Some thoughts on OC spray

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Thread: Some thoughts on OC spray

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    Some thoughts on OC spray

    My entire LE career I was always mandated to carry OC Spray. While still active duty Military Police I became and instructor and over the years have seen street applications of OC approx 20-25 times under various conditions. That said I have never seen it used by a civilian so I my points on civilian carry are only conjecture and educated opinion.

    The biggest problem facing a civilian and the carry of OC is the fact that unless it is in your hand at the time of the attack and your thumb is on the button the chance of being able to deploy it is slim. This would require that whenever in any kind of a danger area you would have it in your hand. If I had to have something in my hand against an unknown threat it would be a Surefire or some kind of a pocket stick.

    The second problem is that it does absolutely nothing to stop or control the mechanism of the attack. For most people it only causes massive discomfort and involuntary closing of the eyes. During the many times that I have been cross contaminated I never felt that it at all hindered my ability to inflict damage on any opponent that I could feel in my hands. If anything it motivated me to hold on and become even more violent. Thus if someone in within conversation distance where they would have to be to assault or rob you and you spray them and they bum rush forward and get there hands on you they really don’t need their eyes anymore. What would OC do to defend against multiple attackers?

    On the subject of cross contamination, do you wear contacts? Do you or your family members have any respiratory issues? Have you ever really been sprayed to see what your physical reaction will be? What is the chance of you being in a place that has no breeze at all when you have to use the OC? Will it get blown back in your face? How will you feel when you can’t see your attacker anymore than he can see you? The OODA Loop is Observe, Orient, Decide and Act. Hard to have OODA without Observe. Do you plan on using it for anti-car jacking? The idea is to be able to leave the area. How well do you think you will be able to drive with even a little OC in your eyes?

    OC is also a prohibited item in federal building and commercial flights. Do you want the primary tool in your EDC arsenal to be something that is unexplainable as anything other that what it is or would you rather carry Surefire, heavy pen or a pocket stick of whatever variety that could be carried even in the most secure environments?


    OC for police is a stand off or crowd control tool at best When you don’t have or don’t wish to use a Taser and Billy Badguy says that he is not going to jail you can sometimes make him comply buy taking the OC and shaking it. Same goes for using it to threaten people to back up. Sometimes they will just give up. But what if they don’t? If you do spray them you still have to go hands on at some point and then they have to go in your car. Again what if you do get cross contaminated? How well can you defend your gun?

    I have NEVER seen OC used by police during a spontaneous or flash attack. And they more so than civilians have it right there on their belt in a pretty little pouch. Chances are that a civilian or plain clothes officer will have to dig in a pocket or glove box for theirs?

    My advise for civilians and off duty LE would be to always have an impact weapon close at hand.

    And as for uniform LE, get off your lazy but and learn to use whatever stick you are issued or allowed to carry. It should be your go to tool after empty hand techniques.

    If there was one thing that I could have taken off my duty belt it would be that little vial of Karate in a can. OC has never and will never make up for lack of training.

    Now that I got that out of my system. Even though I don't advocate it many people do. It may have it's place in a continuum of force. Too often OC is gifted to women by men in their lives with a "better than nothing" thought. If you do carry it you need to be trained to spray and move, not admire the effects. They also need to avoid over confidence in it and have other options in mind when the bad guy does not burst into flames.

    Face it, for many people OC is put in the same place where others carry a firearm. It is their last resort. The fail to plan past it. This can be a deadly mistake.

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    Senior Member Array Fast Cloud's Avatar
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    I carry it as well as my wife because as you said it has a place in the force continuum. Me first...I carry it mainly to hose down some road rager in my window and because I walk 4 miles a day, any dogs that get too upity. For the latter, I just carry it in my hand...no biggie. For the former, it's attached to my keychain. (easily removable with out taking the keys out of the ignition.) If some clown starts acting up behind me in a car, it's the first thing I do...disconnect and lay in the console next to my nightshades jungle dart. My pistol is a last resort. I'm amped up and watching for him to get out of the car as it is, so I'm definately watching his hands. Whatever is in them determines my decision.

    Also being on my keychain, it instantly goes into my hand when I'm in the Walmart parking lot or wherever when it's daylight and I can see things clearly. I don't walk around constantly with my hand on my weapon. That changes at night though...

    Now the wife...I've let her hose me down with it because I wanted to see for myself what the effects would be on myself as well has her. Yes...I love her that much. Anyway, believe me when I tell you that your eyesite is completely obliterated....gone...no more. I instantly closed my legs to prevent being kicked (reflex) not part of our plan, and doubled over grabbing my eyes. Of course it doesn't take you off your feet or anything and your thought process is still in tact, but my God it burns. She ran to the car, got in and locked the door, and I couldn't begin to give a damn. However...I'm not a rapist or a car jacker...no matter...anyone hosed with oc isn't going to be driving anywhere until they've rinsed that crap out with cold water for about 10 minutes. Even then there's considerable swelling.

    She also carries a jungle dart but refuses to carry a gun...I know, I know. I've trained her how to shoot the revolver and taken her to practice so that I know she can do it, but she has no interest in carrying and flat out won't do it. She knows where it stays in the house and that's the best I can do for now.

    Back to the oc...as far as multiple attackers go, I can't say from experience, but I doubt it would serve you very well. Also the element of surprise is a must...never bring it up to try to warn somebody...wait until they're in range and in one movement bring it up an hose them down...In the mouth as well if you can. Believe me...the effect is immediate.

    OC is by no means a end all be all cure...just another tool in the box as far as I'm concerned but as for my wife and a lot of other people that may be squeamish about carrying for one reason or another it's a must...as well as a knife, dart or as you said...a blunt object and training. Just my .02, YMMV.
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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mercop View Post
    I have NEVER seen OC used by police during a spontaneous or flash attack.
    Which is as indicative of mindset, as anything. If one isn't prepared to deal with confrontation, OC, bat, gun, it's all the same. OC is not an "emergent" tool, but a pre-emptive.

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    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    I have a very bad reaction to OC spray. Bad enough that I have had to wave off going to the hospital after some exposures at work. The one thing that always stuck in my mind was to get a hold of something and keep holding on since my eyesight was gone taking my gun out of the mix. It never stopped me from being able to being able to fight open handed. Something to keep in mind.

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    Senior Member Array Fast Cloud's Avatar
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    ^ Yep, that's where the dart comes in. She's under orders after the spraying to commense with the Norman Bates action right in the eye, lungs or any soft spot open to her if she has to...then run like hell to the car. It may not be a bad idea to run over him with it when she gets there.
    "Any rationally thinking person is armed" ---Hinds Co. constable John Lewis

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    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    As I said, part of a system I can see it. As a break in case of emergency bad guy extinguisher, not so much.

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    Some great points to ponder in the OP.
    I doubled my last order of OC spray, then I tried a couple to see how they work.
    Yep, some came back into my face...damn, that stuff really burns.
    More importantly though, I was able to see exactly how far and effectively the spray worked.

    I would highly recommend to anyone who carries spray to 'have tried it'...better to use it prior to the real need.

    Stay armed...know your weapons...stay safe!
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