Best Pepper Spray for self-defense?

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The Meat man
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Best Pepper Spray for self-defense?

Postby The Meat man » Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:45 pm

Lately I've been considering pepper spray as a viable non-lethal option for personal self-defense.

I like the idea of a pepper gun because I want something compact enough that I will actually carry, and a small handgun-style device would have more options for carry. So far my research has led me to favor either the Kimber Pepper Blaster 2 or the Mace Pepper Gun (looks a bit like a revolver.) The Kimber may be a bit more compact but the Mace has a higher capacity and the option of refills.

I looked into Sabre canister sprays too. The 3-in-1 seems like a good option but I wonder how easy it is to unobtrusively carry a cylinder.
The really small keychain type sprays have a pretty limited range in addition to a limited capacity.

Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions, or advice?

Thanks!
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Re: Best Pepper Spray for self-defense?

Postby The Meat man » Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:57 pm

Nearly forgot, Ruger also has a pepper spray gun produced in collaboration with Sabre but I haven't seen much info on it. I suspect it works on the same principle as the Mace but I could be wrong.
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Re: Best Pepper Spray for self-defense?

Postby Doc Dan » Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:54 pm

The guns might cause a problem. Kids have been shot fir holding a toy gun, how much more an adult. Plus,if you carry a gun, I would worry about getting confused as to which was which under duress.

I carry a Sabre key chain. It has at least a 12 foot range or more. Anything further and I’m running. I took the case off and drop the cylinder into my back pocket.

One thing...this stuff is horrendous. If you’ve ever accidentally fired o e, you’ll know what I mean. However, just like a stun gun, it is not effective on a very few people.
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Re: Best Pepper Spray for self-defense?

Postby James Y » Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:10 pm

I can’t tell you which is best, but I used to carry Sabre Red pepper spray. IIRC it was one of the canisters with about 16 shots or so. One time while out for a walk, an aggressive, good-sized dog came around a corner, began rushing with a low growl and baring its teeth, and I pulled out the canister. When I depressed the trigger, nothing happened. It was stuck, like a rock. I tried at least three more times, and nothing. Luckily, its owner came around the corner and got it. Initially when I pointed the canister at the dog, it hesitated, which gave enough time for the owner to come pull it away. I had my knife hidden, closed in my other hand by then, and I don’t even carry a knife specifically for SD.

I was calm throughout the near-incident, but after they were gone, I was mad, because it hadn’t worked. I tried depressing the trigger a few more times, and by the third or fourth try it finally shot a stream into the gutter. I was mad, because it had failed to fire when I needed it. Perhaps the mechanism had become gunked up or corroded. I had test fired it periodically, as recommended, usually about once a month.

Later, I tried a Sabre Red pepper gel, hoping it would be different from the spray. But one day while test firing, the same thing happened and the trigger stuck and was impossible to fire. And it started leaking, so I threw that one out, too. Neither canister had reached their use by dates, either.

I no longer carry pepper spray or pepper gel, because I don’t trust it to fire when needed. Even if it’s test fired periodically and works every time then. I’m not saying don’t carry pepper spray, but merely sharing an experience that turned me off to it. If the dog had been more serious, or its owner hadn’t shown up, or if its owner were encouraging it, it would have turned ugly. I don’t want to fight a dog empty-handed. Maybe another brand would have held up better, I don’t know. These days I carry a 51” hickory walking stick on walks, and I know how to use it.

Again, YMMV. Sabre Red or another brand may work great for you. I simply lost faith in its reliability, and it only took one time.

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Re: Best Pepper Spray for self-defense?

Postby Evil D » Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:21 am

I wouldn't carry anything that looks like a gun unless it IS a gun and you have a permit to do so. When I was younger (much younger) me and a friend were stopped by an officer because someone claimed we were vandalizing cars (we weren't) but we were chasing each other around with squirt guns that looked like alien blasters, but the general shape of a gun was there. My buddy had his in his front pocket and when the officer patted him down and felt what he thought was a gun, he slammed him against the car and when pretty hard on him physically even though we were only maybe 11 or so.

I've thought about getting some myself for work but I've seen a lot of mixed reviews in general. I've read that often times you get as much in your own eyes as the attacker does, and that in a lot of cases it doesn't stop people well enough to make a difference. Even the police go through training to fight their way through it, and they're not high on crack.
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Re: Best Pepper Spray for self-defense?

Postby DSH007 » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:52 am

I've carried a variety of pepper sprays over the years and I keep coming back to the simple Mace canister. None are especially ergonomic, but I prefer the longer ones that offers a full four-finger grip on the container, with the finger grooves to offer some contouring. Some of the Sabre offerings are too round to be comfortable.. Mace brand canisters seem to fit the hand better in my experience..

I have a Kimber pepper blaster.. I think it's a nice idea in theory.. in reality however.. it takes up more space in the pocket than the canister, offers fewer "shots" at a target, and is, imo, more difficult to to fire accurately under pressure due to an awkward two-finger grip when held. I think I carried in twice before putting my canister back in my pocket.. on the plus side, there is no confusing the bright red pepper blaster for a gun..

I agree with Evil D.. if it looks like a gun, but isn't, I'd stay away from it.. My mother has the Mace "revolver" mentioned above and I can see how it could easily be confused for a gun.. it's always rubbed me the wrong way..
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..well, that escalated quickly..

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Re: Best Pepper Spray for self-defense?

Postby The Mastiff » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:20 am

We were issued "First Defense MK-4" 3 ounce cans. It states "average number of 1 second bursts is 19" on the can. We had to go through the training and get sprayed with the stuff and I have plenty of experience using it on humans.

It is what it is. If you carry it try to get the training can in the same size that holds and functions the same as the can you carry so you can practice without fear of using it up to the point you have a can that seems mostly full but has not enough pressure to do what you need. Use up or throw away the can and get a new one after 2 or so years . I have seen them last much longer but it pays to be careful when it comes to your health.

It needs to get directly in the eyes and mouth to be truly effective unlike the old style CN or CS "tear" gas that can effect someone not sprayed in the eyes directly due to evaporation carrying it around the area sprayed unlike pepper sprays that need skin and soft tissue direct contact.

It can fail to stop some people especially those who are used to it's effects but many people will stop whatever they are doing to get away and breathe. It can be like a ( mostly frowned on for cops and CO's) choke hold ( or food obstruction even) event where the body reacts without much thought and loses interest in anything except getting air to breathe. It takes training to overcome that instinct that martial arts and MMA types get to get used to having breathing obstructed and ways to get out of those situations. So, mostly it works pretty good but it shouldn't be the only item in your playbook.

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Re: Best Pepper Spray for self-defense?

Postby The Meat man » Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:48 pm

Thanks everyone for the input!

It seems that capacity is the biggest advantage of canisters over the gun-type devices. I've never been in a situation, thank God, where I might need to use pepper spray but if I ever do I want more than enough, which might be more than 2 shots.

Though I don't see why having it look like a gun should be a downside, especially since my intent is to carry it like a gun - concealed for emergencies only. Seems to me that if you'd get in trouble for having a pepper gun, you would also get in trouble for having a real firearm; so it wouldn't help either way.

Joe, Sabre makes a pepper spray product that does contain tear gas along with UV dye. Their 3-in-1 spray.
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Re: Best Pepper Spray for self-defense?

Postby TomAiello » Fri Jan 31, 2020 3:18 pm

The Meat man wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:48 pm
Seems to me that if you'd get in trouble for having a pepper gun, you would also get in trouble for having a real firearm; so it wouldn't help either way.
You can get shot for having a gun-shaped object, though. And by the time anyone discovers it was pepper spray (and not a gun) it will be too late for apologies.

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Re: Best Pepper Spray for self-defense?

Postby Naperville » Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:17 pm

I do not have any but bear spray is what I'd recommend if anything. Has a 25ft reach and can spray for more than 5 seconds.

I carry knives, and I don't get in to it with others. I stay away from antagonizing or making comments to strangers too.

Whatever you decide to carry, check your local laws and at least know what you're in for.
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Re: Best Pepper Spray for self-defense?

Postby Naperville » Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:18 pm

The Meat man wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:48 pm
Joe, Sabre makes a pepper spray product that does contain tear gas along with UV dye. Their 3-in-1 spray.
That sounds interesting!
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Re: Best Pepper Spray for self-defense?

Postby The Meat man » Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:24 pm

TomAiello wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 3:18 pm
The Meat man wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:48 pm
Seems to me that if you'd get in trouble for having a pepper gun, you would also get in trouble for having a real firearm; so it wouldn't help either way.
You can get shot for having a gun-shaped object, though. And by the time anyone discovers it was pepper spray (and not a gun) it will be too late for apologies.
True, but there is a certain amount of risk of that no matter what you carry. After all, people have been shot because they pulled out their wallets. It all depends on the situation, and having pepper spray is probably better than nothing in most situations.

I like guns but right now I'm looking at non-lethal SD options. Pepper spray seems like the next best thing to a gun since it has at least some range to it (better than a stun gun, obviously) and has a pretty good track record of effectiveness. Fairly inexpensive too.
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Re: Best Pepper Spray for self-defense?

Postby TkoK83Spy » Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:27 pm

Best pepper spray is that Autonomy 2 that you love! :cool:
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Re: Best Pepper Spray for self-defense?

