With over 40 brands of pepper spray competing for market share in the self defense product line what makes one better than the other? As a consumer, how do I know which pepper spray products are better than others? From the outside looking in this is a very difficult task. Companies have become excellent at marketing their products as the best, and in a self regulated industry like self defense pepper spray makers are basically on the honor system.
There are some premium pepper spray products on the market that have been used by law enforcement agencies for decades. Their results and professional popularity speak for itself. Products like Fox Labs, Defense Technology, and Freeze are the real deal. Unfortunately dozens of other products are not what they claim to be.
One of the newer pepper spray products to hit the market is called Wildfire and it is manufactured and tested right here in the US. Wildfire is independently tested by Washington Labs and is a true 3 million scoville heat unit pepper spray with an 18% Oleoresin Capsicum formulation. What that means in English, is that Wildfire is very potent stuff and will stop an attacker almost instantly. Many companies’ market high pepper spray percentage formulations to consumers, but you must ask yourself 10%, 15% or 18% of what?
In many cases you will find that what others are marketing is NOT Oleoresin Capsicum, instead they are selling a product with a much lower scoville heat unit rating. Oleoresin Capsicum is the product created by a process in which ground dried chili peppers are made to release capsaicin, the natural pepper resin, into corn oil. Hence the name oleoresin capsicum. Capsicum is the botanical name for Chile peppers. The hotness or potency of the OC is based on the capsaicin content of the oleoresin, basically the active ingredient of the OC. The method of measure called a Scoville Heat Unit that is used to measure how hot a natural chili pepper is also applied to OC. There are many different peppers that can be used in a pepper spray formulation. For example a bell pepper has an SHU rating of zero while Jalapeno peppers rate approximately 5,000 SHU. SHU ratings of OC are based on capsaicin content. Many pepper spray makers market a high pepper spray percentage, but it may be 18% of a 50,000 scoville heat unit formulation.
Prior to picking up the Wildfire line, we tested it ourselves and were very surprised at just how potent it was. We immediately picked up the Wildfire line and have been promoting it ever since. Wildfire pepper spray is available in .5, 1.5, 4, 9 and 16 ounces respectively. Law enforcement agencies whom have tried it all love it, its non-flammable so it can be safely used around firearms or Tasers. It is good for 3 years and each canister comes with the expiration stamped on. If you are looking for a self defense pepper spray for civilian or law enforcement use, we certainly recommend Wildfire pepper spray.