Pepper spray is an effective deterrent that causes a burning sensation in the eyes and lungs, breathing difficulties, coughing, and temporary blindness. These effects can last anywhere between 15 to 45 minutes, giving you plenty of time to escape.
Pepper spray cans and key chains provide discreet self-protection and are an increasingly popular form of self-defense.
However, a pepper spray gun has twice the range of a key chain. It also contains enough fluid to stop a whole gang of attackers instead of just a single individual.
The best pepper spray guns are lightweight, robust, and simple to use. They also incorporate other deterrents like LED lights and UV dye that helps law enforcement officers identify your attacker.
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Reviews of The Best Pepper Spray Guns
#1 Mace Pepper Gun
This pepper spray gun uses an advanced delivery system to improve accuracy over a long-distance and a pistol-grip design that enhances its precision.
Simple to use, this gun also has several built-in safety features that prevent accidental discharge. You don’t need any training to operate this weapon – just point and shoot.
When you first press the trigger, it activates the LED light. Press it again, and it will switch to the rapid strobe function, designed to disorient your attacker. If he remains undeterred, press the trigger a third time to release a powerful stream of pepper spray.
Not only will this release 2 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU), but it will also cover your assailant in UV dye, making it easy for law enforcement officers to identify him as the attacker.
Both left and right-handed people can use this pepper spray gun comfortably thanks to its ambidextrous design, and the Picatinny rail means you can attach various accessories, from scopes to flashlights.
All products are test-fired to ensure they work effectively and have a shelf-life of four years. The kit also includes three 1.5V batteries and a one-ounce refill pepper cartridge.
- Practice canister included
- Orange barrel indicates that it’s not a real gun
- If used in strong winds, pepper spray could blow back in your face
#2 PepperBall Carbine Rifle
At 31” long and weighing just over 6 lbs, this isn’t something you’d use for self-protection while out and about. If you’re looking for a way to protect your home and family, however, this could be the answer.
Whether you hit your target or not, this powerful self-defense weapon fires pepper balls that, on impact, produce a 12-foot cloud of irritant that extends in all directions that will stop your victim in his tracks.
The semi-automatic firing system holds up to 15 pepper balls in a single magazine and can take down multiple attackers in a matter of seconds.
Attach a PepperBall Electronic Hopper Ammo Feeder, and you can fire over 20 projectiles per second, each of which will land with a kinetic impact of 10 to 28 joules. The force alone will cause your assailant some pain, while the cloud of pepper spray will incapacitate him even further.
By far the most expensive pepper spray gun in our round-up but worth it if you need this level of protection.
- Long-range self-protection
- Capable of stopping multiple attackers
- Too large and bulky to transport discreetly
#3 SABRE Red Aim & Fire Reloadable Pepper Gel Gun
Produced by one of the leading brand names in personal safety, this pepper gel gun can fire up to 13 streams of gel from a single cartridge.
Unlike the pepper ball gun, this self-defense weapon needs aiming accurately to be effective. Fortunately, the manufacturers know this and provide a handy practice canister for you to use while getting to grips with the weapon.
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The gel contains both a maximum-strength 10% OC pepper, with a rating of 2 million Scoville heat units, and a UV dye to mark your attacker.
One of the benefits of a gun that uses pepper gel instead of pepper spray is that it sticks to the assailant’s skin and clothes, making it more effective and longer-lasting.
With a range of up to 25 feet, this affordable, non-lethal weapon provides reliable and effective long-distance self-protection. At just 0.7lbs, it’s also lightweight and compact enough to slip into a day bag.
- Pepper gel sticks to assailants
- Compact and lightweight
- Requires an accurate aim
#4 PepperBall TCP Ready to Defend
This handheld pepper ball gun can fire up to 150 feet away and doesn’t have to hit the attacker to be effective.
This weapon uses pepper balls that explode on impact, producing a 12-foot cloud of irritant.
It utilizes a similar semi-automatic firing system as the VKS and can hold six pepper balls at a time. You can attach additional accessories to the under-mount rail, which could prove handy as there is no built-in LED flashlight.
It features a compact design that makes it ideal for holster use, at 1.75 lbs, it’s considerably heavier than either the Mace or Sabre pepper spray guns.
This pepper ball handgun comes with both live and inert practice rounds, so you can gain some experience and confidence without endangering yourself or anyone else.
