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  1. #1
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    Pepper spray, what kind to get?

    I live in a pretty decent area, but sometimes have to travel through much less decent areas (and I am also asking for a (female) friend who lives in a much less decent area). For this I would like some pepper spray or other non-lethal self defense 'weapon'.
    First, we both live in Maryland (with regular trips to DC) are there any laws to take into account?
    Second, there seems to be quite a bit of choice on the market....what kind of spray 'works'? i.e fog vs. stream, different brands, different canisters.

    Any advice?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    All I know for sure is maryland is one of the least free (self defense wise) states in the country. As I recall, until Bush signed that law, cops couldn't carry guns off duty in Maryland. So if she or you choose to carry a weapon, you'll probably be in violation of some law. Same goes for DC. (hoping someone else knows the laws in those places) But it's always better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

    Anyway, it all works, but the problem is the very real possibility of unintended exposure to the user. Pepper spray causes some REALLY serious pain. Anything strong will incapacitate whoever is exposed heavily. In a fight where you are on your own, this is seriously bad. For that reason, I would suggest something else. An expanding baton is a very effective measure, as is a taser if severe outnumbering isn't a problem.

    Ideally I'd suggest carrying a ****** despite the illegality, but I have a feeling that's not an option. If she or you choose to carry pepper spray, I'd suggest a reputable brand like Fox Labs, Sabre Red, or any other police grade stuff. Carrying 2+ canisters would be best. Most importantly, I'd suggest repeated, heavy, full faced and self induced exposure to the stuff for anyone who carries it. If you screw up and get blasted in a struggle, not being ready could easily be lethal. The feeling of panic, pain, involuntary eye shutting, difficulty breathing, it's really a shock the first time you get hit by it. Only by repeated exposure can a person over come the effects to any degree.
    Last edited by Michigander; 01-22-09 at 02:55 PM.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  3. #3
    Squirrelly Member trsidn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinuz View Post
    I live in a pretty decent area, but sometimes have to travel through much less decent areas (and I am also asking for a (female) friend who lives in a much less decent area). For this I would like some pepper spray or other non-lethal self defense 'weapon'.
    First, we both live in Maryland (with regular trips to DC) are there any laws to take into account?
    Second, there seems to be quite a bit of choice on the market....what kind of spray 'works'? i.e fog vs. stream, different brands, different canisters.

    Any advice?
    Go to a police supply store. They will have options that are legal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Yet more proof that I'm.. well, pretty much right about everything.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Police supply stores often don't know the law, and most often will not like selling police gear to non cops anyway.

    The best place I know of on the web is www.jlusa.com They are some very reputable folks.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  5. #5
    Squirrelly Member trsidn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    Police supply stores often don't know the law, and most often will not like selling police gear to non cops anyway.

    The best place I know of on the web is www.jlusa.com They are some very reputable folks.
    fair enough.

    There is one here in town that does have pepper spray(s) available to the public. Not sure about things like tasers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Yet more proof that I'm.. well, pretty much right about everything.

  6. #6
    Señor Member USAZorro's Avatar
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    I'd go for one with hints of garlic and lemon.
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  7. #7
    T-Shirt Guy ehidle's Avatar
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    You should search the pafoa.org forums for Maryland issues before you carry a weapon there.

    The government's attitude in MD is that, if you're under attack, HTFU and wait for the cops.
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    Not to mention that many miscreants are largely immune to the effects of pepper spray. It also does not necessarily work well on people who are on certain drugs, are wearing glasses, are wearing a face mask/balaclava, it is raining while spraying, or the wind is blowing back at you while spraying. I have been sprayed during training, and I could still readily close with, grapple with and injure the person who had sprayed me. It is better than nothing, but pepper spray does have some significant limitations.
    Regards, MillCreek
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  9. #9
    Super Moderator Allen's Avatar
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    Bear Mace
    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...mace&aq=-1&oq=
    ^^^
    Some world class morans right there.

  10. #10
    Cactuar! sneefy's Avatar
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    Get the most effective deterrent you can find. Bear spray would be good.

    Personally I'll be okay with violating a pepper spray law if it means I'm not dead/maimed/etc...

