View Full Version : OT - stun gun home brew question:

February 18, 2003, 11:25
I am fairly familiar with stunguns, they are ok as a non-lethal device goes. But I am considering experimenting with making a "lethal" stungun. First, does anyone know of any federal law that I would be violating by attempting to create such a device?

Here is my idea: First, you need to increase the stun gun's amperange - this can be done by using one or two laptop batteries. Then the circuitry would need to be modified to reduce the voltage, while increasing the amerage. My goal would be to increase the amps to a lethal level while attempting to keep the voltage as high as possible. I.e. what is the most efficient mix of amps v. volts for a lethal jolt. Second would be to modify the electrodes. Instead of the little nubs, the device could be made with electrodes at least 3" wide as 2 sharp spring loaded spikes of at least 3" in length and about 1/8" diameter. The spikes must be insulated (powdercoated, perhaps) except the very ends. This would allow insertion of the prongs in the vicinity of vital organs while simultaneously discharging a powerful burst of high voltage with moderate amperage.

Has anyone heard of any company that already makes such a device? Has the CIA or military developed such a device? Is such a device even possible using relatively simple circuitry?

February 18, 2003, 11:34
I know some states like MA have banned energy weapons, lasers and stun guns. Raytheon had to close their laser labs in that state.

February 18, 2003, 11:36
I hope you'll reconsider what you're thinking here. In addition to opening yourself up to a myriad of federal level prosecutions, and the obvious ethical objections some may have, you're seeking an answer to a problem that was solved well over a hundred years ago with the invention of the handgun.

February 18, 2003, 11:44
You are playing with some seriously danderous stuff there.

Are you a high voltage circuit designer? If not, and you insist on playing with gunpowder and matches, please have a loved one nearby to call the aid car when you defib yourself. Also, eye protection is recommended to shield you from the exploding components.

What you describe doing is dangerous for experts, and stupid for novices.

February 18, 2003, 12:05
I agree with others, this is a dangerous idea from both criminal and civil liability, as in effect, you are designing a weapon whose sole purpose is to kill another human being.

Especially as you are taking a designed non-lethal weapon, which incapacitates without killing, and deliberately making it lethal.

You would run the same legal risks by taking hollowpoint bullets and dipping them in cyanide. NOT GOOD in front of a jury of REASONABLE peers.

The safe legal response to a threat of death or great bodily harm, is to stop the threat, using only reasonable or necessary force. Applications of force beyond that which is necessary, or reasonable, MAY cause you legal complications.


Explain why one would be legally safer for using a LEGALLY owned sawed off pump shotgun in a defensive situation in your home, rather than a LEGALLY owned submachinegun.

February 18, 2003, 12:26
Has anyone done this before? Yup!http://www.looneytuneclub.com/marvin032.gif

February 18, 2003, 12:50
Just get a cattle prod and forget about playing with fire. I would think that if a person built a device KNOWING that it would kill and used it ....it would be premeditated murder. Even if a friend played with it and got hurt, you would still be liable.

February 18, 2003, 13:28
I agree that such a weapon would not be accepted for civilian use - although i cannot find any law that now prohibits the simple possession of such a device. A simple plugged in extension cord with a 3" wide duel prongs attached to it mounted on the end of a pole would accomplish the same thing - no special circuitry involved there. If all means of self defense were ever banned by the government, I'd probably resort to something like this for combating a home intruder - using 220V of course.

But the device that I have described would certianly have military applications. It would be a very compact and quiet assassin's and/or self-defense weapon, quieter than a silenced .22. Since it doesn't use any explosives, it could be taken anywhere you could take a laptop - in fact it could even be concealed inside of a laptop. You could probably make it so that you would have at least 5, perhaps 10 "shots".

All in all it would make a fantastic close range weapon. It would also make a nice device for slaughtering farm animals. Frankly, I'm surprised that noone has made such a thing yet - in fact, I bet they are out there, I find it hard to believe that I'm the fisrt person to think of such a device.

I just want to invent and pattent the thing, not use it. But if I'm going to get thrown into a prison for merely designining something like this, I'd want to address any red tape before I go forward.

