Guide To Choosing the Pepper Spray That’s Right For You

By | April 5, 2017

Shield sprays are the most popular personal self-defense product available now. They may be economical, easy to carry, simple to use, require no long-term training and are really powerful. Often erroneously called Mace (a particular producer) or tear gas (one of the side effects), self-defense sprays were initially developed to be used in law enforcement.

Pepper sprays, as they're more generally referred today, have become extremely popular to be used by the public for personal self-defense.

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A major benefit of using pepper sprays is they're non-fatal and inflict no long-term physical effects on an attacker. For more non-lethal self-defense item, like stun guns, you may go through

This really isn't true for the use of a firearm, which employs deadly force and possibly has significant legal and mental ramifications for the user. Here are the most significant considerations about the purchase and application of pepper sprays:


Pepper sprays, like non-lethal self-defense products, are made to develop a barrier between the victim and an attacker, so buying precious seconds to escape.


Pepper sprays come in three basic types of chemical formulations:

  • CS – orthochlorobenzalmalonigtrile
  • CN – alphachloroacetaphenone
  • OC – oleoresin capsicum

Sprays comprising CS and CN are considered old school, not as effective as OC, have a delayed effect of up to 30 seconds, are generally ineffective against people on drugs or who are psychotic, occasionally take days to wear off, are considered possible carcinogens, may cause toxic reactions and/or long-term reactions. CS and CN sprays aren't trustworthy and thus are not recommended.


Typically, the power of a pepper spray is quantified by the heat-creating capacity of the hot peppers used in the formula by producer. This capacity is indicated in Scoville Heat Units (SHUs). It is very important to notice that distinct hot peppers generate fluctuating levels of SHUs. Pepper sprays including formulas surpassing this range are not recommended and are considered excessive.


A carrier agent is required to suspend the OC in solution and help in delivery from the pepper spray container that was pressurized. Most generally used and highly recommended today, due to its dispersal qualities, is a carrier called HFC 134A.

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