Stun Gun Buyer Guide

Posted by Jeffrey Miovech on 14th Apr 2014

Stun Gun Buyer Guide

So, you're interested in a stun gun? Stun guns are great for self-defense and make a perfect gift for loved ones. Stun guns come in all sorts of sizes, shapes and ratings. This guide will attempt to help you answer very basic questions in an effort to narrow down your choices to find the perfect stun gun for you. You will be able to find stun guns that I discuss in this guide in, however, by all means do your own due diligence in finding the right stun gun for you.

How Stun Guns Work

Before we begin, let's look at how a stun gun works: A stun gun is based on electroshock weapon technology that uses a temporary high-voltage, low-current electrical discharge to override the body's muscle-triggering mechanisms. The recipient is immobilized via two metal probes connected to the electroshock device. The recipient feels pain, and can be momentarily paralyzed while an electric current is being applied. It is reported that applying electroshock devices to more sensitive parts of the body (like under the arms, or neck) is even more painful. The maximum effective areas for stun gun usage are upper shoulder, below the rib cage, and the upper hip. High voltages are used, but because most devices use a non-lethal current (typically about 20mA), death does not usually occur. The resulting "shock" is caused by muscles twitching uncontrollably, appearing as muscle spasms.

Types of Stun Guns

Now that you know how stun guns work, let's look at the different types of stun guns available. As I mentioned, they come in different sizes, shapes and ratings. First, let's look at the different sizes. Stun guns generally fit easily in one hand and are mostly under 8 inches in length. Some exceptions are stun batons (which look like nightsticks or billy clubs) and tactical stun flashlights. Stun batons can range from 11 inches up to over 20 inches in length. Tactical stun flashlights can range from 6 inches to over 10 inches. Stun guns can be disguised to look like other common items. As mentioned, there is the stun gun that looks like a tactical flashlight. Additionally, you can find stun guns that look like cell phones and perfume spritzers. For people with smaller hands, you may feel comfortable with mini or compact stun guns. This class of stun gun tends to be smaller than a pack of cigarettes. Some compact stun guns are even designed to be placed on your key chain--they are about the length of a small bottle of pepper spray.

You can find stun guns claiming to be anywhere from 100,000 volts to over 20 million volts. The interesting thing to be aware of is that these voltage ratings are essentially meaningless. In other words, it is rather difficult to measure the actual voltage produced by stun guns. Consequently, some manufacturers will claim ridiculous voltages in an effort to bait the buyer with the "bigger must be better" myth, knowing full-well that no one is going to challenge them as being inaccurate. As a result, some manufactures, like Streetwise Security Products, have eliminated voltage ratings from their stun guns. Instead, they use a model number commensurate with other companies' voltage claims without misleading buyers with exaggerated output voltages.

What Makes a Good Stun Gun?

So, what makes a good stun gun? Well, a reputable manufacturer that offers a high quality product with a good warranty is a good place to start. Basically, if a company offers a lifetime warranty on their stun guns and has been in business for 20 plus years, then that would be a good place to start. It's simple business: if a company produces a poor product and offers a lifetime warranty, then they probably won't be in business very long. So, if a company offers a stun gun with a lifetime warranty and they have been in business since stun guns became available to the general public, then they probably make a decent product. Streetwise Security Products is a perfect example of this type of company.

Okay, now that you know about shapes, sizes, and ratings, what else do you need to know? Good question! One thing to look for is a rechargeable stun gun. These are great because they save you money on batteries. Many stun guns have an LED flashlight. This is convenient in that you don't have to carry a separate flashlight with you when walking to your call or walking your dog at night. Something else to consider is available safety features. For instance, does the stun gun require two switches to be enabled before the stun gun operates, thereby preventing accidental discharge. Also, perhaps the stun gun has a disable pin, so that if your stun gun happens to be taken away from you, it can't be used against you.

Stun Guns Legal in My Area?

One more thing to note is if, in fact, it is legal to own a stun gun in your state/city. As of this writing, the following states have outlawed stun devices or require a permit:


Additionally, the following cities/counties have restricted the use of stun devices:


For more details regarding the laws in your area, check out the Stun Gun Laws section of

Final Thought

Well, now that you are armed with the knowledge of stun gun sizes, shapes, ratings and extra features, go out and find the perfect stun gun for you. Feel free to ask me questions and have fun browsing our store!