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Old 06-11-2013, 21:38   #1
Lampshade
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Consensus on OC Expiration?

Hello all, I figured you all in LE would have the most experience carrying OC over long periods of time time, just wondering if there's a general consensus about the need to replace them when they expire, or if they really expire at all?

Thanks!
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Old 06-11-2013, 21:49   #2
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We went by the date on the bottom of the can for liability concerns. If I were carrying a can for self defense, I'd use the expired can for practice. OC is pretty inexpensive.
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Old 06-11-2013, 21:50   #3
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I replaced mine after carry it for three or four years, may be more. For the heck of it I decided to spray it in the back yard just to see what would happen. Its the stream type, and did not even go 2 feet away. I'm glad I never had to use it during a critical situation. I probably would have ended up chucking the empty can at the suspect's head and hoping to knock him out
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Old 06-11-2013, 22:39   #4
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While we on on the subject of OC spray, if a law abiding citizen uses OC spray to ward off a crazy drunk dude on the street do you have to contact the police afterwards and report that you pepper sprayed a guy?

Can you legally just spray a guy who is attempting to cause you harm, and just leave?
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Old 06-11-2013, 22:52   #5
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While we on on the subject of OC spray, if a law abiding citizen uses OC spray to ward off a crazy drunk dude on the street do you have to contact the police afterwards and report that you pepper sprayed a guy?

Can you legally just spray a guy who is attempting to cause you harm, and just leave?
Think about it. If some guy took a swing at you and you busted him in the snotlocker wouldn't it be a real good idea to get your version on paper in the role of victim, before he did?

The actual law may vary from State to State, although I haven't hear of a State that requires it, but the laws of common sense are pretty universal in the US.
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Old 06-11-2013, 23:07   #6
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I would. I have assets that I don't plan on giving away to the first idiot who files a tort action.
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Old 06-11-2013, 23:09   #7
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Ours are way out of date. I traded with the training manager one day since mine dated to 2004. My current one dates back to 2008.

From what one of our chemical agents instructors has said it is the o rings that give out first.

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Old 06-11-2013, 23:12   #8
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I replaced mine after carry it for three or four years, may be more. For the heck of it I decided to spray it in the back yard just to see what would happen. Its the stream type, and did not even go 2 feet away. I'm glad I never had to use it during a critical situation. I probably would have ended up chucking the empty can at the suspect's head and hoping to knock him out
This is exactly the reason to check expiry dates.

The propellant will eventually leak out and won't shoot the contents very far.

I had an officer in one my DT classes brag "I've had this can for years and never used it."

We took it outside and sprayed it at a wall. It dribbled out of the nozzle and ran down his hand.


The other thing to check is that the nozzle is not blocked.

It only takes a tiny bit of fluff to turn a jet into a sprinkler and have it go all over you.


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Old 06-11-2013, 23:21   #9
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In my Arizona dept we changed them out every two years, way before the expiration date. The heat here would cause them to slowly lose their propellant. Think of the liabilities if you DIDN'T trade before the expiration date and had to use it. Those departments trying to save a few bucks would pay dearly with a civil attorney.
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Old 06-11-2013, 23:56   #10
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Like others have said, OC doesn't really go bad, the propellant just leaks over time.
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Old 06-12-2013, 00:44   #11
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True. But if you spray me with an expired can my attorney will eat you for lunch.
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:22   #12
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True. But if you spray me with an expired can my attorney will eat you for lunch.

Sometimes I really hate what this country has become....
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:49   #13
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But that's why they put an expiration date on them. Same as milk in the grocery store. Difference is you are USING your expired milk on me to put me down. That is an intentional misuse of an expired product. Check with your risk management department.
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:57   #14
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Expired cans are for dogs and fire ant mounds. COULD BE USED ON TACOS TOO....
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:52   #15
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True. But if you spray me with an expired can my attorney will eat you for lunch.
So we're clear.. You ARE a part of the problem..
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:05   #16
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We switch out cans as they expire. I also have a can that "expired" in 1998.

It still works just fine.


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Old 06-12-2013, 05:15   #17
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True. But if you spray me with an expired can my attorney will eat you for lunch.
I may be dense, but how does an expired can create liability in and of itself? It's my understanding the expiration is only to insure the propellant can shoot the OC the proper distance.

I could understand if I went to spray you and a fireball of hornets shot out, but if it still works as advertised? What would the tort claim be?

That's like saying I shot you with an "expired" bullet.




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Old 06-12-2013, 08:04   #18
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As an OC instructor (Sabre Red), I would not recommend using expired OC at all. Buy your own new can if your department won't replace it and you ever plan to use it.

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It's my understanding the expiration is only to insure the propellant can shoot the OC the proper distance.
In theory, the red pepper extracts may also lose potency over time as well. That + potential propellant loss = reduced effectiveness either way.

I don't see how that is a liability issue either, in regards to causing harm to the person being sprayed... although it could put an overall black cloud on the department's training protocol. Otherwise, I think I'd RATHER get sprayed from an "expired" can! There's a good chance it wouldn't hurt as much, if the stream even hits you.

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Old 06-12-2013, 10:04   #19
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True. But if you spray me with an expired can my attorney will eat you for lunch.
How? The mere fact that the can is expired is not going to make an objectively reasonable use of force unreasonable. The likelihood with a dated can is actually decreased effectiveness, and one of the biggest things causing actual injuries (not just pain) with OC deployment is deploying too close to the eyes and damaging them, which would be less of a concern for a can with diminished propellant.

It's like saying that you would lose your ass in a civil suit if you weren't qualified on the gun you were carrying.
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:08   #20
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But that's why they put an expiration date on them. Same as milk in the grocery store. Difference is you are USING your expired milk on me to put me down. That is an intentional misuse of an expired product. Check with your risk management department.
I should have scrolled further for this gem.

A civil plaintiff would need to prove injury and that the use of an expired can caused the injury. Unlikely, especially when the defense would parade on any chemical munitions expert out there to testify that the product is actually less effective when expired.

Feel free to cite a case or two where expired OC resulted in civil liability. Cases that were settled do not count.
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