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Old July 23, 2007, 11:09 PM   #1
rugerdude
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Stun gun effectiveness?

I was thinking of getting a stun gun for spits and giggles, I might give it to my GF just so she'll feel safer (I highly doubt she'll ever have to use it), and I was wondering how well they work. I am talking about stun guns, not tazers here. The kind that you actually have to touch someone with.

I didn't think that they would be that bad until I actually held one and turned it on (accidentally). I almost dropped the thing when I heard the crackling and saw the blue arc of electricity. That got me thinking that it might actually subdue someone.

So, will these actually subdue an attacker, or just piss em' off more?
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Old July 24, 2007, 07:57 AM   #2
44 Deerslayer
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They work quite well if you can hold them against an attacker for 3-5 seconds. The problem is a smaller or weaker person may not be able to do that. I've heard that sometimes just showing the stun gun and giving it a one second burst to make it arc may cause some attackers to back off.
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Old July 24, 2007, 09:38 AM   #3
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I would strongly recommend OC spray instead of any handheld electronic stun gun.

A handheld stun gun is not the same thing as the TASER that is offered to law enforcement, and requires the person using it to be in contact with the attacker. OC spray is more effective more often (nothing is perfect) and can be used from beyond arms reach.

Find an OC unit that fires a stream or tight cone pattern to minimize blow back. Even so, it is likely that there may be some cross-contamination. The idea is to spray the attacker and get away ASAP.
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Old July 24, 2007, 08:14 PM   #4
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Quote: "A handheld stun gun is not the same thing as the TASER that is offered to law enforcement, and requires the person using it to be in contact with the attacker."

Uh, I know, that is why I made the distinction in my first post. I don't want what's best for self defense, I just want a stun gun and to know how well they work.

Thanks Deerslayer, and I can certainly understand the "scare factor" of that blue arc!
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Old July 25, 2007, 05:29 AM   #5
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If you're not interested in relying upon it for defensive purposes, than by all means do what you please. But in regard to your question about their effectiveness, I've been in law enforcement for over 25 years and can tell you that the effect of stun guns is mostly psychological and not physiological.
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Old July 29, 2007, 09:23 AM   #6
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Cobra Stunlight

I saw this advertised on TV. It keeps them at a distance with blinding light. If they advance it sends out a straight spray of pepper spray up to 20 ft. You have to get close for the stun gun to work, you have to keep the distance.
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Old July 29, 2007, 09:32 AM   #7
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They scare me, but in another way. I notice now that stun guns are being marketed to women as a self defense tool. In the flashlight comercial, there is a home invader getting ready to attack her, and she zaps him.

I don't know about you, but I'd much rather a .45 bullet in her hand than that taser.
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Old July 29, 2007, 09:37 AM   #8
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I've been 'stunned' twice with then in a H2H class. The point was that they were worthless as far as real efficacy. It is an 'owie' like you used to tell your mommy about. That's about it.

Unless the BG is scared by the arc - forget it.
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Old July 29, 2007, 10:23 AM   #9
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How is a stun gun different from a Tazer? Is it simply a matter of voltage? I thought that civilians were able to obtain some ridiculously high voltage stun guns, and I would think those would have a similar affect to a Tazer.
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Old July 29, 2007, 11:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
How is a stun gun different from a Tazer? Is it simply a matter of voltage? I thought that civilians were able to obtain some ridiculously high voltage stun guns, and I would think those would have a similar affect to a Tazer.
One mistake folks make is thinking a Taser works on voltage only. The higher the voltage, the better it must work.

The truth is, voltage is only a part of it. The real secret is in a Taser's output frequency. There are, for the sake of this discussion, 3 different "nervous systems" in the human body: The central nervous system including the brain & all that entails, the autonomic nervous system that controls involuntary muscles (heart, intestines, etc.), and the voluntary muscle system.

Why divide them into those three? Because they all work on different electrical frequencies. A Taser targets the voluntary muscle frequency without interrupting the other two.

Think of it as jamming a specific radio station while allowing others to continue broadcasting.

The probes on a Taser also spread out when fired. While a stun gun only allows current to flow through a few inches of tissue, a well deployed Taser passes current through several feet of the body. I should note here, however, that the M-26 and X-26 Tasers can also be used without the cartridge as a drive stun device.

Taser also makes different cartridges for Summer & Winter. Those made for Winter have longer probes to penetrate heavy clothing.

I've "taken the ride" on both stun guns, including the Nova and the Ultron II, and a Taser. I've also used all of 'em on unruly suspects, and trust me, there's no comparison. Stun guns only work through fear & pain, but a Taser (properly applied) will cause all of the major muscle groups to lock up and drop most people like an old oak tree.
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Old July 29, 2007, 10:47 PM   #11
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At the local college years ago, one person hit another person at a party with a stun gun as a prank. The "victim" proceeded to give the guy a black eye while the stun gun was on. So yea, I'm not too convinced as to their effectiveness.

It should also be noted that Tasers can be defeated if one knows how to. It's becoming common knowledge. If shot with a taser, drop and roll away from the attacker, that will cause the probes to fall out or the wires to break. Even with a direct hit with a Taser you will most likely retain enough voluntary motor control to roll, though that will be about all you can do until you break the circuit. I am no criminal and I know that already. The Taser is a "wonder weapon" only because people didn't know how to defeat them in the past.
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Old July 30, 2007, 04:05 PM   #12
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All I can say is that I would take another hit from a stun gun any day before I would take another face full of pepper spray... But I was still able to "fight through" even the pepper spray.
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Old July 31, 2007, 03:25 PM   #13
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Tasers must be pretty effective, as a number of Citizens are killed by the police each year with Tasers.
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Old July 31, 2007, 05:11 PM   #14
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I have to disagree with you tough guys that claim a taser is worthless.

