Stun Gun Vs. Taser

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 Stun Gunstun gun

This post is by Bernie Carr,

With all the talk about personal defense, it seems even tasers are being debated in one state.   The article got me thinking about people who are not comfortable with firearms or are not licensed to carry concealed, but may still want some kind of personal defense options.   We covered pepper spray in a previous post; today we’ll talk about stun guns and tasers.

Stun Gun vs. Taser

I used to think they were the same, but there are several differences:


How They are Similar

  • Both the stun gun and taser are electronic devices
  • Both are fairly small and can be carried in your pocket or purse.
  • Both use some type of battery for power
  • Both are designed to incapacitate the attacker, giving you time to run away and get help

 The Differences

The stun gun requires direct contact between the metal prongs and the attacker.  Ideally, a half second contact will surprise the attacker cause him to let go, two seconds should give muscle spasms and three seconds will cause loss of balance, a dazed mental state.  However, I have also found that in some cases, depending on the type of stun gun, you may have to hold contact for up to four seconds to get the desired effect.  Four seconds is a long time when it comes to an attack.  Furthermore, it was found that a person in a drug induced state or someone with a high tolerance for pain may be able to resist the effects of the stun gun.

The taser works by releasing two fish hook type prongs toward the attacker.  It works by delivering electrical pulses along the wires and into the body.  This affects the sensory and motor functions of the peripheral nervous system of the person.  The general reaction is incapacitation, which could then cause additional injuries when dropping to the ground and/or hitting something.  The reaction is not related to pain tolerance since the muscle contractions are involuntary.  Also, each taser probe can penetrate an inch of clothing, including leather.

Law enforcement personnel carry tasers that have a longer range than commercially available ones.

Price-wise, stun guns cost much less than tasers, with stun guns priced below $100, while tasers run in the mid $300s.

I’ve heard some self defense experts on podcasts mention they “layer” their defense plans by having various self defense methods at their disposal:  pepper spray spread around in inconspicuous areas around the house within easy reach (this won’t work with kids around), stun gun or taser on their person, before having to resort to lethal force.


Before considering either a stun gun or taser, check the laws in your state.  While legal in most states, there are some states that prohibit them, or may have restrictions regarding carrying or using stun guns or tasers.

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