Equipped with a high-speed camera, the team traveled to Taser International headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona, to have their subject stunned with a Taser X26, the company’s most popular model, at 28,500 frames per second.
The first thing you get to see is a mixture of pink and yellow confetti that explodes from the Taser when it’s fired. That explosion surely isn’t there just to make anyone smile. In fact, each confetti boasts a unique serial number, vital in case police need to find out whether a Taser was fired at a crime scene.
The man who volunteered to be filmed while getting hit with a Taser, Dan Hafen, wasn’t a stuntman, but a colleague who works for the maker of the Phantom camera that The Slow Mo Guys (Gavin Free and Daniel Gruchy) used.
The footage shows his muscles contracting as the stun gun’s probes break the skin to deliver a high-voltage payload. In the X26 Taser the voltage peaks at 50,000 volts. “It feels like it’s never going to end,” Dan said after receiving the shock. “It’s a long five seconds.”
He added: “I didn’t really feel the probes. I feel like my muscles have locked up.”
The TaserX26 uses compressed nitrogen to project two small probes five meters at a speed of about 55 meters per second. These probes are connected to the stun gun by high-voltage insulated wire, the description on the company’s website reads. According to Taser, the 26 watt electrical signal is powerful enough to “take down even the largest of assailants.” It’s transmitted thoroughout the area where the probes make contact with the body, resulting in an “immediate loss of the person’s neuromuscular control, balance and the ability to perform coordinated actions.”
While the company insists that Tasers are “non-lethal” weapons, the American Civil Liberties Union says that over 500 people have died in the US since 2001 after law enforcement officers used stun guns against them, according to a 2012 ACLU report.
Police departments across the US have been increasingly embracing the use of Tasers. In the year 2000, only 7 percent of the nation’s police departments employed stun guns, according to a report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. By 2013, however, up to 80 percent did.
The New York Police Department is set to spend some $4.5 million to buy a host of new Tasers for its officers, the New York Post reported last month.