Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

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Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby armorsmith42 » Sat Feb 23, 2008 2:20 am UTC

If someone were to hit me in the chest with a taser, and I was wearing a chain shirt, what would the effect be? I suspect it would just let the current bypass my chest and reenter my body at my thighs/tender bits. If I had chain pants to go with it, would it conduct the current to the ground?

This would of course be a Bad Idea if the person firing is a police officer.

yes, I know it is properly called maille

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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby OneFish » Sat Feb 23, 2008 3:24 am UTC

It would probably provide very good protection assuming, of course, that the electrodes made contact with the mail. The resistance of the mail shirt would be far lower than the resistance of your body with the result that the high-impedance source of the taser would be producing a MUCH lower output voltage and MOST of the current would go through the shirt and not you.

If only the very tips of the electrodes were exposed the shirt might not help so much. Anyone have a picture of taser electrodes?
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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby mrbaggins » Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:24 am UTC

Assuming the electrodes aren't touching your skin, and that you are wearing a steel, or other electrically conductive metal mail, then the worst that could happen is some minor burning.

However, if one or both of the electrodes still got to your skin (or more accurately, to your shirt/clothing, and not touching the mail) then you are still going to be in quite a bit of pain.
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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby Macbi » Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:46 am UTC

As an added bonus, the electrodes may just bounce off the mail.
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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby Nebulae » Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:47 am UTC

Do tasers actually hurt?

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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby hyperion » Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:10 am UTC

Nebulae wrote:Do tasers actually hurt?

I'm guessing yes.
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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:39 pm UTC

mrbaggins wrote:Assuming the electrodes aren't touching your skin, and that you are wearing a steel, or other electrically conductive metal mail, then the worst that could happen is some minor burning.

Probably no burning, the contacts would have to land almost touching each other to heat the intervening metal enough to cause burns.
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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby wst » Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:05 pm UTC

HYPERiON wrote:
Nebulae wrote:Do tasers actually hurt?

I'm guessing yes.


You missed the chance of a lifetime. YTMND has much better information on taser pain.

but yes. Nerves kinda work on electricity, in the order of tiny amounts of current, so passing 250kV+ through someone should hurt. A lot.
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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby Nebulae » Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:10 pm UTC

Well, I've shocked myself with a wall outlet before, it didn't really hurt, just rapid muscle spasming and me going woahhhhhhhhh until I finally pulled away

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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby Kobayashi_Maru » Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:57 am UTC

Video link: www.glumbert.com
Here's a pretty cool video about a guy doing work on live power lines. As he says in the video, he wears a suit made of metal thread that works as a Faraday Cage and makes the net electric field inside the suit zero. I think that's the same principle that you get with the chain mail and the taser. Of course, the chain shirt doesn't enclose the entire body, but as Griffiths says: "In practice, the enclosure doesn't even have to be a solid enclosure--chicken wire will often suffice."

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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby wubrgamer » Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:18 am UTC

wst wrote:
HYPERiON wrote:
Nebulae wrote:Do tasers actually hurt?

I'm guessing yes.


You missed the chance of a lifetime. YTMND has much better information on taser pain.

but yes. Nerves kinda work on electricity, in the order of tiny amounts of current, so passing 250kV+ through someone should hurt. A lot.



I thought it was the amperage, not the voltage that made tasers so...tasery.

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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby Military » Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:54 am UTC

Kobayashi_Maru wrote:Video link: www.glumbert.com
Here's a pretty cool video about a guy doing work on live power lines. As he says in the video, he wears a suit made of metal thread that works as a Faraday Cage and makes the net electric field inside the suit zero. I think that's the same principle that you get with the chain mail and the taser. Of course, the chain shirt doesn't enclose the entire body, but as Griffiths says: "In practice, the enclosure doesn't even have to be a solid enclosure--chicken wire will often suffice."



If what i remember from HS physics is correct this is why you will not be hurt if your car is struck by lighting while you are in it. not the rubber of the tires.

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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby TomBot » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:19 am UTC

Just want to point out that with tasers, the current flows between the two electrodes, so it doesn't really matter if you're grounded or not.

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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby Kobayashi_Maru » Mon Feb 25, 2008 3:23 am UTC

Military wrote:If what i remember from HS physics is correct this is why you will not be hurt if your car is struck by lighting while you are in it. not the rubber of the tires.

Exactly.

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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby wst » Mon Feb 25, 2008 5:56 pm UTC

wubrgamer wrote:I thought it was the amperage, not the voltage that made tasers so...tasery.


Well, voltage= current x resistance.

So 250kV is a side effect of a very high resistance (you) and a very high current (taser).

So it's kinda better for you to be a low ion, fatty, when it comes to being tasered. Anaemia would help too. (I think;))

What would it take to improve your chance of survival from a taser? A low resistance? High even?

