Pepper Spray window of opportunity

“The small keychain type sprays only shoot about five feet.”

This is an important consideration when using pepper spray (OC) to defend yourself. Unlike firearms, the window of opportunity for using pepper spray, in terms of distance, is narrow. Most units that people will actually carry with them have a maximum range of about eight feet. As Greg says, the little keychain units, especially no-name brands, are limited to about 5 feet.

8 feet and in

On the flip side, if a predator is inside of Personal Space (4 foot boundary) it becomes more difficult to deploy the spray because he’s at arm’s length. Once you can see ‘the look in his eyes,’ it’s probably too late to stick your arm out and spray him.

look in his eyes

It can still be done but the technique is completely different. The best way is to stick the unit in contact with the predator’s upper lip with the nozzle turned upward and then spray the OC directly up his nose into the nasal passages. Or spray it into his mouth if you have to. It’s hard to do if you haven’t practiced it a few times.

OC in nose crop

The window of opportunity for successfully deploying OC is another example of the importance of Orient in Boyd’s Process. Knowing what your OC unit is capable of (New Information) and applying that knowledge to establish your ‘line in the sand’ is the process of Analysis & Synthesis that leads to better decision-making.

3 responses

  1. […] This piece from The Tactical Professor offers some excellent points on tactics for deploying the spicy goodness at close quarters. As a bonus there is a link to a much longer discussion from the great Greg Ellifritz on point. Both are well worth the time spent. […]

  2. Having employed this technique in various “pig pile” struggles with criminals over the years, I can attest to its effectiveness.

    The last dude I pepper sprayed before I retired was screaming at me with his mouth open. Easy target. Stream down the throat. He stopped fighting instantly.

    For you cops out there, some of your departments may not approve of this technique.  Research the “hydraulic needle effect.”  It’s when the force of the pepper spray tears the eye tissue.  Most manufacturers suggest not spraying the eyes closer than two feet away.  I would argue that a shot up the nose while grappling is much less dangerous than spraying the eyes at that range.

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