4.6

Comparison: ten pepper sprays for self-defense

Before we introduce to you our selection of eight defensive pepper sprays, we would like to give you a brief overview of the systems and irritants available on the market. We will also be giving you an overview on the legal situation in Europe with regard to purchasing, possessing, and carrying pepper sprays.

The various spray systems used in defense sprays

The technical spray systems can be categorized roughly into two main groups: For one, sprays which shoot a stream of liquid, similar to a strong water gun (stream sprays), and those which have a conical or mist-like spray (fogger sprays). These are then similar tothe spray from a can of deodorant or hairspray, but with a significantly wider range. These two main types are further subdivided into additional spray concepts which transport the irritant in the form of  gel, foam, or even powder.

Irritants: CS gas and pepper sprays (OC sprays)

There are two main substances that are used as irritants. Pepper sprays generally contain a gas with the active ingredient oleoresin capsicum (OC). Among other substances, it also contains piperine, which is what makes pepper spicy. It immediately irritates mucous membranes or eyes upon contact, usually in the form of swelling accompanied by pain and itching.

Many manufacturers also offer cans with 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile (CS), better known as tear gas. Tear gas has been used by authorities around the world for decades. In Europe, CS gas sprays are seldom legal to civilians − e.g. they are in Germany, where they carry a BKA label (BKA 1r2), while pepper sprays are only meant for fending off animals.

Citizens and travelers should thus also seek information concerning the legal status of pepper sprays before purchasing, transporting, or carrying one. all4shooters.com has some key facts available on our article on the legal status of pepper sprays in Europe.

Our recommendation: the "standard class" of pepper sprays

all4shooters.com discusses the technical and legal aspects of pepper sprays for personal defense
Pepper sprays: The defense sprays usually have a flip-top spring-loaded safety lid and a practical belt clip

The all4shooters.com team presents a selection of sprays from the leading manufacturers on the market. Cans from the standard class − or mid-range sprays − combine a size meant for daily use with a decent fill quantity for a mid-range price. To be specific: fill quantities of 40 to 65 milliliters with a can height of around 90 to 120 millimeters. With this footprint, they fit into most handbags, pants pockets, or jacket pockets, and this is also probably why they are so popular among buyers. The range of these sprays generally ranges from four to five meters.

 

It pays to shop around, as most manufacturers offer a wide range of options where features and additives are concerned. For example, the sprays have different safety mechanisms, even though the classic flip-top spring-loaded safety lid is encountered the most frequently. Additional features manufacturers offer include practical extras such as belt clips, visible dyes, and invisible UV marking dyes.

Some pepper sprays for self-defense: 

ModelPfeffer-KO JetFox Mean GreenFirst
Defense
Red Pepper
Spray MK-3
Walther Pro Secur
Pepper
Spray
Piexon Guardian Angel II
Manufacturer    
Ballistol-KleverFox Labs
International
Def-TecWalther
Piexon
Spray type    
Stream     
Stream      

Stream        

Fogger   
Stream
Range acc. to 
manufacturer        
approx. 5 m    
approx. 5,8 m up to 6 m    
approx. 3 m4 m
Contents40 ml45 ml50 ml50 ml12 ml divided in two 6 ml charges
Belt clip    
yesnononono - available as an optional
Dye/UV marking dye    
no/noyes/nono/nono/yesyes/no
Safety        
Panic lock    
Flip-top
spring-loaded
safety lid    
Flip-top
spring-loaded
safety lid    
Flip-top
spring-loaded
safety lid    
Trigger guard safety
Price6,16 Euro26,95 Euro23,30 Euro24,95 Euro67,03 Euro (74 CHF)
Websitewww.ballistol.
de
www.foxlabs.comwww.deftec.dewww.umarex.dewww.piexon.ch

Model
Mace Pepper GelStop Attack
Extreme
Pfefferspray
TW 1000
Pepper Gel
Sabre Red
MK 3,5
H20 Series
BAMER
Manufacturer    
MaceUmarexHoerneckeSabre RedOOO PKP "AKBS"
Spray type       
Stream       
Fogger        
Stream      

Stream     
Stream

Range acc. to
manufacturer

up to 5 m    

approx. 4 m    

approx. 5-6 m

approx. 3-4 m    
approx. 5 m

Contents

45 g40 ml
50 ml66 ml10 ml - five shots of 2 ml each
Belt clip        
yesnononono

Dye/UV marking dye

no/yes no/no    
no/no    
yes/yes   
no/no
Safety    
Flip-top
spring-loaded
safety lid    
Safety    
Flip-top
spring-loaded
safety lid        
Flip-top
spring-loaded
safety lid    
Sliding safety
Price
19,95 Euro11,95 Euro19,95 Euro20,95 Euro75,00 Euro
Websitewww.mace.comwww.umarex.dewww.tw1000.comwww.sabrered.comakbnn.ru

Apart from this selection of sprays, individual manufacturers also offer additional sizes and substances. For example, most product ranges also include sprays that are only as large as a lipstick (15-20 ml), but also "giant" sprays containing 150 to 400 milliliters. Manufacturers such as Hoernecke also offer gel and foam sprays in its TW1000 series. Def-Tec has a powder spray and Walther's range also includes a 360° spray. 

Our recommendations for defense sprays:

  1. Pepper sprays are generally more effective than other substances such as tear gas in situations where you are forced to defend yourself. 
  2. Please remember that in most Countries, the use such sprays against humans is only legally admissible in clear situations of self-defense.
  3. Only a spray which is within reach is able to protect you. Hence, we recommend versions with a belt clip, or carrying it in your hand (e.g. at night).
  4. Please familiarize yourself with the use of your chosen product. Practice using a demonstration version which does not contain any irritant, which is provided by certain manufacturers. If you feel threatened, also consider attending a self-defense course. You will also be instructed in the use of defensive sprays at such courses.
Rate this item
4.6 (17 ratings)
This article is also available in this language:
The correct and complete functioning of our services requires cookies. By clicking the [OK] button, you consent to the use of cookies by our Internet domain.