What Is Pepper Spray And Is It Effective?

Pepper spray or oleoresin capsicum (OC) is a natural substance that comes from the oily resins found in a variety of peppers like cayenne.  The mist from OC causes immediate and intense burning of the skin but especially causes intense burning in the eyes causing them to burn, tear, and swell.  It also causes intense burning on the mucous membranes of the nose and throat.

OC has long lasting affects (up to an hour). Individuals that may be under the influence of drugs or are immune to pain can be immediately affected by OC.  Eyes involuntarily slam shut and tear up making them temporarily blind whether they feel pain or not which provides a victim time to escape.  It is also affective on attacking bears and dogs. 

One other thing, we can’t stress enough.  If you are currently carrying or plan on buying pepper spray, practice using it on a fake target.  Practice with a spray that is of same style, brand, and size you carry.  This way you are comfortable with the product and know exactly how it works.  You will see how it sprays and how close you need to be to your target.  Also, remember blow back from the product is possible.  Remember to back away whenever you use it on an attacker or practice with it.    

Pepper spray is a common product that many like to carry for self-defense because of its effectiveness.   It is easy to conceal and easy to use.  Remember, you can’t carry pepper spray on an airplane, but you can put one in your checked luggage.  However, because airlines do change their rules from time to time, make sure you check with current regulations before you fly.

Pepper spray is an effective product because of the immediate pain it causes on the would-be attacker.  Frankly, it is the gift that keeps on giving and it burns like heck.  However, if it is not used correctly or if you have no idea how the product you carry works, it could be ineffective.   

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