Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Making a stun gun

  1. Oct 13, 2004 #1
    I saw this article on exploring a stun gun on this website http://www.emanator.demon.co.uk/bigclive/stunner.htm [Broken] and my only problem was finding the parts. Can someone tell me if i can get these parts from another device like a radio or something? I know that I can buy a stun gun relatively cheap but I want to put my electronics to pratice and build my own. I was told that it can be done easily using a camera with flash. I would still like to know if i can put some parts from a radio or something together and make one.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2004 #2
    You need to be very careful. The original stun gun, Taser, was carefully designed to produce only enough power with out causing death. If your energy is to high or the rate of discharge incorrect you can stop the heart. The Taser was tested on animals and people under controlled conditions before they went into production.

    The name came from the Tom Swift books. Tom Swift and his Electric Rifle.
  4. Oct 13, 2004 #3
    You know what,I need something for personal defence and currently I carry big kitchen knife in my bag pack.Well..... of course it is illegal to do that and I can get into big trouble if police find it .Tazer gun is ideal and I'm bit of electronics nut. Cipher -could you find more about parts needed to assemble one ?
    Why I carry Knife? to many freaks around,I was almost attacked around my neighborhood without provocation and on the subway also.scary place.
  5. Oct 14, 2004 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Wrong place to play with electronics - if you need to ask how you shouldn't be playing.

    A camera flash or some of the $10 xenon strobe kits will get you into better than 100V if you want to play with larger voltages stepped up from a battery (and where you can still get off-the-shelf components) and these could also be lethal if applied properly. Lethal as in dead, deceased, or just plain be careful not to let the voltage discharge into your body. Odds are 1/36 you'd get the timing correct, then all you need then is sufficient voltage and current (which you could have with some tinkering) and its a recipe for disaster.

    I've seen video of a single taser gun taking down a line of 12 large police officers with locked arms (a training exercise) and it is powerful enough to put all of them on the floor. A lawsuit is currently happening here in Georgia where a suspect was hit with a Taser by the police and he died from a heart attack. According to the local news report, there are other similar lawsuits.

  6. Oct 16, 2004 #5
    you guys are making this sound like its really dangerous (i guess it is), i don't want to make anything lethal anyway. I just want to make one that just hurts. I still want to take a shot at making one. I was wondering though what is the trick to make the stunning last longer using the camera's flash? After all it is a flash and that would just give a quick shock then stop.
  7. Oct 18, 2004 #6
    If you insist on making a shocking device then keep the electrodes close together 1 to 2 inches apart. Keep the power low. Do not use a flash unit. A flash has enough energy to kill. Boost the voltage as high as possible 50,000 or more this will make for a demonstration that may do more then the shock and will keep the current down. You need to remember that the unit could be take away from you and used on you. Don’t make a unit that you will not try on yourself.
  8. Oct 18, 2004 #7
    If you want a "stinger" that causes some suprise and pain without lethality you might try making a small flyback inverter.


    The primary side circuit can be applied to a small homemade transformer wound on a soft steel nail.

    Wrap the nail in electrical tape. Then wind the HV secondary NEATLY with 500 turns of #32 magnet wire. Use the whole nail, winding back and forth from end to end. Leave off with the ends of the wire exiting from OPPOSITE ends of the nail.

    Then wrap around the outside of that winding with a few layers of electrical tape.

    Use the 5 turn primary and 3 turn feedback widely spaced around the outside of the HV coil. Then tape that down good and snug.

    12v input will give you 1200v forward ac on the secondary. BUT, there's also the reactive emf voltage effect that pushes it much higher.

    Mount the contacts just like a normal stun-gun so that it can arc over the central points until you make contact with the front horns.

    Without using any output capacitors there won't be any sudden bursts of current, just a nice sizzling high-voltage low-amperage arc. :surprised

    This is a massive power waster and will eat a set of nicad rechargables pretty quick.
  9. Oct 18, 2004 #8
    it takes 30 ma to stop a human heart. therefore a 120 volt receptacle on a 15 a breaker (where you plug in your radio/toaster/car block heater) can kill a man 500 times over. don't piss around! the life you take, probably will be your own (through testing)!!!!
    during an electrical safety course, i saw a video where a dad was videotaping taping his son wash and vacuum his new jeep. a bad ground on the vacuum cleaner turned that video into something our instructor thought we should see! the guy was dead, and all in the course (like myself, that didn't know better) were looking at each other in disbelief.
    obviously, i am not the first to warn and yet, you are not getting it! so all i can say is be sure to try it on yourself first!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(better yet; learn you before practice)
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2004
  10. Oct 19, 2004 #9
    As an addendum, make sure that you don't allow any HV devices to make a path across your heart.

    A single, small, localized contact point like a stun-gun shock is not generally considered a lethal current path shock. This is why they call them stun guns and not "kill guns".

    On the other hand, if you intentionally grab the two electrodes with opposite hands and then send shocks through your arms and across your heart, you're just asking for heart failure.

