Swift | Silent | Deadly

Firearm Alternative for NPE: ASP Metro Defender OC

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One of the common complaints I hear when I recommend pepper spray is, “But where would I put it?” One effective tool that will fit almost anywhere is the ASP Metro Defender. I have recommended this tool before, on the advice of others, but I have been carrying one myself for a year now. Let’s take a closer look at the ASP Metro Defender, and excellent firearm alternative for Non-Permissive Environment Carry.

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In my article last in-depth article on pepper spray, I recommended the ASP Metro Defenders. I had never owned or carried one. They had been highly recommended to me by some reputable people, though, like my friend Rich Brown and Greg Ellifritz. Since I can’t afford to purchase and test everything, and these men know what they’re talking about, I’m still comfortable with that recommendation. Late last year a friend gave me one of these. I’ve been carrying it ever since. It’s good to see that my recommendation for this product was, indeed, not misplaced. Compact and discrete, this is a very cool way to carry pepper spray. Today I’ll give you the benefit of my experience with this product over the last year.

Before we get into that, though, a quick note on nomenclature. The Metro Defender D1 used to be called the Palm Defender, while the Metro Defender D2 used to be called the Key Defender. These products are, as far as I can tell, identical to their predecessors. The new “D1” and “D2” terminology references the shorter and longer versions, respectively. I wanted to point that out because I’ve definitely referenced the “Palm Defender” in the past.

The ASP Metro Defender

The ASP Metro Defender is a compact, key fob that carries a payload of pepper spray. It is very nice, machined aluminum, available in a variety of colors including blue (Cobalt), red (Crimson), plain aluminum (Frost) and black (Onyx). It comes in two sizes: D1 which is 4.5 inches long, and D2 which is 5.75 inches long. Other than length, both share similar dimensions, and are just over half an inch in diameter.

The D1 model in blue is the one I have. I find this model fits in my pocket with my keys and is unnoticed, even after a long day. It contains a small canister of OC spray. The OC insert is replaceable, and is interchangeable with an inert practice insert, as well. The ASP Metro Defender is very discrete, and it is unlikely most people will even recognize it as pepper spray.

And speaking of pepper spray, the insert packs a high-quality, potent OC. The D1 insert contains six, half-second bursts of a spray with a MCC of 1.33%. Major Capcaisinoid Content is the true measure of an OC spray’s strength, not Scoville Heat Units or any other marketing gimmick. The longer D2 inserts hold exactly twice as much OC spray.

Deploying the ASP Metro Defender

To deploy the Metro Defender, remove it from your pocket. Carry it in an icepick grip, with the key ring up, toward your thumb. The black, plastic ring near the top of the device is the safety, and the brass rod that the key ring attaches to is the actuator. The safety does a very good job of preventing the actuator from being depressed. I make a habit of staging my thumb on the safety when carrying the Metro Defender in my hand.

To used the device, disengage the safety by pushing it forward. The safety rotates toward one side and is positive, and easy to disengage. This removes the block that prevents the brass actuator from being depressed.

Now transition the thumb to the actuator rod. The actuator presses directly on the canister. The canister’s nozzle is at the other end of the unit. Point the ASP Metro Defender at the target, and depress the actuator.

I always recommend testing a new can of pepper spray, and the ASP Metro Defender is no different. After installing a new canister I always test it for a half-second burst, just to verify it is working.I recommend changing these canisters out annually, since they are exposed to so much stuff by being constantly carried.

ASP Customer Service

A couple of months ago I got the opportunity to test out ASP’s customer support. I had been carrying my Metro Defender, day in and day out for several months. My keys are pretty much always in my pocket unless they are being used. Nevertheless I pulled out my keys one day and noticed that the ASP felt light. I examined it and realized the end cap had fallen off and it and the spray canister were long gone. Using the website contact for I contacted ASP and explained what happened. I told them I would be happy to pay for a new end cap.

Within minutes I received an email back, stating that one would be mailed to me at no charge. It arrived just a couple of days later. In only wish I asked for a couple of OC canisters while I was at it!

Closing Thoughts

The ASP Metro Defender isn’t the best pepper spray on the market. I still regularly carry my 2-ounce can of Fox One Point Four (the same spray my local LEOs use). It offers way, way more volume and range. Unfortunately its not always possible to carry the big can. The ASP Metro Defender can pretty much always be on hand. The Metro Defender is also very affordable, with some colors as cheap as $20 on Amazon. The canisters are replaceable, and training canisters are available. And if the ASP itself fails, it can function as a Kubotan, if you know how to use one.

If regular pepper spray cans, or even compact POM cans are too big for you, check out the ASP Metro Defender and Sport Defender (the Sport has a different texture and features a pocket clip). It is affordable, compact, durable, and potent. And let’s be honest: to quote Chuck Haggard, you need to carry something, “between a profanity and a pistol.”

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