Stun Gun vs Taser

Stun Guns and TASER™ devices are reported about all the time. So much, that the everyday person uses those words interchangeably. However, they are not the same thing. Stun guns and tasers have a very important tactical difference: Effective Range.

If you need to repel someone, would you want to do it from 0 feet away or from up to 15 feet away? In other words, up close and personal, or from a safer distance?

For most people looking for a personal defense device, how far away you can be is an important consideration. However, there are other differences as well. Keep reading below.

Difference Between Stun Gun and TASER device

Type Range Link
1. Stun Guns 0" - Direct contact must be made Check Options
2. TASER weapon 15 Feet - Shoots probes from a distance Check Options

Difference Between Stun Gun and Taser

Stun Guns are a Direct Contact Weapon

Stun Gun vs Taser

Stun guns are an effective contact weapon but you must physically touch the person with the prongs of the stun gun. It is also best to hold it on them for many seconds.

Stun guns work by rapidly overworking the muscle group and depleting it of blood sugar. In addition to causing shocking, immobilizing pain and extreme exertions of muscle contractions, the result is similar to muscle failure.

We have an information page you can read, How Stun Guns Work, that explains just that - how a stun gun works.

Check Our Selection of Stun Guns Now

A TASER Device Easily Floors Someone From a Safe Distance

A TASER device such as the civilian Pulse, allows you to repel the attacker from up to 15 feet away (7-10 feet being optimum target spread.)

That is a BIG difference from a stun gun, which requires direct contact.

Police carry their own version of a TASER device which you hear about if you watch the news. The police version is similar to the PULSE's predecessor, the Advanced TASER weapon. However, the law enforcement version does have a longer range (21 feet compared to the civilian 15 feet).

Taser vs StunGun

We have only given you one main difference between a "TASER device" and a "stun gun." Effective range. The above link on stun guns will give you detailed information about a stun gun and what it will do to an attacker.

TASER device vs Stun Gun: What's the Difference and Which Should You Choose?

Self-defense is a serious discipline that can save your life. Not everyone feels comfortable or is physically able, to defend themselves solely with their body. That's where self-defense tools come in handy.

Firearms are most people's first thought, but owning a gun for personal protection can cause a number of issues in terms of family safety: Americans who keep a gun at home are actually significantly more likely to be killed in a homicide than those who don't have a gun.

But there are other self-defense options besides learning karate and owning a gun. TASER devices and stun guns are common choices as defense weapons that can help save you in a dangerous situation.

And while some people use these terms interchangeably, there are key differences between these two products. Keep reading to learn the differences and which between a TASER device vs stun gun you should get for your self-defense needs.

What Is a TASER device?

TASER devices use electric shocks in order to stop an attacker. It's shaped a lot like a traditional gun complete with a trigger and a "barrel" shape.

When triggered, the TASER device will shoot electric probes. These probes are attached to the TASER device with wires.

When the probes are designed to break through clothing when they make contact. Once contact is made, the TASER device will deliver a significant electric shock to the attacker.

This electric shock will affect the attacker's muscles, usually making them incapable of moving how they wish. It's also painful, which will stop an attacker where they stand and cause them to fall to the ground.

TASER devices can be shot at a distance of up to 15 feet, but they can also be used at closer proximities.

What Is a Stun Gun?

A stun gun also uses electric shocks in order to stop an attacker. Several prongs are attached to the stun gun. The electricity used to subdue the attacker runs through these prongs.

The stun gun must make physical contact with the person you're trying to use it on; the prongs must touch the attacker to deliver the electric shock that will stop or subdue them.

Differences of TASER device vs Stun Gun

Both TASER devices and stun guns use electric shocks in order to subdue and stop attackers. Let's look at some key differences that could determine which you choose to purchase.


The main difference between a stun gun and TASER weapon options is the proximity at which they work. TASER devices can fire the electric probes at distances up to 15 feet, or they can be used at closer proximities to deliver the electric shock.

Stun guns, however, can only be used in close proximity since they have to make physical contact with the attacker and they can't "shoot" probes as a taser can.

Neither is necessarily better; it depends on your personal preference. Some people feel uncomfortable with the idea of having to be close to their attacker in order to defend themselves like they would need to be when using a stun gun.

The other danger of using a stun gun is that an attack could reach you and either grab the gun or avoid it and overtake you. A TASER device would eliminate some of this risk since you could fire at a safe distance.

Ease of Use

Despite the risks of having to use a stun gun in close proximity, many people find stun guns easier to hold and use. TASER devices can shoot from far away, but you have to make sure your aim is on point, as you probably only have one chance to hit the attacker before they reach you.

Stun guns eliminate the added complication of aim.


Neither TASER devices nor stun guns are legal for civilians in all states.

TASER weapons are illegal for civilians to own in Hawaii and Rhode Island. There are also specific limitations in other states; be sure to check the laws in your state before purchasing one.

Stun guns are illegal for civilians to own in Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Michigan. There are also certain cities that don't allow you to own a stun gun either, including Chicago.


TASER devices tend to be larger and bulkier compared to stun guns. A TASER device is about the size of a handgun, which means it isn't quite as easy to transport or carry with you.

Stun guns have more size variety; you can opt for a larger one if you have more space for storage or you can choose a small one that can fit inside a purse or a small bag.


TASER devices are more expensive than stun guns. You can check out our sale section for the best deals on these self-defense products; we also have discounted products that will fit your budget.

Best Stun Gun Options

Let's look at some of the best stun gun options if you opt for a stun gun for your self-defense.

Knuckle Blaster

The Talon is a high voltage stun gun option that looks different than a traditional rectangular stun gun. It's similar to brass knuckles: it fits over your fingers to give you a great grip and an easy-to-use stun gun option.

Knuckle Stun Gun

Another plus to this stun gun is that it can't be easily taken from you or knocked out of your hand by your attacker since it will be secured over your knuckles. It works on either the left or the right hand and fits almost all fingers, which makes it perfect for people of all shapes and sizes.

SMACK Keychain Stun Device

If you really want something portable, try the SMACK keychain stun gun. This little guy fits right on your keys so you'll have protection wherever you go.

Smack Keychain Stun Gun

This is also a great option for people with smaller hands that can't handle a larger device. It's also great if you don't carry a bag or a holster with you.

You also don't have to sacrifice power for a more portable size: it still packs 16 million volts to shock any attacker into submission.

Best TASER Device Options

If you decide a TASER weapon is what you want for self-defense, check out the updated Pulse.


The TASER Pulse looks a lot more like a classic TASER weapon: shaped exactly like a handgun, the Pulse will send a sure message that you're armed and ready to defend yourself.

The Pulse has a 15 ft range and will release 30 seconds of electric shocks to stop your attacker in their tracks. This lets you fire, subdue the attacker, and escape safely.

The Pulse also makes it easy to aim with laser-assisted targetting. It can also double as a stun gun if necessary. This is as close to a police stun gun as you will get.

TASER International will also replace your device for free if you use it on an attacker and have to leave it behind to escape.

TASER devices vs Stun Gun: Bottom Line

When it comes to stun guns and TASER devices, they both have advantages and disadvantages. The bottom line is that both of these products can protect you during dangerous situations. Choose whichever feels most comfortable for you and which you can legally have in your state.

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the key differences in the TASER weapon vs stun gun debate so you can make the best choice for you and your needs.

If you have any other questions or want any clarifications about anything we discussed, contact us. Ready to purchase? You can check out our large selection of high-quality stun guns and TASER devices.

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