negates the wind. The only caveat is that it only provides two shots, so he might need more than one. I carried that for over a year in Central America but never got to use it. Good luck! It sounds like Bear Spray might be a good answer.

HamburgO
01-24-2012, 07:00 PM
^^^ +1 on the Kimber Pepperblaster. I generally keep one in the car... I have the older model, the new No. II looks a little more ergonomic, same function.

Also, I've often wondered about the JPX Jet Protector, which Kimber used to import from Piexon in Switzerland. I think Kimber is out of the deal, but the JPX is still being sold. As far as OC goes, they seem to be quite effective, with the added benefit of an audible shot, and being instantly reloadable. They are increasingly popular as a legal and freely available defense system in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, where of course people generally don't carry guns. No, I'm not selling these, but I'm definitely buying one once I'm in Europe.

In the US, I would be very concerned drawing something that looks like a gun, but isn't - might cause an adverse reaction from law enforcement and BG's alike, and then what do you do? IMHO, one thing to remember is that for the civilian, OC should be considered a hit and run weapon. After the initial shock wears off, recipients can become even more combative, depends on the individual. If I were in your son's place, I'd carry one OC unit of some kind on belt or in pocket, plus a big can of bear spray and a bat or axe handle in the car. Then there's always the snowplow...:cool:

pangloss
01-24-2012, 07:28 PM
In the US, I would be concerned drawing something that looks like a gun, but isn't - might cause an adverse reaction from law enforcement and BG's alike.

A friend of mine pulled his Kimber pepper blaster on a guy in a Wal-mart parking lot one night after they guy approached his car in a very aggressive manner. (This is the short version of the story.) The guy approaching the car did indeed think the pepper blaster was a gun, and he left the area very very quickly. No cops were involved and no one was hurt. The sad part is that my friend has a CCW, but leaves his pistol (also a Kimber) at home most of the time. He may very well have been screwed if the other guy had pulled a gun in response to the two shot pepper blaster.

Chainsaw76
01-24-2012, 08:36 PM
Uh, if he's out shoveling the sidewalk, he's holding a shovel. Use it! Learn a little bo, quarter staff, or cane fighting. Shovels, hoes, are very nasty weapons if used properly.

I've heard that wasp spray is very effective, and sometimes lethal but I don't know as I've never used such things.

jim

RayMich
01-24-2012, 09:41 PM
Thank you all for your recommendations.

At this point, it looks like FOX OC Spray will be the one we can get the quickest. But as far as I can tell, they do not come with a holster of any kind. Are there any recommendations as to where to buy some type of belt holster in both sizes (2 oz as well as the 4 oz) cannisters. What do you guys in law enforcement use for a holster to carry your OC spray?

Also, does anyone have any experience with decontamination wipes?

FOX has these on their website. Are they any good?
http://www.foxlabs.com/sudecon.shtml

Thanks again. And keep the ideas coming. I really appreciate the input.

fldback
01-25-2012, 04:22 AM
I wouldn't bother with decontamination wipes. Partly because you will do as much rubbing the OC into your pores as wiping the OC off your skin.

Rinse any affected area with cool water. DON'T let any of the water run to unaffected areas of your body. One rinse and then a shower later. Repeated rinsing only gives a momentary bit of relief and then you still have to wait it out. If anything find a fan to sit in front of.

Once the worst of the effects have worn off a shower is a good idea. Start with a lukewarm shower and work your way up to as hot as you can stand. Kinda like you would for a sunburn. Again, if it's your face or upper body that is affected try your best to not let the water run south. You won't completely stop it but the less OC you rinse down there the better.

I'll see if I can find a link to the holster I prefer and PM it to you.

Mac10
01-25-2012, 05:46 AM
Take a look here. They used to sell holsters for the Fox Labs. I have one somewhere..

alamo
01-25-2012, 07:01 AM
In Germany "Saber Red" is very popular. But honestly I don`t like pepperspray. A team mate used it once against a toxicated guy who behaved very aggressive. The BG got a full load in his face but didn`t react. Later he complained about dry lips. I used it against a dog in an appartment. The dog disappeared but all officers in the appartment started coughing for 20 minutes as long as the pepperspray vapor hung in the air. Use a good sharp knife is what I told my daughter and may wife for selfdefense.

