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Thread: Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

  1. #1
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    Default Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

    Today I was at a Sport Chalet store in the LA area and saw the Heat pepper spray inserts made by ASP for my ASP Key Defender on closeout sale for a buck apiece. So, I says "Here's a great opportunity to finally test that damn thing out since I have these cheap inserts."

    I took my Key Defender out in my backyard with it's unexpired (Dec '04 expiration date) cartridge and pointed it downwind, took the "safety" off and gave the activator button a half-second press. I was greatly disconcerted with the resulting sputter and very enemic little spritz that came out the end. "Maybe the tip was clogged" I thought, and gave it another try. This time, nothing but a dribble, and no improvement with subsequent presses until all the "juice" was gone.

    I pulled out the empty Heat cartridge, and there was definitely no clogged hole in the KD. To make a long story short, two other older cartridges (exp date Dec 2003) appeared to work well giving about 3 half-second long healthy fine-spray blasts (shooting out about 2-3 feet) followed by about 3 or 4 more blasts of declining strength. I phoned ASP and left a message explaining my disappointing experience with the supposedly "current" Heat cartridge. I should add that the KD was never stored in a particularly hot or cold environment, being normally carried daily in my waist band.

    Moral: Test your pepper spray dispensers--NOW. Better to waste a fraction of a second's worth of spray than find out in a jam you have a useless eye-dropper of a self-defense device. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/faint.gif[/img]

  2. #2

    Default Re: Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

    Good advice and I would go one step further. If you don't mind carrying a somewhat bigger unit Fox 5,300,000 SHU(Scofield Heat Units) OC is considered to be the most effective of all the pepper sprays. I have a 2oz canister that I carry with me along with a PM6 or ASP Taclite if I plan to be out very late.

    Brightnorm

  3. #3
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

    I'll second the Fox.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

    There's at least one OC vendor (retailer) who recommends that, with the .5 oz or less OC canisters, you replace them EVERY YEAR, and he offers discounts for the following year's replacements. Okay, could just be playing on paranoia to drum up sales, but I do think there's anecdotal evidence that the smaller canisters have very little propellant to start, and even an incredibly small leak hamstrings them. I've started rotating out my .5 oz canisters yearly, don't know if I'm being paranoid or not, but it's just a few dollars.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

    I'll third the Fox, I am on my second can. I kind of used up the first can in a few months. I use the 2 ounce can with safety top, a bit bulky, but it is a life saver, this stuff does BURN and IRRITATE you're lungs and throat/nasal passage. Not a fun experience, but I keep getting into those situations.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

    Have you been shaking it periodically? Maybe that was the problem.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

    FWIW
    I tested a can of my Pepper Spray in my Tigerlight about a months ago. It worked perfect even though it is over 1.5 years old.

    I would estimate I had a steady stream about 10'long for 5-8 seconds.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

    [ QUOTE ]
    JasonC8301 said:
    I'll third the Fox, I am on my second can. I kind of used up the first can in a few months. I use the 2 ounce can with safety top, a bit bulky, but it is a life saver, this stuff does BURN and IRRITATE you're lungs and throat/nasal passage. Not a fun experience, but I keep getting into those situations.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Jason,

    I'm sorry you were in those situations but I'm glad the Fox came through for you. You may be the only non-LEO Flashaholic to post about real-life Fox use. Could you give us some idea of these experiences, whether it was a spray or cone and how you used the Fox and its effects? This information might come in very handy for some of us.

    Brightnorm

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

    Brightnorm - good idea. So here goes.

    I walk past a underpass of a 8 lane highway sometimes really late at night or really early in the morning. My brother was attacked once there, my friend was attacked there, a family friend was attacked there. I expected my time would come sooner or later. The attacks to family and friends were in the past 4 years. Its not a bad neighborhood but some of these kids have these ideas of walking around in groups and starting trouble. The cops also didn't do their job well, so the precinct was revamped and the attacks and groups of kids seemed to disappear recently (past year, saw FBI cars around too, probably the cause for the precinct to get whipped into shape.)

    I first carried a folding knife and practiced a lot with it (Gerber Gator.) I could flick it open with one hand and assume a fighting stance. I soon realized that this wasn't a good idea. The idea of being prosecuted for manslaughter/murder was not something that appealed to me.

    So I looked into OC and SHU ratings. Fox Labs OC spray rated at 5.3 million (advertised) is the highest on the market. Most I see are 2 million heat units. I saw one for sale on this forum's B/S/T forum and went ahead and purchased it. Being questionable of the effects of it. I ended up with some of this stuff on my face. NOT FUN! It burnt for a while, but the intense portion of the event lasted roughly 30 minutes. Vision was blurred for a while too. So if you are into it, spray yourself. You'll soon learn the effects of OC FAST. Reminds me of boot camp when my Drill Instructor said "Everything you did, Drill Instructors have done." Two years later looking back upon it, the drill instructors did everything we did, only faster and better. I then read up on drill instructor school, and gained a whole new respect for drill instructors. Anyway I got some on my hand and got it onto my face. If that was wiping it onto my face, a spray must SUCK! I do stupid things sometimes but I am not stupid enough to take on a full spray on recreational time. Wiping it on face took me out, a spray must be worse. Plus I was expecting it so my mindset was there to lessen the pain. Imagine not expecting it...