February 18, 2003, 13:44
P.S. Guys, don't think I'm about to go off half-cocked and start wiring such a device in my garage next week. This is just my natural curiosity at work here. I'm much more interested in the theory behind the creation of such a device, possible practical applications, existence of such devices, feasibility of making one that works effectively, legality, etc.

This is just a discussion. I'm not asking for a cookbook on how to actually make one. As knievel said, the handguns was invented to solve this problem over 100 yrears ago. At some point, not just me, but others as well, will be looking for alternatives to handguns - ledspitters. This is but one alternative. Yes, it's only purpose is to kill humans, and/or other living things. It has no other purpose, nor is it supposed to.

February 18, 2003, 21:18
You could just use, say...oh I don't know, maybe a knife?

These are tricky little gadgets that were invented thousands of years ago and work every time, rain or shine!

(and you get unlimited uses with no lap top thingy).


February 18, 2003, 21:27
Even lightning doesn't kill every time.

Dean P
February 18, 2003, 22:51
If it was a workable idea, the military or the CIA would have already had it. They've spent enough money on laser research, spaceage gadgetry, & star war weapons. Some genius may come up with something later, but the battery technology is just not there! If we had the battery technology we wouldn't need that mideast oil! As far as for farm animals, you need a little something more humane. There's nothing more humane than a good 12 lb. sledgehammer! It's cheap, low brow technology & simple as hell!

February 18, 2003, 23:13
I'm sure that sparky and a few of the other electricians on here will find a few flaws in this but I'll do my best to convey what I know about Electro-discharge weaponry.

The basic equation for this would be Ohm's law. I=E/R

I is current in Amps

E is voltage in Volts and will be determined by your power source and any circuit that would raise or lower it.

R would be the resistance of your targets skin and the flesh between the electrodes in Ohms. This will be pretty much a constant or at least beyond the control of your weapon expect for bringing the electrodes closer together to present a shorter and thus less resistive circuit.

To maximize current, which is what you really want to do if you want to do maximum damage, you would have to maximize voltage. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that by Decreasing Voltage you will be increasing Amperage. Yes, the power available from your powersource will demand that less Amperage will flow at higher voltages as near-zero resistance but you will not have near-zero resistance. You will have high resistance and the higher the potential voltage you can show over your contact electrodes the more amperage will flow up to the point where your power source will be maxed out (zero-resistance.)

This is kind of hard to grasp but remember the equation for power. P=IE

P is power in Watts

I is current in Amps again

E is voltage in Volts

You want the most power transferred to the target for the maximum damage. Since current will be a function of the target's inherent resistance to current flow and the voltage then you must change the only variable you have control over. Voltage. Get it high enough to punch through the resistance and bring up current to it's maximum level.

Now lets go into a little lesson on damage caused by electricity.

Current flows down the path of least resistance. In the human body this is down the ion-rich blood vessels. These structures, not being rated by god for a very high ampacity are quickly damaged by the current and cease to function correctly. This flow reduction does not happen immediately. Blood can flow down damaged vessels until they burst or collapse but this may take some time. The real damage occurs to the cells that depend on the oxygen in the blood for survival. It takes a while but eventually the cells in the area where the blood vessels have been will die. If the there is massive damage to a sizable portion of the blood vessels in say, a finger, or an arm the entire limb will die. Electrical burns look like nothing at first. Even fatal shock victims will usually only have a small entrance and exit wound while less than life-threatening ones may only have a tiny red burn or nothing at all. The real damage is inside and in a day or two the arm or leg will turn black and die. It's rather ugly and sad. I've seen it up close and personal and it is horrible.

This doesn't help us much as slowly killing or incapacitating your attacker doesn't do much good if he still gets up to you and kills you. We all know that being shocked with electricity does more than this.

Electricity also travels down the nerve fibers. It is similar to the impulses your body uses to control your muscles. Basically the muscles hear the command to contract really hard. This isn't done selectively but every muscle that sees the impulse becomes instantly contracted. Usually this is very painful and frightening to an attacker and this is what "stuns" in a stun gun. Even after the impulse is over the muscles are confused and cramped and the brain and nervous system are overloaded and can't regain control very fast. This is what makes is hard to let go of a live wire when you are shocked. Your hand clamps around it and your own muscles trap you and you can't let go. The impulses your brain is sending to open your hand don't make it down the nerves and you are stuck! Ouch. Sometimes a victim doesn't let go until they lose consciousness and the muscles relax on their own. This is serious as damage to the tissue is cumulative over time.

