Frequently Asked Questions

For questions on the product ingredients and how to use the Little Viper, consult the products page.

History of Pepper Spray

Derived from the cayenne pepper plant, oleoresin capsicum (OC) or pepper spray first came to prominence via the US Postal Service in the early 1980’s as a dog repellent. By the end of the decade the FBI and other law enforcement agencies had introduced pepper spray to their field operatives as a non-lethal weapon ideal in subduing crime suspects. Today pepper spray is successfully used by millions of law enforcement and non-law enforcement people in the US and throughout the world.

Pepper spray is an excellent self-defense product. It is used by nearly every law enforcement agency throughout the country. It is non-lethal and extremely effective when sprayed in the facial area and eyes. It put a safe distance between your and an attacker and gives you plenty of time to escape and seek help. Because pepper spray does not cause death to the attacker, people are more likely to use it instantly without hesitation. Acting quickly can often avoid serious injuries and save lives. Still, you should be aware of its limitations, so you do not rely on just one form of defense. Pepper spray may take a few second for it to be effective. An attacker may be able to take your canister away from you, before the effects kick in. It may be used against you. Wind and rain may reduce its range and effectiveness. You may get spray-back when sprayed against strong wind.

How does Pepper Spray work?

Pepper spray is simply that- cayenne pepper in spray form. Pepper spray’s active ingredient is OC or oleoresin capsicum. The OC is derived from Cayenne peppers, which are some of the hottest peppers in the world. Extraction of oleoresin capsicum OC from peppers involves finely ground capsicum, then the capsaicin is extracted in an organic solvent such as ethanol. The solvent is then evaporated, and the remaining wax like resin is the oleoresin capsicum. Pepper Spray OC is a highly inflammatory agent. Contact with eyes, nose, throat and lungs cause immediate dilation of the capillaries. This can result in temporary blindness and instant inflammation of the breathing tube tissues and systematically cuts off all but life support breathing. Pepper spray will also create an intense burning sensation on the surface of the skin. However, pepper spray will cause no lasting after effects. Because pepper spray is an inflammatory agent and not an irritant, it is effective on those who feel no pain such as those under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Is it legal?

Pepper Spray is legal in all 50 states, however a number of cities and states have restrictions on sizes, strengths, etc. It is incumbent on you, the buyer, to check with your local city or state attorneys office before buying, carrying or using this product. Defense sprays should only be purchased by those 18 years of age or older. For airline, baggage, and carry-on restrictions, please visit www.tsa.gov. Do not attempt to pass pepper spray through TSA Security Screening. Do not attempt to carry pepper spray onto an airplane. This unit is designed for defensive purposes only – consult your local laws and regulations regarding age, purchase, storage and use restrictions, and weapon registration requirements. We have some state laws outlined on this website, but it’s your responsibility to keep up to date on your individual state laws.

Is the effect of pepper spray immediate, and how long will the effect last?
Normally the effects of pepper spray are almost immediate can last anywhere from 15 minutes to about 45 minutes depending on concentration, which will give you plenty of time to escape an attacker, render him/her helpless, and call the police.

How do I use the device?

Familiarize yourself with the Little Viper device. There is a Cartridge Compartment on the silicone band. On both the top and bottom ends of the Cartridge Compartment there are Grip Surfaces. On one side of the Cartridge Compartment there is a Nozzle Hole. This is where the pepper spray will come out. It is recommended that you wear the bracelet with the Nozzle Hole oriented on the outside (pinky finger side) of your wrist.

In a self defense situation, get ready by positioning the thumb and index finger of your free hand over the top and bottom Grip Surfaces, making sure to keep your fingers clear of the Nozzle Hole. If attacked by an assailant within close range (about 3 feet), move your wrist, pointing the Nozzle Hole in the direction of the attacker’s face. Squeeze the two Grip Ends together to release a stream of pepper spray. In certain situations you may choose to remove the bracelet from your wrist and use the device with one hand. Avoid breathing, or skin contact with the spray mist.

This device contains approximately 3 – 6 short, conical bursts with up to a 3’ range. Since this device is for close-range protection, you may also consider carrying some other long-range protection device, in addition to the Little Viper Bracelet, if you need to extend your range of protection.

How should I store & carry pepper spray?

Store your defensive spray in a safe place at room temperature. Keep it away from children. Do not leave it in your car during summer because high temperatures may cause the seals to leak.

  • Do not apply pressure and do not puncture the unit since it is under pressure and will discharge if punctured
  • Do not store at a temperature higher than 50°C/120°F as the unit may leak from over pressurization and fail to function properly.
  • Important to keep out of reach of children and irresponsible adults.
  • Each unit packaging is marked with an expiration date after which it should be discarded. Dispose of in accordance with state, local, and federal regulations.

Does pepper spray have a shelf life?

All pepper sprays have a shelf life. The shelf life of a Little Viper pepper spray is approximately 18 Months. The Little Viper has an expiration date stamped on the packaging and comes with a warranty card for filling this information in, so PLEASE KEEP THAT HANDYOC will not degrade over time, but the unit may not spray as far as expected, if at all, if it is used past its shelf life or stored in a less than optimal environment.The aerosol propellant may leak out, rendering the spray less effective. This is especially true with the smaller sprays like the Little Viper.

The nature of the product suggests that effectiveness is of utmost importance. We recommend replacing your spray long before its expiration date to ensure you have a new, fresh canister of spray when you need it most.

Can I carry pepper spray on an airplane per FAA regulations?

Please visit the TSA website or FAA.gov for detailed information. Do not attempt to pass pepper spray through TSA Security Screening. Do not attempt to carry pepper spray onto an airplane unless through checked luggage.

How do I decontaminate myself of Pepper Spray?

If you get pepper spray on yourself, don’t panic. Water, soap and time are all that is needed to decontaminate you. Exposure to fresh air should help, too. Remove all contaminated clothing. Flush the affected area with cool water. Warm water may intensify the burning and inflammation. Do not rub your face! Wash the affected area with non-oil or cold cream based soap. Don’t apply oily lotions, creams, salves, or oils–they will trap OC resin onto your skin. Have a physician examine the exposed area if any irritation or pain persists after the decontamination procedures.

Is the Little Viper “one size fits all”?

Yes. It used to be a "one size fits most", but the silicone band was redesigned to accommodate larger wrists and provide for greater comfort.

Are refills available?

It is currently not refillable due to the caution and expertise needed to replace the pepper spray cartridge. This is something we may adjust in the future with a product design variation.

What is your return policy?

ALL SALES ARE CONSIDERED FINAL AT THE TIME OF PURCHASE, though there are exceptions for damaged shipments or defective items. Please refer to our full return policy on our Shipping & Returns page.

How fast do you ship?

We ship via USPS and typically process your order within 1-2 business days. For full details on our shipping policy, see our Shipping & Returns page.

Do you charge sales tax?

Currently, only to Minnesota residents.

Can you ship to my location?

We can ship to every location except for NY, MA and outside the Continental U.S. Due to federal shipping regulations, we cannot ship outside the U.S. If you live in any of these restricted areas, you will have to find a retailer or distributor that carries our products. Please check our Laws & Restrictions page for more details. 


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