Mace and Pepper Spray are NOT the same thing. How to pick a defensive spray.
People want to defend themselves.
The large demand for defensive sprays has created dozens of different types, brands and sizes. Some are good and some are a dangerous waste of money because they don't work.Only two types of sprays are worthwhile for civilian self protection.Pepper Spray and Tear Gas (Mace products)Pepper Spray is not mace. they are two totally different products with different ingredients and cause different reactions.Pepper sprays are sold by a variety of names. Some of the common names for pepper spray are: OC (oleoresin capsicum), Pepper Spray, OC Spray, OC Pepper Spray, Pepper Gas, Cayenne Pepper Spray and Capsicum.They all refer to a spray containing oleoresin capsicum, an extract of pepper, as the active ingredient.Mace is a tear gas (and a brand name.) Mace contains either CS (2-chlorobenzalmalononitril, also called o-Chlorobenzylidene Malononitrile) or CN (Alphachloroacetaphenone.)Although Mace products are still used by police in large doses for groups of people, the hand held canisters aren't used as much as they once where. They discovered that mace does not work reliably on different individuals and there are more effective products available for personal use. The different effects of the two sprays.Mace (CN and CS) is an IRRITANT to membrane tissue. It causes stinging pain and tearing in 5 to 30 secs. Some people can develop a resistance to CN and CS.Pepper Spray (OC) in not an irritant. It is an INFLAMMATORY agent. The difference is important. When you are sprayed with an inflammatory agent your eyes slam shut instantly. If you can manage to open your eyes your capillaries will be dilated and you will be temporarily blind. Also, you will have an instant coughing fit because of your inflamed breathing tissues and breathing will be severely limited. Since OC is an inflammatory it is very hard to resist.One professional trainer said, "It's like being hit with a flame thrower!" Assailants sprayed with OC stop what they are doing, they can't even think about coming after you.Some professionals like a combination of pepper spray (inflammatory) and mace (irritant for tearing).NOTE: Some marketers have capitalized on people not knowing what to look for in good spray defenses and sell products with too little of a dose. Very dangerous if you actually need to use it. Not to mention the waste of money. These are often found in convenience stores or in the back of magazines.Here of some of the things to look for in a guality pepper spray or mace.First, determine the laws in the state you which to use it. There is a short check list of state conditions and laws near the bottom of this article to help you, but check your state for their rules.Secondly, decide how you are going to carry it. There are flip tops, twist locks, thumb trigger, and gun grip models. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Most police and other enforcement agents us a flip top canister. They have a guard over the button and it is protected from going off accidentally, but usually need to be n a carry case on the belt.Twist locks are good for carrying in a pocket, if it has a good locking design.Thumb trigger and gun grip models need to be in a holster of some kind and are larger. Not so good for the opera, but maybe good when hiking or camping.Next, you need to look for quality. Here is a quick checklist of what to look for.Is the manufacturer easy to determine? If not, look elsewhere. Some good brands come from TOP COP, FOX, SABRE, ELIMINATOR, STREETWISE, FOX, and of course, MACE.Look for a SHU rating (Scoville Heat Units). SHU is a measure of the spray's “hotness”. A jalapeno pepper has an SHU of 5000, a habanero pepper 300,000 and a typical defensive pepper spray will be in the 2 million SHU range.Is there a return policy if you don't like it?Determine the method of delivery that is best for you.Some deliver the product in a STREAM. Just like a water pistol. This is good against a single attacker and better if there is a wind.The CONE style comes out like hair spray. This is a wider stream and easier to use against multiple attackers, but more susceptible to wind blowing it around and back at you.A FOG delivery is lighter than the Cone method and good against multiple attackers. You don't really have to aim, just fire.Some people like the FOAM delivery. This is like shaving cream shooting out of the nozzle. It is messy for the bad guys and less susceptible to the wind.Experts recommend you only use canisters that are at least 2 oz. Use the little lipstick size ones if you have no other options.It is a good idea to check the expiration date. Look for ones that are about 3 years before expiration. Chances are that you won't be using it right away and you want it to last as long a possible.Important, know the laws in your state. Here is a quick primer of some of the State's Regulations to get you started, but check to see what your state has to say about it.New York: Residents can only buy from licensed Firearm Dealers of Pharmacists. However, Dog and Bear repellents are legal.Massachusetts: Residents can only buy from licensed Firearm Dealers.Michigan: OC spray is limited to no more than 2% concentrate. CS in the only legal tear gas and can't be over 35 grams/can. They don't allow combination sprays. However, dog and bear repellents are legal.Wisconsin: They only allow OC Pepper sprays 10% solutions of less. The can must weight between 15 and 60 grams. Also, it must look like a canister, no lipstick, pen, pager, or stunning rings. Dog and Bear repellents allowed.Also, check about local restrictions. Many cities have their own regulations.Lastly, check into getting trained by a professional. Cost vary, usually $50 to $100 for a OC course. Good information, especially how to use it correctly to avoid legal trouble. Worth the money right there.
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