Pepper Jewelry

Breda is skeptical of this piece of jewelry that claims to deliver a dose of pepper spray to an attacker. I share her skepticism of the basic design and delivery method, but the idea of making pepper spray easier to carry I think has a lot of merit. With this ring, in addition to the accidental discharge issue, I’d be skeptical that it could deliver enough spray. Looking at some other descriptions of it, it has a range of a whopping twelve inches. You’d probably be better off following through on that short distance with a fist, to be honest.

My preferred option for spray these days is the Kimber Pepper Blaster, which is actually a gel, rather than a spray. It has a much better range, fits nicely in a pocket or purse, draws more naturally, and is a much more powerful formulation than typical sprays. The big downside is you get two shots. For something with a bit more, Fox Labs makes good sprays in a more traditional canister.

I still think it’s a good idea to carry OC. There’s a whole lot of force between harsh language and hot lead that pepper spray helps fill. One can imagine situations where someone is in desperate need of being in pain, but gunfire would not be legally justified. For instance, someone stealing the radio in your car: if you shoot him, you’re going to jail. But most state allow the use of force (but not deadly force) to protect property. Pepper spray is force, legally, and not all that high a level of force, so there is a greater number of useful circumstances where it can be employed.

22 thoughts on “Pepper Jewelry”

  1. Sebastian,

    Do you practice employing OC and do you practice/train transitioning between OC and a firearm?

    I’d be interested in learning what sort muscle memory can be built up and if there is any confusion when determining which option to grab for.

  2. Not nearly as much as I should, to be honest, other than spraying expired canisters. As for a transition, it wouldn’t be any different than to a backup gun if you use one of Kimber’s devices, as it (particularly the Blaster II) handles like a gun.

    Also keep in mind you won’t generally be employing spray in a life or death situation. Someone threatens you with deadly force, over overwhelming force (like six guys to one) draw your gun rather than spray. Spray is mostly employed to reinforce verbal commands, to get out of a fist fight situation, or to protect property. You would still shoot someone who presents a threat to life and limb.

    But I will be the first to admit I don’t have as much training with OC as I should. I’ve never been sprayed, which you really should be, and practicing with it regularly is difficult.

  3. I seem to recall the stop percentage for pepper spray is somewhere around 60%. Not because you’d want to use it to stop a knife wielding manic, or someone beating you into unconsciousness, but because most people who attack you aren’t going to be seriously dedicated to the fight. Brillianter’s comments on this from a few years ago are what convinced me of the utility of carrying this level of force.

  4. Unfortunately, in their infinite wisdom, Michigan legislators have banned anything with more than 2% of the active ingredient in pepper spray. Thus we have watered down OC in Michigan. Oh and no Tazers too. Except for police.

    Awhile back there was a bill discussed allowing CCW permit holders to be able to carry either normal pepper spray or tazers. The bill got voted down by democrats who were opposed to the bill because it would increase the number of CCW permit holders. Not for any logical reason other than opposition to increased number of permit holders.

  5. I should also point out that at least a few of those arguments are ones that I threw at him, because I became convinced. Given that he’s a trainer, and I’m not, it was hard to stay convinced of my position that pepper spray was inviting a jury to ask why you didn’t use it.

  6. Michigan is a weird state for that kind of thing, Pete. It blows my mind that a few states and jurisdiction restrict people from carrying less lethals, especially MI which allows for lethal more easily than lesser force.

  7. Weerd:

    Pardon my fondness for alliteration. Harsh language in this case means verbal commands. Basically, if you say stop, and he keeps escalating, you’re free to go immediately to spray. If you go immediately to gunfire, you better hope he has a weapon so you can make a plausible story for your $400 dollar an hour defense attorney to tell to police. Basically, if he’s escalating, you have to wait until he’s a deadly threat before you can resort to deadly force. Why should that be your only option? Sure, you can try to walk away, or run, but what if he pursues or wants to fight you?

    You can’t shoot someone who wants to engage in a fist fight, and not expect to shell out six figures for a lawyer to defend you in court. Especially where we live. If you can end the fight with spray, it’s a preferable option, and less dangerous than a fist fight.

  8. As I say during my concealed carry classes here: “Not every problem is a gun problem.” The redesigned Kimber is better for taking a naturally aimed shot but does not fit into the old belt pouch for the first generation Pepper Blaster.

    I teach part time at a Community College campus and this is all I have except for a bladed weapon when I teach. It does have more impact than a stiff word and rolled up newspaper!

  9. The Blaster II is great except for the fact that it really really needs a pocket holster, and no pocket holster fits it nicely. The I has a clip. I’m not sure why Kimber didn’t include a clip on the II, other than it would look like you were carrying a water pistol.

  10. Doesn’t Batman have one of these… I think his has knock out gas.

  11. Anyone who buys pepper spray needs to buy two and practice with one.

    Way too many girls start working on figuring out how to activate the spray, and then how to aim it, only after trouble starts. A common fear is that if they practice with it, they won’t have enough pepper spray left when they need it. The solution: see how much spray is in a bottle by using one up completely.

  12. I’m skeptical of wearing any sort of ring, and have been, since I heard a story on the radio about someone who stopped is truck to readjust the sand in it (he was working on a swimming pool), and got his ring caught in something as he was jumping down.

    He lost his finger, and his ring became a nice tear-shape. He was telling his story because he lost his ring, and was hoping that someone could find it.

    A side effect was that, after I lost my wedding ring for a week, when I found it, I couldn’t bring myself to wear it. Instead, I keep it on my watch band (which I now keep on a belt loop, due to a rash that didn’t go away…but then, when I took a machining class, I learned that a lathe can literally grab onto your watch and kill you–so nothing’s safe! ;-).

  13. I don’t like the ring design. I carry some sort of pocket size mace always – usually it’s just in my purse, but when I’m downtown at night alone for rehearsals, it goes into my pocket with my hand on it. Interestingly enough, the one time I did not position the mace in my pocket before stepping out onto the street was the one time I actually got accosted by several drunk men. Fortunately, walking away was enough of a solution.

    I also keep a large canister of bear mace in my oversized purse.

  14. Forgot to add, I am most concerned with my mace because when I am downtown at night it is usually for a rehearsal and I cannot carry while I am playing for several reasons.

  15. If you do carry a pepper blaster or taser, I would note that it’s important you not carry it in a similar draw to your primary carry gun. You don’t want your muscle memory to have you go for your heater when you meant to draw your taser.

  16. The pepper blaster seems like a bad idea to me. You only get 2 shots with rudimentary sights, you have to hit the attacker in the face for optimum effectiveness, and you can’t practice without buying a whole extra unit. I’d rather go for a stream or foam that has multiple shots even if it has shorter range.

  17. Sabre offers a formal OC training program for private citizens in many states:

    Looks good. I am going to try to find a class near me.

    I am pleased that the students in the video are training with decent, LE-size OC trainer units, with reliable controls and good capacity, not the dinky keychain models. That’s what you want to carry.

    I’m not hatin’, folks — sometimes a keychain is all you can tote, and God bless. But whenever I can tuck a 2 oz flip-top can in my jacket or pants pocket I feel better. That plus a carefully chosen folding knife equals some semi-decent options in NPEs (non-permissive environments).

    Of course now I also need defensive knife training.

  18. P.S. I am a beginner, but my solution to the gun-vs.-OC muscle memory issue is this: When I’m carrying a defensive handgun it is always on my strong hand side. So I always carry OC on my support hand side (even when not currently carrying a handgun).

    Any reason that shouldn’t address the problem?

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