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Handguns vs. Tasers

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Confederate, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. Confederate

    Confederate Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2005
    Bethesda, MD
    My sister wants to buy a TASER, but I'm recommending against it. It seems to me that a handgun or small knife would be a superior weapon for self defense -- especially the types that shoot out two electrical clips. What are your opinions?

    Does anyone know of any articles or editorials written on this topic?

    I'd think that a small neck knife or Ruger LCR would be a far better choice.




    Neck knives and other small, sharp things, to me, seem like a better
    way to go than TASERS. Oh, and let's not forget small pistols like the
    S&W Model 60 .38 or .357.

  2. SFsc616171

    SFsc616171 Member

    Jul 21, 2010
    Tell your sister, that the idiot she tasers will have a very bad grudge, considering it was a woman who brought him down, and made him loose as a goose. She is defending her life! She is not out to 'give a guy a good jolt to remember!' He will come looking for her, with revenge to exact. Not a good thing! A taser, to me, means that she still picks up firearms, like a dead shrimp. She has to remember: the thug has already decided that you are just meat with clothes on; what you own is his already,to claim from your body; who you are is nothing; if he has to kill you, so what! She has to get that in her mind.
  3. stiletto raggio

    stiletto raggio Active Member

    Feb 10, 2003
    I am an MP and have been tased in training several times. Bottom line, tasers work. Pepper spray does, too, but both have significant shortcomings. I view both as excellent tools for law enforcements, but with limited use for civilians. On tasers:

    1) Tasers will only work on one person at a time. If confronted by multiple assailants, she would be SOL.

    2) Tasers require a good connection with both probes to be effective. Heavy clothing or odd angles can mess this up, and, again, you only have one shot.

    3) Tasers are somewhat expensive to purchase and very expensive to practice with.

    4) Tasers are actually significantly more bulky than many firearms.

    5) Tasers have a very limited range (15') which means that a person can be outside your range but still well within range of their weapon or within effective rushing distance for hand-to-hand.

    Police can offset these disadvantages by having a partner with a firearm at the ready when attempting to tase a violent suspect, but the citizen trying to defend themselves on the street doesn't usually have the luxury of a backup.
  4. CWL

    CWL Mentor

    Jan 6, 2003
    Your sister has to choose the defensive tool that she's willing to carry and use. If a taser is it, then stop giving her a hard time. At least she's willing to carry something.

    Guns and knives may be great for you, but I doubt she'll want to try and carve on someone with a knife or shoot someone.

    If you force her to get something that she refuses to carry, she's no better off.
  5. bluethunder1962

    bluethunder1962 Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    if she is against killing somebody get a bond arms 45/410. You can get rubber buckshot for them and it will get you away for them fast.
  6. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Senior Member

    Jun 14, 2008
    SouthEastern FL
    Check local laws and regulations before going this route. This can get one in a heap of trouble should they actually use it in many jurisdictions. If one fires a such-loaded weapon, it still constitutes discharging a deadly weapon, since it is still indeed a firearm. Discharging a deadly weapon at another person when one is not necessarily in fear of "imminent death or serious bodily injury" is a crime. It may be argued that, if the shooter was indeed in such fear, then they should be countering with a weapon so loaded as to be able to stop the threat, and the lack of such a load might mean that such fear didn't exist.
    I know, OC and Tasers can be used against deadly-force threats without being lethal themselves, but their use (in most jurisdictions) isn't restricted to only "deadly-force" threats. The use of a firearm, regardless of how its loaded (even with blanks!) is.
    Just make sure that, if she (or anyone else) goes this route, that they still deploy the weapon only in the same scenarios in which it would be deployed were it loaded with normal, lethal ammunition.
    I'd really stay away from firearms if all I wanted was a "less-lethal" (formerly known as "non-lethal") self-defense option. I would also prefer OC to a Taser. In fact, I really should start carrying it again along with my sidearm.
    Because stilletto-raggio didn't mention the shortcomings of OC spray, I'll point them out. OC has a limited effective range of five-to-fifteen feet, depending on the size of the container and its stream mass. It's actually not as much a "spray" as it is a "stream", so it does need to be precisely aimed and focused into the eyes. An assailant wearing glasses (sunglasses on attackers is quite common) will have some protection from OC. Wind direction is important as well; one does not want to OC-spray herself if a brisk wind is in her face, but it's still powerful enough that, at self-defense distance, the assailant would likely take some as well.
    Advantages of OC over a Taser include the fact that it can be deployed multiple times, is much less expensive to acquire and train with, and that its effects last longer than those of a Taser (up to 20 minutes or more in direct-hit cases.)
    OP, don't push your sister into a firearm if she's not ready, and don't try to scare her as well. Commend her for stepping up and accepting responsibility for her own safety, and let her develop that sense and responsibility from there.
  7. kludge

    kludge Senior Member

    Jun 15, 2006
    By taser, you mean the thing that shoots out the barbs?

    It's a compliance tool, not a self-defense tool.