Postby The Meat man » Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:31 pm

Naperville wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:17 pm
I do not have any but bear spray is what I'd recommend if anything. Has a 25ft reach and can spray for more than 5 seconds.

I carry knives, and I don't get in to it with others. I stay away from antagonizing or making comments to strangers too.

Whatever you decide to carry, check your local laws and at least know what you're in for.

The trouble with bear spray is that it usually comes in a container much too big for easy, discreet carry. I want something I can pocket without much inconvenience.
Of course I always carry knives too but as a SD tool I'd consider them absolutely last resort. I know they can be effective with proper training but that's just what I don't have. :rolleyes:

Good point about staying away from trouble.
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Re: Best Pepper Spray for self-defense?

Postby The Meat man » Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:32 pm

TkoK83Spy wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:27 pm
Best pepper spray is that Autonomy 2 that you love! :cool:
Ha ha! :cool:
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Re: Best Pepper Spray for self-defense?

Postby The Mastiff » Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:59 pm

Joe, Sabre makes a pepper spray product that does contain tear gas along with UV dye. Their 3-in-1 spray.
Yep, I've seen that. I have no experience with it or Sabre as a company so that is why I haven't ever recommended it. I know the ones I've used are reliable so I feel confident in a recommendation. In theory the combination should help in the case of a spray to the chest or throat area provided the pepper isn't diluted too much from the other ingredients.

One thing we went through years ago was going to a product that didn't have an alcohol base. There were incidents of people getting burned from the product catching on fire supposedly during additional tazing. Remember not everybody cooperates and when you are a police officer making an arrest you are in it to the end. I am unsure if the catching on fire was fact or fiction because I never saw or heard of it in our system and we had thousands of hosings with CN, then CS, then Pepper spray over my 30 years. We ended up with pepper not because it was stronger or better but it had the reputation of being safer to the guys sprayed. In fact it was feared by the inmates a little more than CS and when used it didn't gas the whole dorm. The area needing decontamination was smaller with pepper. With CS when we used it pretty much everybody in our bay dorms felt it and the pepper was not like that at all. Only guys nearby that had droplets bounce off the bad guy onto them were affected.

That was a PITA because we had to open up the showers and get people decontaminated even after hours which could mess up counts.

By the way we had up to fire extinguisher sized projectors for crowd control. Those were fun.

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Re: Best Pepper Spray for self-defense?

Postby TomAiello » Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:18 pm

The Mastiff wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:59 pm
By the way we had up to fire extinguisher sized projectors for crowd control. Those were fun.
You can buy those for home use too.

Years ago my wife had a patient who falsified a police report to try to get her to write a duplicate prescription for some (narcotic) pain killers (he added them to the bottom of the list of items stolen out of his girlfriends car). My wife called the department to verify the report before writing the prescription and it turned out that (a) the guy was on parole, and (b) he had altered the report. The police had her ask him to come to the office to pick up the prescription and they arrested him there. Then, they let him out on bail (seriously, why would they do that?), and warned her that he might not be too happy so they should be careful around the office (and our home). I was about to go out of town, so I bought her one of those fire extinguisher sized cannisters and told her to stand at the top of our (narrow) stairwell and just hose anything down that moved toward her while waiting for the police to respond to her 911 call (if she had to make one). Her dad (and brother, and uncle, and grandfather, etc) was a fireman, so she was very comfortable with using a fire extinguisher, but I bought one of the practice units anyway, and we sprayed it around in the back yard. Fortunately, she never had to use it, but I was betting that standing at the top of a stairwell with one of those would buy enough time for even the slowest police response.

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Re: Best Pepper Spray for self-defense?

Postby The Mastiff » Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:28 pm

:)

Those put out a lot of the pepper and would overwhelm pretty much everything up to grizzly bear size. She could have done a lot worse than having that for self defense. On stairs at that range there wouldn't be much avoiding going on. It would take a really dedicated person to go through that and they would still be a blinded person when they arrived.

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Re: Best Pepper Spray for self-defense?

Postby Naperville » Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:30 pm

The Meat man wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:31 pm
The trouble with bear spray is that it usually comes in a container much too big for easy, discreet carry. I want something I can pocket without much inconvenience.

Of course I always carry knives too but as a SD tool I'd consider them absolutely last resort. I know they can be effective with proper training but that's just what I don't have. :rolleyes:

Good point about staying away from trouble.
Yes, bear spray comes with a holster and I doubt it is discreet.
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Re: Best Pepper Spray for self-defense?

Postby stream26 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:51 am

My nephew is a detective and they carry Red Sabre. You can buy a variety of canisters on Ebay. I carry the gel type on my keychain.
Last edited by stream26 on Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:03 am, edited 1 time in total.


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