What Is The Difference Between A Taser And A Stun Gun?

Are you shopping for a self defense weapon? Do you want something non-lethal but highly effective? Tasers and stun guns deliver a powerful shock to an assailant. Either could be a great choice for personal protection. What is the difference between a taser and stun gun? You’ll need to know so that you can make the best decision for you in self defense.

The primary difference between a taser and a stun gun is the distance you must be from an attacker to use each weapon. A taser gun will shoot its metal prongs up to 15 feet, allowing space between you and your assailant. A stun gun must physically contact a person in order to deliver a shock. Other differences include size and shape of the weapons, legality, pricing, and accessory equipment.

what is the difference between a taser and a stun gun


A taser gun shoots two small prong style electrodes up to 15 feet from the weapon. These electrodes are connected to the gun with conductive wires that provide the power for the shock being delivered. Not having to be up close and personal with your assailant is a major advantage in the game of self defense. A taser gun will disable your attacker from afar and give you a head start in running away.

Just like the taser, a stun gun uses two metal prongs to deliver its powerful shock. However, the weapon itself must come in physical contact with the person you need to subdue. This may be a disadvantage to someone who is much smaller than their attacker or doesn’t have the ability to run away quickly once they have disabled the other person. There’s no need to be concerned about being electrocuted while using your stun gun. The charge will not transfer from them to you-so you can stun someone while holding them down to the ground without danger of hurting yourself.

What If I Miss?

If you’re using a taser gun and you do not hit your opponent on first fire, be prepared to quickly reload your weapon. Always carry backup charges with you. The taser gun must be reloaded after every use. There are some taser models that can be used as a stun gun, like this one. If you miss your target when firing and don’t have the time to reload a charge (or you don’t have a backup with you), you can still defend yourself from dangerous contact by an attacker.

A stun gun is designed to work well no matter where you place it on your attacker. Because it requires contact, it’s best to aim for a part of their body that won’t move around much during a struggle, such as their shoulder or hip/thigh area. As long as your stun gun is properly charged, you can deliver multiple shocks up to several seconds at a time.

Size And Shape

Taser guns are larger than most stun guns. They closely resemble pistols, and some models can get quite bulky and heavy. This can be a disadvantage for smaller people or those wishing to fully conceal their weapon. Because of their design, they must be fired similar to a pistol to offer the best aim and control possible for the user.

Stun guns come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Smaller handheld models to look somewhat like a firearm, but usually fit in the palm of one hand. They also come in baton style models and dual-purpose flashlight style models like this one. These versatile designs make stun guns easy for anyone to carry and as concealable as you want.


The laws regarding owning, using, and even traveling with stun guns and tasers vary from state to state. Do not assume that the laws in your own state are the same as one you may be moving to or traveling through. It is important to check your own state and local laws before considering purchasing either of these self defense weapons.


Taser guns are more expensive to own than stun guns. Taser models start around $300.00. As mentioned above, taser guns cartridges are single use. This requires purchasing additional cartridges to use as a backup or for general reloading. You can purchase this two pack of replacement cartridges for $69.99. Except for the Strikelight (a taser stun gun model), taser batteries are not rechargeable. In addition to additional cartridges, you should always have at least one extra battery available. These cost around $40 per unit.

Stun guns can be purchased for under $10. Even the most compact, inexpensive model will put a serious hurting on an attacker. They are a budget friendly option for those looking to protect themselves without breaking the bank. Aside from being cheap, stun guns are rechargeable. Depending on the model, you can replace the batteries with standard AAs or AAAs. Some stun guns can be plugged in to the wall and recharged, so you do not have to keep a supply of batteries at hand.

Other Accessories

Because of their size and firing method, taser guns are best carried at the hip in a holster or a toolbelt. You need to be able to access your taser quickly and aim it to hit your attacker with the probes to take them down. Having a taser stuffed in the bottom of your purse is not the best carry solution for the weapon.

Being smaller and more tailored to each user, a stun gun doesn’t need quite as much space as a taser gun. While you need to be able to get to your weapon quickly, they can fit nicely in a pocket or small purse, or even in the flashlight holder of a toolbelt.

There are a lot of things to consider when purchasing a self defense weapon. What are your strengths and how confident are you? How close to your attacker do you want to be? What is your budget? These are all important questions to follow up with when asking “What is the difference between a taser and a stun gun?”.