When considering stun guns vs TASERs, although their names are often used interchangeably, they aren’t actually the same thing. In fact, all TASERs are stun guns, but not all stun guns are tasers. Both are designed to employ a non-lethal, electrical charge that temporarily stuns, incapacitates and/or disorient their target in a manner, but they function differently in their application. Choosing between the two comes down to personal preference, as well as their intended use.
The body uses electricity to communicate by sending signals from one part of the body to another. When a stun gun or a TASER is used on someone, the electricity is applied to their muscles and to their nerves causing muscle contractions. Using either one makes it extremely difficult for the attacker to move, potentially giving you the time needed to escape a dangerous situation.
One of the differences between stun guns vs TASERs is the price. Stun guns are mostly affordable, and are widely available. While TASERs are also widely available, their prices tend to be a bit more prohibitive for some. Another difference is the operational range, or the distance needed between you and the attacker. Stun guns are close-range weapons meaning the attacker is basically already on top of you. TASERs are long-range weapons that you can use while the attacker is still further away.
The name stun gun is a bit of a misnomer since it doesn’t actually shoot anything from it, nor does it look anything like a gun. It doesn’t use projectiles and it eliminates the stress of having to aim. Stun guns are more affordable, rechargeable, and don’t require replacement cartridges after being used. Stun guns, vs TASERs, are compact, and lightweight. They’re smaller, but they’re easy to use, and they’re legal in most areas.
Stun guns have prongs that when contact is made, passes a high-voltage, electrical current through the attacker’s body. The electrical current overwhelms the muscles causing them to spasm and become momentarily disabled. Further, it gives the attacker a sense of imbalance and a dazed mental state. The voltage isn’t high enough to cause serious or permanent damage to an individual, but it’s strong enough to briefly immobilize an assailant. The high voltage inflicts pain, but it also pushes the current through thick/heavy clothing.
A downfall to them being close proximity, self-defense devices is that you must have physical contact with the aggressor. Also, stun guns are useless on someone that has a high pain tolerance, or someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, they can be used as a visual and an audible deterrent. You can give a warning shot with a visual electrical spark, and a menacing crackling noise when the button is pressed.
Since the prongs are fixed and not projectiles, and because the stun guns don’t require replacement cartridges, they can be used multiple times in a row. To immobilize, or incapacitate an attacker, push the stun gun into the assailant, and push the button to activate it. It can be used for as long as the button is being pressed. Comes in many shapes such as:
TASER is a trademarked brand that’s based on the novel Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle. T.A.S.E.R. stands for Tom A. Swift Electric Rifle. Another misnomer since Tom Swift didn’t have a middle initial, and the TASER isn’t a rifle. It’s usually shaped more like a firearm with a trigger, and a barrel-ish shape. It shoots projectiles, and can be used up to 15 feet away.
TASERs are widely used by police, and some are equipped with shooting identification systems such as confetti-sized identification tags. TASERs are meant to be used at a distance, and they require more skill and accuracy to be efficient. They’re usually larger, heavier and bulkier that stun guns. With stun guns vs TASERs, if a TASER is your choice, training and practice is highly recommended.
When the trigger is depressed, two barbed electrodes shoot out of the TASER. Assuming both projectiles hit their target, the barbs hook into the attacker. Both barbs MUST hit the target for the TASER to have an effect. When the two projectiles hit their target, an electrical circuit is formed with the TASER. The current is then passed through the conductive, insulated, copper wires, and delivered by the probes. This is the shock that disables the attacker.
Once you depress the trigger, the current is cycled for 5-30 seconds. The current creates a disconnect between the brain and the muscles resulting in the loss of voluntary muscle control. It’s not enough to cause serious or permanent damage, but it is enough to immobilize an attacker giving you time to escape. Once deployed, the cartridge can then be ejected. Then, in case you missed your target, or there are multiple targets, you can use it as a stun gun by pressing it into the attacker and pulling the trigger again. Once used, the cartridge will need to be replaced.
The electrical circuits of stun guns vs TASERs function differently for each, resulting in each having differing effects on an assailant. The immediate reuse factor while in a dangerous situation is also something to consider when deciding on a stun gun vs a TASER. When talking about stun guns vs TASERs, each has their own advantages, and disadvantages, however, these are two of the more popular personal-protection devices. Whichever you choose, be sure to check your local and state laws regarding stun guns.