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Choosing a Defense Spray

The demand for defense sprays has become so great that there are literally dozens of different types, brands and sizes that can become quite confusing. Only two types are worth considering for civilian self defense. 

There are so many terms used to describe defense sprays that I would like to explain them. The terms oc (oleoresin capsicum) pepper spray, oc spray, oc pepper spray, pepper gas, cayenne pepper spray and capsicum all refer to pepper spray with oleoresin capsicum (an extract of pepper) as the active ingredient. 

The term cn gas or cn tear gas refers to chemical  tear gas. There are other types of chemical tear gases, but only this one will concern us.

You might also come across the term mace. At one time mace was a term that described a type of tear gas, but now it is used as a brand name. Mace Brand Pepper Spray & Tear Gas is one of the most most advanced defense sprays available, used by law enforcement across the world

 

Comparative Analysis Of Self Defense Sprays

The two basic types of self defense sprays:

  • CN Tear Gas (Alphachloroacetaphenone)

  • OC or Pepper Spray (Oleoresin Capsicum)

OC Spray (pepper spray) is the newest of the two, by far the most effective. Pepper spray effects everyone differently but it is by far the most effective.

Different Effects Of Defense Sprays

CN is an  irritant to membrane tissues. It causes stinging pain and tearing, and take from 5 to 30 seconds to be effective. CN causes profound tearing, but is only useful when used in a mixture with pepper spray.

OC is not an irritant. It is an inflammatory agent; and this makes all the difference in the world. When a person is sprayed with OC two things happen instantly. First, the person's eyes clamp shut, hard. Not only that, but if they do manage to force them open they still can't see because the OC dilates the capillaries and causes temporary blindness. Second, an immediate fit of uncontrollable coughing doubles the person over because the OC causes instant inflammation of the breathing tissues, restricting all but life support breathing. OC has the affect of putting up a brick wall between an assailant and the sprayer As one police trainer has put it, "It's like being hit with a flame thrower!" An assailant who's sprayed with OC stops what they're doing, stops what they're thinking - period. This is true even for those who are drunk, on drugs, or psychotic. OC works extremely well on animals, although most versions are not made for this purpose.

"You never go wrong with a fogger type defense spray."

I asked William Harris of the Harris Agency his opinion on which pepper spray he would recommend to a client and this is what he had to say.

I recommend to my clients a defense spray that combines OC Pepper (capsicum)  with CN Tear Gas. The CN causes profuse tearing and the OC Pepper Spray causes instant inflammation.
(See above)

I personally go with the Mace Triple Action Fogger because of it's stopping power and it's wide angel spray, eliminating the need for pinpoint accuracy. It's used by law enforcement agencies through out the country. It also combines OC Pepper with CN Tear Gas. If you have no idea what to purchase you can never go wrong with a fogger type pepper spray.

My next choice is Mace Pepper Foam. When an attacker is sprayed in the face it expands making it difficult to see. When he attempts to wipe away the foam, the pepper is ground into his eyes. Many law enforcement officers prefer pepper foam because the fumes from the pepper remain in the foam and the effects are felt only by the person being sprayed and not by the officers arresting or transporting a suspect.

William Harris