    I purchased the heavy stream model because it can get windy and a finely sprayed cone can back fire and cause more harm than good. I routinely carry it in my jacket pocket. I would have it out and in my hand to protect myself just in case whenever I walk into a place that is either dangerous or just doesn't feel right. Whats the point of having the OC spray in a purse or inside a "deep" inside a pocket with other stuff. If I even do have it in my jacket pocket I can have it out and ready in a flash because it is on my strong hand side (right) and it the pocket is closest to my right hand. Reach in grab, pull out, and spray. There is more than enough for 5 seconds of full spray stream. Thats more than enough to spray in a left to right pattern and cover the attacker or attackers faces.

    The effects, I never saw two fairly large guys drop to the ground and cry in a high wail voice so fast before. It may have been my reaction, but most of it was the Fox spray. Here was the situation.

    I come back from school (I dorm there) and its 3:30 in the morning. I get off the train and walk to my house (like a 10-15 minute walk) and as I near the underpass I see some suspicious looking guys approach me. Suspicious? I define that as talking to each other and eye balling me. I am not a big guy, I come in at 5'6 and 145-150 pounds. I as usual have my OC out and hidden in my hand (Fox Labs OC 5.3 stream 2 ounce.) One of the approaches me and says where is you're wallet? (distance arms length, about 3 feet, the other guy was another 3 feet and to the left of the question asker.) They were what I call large, at least 6 feet tall and 200+ pounds. I quickly and without hesitation sprayed down the first guy and pushed him to the ground and engaged the second guy who was already coming at me. He was reaching for his blade in the process. He did not achieve to get his blade out before he was sprayed and went to the ground hard. All this happened with me shouting "Get on the ground, stay down" and being swift, violent, and in motion. I walked (ok ran) away and continued my business as usual. I went home, un packed my back pack (visualize about 30 pounds stuffed into a North Face Big Shot), took a shower, and went to sleep.

    I am glad they only had a blade and not a gun. I am thankful I am still alive today.

    My SF E2e remained in my pocket during that incident. The underpass got new lights so I didn't find a need for it. An open hand to the temple is also safer than jabbing an E2e into it. I don't understand someone with an E2D and using it without and training. Surefire should make it mandatory to attend a class on tactical impact devices when someone gets an E2D. If an average joe/jane bought an E2D and didn't have any prior training it using it, I don't think they'll be very effective.

    The OC is more logical than having a knife. There is no direct contact. If I had my knife in that situation I don't think I'll be here talking about it. You'd of seen me on the news and I would be locked up. I am NOT a martial arts master but a knife with the right training and mindset is deadly. My life or your life. I will take your life before you will take mine. There are laws though so I stopped the knife carrying and stick with OC. My liability is less being there is no blood to draw and the attackers will not die only suffer through heck for a short time period.

    Check local laws first, I haven't but I think a small 2 ounce can of OC is acceptable when I see these self defense sprays being sold in stores.

    Sitting here typing this had me thinking, getting you're wife/girlfriend or yourself some OC, use it wisely. Don't keep it stashed deep inside a pocket or purse with other things. Also carry it always. I carry mine more often than not. I remember the quote "When you need it most, you don't have it." so I try to at least EDC it. Whats the use of OC to you if you are walking alone in a dangerous place and you come under attack and the OC is sitting at home, in the car, or inside a purse?

    Practice, practice, and practice some more. Get a few cans of OC and attend some classes on usage if you can find them. Get in shape physically and mentally. I hate to run but I do it anyway and mix it once and a while by running the track and during every second lap get down a do a few push-ups, a few sit-ups, and the countless other exercises. It sure as heck wore me out after 12 laps and 6 exercises.

    Anyway back to topic at hand.

    Test you're OC spray. I shake mine up at least once a week. It becomes second nature.

    Also know how to use it. It is simple to use but with the right mindset and techniques of spraying and moving it becomes extremely effective.

    Jason

  10. #10

    Default Re: Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

    Thanks Jason,

    I found that very intersting and helpful, I wish more Flashaholics would read it. If you test by spraying doesen't that eventually deplete it til there's very little left? You said there was more than enough for a 5 second spray. Any idea how many seconds in a full can?

    I think your whole attitude of alert aggressiveness, keeping in shape and practicing really paid off when it counted. I carry a lot of stuff in my pockets and the 2oz Fox is prretty thick so I only carry when I have to be out very late, but your EDC approach is the right way to do it.

