This guide deals with TOP-5 best pepper spray guns available on the market. You will learn what these devices are filled with and how they actually work as well as about their advantages over traditional sprays. You will also get valuable advice from an experience military officer on the correct way to use that kind of weapon as well as an instruction for making it at home. The guide will also tell you what factors you should consider when choosing a product, which models are more suitable for home security and which ones are better for personal protection. A comparative chart and FAQ section will help you make the right decision.
Read also our review to learn more about pepper sprays: “TOP-11 Best Pepper Sprays”.
According to a study completed by Nathan James for the Congressional Research Service, homicides and other violent crimes have been on a steady increase since the 1960s. However, you don’t need a congressional report to realize crime is increasing, simply watch the evening news or pick up your local newspaper. This increase in crime has led many to seek methods for protecting their loved ones and themselves. The good news is that there are plenty of non-lethal methods for self-defense, however, let’s take a look at one of the most effective, pepper spray guns. There is a lot of information to cover, so let’s get started.
How Do Pepper Spray Guns Work?
These devices are filled with basic chemical irritants, alphachloroacetaphonene (CN), orthochlorobenzalmalonitrile (CS), or oleoresin capsicum, referred to as OC. OC is the most effective and is an extract that is derived from specific plant fruits, such as chilis and cayenne peppers and is where the name “pepper spray” comes from. This chemical concentrate is mixed with water or oil to allow for it to be dispersed in a larger volume to ensure the offender or attacker receives an effective blast.
Method of Delivery
Unlike the traditional pepper spray canisters, aerosol canisters with a press-button trigger, pepper spray guns look and work similar to an actual firearm. They are equipped with a barrel, trigger, and a grip like most firearms. However, instead of the combustion of gunpowder launching a projectile, a propellant, typically a CO2 cartridge, forces the OC chemical from the device and towards your target.
The Right Way To Fire a Pepper Spray Gun
As with most types of self-defense products, there is a correct way to use the product. Now that we have learned how the gun works, let’s go over the proper way to use it. Using it properly will provide you with the full benefits of its capabilities.
- The first step is to identify when a potential threat can become an assault. By firing the device too soon, you are risking the threat being out of its range. However, if you wait too long, you may not have the opportunity to fire it at the attacker. In my experience, if an attacker is within 12 paces of you and you do not have this weapon in hand, you are too late. Therefore, have it in hand but do not pull it out and aim until you are positive the threat will become an assault.
- Next, raise your non-firing hand towards the threat and yell “stop” in a loud and commanding voice. As you are doing this, raise the weapon and aim it at the targets head and face.
- If the threat continues to advance towards you, fire a brief shot, about a 1 to 2-second blast, at the would-be attacker, aiming for the face and head. Once you fired, move back. Keep your eyes on the attacker but don’t let them get too close to you. You don’t want them blindly lashing at you and you don’t want to be impacted by the OC spray. Additionally, watching the reactions of the attacker will let you know if you need to give them another blast of the pepper spray.
- Lastly, run and call for help. Try to get to a populated area and seek help and/or call the authorities.
Types and Their Differences
They are available in various designs and with different capabilities, such as the number of shots before reloading and range. The type or design of the spray gun that suits your needs depends on a few factors.
- Range. Different models have various ranges. Some are as little as 13 ft, while others can go up to 150 ft. If you are looking for an item to have in the home, the longer range would be ideal for long hallways, shots across open rooms, etc. However, for personal defense, as in protecting yourself while out and about, a long-range weapon might not be necessary as an attacker will more than likely be closer to you.
- Shots Before Reload. Shots before reloading refers to the number of times you can fire OC at an attacker before you have to reload the gun with new OC cartridges. This feature can vary between the different designs from a single shot to multiple shots. If you are confident in your shooting abilities, a single shot model might suit you well. However, having multiple shots provides you with additional security in the event that there may be more than one threat.
- Size. The size of the device depends on how you plan on using it. If you plan on carrying it with you, you might want to look for a smaller more compact design for easier carrying. Home security, however, really doesn’t require a compact design and having a larger model with a longer range might be more appropriate.
Another factor to consider is the output of the gun. Some guns disperse a stream of OC while others disperse a fog or mist. The stream allows for more distance between you and the attacker and the fog or mist allows for accuracy through volume.
What To Look For in a Pepper Spray Gun
When it comes to what features you should look for in a product, you need to consider the same factors mentioned in the section above which deals with the types of these devices. The range, size, and shots available before reload should be the primary factors to consider before you make a purchase.
TOP-5 Best Pepper Spray Guns
To add to all of the information provided, here is our list of five of the best options currently on the market. Basically, they differ in load capacity and the range, with the latter ranging from 15 to 25 feet. Each model has its own peculiarity. One unit fires balls instead of stream or spray while other can boast a trigger safety. Some products are better for home security while others are recommended for personal protection outside the house.
Police Strength Pepper Spray Gun with Strobe LED | Mace
This model from the manufacturer Mace uses a formula that contains 10 percent OC. Additionally, this formula contains an invisible UV dye that will help law enforcement officials to identify the attacker in the event they are able to escape during the initial attack. This model also features a strobe light for an additional non-lethal security measure.
Police Strength Pepper Spray Pepper Gun 2.0 | Mace
Our next model, also from Mace, looks very similar to an actual firearm which could prevent attacks. Along with the LED strobe light, this model also has an incorporated Picatinny rail so you can attach accessories if you like, such as a laser pointer. This gun has a 20 ft. range and produces a spray instead of a stream.
