Which Defense Spray Should I Choose
With so many companies marketing numerous brands of self defense sprays, how do I choose the right pepper spray or mace for my situation. Lets break it down first by trusted brands and then by spray type or pattern.
There are a handfull of brands that law enforcement professionals use and trust. Fox Labs, Sabre, Defense Technology, Wildfire, Pepper Shot, and Mace
are tested and proven. These are the pepper spray brands that have been used successfuly for decades. So when you purchase pepper spray it should be one of the ones listed above.
Pepper spray features different formulas and spray patterns for specialized uses. Focus on foggers, streams, foams and gels, together these can account for nearly all potential self defense uses.
Foggers are the most popular spray pattern for good reason. A fogger produces a cone shaped discharge, with the main advantage being no need to aim or be accurate. The fogger discharges in a "cloud" so users don't have to worry about accurracy. Crowd control situations or dealing with more than one attacker are ideal for use of a fogger style pepper spray. Typically, you won't find a keychain pepper spray fogger, these start with 2 ounce duty style units. The drawback to using foggers is the potential for "blowback" if sprayed into a stiff wind. The fogger is the best choice for use outdoors in low wind climates.
A stream, often referred to as a ballistic stream offers more range than a fogger. Chances of "blowback" are all but eliminated. The trade-off is accuracy. With a ballistic stream, practice and preparation are imperative. The stream comes out hard and fast; so to be effective a user needs to spray an attacker in the face. The last place you what to practice is during a violent situation. Spend a few minutes now to practice with your pepper spray. A ballistic stream is an excellent choice if you live in a windy climate, or if you require extended range.
A foam concentration has many benefits including, less fumes, secure indoors, sticks to an assailant, and Will not blowback. The range on a foam spray is comparable to that of a fogger. Again, you need to be accuarate with a foam. It is ideal for indoor or close quarters self defense when you need to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. A foam doesn't splatter, so if your dealing with multiple individuals all in close proximity of each other, you can spray one individual without contaminating the others.
A gel formulation offers increased range, a sticky concentration that is nearly impossible to remove and it's great for use where cross-contamination is a concern. The gel is ideal if you need extended range in an indoor or close quarter situation.