Pepper spray vs ‘rona masks?

I’m guessing that a person wearing homemade cloth masks or bandannas won’t be protected from proper use of pepper spray.
I’m curious if there is any need for changes in tactics/techniques because of the masks people are now wearing.
I’m certainly no expert, and haven’t had any formal pepper spray training. From what I’ve seen from Chuck haggard and Brian hill however, pepper spray should generally be directed across the eyes, and apparently works around glasses fine.
I'm also not an expert but I've been intentionally exposed twice and can say from both of my exposures and the training I've had on it I don't think the 'rona masks will offer any protection from a well placed spray. As much as I prefer the Gel style OC, I could see the liquid stream performing a little better against someone with a mask especially if they are wearing glasses in addition.


Regular Member
The transparent face shields will reduce the amount of OC that reaches the target. How much reduction will depend on the design of the face shield as well as what type of spray you're using. Foam may be completely ineffectual. A cone or fog is more likely to have some effect and a stream probably less so.

I'd agree that the standard face masks are unlikely to be an effective countermeasure against OC. Face shields don't cover the eyes. OC is likely to penetrate through or around the mask to affect respiration. Again, the type or spray will affect its utility.


Regular Member
Unlike LE/MIL students who have to be a cooperative trainee, real people will not just stand there and let you do it to them

They duck, bob, weave, turn away, put their hands up to their face to block it, move, etc. etc. etc.

Move to a superior position, spray from different angles and at different targets in the facial region.

Use P for plenty and you'll get through.

All the above to be IAW policy, law, etc. and reasonable to achieve a legitimate LE objective.
I wanted my NLETC OC instructor, so Chuck guinea pigged me a little on this topic. We used cheap eye pro and a paper 'rona mask. Another data point to consider was the DT 1.33 cone spray didn't perform well. It acted more like a gel. I've deployed conical OC in the field when I was wearing Rx glasses and they didn't help at all. This was quite a bit different.