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The Different Types Of Pepper Spray



2022-12-02 09:55:07




In a world where non-lethal defence is becoming increasingly necessary, it is a good idea to understand the different types of defence mechanisms available to you. One of the more accessible, easy-to-use, and common forms of non-lethal self defence is pepper spray. What you might not know about this handy tool is that there are several different types that you can get. So what are the different kinds of pepper spray?


All pepper sprays utilise the same idea of projecting pepper spray in one form or another from a canister or gun-shaped mechanism. You get different types of pepper spray, the most common is the pepper spray canister, but you can also get pepper spray guns, which shoot pepper bullets or pepper spray liquid.


Before heading out to your local store to purchase some pepper spray, it would be a good idea to research the available types. Understanding the different compositions available will help you to make an informed decision on which kind of pepper spray, canister, or gun-shaped design will best suit your needs.


Pepper Spray Explained

Pepper spray’s scientific name is Oleoresin Capsicum, and it gets its name from one of its ingredients, capsicum, which is a derivative of chilli peppers. It is a non-lethal irritant that can cause a burning sensation in the eyes and lungs, swelling of the mucus membranes in the nose, eyes, and throat, coughing, breathing difficulties, and even temporary blindness. 


The effects of pepper spray can last anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. Although in some cases, especially when sprayed directly into the eyes, the after-effects can last up to a week.


Different Types Of Pepper Spray

There are three common types of pepper spray, each with pros and cons. Two of them are more easily accessible than the third. Let’s look at the three most common forms of pepper spray.


Pepper Spray: Canister

Pepper spray canisters are one of the most common non-lethal self-defense mechanisms available to the average person today. They are readily available from various stores, both in-shop and online, and are handy because they are often small enough to fit into a pocket, handbag, or keychain.


When it comes to costs, this form of pepper spray is the most economical, and due to its popularity, there is a range of different products available for different prices.


Pros of a pepper spray canister:

  • Easily concealable, lightweight, small, and accessible
  • A non-lethal defence mechanism that does not leave long-lasting effects
  • Strong enough to be a worthwhile deterrent against assailants
  • Easy to fire
  • Readily available
  • Legal for all ages to carry on your person


Cons of a pepper spray canister:

  • Untrained personnel might find it hard to deploy pepper spray accurately in violent or stressful situations.
  • The canister only contains a small amount of the spray, which you might release all at once when you are in a stressful situation.
  • If you don’t release the spray properly in small bursts, you can contaminate a large area which means that all those in the vicinity, including yourself, could suffer from the effects of the spray.
  • It does not work optimally in windy conditions or small spaces due to blowback.


Pepper Spray Gun: Liquid Pepper Spray

Not as common as the pepper spray canister but just as highly effective, the pepper spray gun is a good self-defense tool. This pepper spray lets you shoot a liquid stream from a gun-shaped mechanism at an assailant. The liquid pepper spray guns are essentially pepper spray, but they are in the form of a gun/pistol, making them easier to use and more comfortable to hold.


The one bonus of utilising pepper spray out of a gun-type mechanism is that it is often released at a higher velocity, making it a better option than the pepper spray that comes in a canister.


Pros of a pepper spray gun using liquid pepper spray:

  • More economical option
  • Suitable for left and right-hand users
  • It is a non-lethal weapon that does not have long-lasting effects
  • Strong enough to put off an intruder
  • Higher accuracy than with the canister pepper spray
  • Safer to use in windy conditions than the canister pepper spray
  • Effective up to 20 feet


Cons of a pepper spray gun using liquid pepper spray:

  • As it uses a liquid that is aerosolized as soon as it leaves the nozzle, it can contaminate the air only three feet in front of you.
  • Often not effective on assailants under the influence of alcohol or narcotics
  • It only contains a certain amount of liquid which you could release relatively quickly, especially if you are under duress.


Pepper Spray Gun: Pepper Bullets

This form of pepper spray shoots bullets or capsules containing pepper spray in powder form from a gun-shaped mechanism. The gun works similarly to a paintball gun and can often discharge multiple shots before having to be reloaded.


These types of pepper spray guns look more realistic than the variety that shoots liquid pepper spray, and you often have the choice of being able to use blank bullets as well as pepper bullets.


When the bullet comes into contact with a surface, it explodes, releasing a cloud of powder into the air, which can quickly incapacitate an intruder. Upon exposure, the powder will cause an immediate reaction in the assailant’s eyes, nose, chest, and throat.


The pros of a pepper spray gun using pepper bullets:

  • More accurate 
  • Bullets can hit targets that are as far as 150 feet away
  • It can hold up to 21 bullets in a CO2 cartridge
  • Each capsule/ bullet has the same effect as the pepper spray
  • Results may be temporary but are effective enough as a deterrent
  • Often tear gas is included in the powder


The cons of a pepper spray gun using pepper bullets:

  • Bullets release a cloud of the irritant that can be up to 12 feet in diameter and last up to 15 minutes. Therefore, you must ensure that you do not enter the cloud area for at least 15 minutes after a shot has been fired.
  • Less effective when deployed against an assailant who is under the influence of narcotics or alcohol.
  • It is the more expensive option.


Final Thoughts

Pepper spray is an effective method of non-lethal defence. It is handy, cost-effective, and will allow you some protection from an assailant if used correctly. Pepper spray canisters are the most readily available and are easily concealable, although they are not as accurate or effective as their gun-shaped counterparts.


Pepper spray guns with pepper bullets have the highest accuracy at the furthest distance and are the safest options to use with the least amount of blowback. Pepper spray guns that use liquid pepper spray deliver the pepper spray stream at a higher velocity than the canisters allowing the stream to go further and be more accurate.


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