The first OC dispenser in this review is truly a pepper spray “gun.” Machined from 6061-T6 billet aluminum in Boise, Idaho, the Ace Micro-Shot is guaranteed for life against breakage, and it looks like a real gun with a grip, trigger and even a rib sight running down the top. This thing is made better than some real pistols I have handled. It takes Sabre Red Baton refill units, which provide approximately six sprays per unit. The refill units slide in from the back and are very easy to replace. The company advertises that it will shoot out to 6 feet. I tested this unit with an inert refill. The strong mist was heaviest at approximately 6 feet, but it actually sprayed a little farther. My only concern with it would be using it when the wind was blowing directly back at you. If you are comfortable shooting a pistol or normally carry a gun but cannot because of travel, the Ace Micro-Shot is ideal because it feels and works just like a real pistol. It can even be carried in a small holster. (<a target=blank href=http://www.acecodefense.com>http://www.acecodefense.com</a>; 208-955-7445)
I am intimately familiar with Defense Technology because this was the brand of pepper spray with which I was first sprayed in the early ‘90s. It has been over 20 years, but the memory still burns. Not surprisingly, Defense Technology pepper spray is widely used by law enforcement throughout the world. Defense Technology is part of Safariland Group, which is known for producing high-quality tactical gear. Defense Technology offers a large number of different sized canisters and bottles. It is also the only company reviewed here that measures potency by capsaicinoid concentration. The MK-6 has a potency of 0.7 percent. However, it offers sprays ranging from 0.2 all the way to 1.3 percent. The MK-6 is one of its smallest units. With a net weight of 0.68 ounces, it can produce approximately 12 to 14 short bursts. The MK-6 has a clip on the side so it can be attached to a belt, or clipped into a pocket in a purse or backpack, so it will always be in the same place. A flip-up top prevents the button from being accidentally pressed and filling up your pack with pepper spray. A test of an inert unit produced a fine stream that traveled approximately 18 feet. (<a target=blank href=http://www.safariland.com/0.4pct-mc/first-defense-.4pct-mk-6-stream-oc-aerosol-1012768.html#start=1>http://www.defense-technology.com</a>; 800-347-1200)
“Making Grown Men Cry Since 1975,” Sabre has been manufacturing defense sprays for almost 40 years and is one of the oldest, most trusted names in the industry. Sabre products are currently in use by thousands of federal, state and local police forces worldwide. The Sabre Red spray has a 1.33-percent capsaicinoid concentration. The company offers a large variety of personal defense items, including high-decibel alarms, stun guns, CS gas and OC blended sprays, and even bear spray. I looked at its maximum strength Pepper Gel with flip-top lid. Knowing that wind can cause issues with a spray, Sabre put the OC in a gel that sticks to the bad guy instead of blowing back on you. It is also safer to use indoors because the spray won’t drift and saturate everything. A fairly small unit, it comes with a keychain attached to the bottom. Because it may be rattling around in a pocket or a purse, the flip top prevents accidental activation. Containing 0.54 ounces of gel, it can provide up to 25 sprays. A quick test of an inert gel training unit produced a solid stream that went an impressive 25 feet. The finger grip also helped with aim, control and retention of spray. (<a target=blank href=https://www.sabrered.com/pepper-spray/pepper-gel-flip-top>http://www.sabrered.com</a>; 800-325-9568)
The Ruger Ultra Pepper Spray System is an entire system for personal defense. Manufactured by Tornado Personal Defense, the Ruger Ultra is an OC dispenser that has a pulsing strobe light to blind and disorient an attacker and emits a 125-decibel alarm when the spray is drawn from its base. This base can be clipped into a vehicle holder, a home defense wall unit or even an arm holder with an LED light. With a net weight of 0.38 ounces, it features 10-percent OC spray with a 1.33-percent capsaicinoid concentration that shoots up to 15 feet. Testing produced a thin, solid stream launched out to 15 feet. (<a target=blank href=http://www.ruger.com/micros/pepperSpray/index.html?r=y#>http://www.ruger.com</a>)
I hate pepper spray. Not just a little bit, I absolutely hate it. I have been sprayed with pepper spray for law enforcement certification four different times. I no longer carry pepper spray; I carry a gun. But I respect pepper spray. It works. It turns me into a blind, red-faced, snot-dripping ball of pain. I am not unique in this reaction.
The technical name for pepper spray is oleoresin capsicum, or “OC” for short. Derived from simple cayenne peppers, pepper spray is offered in different strengths. Ten-percent OC is typically the max. I have been sprayed with five percent and 10 percent, and I could not tell the difference. They were both devastating. A newer potency standard measures capsaicinoid concentration. Instead of measuring how much OC is in the formula, it measures the strength of the active ingredients in the pepper spray.
Some states have laws that regulate pepper spray, but it is legal for personal defense in all 50. There are laws against buying it if you are a minor or a convicted felon. In our nation’s capital, you must register with the police in order to have the right to possess pepper spray, even in your own home. I’m sure they had your personal safety in mind when drafting these registration rules in one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. Carrying pepper spray on an airplane is also a no-no. The captain is breathing the same recycled air as everyone else on board, so closing up his eyes and lungs will typically be frowned upon by anyone wanting to survive the flight. Changes in air pressure have been known to crack open bottles, so please don’t put it in your checked baggage.
I recommend pepper spray for lots of people and for lots of reasons. If you are not trained or comfortable carrying a gun, pepper spray is an excellent choice for personal defense at home and out on the street. Likewise, if you are in a state that does not allow you to carry a gun, pepper spray is far better than walking around armed only with your wit. However, you also need to think about what type of pepper spray will work best for you.
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by Personal Defense World / May 15, 2015