Hello again. Here’s a little bit of information on the “stun gun!”

First of all, even though the word “gun” is in the name of the thing, it isn’t a gun and it doesn’t shoot anything. That thing that “shoots” and shocks people is actually called a Tazer. We can go over those in a different post.

So any of you who have purchased or even looked at the MANY stun guns available on the market, you have seen a WIDE range of voltages on those different models. And while it might sound better to zap a bad guy with 5,000,000 volts rather than 200,000 volts, it probably won’t make much of a difference anywhere other than your pocket book. What?

950,000 volt stun gun

950,000 volt
stun gun

That’s right. You see, electricity has several different aspects to it. Without getting too technical, let’s see if we can figure this electricity thing out (as it pertains to stun guns). A good image to use in understanding the “voltage” issue of stun guns is a garden hose. The water going through the hose is the electricity. But there are 2 very important aspects we need to understand. First is the amount of water coming out of the hose. This aspect is the amperage of the electricity. Second is the force of the water coming out of the hose. This aspect is the voltage (volts).

The amount of voltage will determine how far out of the hose the water will shoot. In a stun gun, that means how far will the electricity penetrate (usually clothes) to get to the body of the bad guy. It only takes about 25,000-30,000 volts to get through ½ inch of clothes. But that doesn’t mean that 1,000,000 volts will get the electricity further INTO the bad guy making it more effective.

4,500,000 volt Stun gun

4,500,000 volt
Stun gun

What causes the bad guy to be stunned is the amount of “water” coming through the hose, or the amount of “amperage.” Generally, one ampere can kill a person. So stun guns use a range of 2.5-4 milliamps to stun a person without killing him. So 3 milliamps is .003 amps or 3/1000 of an ampere. As you can see, it doesn’t take much “water” coming through that hose to be effective!

So don’t get too wrapped up about needing to buy a 10 MILLION volt stun gun to stop an attacker. You don’t have to spend a huge amount on a stun gun to get one that will do the job.   If a stun gun is your self-defense tool of choice, buy the one that fits your hand the most comfortably and the one you will actually carry with you, since that fancy stun gun you bought but left in your car won’t do you much good (unless you’re in your car!).

Until next time,



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