    Keep your initial HV experiments battery powered and only use ONE HAND when operating the equipment. There are plenty of Telsa-coiler pages on the web that can show you how to handle HV properly, without removing yourself (or others) from the gene pool.

    If any of this scares you, good. Don't build it. Leave it to the rest of us loons. :tongue2:
  11. Oct 20, 2004 #10
    The Glom
    You are correct. If you can keep the voltage from going across the heart you have less chance of killing someone. The stun gun, taser, sends out two barbs that will penetrate and hold on. The distance between the two conductors may be right across the heart. It is only control of the power and the timing that prevents damage most of the time.

    In law enforcement, even if there is a chance of death, it still may be better then shooting. The problem is that because it does not kill most of the time it is thought to be safe and is used to often when not needed. The guide line must be do not use any place that you would not use your gun and after it was used hold a review the same as if a gun had been used.
  12. Oct 20, 2004 #11
    I guess I'm differentiating between a "stun gun" and a "taser". The latter does fire barbed electrodes that can have somewhat random placement.

    But, you're average "stun gun" is not anything like a gun at all, since the electrodes are firmly and permanently attached to the handheld device body.

    With a maximum 3" separation on the electrodes, a >20khz frequency high-voltage current is almost entirely a skin-surface current, unless you skewer your target with some homemade harpoon electrodes. :surprised

    http://shop.store.yahoo.com/securityplanet/learabstungu.html [Broken]

    You should probably check your state laws to make sure stun guns are legal where you are. No need to get yourself in trouble with the law for no good reason.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  13. Oct 21, 2004 #12


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Ok, first of all, if you want defence learn some self defense. A weapon is nice, but you can't take it anywhere, and honestly, if I was attacking you, by the time you got into your bag, I've already had my way with ya.

    Tasers, stun guns, they can be usefull, but only if you have time to prepare, or cary it on the hip.

    As to using a camera flash, I was taking one apart for different reasons once upon a time, and, learned the hard way not to touch the capacitor. It shocked the piss out of me, but, no ill effects.

    And it also would not have stopped me if I was attacking you.

    I seen this new jacket they are making that is electrified. Just don't get caught in the rain!!

    But honestly, if you want a stun gun, go buy one. It will have already been tested, and certain to work. Electricity hurts, and can kill. As per defense, I still say you are better just picking up a martial arts class, even try teaching yourself, its not to hard.
  14. Oct 22, 2004 #13
    its not really about self defense, i just want to do something electronics related and i thought that a stun gun would be a good example. what i have gathered is that cameras are dangerous cuz if i took a camera and just used the flash i would have killed myself. i would like to know how i can make the camera into a safer stunning device.
  15. Oct 22, 2004 #14


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Well, the camera I was using was a disposable unit, and, unless I'm typing from beyond the grave, I'm still here to tell you about my SHOCKING!! expieriance. Better then coffee I tell ya.

    I realise now the self defense stuff was directed towards tumour.
  16. Oct 23, 2004 #15
    so what you are saying is that the disposable camera that you used was not fatal. in the mean time i will see if i can get my hands on one.
  17. Oct 23, 2004 #16


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    You need the correct voltage (with enough amperage) and timing and you have the ingredients for a fatal shock.

    Think of it this way, a pacemaker today is slightly bigger than 3 quarters stacked together and this thing will keep someone's heart beating every minute of every day correctly for a decade. Imagine the size of the battery inside and you realise how little electricity it takes to keep the heart beating.

    Always exercise care with high voltages. Period. I know people who have been shocked by a wall outlet but we all know better than to use anecdotal experience to override the idea that it would be very bad to make contact with that electricity. Have you ever watched the TV show "Mythbusters" on Discovery? This last week they showed how easy it would be to die from dropping an applicance in the bathtub.

    That said, there are kits you may want to look into that offer the camera flash in a bit more educational format like:

  18. Oct 24, 2004 #17
    The flash unit has enough power to be fatal. It holds more than enough energy. It all depends on how it is applied or converted for use. You should consider any device like this the same as a loaded gun.
  19. Oct 24, 2004 #18


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I second that 4newton. There are far too many [insert accurate stereotype here] around these days.

    Be careful with camera flash units. If you don't quite understand how dangerous they can be, then you're way out of your depth anyway.
  20. Oct 25, 2004 #19
    I think i will do what cliff J recommended and try to use the camera for something more educational, you never know you guys may have just saved a life because i was planning on testing the stun device on myself.
  21. Oct 25, 2004 #20


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    One more thing cipher - use care when constructing and testing any project with voltages above 30V (yes that's conservative) and ALWAYS check with a multimeter before touching. If you're unsure or haven't checked all the components, disconnect the power and use only one hand to touch the conductive parts.

    I started messing with electricity at 9 and knowing what I know now I'm surprised all I did was bite my tongue or hit my head. You'd be surprised how well you can remember many years later how powerful a shock you can get from a simple coil of wire and a 9V battery. :smile:
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook