Can Taser Cartridges Be Reused?

by Tim Chesonis | Last Updated:  May 5, 2019

Tasers can be an effective means of self defense, and are easily concealed. For those who don’t want to carry a concealed firearm, a taser may be the right solution for you. But once you use a taser cartridge, can it be reused?

Once a taser is fired, the cartridge can not be reused and must be replaced after every use. If the taser cartridge has not been used, it must be replaced every 5 years due to the limitations of the lithium ion batteries used in tasers.

In this article, we will show why you can’t reuse taser cartridges and answer a few other questions you may have regarding taser guns.

How Does A Taser Work?

A taser has one cartilage that allows you to fire two small dart-like electrodes with one shot. Once you pull the trigger, it fires two dart-like electrodes out, which stay connected to gun-like device you shoot from. These two penetrating darts are propelled by small compressed nitrogen containers that reside within the “cartridge”. Once the two dart-like electrodes penetrate skin of the attacker, they almost certainly will drop to the ground and won’t be able to move much, if at all.

When you fire a taser an an assailant, ideally, you want to shoot at waist level, so that one dart penetrates above the belt, and one below the belt. If firming at a man, this will be most effective, as anything remotely close to the groin is going to have maximum impact.

Shooting at any limbs will have less impact. For example, if you shoot at the arm, the arm muscles will contact, but that may not be enough to drop the individual. If you target an area, like the stomach, or back, the muscles will contact so much so, that the recipient won’t be able to move.

Can I Reuse the Taser Cartridge?

The cartridges are a single use and the probes and wires cannot be reused. Because the taser cartridge cannot be easily repackaged and the cartridge can not be charged to fire it again, the taser cartridges must be replaced after every use.

However, there are some tasers that offer a back-up stun gun feature that can be used after the taser cartridge has been deployed even if the taser cartridge has not been removed. This means that if you happen to miss the target, you can still “stun” the assailant by holding down the trigger while touching them with the barrel of the Taser. This is only effective for as long as you hold the trigger down while touching the barrel of the Taser to the attacker.

How Many Shots are In a Taser?

One shot with a Taser can deliver up to 25 minutes of concurrent electricity into the assailant.

Technically, a taser only offers one shot. You can set a taser to function for 5 seconds or 30 seconds. The default settings is set to 5 seconds, (unless you change it before using it).

If you have it set to 30 seconds, and you hit your target, the assailant will receive 30 seconds of electrical current. At the end of those 30 seconds, (after the you stop hearing the electricity transfer into their body), if you pull the trigger again (assuming that the electrodes are still embedded in the body of the assailant), they will receive another 30 seconds of electricity. This can repeated 50 times before the battery in the taser dies. That means that technically, you could deliver another 50,000 volts of electricity into the assailant every 30 seconds for 25 minutes. After the first 30 seconds, they will be begging for mercy.

How Many Volts Can Kill a Human?

There is a tendency to believe that the higher the voltage, the more deadly a taser is. That’s just not so. It’s the current that does the damage, and the driving force of the current is the amps. A milliamp is one-thousandths of an amp, and yes, one amp may kill you, but we are talking 4 or 5 thousandths of 1 amp when it comes to tasers.

Voltage the current to travel through clothing, meaning that the higher the voltage, the greater the ability to deliver the charge through thick clothing. 4 to 5 milliamps is more than enough to cause muscles to contract by overloading the electrical impulses of the body.

Have Tasers Ever Killed People?

In 2017 Reuters ran a misleading story with an obvious bias, stating that “More than 1,000 people in the U.S. have died after police stunned them with Tasers“. Actually, of the 1,005 deaths that have occurred after police stunned them with Tasers, the stun gun was ruled to be a cause or contributing factor in only 153 of those deaths. In other words, tasing someone can cause cardiac arrest, but the probability of dying from being shot with a taser is extremely low.

The number of people saved by using the Taser far outweighs the lives that have died as a result of using a Taser, and Taser has only grown in popularity over time. In fact, between the year 2000 and 2013, Tasers increased in use from 500 police departments to about 17,000 police departments.

Can I Use a Taser for Self-Defense?

Yes, you can use Tasers for self-defense in all 50 states with the exception of Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Road Island, the District of Columbia (Washington DC), and US Virgin Islands. These states have outlawed Tasers.

Where Can You Buy a Taser Cartridges?

You can purchase Taser cartridges from taser.com or you can get them for less money at Amazon.com, and generally go for about $60 or $70 depending on the taser model you own. You can buy them at any sporting goods store with the exception of the states listed above that have outlawed the use of Tasers.

The Taser Pulse, for example, comes with two cartridges out of the box. Replacement cartridges usually come in pairs of two. They do have a shelf-life of 5 years, due to the lithium ion batteries used in tasers. If you never have to use your taser, that’s great news, but even if you don’t, you absolutely want to replace the cartridges every 5 years.

Final Thoughts

Tasers are very effective at bringing an assailant into submission. The taser itself can be purchased on Amazon, and thought the cartridges can not be reused, you can easily replace them anywhere tasers are sold.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you feel threatened after having shot your assailant, the taser will continue the flow of electricity into the individual even if you drop the taser itself and flee the scene. The taser will give you a 30 second head start if you choose to do so. You may loose the taser in the process, but that is better than loosing your life.

Tim loves writing and helping people succeed. He brings a wealth of wisdom and insight from an entrepreneur's perspective, enjoys tinkering with computers, and is a die-hard gadget guy, especially when it comes to cell phones :-) When he's not writing another article, he's probably binge-watching Suites or Breaking Bad, (again). To learn more about Tim, click here.