    I have mock-practiced using OC and a bright 2x123 light; sort of a "poor man's Tigerlight" approach. Have you done any of that? BTW I think Fox makes inert practice units.

    Thanks again for sharing,
    Brightnorm

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

    Fox does make practice units - http://www.selfdefenseproducts.com/inert.htm

    They suck too, but it's only the carrier that you inhale, no OC, so it just burns a little. My wife and I practiced with me attacking (had swimming goggles on) and her trying to get away. Used up 2 of the pocket sized inerts and one 2oz inert. The pocket sizes are for "up close and personal" use. I could always lay a hand on her before I got it in the goggles. The 2 oz was different. I charged and next thing I knew I was over 3 feet away and in a cloud of mist before I knew what happened...

  12. #12

    Default Re: Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

    Does that mean the 2OZ inert blinded you or in some way incapacitated you?

    BN

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

    Thanks Brightnorm [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    I would say (estimate) a full 2 ounce can will yield 7 or 8 seconds. I never tried this but I might soon with inert sprays.

    Never let up until you win! Always stay alaert and aggressive. No hesitation. Every little bit helps.

    I will get around to getting some inert training sprays.

    Jason

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    Default Re: Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

    Wow, Jason. I considered purchasing OC before, but I decided not to because of the post 9/11 times in NYC. Don't want to be caught carrying OC in the wrong place at the wrong time by the authorities. Same reason why I chosed the TigerLight FBOP over the OC model. I may want to reconsider after reading your experience.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

    Catapult,

    I should check local laws before carrying it, but I think under a certain size acceptable in NYC. I see some on store shelves.

    I choose the FBOP model because of the shorter length. I may get a OC model later on.

    If I get caught, well I get caught. I doubt they'll send me up to prison for it. If they do, gosh sucks for me. What about the guy trying to kill me with blade or possibly a firearm? Whats more deadly?

    Some laws just don't make sense.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

    The code in NY looks like it is in Article 265 of the Penal Code and regs are promulgated with the Department of Health. Rather than bore you with the details, here is the gist of it:

    • You must be over the age of 18.
    • You must have no history of felony convictions or assaults.
    • Purchase from an authorized dealer. Pharmacy or gun dealer. So, only in-state purchases.
    • Sign a form with your name, an address date of birth.
    • Must contain OC, and no other active ingredient.
    • Can't contain more than 0.7% by weight total capsaicinoids.
    • Net weight not to exceed 0.75 ounces.
    • Gotta have a safety device, I guess that coptops are out, then.
    • Can't be camouflaged.

    That's just what a quick read of the code seems to offer, but it's certainly not meant to be legal advice, or an offer of legal services, or any of that. (But I play a lawyer on TV...) I also have no idea how those numbers above compare to the percentages of OC or Scoville heat units you see on various cans, maybe someone else does. They do sound pretty tough, but that's New York for ya. That's why we are all so safe here... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    daloosh

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

    thanks daloosh!

    Crap, well I got it shipped to me so it arrived at my house in NY [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] Plus I'm 20...

    I'm good on the criminal record thats clean.

    I thought it was .5% officer?!?! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Looked like .2 ounces to me

    Safety top I'm good [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Those laws are pretty tough. Wonder what the laws or wait criminals don't follow them. I'll stick to my current OC and not get a weaker smaller can just so some @$$hole can pull a gun on me and kill me for $20.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

    "Does that mean the 2OZ inert blinded you or in some way incapacitated you?"

    No, it just burns and makes you cough a little - like getting a fine mist of alcohol in your lungs.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

    I wasn't aware that it can't be camouflaged, though it's not like I had an intention to paint it in forest camo or make the container look like a harmless pen or something like that. I think the TigerLight OC model might constitute a form of camouflage.

    Jason, I don't think you'll have to worry about getting caught with OC, since you're in the Marines. I'm just a civillian.

    I think I'm probably better off without OC, as carrying it might get me into more trouble. The last thing I want to do is to say," Take this, evil doer", and spray the wrong way.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

    [ QUOTE ]
    Catapult said:
    ...I think I'm probably better off without OC, as carrying it might get me into more trouble. The last thing I want to do is to say," Take this, evil doer", and spray the wrong way.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Catapult,

    As an older guy in a gun-hating city I believe OC (FOX 5,200,000 SHU) is my best self defense option. When the chips are down it could make a difference. Jason has outlined an excellent common-sense approach to self defense preparation that worked when it counted.

    Brightnorm

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Test Your Pepper Spray--NOW!

    In a litigious and post 9/11 anti-terrorism proverbial bureaucracy, the advantages of OC just got a lot less attractive, although Jason's experience was an eye-opener. Well, OC might be a good idea as long as it doesn't just freshen the bad guy's breath.

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