How Many AMPs Are In A Taser?

So you’re curious about how many amps are in a taser? Perhaps you are curious how a taser issues a ‘stunning’ shock without causing lethal permanent damage? Or maybe you’re just confused about the difference between voltage and amps in a taser and how a taser actually works?

Regardless of which question applies to you, It is important to understand what the amperage of the taser is, in relation to voltage, and how it affects the mind and body of a potential aggressor.

To start off, the majority of stun guns range from 3-4 milliamps (mA). There’s a saying that goes “1 amp will kill ya” and this is true. Tasers are nowhere near even a single amp as there are 1000 milliamps per 1 amp. The police standard issue X-26 Taser operates with approximately 3.64 milliamps. More importantly, the amps are what cause the pain and the muscle contractions within the body and can even lead to short-term after effects of impaired cognitive function of the brain.

how many amps in a taser

How A Taser Works

A taser works by operating at a high voltage and low amperage of about 3-4 milliamps. Operating in this capacity ensures that the target receives a shock that essentially stuns the target for up to 15 minutes but leaves no lasting or permanent damage to the victim.

A taser can shoot a target from up to 15 feet away, as opposed to a stun gun that is only close range. The taser is made of two electrodes which are attached to wires that shoot out of the taser from a compressed gas cartridge towards the target.

The two electrodes have metal barbs that attach themselves to the target’s clothing. This allows the electrical current to travel down the wires of the taser and deliver a nasty shock!

Amps Vs Voltage

If you’re curious about how many amps are in a taser then you perhaps already understand the difference between voltage and amps. To add to your understanding, you can think of the voltage to be the pushing force behind the electrical current. This means that the voltage allows the electrical current of the stun gun to penetrate through thick clothing, like heavy jackets, to be able to reach and affect the target.

In reality – voltage higher than 25,000 volts is mostly unnecessary due to the penetrating value of 25,000 volts.

The amperage is the actual intensity of the electrical current that will be delivering the ‘bite’ to the target. The 3-4 milliamps used in a taser keeps it will within non-lethal ranges. This is because of the higher the number of the amp – the stronger the shock.  This video will give you more details on the difference between the two:

How A Taser Affects Your Body

A taser sends in the electrical current to your body that interrupts the conversation happening between your brain and your muscles. The current, in modern tasers, is strong enough to synchronize with the nerves inside your muscle that control your motor skills and causes them to contract which results in your body collapsing.

You can think of it as literally somebody interrupting you by trying to say what they want to say and ignoring completely what you have to say. It is very difficult to have a conversation with someone if there is a third person (i.e the taser)  just kinda saying whatever they want to say with no regard for the flow of conversation.

How A Taser Affects Your Brain

Aside from the disruption of communication between your brain and motor nerves upon initial contact with the taser’s electrodes, it’s not hard to believe that a shock of 50,000 volts might leave some temporary lingering effects in the brain.

This immense shock has been shown in studies to cause short-term cognitive malfunction. This means that you can’t think and process new information very well. As this may not be lethal – it does raise serious concern in regards to the police force questioning a suspect immediately after tasing them.

The studies were done on individuals that were sober and also keen on test-taking. After being tased, about 25% of all individuals tested at a level of a 79-year old human on the Hopkin’s Verbal Learning Test after scoring above the national average prior to being taste. 

The Hopkin’s Verbal Learning Test is used to monitor and identify an individual’s cognitive function on a spectrum from minor impairment to dementia.

Again, these effects are short-term and nothing for an individual to worry about in regards to permanent damage. However, it might be a good idea to remain silent!

Can A Taser Kill You?

After all this talk about amps and voltage and the effects it has on a human…this becomes a natural question follow-up question. This is a question that is in largest controversy between the medical community and ironically enough, companies selling tasers. 

Taser International has been known to sue not only critics but also coroners that ruled that a taser contributed to a jailhouse death. All science and logistics intellectually that a taser should be safe. But it seems that things change when we start talking about real life scenarios in the field.

So, it’s left up in the air. It might be safe to say that they are perhaps not safe enough to be considered ‘non-lethal’ when you consider that there are deaths happening after a tasing happens – but the taser is not listed as a contributing factor.

I suppose if I was a coroner who feared getting sued I might think twice about listing the taser as the official cause of death as well. We all have our families to feed, after all.

Well That Was… Shocking

So, now you know how many amps are in a taser! We also learned how a taser affects your mind and your body and the details on the functionalities of a taser. And finally, after touching on the deeply seeded controversy between taser manufacturers and the medical community, which will be left to your own discretion, I will now release you back to the world as well-educated taser enthusiast.