Stun Gun

Choosing the Right Stun Gun for Self-defense

A couple decades ago, before digital cameras were available, I worked for a big city newspaper. I can remember covering an event and driving to the newspaper office to file the story and pictures.

It wasn’t a bad area of town, during daylight hours. I actually kept half a pool stick handy in my vehicle. How effective I might have been using it against an assailant, thankfully I never learned.

Flash forward to today and our choices are so much better, and not so dependent on our own power. In fact, our “power” comes from a variety of items loaded with voltage to help us disable an assailant. The most well-known of these items is the Stun Gun; but the “stun gun” technology is available disguised or added to a number of common items such as flashlights, and even, lipstick.

To make a choice, we need to know how it works. We’re familiar with law enforcement personnel’s use of the Taser, which works to short-circuit someone’s neurological function. Stun Gun technology works differently – the voltage causes muscles to twitch, or overwork, causing rapid lactic acid buildup in the muscles to the point that the muscles can’t function. Think of the runner coming around the final turn in the 400, who “ties up” and loses his stride.

A significant difference between the Taser and the Stun Gun is proximity for effectiveness. The Taser doesn’t have to make contact with the person; the stun gun must make contact. And the effectiveness will depend on a number of factors, such as whether it’s being deployed through clothing, the mental state (drug use) of the attacker and the size of the attacker.

As you shop, you’ll see various voltages listed. It takes four million volts to be able to get through clothing. Once the voltage reaches the person, he or she will experience muscle spasms within two seconds, and after three seconds of contact will lose balance and become disoriented. The more voltage, the shorter the time it will take to temporarily disable the person.

A key word is “temporarily.” The stun gun technology is designed to give the victim time to get away. The assailant may recover fairly rapidly. Here are some other factors:

1. Higher voltage will allow you to get through thicker clothing.

2. Choose an item that will be easy for you to find and use.

3. Consider the length of the item; for example, having the stun gun at the end of a long flashlight can help you keep your distance from the attacker.

4. Some devices also come with an alarm, which can be very important since the attacker will only be disabled temporarily.

5. Higher voltages are more powerful and work faster, but one of the most important things to consider is ease of use for you – such as one that is small enough to be on your key chain.


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14 Responses to “Choosing the Right Stun Gun for Self-defense”

  1. jbpausa

    You didn’t point out that stun guns (in whatever shape or form) required physical contact, and therefore extremely close proximity (even if using a stun cane), and the potential for the attacker to evade and take it away from you, perhaps even using it on you. It’s a serious shortcoming. A mace or pepper spray may be better because you can stay 5+ feet away. Nonlethal is a great choice, since there are plenty of dangerous scenarios that may not permit a lethal weapon use.

  2. paul miller

    need self-defense type of stun type gun

  3. Pops Rennahan

    It is true as one has already said here there is the possibility of the attacker taking away your stun gun and suggested mace or pepper spray may be being a better choice. Still the reality here is one might get it blown back in their face depending on the situation. So just saying there can always be adverse consequences in any attack. I think the point here is havening something that can momentarily stop an attack by any animal or person and one needs to react quickly and smartly no matter what and stay as calm and focused as possible under the circumstances to survive.

  4. Joe

    Most States got LAWS on owning these ” STUN GUNS ” ESPECIALY ” NEW JERSEY !!! Check out your Laws on Owning one if Legal to posses ?

  5. Tommy harris

    Why does Sportsman Guide have special offers that does not include firearms or ammo and first thing in ad is firearms and ammo. I wonder if this is delibert attempt to deceive customer into ordering then discover discount does not apply. Appears very deceitful to me.

    • Torn

      Anybody who has been on Sportsman Guide before knows how their Website works, quit trying to stir up trouble. If you don’t care for them just go to the bottom and hit (unsuscribe). There wasn’t that easy?

  6. Richard James

    in Connecticut Once the Constitution state
    you have no rights everything is illeagle to carry without a pistol permit I was a Nuclear Security Officer and I built Nuclear Submarines for the US Navy and they set me up so I now do not have a permit any longer and did no offense during the 12 years I had my state consealed carry pistol permit and associated special weapons permit, which allows one to build and work on the weapons I received from the state police, I never once carried outside of my home. they set me up so I was arrested for owning guns I legally had the right to own and carry.
    There is no way out when they are against you, or have it in for you.
    I now being older would like to purchase and carry one of these high voltage low amperage devices. I own one designed by the FBI and cannot carry it in my state if I was attacked and in a bloody mess in the hospitol when I awoke and was healed I would face charges and the perf would go free.

  7. Leslie Devereaux

    I would love to get a stungun cane for a female friend.

  8. frank pienkosky

    not legal everywhere…(although they should be)…the best choice, by far…is a taser…but they’re kind of pricey….

  9. Alice Carroll

    Thanks for clarifying that using a stun gun for self-defense is to give myself time to run away instead of further trying to fight off an assailant. I will keep that in mind when choosing a stun gun flashlight with a high voltage. Ever since I started living on my own, I’ve been thinking about improving my chances in emergency situations so I think it’s best to have the right tools for defending myself within arm’s reach.