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Last summer, I did complete reviews on the TASER M18 and X26C, TASER's then-existent civilian self-defense tools. At the time, I made some comparisons between what used to be science-fiction and is now science-fact. When I compared the TASER models to the phasers from various versions of Star Trek, I never expected that TASER would evolve the appearance of these tools along the same lines. In the original Star Trek, the phasers were shaped like pistols. In Star Trek: The Next Generation the phasers were shaped more like television remote controls--a curved ergonomic device with push-button activation on the back instead of a trigger on a pistol grip. Well, guess what? The TASER C2 is the realization of that same type of design evolution: it no longer looks like a pistol at all, and comes in four different colors so you can accessorize accordingly.
If you remember the information about the TASER X26C, it is essentially a modified version of the law enforcement model TASER X26. Where the X26 provides a five second "ride" each time you pull the trigger, the X26C provides a ten second discharge. Since the X26C was specifically designed as a defense and escape tool, TASER made it so that you could pull the trigger three times in quick succession and the result was a 30 second discharge. That was the entire goal: a 30 second incapacitating shock delivered to the bad guy, so that you could put the TASER X26C down and run away.
On the X26C, the safety lever worked just like on the M-series and on the LE version of the X26: in the down position it was on safe, and in the up position the system was charged. Two LEDs provided you basic illumination, and the integral laser aiming device gave you a quick visual reference for your point of aim. All of the M-series and X-series of TASERs also have mechanical sights for your optional use. Take a good look at that photo to the above right: there are no mechanical sights; and the laser aiming device is optional.
The "safety" is a sliding cover door that prevents accidental discharge of the weapon through an unintentional pushing of the activation/firing button. When the sliding safety door is opened by pulling it back with your thumb, the LED and laser aiming device (if you chose to purchase that option) are activated. The maximum firing distance of the C2 is the same as the X26C: fifteen feet. Two probes are fired by a charge of compressed gas, and those probes trail insulated wires which carry the electric charge. When the probes strike the target--or come within an inch of it, thanks to electricity's ability to arc across air--the circuit between the power source and the probes is completed delivering the "TASER Wave" through the large striated muscle groups between the probes.
On the C2 there is no three-trigger-pull requirement to build up to the thirty-second discharge. One push of the activation button fires the cartridge and automatically delivers that thirty second discharge. That thirty seconds is your window of opportunity to drop the TASER and get away. The first time I taught someone that (and yes, I'm a certified TASER instructor) they said, "Just leave it there? I paid an awful lot for it." I appreciate that, but guess what? Every time you fire a TASER cartridge, small circular tags that have the serial number of that cartridge are also discharged. When you report the crime to the police (the assault, robbery, etc that you used the TASER to defend yourself from) and they file their report including the serial number found on any of those tags, TASER will replace your C2 or X26C for free. THAT is a heck of a security feature.
Now, as you can see from the image shown right, without a cartridge in place, the TASER C2 can still be used as a "stun gun" type of device. The electrical charge arcs between the sheltered contacts. If the end of the C2 were pushed up against an individual and activated, that electrical arc would be through their skin.