This is useful as a tool in stun guns but is not permanent or even long-lasting in some individuals and varies in different circumstances. Sooner or later the target will regain his composure and if he is not restrained in some other way will still be a threat.

This brings us to the instant damage of electric shock. The human heart. The human heart is a pump that is controlled by an electric clock. Nerves in the heart spur the muscles of the heart to contract involuntarily from our conscious thought. The heart's muscles are controlled by these nerves just as the muscles in our legs and arms. This clock is automatic and part of the core of our nervous system. It's an automatic function at a basic level but it can be disrupted. It takes just 50 milliampres(.05 Amp!) to cause the hearts rhythm to be messed up so that the muscles no longer beat in the correct order to cause blood to pump. Remember that the heart not only pumps blood to the rest of your body but it also pumps blood for it's own use. Once the pumping of the blood is disrupted oxygen is deprived not only to the rest of the body but the heart itself and it is the hardest working muscle in the body and the first to be damaged from lack of blood (it really isn't designed to run "dry" it needs LOTS of oxygen to fuel it's hard work)

50 milliamps is NOTHING in the scheme of things. It's just about nothing. The good news is that the heart may go into fibrillation at 50 milliamps but at around 100 or 200 milliamps it will clamp down and instead of going into fibrillation will just hold still until the current is removed and most always will return to a normal sinus rhythm. That is a good thing. There is the danger zone between 50-200 milliamps where clamping will not occur but the heart will go into fibulations that may well continue even after the current is removed. That is the sweet spot that any electrical weapon will need to hit but there are so many variables to make that very hard. I'm sure the government has done a lot of experiments with this but I'd just rather use a firearm which may be a bit messier but a lot more reliable in incapacitating an attacker.

For those who think that such a weapon would be immoral or bad because it is made for the sole purpose of killing then they should get out of the gun hobby. Guns ARE made for killing. That is why they were invented, that is why they were perfected and that is what they do. Any side uses for them are purely coincidental and pertain to the practicing of skills that would be necessary to use firearms for their primary mission which is to kill people. Plain and simple. That's what they are for. We need to face that fact. They are just a tool but the purpose of that tool is to kill.

Sometimes some people need to be killed for various reasons. An enlightened person will only kill to protect his Life, Liberty or Property but sometimes even he must use a tool to do so or face the loss of the above. Any tool that does that task is OK with me when the job calls for it. Firearm, Knife, Electric-discharge weapon, chainsaw. Whatever. When the job calls for killing then one picks up the best tool at hand and does what needs to be done. Hopefully they will only be used by good people for the right reasons but that doesn't change the fact that the tools are made for that reason.

Jim :fal: FALunga

February 18, 2003, 23:25
Buy a used defribrillator or give them adenosine. At least that way, some hearts will restart. Household AC at 117volts is quite disruptive. It's one method of humanely distroying livestock(one electrode to the nose, one to the anus). Of course, the hammer, gun-pneumatic or firearm, bow/arrow, atalytl, rock, battle ax, banana peel on step, etc work too. This is a bit sick, you know.

February 19, 2003, 08:41
and advice here for me to ponder over. I still think that such a device is feasible using laptop batteries, and that someone will attempt this. As battery techonology gets better I anticipate that within 5 years someone will have this figured out.

FAL guy
February 19, 2003, 09:17
You also have to design so the juice flows through the body part you want to disrupt. You can't apply leads that are two inches apart and expect electricy to flow throughout the body. Unless part of the body is grounded.

Eric Bryant
February 19, 2003, 17:25
Thanks for your post, FALunga. When I read the first post, I started getting concerned that Ohm's Law had been repealed since I graduated from college 3 1/2 years ago (with a EE degree). I think you explained things extremely well.
What's your background?

February 19, 2003, 17:47
Originally posted by Eric Bryant

What's your background?

Killer -19D Cavalry Scout

Scholar/Teacher - BA -History & Secondary Education: Broad-field social studies.

Builder - Journeyman Electrician.

Jim :fal: FALunga