Taser Vs Stun Gun, Self-Defense, Stun Guns, Tasers

Taser Vs Stun Gun – What’s the Difference?

Last Updated on April 27, 2019

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Taser Vs Stun Gun

People often use the terms Taser and stun gun interchangeably. But the two are very different self-defense weapons. To further confuse things, a typical stun gun looks more like a flashlight than a gun, and a Taser looks like a pistol! The picture at the top of this post is of a Taser Bolt. The fact is that the word Taser is a registered trademark of the US company Axon. So, strictly speaking, Taser should only be used to refer to the products made by Axon. But, as most people use Taser to refer to electric shock weapons in the same way as we all use Kleenex to refer to paper tissues, we hope that Axon will forgive us for using their trademark name in the same way!

Both stun guns and Tasers are effective self-defense devices. They are both used by the military and the police. To help you decide which will be the best for you, here’s an explanation of the differences between a stun gun and a Taser.

Taser Vs Stun Gun – What’s the Difference?

Tasers and stun guns use high voltage electricity to disable an attacker. The electric shock that they deliver causes temporary loss of muscle control. This will usually bring an attacker to the ground and leave them disoriented.


A Taser is a gun that fires two projectiles towards the attacker. At the end of the projectiles are metal probes. The probes will pierce clothing and skin and deliver the electric shock. The electricity passes down thin wires. The wires remain attached to the Taser when the weapon is fired. Tasers will also deliver an electric shock if they held against a victim’s skin and the trigger is pulled. When used in this way, they work the same as stun guns do.

Stun Guns

A stun gun is a close-proximity self-defense weapon. Stun guns are available in several different styles. Some look like flashlights and some look like self-defense batons. Some are disguised as rings or lipsticks. Stun guns deliver the electric shock through two prongs on the front of the device. To operate a stun gun, you hold the prongs against the assailant and press a trigger. The main difference between a Taser and a stun gun is that a Taser fires projectiles. So, it can be used from a distance.

Are Stun Guns and Tasers Legal?

Tasers and stun guns are legal to own and carry in most states. Members of the general public are not allowed to own Tasers in Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. It is illegal for consumers to own a stun gun in Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Michigan, and DC. In other states where stun guns and Tasers are legal, there may be restrictions on the owning and carrying of the weapons. There are also restrictions in some cities. If you want to buy a stun gun or Taser, it would be advisable to check on the law in your area before you do.

Do Tasers and Stun Guns Kill People?

Tasers and stun guns are non-lethal self-defense weapons. They do not usually cause any permanent damage they do not usually kill. It has been known for electric shock weapons to kill. This is usually the result a pre-existing heart condition. Deaths caused by Tasers and stun guns are very rare.

Taser Vs Stun Gun – The Pros and Cons

The pros and cons of stun guns and Tasers revolve around how they are used. Tasers are fired at an attacker from a distance. Stun guns only work on contact. Here’s a summary of the main pros and cons of each:

Taser Pros:

Effective from a Distance

The big advantage that Tasers have over stun guns is that they are effective at distances of up to 15 feet. That means that you can defend yourself before the attacker gets close to you.

Backup Stun Gun Functionality

If a Taser misfires, or you miss the target, Tasers can be used in the same way as stun guns.

Taser Cons

You Need to be a Good Shot

You need to get both projectiles to penetrate the clothing for a Taser to be effective. Although most Tasers have a laser sighting, if you miss, a Taser is no better than a stun gun.

Difficult to Conceal

Tasers look like plastic pistols. They look like weapons. Stun guns, on the other hand, look less threatening. In many cases they look like flashlights or lipsticks.

Much More Expensive

Tasers range in cost from about $300 to over $1,000. They also require replacement cartridges when they are used.

More Restrictions

The regulations with regards to who can carry a Taser are stricter than they are on a stun gun. You will also find that more buildings and establishments don’t allow Tasers to be carried. For example, some college campuses have banned Tasers.

Stun Gun Pros


Stun guns are a lot cheaper than Tasers. You can buy a stun gun from as little as $10. Stun guns are also reusable. There are no cartridges to replace and most of the best stun guns are rechargeable.

Easy to Conceal

Stun guns are easy to conceal, and they don’t look threatening.

Wide Range of Models

There is a huge range of stun guns available on the market. This brings down the cost, and it gives you a wider range of styles of devices.

You Can Fire a Warning Shot

When you discharge a stun gun into the air, it will give off bright blue sparks and make a loud noise. That can often be enough to scare off an attacker.

Stun Gun Cons

Must be Used at Close Proximity

The disadvantage that stun guns have is that they must be used at close range. You must get up close to an attacker for them to be effective.

Taser Vs Stun Gun – Conclusion

Stun guns and Tasers are very effective self-defense weapons. If an attacker receives a high voltage electric shock, in 99.9% of cases, the attacker will be temporarily disabled. The big difference between a Taser and stun gun is that you can use a Taser from a distance. But, does that justify the big difference in price? If you want to keep your distance from the bad guys, then the answer is yes. But bear in mind the other disadvantages of Tasers that we mentioned above.

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