    If she doesn't want a gun, then pepper spray. Fox Labs or Sabre Red.
  8. Drail

    Drail Senior Member

    Jan 17, 2008
    A Taser won't help you much if there is more than one attacker. Plus after working most of my life in electronics I have very little faith that one will function when I need it. Tasers are basically mass produced junk. Using a knife for self defense is only going to work if you are very skilled with one. If you are not then you will just be giving them a weapon.
  9. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

    Aug 4, 2008
    eastern Massachusetts
    WORST POSSIBLE CHOICE, unless she is well skilled in knife fighting.

    The FBI has statistics on the effectiveness of resisting an attacker. If you resist with anything except a gun, you increase your chance of injury.

    Add to that the fact that a special brand of attacker targets women. Some of those would be simultaneously thrilled and angered to face a victim with a knife: she will have to kill him, not injure him, not scare him off. If she can do that with a knife, fine.

    A knife in the hands of an unskilled female user is kind of like a simple latch on a door: it'll work on anyone who didn't really want to commit a crime in the first place.

    I would say whatever weapon she's comfortable with, that's better than no weapon (even if the FBI says otherwise). If she's comfortable with a Taser, that's fine. But, just like a gun or knife, it's not a lucky charm: she should get training, and practice.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
  10. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Mentor

    Nov 30, 2008
    Frozen North
    Also, first rule in knife fighting

    YOU WILL GET CUT (wounded)
    see, it's not a question of WHO gets hurt, but who gets hurt WORSE

    gun pepper spray, taser is OK, but if she insists, get her some spray to back it up.
  11. mortablunt

    mortablunt Senior Member

    May 1, 2011
    Why not has a TASER and back it up with a knife? Shock and then slice.
  12. David E

    David E Mentor

    Aug 3, 2008
    I agree with all but the last line; she well may be WORSE off if she carries a knife or gun she's unwilling to use.
  13. Ragnar Danneskjold

    Ragnar Danneskjold Senior Member

    Feb 1, 2007
    Arlington, Republic of Texas
    She'd better have a plan to be far far away after that 5 second ride stops. Once the current on a Taser stops, the effect is over. The target can immediately get up and continue the attack as if it he had never been Tased. Unless she plans on continuously pulling the trigger and reshocking the bad guy over and over, as soon as she's done Tasing him, she's still gonna be 30 or so feet away with a pissed of bad guy ready to attack. Now what?
  14. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Senior Member

    Oct 5, 2011
    Southeast Texas
    While I would rather have a handgun or OC spray over a Taser, advising your sister to carry a knife instead is just a bad idea. Knives take a lot of training to be proficient with, and a lot of it requires being physical with an adversary. Women are attacked because they cannot physically match up to their attackers, so a knife is a poor choice.

    I personally keep a knife on me on a daily basis, I have been trained in its uses, and continue to train (when I have the time). But I would much rather run from an attacker than have to use the knife because as Shadow 7D said:
    So basically, a knife is most definitely not a "far better choice"
  15. Stealth01

    Stealth01 New Member

    Sep 9, 2010
    NEVER bring a knife to a gun fight...!!!!

  16. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Participating Member

    Oct 7, 2010
    Western NYS
    Training first

    Regardless of whatever you decide.

    She NEEDS training and I dont mean 4 hour course.

    If you plan on defending your life with ANY tool == train as if your life depended on it.

    Otherwise your just carrying a tool to be taken and used against you.

    Most that do carry a gun do NOT train.

    Sad but oh so true.

    I was LEO and used and trained with OC,Taser,ASP,Wooden baton,Blackjack,Knife,and of course gun.

    They all work,its the time,place AND circumstance that matters.

    Have a plan,then a backup plan as your first plan went to hell in a handbasket.

    That is where the training come in.
  17. Jaymo

    Jaymo Senior Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    My buddy bought a brand new Taser last year.
    I used to zap myself with the stun guns at the gun show, just to PO the sellers.
    I let my buddy shoot me with his taser. It took about a half hour for me to convince him that it wouldn't kill me and that I wouldn't get mad at him.
    I am not impressed with Tasers.
    Yes, it hurt.
    No, it did not incapacitate me.
    Cattle prods are a lot more impressive.

    She would be better off with a good .38 snub.
  18. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Oct 22, 2007
    Central PA
    Something a friend told me a while back:

    There's a difference b/n the LEO Taser and the C2.

    The C2 lasts a full 30 seconds. I'll say that again. A full 30 seconds.

    We demo'd them back at like NTI 18 or so. Brian Williams was there.

    The ride is different than the LEO Taser. Their design is made for compliance. Short jolt. Put the chap on the ground, get him cuffed or otherwise in custody, and try to do it without much injury. The jolt lasts about 5 seconds. Enough to get someone's body on the ground and make him do the funky chicken while your partner pounces on him and wraps him up.

    The C2 is made to deliver a slightly different frequency jolt. And it keeps on going.


    Anyone who's ever been tazed will agree that's an absolute eternity of hell. Yeah, once it's done the effect is gone the instant the juice stops. However, you're thirty seconds farther away. And it takes a while to recover and want to do anything after a ride like that besides sit there and just get your breath back. ... I'd like to see you get up ready to fight after 30 seconds after a ride on one of those.


    Just something I've heard.
  19. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Senior Member

    Oct 5, 2011
    Southeast Texas
    I think they would rather be in hell than have to endure that for 30 seconds....
  20. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Senior Member

    Oct 5, 2011
    Southeast Texas
    What model did he have?

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