What Are Pepper Rounds?

  • Updated July 31st, 2023

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There are many different types of self-defense tools to be had. Everything from bean bag guns to pepper balls can be utilized to protect both yourself and your home from any invasion. 

However, of the many different types, maybe pepper rounds are the most unfamiliar to most.

These balls are. 68-caliber projectile rounds that look very much like a paintball. However, instead of being filled with paint, it is filled with a powdered pepper irritant called PAVA. 

When bursting on the impact, the irritant is thrown into the air, and it contacts the assailant’s sensitive areas and causes them to be immobile and riddled with pain.

Many people utilize these to protect themselves in their homes, and if you’re considering it, then you should keep reading because we’re going to dive into what exactly they are and other important information you may need to know.

Man wearing paintball gears pointing a paintball gun - What Are Pepper Rounds?


How Effective are Pepper Rounds?

Pepper rounds are very effective. This is because they are filled with that pepper-powdered irritant that, when used effectively, is quite painful. 

But, of course, they are not as effective as saying something that will have a projectile that could potentially incapacitate the other person.

However, it is a non-lethal option that could save your life in the long run. So if you’re looking for that type of defense system, this could be the right option for you.


What Are Pepper Balls?

To understand the pepper round’s effectiveness, you must understand what PAVA is. So here are a few pieces of information that could potentially give you an idea of whether you should choose this option or not:


  • The pepper is released into a tight cloud as opposed to pepper spray, so it is effective on the individual you’re targeting and not those around them.
  • It is not as effective for those who have been drinking or are on drugs.
  • The powder itself affects the eye mostly. Causing them to close and be in a lot of pain, much more so than traditional pepper spray.
  • In regards to recovery from exposure to this once in the open air, the individual will have 15 to 35 minutes more pain before they can consider themselves recovered from exposure.


Can Civilians Buy Pepper Balls?

It wasn’t always the case, but these non-lethal projectiles are now available for civilians to purchase. However, it may depend on the state you live in regarding the protocol or accessibility.

For instance, if you’re someone who lives in the state of California, pepper rounds are not legal. So if you’re looking to invest in these, make sure regulations ensure that you are permitted to purchase them.


Are Pepper Guns Worth It?

Just like with everything, there are pros and cons to pepper guns. The good aspect of this type of self-defense weapon is that it is effective for quite a bit of distance. 

This means that you have more range and allows you more time to decide whether it is the right time to pull that trigger.

On top of that, they tend to be more precise, and their actual projectile is quite effective. This is one of those non-lethal self-defense weapons that not only civilians but military and law enforcement utilize. That in and of itself gives it credibility.

On the flip side, the irritant powder is released in a 12-foot cloud and can stay in the air for up to 15 minutes. So that means you need to, as the person being defensive, try to stay out of that range for that time.


Is PepperBall a Firearm?

PepperBall and pepper rounds are not firearms, or at least they’re not considered by the ATF to be firearms. The thing to understand is that pepper rounds and PepperBall though all are the same thing, are two different things as well.

PepperBall is a brand of launcher that utilizes pepper rounds. At the same time, a pepper round can be purchased under many brand names.


Final Thoughts on What Are Pepper Rounds

For those looking for a non-lethal self and home-defense method, the pepper and maybe a great idea. On top of that, if you have small children in the house and don’t want to have dangerous projectile weapons, this is a great solution to that issue as well. 

These rounds are highly effective in immobilizing your target and can be a lifesaver in the long run.