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Thread: Effectiveness: Sprays vs. masked assailant

  1. #1
    Site Supporter CCT125US's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Lane 7, behind the gun.

    Effectiveness: Sprays vs. masked assailant

    Thought this would be a timely topic, and hadn't seen it discussed elsewhere.

    Has any objective work been done to measure the effectiveness of various pepper sprays against masked individuals?

    Certainly with mandates regarding masks, more encounters are happening requiring those individuals to be sprayed.

    Curious what first hand experience folks have, as well as any change in department use of force guide lines.
    Just because it "feels good", doesn't mean it's best.

  2. #2
    No clue as far as any scientifically rigorous work, but anecdotally our inmate population has been issued single layer cloth masks which are easily saturated after a 2-second burst of cone. They rip them right off for us, if they were even wearing them correctly to begin with.

  3. #3
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Lexington, SC
    Typical Covid type mask does not shield the eyes. I'd also imagine a OC saturated mask to be a benefit to the sprayer not the recipient.

    Of course that wouldn't apply if you are referring to a full coverage gas mask type setup as seen worn by some protesters.

  4. #4
    Based on what I've read on protester strategies, they recommend wetting a bandana so it is less likely to absorb OC spray. Further, a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar can provide additional protection. I think there is a good chance that a normal mask would absorb the OC spray, although the masks I have somewhat repel liquid so I'm not quite sure how that compares to regular cotton cloth masks. There is a chance that surgical or medical masks may reduce efficacy of OC. I know this isn't scientific, but thought this video was sort of funny so I'll share it here.

    That said, unless folks are wearing goggles as PPE, you can still hit their eyes as mentioned above.

  5. #5
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Lexington, SC
    Its been a pretty long time since I've been issued OC and/or a Taser, but when I was, we were cautioned NOT to deploy a Taser after spraying a subject as there was a risk of combustion. I'm guessing they've moved to a spray now with a different carrier.

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