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Police and Law Enforcement Home  >  Police Weapons  >  OC Spray


OC Spray

Overview of the OC Spray

OC Spray, commonly referred to as pepper spray, is one of the favorites of law enforcement.  It is a very effective alternative to more lethal levels of force.

OC is short for Oleoresin capsicum. 

Simply, it is cayenne pepper in a can, and it is very painful when applied.

OC spray really took off in the 1990's as a replacement to mace which is a chemical compound.  OC is made of natural ingredients.

The affects of OC spray vary from person to person, but general affects are severe pain and tearing of the eyes, a feeling of intense heat on the skin, sneezing and massive mucous production, coughing and an inability to keep one's eyes open.

However, there have been instances where OC spray has little to no affect on suspects.

Oleoresin capsicum is the ingredient that causes the severe pain.  Different OC sprays have different percentages of oleoresin capsicum.  Usually, it is between one and ten percent.  While the percentages do matter, what also matters is the type of pepper used in the product, so don't be fooled.

OC spray is usually delivered to the target from a small can stored on an officer's utility belt.  It should be shaken at the beginning of each shift to prevent the OC from settling.OC Spray

Also, OC spray cans come with an expiration date, so check it often.

The legality of OC spray for the general public varies from state to state, so non-law enforcement should consult local laws prior to making a purchase.

Officers can purchase OC spray from Chief Supply





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