This is the number one question that I am asked, so I will try to give a detailed explanation of the differences. At first glance, the most obvious difference is pricing and the size, or shape, of the unit. Tasers are well over $300, versus $100, or more, for a good quality stun gun. Civilian-legal C2 Taser models are also much bigger than the typical stun gun. Yet, the most important differences are how it works, and how the body is affected. Below are some of the major differences between a stun gun and a Taser.
Amperage and voltage – While all devices that use voltage and amperage to disable an attacker are similar, there are differences. As previously stated, a good stun gun will have a reading of 4.5 mA (miliamps), and at least 1 million volts. In comparison, a Taser (a trademarked brand) delivers much more amperage (reported to be as much as 150-160 mA), but only 50,000 volts.
Another main difference is that the Taser product will shoot probes that embed in the target (bad guy), keeping the user at a distance. With the probes embedded, the Taser will cycle for a period of time (typically 30 seconds for the civilian model). This is a nice feature, although the Taser (while being a fine product) has its downfalls. A few things that will affect a Taser “hit”, making the Taser less than effective:
- Probes fail to penetrate skin – If both probes do not have good penetration in the skin (due to heavy clothing), or either probe is too far away from the skin, the connection will broken, and there will be no flow to the subject.
- Loss of connection – The initial “hit” of the probes may complete the circuit, but the circuit becomes broken due to movement of clothing, a probe breaking loose, the wire carrying the probe breaks, et cetera. Once this happens, the effectiveness is lost.
Physiological Effect – In reality, the two products will affect a subject differently. The Taser will “lock up” a suspect’s muscular control, rendering them in a fixed, convulsive state while the cycle is running through their body. Once the cycle completes, the target person recovers quickly.
A good stun gun, due to the high voltage and amperage combination, will work against the body in three, key areas:
- Interference with the body’s ability to process or think clearly – Due to the incredibly high voltage (20x or more than a Taser), a good stun gun will literally scramble the brain, leaving the target confused and disoriented. Depending on the person, this can last from 15 seconds to a minute or more.
- Loss of muscle control – Not only does a good stun gun disrupt the communication between the brain and the nervous system, it literally causes the user to lose muscle control in an ingenious way. The rapid deployment of both the right amount of amperage and high voltage depletes the glucose in the major muscle groups, with the result of a large build-up of lactic acid. This is happens extremely fast, while body is being subjected to the stun gun, and literally causes the person to drop on the spot. To understand this concept, imagine how fatigued one can feel after an intense workout. Sometimes it can literally be hard to walk or stand up. Now, imagine that feeling of weakness times fifty, and you get the idea…
- Pain – Everyone has seen videos of a person being subjected to a Taser. Now, imagine that same pain, but bump up the voltage from 50,000 volts to 1 million volts or more. The only word to describe the pain is excruciating, and pain can be a very effective compliance tool just by itself.