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Pepper Spray

What is pepper spray?

It is a chemical irritant that is used for self-defense. Finding a good pepper spray can be a daunting task as there are a number of options available in the market. This article will give you tips that will help you buy the right pepper spray. There are many questions that you need to ask yourself before shopping for a pepper spray.

  • What environment will I be using it in?
  • Are there any laws in my area that restrict the ownership and usage of pepper sprays?
  • Will I be concealing the pepper spray when carrying it?

Pepper spray comes with a variety of formulation, applicator type, size and spray pattern options. Most of the pepper sprays contain at least one of the following chemicals: -CS tear gas -CN which is another form of tear gas -Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) CS tear gas CS tear gas is usually used by both the police and the military for riot control.

The tear gas is dispersed as a fine powder or aerosol. Exposure to this chemical agent leads to severe pain in the eyes and upper respiratory tract. It will eventually spread into the lungs making a person feel as if he or she is suffocating.

CS tear gas can also lead to severe blistering on the skin if used during humid weather. CN This is a form of tear gas that has been in use for some time now. It was used in the past as a defense spray until pepper spray was introduced into law enforcement. It irritates a person's membrane tissues and leads to severe stinging pain and heavy tearing.

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How Do These Sprays Work?

When exposed to OC, a person's eyes will be forced shut although it is possible for some people to open their eyes again after direct exposure. OC pepper spray dilates the capillaries leading to temporary blindness. It can also lead to instant inflammation of breathing tissues restricting all but life support breathing. Once exposed, a person will double over coughing uncontrollably. This is very debilitating but temporary condition. The heat generating capacity of Capsicum Spray is calculated in Scoville Heat Units (SHUs). Peppers have an average range between 0 and 300,000 SHUs. Pure Capsicum can have a rating of 15 million SHUs. This rating is determined by the type of pepper used to make the OC spray.

The percentage of active ingredient has no bearing on the overall heat generating capacity and the higher the percentage in the spray the thicker the formula and the slower the penetration rate. This means that a lower percentage formula will penetrate more quickly making the assailant experience the effects much sooner.

All the spray patterns are designed to disperse in the direction that they are pointed. Pepper spray has a narrow spray pattern to enable it to concentrate the spray on the target and minimize blowback. Blowback occurs when you spray directly into the wind which could cause the spray to contact you or an unintended person.

Stream Pattern Sprays

A major advantage associated with stream pattern sprays is the fact that they disperse at a greater range of about 15 feet which is greater than spray pattern range. Another advantage is that they are not easily affected by windy conditions making blow back unlikely. However, the major disadvantage is that they don't disperse from the carrier as well as spray patterns sprays do.

Fogger Pattern Sprays

Fogger pattern sprays disperse in a wider pattern than other pattern sprays and is usually the preferred defense spray for use against multiple assailants. They have a range of about 20 feet and the spray tends to hang in the air for a longer period of time.

Gel Pattern Sprays

This type of pattern spray disperses as a sticky gel that sticks to the face and body of the assailant. Defense sprays are effective and a good way of protecting yourself and your loved ones. They are not lethal and don't require physical contact with the assailant.  This makes them a good choice for self-defense from a distance hence reducing risks associated with getting close to the assailant.

For Information On Laws And Restrictions

You can read the "Product Laws and Restrictions'" at the bottom of this website.

Check local laws governing the use and ownership of self-defense products from your local law enforcement agency.


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