The most vital question you must ask yourself when deciding to carry any self defense item is whether you feel comfortable using the device, and will you have the will to use it when needed. This guide will help you answer that question and more when using the most effective deterrents against personal harm – stun guns and pepper sprays. Stun guns and pepper sprays are the best non-lethal self defense products on the market today, and we believe that every adult should own at least one of these items pursuant to your state laws.
Unfortunately, most people carrying stun guns have no experience using them and therefore do not use them effectively. And, if you are considering purchasing a stun gun for personal defense, make sure you understand what to look for because there is a vast difference in quality, performance, safety features and style from one stun gun to the next.
STUN GUNS: WHAT ARE THEY AND HOW DO THEY WORK
Stun guns are battery powered, and most need to be plugged in to an outlet to charge. The power is sent through multiple transformers that boost voltage and reduce amperage, which builds up a charge in the capacitor and then releases the charge through electrodes. .You can touch any part of assailant’s body, but the large muscle areas and the upper torso should be your primary targets. A second touch will shock and repel assailants, discharging some pain and forcing muscle contractions. A moderate length touch (2 to 4 seconds) can cause an attacker to fall to the ground, resulting in some mental confusion. A touch of 5 or more seconds can cause loss of balance and muscle control, mental confusion and disorientation. No sound will be heard when touching an attacker with a stun gun. And because of the design, there should be absolutely no means by which you can suffer a charge back to your own body, even if assailant is holding you.
SOME STUN GUNS CAN CAUSE A SHOCK EVEN WHEN THEY ARE NOT BEING FIRED. SOME STUN GUNS WILL KEEP A SMALL CHARGE IN THEIR CAPACITOR AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN FIRED AND NEED TO BE GROUNDED BY TOUCHING THE ELECTRODES TO SOMETHING METAL IN ORDER TO FULLY DISCHARGE THE UNIT. SOME MANUFACTURERS INCLUDE THIS WARNING IN THEIR INSTRUCTIONS BUT MOST DO NOT.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A STUN GUN AND A TASER:
People often mistake one from the other. Taser’s are what most police departments use. Taser is a brand name. Although the police model is not available for consumer use, Taser does make specific models for civilian use, and we at San Diego Safe provide you with police-grade models that are equally as effective. Essentially, Taser guns look similar to real guns and shoot out “tow darts,” about a distance of 15 feet, that attach to the attacker so that the charge is going from the gun directly thought the wires and into the dart which is attached to the attacker. When the trigger on the taser gun is pulled, the current is released into the attacker. You can also “dry fire” a Taser, which is a technique similar to that used for a stun gun, once the dart cartridge has been taken off the taser. Laws regarding Taser guns can very from that of stun guns. Tasers and are considerably more expensive than stun guns.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT STUN GUN FOR YOU:
Your decision will depend on your needs and lifestyle. The most important things to consider are how and where you plan to carry the stun gun. San Diego Safe provides carrying cases and belt clips for several of our models. These will help to prevent accidental discharges. The most important thing to remember about carrying a stun gun is that you must keep it readily available and fully charged so that it is ready to use when you need it. We suggest having a stun gun available in your purse, car, bedside table, desk or any other place in which you live and work, which probably means that you should own more than one stun gun. Once purchased, practice with your stun gun to become comfortable using it.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE:
STUN GUNS ARE RESTRICTED IN SOME COUNTIES, CITIES AND STATES. IF YOU TRAVEL WITH ONE, MAKE STURE IT IS LEGAL TO POSSESS WHERE YOU ARE GOING.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN PURCHASING A STUN GUN:
Quality varies from brand to brand, and the advantage of purchasing one from San Diego Safe is that we offer only the highest grade models, which have been tested and used by many thousands of satisfied customers. We only caution you not sacrifice quality for price. You may find cheaper models; however, the cost of buying these cheap brands may cost you incalculable damages should they not prove effective when you need them.
The role voltage plays in stun guns is to deliver amperage into the muscles. The higher the voltage, the faster it is delivered. You can tell the difference between stun gun voltages by simply test firing them. The stun guns with greater voltage will look and sound more powerful. Today, stun guns range from 65,000 volts on up. As stun gun technology advances, so will the voltage capacity.
REPLACEABLE BATTERY VS RECHARGEABLE BATTERY:
This is simply a matter of preference. If you do choose a rechargeable stun gun, it is important to note that there are different types of rechargeable batteries. The two most common types of rechargeable batteries used in stun guns today are the Nickel Cadium, NiCd, and the Nickel Metal hydride, NiMh. The NiMh battery offers a capacity that is almost twice that of the NiCd. The NiMh batteries are also less prone to develop a memory effect, which is the loss of run time per charge over the life of the battery. The NiMh batteries no not contain heavy metals, making them environmentally friendlier than the NiCd. Most of our stun guns use this type of battery. It is important to follow the user instructions included with your stun gun. Pay special attention to the charging cycle of the rechargeable batteries in order to get the longest life out of it. Most stun guns that use replaceable batteries take either 1 or more 9 volt or cr123 lithium batteries, depending upon the style of stun gun you purchase. If you are using a stun gun with non-rechargeable batteries, is it a good suggestion to replace them every six months or sooner if you actually had to use it. It is important to use name brand, high quality batteries or the specific type that is recommend by the manufacturer. Always test your stun gun at least once a week to make sure it still has power but never test fire it for more than one second.
All stun guns have various safety features that you will want to consider. All stun guns have a basic safety feature to help prevent accidental discharge of the unit. Most include an on/off switch and a button to push in order to activate the stun gun, while others only have a toggle switch to discharge the stun gun. The following are other features you might want to consider:
Safety pins, also known as kill or disable pins that have to be inserted into the stun gun in order for it to operate. There are usually attached to a wrist strap or loop and are meant to disable the stun gun if the attacker tries to take it away from you, thereby preventing it from being used against you. Some safety pins are actually attached to the stun guns but most are not.
Safety caps are separate caps that cover the top of the stun gun to help prevent accidental discharge.
Power on/off lights that turn on when the stun gun is powered on.
Built-in flashlights. These use 1 or more LED’s or regular bulb. There may or may not be a separate button on the stun gun that activates it. Please note that if you use this feature often, you will need to recharge/replace batteries more often.
Built-in alarms that are meant to scare the attacker away before they can even get close to you. They can differ in decibel and tone. San Diego Safe offers several alarms, such as key chains, that can be equally effective. We suggest you include “the three self defense categories” in your arsenal: Stun Guns (and/or Tasers), Pepper Spray, and Personal Alarms.
As the technology within the stun guns has evolved, so has the way they look on the outside.
This is what most people are used to seeing when they think of a stun gun. Typically, they use a toggle on/off switch, run on one or more 9 volt batteries, not over 1 million volts, have extended electrodes and test probes facing inwards. Most of them still use the older technology and vary in size depending upon how many 9 volt batteries they use.
They look like a long stick, varying in lengths with the contact electrodes at the end. They do offer a degree of distance but not stealth. The electricity can run the distance of one or more of the extensions, so touching someone with any part of the extensions would be effective. Offered in rechargeable or replaceable battery operated.
These are quickly becoming the most popular style due to their compact size, and San Diego Safe sells lots of them. Rectangular in shape, most can fit inside a drawer or care storage area, and of course a holder or pocket. The electrodes are almost flat against the top of the stun gun and usually heart or tear drop shaped. They are either powered by CR123 lithium batteries or an internal rechargeable. This style offers the greatest range of voltages.
These stun guns are disguised to look like very day items you would carry with you. Most popular are the cell phone and lipstick styles. Rechargeable and replaceable battery options are offered.
ARE STUN GUNS LEGAL WHERE I LIVE?
Stun gun laws change from year to year and it is ultimately up to you to make sure that they are legal where you live and plan to carry them. As of this writing, here are the counties, cities and states where they are strictly illegal to possess: HAWAII, MASSACHUSETTS, MICHIGAN, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, RHODE ISLAND, WISCONSIN, ANNAPOLIS MD, BALTIMORE MD, BALTIMORE COUNTY MD, CHICAGO, DENNISON IA, CRAWFORD COUNTY IA, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND PHILADELPHIA. Check with your local laws to ensure that you legally purchasing and carrying a stun gun.
- NEVER TEST AND OR DISCHARGE A STUN GUN INTO THE AIR FOR MORE THAN 1 SECOND. DOING SO CAN HARM THE STUN GUN AND VOID ANY WARRANTY THE STUN GUN MIGHT HAVE.
- ALWAYS KEEP STUN GUNS AWAY FROM CHILDREN.
- NEVER USE STUN GUNS IN ROOMS WITH FLAMABLE GASES, AROUND GAS STATIONS OR ANYWHERE ELSE SPARKS CAN TRIGGER FIRES OR EXPLOSIONS.
- NEVER TOUCH THE PROBES WHEN FIRING THE STUN GUN.