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Comparing the Taser X26 and the Stinger S200

TASER International is the leading manufacturer of Conducted Energy Devices (CEDs) in the United States. Competition by Stinger Systems Inc. has led many agencies to question the advantages and disadvantages of the two products.

The National Institute of Justice commissioned an independent study to evaluate each product’s performance and operational safety.

The study examined both qualitative and quantitative aspects of the two weapons. Researchers tested the Taser X26 and Stinger S200 and documented several variables:

  • Distance to target.
  • Probe spread.
  • Probe distance to aim point.
  • Probe contact with target.
  • Cartridge and weapon systems problems.

The Stinger S200 is no longer on the market and the company has said it regards that version as a prototype.

A qualitative review of the shocks received from the Taser and Stinger weapons was conducted using 15 volunteers at training sessions. Most people reported a much lower level of incapacitation when hit with the Stinger S200 in comparison to the Taser X26. 

Reliability. Researchers found the Taser X26 to be much more reliable than the Stinger S200. This was true even after researchers received a replacement weapon and cartridges from Stinger because of the high incidence of malfunctions in the first batch. The reliability of the replacement was significantly better than the original. The Stinger S200 probes consistently broke free from their barbs in the target. The Stinger S200 system also had problem with tangled lead wire. Also, while the probe spread was smaller in the Stinger S200 (allowing for greater accuracy at greater distances than the Taser X26), the probes had a problem reaching the target. The lighter Stinger S200 probe penetrates deeply at close distances but quickly loses its ability to penetrate even a soft target over greater distances.

Accuracy. Probe spread is important in a projectile CED to ensure that electrical current travels through a large amount of muscle mass. The Taser missed the target a significant number of times at 20 feet because of the probe’s spread angle, although the tether wire was 25 feet long.  

Durability. The Taser X26 and the Stinger S200 had similar tensile strength in the tether wires leading from the weapon to the probes. In a separate test, researchers dropped cartridges from a height of four feet. None of the Taser cartridges broke during this test; 14 out of the 20 Stinger cartridges broke on impact with a carpeted floor.

Date Created: May 28, 2008