OTC Mace Does Not Work.

I already posted this quite some time ago. But I think it bears repeating.

Those self-defense pepper sprays you get in gas stations, drug stores and the like do not work. Only the police are allowed to carry the good stuff that really works, for some reason.

About 20 years ago, a local reporter (Detroit, MI) let a woman spray him with her self-defense spray. It made him cough and wheeze a little, and made his eyes a little bloodshot. That’s all.

Plus you know, if some hoodlum attacks you, and you spray him with something that is pretty much inert, as I said, it will only make him more angry, I would imagine.

If you want self-defense, carry a walking stick, for a trip to the mail box, for example, or use your keys. Don’t rely on something that just is pointless, it would seem.

What do the rest of you have to say?


Bear spray works pretty good. Tried it on a neighbor’s rottweiler that was attacking my leashed dog. Chased the rottweiler right off. Of course I also got my dog and to a lesser extent myself. Even just a little of it had me coughing and tearing up till I could get home.

Real self-defence consists primarily of running away effectively at the right time. Most “self-defence” spread by so-called instructors is macho stories and posturing. Or maybe posing is a better word.

I tried it on a rottie that broke thru the fence and attacked our dog. I was armed and my wife was yelling to shoot it, but I realized there was a whole lot of noise and almost no damage being done (to either dog). I eventually decided to stop it with some commercial pepper spray. I got him right in the eyes and it ended the fight. The rottie actually drank up my dog’s water bowl and then trotted back home. He was sneezing a bit, but I don’t think it would’ve stopped a “real” attack.

Although I usually carry, I agree with DavidwithanR that the lion’s share of self defense is awareness and both tactical* and strategic planning to avoid situations in the first place.

*I know this word is overused, but I’m referring to the dictionary definition: …showing adroit planning; aiming at an end beyond the immediate action.

Is there any truth to this? Why would this be the case? Capsaicin isn’t a controlled substance.

Pepper spray is certainly irritating and makes you sneeze; I cannot speak to how incapacitating it might be if you get it squirted in your face.

Real “self defense” canisters, however, contain no capsaicin; they are filled with CS gas.

More precisely, both kinds are used in different circumstances, like humans vs animals (CS was designed for use on humans). I would not be surprised if somewhere on youtube there be a video of two idiots spraying each other with different products and describing the results as if it were a wine tasting.

A lot of the effects of being gassed is psychological.

I’ve been gassed several times, including by CN, CS, and Omega. You can continue to function if you don’t panic.

An ammonia-filled water pistol works wonders when squirted in someone’s face/eyes; it’s also not illegal anywhere that I know of while pepper spray is.

Unless you’re old, or crippled, or sick, or just not a fast runner, or the bad guys manage to corner you.

But yeah, other than those trivial exceptions, you’re spot on.

You’re both correct and incorrect. The self-defense techniques they teach do work, but should only be used as a last resort and without restraint. In other words, if you can’t get away you go 100% with whatever you have without regard for the person you’re fighting off until such time as you can get away. The poseurs are the “I know karate” guys, the ones that think that self-defense is starting with violence instead of avoiding it.

Interesting side note: CS, CR, capsaicin, PAVA, etc are all prohibited for warfare according to the Chemical Weapons Convention, so be sure to keep that stuff off the battlefield.

Around 1981 I was mugged on my way home, late in the evening. At that time you could get actual Mace (with the brand name and everything) in a small canister, if you took a (I forget exactly, maybe 3-hour) class on how to use it, and the laws, etc. so I did that and got a small pocket size canister of Mace. Therefore at that time it was legal here (San Francisco). I carried that thing around for years and never used it, finally threw it away. A few times when I had to walk through a bad area I had it in my hand in my jacket pocket, trigger finger at the ready, but I never needed it.

At this point I have no idea if Mace still exists or if it is still legal here under any circumstances. I depend on my Resting Bitch Face for my self defense.

I (somewhere, I think) still have a can of police-issue CS mace that a cop friend gave to my mother before I was born. A black cylindrical spray can that IIRC may have had a rough gripping surface. Came with a belt holster. Doesn’t look like any of the images of newer cans that I’m googling up. Wonder if it would still be effective after 50 or so years?

I might try to cook up some at home, sort of like how prisoners make toilet wine. I could call it “John Mace.”

When I delivered mail one summer I was given a can of mace or something similar. I used it twice when dogs attacked me - it worked both times.

[Bolding mine]

As someone pointed out to me a bit ago, using your keys for self defence isn’t the best advice. Aside from the fact they’re not very effective unless you get a perfect shot at the attacker’s eyes, the odds of you dropping them or the attacker grabbing them are rather high, and access to your car or house is really not something you want to lose while trying to escape.

Something like a pen would be a better last resort; just as (not very) sharp, and if they grab it or you drop it, you’ve only lost a pen.

Regarding the rest of it, you can’t get any legal defence spray this side of the pond anyway. We don’t have bears.

Eta: obviously if that’s all you have, keys are better than nothing, but not as a first choice.

How about a can of WD-40 and a lighter? Example.

Cheap spray perfume could give you a 3 second lead. I knew a woman who claims she puked on a mugger outside of a mall and she says he ran away. Might be true.

Longer if the mugger is like me. I’m allergic to perfume.
This has saved me thousands of dollars in 40 years of marriage. :slight_smile:

Put some bleach in a spray bottle. That’ll show em. :wink: