[Review] TASER Pulse: Best Civilian Less-Lethal Option?

TASER…turning people into Wookie-sounding bags of jello since 1993.

For a long time only available to law enforcement…the TASER Pulse is geared towards us normal civilian folks.

Taser Pulse Dual Wield
TASER Pulse Dual Wield

I’ve been on-and-off carrying one for two years.  Find out what I think and whether the Pulse meets your less-lethal needs.  Actual videos of me shooting it too!

Table of Contents

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About the TASER Pulse

I won’t dive too much into it…but TASER devices work by firing two dart electrodes that deliver electricity which causes “neuromuscular incapacitation.”

Taser Pulse Demo
TASER Pulse Demo

I’m sure you’ve seen the videos of it in action.  This is the Pulse hooked up with clips and only for a few seconds (a full shot is 30 seconds that gives you time to run away).

TASER has traditionally only gone after the law enforcement market…but the Pulse is now available to almost anyone with no licensing in most states.

It’s shaped like a subcompact handgun, has a 15-foot range, a safety lever that activates a light and laser combo, and also a contact stun capability.

Most Electrifying Non-Lethal EDC
277
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Now let’s dive deeper…

What You Get

Now decently priced at $279 (original was $399)…you get:

  • Pulse unit with battery
  • Two cartridges
  • Neoprene cover
  • Conductive test target
Taser Pulse Unboxing
TASER Pulse Unboxing

TASER sent me this new unit for testing & photos, but the old one I bought myself when it was full price :-(.

Replacement cartridges are roughly $70 for two.  And batteries (that last around 2 years) are $23.

Who Is It For?

  • Someone wanting to protect themselves with a less-lethal projectile weapon (and with contact stun capability)
  • Someone living in a state where it’s hard to get a concealed carry permit

Fit & Feel

It’s pretty light (8 oz) but feels quality for being completely polymer.  For comparison…a Glock 19 is 29 oz loaded.

Grip is also decent…I can get a full grip without a hanging pinkie.  I’m a large SKD glove (Best ShootingGloves).

Taser Pulse Grip, Me
TASER Pulse Grip, Me

And here is my wife’s grip (she’s a small SKD).

Taser Pulse Grip, Wife
TASER Pulse Grip, Wife

As for size…here’s the Glock 19 again.

Taser Pulse vs Glock 19 Grip
TASER Pulse vs Glock 19 Grip

And for the side profile.

Taser Pulse vs Glock 19, Side
TASER Pulse vs Glock 19, Side

Sights are meh but low-profile and properly aligned with the laser at the 15 foot mark.  My guess is if you’re using it you’re probably only using the laser.

Taser Pulse Sights
TASER Pulse Sights

Lever to power on the unit is a flip-up that activates the laser/light and also a power indicator.  Green for good and orange for time to change the battery.

Taser Pulse Lever & Power Indicator
TASER Pulse Lever & Power Indicator

Batteries are in the grip and easily accessed when it’s time to change them.

Taser Pulse Battery Pack
TASER Pulse Battery Pack

I’ve been testing it during the 2 years with a decent amount of contact stuns and I’m still in the green.

How Does It Shoot?

Insert a cartridge (doesn’t matter orientation), make sure the battery is good, flip the lever up, and shoot.

Taser Pulse Cartridges
TASER Pulse Cartridges

I put the conductive test target on some cardboard and loaded up one of my 2 year old cartridges.

Taser Pulse Testing Target
TASER Pulse Testing Target

Here it is in action at 15 paces…

Once the two darts make contact, you’ll drive a 30 second charge of electricity into your target.  That gives you time to get out of there.

Check out the surges of electricity running across the target…and the difference in pulse patterns.  The dart spread is also good for most adult torsos.

And something really cool…there’s a Safe Escape Product Replacement Guarantee.  If there’s a police report that deems your use lawful self-defense…TASER will send you a new one!

What if you miss…or you somehow need to incapacitate another target?

Taser Pulse Contact Stun
TASER Pulse Contact Stun

You can either load up another cartridge (which probably isn’t going to happen), or you can take out the used cartridge and use the Pulse in contact stun mode.

Pretty nifty!

And check out the impact on thick cardboard…

Taser Pulse Electrodes
TASER Pulse Electrodes

And the barbed electrodes…that’s gotta sting!  Now I know whey they use alligator clips when testing them on law enforcement.

Taser Pulse Electrode Barbs
TASER Pulse Electrode Barbs

And how what about the trigger?

It’s comparable to a single-action trigger with no slack and a clean break…with the tactile feel of pressing down on the R or L button on a console controller.  I measured it at an ultra-light 1 lb 10 oz.

Low Light Use

Chances are most bad things happen at night.  I really like the integrated flashlight and laser underneath the main cartridge.

Taser Pulse Light & Laser
TASER Pulse Light & Laser

Hopefully a laser on someone’s chest already defuses the situation.  Besides the yellow outline on the front of the Pulse…it really looks like a subcompact gun.

The light is decent…it’ll help you positively ID your target at around the 15 foot mark.  But it’s not exactly a great torch (5 Best Tactical Lights).

Taser Pulse Laser Light, 15 Ft
TASER Pulse Laser Light, 15 Ft

Laser is very visible at night and adequate during the day at 15 feet.

Taser Pulse Laser Light, 15 Ft Part 2
TASER Pulse Laser Light, 15 Ft Part 2

And here’s the pattern indoors at around 8 feet…note that it’s rectangular in shape but once you’re out to 15 feet you won’t notice.

Taser Pulse Laser Light, 8 Ft Indoors
TASER Pulse Laser Light, 8 Ft Indoors

Holster Options

The thing it comes with is really only meant as a cover.  It’s soft and hard to take on and off.

Taser Pulse Slip Cover
TASER Pulse Slip Cover

When I first got mine there weren’t a lot of options for holsters besides a nylon OWB (outside waistband) one from TASER ($21).

The one I’ve been using in appendix carry is this Kydex one with a clip.

Taser Pulse Kydex Holster
TASER Pulse Kydex Holster

It’s pretty comfortable for walks and car rides.

Taser Pulse CCW, Appendix
TASER Pulse CCW, Appendix

Conceals well, covers the trigger, doesn’t inadvertently activate the power lever, and is easy to draw.

Drawing Taser Pulse
Drawing TASER Pulse

Other options include a Blade-Tech ($40) one with belt straps and screw holes for other methods.

Blade-Tech Pulse Holster
Blade-Tech Pulse Holster

And even a leather paddle ($63) option.

Leather Pulse Holster
Leather Pulse Holster

Pros & Cons

The Good Stuff

  • Decent price of $279: original $399 was a little high for my taste
  • Lightweight and compact
  • 15 feet of shooting distance
  • Ambidextrous safety lever with light/laser activation
  • Contact stun capability
  • Some holster options now
  • Replacement guarantee
  • No restrictions in most states (always double check)
Taser Regulations
TASER Regulations

Could Be Better

  • One shot cartridges that cost $35 each
  • Batteries last about 2 years
  • Need both prongs to hit target
  • Might be ineffective against thick clothing

The last one is addressed by TASER where they say “The darts will penetrate all but the thickest clothing and the electricity will also jump up to two inches of combined distances between the probes and the skin.”

Update: New TASER Pulse+

In November 2018, TASER announced a new model called the Pulse+ that automatically contacts emergency services and provides GPS location.

Pulse+with Noonlight
Pulse+with Noonlight

It’s able to do this by connecting via Bluetooth to the Noonlight app.

Now through January 1, 2019 you can trade in your regular Pulse for a $250 credit towards the Pulse+ which is listed at $449.

By The Numbers

Reliability: 4.5/5

2 years and at least 20 usages of the contact stun to show my friends…my battery is still going strong.  I haven’t shot dozens of cartridges but the one I did was fine.  However, it does look like a handful of reviews on Amazon had less than reliable batteries.

Accuracy: 5/5

Within 15 feet if you keep the Pulse upright and on target with the laser…it will do its job.

Ergonomics: 5/5

Nice subcompact size and grip that fits me fine and was rated as excellent by my wife.

Looks: 5/5

Looks like a subcompact gun…for better or for worse.

Customization: 2/5

I guess you can choose a holster?  But customization isn’t really the name of the game for a TASER device.

Bang for the Buck: 3.5/5

Decently priced for what you get at $279.  Cartridges are $35 each and remember to change batteries every 2 years at $23 a pop.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a less-lethal option that doesn’t require you get up close and personal like pepper spray or stun guns…try out the TASER Pulse.

Or if you’re in a CCW unfriendly state but you still want protection previously only available to law enforcement.

Taser Pulse, What You Get
TASER Pulse, What You Get

It’s decently priced now, is light, ergonomic, and is pretty easy to hit the target.  Plus the contact stun is a plus if you miss.

Extra cartridges and keeping the battery fed is a little annoying but not enough to deter my personal use.

I’m going to continue to carry mine and the second one is going into my wife’s purse.

Most Electrifying Non-Lethal EDC
277
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

What’s your opinion of the Pulse…or did you go with some other sort of less-lethal option?  Or is it best to carry some real steel?

18 Leave a Reply

  • BJ

    I added Talon grips to mine. Im from LA County where ccw isn't allowed.

    3 months ago
  • Vickie

    In your video where you shot at the target, you put taser down on ground after. I’m assuming to run, leaving it all behind? If stun was then necessary, you have to wait for the 30 seconds to pull cartridge out to use stun? This was a gift and I’m trying to figure this out. I agree that the holster that comes with is difficult to put in and take off. Going to shop for another case. Thx

    4 months ago
    • Andy

      No you can either turn the safety back which will turn it off or yank out cartridge.

      3 months ago
  • Steve

    Make sure you don't have an AD with appendix carry.

    7 months ago
  • S. Smith

    Unlike the law enforcement models, This gives a 30-second ride, not a 5-second ride. Mind you, like pepper spray, this won't work on everyone, (such as people on PCP, etc.) and therefore DOES NOT replace a firearm. However, it solves one of the major problems pepper spray poses- the problem of incapacitating yourself when you use it. (blowback is pure hell). The major con to the Taser is the fact that you have to consider that an unwarranted discharge of a Taser is more likely to result in a felony assault charge. (as the "probes" fit the definition of a "deadly weapon" under the law of some states.) All and all, for those looking for a non-lethal "intermediate force" option, the pulse is a great option.

    7 months ago
  • Bob

    Can you still get an 'old" one? I would rather not contact emergency services, unless I am the one doing the contacting...

    8 months ago
    • Mike

      You do not have to activate the mode, it has nothing to do with taser its an app that is optional

      5 months ago
    • S. Smith

      Yes the "old" model is still available.

      7 months ago
    • Bob

      Join the discussion...oops...misread the new/old info in article - I see you can get either...

      8 months ago
  • Mike

    I looked on amazon and the prices are up to over $300 now. I went to the guerrilladefense.com store jeremy mentioned and they still have them for $279 so I just bought one. Im excited to try it out

    1 year ago
    • Ben

      I just bought taser pulse from Guerrilla Defense for $269 with shipping. Anyone know when the new taser7 will be available

      10 months ago
  • Jeremy

    I bought mine online at a place called Guerrilla defense and had a battery issue too. They were very nice and sent me a new battery and offered to send me a whole new gun if I wanted, but instead I bought two camera batteries that are rechargeable and made my own. Now all I have to do is recharge them. The batteries are just a money making tactic by Taser so you always have to buy new ones

    1 year ago
  • Paul

    2 Years of battery life is out of the ordinary. I went through 3 batteries in a single year, and I don't even test it. I only flip the safety to check the battery. I had to stop carrying it due to unreliability. There are many more people reporting this problem in the Amazon reviews.

    1 year ago
  • Sabre22

    what is the average civilian going to do after giving the crook a 5 second ride (shock). Now you've got a pissed off crook looking for revenge.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      The built in shock is 30 seconds like in my video where you're supposed to run away. And Taser will get you another Pulse if you have a police report filed that shows you used it in self-defense.

      1 year ago
  • Johnn Quest

    You had better check the reviews on Amazon. There appears to be a lot of people experiencing battery problems, I question your rating for reliability.

    1 year ago
    • Trevor

      I purchased my pulse in November 2017 and haven't had any issues with the battery. I've fired it once with a cartridge, I've activated the contact stun mode a handful of times and I've powered on the laser/light a couple dozen times. Battery indicator is still a solid green and laser/light are still bright as ever. My buddy bought his Pulse same time I did and hasn't had any issues with his battery. The only thing I would question is the reliability of the Amazon reviews. Amazon reviews for a particular product are consistently worse then reviews left for the same product on other sites. The majority of negative reviews about the battery were probably human error, they either left the Pulse in a car on a/multiple hot day(s) or treated it like a toy constantly powering it on and off. Are faulty batteries possible, yes of course they are, but considering my buddy, Eric and I have all had absolutely no issues with our batteries, I would say Eric's rating is justified and accurate. Also keep in mind law enforcement use Taser, not the same model as the Pulse but still a Taser nonetheless. If there was an issue with the batteries it would have been resolved very quickly or Taser would have lost not only credibility but their main source of income as well. One last point, Taser has enough problems with people questioning the safety of their products, claiming a loved one died after a Taser was used in them. Last thing they want or need is for their customers to start questioning the safety of the products as well.

      9 months ago
    • Eric Hung

      Thanks Johnn! It does look like a handful of people have problems with the battery. So far mine have been gtg.

      1 year ago
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