Garloch
01-25-2012, 07:09 AM
Pepper spray often doesn't work well on intoxicated/drugged folks, nor EDPs (emotionally disturbed people).

Bill Lindsay
01-25-2012, 09:08 AM
We found that the best type is the gel. It shoots at least as far as the stream and sticks much better and flys truer than the foam. Sabre brand is very good and comes in all sizes.

HamburgO
01-25-2012, 12:19 PM
Pepper spray often doesn't work well on intoxicated/drugged folks, nor EDPs (emotionally disturbed people).

Definitely not a sure-fire solution, but it really depends. I had to use it on a group of four mean-drunk shit-kickers one night at a club in Hamburg, and it worked really well! Good thing too, they probably would have put me and my partner in hospital... Blasted the first two point blank in the eyes, the others from about 3 feet. They all ran out immediately gasping for air and rubbing their eyes. That kept them busy until the cops showed up. Our plan for phase II involved some serious baseball action, but it never came to that, they'd had enough. Being indoors, there was some cross-contamination, mainly irritation in the throat for me, but that was the least of my worries at the time.

Garloch
01-25-2012, 01:59 PM
Definitely not a sure-fire solution, but it really depends. I had to use it on a group of four mean-drunk shit-kickers one night at a club in Hamburg, and it worked really well! Good thing too, they probably would have put me and my partner in hospital... Blasted the first two point blank in the eyes, the others from about 3 feet. They all ran out immediately gasping for air and rubbing their eyes. That kept them busy until the cops showed up. Our plan for phase II involved some serious baseball action, but it never came to that, they'd had enough. Being indoors, there was some cross-contamination, mainly irritation in the throat for me, but that was the least of my worries at the time.

That's good to know. I've never used in on a person myself, but have talked to a several cops I know who have, and most say it works great most of the time. I've also read lots of threads on the topic on a number of sites, and it seems about half the cops say it usually doesn't work well on drunks or folks on meth/pcp,etc.

The only time that I had blowback was when a chow came at me one night while I was jogging. It turned him, but a little got in my face because of the wind, even though I use the stream (not fog) exclusively. I didn't get it bad in my face, but it occurred to me that if I had, and the chow still wanted me, I could have been screwed. And yes, I did have a big knife (Spyderco Military) with me as well.

BKern
01-25-2012, 11:58 PM
Just a couple comments. You mentioned Fox 5.3. The sheriff's office I worked for issued a Sabre OC product (I don't recall which formula) and it worked ok for us. However the state parole guys had Fox 5.3, it made our OC seem like cheap resturant salsa. When they brought us a prisoner that they had used it on (and decontaminated in the field with a garden hose) it still just about drove us out of the booking room. It was awesome stuff. In reading the label, the 5.3 stands for 5.3 million scovel heat units (jalapeno = 5000 SHU) Our Sabre was 2.0 million SHU.

Also, with regard to decontamination, if you get into the side stream and get the mist in your hair, when you step into the shower to wash it off, think about where that stuff is going to go when it rinses out of your hair. (hint, follow the path of gravity and remember the number 5.3) Just saying.

CR Williams
01-26-2012, 10:30 AM
I'm adding a vote for the foam and gel products, whatever brand it is you chose. Also, some practice with the kind of shovel he'll have in his hands, and as big a tool-knife as they'll let him carry. You gotta have something to chip at ice with, right?

Craig R
01-26-2012, 12:28 PM
The Cold Steel website carries their own 'Inferno' brand pepper spray. You could always opt for the 10.5 oz at the bottom of the pepper spray page, :yikes:
Although I have no direct experience with Inferno if the Cold Steel name is on it I'd say it's a quality product.

Echo_Four
01-26-2012, 05:48 PM
The Inferno has a SHU value of 160,000. When compared to the 5,300,000 of Fox Labs I'd lean towards the more potent blend.

dust9mm
01-26-2012, 10:14 PM
oc is nice to have as an alternative to lethal force, sometimes a carry the coldsteel brand, i think he would be better served with a high intenstiy flashlight(ie.surefire,streamlight) and a good knive. with a good mindset and some training the knive would be more effect

chad newton
01-26-2012, 10:38 PM
Just do it like some of the gang members I used to know, spray them with pepper spray first then stab the s!!t out of them. I heard it works pretty well assuming the other guy wasn't carrying a gun.

chad newton
01-26-2012, 10:48 PM
If for what ever reason I couldn't carry a gun I would be strapped up like dog the bounty hunter double fisted with pepper spray. I could probably still get off the x pretty damn well with it.

Super J
01-27-2012, 05:09 PM
I sometimes carry the 2oz fox labs stream canister in a comptac holder on my belt. I keep a 4oz fix labs stream canister in the car

Take a minute and do a search on YouTube for fox labs and you should be quite impressed with the results.

fldback
01-27-2012, 05:44 PM
I sometimes carry the 2oz fox labs stream canister in a comptac holder on my belt. I keep a 4oz fix labs stream canister in the car

Take a minute and do a search on YouTube for fox labs and you should be quite impressed with the results.

Whatever you do, do everything you can to never spray that in the car!

I don't know how you will ever get that out of the A/C. Heck, sometimes we smell it for days after it's been used on a prison wing. We had one cell that had been hit with the 10.5 oz fogger so good we got gassed for over a month when the inmate would do cell clean up.

RayMich
01-27-2012, 06:38 PM
Whatever you do, do everything you can to never spray that in the car!

I don't know how you will ever get that out of the A/C. Heck, sometimes we smell it for days after it's been used on a prison wing. We had one cell that had been hit with the 10.5 oz fogger so good we got gassed for over a month when the inmate would do cell clean up.
Very good point.

Thank you.

BillyOblivion
01-27-2012, 09:39 PM
Get a big can, that way when it doesn't stop the guy you have something to use as an impact weapon.

Super J
01-28-2012, 07:29 AM
Thanks for the reminder. I don't plan to deploy from within the confines of the car. I have it easily accessible in the car in a convenient spot just like spare mags that sit in the car.



Whatever you do, do everything you can to never spray that in the car!

I don't know how you will ever get that out of the A/C. Heck, sometimes we smell it for days after it's been used on a prison wing. We had one cell that had been hit with the 10.5 oz fogger so good we got gassed for over a month when the inmate would do cell clean up.

POed
01-28-2012, 08:31 AM
Thanks for the reminder. I don't plan to deploy from within the confines of the car. I have it easily accessible in the car in a convenient spot just like spare mags that sit in the car.

Be aware that OC canisters can rupture when left in a car, in the summers heat.

fldback
01-28-2012, 12:09 PM
Be aware that OC canisters can rupture when left in a car, in the summers heat.

Now THAT would suck! :cussing:

fldback
01-29-2012, 04:33 AM
Thanks to fldback I found this thread.

I am definitely looking at the Sabre Red 1.8oz Gel Spray for belt carry. The gel just seems like a nice option since it would stick better.

I don't have any experience with the gel but my first thought is that there is going to be less of a risk of indirect exposure with it than with the standard. Any way you look at it, if the gel does reduce the users exposure it's a good thing.

I've been sprayed directly, had it sprayed on my coffee cup while I was making a round (ruined the cup), personally used a 4 oz can 40+ times and have been present for the use of the 4 oz can by another officer at least as many times. The 10.5 oz fogger makes things interesting for everyone present, dealt with that probably 20 times. Not only that but our cell extraction gear is contaminated with it, if you dress out and don't have to make an entry, you still get exposed.

It sucks but you get used to it. The worst I've had was having some joker think it would be funny to spray a shot under the bathroom door while I was dropping a deuce. That may have been worse than the direct exposures!