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Stun Gun Myths

Posted by Ulrich Faircloth on

With any luck you reached this page through the stun guns product page section. Good job for checking this info out! It will be immensely when deciding whether or not to purchase a stun gun for self-defense.

Here's an in-depth breakdown of myths and facts surrounding stun gun devices (a reference chart is provided at the end):

MYTH #1 - High Voltage = POWER!!

This is probably the most prominent stun gun myth. Unfortunately, the industry is unregulated. This gives manufacturers the opportunity to make outrageous voltage claims when marketing their products. Any company that is claiming to sell you a 3, 6 or 10 million volt stun gun is blowing smoke. It's simply impossible to generate that kind of power through such a simple device. People have been fooled into believing that the higher the voltage, the more powerful it is. While voltage does matter to some extent, what these companies do not tell you is that amperage, not voltage, is what makes stun guns effective. It represents the current or flow of electricity going through the device.

IMPORTANT: When purchasing a stun gun, ALWAYS remember to buy from a reputable brand. We specifically recommend Omega and ZAP stun guns because of their commitment to using high quality components. You can't go wrong with either of these.

MYTH #2 - Just Touching Someone With a Stun Gun Will "Drop" Them

You've probably seen it in the movies. Some guy gets the slightest touch of a stun gun and immediately drops to the ground. Right? WRONG. These devices simply do not work that way, unfortunately. In order for stun guns to be effective you have to literally hold the device into large or sensitive muscle groups for a period of time, optimally 3-5 seconds, in order for it to create the desired effect. Normally 1 second of stun gun contact will repel and startle an assailant. A 1-2 second shock will cause minor muscle spasms and put your attacker into a dazed mental state. 3 to 5 seconds will cause a desired loss of balance, muscle control, mental confusion and disorientation/nausea.

Myth #3 - Shocking Someone Will Cause the Current to Flow Through Me

Some people think that using a stun gun on someone and then touching them will cause the electricity from the device to arch back from them to you. This is not the case at all. If this actually were true, there would be too much liability involved for these devices to even exist in the marketplace. Upon impact with the skin the muscles take in the energy from the stun gun, making it impossible for the electricity to convert from them to you. The only way something like this could happen is for you to be zapped by a power line or some other type of electrical device.

Myth #4 - TASERs and Stun Guns are the Same Thing

In the news and on online channels such as Youtube you will often hear a stun gun being referred to as a "taser" or "tazer", or vice-versa. The word "taser" has evolved into the common lexicon much like the words "jello" or "kleenex." People have associated it with electroshock weapons, specifically stun guns. The TASER represents a brand of electronic control device (ECD) that immobilizes a target for several seconds by overriding the central nervous system via neuromuscular incapacitation, through the use of barbed dart cartridges that can shoot up to 15 feet away from a target. They do not rely on pain to work, simply working by jamming the electric signals going through the body. The TASER works as a stun gun as well, via "drive stun" mode, when a cartridge is not inserted. The stun gun on the other hand is a direct contact device that relies pain to work. It is first and foremost a pain compliance tool. Just remember: TASER = long range "shooting" stun gun and the stun gun = direct contact device.

Myth #5 - Stun Guns Don't Work

As always it is important to remember that anything can fail. The same holds true for a stun gun. Because it is a pain compliance tool, it is not recommended for use against people with a high tolerance to pain. That includes those under the influence, on drugs or mentally psychotic. In these instances a stun gun will only serve to make the attacker more aggressive and potentially go into "kill mode." Stun guns are also not very good for women, particularly those who are not physically strong, as they can be taken away and be used against them. There are, however, models that have a wrist strap that will disable the device if it is pulled out. All in all, like any other self-defense product the stun gun is merely a tool for keeping you safe. It is always best to have a back-up plan or product (like pepper spray) to help you in times of crisis. 

Myth #1

High Voltage = Power

Fact:

Voltage doesn’t really matter; it’s the amperage (current) that kills. An electrical outlet, for example, typically has 120 volts but between 15-20 amps. It only takes one amp to kill a person. Stun guns run off of high voltage, but low amperage in order to disable someone.

Myth #2

Just touching someone with a stun gun will “drop” them

Fact:

Completely false. A slight touch will cause someone to jerk back, but not incapacitate them. The stun gun must be held in large muscle groups (hips, torso, neck) for at least 3-5 seconds in order to be effective.

Myth #2

Shocking someone will cause the current to flow to me

Fact:

When you use a stun gun on someone the energy from the device gets “used up” in that person’s muscles, via the prongs. As a result, there’s no way for the electricity to “jump” back on you.

Myth #4

TASERs and Stun Guns are the same thing

Fact:

TASERs and stun guns are completely different devices. The word “TASER” represents a brand, just like “Mace” does in regards to pepper spray. It is an electronic control device (ECD), relying on neuromuscular incapacitation vs. pain compliance.

Myth #5

Stun guns don’t work

Fact:

The reality is that nothing is full-proof. As a pain compliance tool, stun guns will not work as effectively on those who are on drugs, intoxicated or psychotic. A TASER is a better choice in this instance. Despite this stun guns are a great choice for close-contact encounters, where you can’t react fast enough to the threat.

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