    Seriously. If you're threatened, you do whatever is necessary to prevent the attacker from accomplishing their goal.

    I collect swords. Not crappy, un-sharpened wallhangers, either. You could shave with the one I keep next to the bed and it's made from especially resilient steel. If a robber/attacker comes into my house they'll be losing parts. (unless they have a ***...)
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sneefy View Post
    . If a robber/attacker comes into my house they'll be losing parts. (unless they have a ***...)
    Indoors, in a small to medium size room, a sword could easily be equal or superior to a ***.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  12. #12
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
    Bear Mace
    http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...mace&aq=-1&oq=
    ^^^
    Some world class morans right there.
    God made some powerful stupid creatures.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    Indoors, in a small to medium size room, a sword in the hands of someone skilled in its use could easily be equal or superior to a ***.
    Fixed.

    Of course, that applies more if you actually have to use it. If you can scare some crackhead out of your house by running at them like an even-crazier person than they are while wielding a katana, more power to ya.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    10 hours of fencing practice would probably do it. At arms length or so,, consider the difference in stopping power between a ******* and a lobbed off head.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  14. #14
    Hello :D kidonabike's Avatar
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    IMO stream is the best delivery method for pepper spray. I have been sprayed a few times and can attest to how effective it is. But like MillCreek said while it is painful it doesn't stop them completely if they are determined.

    As for other weapons, make sure they are legal for use in your state. I don't know about where you live but in Cali those extendable batons are illegal.

  15. #15
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    There are advantages and disadvantages to various weapons. Here is some off the top of my head:

    Pepper spray advantages:

    Can be used on multiple attackers.
    Can be used on dogs.
    Non lethal -- means lawsuits filed won't be for top dollar.

    Disadvantages:

    Lots of NBC people have had training where they are used to doing actions, including fighting, when their eyes are nailed with that stuff.
    Crackheads and other people are immune to it.
    Can blow back at you.

    Civilian TASER device, such as a C2, X26C, or the Advanced TASER M18/M18L:
    Advantages:

    Stops someone cold, regardless of how much crack, PCP, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, or whatever substance they are on. If you know what you are doing, you can keep them doing the fish while you get them hogtied to deliver in a nice package for the cops.

    Non lethal, so again, they can't sue for top dollar.

    Disadvantages:

    You have one shot. That's it. Then, you have to go into melee using the tip of it as a stun ***.

    Its good against only one person. Attacker has buds, life is going to be hell.

    You do need to practice with it. It doesn't have that great a range, only 15 feet for civilian, 35 for LEO models. Live cartridges come in 15', 21', 25', and 35'. Non military/LEO only can get 15' (yellow door) cartridges. Weapon retention is key.

    Live firearm:

    Advantages:

    Intimidation factor.
    Can put down multiple attackers.

    Disadvantages:

    Are not allowed to pack in a lot of places (baseball games).
    Need to work on weapon retention, else weapon will end up in attacker(s) hands.
    You have to deal with the police and the attacker's attorneys, and they can try asking for some pretty insane sums of cash.
    You need to pack a sufficient caliber, too small and it won't do much against a PCP addict unless you get a vital shot. Too big, hard to conceal.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    2 things mlts, pepper spray can kill people with respiratory issues.

    Also, caliber is a moot point to some extent. I've seen a buck get shot with 5 kill shots worth of 12 gauge slugs, blowing out its heart and other organs, and then run 70 yards. Keep in mind .22lr kills more people in the USA than all other calibers combined. Shot placement is key. That's not to say that I don't encourage the largest caliber that can reasonably be managed, but the only sure fire way to neutralize a deadly threat with a firearm is to instantly disrupt the central nervous system. That basically means zombie rules, as in neck up or the spine. Anything less might still stop someone, but a lot can happen in a few seconds.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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    I think I failed to mention a few things here:
    1) Neither of us are citizens, so I am pretty sure that rules out guns and any sort of licensed weapon.
    2) I don't think either of us would want to risk potentially killing someone.
    3) I suck at fighting, really, really suck. Somehow I just can't bring myself to hurt someone, although in a pinch I will do it, but hesitantly. Not sure about my friend, but she doesn't seem to be that trained either. So, we need something idiot proof which minimizes operator input (i.e. spray & run).

    If I'd be living here for a longer time, I'd probably do a knife based fighting sport just for self defense. However, that is not the case and even if it were, I need a stop-gap measure.


    About HTFU and call the police....well, let's just say that I have little faith in them.
    Also, when someone jumps me, getting out the cell phone, dialing 911, having some chitchat with the operator and then waiting 5 minutes for the cops....somehow that seems a bit of a problem to me....not sure why

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinuz View Post
    I live in a pretty decent area, but sometimes have to travel through much less decent areas (and I am also asking for a (female) friend who lives in a much less decent area). For this I would like some pepper spray or other non-lethal self defense 'weapon'.
    First, we both live in Maryland (with regular trips to DC) are there any laws to take into account?
    Second, there seems to be quite a bit of choice on the market....what kind of spray 'works'? i.e fog vs. stream, different brands, different canisters.

    Any advice?
    splash tabasco in their face.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinuz View Post
    I think I failed to mention a few things here:
    1) Neither of us are citizens, so I am pretty sure that rules out guns and any sort of licensed weapon.
    2) I don't think either of us would want to risk potentially killing someone.
    3) I suck at fighting, really, really suck. Somehow I just can't bring myself to hurt someone, although in a pinch I will do it, but hesitantly. Not sure about my friend, but she doesn't seem to be that trained either. So, we need something idiot proof which minimizes operator input (i.e. spray & run).

    If I'd be living here for a longer time, I'd probably do a knife based fighting sport just for self defense. However, that is not the case and even if it were, I need a stop-gap measure.


    About HTFU and call the police....well, let's just say that I have little faith in them.
    Also, when someone jumps me, getting out the cell phone, dialing 911, having some chitchat with the operator and then waiting 5 minutes for the cops....somehow that seems a bit of a problem to me....not sure why
    There is nothing idiot proof when it comes to self defense. If you have no experience, and you are serious about staying safe, you should absolutely seek out self defense classes. Using the web you can find good ones in your area, and at affordable prices. Colleges often provide single credit hour classes in self defense which will make you much better off than you are now.

    Unarmed training combined with less/non lethal weapons is the key to having a chance in a fight against any serious aggressor. You need to get confident through training, and you need to get rid of your instinct not to want to hurt or kill someone who threatens your safety. That isn't a healthy mindset. Your willingness to defend yourself if forced to needs to be absolute and unhesitating.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  20. #20
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    HALT ! It stops big dogs in their tracks..........

  21. #21
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    Perhaps the OP should consider carrying a cane. Lots of interesting things can be done with a cane.
    Regards, MillCreek
    Snohomish County, Washington USA

  22. #22
    Support JDRF b_young's Avatar
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    27 ft stream. Cheap, 14oz, fits into water bottle cage, a little duct tape keeps the rattle down. 1-2 second shot works well on dogs without long term effect. Got to work well on people too, but you may not get by with it in the winter.
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  23. #23
    superArti artifice's Avatar
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    I'm too ADD to read the whole thread, forgive me if this is a repeat:
    Some states allow a higher active ingredient content than others. Check for your state and others nearby (if you are near a border) to see if you can pick up something more potent.

    Do your homework on mace. It can easily be turned on you by the attacker- or you can even spray yourself in the face by accident- these incidents happen a lot.

    You might want to investigate a civilian taser (one time use) or a kubaton (my weapon of choice). Happy shopping!
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by artifice View Post
    Do your homework on mace. It can easily be turned on you by the attacker- or you can even spray yourself in the face by accident- these incidents happen a lot.!
    Besides blow back, the other very real possibility is an assailant wiping his face, then punching you in the eye. It takes very little pepper spray to make your eye involuntarily shut.

    About the legality of different percentages, I would just pull the label.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  25. #25
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    HALT ! It stops big dogs in their tracks..........
    I've tested it on myself, pretty good stuff. It's not the hottest stuff out there, but it does work.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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