Stun guns and tasers are both electrical self-protection devices, but they are very different in form and function. Learn and understand the differences to determine which is the best self-defense choice for you.

APR 23, 2017

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“The goal of any non-lethal self-defense weapon is to incapacitate your attacker, providing you an opportunity to escape. ”


Stun guns are a very popular and effective method of non-lethal self-defense. Stun guns are permitted in many areas where firearms are not. Furthermore, a stun gun may be the best self-protection solution for a person who is not permitted by law, for whatever reason, to own or carry a firearm.


There are also moral, ethical or religious reasons that a person may opt for a stun gun in self protection instead of a firearm.


The questions and answers below are some of the most common ones that an individual may have when considering a stun gun for their method of self protection.

⭐WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A STUN GUN AND A TASER?

A stun gun and a Taser® are essentially designed with the same goal in mind, but with distance being the variable. A stun gun is designed to be used in close proximity. A Taser® (often misspelled as Tazer) is a brand name device which shoots out two metal prongs up to 15 feet which attach to the attacker’s body with barbs that penetrate the skin.

While a Taser® gives you a distance advantage, you will not want to stick around to detach your Taser barbs from the attacker’s body; essentially rendering it a product that you should be prepared to leave behind at the scene and replace if you are ever in a situation where you must use it in an emergency.

Because of this, Taser® provides a lifetime warranty on their products that will replace your weapon with the same, or a similar model, if ever used in a real-life self-defense situation. Taser® has an incredible reputation for reliability, accuracy and effectiveness, making this an excellent choice for self-protection. The drawbacks are few but notable. 
1) The Taser® is not going to fit into your cute velvet clutch purse when you go on that first date.

2) Most Taser® models come with 2 live cartridges, so it is still wise to have a back up self defense weapon such as a kubotan or stun gun in your possession, in case you miss your target. And speaking frankly, in a panic-heightened situation, you have a higher risk of missing unless you are proficient and practiced in firing your Taser®.

3) Much like a firearm, the more you practice with your particular Taser® model, the more accurate you will become.

4) Taser® models are not cheap. They range in price from $400 to almost $1400.
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⭐WHAT IS A STUN GUN?

A stun gun is an electrical self defense device that affects the nervous system of an attacker, in such a way, that he becomes immobilized. However, the electrical current is low enough as to not cause any permanent bodily harm to the attacker; it is non-lethal.

⭐HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR A STUN GUN TO BE EFFECTIVE ON AN ATTACKER?

The length of time that the electrical current is applied to the attacker, will determine the extent of immobilization that occurs. Generally, a half second application will cause some pain and muscle contraction but not immobilize an attacker.


On the other hand, if a stun gun is applied to an assailant for over three seconds, the result will drop him to the ground with complete loss of balance, cause extremely painful and severe muscle spasms, and severe mental confusion/agony.


Simply put, there is no “magic amount of time”. You should apply your stun gun’s electrical jolt for the number of split seconds it takes to stop your attacker and provide you an effective escape to safety.


Remember, the #1 objective is to escape to safety and not to “punish” your attacker with an unrelenting 5 minute electrical shock. After you reach safety, you can call the police and let them handle the distribution of appropriate justice.

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⭐HOW DOES A STUN GUN WORK?

Biologically, a stun gun is designed to attack the nervous system by administering a high amount of electrical energy into the system at a different vibration than the pulse waves coming from the brain. When these two energies collide at the nerve level, it affects how muscles react; resulting in muscle contractions and spasm.


It also affects balance and the body’s ability to maintain equilibrium; causing your attacker to drop to the ground. The brain waves are affected with confusion and disorientation- all very effective ways to immobilize and attacker when they occur at the same time with non-lethal self-defense.

⭐WHAT DOES A STUN GUN FEEL LIKE?

First, I advise all of my readers to apply the stun gun to the tip of their finger so that they have some idea of what it feels like to be targeted.

To give you an idea, a stun gun feels like millions of tiny needles being poked into your body in a concentrated area. The resulting pain, mental confusion, muscle spasms and emotional panic are extremely effective in stopping an attacker dead in his tracks.

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⭐PEPPER SPRAY OR STUN GUN?

There are pros and cons to each of these self-defense weapons and in all honesty, you should be carrying both.


A stun gun works much faster at stopping an attacker but they have to be within arm's reach to deploy the stun gun. The effects of pepper spray last much longer but it is not a good self-defense weapon if you are grabbed from behind. An attacker will recover sufficiently from a stun gun current in a few minutes, but the effects of pepper spray can last up to 60 minutes.


There are multiple factors to consider when comparing the two forms of self-defense. We encourage you to read  the following articles to consider all the aspects.

"Stun guns have the largest effective strike zone of all self-defense options because they target large muscle groups.”


⭐WHAT ARE THE MOST EFFECTIVE PLACES ON THE BODY TO USE A STUN GUN?

Ideally, you want to exert the electrical current on large muscle mass areas of the body. The best places on the body to use a stun gun are the chest, back, buttocks and thighs.

In reality, if you are in an emergency situation, you will probably not have the time or mental calmness to strategically place your “charge”, so simply aim, fire and don’t let up until your attacker drops and you can exit to safety.

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⭐CAN THE STUN GUN ELECTRIC CURRENT PASS FROM MY ATTACKER TO ME?

    No. The electrical current is localized in the part of the body that is receiving the “charge”. Even if you are being held by your attacker, the current will not pass through their body to your body.

    Even if you are standing in water, the current will not pass from one body to another.

    The reason being, stun guns use DC (direct current) which has very different properties than AC (alternating current). The flow of electric charge in DC (direct current) runs in only one direction, whereas AC (alternating current) periodically reverses direction.

    stun-guns-are-safe-in-rain-water-because-dc-current

    ⭐WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE IN VOLTAGES ON ALL THE STUN MODELS?

    When you look to purchase a stun gun, you may get confused about the various voltage units that are on the market. Prices typically will be higher for a higher voltage unit.


    However, any stun gun with voltage of 750,000 units or greater will more than enough to effectively disable your attacker and allow you an opportunity to escape.


    Higher voltage stun guns create a much louder electric shock which is often an effective intimidator by itself to both humans and animals.

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    ⭐WILL IT DAMAGE MY STUN GUN IF I PRACTICE?

    Absolutely test fire your stun gun! However, do not test fire it in the air for more than 2 seconds because it can damage the unit since it is not grounded to an object. Many manufacturers recommend practicing against a brick wall.


    It is imperative that you practice for two major reasons. First, the most important aspect of any self-defense training is to practice it to the point of it becoming instinctual. In a real life emergency, panic will rise quickly and your actions need to be second nature.


    Secondly, it is important to periodically test the battery of your stun gun to ensure it is fully charged and effective in case of an emergency. Your stun gun should be fully re-charged once a month to ensure effective use.

    dc-current-prevents-a-stun-gun-shock-from-reversing

    ⭐ARE STUN GUNS LEGAL IN MY STATE?

    While stun guns are legal in much of the United States, there are exceptions. Laws change frequently and can be different even depending on what city you live in.


    Some states also may require you to have a concealed carry permit or purchase from a firearms dealer that is licensed to sell firearms in that particular state. Contact your local law enforcement office and they will be able to provide you with the laws in your area.


    You must be 18 years old to purchase a stun gun from Defense Divas®.


    Defense Divas® wants to educate and empower you to embrace your right to defend yourself. We offer a large selection of both stun guns and tasers for you to choose from and are here to answer any questions.


    Knowledge is power. Explore our many articles and learn more valuable self-defense and safety awareness tips to incorporate into your life.


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