I was careful to say "sheltered contacts" because with the new C2 design, TASER also resolved another potential problem or inconvenience. My wife has an X26C which she is hesitant to carry for a couple of reasons:
- It looks a lot like a pistol (even though it's clear plastic instead of black), and
- She HAS to carry it in the provided holster.
TASER is very careful to alert certified users that there is a chance for static electrical discharge to cause the cartridge in the TASER to fire. While no electrical discharge would occur from the TASER device, we all know that simply walking on some floors can cause a build up of static electricity which we feel the next time we touch someone or reach for a doorknob. That same static discharge, if it happened at the end of the X26C (or other M or X models) may cause the gas capsule inside the cartridge to fire the probes. If one of the probes hits you in the leg, arm, side, etc, it's still going to hurt even without the accompanying electrical discharge.
By sheltering the contacts farther within the TASER C2 body and protecting them even more with the shape and integral design of the cartridge itself, TASER greatly decreases any chance of a static discharge inadvertently firing the cartridge probes. In other words, you can carry the C2 in your pocket more safely. So now you have a self-defense tool that looks nothing like a pistol and you can drop in a cargo pocket, purse, etc and have handy when you need it.
Finally, the price point has come way down as well: from close to $1,000 for the X26C to less than $300 for the basic C2. That makes the C2 cheaper to own than most every firearm of contemporary manufacture. My wife has flat out stated that if I can get her a silver or blue C2, she'd happily carry that with her nearly everywhere she goes. Due to its changed appearance (not looking like a pistol in any way) she's even more open to the idea of carrying it on a daily basis during errands and to/from work.
I think TASER has really hit a home run with this design. I strongly encourage all buyers to get the optional laser aiming device for two reasons: one, to increase your chances of hitting the subject under stress, and two, to take advantage of the psychological impact that little red dot seems to have on bad guys. When they see it they seem to know what's coming next--but they think it's a bullet, not an electrical ride they will come to know and hate.