Formerly “Air Taser”, Taser International’s premier product is their “Advanced Taser” M26. The M26 is a 26 Watt Electro-Muscular Disruption (EMD) device that was designed to takedown the toughest and meanest individuals in the world, no matter how big, drugged up, or pissed off, without killing or permanently injuring them, a feat that no other less-lethal device can supposedly currently accomplish. Your humble editor-in-chief personally witnessed the M26 take down a roughly 185 pound to 190 pound fake knife-wielding no-holds-barred fighter within a fraction of a second…
The M26’s operator accomplished this while the individual in question was at a full run, and before he could reach his intended target standing only a few feet away. Of course this was only a demonstration(however, there may or may not have been wagering), and not the real thing–but it was still impressive. The M26 has even been successful in immediately taking down determined pit bulls, although dogs recover from the Taser’s effects much more quickly, so repeat jolts are necessary, unless you can get the dog muzzled very quickly. The M26 shoots two electrodes rather accurately out to a distance of up to 21 feet. Once the subject is hit, he or she is basically at the operator’s mercy, as the unit completely overrides the central nervous system, and thus the individual’s muscular control. The operator can then send “juice” into the subject at will, via the weapon’s trigger, which acts as an “on/off” switch. The M26 runs on 8 standard AA batteries, and comes with a built- in laser sight and Dataport(at the rear of the unit), so the time and date of the weapon’s use can be downloaded to a computer. A spare electrode air cartridge can be stored at the bottom of the grip(it plugs in), and changed out with the used cartridge, within seconds, for a second shot.
Now, all of the above is the good news. The bad news, for civilians that is, is that the M26 is only available to law enforcement. The civilian version is called the M18, and is only 18 Watts(still enough to put any human down, according to company officials) and does not include the built-in Dataport. The author isn’t sure whether or not the M18 allows the storage of an additional air cartridge at the base of the grip(I’ll have to call them and ask).
The author must now preface what he’s about to say with two statements: First, DefenseReview.com is every bit as supportive of law enforcement as Taser International is. In other words,we at DefRev are pro law enforcement all the way, and we believe that LE’s at federal, state, and local levels should absolutely have the best tools at their disposal for defending themselves and the community from violent criminals. It must also be said that DefRev was extremely impressed with the M26’s performance, as witnessed at the TREXPO East exhibition. However, now that that’s all out of the way, it is this writer’s opinion that Taser International’s policy of not offering the M26 to law abiding civilian’s, especially those with CCW’s, is a rather profound mistake and, more specifically, a possibly very serious miscalculation with regard to future business.
The company’s sales policy is also baffling from a logic perspective. It’s akin to the idea of firearms manufacturers offering less powerful versions of their products to law abiding private citizens than they do to the police. Imagine, for a moment, Glock, Sig, and Beretta only manufacturing guns in as high as .32 ACP or .380 ACP for civilian purchase, or Remington and Mossberg only providing 20 guage shotguns for public consumption. I guess what I’m saying is, if it’s a fact that both law abiding private individuals and criminals currently have access to the same level of firepower as the police currently enjoy– i.e. the same guns in the same calibers(except for post ’86 full-auto weapons, of course),–and that is indeed a fact, folks–then why would the acquisition of M26’s by either the law abiding populace, or even criminals for that matter, pose any greater threat to law enforcement? It sort of makes me want to yell out to the company, "We already have carry permits and guns, guys! And, the badguys already have guns too, only without the carry permits!"
As if that’s not enough, what’s even more baffling is why Taser International believes that law abiding citizen’s deserve less effective self defense tools than the police, especially those citizens who live in dangerous high-risk areas and/or have CCW’s. It’s as if Taser International either does not trust law abiding private individuals, or they feel that the police should maintain some kind of advantage over them. Both of these possibilities are disturbing. We truly hope that neither is the case.
Basically, DefRev sincerely hopes that the good folks at Taser International will wise up a little bit, and right soon, for two reasons: One, we really like the product. It seems to work as advertised, and allow the operator to put a bad guy down immediately, without causing any kind of permanent injury whatsoever to the shootee. And two, well, let’s just say that the private sector can be rather unforgiving–just ask Smith & Wesson.
Click on this link to visit Taser International’s website.