The projectiles are non-flammable, waterproof, and have a shelf life of two years, while the gun itself comes with a one-year warranty.
- Can fire up to 150 feet when using VXR™ projectiles
- It doesn’t need an accurate aim
- No built-in LED flashlight
#5 Mace Pepper Gun Reloadable Power Stream
This pepper spray gun is essentially an earlier version of our number-one pick and boasts many of the same features.
It has a more limited range than the Mace 2.0, and its LED light is not quite as bright. Given that the prices are almost identical, there is little reason not to purchase the more powerful Mace 2.0.
- Built-in LED flashlight
- 2 million SHU pepper spray
- Limited range
#6 SABRE® Pepper Spray Launcher Home Security Defense Kit
Designed to provide non-lethal self-defense at home, or in your vehicle, this lightweight weapon is easy to use, accurate, and effective.
Instead of using a spray or gel, this gun uses pepper balls, which means it will make an impact even if you don’t manage to hit your target.
It’s not quite as powerful as the PepperBall TCP, creating a pepper cloud just 6-feet wide, rather than 12 feet, but it will still cause your potential assailant enough discomfort to stop him in his tracks.
Should you hit your target with a pepper ball, the impact alone will cause significant physical pain.
The compact, lightweight design includes a contoured handle, a safety switch, and an orange body that will let law enforcement officials know it’s not a real gun.
Easy to discharge, this gun has no recoil and requires very little training. It comes with an instruction manual, 14 practice projectiles, and a target, which means no professional training is necessary. It also has a lockable storage case and two 12g cartridges.
- Instruction manual, practice rounds, and target included
- Accurate to over 60 feet
- Not as powerful as the PepperBall
Everything You Need To Know About Buying A Pepper Spray Gun
As you can see from our mini-reviews, pepper spray guns come in various sizes and types, some of which are easier to operate than others. When finding the right pepper spray for your needs, you need to consider the following features:
There are three different types of spray guns to choose from:
- Stream – the Mace pepper gun 2.0 is an excellent example of a stream pepper spray gun. This type of gun has a 20-foot range and performs well in windy weather.
- Gel – self-defense weapons like the SABRE Reloadable Pepper Gel Gun use a gel rather than a spray. Pepper gel is more efficient as it sticks to the target, but you must hit your target for it to be effective.
- Pepper ball – pepper balls are the best for complete novices as they are effective even if they explode 12 feet from the intended target.
Range and Power
The pepper spray gun is a long-distance self-protection tool, unlike stun batons, that are designed for close combat. A handheld pepper spray gun with a range of 20 feet is ideal if you want to protect yourself against a physical attack, whereas a rifle with a 150-foot range is more suitable for home defense.
The power of a pepper spray gun lies in the liquid itself, whether that comes in a stream, gel, or projectile form.
The most powerful pepper sprays produce 5.3 million SHU, which, temporarily blinds your attacker and causes a severe burning sensation.
Most pepper spray guns have a potency of around 2.2 million SHU, which has a similar effect but won’t necessarily last as long.
The best pepper spray guns include bright, LED flashlights that can disorientate an attacker. They also make a loud noise when fired, which can startle an assailant and draw the attention of others in the area. They also cover your attacker with a UV dye, making it easy for law enforcement to identify them.
Ease of Use
If you have limited experience with firing handguns and rifles, you need a pepper spray gun that’s easy to handle and aim. Anything with a powerful recoil will cause problems, as will a weapon that lacks the safety features necessary to prevent accidental discharge.
You don’t want your first attempt at firing a pepper spray gun to be in a dangerous situation, so finding one that comes with practice rounds is essential.
Most of the models reviewed here come with practice canisters or projectiles so you can familiarize yourself with the weapon before unleashing it on an attacker.
The last thing you want is to end up in prison because you bought and fired the wrong type of device or canister.
Although pepper spray guns are legal in all states, many restrict the size of the canister. In California, for example, a canister must not exceed 2.5 ounces, while in Wisconsin, it’s illegal to fire a pepper spray that also contains a UV dye.
Before you select a pepper spray gun for your needs, make sure you’re familiar with any legal restrictions that may apply.
Pepper spray guns can fire up to 150 feet and incapacitate a potential attacker for up to 45 minutes. They are some of the most effective non-lethal self-defense weapons available, especially for long-range protection, and require very little training.
They also provide better range and accuracy than a standard pepper spray aerosol or keychain.