PhaZZer®Electronics has aggressively entered the less-lethal market with two carefully
developed, beta-site tested devices. These PhaZZer devices are clearly superior
to the earlier attempts by other companies, and in fact are direct,
feature-by-feature competitors to the existing products. The Enforcer ECD
cartridges are interchangeable with the TASER® cartridges. The EqualiZZer ball
projectiles are interchangeable with PepperBall® projectiles. (More on the
EqualiZZer launcher in a future issue.)
PhaZZer devices are fully as effective as the current options; they have some
unique features but are essentially simple and no-frills devices. That makes
them the low cost alternatives—the only such alternatives in this market—at
between 25 and 40 percent less expensive than their competitors.
PhaZZer Enforcer is a less-lethal Conductive Energy Weapon (CEW), also called
an Electronic Control Device (ECD). It is a direct competitor to the TASER
series of ECDs, specifically devices like the X26. In fact, the PhaZZer fires
standard TASER X26 cartridges.
the TASER, the peak open circuit voltage is between 55,000 and 65,000 volts,
and the voltage immediately drops when the circuit is closed. The wave form is
the traditional-shaped pulse delivered at between 18 and 20 pulses per second.
Enforcer uses nitrogen as a propellant like the TASER. As such, the PhaZZer in
not considered by the BATF as a “firearm.” Recall that some ECD false-starts by
other companies in the past have used primers as the propellant, which indeed
did classify those as a firearm.
Plenty of Battery
Enforcer uses a 7.4-volt, 700-milliamp-hour (mAh) rechargeable lithium-ion
battery capable of delivering 3,000 five-second deployments. The Enforcer
battery is also replaceable—a significant feature. The non-proprietary
replacement battery is readily available and fairly inexpensive. The ready
replacement of the battery encourages officers to test fire the device, to
check it for level of charge prior to going on each day.
PhaZZer Enforcer has an LED battery light indicator on the rear of the weapon, just
below the safety activation switch, which performs two functions. When the unit
is charged, the light is green. The Enforcer is capable of 50 five-second
(full) deployments before requiring a recharge.
the unit requires a charge, the small LED will change to red notifying the user
to charge the weapon. When this notification takes place, i.e., when the light
switches from green to red, the Enforcer still has 70 percent of the charge
left. At this level, the battery still allows dozens of deployments and plenty
of time to recharge the Enforcer in the next few days.
is almost exactly the same overall size as the TASER X26 with one major
advantage. The X26 has a two-finger groove grip, while the Enforcer has a
larger, three-finger groove grip. Compared to the popular handguns, the TASER
X26 is just smaller (grip-wise) than a Glock 26/27, while the PhaZZer is midway
between the Glock 26/27 and the Glock 19/23.
1-inch extra grip length and heft simply makes the Enforcer easier to hold,
point and accurately shoot. On the other hand, it makes the Enforcer a bit
larger to carry on the duty belt. The Enforcer has a non-slip textured grip
surface. Over the grip, the Enforcer has one extremely nice feature—the
Enforcer comes with a rubber grip sleeve, which gives it an excellent feel. The
PhaZZer Enforcer comes in Black and in Yellow.
Enforcer also has an integral Picatinny rail at the top of the frame. This
allows the mounting of lights or sights, but it especially allows the Enforcer itself
to be mounted to a less-lethal launcher or patrol rifle.
Limiting Less-Lethal Liability
each trigger pull, the PhaZZer delivers a five-second application of energy.
This can be shortened by mechanically turning the device off. The PhaZZer will
deliver three such full-cycle applications. Then safety shutdown circuit
technology activates, in compliance with current American Academy
of Emergency Medicine, Department of Justice, and American Heart Association
studies and guidelines.
automatic three-cycle shutdown technology is used to limit liability that may
attach due to too many energy applications. This safety circuit can be manually
overridden in the case that additional force is reasonable and necessary.
160-Lumen Light Plus Laser
PhaZZer Enforcer uses a 160-lumen white light. It could easily be used to clear
a room. Not too long ago, a mere 70 lumens was considered a “tactical” level of
light. The Enforcer LED white light is very bright, and has plenty of reach—up
to 45 yards. The powerful light, which rivals a belt-carried flashlight, is one
of the Enforcer’s biggest competitive advantages.
the LED white light is activated by its own, ambidextrous switches. The
switches are located on either side of the frame, right above the trigger. One
is in easy reach of the shooting hand index finger, while the other is in easy
reach of the support hand thumb. Unlike the competition, the white light
operates independently of the main power switch—you do not have to activate the
energy deployment feature in order to activate the white light.
Activate the Enforcer
activating—arming—safety switch is located at the rear of the frame, just below
where a rear sight would be. This is a different location from the competition,
but was easy to get used to. The TASER switch works like a safety on many auto
pistols. However, the Enforcer switch works like the safety on the venerable
Mossberg 500 police shotgun. No one had trouble sliding the Mossberg safety off
come game day.
the Enforcer switch is turned on, the red laser emanates from the top of the
frame to serve as a laser pointer. The white light does not come on unless
a cartridge in place, the unit can be spark-tested. One pull of the trigger
results in a five-second deployment cycle. That cycle can be immediately
stopped, just like the TASER, by turning the device off. The Enforcer can also
be used as a drive-stun on the same subject, or another subject, after the
cartridge has been fired.
PhaZZer Enforcer and TASER X26 use virtually the same technology; for example,
both use a programmable microcontroller. The controls on both are fully digital
microchip-operated. The high-volt section of the Phazzer Enforcer also combines
the latest pulse and high-volt generation offered by today’s electronic
suppliers of discreet components like the gas discharge tubes.
Wireless Data Port
PhaZZer Enforcer jumps over old hard-wired technology to use wireless,
Bluetooth-like technology for their deployment-recordable operation (Data Port
Feature) for witness and court required documentation. The Enforcer’s wireless
digital-information download feature is well worth noting.
Enforcer comes with the Wireless Dataport Unit installed. However, it requires
the TC100 Data Port receiver unit, which is ordered separately. When the
Enforcer is activated and it is within 10 feet of the computer that has the
TC100 installed, a detailed weapon activity report will be automatically
transmitted to the TC100. This report shows the unit identifier, time and date
of discharge, and number and duration of discharge.
Variety of Cartridges
the original TASER M26 and the X26, the Enforcer fires one cartridge at a time.
The Enforcer uses a wide variety of PhaZZer brand cartridges. These include
Dart Pro 15 Foot (Yellow); Dart Pro 21 Foot (Lime Green); PepperBall 30 Foot
(Red); Rubber Bullet 30 Foot (Black); Paint Ball Marking 30 Foot (Green);
Pepper Powder 8 Foot (Pink); and Dart Pro Taining 15 Foot and 25 Foot (Blue). The
cost of the PhaZZer brand cartridges is the same as the cost of the TASER
The colors of the PhaZZer blast doors are different from the colors of the
TASER blast doors for similar functions! Yellow means “15 feet” for both
devices and Blue means “training” for both devices. However, the 21-foot TASER
cartridge has Silver blast doors while the 21-foot PhaZZer cartridge has Lime
Green doors. On the TASER, Green means 25-foot Extended cartridges, while Green
means Paint Ball on the PhaZZer. Neither color-coding is an advantage nor
disadvantage—just be sure you know what cartridge you have loaded.
PhaZZer Dart Pro cartridge has a probe deployment angle of 3 degrees above and
3 degrees below the red laser. This 6-degree total spread is a bit narrower
than the 8-degree spread of the TASER-brand cartridges. The two TASER X26
probes spread out to about 24 inches by 14 feet. In comparison, the Enforcer
probes spread out to about 19 inches by 14 feet. There are Pros and Cons to how
quickly the darts spread. Too little and the neuromuscular effects are
lessened. Too much and one of the darts could either miss the target or strike
an unintended area.
PhaZZer brand of cartridges does not have anti-felon identification tags
(AFID). If an agency requires the use of cartridges with AFID encoding
confetti, the TASER cartridges can easily be used. Both makes of cartridge load
and unload exactly the same way. For that matter, both cartridges have
drive-stun features built into the cartridges. They are located in slightly
different locations—but the perpetrator will never know the difference!
PhaZZer Enforcer is available in two different, thumb-break style holster
designs: one with and one without an integral extra cartridge holder. The
holsters are also available in two finishes: plain Black and Black basket
Electronics has developed an 8-hour Operator training certification program for
the Enforcer. This course covers the entire topic of ECD/CEW deployment—the
overall effects of electro-muscular disruption, how to deploy the device, the
various features of the device, significance of distance to target and dart
spread, and post-deployment guidelines. The course concludes with a written
test. PhaZZer requires a two-hour annual training update and re-certification.
also conducts a 16-hour Instructor training certification program. Their
program requires that the officer have prior instructor training experience.
The Instructor course includes a number of scenario training exercises and the
deployment of more and a wider variety of cartridges. Instructors must
re-certify every two years with an eight-hour update course.
fired a few of each of the PhaZZer-specific cartridges, almost a dozen of the
Dart Pro 15 Foot cartridges and we test-fired/circuit-checked/spark-tested the
PhaZZer more than 500 times. It always fully cycled properly in automatic mode.
When we moved the safety switch by hand, it always shut down the cycle, and did
it immediately. We had the Enforcer for almost three months, some of that in 15
deg F weather, cold enough that patrol gloves were worn. The PhaZZer Enforcer
actually has more room inside the trigger guard than the TASER X26.
ambidextrous, sliding switches for the LED white light were easy to operate
under normal patrol conditions. However, we would prefer slightly larger or
more raised or higher friction switches to be sure they could be found and
operated under the most adverse situations, including glove wear.
the activating switch could be slightly larger, more raised, or of a higher
friction material or surface texture. This is especially true since the
traditional grip has to be “broken” to activate the unit. The ambidextrous ON
switches of the TASER X26 are nearly the same size as the safety/decocker on
most auto pistols. The Enforcer is a slightly larger ECD and certainly has the
room for more prominent, high-stress tolerant switches.
wireless download is a useful feature; the brighter, 160-lumen white LED light
is outstanding, and the bigger overall grip is a strong advantage. Where the
TASER X26 has a price around $855, the Enforcer is around $589. Except for the
two easy-to-fix switch concerns, the PhaZZer Enforcer is fully comparable to
the TASER X26 and X26P…and that is high praise.