You’ve got to admit, there’s something grimly alluring about watching someone get tased…The little launcher goes off with a pop, there’s a burst of confetti from the cartridge, and the target goes as stiff as a board before toppling over to the ground.
It’s darkly comedic, even if tasers are dangerous.
But have you ever wondered what it’s like to be tased? Sure, it’s nowhere near as serious as getting shot but it’s got to be unpleasant.
Certainly it has to hurt! But just how bad does it hurt? How painful is a taser?
Getting zapped with a taser is typically very painful, although the pain does not last long after the current subsides. But overall pain is highly subjective based on the recipient and where the probes strike the body.
Truly, I tell you that I don’t know anyone who has “taken the ride” and described it as a pleasant experience.
Invariably, getting tased is painful, although a few tough folks merely describe it as highly uncomfortable.
In any case, a taser’s effectiveness is not really tied up with how much pain it inflicts, but knowing that it’s painful might be a deterrent for some against continuing on with activity that will get them tased.
There’s a lot more to talk about on this subject, so keep reading…
Pain is Always Subjective
Starting out, I think it is important to impress on you that pain is subjective: Two people will perceive precisely the same stimulus on precisely the same part of the body very differently.
Why this is so is highly complicated, and we aren’t going to delve into it here.
Suffice it to say that it is a combination of genetics, attitude, current physiological state, and a whole lot more.
This is why some folks will describe getting hit by the exact same model of taser in the exact same way as life-alteringly painful whereas someone else will just say that it merely hurts.
Keep that in mind as you read on.
But Being Tased is Invariably Described as Very Painful
But with all that being said in the previous section, I don’t know anyone who has been tased that didn’t describe it as very painful.
And that’s not just a straw man assertion, either. I worked in law enforcement equipment supply and gun sales for many years, and tasers were a product that we regularly sold to many police departments and to concerned citizens alike.
Accordingly, I talked to lots of cops that had a reason to use their tasers in the line of duty, and back in those days, every recruit that went through the academy had to be tased as part of their training to better understand the effects of the tool.
All of them describe the effects of the taser as extremely painful, and post-incident interviews with suspects that were tased certainly corroborated this sentiment!
The Point of Impact Will Influence How Painful the Event Is
Something else to consider is that the deployment of a taser is not a particularly precise event.
All models of taser fire out a pair of probes, which generally fan out as they travel to the target.
On impact, assuming both connect, current is transmitted to the target and between the probes, completing a circuit which is fundamental to the taser’s functioning.
This area between is usually the locus of the pain to follow.
Where the probes land, and the tissue that lies between them, will greatly influence the amount of pain that the target feels.
Dense clusters of nerves or sensitive parts of the body are going to make the experience even less pleasant than it would be normally!
Getting zapped near the groin, the side of the ribs, the small of the back, the neck and so forth is going to produce intense pain whereas the pain will be subjectively less, most times, if the probes strike and attached to the chest, limbs or upper back.
How Long Does the Pain of Being Tased Last?
Most folks are pretty skittish at the idea of being painfully shocked, and certainly being zapped with intense and powerful electricity can leave lingering injuries that might plague a person for the rest of their life.
Accordingly, how long should we expect the pain of being tased to last?
Surprisingly, it doesn’t last very long at all with a caveat.
Tasers are very high voltage, but low amperage, and that is why they can disrupt the muscular function of the target without inflicting permanent injury or serious risk of great bodily harm or death.
Depending on the affected muscle group, the victim might have some lingering muscle soreness, but nothing worse than that.
However, a taser will hurt the entire time that the electricity is flowing. For most police-issued tasers, they dispense the “juice” in 5-second cycles every time the trigger is pulled.
Civilian taser models will often discharge continuously for extended times, usually 30 seconds.
This is to buy time for the user to get away after a successful shot- but boy is that going to be a long 30 seconds for the recipient!
Most People Recover Very Quickly After Being Tased
Once the current stops flowing from the device, or once the circuit is broken, the pain generally subsides more or less immediately, rarely lingering longer than a couple of minutes.
As mentioned, some people report pain that persists in the form of muscle soreness, but this is understandable considering that a taser causes intense, uncontrollable contractions of muscle groups in the target’s body.
But, don’t discount the fact that tasers are powerful devices, and they are not strictly less-than-lethal; they are properly categorized as less lethal, meaning they are less likely to cause great bodily injury or death.
There have been some people tased that reported lingering pain or persistent injury in the aftermath, so the results I‘ve described here are not absolutes.
In all cases, tasers are not toys so you should never tase yourself as an experiment or tase someone else as a joke!
Tom Marlowe practically grew up with a gun in his hand, and has held all kinds of jobs in the gun industry: range safety, sales, instruction and consulting, Tom has the experience to help civilian shooters figure out what will work best for them.