Pepper spray - any California users here with recommendations?

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Dude Dudeson

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Had an incident last night that has made me decide to start carrying pepper spray.

A two on one assault - I got out of the mess without injury, but it's time to start "packing". I actually thought about guns for a minute, but quickly reminded myself why I've never bought one: There are few situations where one can actually be put to use. Last night probably was no exception - even though this was a two on one assault they were (least as far as I know) unarmed. Even BRANDISHING a gun probably would have instantly made me the criminal...

Pepper spray on the other hand, I'm pretty sure I could have used some of that last night and not ended up going to jail myself...

So, any Californians here with any brand recommendations? I'd hate to buy something, have it sit for a year, then have it fail to work when it's needed...
 
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Mike 208

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I recommend that you buy brands that have been tested and are being used by law enforcement agencies. "First Defense" is used by many Police/Sheriff's Departments in my area (Los Angeles County). "Fox" is reported to be an excellant brand, but I have no first hand knowledge. My company (armed patrol/alarm response) issues us "Sabre Red," which I had to use once on an attacking dog (worked great - the only time I've ever had to deploy OC in 19 years of "carrying" at various jobs [security, alarm response, detention officer, process server]). Stay away from the brands sold at B & M stores (Wal-Mart, K-mart, etc.) as their OC mixtures and propellants are very quesionable at best. I also strongly recommend that you attend a class that deals with the carrying of chemical agents (places that offer classes for security officers would have this class). Even though a permit is not required in California to carry OC (unless you work security), it's good to have it should you actually need to use it. If you ever find yourself in court (either criminal or civil), it would show that you have had training and cared enough to learn about the laws governing the "where and when" you can carry and deploy OC.

ETA: DO NOT carry a firearm without a permit - it is against the law. I can't comment about the
Sacramento area, but in L.A. County, it is very difficult (closer to impossible) to get a
concealed firearm permit ("CCW") unless you are a reserve LEO or have some connections.
The rare few that have them more than likely had to take their municipality to court.
 
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Mike Grasso

Mike Grasso

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I have a bit of experience with Oleoresin Capsicum, what I suggest is that you look into any type of class that will assist you to heighten your powers of observation, The NRA has a couple from "Refuse to be a Victim" to "Personal Protection". Once you feel comfortable in your enviornment, take a look at the brand Kimber (firearms manufacturer) sells, it's well made, lasts a long time and is affordable. I don't believe I can add a link but I'll try, otherwise the name is Pepperblaster and a quick google search will help. Any other questions I'd be happy to assist.

Mike
 
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dudemar

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Sorry to hear about spending time behind bars. Not exactly sure what happened but it must've sucked.

This thread is probably going to end up in the UG, so I'll drop my $0.02:


Pepper spray is useless unless it's already in your hand, finger on the trigger. Not ready and caught off guard? Well you're out of luck. That's the disadvantage of using pepper spray and stun guns. Unfortunately CCW is almost a non-option in CA. Where I live (Alameda County) only a handful of people carry CCW's because the county isn't willing to hand them out. SF is even worse, and Sacramento is probably not much better (due to its high crime rate). I heard Orange County (and some rural counties) give CCW's but don't hold your breath. Arizona and Oregon on the other hand... :cool:

This is probably redundant by now, but this works for me: at night stay in populated, well lit places and walk with a buddy. If SHTF then run away, and call 911 ASAP. Be aware of your surroundings, and of course, carry a bright flashlight.



A VERY bright flashlight.



Like a PH50. :)
 
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Dude Dudeson

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Awesome, thanks! I'd seen certain types at places like Walmart and my first thought was "hmm, probably about as good as a FLASHLIGHT I could buy here"!

I actually hadn't thought of mixture quality, "shelf" life was my main concern.

After all there's a very real possibility that I may purchase some and never actually end up using it - I'm 40 years old and can count the number of times such a thing would have come in handy on less than one hand, which is why I've never purchased any kind of self defense product of any kind.

But two wake-up calls occurred here:

1. "Stuff can happen", as it did the other night.
2. I'm not getting any younger - and at ANY age a two on one encounter can be a really bad deal...

I did a fair amount of reading online after this incident, but then the "light bulb" went on - I figured here at CPF there'd be somebody knowledgeable on the subject...

Good tip on attending a class, if nothing else just for the legal ramifications - hadn't really thought of that, but in this "sue-happy world"....
 
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Dude Dudeson

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Sorry to hear about spending time behind bars. Not exactly sure what happened but it must've sucked.

This thread is probably going to end up in the UG, so I'll drop my $0.02:


Pepper spray is useless unless it's already in your hand, finger on the trigger. Not ready and caught off guard? Well you're out of luck. That's the disadvantage of using pepper spray and stun guns. Unfortunately CCW is almost a non-option in CA. Where I live (Alameda County) only a handful of people carry CCW's because the county isn't willing to hand them out. SF is even worse, and Sacramento is probably not much better (due to its high crime rate). I heard Orange County (and some rural counties) give CCW's but don't hold your breath. Arizona and Oregon on the other hand... :cool:

This is probably redundant by now, but this works for me: at night stay in populated, well lit places and walk with a buddy. If SHTF then run away, and call 911 ASAP. Be aware of your surroundings, and of course, carry a bright flashlight.



A VERY bright flashlight.



Like a PH50. :)

I did not spend any time behind bars, I was talking about if I'd had a gun (legally) and had brandished it to ward off the attackers. Knowing this state I'd have instantly "become the criminal" for something like that.

This incident was on the job. Bright flashlight? I was already wearing a bright headlamp (100 lumens)! And it was shining right in their faces!

I highly doubt whipping out my 6P/M60 would have done any good in this situation. In an already dark environment, possibly. With two people rapidly approaching me right into an already bright beam? Nope.

Being that this was on the job I didn't exactly have a choice about my location, or how well lit of a location (hence the usage of a headlamp)...

I did see them coming, just didn't know an assault was about to take place. In the future if something like this occurs they'll be given ONE warning to keep distance, and believe me the pepper spray will be in hand, freshly removed from a belt holster...
 
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Diesel_Bomber

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First, glad you're okay! Well done avoiding injury despite being outnumbered. A few more thoughts, in no particular order:

Unless required by law, don't bother with a verbal warning. Your attackers will be paying very close attention to you, you drawing your pepperspray is all the warning they need/deserve. If they see you draw your pepperspray and they keep coming, blast 'em. You might find something with a bright dye or marker, to make later identification easier.

Situational awareness is your best defense, regardless of any additional tools you carry to defend yourself.

Lastly(soapbox mode on, skip this part if you don't want to hear it), move somewhere that respects a law abiding citizen's right to self defense. Here in Oregon, a concealed handgun license is shall-issue, and all fees including the necessary class is around $100. Two on one is most definitely capable of causing death and/or serious injury even if the two attackers are not armed with anything but their fists and feet, and therefor would make it legal to use deadly force in most areas. Most self defense uses of a firearm do not involve firing a single round, merely showing that the target has teeth is enough to end the attack.
 
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dudemar

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This incident was on the job. Bright flashlight? I was already wearing a bright headlamp (100 lumens)! And it was shining right in their faces!

I highly doubt whipping out my 6P/M60 would have done any good in this situation. In an already dark environment, possibly. With two people rapidly approaching me right into an already bright beam? Nope.

The way you worded it sounded like you ended up in jail. Glad you're ok. :)

My last bit about using a flashlight was tongue-in-cheek, and different strokes for different folks. It doesn't hurt to have 5200 lumens, though.*

Bit of a rant on pepper spray: if a breeze/wind/draft is blowing in your direction, the pepper spray can work against you. The same can be true when it's used in confined spaces.



Situational awareness is your best defense, regardless of any additional tools you carry to defend yourself.

Lastly(soapbox mode on, skip this part if you don't want to hear it), move somewhere that respects a law abiding citizen's right to self defense. Here in Oregon, a concealed handgun license is shall-issue, and all fees including the necessary class is around $100. Two on one is most definitely capable of causing death and/or serious injury even if the two attackers are not armed with anything but their fists and feet, and therefor would make it legal to use deadly force in most areas. Most self defense uses of a firearm do not involve firing a single round, merely showing that the target has teeth is enough to end the attack.

What he said.



*In case anyone's wondering, yes, I carry my PH50 EVERYWHERE.
 
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TyJo

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Two on one is most definitely capable of causing death and/or serious injury even if the two attackers are not armed with anything but their fists and feet, and therefor would make it legal to use deadly force in most areas. Most self defense uses of a firearm do not involve firing a single round, merely showing that the target has teeth is enough to end the attack.
Two on ones or unexpected attacks also provide the opportunity for your attacker to use your firearm against you. Having a firearm also increases the odds of prematurely drawing your weapon in situations that it is not needed, which can lead to bad things. If I need to be in a situation that might be potentially unsafe I have Sabre Red on me (it also has the UV dye it it). I'm not against guns I just don't believe they are useful as a means of self defense for most situations as conceal and carry.
EDIT: These threads have a tendancy to get closed so lets all be nice.
 
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Dude Dudeson

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Yeah really, can we stop with the gun talk? Guns are useless in 99.999% of real world civilian situations. It's a nice fantasy - wannabe criminal is about to do what they do, here you come with your GUN and administer justice, it is a nice fantasy...

Not reality though...

Actually this thread could be locked at this point. It served it's purpose.
 
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dudemar

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While a sensitive subject, gun talk is fine as long as you don't write about breaking laws. It's a tool in a box, you use the right tool for the job.



It bears repeating because it was the best line in this thread:

"Situational awareness is your best defense, regardless of any additional tools you carry to defend yourself."

That and your employer should at least use a buddy system, or have two workers on site.:thumbsup:
 
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Dude Dudeson

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That and your employer should at least use a buddy system, or have two workers on site.:thumbsup:

That is a liberal dream, just like all talk of guns as self defense is a conservative deathwish...

I am unfortunately stuck in the real world...
 
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Diesel_Bomber

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Two on ones or unexpected attacks also provide the opportunity for your attacker to use your firearm against you. Having a firearm also increases the odds of prematurely drawing your weapon in situations that it is not needed, which can lead to bad things. If I need to be in a situation that might be potentially unsafe I have Sabre Red on me (it also has the UV dye it it). I'm not against guns I just don't believe they are useful as a means of self defense for most situations as conceal and carry.
EDIT: These threads have a tendancy to get closed so lets all be nice.

Yeah really, can we stop with the gun talk? Guns are useless in 99.999% of real world civilian situations. It's a nice fantasy - wannabe criminal is about to do what they do, here you come with your GUN and administer justice, it is a nice fantasy...

Not reality though...

Carry whatever makes you happy. My gun has saved my bacon more than once, I do not leave the house without it. I guess I fall into the .001% of the time that it has been helpful. More than once.

I can also provide data backing up my opinion that legally carried firearms are a great deterrent to crime, and most certainly DO work. ETA: Check out the links in my sigline.
 
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dudemar

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Your political rant/baiting is going to get this thread closed a lot faster than any gun talk... :shakehead

That is a liberal dream, just like all talk of guns as self defense is a conservative deathwish...

I am unfortunately stuck in the real world...

No, just common sense. Anyone with an ounce of it would... oh wait that doesn't exist anymore. :whistle:


Carry whatever makes you happy. My gun has saved my bacon more than once, I do not leave the house without it. I guess I fall into the .001% of the time that it has been helpful. More than once.

A bit OT, but is it legal to pack heat in Portland city proper (as in within the city's legal limits)? I recall from my other thread you live nearby. If you don't feel comfortable answering here you can shoot me a PM. :)
 
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Diesel_Bomber

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I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice, only my understanding of the law.

Open carry on the state level is legal, but individual cities, including Portland, have banned open carry as a city ordinance. Concealed carry is illegal throughout the entire state. A concealed handgun license exempts the holder of the CHL from these laws and allows open or concealed carry in any city in Oregon. There are a few areas where carrying a firearm is illegal even with a CHL. Jails, courthouses w/ out the judges written consent, federal property(Post office is a gray area), the secure section of the airport, private property where the owner or person controlling the property chooses not to allow carry. Like I said, I am not a lawyer, this is not an exhaustive list. Look up the laws, know the laws, follow the laws.

I'm happy to answer any further questions within my knowledge, but would prefer PM's or a dedicated thread to keep from hijacking this one any more. A much better resource than myself is the Oregon Firearms Federation website. Their FAQ section deserves a read through.

Edit: OFF's book "Understanding Oregon's Gun Laws" is a valuable tool for all Oregon gun owners, and those from other states just passing through. I keep one in each of my vehicles.
 
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StefanFS

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A 'non-lethal' alternative is an expandable baton to complement the spray. I have no idea if it's legal to carry where you live, but if it is it will greatly increse your reach and efficiency. It's very effective and actually works as a deterrant if you can deploy it correctly timed. Awareness, and spray/baton training is recommended.
 
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Marmaduke

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Fox 5.3 + lots of You Tube "volunteers" made a believer & EDC'er out of me. At this point in my life, I would rather not go to the effort or risk trying to prove I am another Joe Frazier, Bruce Lee, or Rambo to a couple of punks on the street.

Powerful/high SHU OC pepper is an excellent non-lethal self defense choice that is comparatively harmless and could truly make a big difference in a threatening situation, including defense against aggressive animals. Although OC is legal for civilians to carry and use for self-defense where I live, double check about laws in your area it is against the law to buy or possess in some places.
 
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Dude Dudeson

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Many thanks for the pepper spray related replies here, I knew I'd probably get good knowledge here at CPF!

As for the gun talk, well this thread has now become a conversation, I'll offer my two cents relative to MY circumstances there...

To me gun ownership alone is a big responsibility. Actually brandishing a gun is something that requires even more responsibility/experience/training/etc.

Actually FIRING a gun, well I think we can all agree you'd damn well better know exactly where you stand legally when doing something like that...

I'm not a police officer, and I don't have the time or money to go through similar training. Nothing against those who do, but if I'm in a situation requiring the usage of a self defense tool the last thing I want on my mind is "knowing if I'm in the legal clear" with it...

This is why (for me) a gun is probably about the most useless self defense tool.

Sure, say someone's directly threatening my life with a weapon, or I've got 20 gangbangers circling around me, no thinking required there. I'm pretty damn sure I'm not going to face that kind of situation in my lifetime...

Then there's a more rudimental issue, kind of goes back to "the best flashlight is the one you have on you"...

Way easier to ensure EDC of a small cannister of pepper spray than a properly maintained and loaded gun...

For me, a gun would be a nice thing for home defense, and as I age I may well explore that avenue.

But full time EDC on the street - It's just not happening in my world...

And despite having lived a bit of a "rough life" I can't honestly say there was ever a situation that would have warranted firing a bullet.

But I CAN say I've been through a handful of situations where pepper spray would have come in handy!
 
gadget_lover

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Some personal lessons learned re: tear gas and pepper spray.

I took the tear gas course back when it was required for civilian carry in California. Part of the class was to experience the stuff. No fun, but it did give me a good idea of what to expect if I accidentally discharged it.

Lesson 1: You need to always have it ready.
Lesson 2: You will get so used to it being there that you forget about it. You WILL find yourself at a airport or other checkpoint where you will have to throw it away or take it back to the car.
Lesson 3: Some businesses consider it a weapon and prohibit your having it at work.
Lesson 4: It does not necessarily work on crazies and those on certain drugs
Lesson 5: (the big one) The idea is to slow down an attacker so that you can run to safety. It's not to fight, It's not to incapacitate. It gives you a head start, sometimes as little as a few seconds.

Daniel
 
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