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When you take a serious look at the lists of broken bones our racing heroes have suffered over the lengths of their careers, it becomes obvious that cycling alone is dangerous enough without the threat of open roads, traffic, and nature taking its toll. And while we're prepared for the inherent risks of racing and training, there are other threats that make for potentially unnecessary danger.

These secondary threats are ones that you may be able to exercise more control over than, say...a sweeping, gravel littered corner surprising you on a 50mph descent. We're thinking of angry drivers who choose to get out of their cars to confront you; of ferocious dogs that won't give way; of bears who lay in wait for a once-a-year appearance on your favorite trails. There are times you don't get to choose fight-or-flight. There are times -- thankfully they're super-rare -- when you must pay dark wages for your lifelong love of cycling. And that's what the Kimber PepperBlaster II is all about.

Kimber PepperBlaster II is unlike any pepper spray or mace-like stuff you've ever seen before. Stuff like "Halt!" is a marshmallow gun by comparison. Kimber refers to it as a "less-lethal weapon", and as one of the world's premier manufacturers of 1911 pistols, they know lethality.

Unlike typical pepper spray, PepperBlaster II isn't aerosolized. Rather, each unit contains two cylinders with powerful concentrations of near-pharmaceutical grade oleoresin capsicum (OC) -- a devastatingly effective irritant. Each cylinder is driven by a pyrotechnic charge and a piston, and the solution travels at 90mph, giving it enough energy to wrap around glasses or a face mask. Unlike conventional pepper sprays, you won't get any blowback into your own face since it isn't an aerosolized mist. You don't need to worry whether you're downwind. And you get a substantially longer effective range of 13 feet. Instead of a "spray", it fires a compact stream of OC. The effect is immediate, it lasts for 45 minutes, and it allows you to extricate yourself from the situation with plenty of time to spare. And unlike sprays, it's reliable at any temperature, and won't rupture, burst, or depressurize.

What makes PepperBlaster II different from the first incarnation? The new package is more pistol-like. It has a stubby handgrip that makes it more natural to aim and fire. It will work with right or left hand grips, and it has a built-in notch sight to aid accuracy. It has a swingaway tab for a safety, so it won't accidentally discharge in your jersey pocket. But you can easily push away the tab in an instant when you need to use it. Each unit has two charges in it; i.e. you can fire it twice. Just how effective is it? When OC gets in the eyes the effect is immediate, and it causes eyes to slam shut and excruciating pain to kick in. If it gets in the nose and mouth, the effect takes 7-10 seconds and causes no small amount of gagging (caused by irritation to the respiratory system) to complement the debilitating pain induced by the OC. And while it'll incapacitate the assailant (human or canine), it won't cause permanent injury or death.

The Kimber PepperBlaster II weighs 100g. Its dimensions are 4.3" x 2.7" x 0.9" -- easy to fit in a jersey pocket along with a gel or your Blackberry. Like any good weapon it's hard to envision ever needing it, but if the time ever comes, you'll be glad you brought it along. Please Note: We are unable to ship PepperBlaster II outside the U.S. or to the states of New York, Michigan, or Hawaii.

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

Piece of Mind

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Thankfully, I haven't had to use this. It has served its purpose of providing peace of mind. I throw this in my pocket when out for a run and have brought it camping. lightweight, out of the way, but from what I've read can produce a powerful blow. Hopefully, I will never have to test its power!

Can this product Fly? Checked or Carry-On
Is this legal to carry outside the USA - EU, Canada, Aus?

Best Answer Responded on

As of right now you can check it with you luggage but not have it as a carry-on.

Eric Watford
Expert Gearhead
Ext. 6069
Instagram: @ericwatford

Are people carrying this in bear country...

Are people carrying this in bear country instead of pepper spray?

also once the two capsules are fired is the gun a throw away or are there replacement pepper capsules?


Responded on

Kimber does not offer replacement capsules for the Pepperblaster II and you would need to purchase a new gun after it has been used.

I have a friend who regularly takes the PB with him on extended trips in bear country but has never needed to use it, though I have to believe it would be effective.

Responded on

It's possible this would be effective against bears, though it's worth noting that civilian pepper sprays (like for use against muggers) are basically useless against bears. Most bear sprays have a blend of capsicum and other irritants. I'd check with the manufacturer, and if they don't explicitly recommend it for bear, don't bring it.

Best Answer Responded on

I would not trust this to protect me from a bear. An average can of bear spray has roughly the same concentration of capsicum, but at least 4-5 times more spray, and a much longer reach.

How many time can it be used. Is it...

How many time can it be used. Is it refillable?

Responded on

You get two shots with this product after which the whole device needs to be replaced.

5 5

Small price tag for some peace of mind

I recently picked this up for my lady. She's a server and I wanted her to have something to pack around with her after late nights at work till she can get her concealed weapons permit. I did quite a bit of research into non-lethal protection and this one was the best options I could find. The next best thing was several hundred dollars. At that price a small pistol would be preferred in my book. This little guy is lightweight and user friendly. Just push the safety tab through the trigger pull and squeeze. The pyrotechnic charge unleashes a fiery blast of fury at your attacker. It has two shots of concentrated oleoresin capsicum in a gooey mixture that leaves the barrel at 90 mph. The goo is nice because there won't be any aerosol pepper mixture left lingering in the air to possibly blow back in your face. The first shot fires from the bottom barrel, second from the top. The first shot seems to fire a little lower as you can see in some of the reviews online. Makes for a thoughtful gift and $40 isn't much for a little piece of mind. There are some review links below.

What colors are available?

What colors are available?

Responded on

Red and Grey. You can pick the one that suits your fancy from the drop down menu above.

5 5

back off punk

  • Gender: Male

I gave 2 as gifts for Christmas.
If you are worried about accidental discharge, there is a safety device you slide out of the way of the trigger and pull.
If you're worried about getting spray on your fingers or in your eyes..this is for you.

This comes in a metal case with a fit to size cushion inside you you can pack it and not worry about malfunction due to movement.

I even bought a 3rd I plan to take on bike rides, camping, or just keep around the house for added protection.

What is the shelf life of the cylinders...

What is the shelf life of the cylinders used in the PepperBlaster II?

Responded on

Ronnie, the Pepper Blaster II has a 5 year shelf life. The one I just ordered says Dec 31 2017. While the operating system does not go bad and the OC Pepper solution does not expire, the alcohol carrier can break down after 5 years. I think $40 every 5 years is a small price to pay. :)