Updated: April 02, 2020

You have watched a movie recently where a woman was being attacked or was looking to defend herself against somebody, and pulled a canister out of her purse or pocket, spraying the assailant with a chemical that sent him to the ground screaming in pain. What you may have just witnessed is somebody using pepper spray.

This is become one of the most important tools that men and women across the country have employed to defend themselves. It is easy to use, very effective, and requires very little skill or knowledge on your part on how to use it. You simply point and spray.

What Is Pepper Spray?

While this is an extremely effective product to use, it may make you wonder how it works in the first place. That starts with an understanding of exactly what pepper spray is.

While there can be several ingredients included in the product you purchase, the truth is that there is one main ingredient that makes a pepper spray – oleoresin capsicum. This is the active ingredient that is found in peppers.
If you have ever tasted something that has extremely hot peppers that are included as an ingredient then you know how irritating this can be to your mouth, stomach, and the rest of your digestive tract. It can leave your mouth burning, begging for water.

This is why pepper spray is such an effective tool to use. The effect it has on your mouth is exactly the same effect it can have on your skin, eyes, and knows. Just coming in contact with your skin can burn in the same way that it does the inside of your mouth.

Of course, not all peppers that are used have the same exact effect. For example, if you used in ordinary green pepper that you would find in a salad, this is not going to have much of an effect. You need something that has a high degree of heat to it. To find out which peppers are the best, it pays to look at a pepper heat scale to see which ones are the most effective.

For example, most pepper sprays will use cayenne peppers, which falls into the medium pepper range. Jalapenos are slightly less hot, and are not as effective in pepper sprays, while habaneros peppers can be absolutely brutal to a potential assailant.

How to Use Pepper Spray?

Now that you understand the basic ingredients in creating pepper spray, it is important to understand how to use it. First off, before going into any detail is important that we establish the fact that not every product that you purchase will work the same. Some products you purchase will have a much different look in terms of the design of the dispersal canister than that of others. This means that the process will be a little different and how you would aim and fire at a potential assailant.

The range of the product is important as well. Some allow you to spray at a person who is as far as 20 feet away from you, while others will not work unless the person is 3 feet or less from you. This matters, because you don’t want to waste your pepper spray when they are not close enough to you. With that being said, there are some general principles that you should apply.

  • Be Patient But Deliberate. Some products allow you to carry canister in your hand. This makes it easy for you to use, as you already have it in your hand should someone approach you. However, some may be in your purse, on a keychain, or in your pocket. If this is the case, you want to make sure that you are patient about drawing the product and from where it is located, while still being deliberate.

    The truth is that most people have a little bit more time than what they think. You don’t want to be so panic stricken that you drop it or fumble with it trying to get it out of your pocket. Draw in a smooth, quick motion, something you should practice on a regular basis.

  • Release the Safety. Most products you purchase will have some kind of safety mechanism in place so that you don’t accidentally discharge the chemical in your pocket or when you’re not ready to use it. It is a good idea to practice releasing the safety as you are drawing the pepper spray out of your pocket or purse. You’re saving yourself a step this way, which could save your life.
  • Aim and Stance. Some products are designed to look just like a gun. They are easy to aim, especially for a person who is used firearms before. However, most are designed to look quite a bit different than your standard firearm. This means you need to get used to how to properly aim and position your body before firing.

    As you take a, it is a good idea to learn how to position your body as well. If you have a person charging towards you, you may need to find that you have to take a step or two back before firing. Practicing this can be good for you as well.

  • Spray. As you are aiming, you want to practice for hitting as much of the face areas possible. Understand that when a person’s first hit with the pepper spray it is likely to cause them to start to change direction, maybe even fall down. That is not a time to stop shooting. Spray that person until you have used every burst in the canister. Don’t give them any opportunity to get up.

    Practice these steps and you will be able to defend yourself should a serious situation arrives. Know that your safety and the safety of your loved ones may be at risk here. Understanding how your pepper spray works and how to use it properly is essential. Make sure you become acquainted with your product and master how to use it.

Sheryll Berrett

Sheryll Berrett

An online journalist, entrepreneur and a fanatic blogger. She is the Former Lead News Writer at SearchEngineJournal. She wrote a huge numbers of article on Forbes, Huffingtonpost, Hubpages, and so on. Find her on twitter @SheryllBerrett

Leave a Reply