I've been tazed, and at the time I was a Marine, around my Marine buddies. If EVER there was a time to withstand punishment and look like billy badass, it was then. Unfortunately, as strong as I was back then, I went down like a Mike Tyson opponent during the '90's.

Maybe your experience with tasers or stun guns involved the dollar-store/ truck-stop variety, with less voltage and lower amps, but the quality ones will knock you on your face like a quivering salmon.
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Old July 31, 2007, 05:18 PM   #15
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And as for Pepper spray, Oleoresin-based sprays can be resisted. I've had a face-full of it, and it sucks. Most of the former law enforcement on this board have probably tasted their fair share, and have the snot-stains on their uniform to prove it.

It hurts like heck, and it will make you want to "cuss", but if used, there's a fair chance that the attacker will still have a few seconds to assault you.

If you ever watch Amazing Videos on TV (or any of the similar shows) there are plenty of episodes where prisoners are fighting or rioting inside their penitentiary, and pepper spray is used on them. 9 times out of 10, it takes more than 20 to 30 seconds to take effect, and about 100 gallons of spray. The guards keep spraying and spraying, but the fighting prisoners just keep wailing away at each other, shanking themselves and pummeling like there's no tomorrow. Eventually, scenes like this require sting balls, batons, and gradual asphyxiation (almost) by the sheer volume of pepper spray hanging in the air.

By comparison, a good quality tazer will turn even a 230lb. musclehead into a flipping and flopping trout.
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Old July 31, 2007, 11:29 PM   #16
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By comparison, a good quality tazer will turn even a 230lb. musclehead into a flipping and flopping trout.
In fact, the more muscular you are, the harder you fall. Remember that a Taser uses your own muscles against you
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Old August 1, 2007, 12:12 AM   #17
R1145
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Stun guns cause an electric shock that is painful, but not incapacitating. It doesn't cause injury, and could deter an attacker.

For a woman without much training, I think it would be better than nothing against some cowardly POS pervert. Up against someone skilled, she's out of luck anyway.

I'd go with something legal where you live, even if it's only pepper. Obviously, CCW is the way to go, but it's not for everybody.
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Old August 2, 2007, 10:18 AM   #18
JoeBlackSpade
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Charlie, that's a great video, thanks.

R1145m watch the video. If a 1,000 lb. bull drops like a rock, so will you.
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Old November 15, 2013, 01:52 PM   #19
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I'm resurrecting this thread, because it showed up as a top result in a Google search. Yes, its 6 years old, but its archived as the #3 topic. OP obviously no longer cares, but it is likely someone else will come across this thread while researching the topic.

I recently had to re-certify in the use of several electrical 'stun' weapons for my employer. This included the Ultron II stun device, which while out of production (company went out of business) is still regarded as one of the best of the old school hand held 'stun guns' - having been used by multiple government agencies and security firms for many years now.

Some others with real experience have chimed in already, but I feel several important points have been missed:

* To clarify, the only physical difference between a hand held 'stun gun' and a 'taser' is the stand off distance created by the tasers projectile probes - though this is an important factor, because several variable like distance / wind / angle can influence the spread of the tasers probes. This can be good (increasing spread and hitting more muscle groups) or it can be detrimental (probes missing the target, or failing to make good contact). The taser is on the whole an improvement, because it does not require physical contact, which is the dangerous part of using one.

* The effectiveness of electrical weapons depends greatly on WHERE the electricity is going. Fat does not conduct well - muscle and nerves do. If the voltage is applied to a fatty area then the only effect will be a painful zap. If your goal is to incapacitate the target, then you will need to hit a major muscle group or an important nerve. Thus, how important that particular muscle is at that moment determines the effect - a second or less shock on the arm fooling around at a party will not yield the same effect as getting hit in the thigh while you are standing - one muscle isn't being used, while the other is holding you up.

* The amount of pain inflicted by the shock varies depending on what location it is placed. A shock to the forearm will hurt and may interfere with your ability to open/close your grip, but it doesn't hurt THAT bad. A shock to the clavicle or armpit is a different animal. Anyone who is certified to teach classes in the use of these devices will tell you to avoid the head and neck as a target unless in an act of desperation - because a hit to the base of the skull, or the mandibular angle will probably knock someone out, and they will likely get hurt falling. There is liability afoot.

* Time to incapacitation varies naturally from person to person. 1 - 5 seconds are needed for complete incapacitation provided an appropriate part of the body is targeted, and depending on the body type and makeup of that individual. Here the taser shines again, because it usually hits multiple muscle groups making it easier to effect an appropriate part of the body. The hand held devices need to be targeted more specifically.

* Time to incapacitation also varies bases on drug / substance use by the target. Drugs that depress the bodies function (like Alchohol) tend to make the body MORE vulnerable to electrical weapons, where as drugs that stimulate the bodies function (like cocaine) tend to reduce their effectiveness.

In light of all this, yes the taser is a better defensive weapon... but keep in mind that is not how they are actually used by professionals.

Both stun guns and tasers are used by professionals to subdue unruly suspects - as an aid to PHYSICAL HANDLING - so that the suspect can be restrained. They are NOT generally used to stop people who are attacking them; that is what firearms are for.

My employer uses, and my personal training revolves around using, a hand held stun device as an aid to restrain someone who may be bigger or stronger than you when you walk up and put your hands on them. That is an offensive use, not personal protection or defense - and that is where these devices shine. They are offensive less lethal weapons used to gain compliance.
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