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Stun Gun or Pepper Spray. Which is Better?

In this article, Mrs. Stun Gunmakes an objective comparison of stun guns and pepper spray to determine which tool provides greater personal protection and improved safety for women.  Both pepper spray and stun gun will be described, and their pros and cons will be evaluated.

Pepper spray is an aerosol spray based on Oleoresin Capsicum which is what gives chili peppers their heat.  Pepper spray works by having the attacker inhale the aerosol of have it contact soft tissue areas like the eyes.  Inhaling pepper spray will cause gagging, shortness of breath and other respiratory symptoms.  Contact with the eyes causes them to close involuntarily.

A stun gun is an electric weapon that shocks the attackers body and send signals that disrupts the attackers nervous system leaving the attacker unable to physically function.  A stun gun works because the electric shock tells the body's muscles to work at an extremely fast rate thereby changing large amounts of blood sugar to lactic acid.  When you exercise you develop lactic acid.  That sore and tight feeling you get the next day after you exercise, is an example of how  lactic acid effects the body (just on a much smaller scale than a stun gun).

Pros of Pepper Spray


         100% of people experience some respiratory distress if it's inhaled and involuntary shutting of the eyes if struck in the eyes according to one FBI report[1].

         Spray distance can range 8-20 feet.

         It may incapacitate the attacker for 15-90 minutes depending on the strength of the spray.

Cons of Pepper Spray

         According to the FBI it is most effective in enclosed spaces.  This has the risk of cross contamination meaning you may experience the spray's effects as well[2].

         Not effective on windy days.

         If the spray is less than 2 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU) it may be ineffective.

         Ineffective in the rain.

         less effective if the attacker is wearing a baseball cap or wraparound sunglasses.

         Ineffective if the attacker covers his eyes and burst through the spray cloud.

Pros of Stun Guns

         Effective with a one second shock from any stun gun over 2 million volts.

         Can be discharged as a warning to potential attackers to stay away.

         Effective in all environments.  It doesn't matter if it's windy or raining.

         Incapacitates an attacker for at least 20 minutes.  Once the attacker is down they tend to stay down.

Cons of Stun Guns

         You have to touch the attacker with the stun gun.

         The stun gun could be taken from you and used on you if you don't have a model with a disable pin.

         Stun gun must be charged for it to work.  That's why it's good to have a rechargeable stun gun.

         A stun gun may be ineffective if one is purchased with to low voltage and amperage.

After comparing these two personal defense weapons, it's apparent that the stun gun is more effective in providing greater personal protection and improved safety for women.  Almost all of the cons of the stun gun can be overcome by purchasing a model that has a safety pin.  Is rechargeable and is strong enough to be effective.  Pepper spray cannot overcome it's deficiencies.  It's very nature makes it unable to overcome the environmental factors or the use of shields (sunglasses and hat).

If you are interested in learning more about stun guns that overcome these cons and other articles on personal safety and personal protection visit Mrs. Stun Gun.

[1] Personal Defense for Women, 2009, p.101

[2] Personal Defense for Women, 2009, p.103

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