CONCEALMENT 4 Preview – JPX Pepper Gun Erik Utrecht Join the Conversation Photos by Allison Platt Creative Burny Face Money Shot: Piexon’s JPX Projector Sometime, somewhere in history, some culinary glutton for punishment peered through watery eyes after biting something from the capsicum (pepper) family and said through the snot, “Mmm, spicy! We should make this into a weapon.” Centuries later, scientists isolated the oils found in commonly grown peppers, leading to what is known today as pepper spray. When it comes to self-defense tools, everyone has heard of pepper spray or O.C. (oleoresin capsicum). People from all walks of life carry O.C. in a myriad of ways, projected by devices ranging from small key chain models to mighty “crew-served” variants like those in the hands of riot police. Some give professional women a sense of security as they walk through the parking garage. Others give us a way to water the hippies. Generally, O.C. devices are all very similar in design and just vary in size. The differences are usually dependent on the profession or need of its user. In addition to shared similarities, they share many disadvantages. The typical O.C. device is a pressurized canister that contains a mixture of the capsicum oil in a proprietary formula along with a propellant. Like similar units used in everyday life — hairspray, spray paint, and cooking sprays — the devices are susceptible to temperature extremes and require the unit to be upright for maximum effectiveness. Their size and internal pressure also dictates their range. Oftentimes, O.C. manufacturers advertise effectiveness of a device in terms of the amount of heat delivered by the contents. This heat is measured in Scoville Heat Units. To better understand SHUs, compare getting O.C. sprayed in the face to sticking a fresh-out-of-the-oven pizza on your face; the temperature of the pizza roughly translates in to the amount of SHUs you’d feel. Small, personal size O.C. devices adorning key chains around the country are often advertised as having ranges as far as 6 feet, yet deliver far less in actual use. Duty size units advertized as being capable of dozens of bursts often fall short. Crew served devices rival fire extinguishers in size just to get a range far enough to make them worthwhile. And all, regardless of size make the user vulnerable to dreaded blowback, should they be standing slightly downwind. O.C. falls into a class of intermediate force tools, also known as less-than-lethal tools, that are designed to be used to defend against assaultive, but not lethal, threats in the civilian world. The challenge with most intermediate tools is that they are meant for use at arm’s length, or at very close artificial-reach range from the intended victim, meaning that even a well-trained responsible citizen risks damage from a lucky strike by even an inebriated or uncoordinated assailant. The close range of most O.C. units, and the vulnerability to factors such as wind, often result in the user suffering the effects of their own defensive tool while waiting for it to do its job. O.C., an inflammatory agent, wreaks havoc on the mucus membranes of the body, making a hit in the T-zone (eyes, nose, and mouth) of the target ideal. The downside? O.C. can take more than 30 seconds to render its full effect. In a fight for your life, that’s an eternity. So is there a better way to deliver the good stuff? Perhaps using some muscle memory already partially developed? The Piexon JPX With less-lethal technology improving every day, there have been scores of companies shifting from traditional O.C. designs to very untraditional-looking atypical types. Often, these units use in-line nozzle systems allowing the user to deploy them from any position while still getting the most range out of the unit. However, the majority of atypical units still use pressurized canisters as the basis of their primary design. The Piexon JPX wears many hats and had more name changes than a Hollywood starlet since it hit U.S. shores from its home country of Switzerland. Kimber LifeAct, JPX Projector, JPX Jet Projector, JPX Cobra 450, and Jet Defender are all essentially the same thing aside from small design changes. 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