How to Test a Stun Gun


Stun guns are often used for personal protection by civilians, police officers and military personnel. Though there are many different types and shapes (some look like smart phones or cell phones, some look like flashlights, and some even look like tampons), all of them work in the same manner: by delivering a shock that can incapacitate or deter an assailant and help keep you safe.

It is important to know how to test your stun gun so that it is always ready if you need to use it. It is especially important to test your stun gun if it has been sitting for some time in a car or in the cold, since the battery may have drained.

Things You'll Need

  • 9 volt Alkaline charged batteries
  • Stun Gun


  • Hold the stun gun away from your body and keep your fingers at least 1 1/2 inches from the metal contact probe at the end of the unit. The contact probe, which looks like two tiny metal bumps at the end of the unit, is the part of your stun gun that touches and delivers the shock to any possible assailants.

    It is important that you never point your stun gun at yourself or another person when testing the battery, to avoid accidentally shocking yourself or anyone else.

  • Most units do not have a separate test mode; simply turn your stun gun on and fire, pressing down on the trigger for approximately 1/2 of a second. If you fire for any longer than that, you risk damaging the contact probe.

  • If the gun is working, you will notice a white arc of electricity on the contact probe. Since the electrical current doesn't have a body or target to enter, it will circle internally, creating the white arc.

    If nothing happens when you press the trigger, the batteries in your stun gun are likely dead. Replace the batteries and re-test. If your stun gun still doesn't work, you may want to consider repairing or replacing it. Depending on how old they are, many stun guns come with a warranty.

Tips & Warnings

  • Stun guns work best when aimed between an assailant's neck and hips, under their rib cage or on their hips. Everyone reacts differently when hit with a stun gun; some people are incapacitated for up to half an hour while others aren't affected at all. The longer you touch your attacker with the stun gun, the more it will affect them.
  • Energizer and Duracell batteries are known to hold their charges for a long time. Both brands are recommended by the folks at Defense Devices.
  • Never use against an armed assailant.
  • Never hold the trigger for more than 1/2 of a second. If you hold the trigger for a longer period of time, the internally traveling current will blow out the gun, rendering it useless.
  • Certain states restrict the use of stun guns. Check with your individual state for certain restrictions.

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