The Ultimate Guide To TASERS® And Stun Guns
For people acquainted with or interested in personal self-defense items, it’s likely that they have heard about TASER® before. In some cases, maybe you’ve heard the phrase tasers and stun guns used interchangeably. Is there a difference between them? How long have tasers been around? Let’s take a deep dive together, learning the finer details about tasers and stun guns so you can make an informed purchase.
The History Of The TASER® And Stun Gun
The creator of the TASER®, Jack Cover, who invented the device in the 1970s, was interested in developing a non-lethal weapon that could be used to incapacitate a criminal without a fatal risk—e.g. stopping an airplane hijacking, where a gun would prove unsafe for all passengers on board. Cover also noticed how a mailman would use cattle prods against aggressive dogs in self-defense.
Interestingly enough, Cover was inspired by a science-fiction novel he loved as a kid, Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle. In the novel, Tom Swift invents an electric rifle for personal protection and elephant hunting. Thanks to this inspiration, Cover fell into his invention. Moreover, he ended up with the name T.A.S.E.R: Thomas A. Swift Electric Rifle.
Following Cover’s invention of the TASER®, Nova Technologies adapted their patent in 1983 to create the Nova XR-5000—a non-projectile, hand-held stun gun. After gaining popularity with people in the US Postal Service, stun guns began spreading into the world of personal self-defense.
What’s the difference between a TASER® and a stun gun?
In essence, a TASER® is simply the brand name for one type of many stun guns & tasers in the industry. But there is a key difference between a TASER® and a stun gun: a stun gun is a hand-held device that must come into direct contact with a person to deliver a high-voltage shock to the body. A TASER® is a hand-held shooting stun gun that fires probes into a person’s skin, providing that high-voltage shock.
So whereas a traditional stun gun will need to be used face to face with an assailant, a TASER® can be accurately fired at an individual from 15 to 30 feet away. Stun batons act as a near intermediary device. While they do not shoot off probes that provide an electric shock, the device is long enough to shock an assailant while maintaining slightly more than an arm’s length in distance.
TASER® Vs. Stun Gun - How Do They Work?
How a TASER® works:
- TASER® guns fire a set of electrodes into a person’s skin. Those electrodes are attached to insulated wires. When a person pulls the trigger, a burst of pressurized gas, often carbon dioxide, force the electrodes to shoot out of the gun (between 15-30 feet in distance). Once the electrodes hit a person’s skin, pulses of up to 50,000 volts will be discharged for 5 seconds. This high-voltage, low-amperage shock will cause temporary paralysis, incapacitating an aggressor.
How a stun gun works:
- Stun guns emit a high-voltage electrical pulse through two electrodes jutting out from the device. Once coming into contact with a person, the high voltage will ensure the pulse affects the person’s body, hopefully debilitating the aggressor long enough to escape an unsafe situation. However, the electrodes do not shoot out of the stun gun. It is a handheld device that a person must stick to an aggressor.
Defending Yourself With A TASER® Or Stun Gun
You should be properly trained to ensure you are prepared to use your device if needed. To use a stun gun, you should ensure the device is held away from your body once it is activated. When using it on someone, you want to “push” the device—to increase your chances of making contact—and aim for an area of bare skin or thin cloth to ensure the voltage is able to incapacitate the person. For a TASER®, you should first engage the weapon and let the person know you will shoot if they do not stop. Following your warning, if you feel like you must shoot, use the weapon like a gun, aiming for their center of mass to ensure that you can make direct contact.
What is the best type of stun gun?
Every stun gun available at The Home Security Superstore is recommended by our staff, as we sell only the best self-defense weapons. For two reliable options, we recommend …
- A traditional TASER® gun: with a range of 15-17 feet - this device has the necessary accuracy to keep you safe in an unpleasant scenario.
- A taser baton & electric stun gun - these devices often include a built-in flashlight. Stun batons provide you with a multifaceted self-defense weapon and extra distance compared to a stun gun.
- A stun gun flashlight - this device is small enough that it can be stored in the glove box of your car. Stun gun flashlights can be used as both a powerful weapon and to investigate a possible disturbance.
How Stun Guns Compare To Handguns
At its most basic, the only comparison between stun guns and handguns is truly related to TASER® guns. Both are projectile-based weapons that work by shooting said projectile at a target. Both can be used to incapacitate a person, but handguns are—in general—used to fatally wound a person or animal.
Stun guns are non-lethal weapons, designed to incapacitate aggressors with high-voltage, low-amperage shock pulses. While there have been a few cases of lethal firings of TASER® guns, these occurred because of a victim’s prior health condition, often related to their heart. Otherwise, stun guns and TASER® guns are non-lethal weapons.
How To Choose A TASER® Or Stun Gun Based On Your Lifestyle & Daily Activities
Your day-to-day life and habits might make you the perfect candidate for a TASER® or a stun gun. Below are some specific examples paired with our recommended self-defense tool type.
Runner or Bicyclist
- Whether running or biking, you should expect to be alone at some point, especially if you’re exercising in a city park. You want something light and easy to carry. You can easily carry your small taser gun by hand or in a shallow pocket for immediate protection.
Work in the City
- You might regularly find yourself alone in a parking lot or parking garage before and after work every day. The Streetwise™ Triple Sting Ring Rechargeable Stun Gun offers you a brass knuckles-like device that can be used when danger strikes.
- If you’re walking dogs at night, you’re going to need a flashlight. But you should also consider protection, too. Flashlight stun guns offer you a multi-purpose device that can be used even while holding onto your dog’s leash. Instantly transitioning from a flashlight to a stun gun, you can incapacitate an attacker if they jump out of nowhere.
- What if someone goes too far after an on-road incident and tries to attack you in a fit of road rage? Have a TASER® gun nearby just in case things escalate.
- In the event someone breaks into your home, you need a way to protect yourself while quickly identifying them. A flashlight stun gun or stun baton are your best options, providing you with a tool that can stop an intruder and give you time to contact the police.
Tips For Buying A TASER® Or Stun Gun
When buying a TASER® or stun gun, there is no “perfect” self-defense weapon on the market. The only “perfect” stun gun is the one that is right for you. While perusing our vast inventory of stun guns & tasers, you want to consider the following:
- Situational Usage: how and when do you plan on using this stun gun? Will you be using it in your home, on your commute, out on a run or walking your dogs? Would you be better off with a TASER®, used while maintaining distance, or a stun baton, which will be used in a physical way such as swinging and hitting?
- Quality: do you need the top-of-the-line with the highest accuracy from a distance of 25 feet or will you get by with a stun gun that is used face-to-face?
- Brand: are you concerned with having a brand name TASER® or are you alright with having another type of product?
What are the best tasers to use?
When you’re researching where to buy tasers, you should know that there are many types of tasers available on the market. We carry a vast number of high-strength, high-quality tasers at The Home Security Superstore. The type of taser you’ll end up buying comes down to personal preference, but your best bet is to buy one that has a range of 15-17 feet. Why? Because this ensures you have plenty of distance between you and your aggressor.
Some of the most trusted products for police are Stun Guns w/ Targeting Lasers. With notable accuracy and high voltage output, these are certain to stop any would-be criminal right in their tracks. The ultimate goal is your ability to escape unharmed while providing you with the necessary time to receive help from bystanders and police.
The Best TASER® Gun For Women
The self-defense needs of men and women tend to be similar, but there are some TASER® products that work best for each sex. For women, the best TASER® self-defense products are ones that can offer premier protection at any time of day.
Some of the best stun guns for women include hand-held devices and Sting Rings that can be stored in a purse, placed on a keychain, or wrapped around your fingers while on an evening run. For women looking to keep their distance while staying safe, the TASER® PULSE+ Subcompact Shooting Stun Gun w/ Noonlight is a great option. Electrified probes can be shot up to 15 ft. accurately and the connected Noonlight app can be downloaded to your smartphone to inform local authorities whenever you fire your TASER®. Tasers for women provide users with a non-lethal self-defense option even while maintaining distance.
The Best TASER® Gun For Men
TASER® guns for men can run an equally wide gamut, but there are some products that might work best. In particular, men might be more comfortable using devices requiring physical contact. Stun devices requiring physical combat include taser batons & electric stun guns and stun gun flashlights. Both types of self-defense devices provide men with an intimidating non-lethal weapon that can ward off potential aggressors and be used for excellent protection if the situation worsens. And the multi-purpose uses of a stun gun flashlight make it perfect as a guide during a nightly walk or as an added form of protection stored in your car’s glove compartment.
