Pepper spray is a very popular self defense tool. Why? Because it is effective, and legal to carry in most places. Check pepper spray laws of all 50 states below.
When pepper spray is sprayed onto another person, it will cause inflammation, coughing, choking, nausea, and will dilate the eyes with temporary blindness (while not causing permanent damage).
Information updated for 2019:
Top 3 Most Popular Best Rated Pepper Spray
All three are SABRE brand, made in the USA. They are the most popular based on the number of reviews and best rated reviews.
1. SABRE 3-IN-1 | Compact Size with Clip
2. SABRE Pepper Spray with Quick Release Key Ring
3. SABRE Gel Spray | Runner with Adjustable Hand Strap
Smallest Pepper Spray
I researched this. Beware if it’s too small, it might not be as effective. You might have some clumsy difficulty handling it.
My recommendation is to use the keychain style for the smallest. Not too big, not too small…
SABRE pepper spray is made in the USA.
The SABRE factory is located in St. Louis, Missouri.
HPLC technology process assures high performance and eliminates failure rate compared to other brands.
SABRE claims up to 5 times more pepper spray bursts from most of their products compared with competing brands.
SABRE 0.54 oz canisters fire approximately 25 quick bursts. The average competitor brand comparative canister fires for approximately 5 quick bursts.
The 0.54 oz. canister is the most popular size carried among civilians.
Pepper Spray Shelf Life
It does have an expiration date posted on the container. However the spray will not suddenly lose its effectiveness on that date. It may lose some pressure and potency over time. All aerosol products eventually lose pressure.
Most pepper spray canisters last about 2 years from their date of manufacture. SABRE products have a 4 year shelf life.
A Few Statistics | Did you know that:
- You’re 52 times more likely to experience violence than serious injury in a car accident.
- You are 229 times more likely to be violently assaulted than have your house catch fire.
- You’re nearly 1,000 times more likely to be killed or maimed in an attack than to die in a plane crash.
Pepper Spray Discharge Patterns
Pepper spray is available in a wide variety of container sizes, shapes, and formulas. Canister nozzles are designed with different spray patterns.
The most common pepper spray discharge is the stream pattern. It’s popular because it can be aimed directly in a concentrated stream.
Fog | Mist
The fog pattern can be effective when trying to incapacitate more than one target at a time. However you may experience some pepper spray blow-back yourself since it is a fog. Just move away or backward as you spray.
Foam | Gel
Why use foam or gel pepper spray? It will stay on the attackers face longer, therefore burning sensation longer. Foam sprays out over a wider area. Gel will shoot farther.
How Far Does Pepper Spray Go?
Depending upon the wind, the following are typical expectations:
Stream Spray (8 – 12 feet)
Most canisters using a stream spray pattern fire 8 to 12 feet.
Fog| Cone | Mist Spray (6 – 12 feet)
Canisters using a fog/cone or mist spray fire from 6 to 12 feet. Cone delivery products are typically 10 feet.
Gel (10 – 14 feet)
Gel sprays typically spray 20% further than stream. So, 10 to 14 feet.
How Long To Pepper Spray An Attacker
SABRE recommends that the canister be sprayed until the attacker is incapacitated. Once the attacker is stopped, escape immediately and call the police.
Pepper Spray Tips
1- KNOW HOW TO USE IT. Maybe have an inert can for practice in drawing and spraying it. People may forget to flip the thumb switch or cover their own face with the opposite arm in an attack situation if they don’t practice.
2- MAKE SURE IT IS EASILY ACCESSIBLE. Not buried in the bottom of a purse so you have to dig for it for five minutes while being attacked. Seconds count.
Many women carry it – as they are potential targets for rape and crime.
Consider carrying pepper spray on a key-chain. It’s especially useful while walking to or from your vehicle in a public place, etc…
Your keys should always be out before exiting a store (or wherever). It’s best to get into the habit of holding the set of keys by the pepper spray canister itself. This will enable quick use if suddenly attacked.
Walk confidently with situational awareness of what’s going on around you! Unfortunately too many people are narrowly focused in their own little world and oblivious to their surroundings as they walk — and could easily be surprised by a predator.
I recommend that women joggers should carry cannisters designed with a hand strap (see top-3 recommendations above).
Bear Pepper Spray
Not only is it effective for protection against 2 legged creatures, but it’s also effective against the 4 legged variety.
Typically, pepper spray designed for animals will have a higher concentration formula (e.g. Bear Spray).
This is the Bear Spray that we use here at the homestead in black-bear country, which I believe is the best on the market:
I also sometimes carry a Bear Bell when hiking out back in the woods so as not to surprise a bear.
What’s Best About the #1 Pepper Spray?
- Blend of CS military tear gas, red pepper and UV dye.
- Contains both the inflammatory effects of red pepper and the irritating effects of CS tear gas.
- Uses the highest concentration of capsaicinoids and is the number one formulation used by police worldwide.
Pepper Spray Laws
Are there any restrictions regarding the use and sale?
Evidently legal in all 50 States. However some areas have specific regulations.
Many states, including the following, have varying restrictions: CA, FL, HI, MA, MI, NJ, NY & WI.
It is suggested that you familiarize yourself with your local laws. If you have a question, you should contact your local police department.
Here is a resource and list of all 50 states and their pepper spray laws:
Continue Reading: 50 Personal Security Tips