Product Review: C2 Taser

Posted: December 4, 2013 in Product Reviews
Tags: , , ,

taser-1This is a review of the C2 Taser, a less-lethal, self-defense product that is available from many Texas gun show vendors.  If you have followed this blog for any amount of time, then you know I am a fan of force options and the use of lethal force only as an absolute last resort.

The C2 taser offers an incapacitating, but not lethal, force response that operates at a distance of up to 15 feet.  I won’t go into detail on how the product works since so much information on that topic is already online and covered in other reviews.  Instead, this review discusses the purchase, training, and actual process of carrying the C2 Taser in my daily routine.

The product is packed as shown above, and you may have seen this box at one of many tables at a gun show.  There is a small background check that is required for purchase and the process is different from that provided in the training video.

In the past, you purchased the C2 Taser, then went online to fill out a background check form.  After the check cleared (which is largely determining if there are any police reports or outstanding warrants on you), you received a 3-digit code that was used to activate the product.  Now, the check is run by the merchant and you take the product home in an immediately ready-to-operate condition.

taser-2 The product comes in a nice package with the Taser, an instructional DVD, User’s Guide, training target, training cartridge, two carry cartridges, and a holster. If you are interested in aftermarket holsters, Tuff Products has a couple options for this unit.

I found the DVD somewhat interesting, but be aware that my version had outdated instructions regarding activation of the unit.  I had to contact the vendor who sold me the unit to resolve the misunderstanding.

Basic operation is extremely easy and I found it quite simple to insert a cartridge and fire from the hip at the test target.  Noise from the nitrogen propellant is enough to indicate that the cartridge fired, but pretty tame relative to even a .22LR outdoors 🙂

Now, you may believe that after inserting and test-firing a cartridge that you are ready to shove the unit into a holster and walk the streets, fully prepared for an attack.  And, unfortunately, this is where a lot of reviews end.  It is, however, where mine begins.

Let’s talk about carrying the C2 Taser since that’s the entire reason you intend to part with a few hundred bucks.  The first thing to understand is your maximum operational distance.  It’s five yards.  If you’ve read about how the taser works, then you understand that separation between the barbs is critical for best operation.  So, it could probably be argued that a near-optimal distance for discharge is in the 3-5 yard range.  It’s very difficult for an attacker to carry anything that, along with arm reach, extends past three yards.  So, that distance provides some reasonable separation from a defensive standpoint and some room for the barbs to expand.

That’s a pretty tight operating radius.  Can you quickly look at an object or person and tell whether or not they are five yards or less distance from you?  Can you do so regularly and with high accuracy?  Can you do it under the pressure of an attack?  Yes, arm extension provides a buffer on that distance, however, the barbs are physically attached to the unit by wires.  If the unit is discharged and the attacker happens to be just over six yards away, imagine the escalation in your fear when the barbs do not make contact at all and he rushes towards you.

Now, the C2 Taser cartridges are removable and the unit can be reloaded or even function as a stun gun without a loaded cartridge.  I’ve been accidentally hit by a 5M volt stun gun and in a location pretty near my groin.  After letting out a loud yell, I was hyped up on adrenaline and ready to kick someone’s azz.  I would not have been deterred from an attack in the least; in fact, the opposite was more likely.

So, here is my next question.  How long does it take an attacker to close a distance of six yards?  You can easily try this experiment at home.  Do you honestly believe that you can remove one cartridge and install another, then aim and fire before the attacker is right on top of you?  Honestly?  I’m almost certain that I could not do it and I practice speed reloads with my handguns on a constant basis.  I’d be surprised if anyone under pressure of an attack could remove a cartridge and get the unit in position to deliver a stun to some area that might slow a person sufficiently to allow escape.

If this is your plan, then I strongly suggest regular practice at removing cartridges quickly and without looking at the unit.  Personally, I consider the C2 Taser to be a one-shot device in an actual self-defense scenario.

My third observation is very similar to carrying a handgun.  How effectively can you operate from a draw?  The answer, of course, depends on your mode of carry.  Again, test your draw time vs. the ability of an attacker to close a 5-6 yard distance.  Can you even bring the taser to bear in that time?

In addition aligning the taser with the target, how fast can you fire?  The unit does deploy a light and laser beam on activation.  This activation requires a small cover to be moved rearward to expose a firing button.  The cover has grooves on the front but a smooth backing.  In some initial tests, especially with slightly wet hands (to simulate sweaty hands during a typical Texas summer), I found that it was easy for the thumb to slip off the cover without fully moving it backwards.  I highly recommend some practice without a cartridge installed of drawing, presenting, and removing the cover so that the unit can be quickly brought to bear in a guaranteed ready-to-fire mode.

The laser is adequate at five yards and I found the light to be barely useful during testing in a variety of low-light conditions.  I personally recommend not relying on the laser for aiming.  If you can point your thumb in the direction of someone, you can be accurate within five yards.  Remember that the attacker is most likely moving and if you hesitate to acquire the tiny laser dot, that hesitation may cost you bodily harm or worse.

Now, you may think I’m trying to argue against the purchase and use of the C2 Taser as a self-defense implement.  That is not the case.  I am, however, attempting to break through some of the marketing hype and set realistic expectations on how the unit fits into a force continuum.  If you believe this unit is a magical, device that provides you with a near-impenetrable five-yard defensive radius, then you are sadly mistaken.  If your self-defense plan is to ignore anything outside of 5-6 yards until the threat is right on top of you, then please consider a short-barrel revolver without an exposed hammer.  That can be deployed at any reasonable distance right down to point blank and it is not possible to operator-malfunction.  Unlike the taser, you get five or six actual chances to stop the attack without the time delay of a reload.

That is, however, a lethal-force option and it means your self-defense plan is to immediately (in a single step) ratchet from zero-to-lethal.  I’m in the security business, so I have a great distaste for a 5-6 yard defensive radius.  My personal radius is as far as my eye can see at any one time and the taser is one of the early options in a force continuum.  I like the holster supplied with the unit and carry it in the one o’clock position.  I’m comfortable and familiar with cross-draw, so my firearm is most often in a shoulder rig or in the eleven o’clock position.  I like the fact that a potential threat can be identified and then I have the option of unzipping a vest/jacket and placing my hand over the taser.  From any distance, this appears just like the initial draw of a firearm and immediately informs the attacker that I am NOT a victim.  And, if fully deploying the taser is necessary, then I can do so with the confidence that I’ve trained myself to visually measure the distance at which the taser is effective.

At the first sign of hesitation from the attacker, I now have the option to retreat and gain separation.  Distance is your best ally in a self-defense situation.  If the attacker closes or pulls out a weapon, now I have to make a quick decision about moving up the force continuum.

So, my point in this long diatribe is that the C2 Taser is a highly valuable less-lethat force option, but ONLY if you intend to practice regularly with the unit.  I agree that no formal training is required for usage, but your life may depend on proper deployment in a force response and that is an entirely different issue from mechanical training.  If you have no interest in increasing situational awareness, practicing draw and presentation to the point that it becomes second nature, and being able to quickly visualize effective distance, then please do not spend the nearly $400 that this unit retails for at various outlets.  If you only want to wait until a threat is 5-6 yards away, then fumble for something and take a shot, your money might be better spent with my good friend Mr. Ruger or my buddies Mr. Smith & Mr. Wesson.

Good luck and thanks for visiting Texas Gun Show Review.

–  Diligencia, Vis, Celeritas

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