By HCS Technical Staff
“Mah only martial art is gun-fu!”
“I’ll just draw down on the drunk trying to start a bar fight with me!”
“Pepper gas is for girls!”
Hang around the a gun shop long enough and you are bound to hear someone spout such idiocy.
Anyone who tells you that you don’t need anything more than a wizbang blessed by the gun guru laserdot ultrashok pistol to defend yourself in every possible situation is either ignorant or lying to you.
The simple fact of self-protection is that there are going to be times when you don’t want to get your ass beat but you can’t just kill the guy trying to beat your ass. This is where pepper/OC/mace/CS/tear gas or any other chemical irritant comes in.
“Why use Pepper Spray?”
The reasons are pretty simple and center around pepper spray’s less than lethal purpose and the fact that it doesn’t draw the attention that a firearm would.
- You are a CCW/CCL holder needing a less-lethal option.
- You or a loved one is a College student or CCW/CCL holder in a non-permissive environment (NPE)
- You are Dog the Bounty Hunter
- You have a loved one who is not comfortable with firearms
- You may need a disposable weapon
“What brand of Pepper Spray Should I Use?“
Choose a reputable and well-established brand of pepper gas. Fox, Sabre, and Guardian OC are solid brands that are readily available to buy online. There are numerous other devices and brands out there, but we are not able to vet all of them and we are recommending items that we know work.
“What spray pattern should I Use?“
The spray patterns come in stream, solid, or fog.
Stream patterns work like a water gun (think of the Super Soakers when you were a kid). Stream patterns are often used in prisons and jails since the intended target (inmate refusing to leave his cell) is in a confined space and relatively pinpoint accuracy is needed. Keep in mind that in an open environment, it is much easier to dodge the stream and the stream needs to be accurately placed to be effective.
Solid patterns like foam and gel are also used in jails and prisons where cleanup after the deployment is an issue. Foam is easier to dodge than the stream and requires a higher degree of accuracy to be effective.
I personally prefer the fogger (think of wasp or hornet spray) type models over the stream (think water gun) or foam/gel (think shaving cream) models since the fogger cannot be readily dodged or thrown back at you.
“What about all the different shapes and sizes of pepper spray?“
I would recommend the size and shape that you are most likely to carry. For most guys, a can or a key-fob style can of pepper spray will do the job and will blend with casual wear or the business suit.
For the ladies reading this, I would recommend something like quick detachable key fob style pepper gas unit.
“What about those pepper spray guns?“
These are fascinating.
- Familiarity with the manual of arms with your CCW
- Enhanced Range
- More expensive than cans
- Bulky and Difficult to conceal most models
- Some can feel like carrying two pistols.
- Muscle Memory based deployment issues
- Depending on weapon placement, you could draw your pistol when you men to draw your Pepper Blaster.
- Most models are only 1-2 shots.
- Reloads under duress are unrealistic with most models available.
The Mace Brand Pepper Gun is basically 3-5 seconds worth of spray can in a gun-shaped delivery system. It is a little too bulky for my taste.
The JPX Jet Projector is designed to work well against the wind and delivers an effective blast to the attacker’s face. However is suffers from the capacity limitation and a long and inconsistent trigger pull that characterizes many other pepper guns. The JPX is also a bit bulky for concealment.
The Kimber PepperBlaster is a good choice as well since it has a much greater range than the traditional cans do and readily aims just like you would aim your pistol. It also conceals much better than the other pistol models such as the JPX Jet Projector.
If you choose to carry one of these, be mindful of the limitations and train with it and deploy it in a manner that is different from your pistol drawstroke, the last thing you want is to deploy the wrong weapon for the wrong situation. A perfect example of this would be the BART Police killing of Oscar Grant.
There are also pepper spray devices meant to purposefully look like actual firearms such as the
“Is Pepper Spray Non-Lethal?”
Simply put. NO.
It is less-lethal.
Pepper sprays and other chemical irritants run the risk of aggravating preexisting medical conditions. As the video above shows, there are the right times to deploy and the wrong times to deploy. This is why it is utterly critical to understand your locality’s self-defense laws and the basics of managing unknown contacts.
If you routinely carry a concealed handgun, then there really is no excuse to not carry pepper gas with you. You need to have every type of tool in your toolbox to give yourself every option available.
We recommend that you practice the drills demonstrated in Kelly Mccann’s “Minimum Damage, Maximum Effect” book or DVD. Developing a fast and smooth deployment is fundamental. Getting the device into the fight quickly could be the difference between you getting hurt or killed. Using an inert training unit, practice the following as often as you drill with your handgun:
- Depending on the distance of the attacker, (We always want to try and keep from allowing the attacker to get within arms reach or at best, 7 feet from us) work on some basic strikes to gain distance. If he can lay hands on you, he is too close! Using the actual cannister to strike with, drill on a hard face smash or nut kick, depending on what the attacker give you to work with (low or high line).
- When you spray, aiming for the nose is a good general target, when you use a fogger, this will cover the entire eyes and nose, which is what you want to effect.
- When you drill with OC, just as with your pistol, practice your actual escape as you are spraying, you dont want to hang around! Get off the X!!
- I always tell people who carry OC, they need to get sprayed with it and also drill on defending themselves after they are sprayed, just like cops do. The chance of you getting some residual backspray during an attack is very high, so doing some drills as demonstrated in this video is very smart.
That’s it for today. Stay safe out there!
DISCLAIMER: All videos are the property of their respective owners. Please click on their videos to give them props for their work. HCS disclaims and any all liability for the use or misuse of the information contained within this article.