Pepper Spray Gun Self-Defense Kit | Salt
Our next model raises the bar in terms of the product capabilities. This item shoots balls of pepper spray, designed similar to a paintball, instead of the traditional liquid streams or sprays. This design not only helps to give the Salt model a long range of up to 150 ft., but it also helps to reduce the chances of blowback when used.
Two-Shot Pepper Spray Gun | JPX
This model from JPX has a two-shot capacity and can fire pepper spray up to 23 ft. at a speed of a little over 400 MPH. This model is that the barrel is actually the cartridge. When you need to reload, you simply remove the barrel and attach a new one. Additionally, this is the only model that we reviewed that includes a holster.
4-Shot Compact Pepper Spray Gun | Piexon
This model may look like something from a sci-fi movie but it is actually a very capable self-defense spray gun. It features four barrels that fire independently and can be reloaded separately. The unique design allows you to fire each barrel in under five-seconds with a range of up to 23 ft.
Comparative Chart of Pepper Spray Effectiveness
|Mace||Load Capacity: Seven, one-second shots
Range: 20 Feet
Features: Trigger Safety
|Mace 2.0||Load Capacity: Seven, one-second shots
Range: 20 Feet
Features: Picatinny Rail for Attachments
|Salt ||Load Capacity: 10-round Magazine
Range: 15 Feet
Features: Pepper Spray Ball Instead of Stream or Spray
|JPX||Load Capacity: Two Shots
Range: 23 Feet
Features: Includes holster
|Firestorm||Load Capacity: Four Shots
Range: 25 Feet
Features: Optimal Spread of two feet at a range of 25 Feet
What is the best pepper spray gun?
To answer this question, we need to break it down to two different categories of self-defense, home security, and personal security. For home security, the best options would have to be the Salt model. It has a long range and you do not have to hit the offender directly in order to incapacitate them, simply shoot the wall near them and they will feel some of the effects of the OC.
For personal security, a gun to carry on your person, the item by Firestorm would have to be the best option. While it may not have the range as the Salt model, it does provide you with four shots before needing to be reloaded and has a significant spread to increase the chances of hitting your target on the initial shot.
Are pepper spray guns legal?
These devices are legal in all states. However, there are some states that have restrictions or limitations on the type of device or size of canister you can use. Check the laws of the state you live in before making a purchase.
Are pepper spray pistol considered weapons?
While these devices are non-lethal, they are considered as weapons in most civilized countries. In fact, carrying it in the UK has the same penalties as carrying an actual firearm. As stated previously, check the laws of the state you live in before you purchase a pepper spray gun.
Are these guns effective?
They are very effective and are usually a better option than traditional pepper spray devices and typically have longer range capabilities.
How to make a pepper spray gun?
You can make your own pepper spray. However, it is only effective for about two weeks. After that time, you will have to make a fresh batch. Additionally, check your local laws prior to making your own OC spray.
Here is a list of the ingredients and materials you will need:
- Dried chili peppers
- A pot or microwave safe container
- Something to crush the peppers
- Black pepper
- Container with a spray lid
- Goggles for safety
A step-by-step plan
Step 1. Place the dried peppers into the pot or microwave safe container and add water. Only place enough water so that the peppers float slightly above the bottom of your container.
Step 2. Crush the peppers with a spoon or other item until all of the seeds are out of the peppers and add black pepper.
Step 3. Add more water and then heat the container either in a microwave or on the stove. Boiling the water is more effective as it extracts more the fluids from the pepper seeds.
Step 4. After heating the mixture, pour it into your spray bottle using the funnel to avoid a mess.
Step 5. After placing the mixture into the bottle, tighten the lid and you are all set. Just keep in mind that this homemade OC only last about two weeks.
Precautions and Safety
As with any type of self-defense product, there are certain precautions you should take when considering or using a pepper spray gun. Here, we will cover some of the more-important precautions that you should keep in mind.
- If you are in a situation where you may need to use this weapon, be mindful of the wind. While the device does have a significant amount of velocity, you could also be affected by the OC chemicals if you are standing downwind, the wind blowing in your face.
- This one may seem like a “no brainer” but keep the weapon out of the reach of children. While these chemicals are non-lethal for adults, it could have severe irreversible effects on young children.
- If you have a respiratory medical condition, you may want to consider a different form of self-defense. The OC chemicals are very powerful and even being exposed to a small amount could cause health issues.
- Extreme heat and cold can damage the device. With that in mind, do not store it in your vehicle or in a location that is not environmentally controlled.
- If you are planning on keeping the device in a stationary location, pull it out and shake it on a regular basis. When the canisters containing the OC chemicals set for too long, they can lose their effectiveness.
- Check the laws in your state. While mace is legal in all 50 states, pepper spray is not. Check the laws where you live to make sure you are not breaking any laws that could come back on you.
- Treat it as would a real firearm. Do not place your finger on the trigger until you are ready to fire. Keep the gun clean. And, again, keep it out of the reach of children.
- You can get practice rounds for most pepper spray guns. We encourage you to purchase some if your model did not come with any and practice using it. You don’t want your first shot ever being when your life may depend on it.
With violent crimes growing at a seemingly daily rate, taking steps to protect your loved ones, your home, and yourself is a reasonable decision. There are plenty of non-lethal options available and we hope this post has helped to provide you some useful information. If you like, please feel free to leave any feedback. Thank you for reading and stay safe.