How Does A Taser Gun Work?

There are a lot of self defense weapons on the market today. Are you looking for a non-lethal weapon to carry? While you’re doing research to find the best fit for you, it’s important to know as much as possible about each product. If you find yourself coming back to taser guns as a good option, you should be asking “how does a taser gun work?”. In this article we’ll talk about that and some other important details surrounding the carry and use of a taser gun.

A taser gun works by firing two metal prongs from the “muzzle” of the weapon up to 15-30 feet to the desired target. Attached to conductive wires, these prongs attach to an assailant and deliver a shock that will disable them within seconds. The electric shock works to disrupt muscle function causing spasms, loss of control, and often a feeling of being dazed and confused.

how does a taser gun work

Physical Setup

A taser gun is designed similar to a handgun. It’s a handheld device that you aim at your attacker with a trigger action discharge. Once the trigger is pulled, metal prongs shoot forward attached to copper conductive wires. Taser guns include a battery pack that is loaded like a magazine at the base of the device. The cartridges are loaded at the front of the taser. Most taser models can only be loaded with one cartridge at a time. The Taser X2 Professional Series does allow for an automatic back-up shot, as it accepts two individual cartridges at once.


Tasers are best carried in a side holster. Because they are a bit bulky and require fairly accurate aim, you need to be able to access your weapon quickly with a solid grip. It can be stored in a bag or purse, but just like a handgun, if someone steals your bag, they’ve got your method of self defense too. Keeping your taser as close to your body as possible will keep you as safe and protected in dangerous situations.

When firing your taser gun, you do need to be well practiced in hitting your target. Aside from the Taser X2, you’ve only got one chance to hit your assailant without having to reload. Reloading can cost you precious time and increase your chance of harm. You’ve also got to have a spare cartridge to reload. Investing in a holster or tool belt that has space for at least one spare cartridge is always recommended.

Practicing with live cartridges is the best way to learn how to use your taser gun and enhance your skills. Here is a great video from that explains how to practice with your taser.


Taser guns work by sending electrical pulses to the muscular system of an attacker. Once the metal prongs have made contact, 50,000 volts of electricity are pumped out in either a 5-second or a 30-second burst. The Taser Bolt (formally the C2) and Pulse have a rate of 7 watts, so have the longer 30 second shock rate. The X26P and X2 models have an impressive 26 watt charge, with a lower shock time of 5 seconds.

Don’t be fearful of assailants wearing thick or multiple clothing layers. The prongs are capable of delivering an electrical shock through up to 2″ of fabric.

When a person is hit with a shock from a taser, they lose control of their neuromuscular system. The electricity interrupts brain signals to muscles, leaving the person incapable of muscle function. It can take several minutes to regain control of the body and shake off feelings of dizziness and confusion. This gives you plenty of time to get away and for proper authorities to arrive. Every model packs a hit strong enough to take down the most dangerous attacker without lethal consequences.

You can shoot a target from up to 15 feet away. This gives an advantage over traditional stun guns that require actual contact, or other self defense weapons like batons. The shock of a taser gun takes your attacker out and you have already got up to a 15-foot head start to safety.

All taser guns do have a backup stun gun feature as well. If you do have an event where you’ve missed your target or have no spare cartridges (or no time to reload) your taser gun can be used to deliver a close contact shot. You are not left completely defenseless in an extreme emergency.


Like any weapon, taser guns do come with drawbacks. To start, the cost to purchase and maintain a taser can be higher than other products. With initial investments starting around $300.00, you also have to invest in back up batteries and cartridges. A 2-pack of replacement cartridges can cost around $60. That adds up if you are practicing diligently and stocking back-ups for emergency situations.

Tasers batteries aren’t rechargeable. Each taser weapon does have a battery life indicator to help you keep track of the health of your battery. Replacement batteries cost around $40. You can find cartridges and batteries easily online and in most taser retail stores.

Having to reload your taser after firing can also be a drawback to using one. Especially if you are faced with multiple dangerous people, you need to have spare cartridges and the ability to reload your weapon quickly. Any time you miss a target you need to reload your weapon. Practicing regularly with your taser can make you safer and more effective in these types of events.

A taser gun is a highly effective, non-lethal self defense weapon. It offers a comfortable, 15 foot shot radius and back-up stun capability. We’ve answered the question, “How does a taser gun work?”, and now it’s your job to decide which taser is right for you. Check state and local guidelines pertinent to you before purchasing, carrying or using a taser gun. Make sure you are comfortable with your weapon and practice regularly to keep yourself and others safe in harmful situations.