But yes, current is the shit that kills you. Voltage just affects how much current goes through you.
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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:00 pm UTC

Technically, 250 kV is a "side effect" of the components of the taser itself, and is in this case more basic than resistance or current. The relevant version of that equation would thus be current = voltage/resistance, because the voltage is predetermined by the taser, and the resistance is "predetermined" by your body or the chainmail.

And really, might it be most accurate to say that it's power (voltage x current = energy/time) that actually does the killing?
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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby wst » Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:08 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:And really, might it be most accurate to say that it's power (voltage x current = energy/time) that actually does the killing?


Yep, as the defibrillator guys don't say '1 megavolt', they say '60 joules'.

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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby OneFish » Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:08 pm UTC

wst wrote:
wubrgamer wrote:I thought it was the amperage, not the voltage that made tasers so...tasery.


What would it take to improve your chance of survival from a taser? A low resistance? High even?



I think a 12 guage would do a pretty good job of protecting you from a taser.

Meanwhile, with all this talk of ohm's law it looks like the source impedance of the taser was not appreciated. It may be a 250kV source but it is a very high impedance source and more likely than not the chain mail shirt would cause the voltage at the business end to be so low as to not matter.
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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby Goemon » Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:54 am UTC

Well, I'm not really an expert on tasers, but I always assumed that they worked on the principle of repeatedly charging a small capacitor to a VERY high voltage, then discharging the capacitor through the victim. Sure, the voltage is initially 250kV or whatever, but there's not enough energy in the cap to actually kill you.

When discharged across a low resistance like chain mail or even (relatively speaking) a human body, it might be able to produce a fairly high current initially, but this ramps down to nil in such a tiny fraction of a second that the energy delivered isn't enough to do any real damage. Not enough joules delivered to cook anything. Then the capacitor is recharged for another cycle.

In addition, I've heard that the high frequency pulses generated by the taser are particularly effective at disrupting nerve signals, due more to the frequency than the power. But I should probably reiterate that I don't actually know anything about taser design :)

I've thought about whether wearing a conductor (sadly, I was merely considering aluminum foil - whatever happened to my imagination?) would offer any protection a few times. I'm not really sure if it would.

An electric eel can stun nearby fish by generating an electric field in salt water, which is an excellent conductor. Dropping a 100V appliance into your bathtub is extremely dangerous (though "fresh" water isn't a very good conductor). In both cases, an electric field is set up in the conducting medium, and if two bits of your anatomy are located at different potentials in the field, you'll feel it. I suspect the same thing would happen with a taser and chain mail.

But this sounds like one theoretical discussion that can be resolved immediately with a simple experiment...

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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby schmiggen » Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:08 am UTC

@Nebulae: I'm pretty sure your standard wall outlet will only deliver around 120V (maybe ~220V depending on where you are), which you can see isn't quite comparable to the 250kV of tasers that have been mentioned. Even so, it didn't sting or anything? That's interesting. A friend of mine used to shock himself with 9V batteries in his mouth, and he seems... alright, but that's even less voltage.

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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby Nebulae » Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:28 am UTC

schmiggen wrote:@Nebulae: I'm pretty sure your standard wall outlet will only deliver around 120V (maybe ~220V depending on where you are), which you can see isn't quite comparable to the 250kV of tasers that have been mentioned. Even so, it didn't sting or anything? That's interesting. A friend of mine used to shock himself with 9V batteries in his mouth, and he seems... alright, but that's even less voltage.

EDIT: link

Yeah, didn't even sting. It was hot though.

This happened when I was unplugging my laptop with one hand, when my hand touched the metal portions of the plug. Of course, most of the current was probably through the low resistance metal portion of the plug, and not into my body. Still though, quite a jolt, my entire body spasmed.

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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby Arancaytar » Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:32 am UTC

aluminum foil


Tinfoil hats to protect yourself against tasers... AND MIND-CONTROL RAYS!
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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby 3clipse » Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:24 pm UTC

TomBot wrote:Just want to point out that with tasers, the current flows between the two electrodes, so it doesn't really matter if you're grounded or not.


This.
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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby TaintedDeity » Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:32 pm UTC

For those talking about 250kV tasers, I've seen a shop selling up to 1,000kV tasers. (That is a million right?)
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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby The Ethos » Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:36 am UTC

I'm not exactly sure, but the voodoo of tasers allow them to shock you through a kevlar vest. Some kind of strange "arc pulse" crap. We're talking level 3 body armor here. I would imagine that chain mail would just offer a similar area of conduction on your chest to give you a good zap across the skin. Probably hurt still. (Remembering that tasers arc from electrode to electrode, not grounding to ground) As far as penetration, if it wasn't some sort of superfine mesh (that a taser could probably pierce anyways), the darts would probably go through the holes anyways.

