There are many questions surrounding the use of tasers within the police force that fall into a spectrum from simple curiosity to outraged controversy. Perhaps you are wondering how many volts are in a police grade taser? Or maybe you are curious if the tasers that police use to subdue dangerous suspects are actually a safe alternative to use in the field?
I found myself curious about the same thing. Ultimately, I find that due to a large amount of public scrutiny that surrounds police and the use of tasers it is necessary to inform yourself properly of the technicalities of the equipment before making any determinations of police exercising proper use…or abuse. So I’m glad you found your way to me!
For the most direct answer, the police use the X26 Taser and also the M26 Taser in the field. Both of these tasers deliver 50,000 volts when activated. They do, however, differ in the amounts of amps delivered to the subject. The X26 has an amperage of 2.1 milliamps while the M26 comes in 3.6 milliamps. It is important to understand that it is the amperage or amps of an electric current that delivers the real punch, whereas the voltage is more accurately described as the driving force behind the current that allows the current to be able to penetrate the clothing and skin into the body of the subject.
Are 50,000 Volts Safe?
Well, the simple answer is yes. The reason why is that it’s not actually the voltage of a shock that is lethal, but rather the amperage of the current. The volts of a taser simply ensure the electrical current has enough driving force to penetrate through the target.
Now, the M26 and X26 come in at 3.6 milliamps or .0036 amps and 2.1 milliamps (.0021 amps), respectively, which are well below the lethal amount. Just so you know, an electrical current becomes lethal when it reaches a minimum of 100 milliamps (.01 amps).
How Many Volts Do You Really Need?
If you’re looking at commercial tasers available for purchase by citizens, the advertised voltage can be very misleading. The manufacturers are aware that the general public isn’t quite educated on what voltage actually means when it comes to tasers and so they are well known for advertising things like 23 million volts! But don’t fall for this.
What you’re looking for is, at least, 25,000 volts. This voltage will penetrate through clothing and skin to deliver the electrical current into the subject’s body. You really don’t need more than that, but 50,000 volts in the police grade taser ensures it will get through just about anything.
If you are looking for a taser you can purchase the X26C that is the same quality as a police grade taser and even comes with 10, 20 or 30-second stun options. Just make sure it’s legal in your state to own first!
The Controversy Of Taser Safety
With over 1,000 deaths reported it can be easy to assume from a surface level that tasers are deadly. Even the Police Executive Research Forum, which exists to aid police agencies, advised that police should call the taser a ‘less-lethal’ weapon as opposed to non-lethal.
You’ll find that taser manufacturer’s and human rights organizations go head to head on the subject. Taser International even went so far as to sue coroners that reported a taser to be the cause of death.
The key thing to recognize here is that the majority of deaths included patients that were either on drugs, mentally ill, or highly agitated individuals. This is to imply that an average, healthy human would not die to a taser shock and in theory, this is correct. However, the controversy continues to fly in full force as it’s relatively difficult to determine – who is right?
I think it might be safe to say that more people would have died if police were forced to use guns in scenarios where tasers were used instead.
What 50,000 Volts Does To Your Brain
To keep you informed on the scientific theory of tasers influence on your brain and body, we’ll go into details of the possible short-term side effects. With a taser, there aren’t any long-term effects.
As far as the brain is concerned, it has been shown that it can cause short-term cognitive impairment. This basically means you can’t remember things or process new information very easily right after having your brain scrambled by 50,000 volts. The study was done on healthy, sober volunteers and they showed decreased testing results after being tased.
This brings into question a suspect’s ability to waive or even understand their Miranda rights directly after being tasered and further adds to the controversy.
As far as your body is concerned, the taser delivers the shock to your brain which interrupts the signals it is sending to the central nervous system that allows you to operate your muscles and essentially function properly. This will generally put even a full grown adult on the ground and the effects are also temporarily generally ranging from a 15-minute recovery to immediate.
You can watch a video that goes into detail the effects of a taser on your brain and body. Keep in mind it refers to a taser as a ‘stun-gun’ which is a common misuse of the term and, just to be thorough, for your sake, a stun-gun is the device where you have to get real close and poke them with whereas the taser has the trigger and projectiles.
Now You Know… And More!
Well, now you should be well versed in how many volts are in a police grade taser. You’re also ready to explain the general effects of a taser on the human body and also have a deeper understanding of the controversy surrounding taser use to perhaps have your own, well-educated opinion on the matter.
Again, if you’re looking to purchase the X26C for your own self-defense that is of the same power of the police grade tasers you can always purchase it on Amazon. It even comes with the awesome laser lights! Woo!