The Importance Of TASER® Guns For Policemen
As TASER® guns and stun guns entered the public market, people began quickly relying on them for personal protection. But as useful as they were for the public, they proved equally beneficial for police departments across the U.S. With over 500,000 police officers now carrying tasers, officers have a non-lethal option at their disposal to incapacitate potential criminals while maintaining a safe distance. Batons were the only non-lethal option in the past, forcing officers to resort to hand-to-hand combat or their guns. TASER® guns have made it easy for police officers to effectively de-escalate tense situations without having to rely on violent methods.
How do you carry your TASER®?
Tasers should always have a safety switch that will prevent accidental discharge. This safety switch should be engaged anytime you are carrying your taser. Some people will purchase belt holsters for their taser while other people will be okay carrying their taser in a bag or purse.
Like a gun, your taser should never be pointed at someone unless you intend to use it. This means never pointing your taser at another person as a joke or as a form of simple intimidation. Unless a person is showing aggressive behavior towards you, your taser should not be pointed in their direction or have its safety switch disengaged.
When is it okay to tase someone?
A taser should never be used unless absolutely necessary. This means employing it only when you are truly threatened and it is clearly apparent that a person intends to harm you in some manner. Tasers should be treated as a firearm.
Are TASER® guns legal to carry?
While there are some states that have laws requiring permits to carry a stun gun, and some that outright make it illegal to do so, most places across the globe allow ownership of a stun device for concealed carry. This legal protection means that you can keep a stun device directly by your side. So, even while you’re out in public you can have a form of self-defense on your person when trouble strikes.
The type of TASER® or stun gun you decide to purchase depends on your personal needs: what you’re comfortable with carrying, what type of quality you desire, and the legality within your state. But the bottom line is that TASER® guns and stun guns provide citizens and police officers with a non-lethal, self-defense weapon for ultimate protection. Whether protecting your home or remaining safe while on an early-morning walk, you can defend yourself with a stun gun in your hand.
TASER® Laws By State
While TASER® law enforcement laws are nearly universal and lenient, personal TASER laws vary significantly from state to state. Before you buy a TASER®, you should make sure they’re legal in your area and that you obtain all the necessary paperwork when required. Also keep in mind that sometimes a TASER® is legal in a state, such as Illinois, but a major city (Chicago) has outlawed them. With taser technology becoming more common across the nation, taser laws are changing to adapt to safety concerns.
It's important to look up taser laws in your home before carrying them for self-defense. You should ask yourself these questions: "Am I allowed to carry a concealed TASER®?” With so many states changing their own policies about personal defense weapons, it can get tricky to keep up with stun gun laws by state. Luckily, The Home Security Superstore regularly updates our resources to bring you the most up-to-date information.
Two Of Our Best Stun Gun And TASER® Products
It used to be that a 1,000,000 volt stun tool was as powerful as you could get. But today a 4,000,000-5,000,000 volt stun gun like the “hot shot” or “pretender” from Stun Master or the “elite” stun item from Guard Dog is more the norm.
But there’s a new model out on the market today called the Touchdown Stun Gun Flashlight. It is 7.5 million volts in a package that’s only 6 1/2 ounces and 6 1/2 inches tall and 2 inches wide. It is fully rechargeable, saving you money on batteries. It has a disabling pin wrist strap that prevents use against you, should it be taken away by an assailant.
It has a rubberized armor coating that protects the unit and enables you to get a firm grip on the device. It also has a built-in LED flashlight and two levels of safety built-in: a safety switch and a stun activation button. It has a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty, which speaks to the quality of the product. All in all, it is the most powerful stun device in the world today.
You can get the same stopping power in this Taser C2 gold package. The gold package includes the C-2 laser sighted taser in your choice of colors, a blue training cartridge for practice, a tactical holster, a practice target, a training manual, and a powder magazine that’s good for 50 plus firings. You must be able to pass a background check before the product can be activated. We offer free same-day shipping with this product and three free pepper sprays. The C-2 taser was specifically designed for women that can be used by men as well.
The Home Security Superstore is one of the oldest and largest independent distributors of high-quality home security, surveillance, spy, self-defense, survival, and safety products. We carry a wide range of self-defense products including tasers, stun guns, pepper sprays, and other nonlethal weapons that can save your life in the event of an attack.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Using electricity to incapacitate an aggressor, a taser shoots out two probes that have barbs on the end to make contact with the target. Generally, the charge will last for about 30 seconds
Using electricity to incapacitate an aggressor, a taser shoots out two probes that have barbs on the end to make contact with the target. Generally, the charge will last for about 30 seconds.