(For the interested, it ionizes the air/materials in a quick high wattage pulse, then it uses that ionized arc to conduct the stun-energy. Neat....potentially deadly, but neat, no?)
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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby 22/7 » Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:40 pm UTC

Ummm... did you not read the entirety of the rest of the thread? When you say they "arc" from electrode to electrode, what exactly do you think they'll arc [i]through[i]?
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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby Mr. Beck » Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:17 am UTC

Are we talking handheld tasers or launched tasers? From what I know, most handheld tasers have two sets of contacts: one set that acts as a trigger, the other that actually delivers the voltage. The potential between the zappy electrodes is usually grater than the breakdown voltage of air, so it arcs when active. One approach against this type might be to simply wear some type of insulator; a poncho would be perfect.
I know a lot less about the gun-type tasers. The barbs would definitely pierce a poncho, but I doubt they are long enough to penetrate chainmail. Perhaps the ideal solution would be a poncho under chainmail? That way, the mail would protect you from gun-type tasers and allow the current to flow freely between the electrodes, while the poncho protects you from any rouge electrons that happen to try to get through your body.

Thought: Suppose that one was to acquire a chainmail suit that covered the entire body? In theory, this would be an amazing faraday cage, capable of routing crazy amounts of energy around the wearer safely. [Image of man being struck by lighting unharmed, standing on metal platform.] Hmmm- resistive heating may be a problem.

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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby olcaddy » Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:36 am UTC

Mr. Beck wrote: [Image of man being struck by lighting unharmed, standing on metal platform.] .


http://youtube.com/watch?v=fYiuaqWutO4&feature=related
Thats close.
Going all the way to lightning I would suspect it to get a little toasty. Maybe some good insulating padding like Kevlar under the maille should work tho. At some scale ... the links may begin to get a bit big. I'm not going to test it tho.

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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby notzeb » Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:31 pm UTC

My first thought when reading the thread title was: Would threatening a policeman with sending out virulent chainmail describing his inhumane behavior convince him not to tase me?

The second thought was: Oh, duh! He means covering his entire body with junk mail! I wonder how conductive paper is...

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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby Mr. Beck » Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:10 pm UTC

olcaddy wrote:
Mr. Beck wrote: [Image of man being struck by lighting unharmed, standing on metal platform.] .


http://youtube.com/watch?v=fYiuaqWutO4&feature=related
Thats close.
Going all the way to lightning I would suspect it to get a little toasty. Maybe some good insulating padding like Kevlar under the maille should work tho. At some scale ... the links may begin to get a bit big. I'm not going to test it tho.

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even better video http://youtube.com/watch?v=xD_HQ4B0Fcw&feature=related
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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby Deathcapt » Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:35 pm UTC

Yes, It most certainly would.

I would venture that wearing chain mail hauberk would give you 75% protection from a Taser if worn over another piece of clothing, because if the prods go through the mail (varying in likeliness depending on the weave) and the shirt was insulated from you, it wouldn't help, , if you're wearing it as a shirt directly, like most of it was touching your skin, I would give it 99% protection. Even if the prods get you, if the part of you they get is really close to the chain mail shirt, then the juice will go to the shirt and around you. You'll probably still get a tingle, but no where near what it would do if you didn't have the shirt. in order to get 100% protection, you'd have to paint yourself with conductive material. I'd venture that someone who was sufficiently sweaty might even avoid the brunt of a tase. a cheaper and quicker solution though, would be to take a tight fitting shit, and cover the outside of it with aluminum foil, or aluminum duct tape. Totaly makes you tase proof bro. Wearing plate mail under your shirt though would be prime though, cause it would not only short the prods but stop them from getting close to you.

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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby mrbaggins » Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:15 pm UTC

Problem:
Wearing chainmail, you guys keep saying that the voltage would only go like a few mm to get to the chain mail, to run to the other node and go another few mm before discharging...

So, instead of spreading out an (apparently) 250kV over a foot or two of you, you're spreading it out over an inch.

Has noone done experiments like this? Those little electronic massagers are a great analogy. Put the whole of both pads on you = gentle soothing action. Put the edge of the pad on you, and AAAAAAARRRRRGH!!!! IT STINGS!

Also, saying that it discharges in the fraction of a second means it can't be so bad... is not true.

This is a disposable camera flash capacitor discharge, about 100V, fraction of a millimeter of air. About 80V.
Image

It hurts like fuckery discharging through 9mm of skin.
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Re: Would chainmail protect me from a taser?

Postby Zalzidrax » Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:20 pm UTC

Well the general idea is that the current would be going through the chainmail instead of you. Though if the contact between the links or between the taser prongs and the links wasn't very good there would probably be sparking which could cause burns.

Also I found this which at first seems rather convincing that chainmail would not help much, but closer reading of the second officer's report seems to indicate that the suspect threw his chainmail vest at the officers before being tasered. From the descriptions, though, I would guess that the tasers fire the two electrodes separately, so more than just a vest would be necessary. (The incapacitating taser hit was to the chest and thigh.)


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