We firstly need to know something about what pepper spray is before we can learn how to apply it with the most effect. What exactly can it do and what not?
It is not our intention to run our training programme on these pages, but to just give you an overview of the product.
It is important for you to know that after more than five years of research and development, we can offer you a quality programme which will enable you to properly, effectively and responsibly defend yourself against attacks from both human and animal sources.
What is pepper spray?
Pepper Spray, or more correctly, Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) (pronounced oh-lee-oh-rezun cap-see-cum) is a derivative of HOT CAYENNE CHILI PEPPERS and is the newest defensive aerosol spray agent. It is not an irritant like the tear gases, but an inflammatory agent. In South Africa, you as a civilian, are not allowed to be in possession or use any of the tear gases such as CS or CN, as they are controlled by statutory legislation.
Because OC is an inflammatory, rather than an irritant, it is effective against all those who feel no pain, such as psychotics, aggresive individuals and those who are under the influence of alcoholic drink or narcotic drugs. OC has proven itself to be the ABSOLUTELY BEST DETERRENT available for attacking dogs and wild animal control.
The contact of OC with mucous membranes (eyes, nose, throat and lungs) will cause IMMEDIATE dilation of the capillaries of the eyes, resulting in TEMPORARY BLINDNESS and instant inflammation of the breathing tube tissues, cutting off ALL BUT LIFE – SUPPORT BREATHING. OC will not deteriorate with age and WILL NOT CAUSE LASTING AFTER EFFECTS.
One of the biggest misconceptions about OC spray is that the higher the percentage, the hotter it is and better it works. In most cases this could not be further from the truth. Most of the best, fastest incapacitating sprays in the world are from 2%-10% OC. The lighter the fluid, the faster it penetrates the membranes. The percentage has nothing to do with the actual SHU or "hot" in the spray. A good spray will put the attacker down and out allowing you to escape or take control of the situation.
The term oleoresin capsicum (OC) is a horticultural term which refers to chili peppers. There are many different kinds of chili peppers ranging from jalapenos, chiletpin, and cayenne to habaneros. They all have one thing in common. They all contain a substance that is very powerful, an alkaloid called capsaicin (pronounced cap-say-a-sin). Just a single drop of tasteless and odorless capsaicin in 100,000 drops of water and the heat can be noticeable. In fact, capsaicin can be detected by humans at one part per ten million!
Capsaicinoids (pronounced cap-say-a-sin-oyds) are produced by a gland in the pepper’s placenta, which is the top portion just below the stem. This is also where the seeds are attached. The placenta is about 16 times stronger than any other part of the plant.
In 1912, a pharmacologist named Wilbur Scoville came up with the standard for measuring the power of capsaicin. Called the Scoville Organoleptic Test, it was needed to calculate the temperature of peppers used in many pharmaceutical products of the time (such as "Heet" which was used for the relief of sore muscles, arthritis pain and muscular sprains). Scoville measured the ground pepper into a mixture of sugar, water and alcohol. Then, a panel of five tasters sipped the mixture and gave it a grade; it took a majority of three to assign a value.
Today, the value is established through high technology, a computerised method called high-performance liquid chromatography, HPLC. The pepper scale ranges from zero Scoville units for a bell pepper, 5 000 or so for a jalapeno to a whopping 200 000-300 000 for a habanero! Pure capsaicin is 15 000 000.
The good news is that this brilliant product which is currently not controlled by an Act is available to you as a non-lethal force option when defending yourself. Be very careful about just buying it over the counter and not taking the trouble to be properly instructed in its legal, practical and tactical use. You can still be charged by the police for serious assault should you misuse pepper spray on another person.
We offer training for civilians, security officers, law-enforcement officials, etc. We have also developed a tactical application programme called TOCAT, Tactical Oleoresin Capsicum Aerosol Training for those who are in the security industry or public service.