By Ben Douglas
Phiscally-Phriendly Conductive Electrical Weapons.
Aagh!” was all I could get out as I seized up and fell to the mat. I had “enthusiastically” volunteered to experience a full 5-second TASER cycle back when my department approved them for carry in 2006. Others in my training group managed more colorful expressions of the unique and debilitating pain, which come along with being hooked up to the device. Later in my career I would use this device to drop a few very unhappy customers. I can testify — without a doubt — to the lifesaving nature of a good Conductive Electrical Weapon (CEW).
50,000 volts, .0036 amps, around 19 pulses per second, two barbs and voila: men turn into whimpering heaps. There’ve been thousands of TASER deployments — most you don’t even hear about — because they’re successful and benign. TASER International has enjoyed huge success, profit and practically a monopoly on CEW’s. The preferred model in most officers’ hands is the X26 and it’s a pretty reliable device. While it’s not suitable for every situation, I can say each time I’ve deployed it, the suspect was incapacitated and taken into custody without further incident.
I like having a CEW on my belt. So when I learned there was a new device out there, aimed at the same market, I was excited to try it. The Enforcer is PhaZZer’s entry into the CEW market. First, let’s learn the correct pronunciation of the company: it’s pronounced Fay–zer. I know, I know, in phonics we were taught the vowel is soft when followed by a double consonant … it’s just the way they chose to spell their name.
The Enforcer is not a cheap knockoff of the X26 — it’s every bit as good, if not better — utilizing similar but modified electrical technology to create a unique weapon with a few tricks up its sleeve.
And In This Corner
At first sight the design similarities between the Enforcer and the X26 are apparent. The Enforcer shares the same basic pistol shape, but there are a few subtle differences. The Enforcer’s laser-aiming aid is on top and there are no standard iron sights. However, there is a mil-std-1913 Picatinny rail on top, which accepts any aiming device and allows you to couple the Enforcer to the rail of a long gun.
The 160-lumen high-intensity flashlight aid is on the bottom, forward of the triggerguard and can be activated by a switch found on either side of the device. The emitted light is more than sufficient for illuminating someone within its 21′ effective range. The power switch is just above the backstrap and is easily manipulated with either thumb; this switch also activates the 650NM red laser.
Holding the Enforcer is a pleasure. The grip is larger than the X26’s, thus it feels more substantial in-hand. Dry firing yields a powerful electric spark jumping between the two front probes. For some reason the pulse feels stronger. Attaching the cartridge is the same simple process as the X26. After firing every type of cartridge PhaZZer offers, there’s no doubt as to its accuracy.
Value & Customer Service
My X26 is about 7 years old. With a new battery (its fifth) put in recently, the weapon appears to be functioning like new. That’s an impressive feat considering it’s an electrical device worn on the duty belt of a cop patrolling the streets 40 to 50 hours a week. The Enforcer appears no less able to perform the same feat. The plastic material isn’t exactly the same as the X26, but the workmanship leaves no room for complaints.
The juice flowing from the Enforcer comes from a lithium ion rechargeable battery — a welcome feature — as you can recharge the battery as often as you like, never worrying about its level of charge. Each charge will last 50 to 75, 5-second cycles, whereas the competition’s battery needs to be replaced after 195 5-second cycles.
PhaZZer’s warranty policy is to simply get you another weapon ASAP, and they’ll provide you with a loaner during off-warranty repairs. They also offer extended warranties up to 4 years. All this is on top of the fact PhaZZer’s cost per weapon of $630 (with three cartridges included) is around $400 less than a TASER.
The Enforcer accepts both PhaZZer and TASER X26 cartridges. Besides the standard (for law enforcement only) 21′ electric barb cartridges, PhaZZer offers pepper powder cartridges, rubber ball cartridges, pepper ball cartridges and paint ball cartridges for training. It’s recommended to have at least one lethal option and one electric barb unit pointed at the suspect before deploying pepper ball or powder. Options are a good thing, especially if one of them might save a life.
In today’s fiscal climate, finding money to purchase new equipment is difficult. The Enforcer is a quality CEW costing approximately $400 less than its competition — a significant savings. For smaller departments who haven’t been able to afford to arm their officers with CEW’s, this price difference could be their saving grace. A larger department looking to purchase a hundred devices could save their city $40K. Even better, they could save a life.