Last month I revisited the notion of carrying pepper spray. I settled on the ASP Key Defender system, made my purchase, and a couple weeks ago did my first spray tests with some disappointing results.
But maybe it was a fluke. I mean, it couldn’t have been on the market this long if it was a dud product, right? All duds eventually get weeded out so…. I wasn’t willing to give up.
I bought a few more inserts, both “heat” and “test” inserts. They just came in a few days ago.
Today I was speaking with some folks at work on the topic, so I took a quick break and gave a spray test of another test insert and another heat insert.
Results were much better!
The test insert did have a little sputter, but overall it worked well enough.
The heat insert worked pretty well. In fact, I got a snoot-full of spray because the wind suddenly shifted. That was mighty uncomfortable.
Once I recovered, I finished out the insert. When I did that, I had positioned myself relative to the wind which also happened to position my view of the spray cloud against the sun just right so that I really saw the spray pattern. It’s actually a pretty impressive pattern.
So I’m feeling better about things now.
One thing I wondered. The spray hole in the end cap is small. Could it have been clogged? After the first tests I washed the tube and endcaps to ensure all residue was removed. Maybe there was something in there that was flushed out? I wonder because the way the thing sputtered and “sprayed” was like a clog or other failure. I mean, it’s just aerosol, and if you’ve worked aerosol cans in your life you basically know how things will work or how they will malfunction. It was very akin to that. I obviously cannot say for certain, but it makes me wonder. My recommendation at this point is for people using this system to check the endcap hole – even as periodic maintenance – to ensure it’s clear.
And get this. Reader/commenter
gteague made mention about expiration dates on the inserts. I didn’t see any. The remaining test insert I have doesn’t have any either. But the 3 remaining heat inserts? They all have a stamp of “Aug 18”. So… not sure what to make of the fact some inserts don’t have stamps – too old?
Anyways, I’m feeling more positive about the system. Sure, it’s still limited. Sure my confidence isn’t 100% still, but I am feeling better about it.
Frankly, I’m kinda curious to buy a ASP Street Defender (the “large” model) and see how it carries in my pocket.