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Guardian Self Defense and Security Blog

Stun Guns - How Do They Work?

If your like most of us we have been taught to fear electricity. We think about the killing power of lightning or touching a live wire and being electrocuted. The truth is those types of electricity can indeed lead to death. But in smaller amounts, electricity is harmless. In fact, our bodies need electricity to function. Everything we do requires electrical currents and communication between nerve cells and the brain. Stun GunIf you want to tie your shoe, your brain has to send an electrical current down to a nerve cell toward the muscles in your hands and fingers. The electrical signal tells the nerve cell to release a neurotransmitter, the bodies communication chemical, to the muscle cells. The message tells the muscles in the hand and fingers to expand and contract in just the right way to tie your shoes. When you touch your shoe strings an electrical current is sent from the hand to the brain, telling you what the strings feel like. Think of the bodies electrical communication system kind of like that of a telephone network. Your brain is the main hub or network with communication lines going to and from every part of the body. Specific electrical currents are transmitted over the communication lines to deliver messages. The stun gun works by disrupting this communication system. A stun gun generates a high voltage, low amperage electrical shock or charge. Think of voltage as pressure and amperage as intensity. So when you pull the trigger on a stun gun and make contact with an assailant the stun gun releases an electrical charge that passes into the attackers body. The high voltage, high pressure charge gives it the ability to pass through thick clothing and into the skin. Yet the low amperage usually about 3-5 milliamps, does not have the intensity to do permanent damage to an attacker unless it is applied for extended time periods. In less than a second the stun gun begins dumping confusing electrical communication into the attackers central nervous system. The result is one of the following:
  • The incoming charge combines with the bodies natural electrical signals in the brain. The original signal gets mixed with this outside electricity from the stun gun, which makes it nearly impossible for the brain to decipher the electrical messages. In essence the communication lines go down, causing confusion, loss of balance and temporary paralysis.
  • Some stun guns and tasers use an electrical current with combined with a pulse frequency that mimics the bodies own electrical signals. This type of charge tricks the attackers muscles into doing a great deal of work very quickly and inefficiently. In a matter of seconds the attackers energy reserves are depleted leaving them too weak and fatigued to move for several minutes.
Simply put this his exactly how stun guns do what they do. All in a matter of seconds, they can incapacitate an attacker for several minutes; giving you time to get to safety. Unlike a handgun, stun guns won't cause any permanent damage and are termed non-lethal self defense weapons. In general, a higher voltage stun gun requires less contact time to get the desired effect. For example, a 200,000 volt stun gun may take three seconds to fully incapacitate someone; a 650,000 volt unit may do the same thing in half that time. Today's stun devices are affordable and reliable. Most come with a true life time warranty. If they break, stop working, or won't hold a charge you can send them back for replacement. Retailers would not be able to offer these type of warranties unless the products were made well. Stun guns continue to gain popularity and believe it or not consumers are now using stun guns for both human self defense and animal control. Stun guns work extremely well against aggressive dogs and other animals.
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