free shipping on orders over $25

We’re having a 15% off sale on all our products. Enter your email below to be notified about future sales.

How bad does it hurt to get stunned with a stun gun

Stun guns emit electrical pulses that cause attackers to lose control of their skeletal muscles. The pulses are designed to overwhelm the body’s ability to control these muscles, but aren’t supposed to affect internal organs like the heart.

Some stun gun manufacturers make claims of extremely high voltage, but this is physically impossible. A stun gun’s strength is measured in microcoulombs, not volts.


The main reason stun guns (and TASERs) work is that they transfer high voltage, low amperage electrical energy to the body. The charge disrupts the nerve communication system, sending a message to the muscles that tell them to contract.

This creates intense pain, as well as a loss of balance and muscle control, and can drop the attacker to the ground. Usually the pain lasts for up to fifteen minutes.

While stun guns may seem like a futuristic weapon à la the phasers on “Star Trek,” they are already in widespread use. Millions of police officers and civilians carry them to protect themselves against attacks.

The devices are also useful as tools for subduing people who refuse to abide by an officer’s commands. A stun gun has to make direct contact with a person to work. Some models have pronounced electrodes to allow more charge to pass through heavy clothing, but the effectiveness of a stun gun will be reduced the further the electrodes are from the target.

Loss of Balance

Stun guns are popular with police departments, security agencies, and individuals who want to protect themselves. The weapon’s prongs deliver a painful shock to anyone who touches them, temporarily disabling him for up to five minutes.

Though electricity is usually considered harmful, smaller amounts like that produced by stun gun electrodes won’t cause a person permanent injury. That’s because the currents targeted by stun guns go to skeletal muscle, which have a much shorter response time than cardiac cells.

The electrical pulses also dump a lot of information into the nervous system. That confuses the original signals that make a person’s body move, Giordano says. As a result, the person loses control of his balance and may fall over. Almost half of those studied for CEW injuries reported puncture wounds, scrapes and bruises from falling over after getting stunned. A few of those people experienced a serious condition called rhabdomyolysis, which releases proteins into the bloodstream that can damage kidney function and lead to kidney failure.

Mental Disorientation

In addition to pain, being zapped with a stun gun can cause mental disorientation as well. This can include trouble remembering events that happened before the shock, or having difficulty processing new information. This can last for up to one hour after being zapped with a stun weapon.

The stun gun generates a high-voltage, but low-amperage electrical charge that disrupts nerve communication. This charge passes through heavy clothing and skin, but isn’t enough to cause any serious or permanent damage.

In “drive stun” mode, the stun gun works like a cattle prod, and is used to get a reluctant or violent person to abide by an officer’s orders. Some studies have shown that if the stun gun is aimed directly at the heart, it can induce cardiac arrest and death. However, more research is needed to fully understand this. Currently, only the fact that it can cause pain and disorientation is known with any certainty.

Dropping to the Ground

When a stun gun hits its target, electricity passes between the metal prongs at the end of the weapon. This causes a painful jolt that can cause muscle spasms and disorientation. The resulting loss of balance and mental confusion will usually deter most attackers, but determined ones with a specific physiology may keep coming back for more.

Aside from pain, the most serious injury that can result from a Taser strike is rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which a sudden, severe contraction of muscles releases proteins that can damage kidney function. Rhabdomyolysis can be fatal if not treated within six hours, Giordano says.

Another potential danger is testicular torsion, in which one or both testicles twist on their spermatic cords and cut off blood flow to them. That can also be life-threatening, but is rare for people who are stunned with a CEW, Giordano notes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *