Are blank rounds harmless? What do they do?

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Are blank rounds harmless? What do they do?

In: Technology
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Yes they are harmless, a blank round is a bullet cartridge that has the black powder and makes the sound of a gun shot but no bullet is actually shot.

blank rounds are essentially harmless, it only does damage when it is pressed against your skin when fired. Blank rounds are normal rounds minus the bullet, it has all of the other features like a primer, black power, bullet cartridge etc. They are meant to mimick real live rounds in situations like sporting events, movies.

They are not harmless. They still create pressure in the chamber to simulate a live round. But because they create pressure, any debris in the barrel of the gun will be blown out at high velocity. People have died from being shot by guns not properly cleaned and using blanks. But they are mainly for training purposes or movies.

They’re pretty much just the powder charge, so there’s no actual projectile being fired. They’re not entirely harmless, though. The gun will still discharge a jet of fire and burning powder at very close range.

They are super dangerous to eyes at closer range.

Basically they have a powder charge just like a normal round; but instead of a projectile they have a – usually plastic – cover to keep the charge contained and dry. Some blanks have a body made entirely out of plastic, and just the rim and primer are metallic parts.

When you fire a blank round, there is a lot of hot junk coming out of the muzzle. Burned powder in the form of hot gases, carbon black particles coming from powder or the plastic parts of the round, melted or burned pieces of plastic, anything that was in the barrel before firing. You don’t want that in your eye.

If you block the muzzle with something, like a person, the pressure built by the powder charge will almost invariably injure, sometimes kill, that person; as if it’s the same amount of powder as in a live round, there is also the same energy that needs to go somewhere. That energy dissipates quickly with range, usually you can assume that blank rounds are somewhat safe beyond 5 metres (15 feet), but I would advise against experimenting with this.

Blank Firing Adaptors are devices that can be put onto the muzzle of (semi-) automatic guns using gas pressure or recoil to cycle. They disperse the hot jet of junk making the whole thing a bit safer; and they somewhat block the muzzle, so the resulting back pressure allows the gun to cycle. Sometimes that’s not enough especially for recoil actions, then also the bolt needs to be swapped out of a lighter version. Many Blank Firing Adaptors are of bright colours (dayglow yellow or orange) to immediately show that the weapon is much more harmless than a live weapon.

Generally speaking (because there are so many different kinds of ammunition), a blank cartridge is identical to a cartridge intended for live fire, with one **crucial** difference- live cartridges have a bullet affixed to the front or cap of the case, which- when acted upon by the ignited propellant in the case, will be pushed through and out the firearm barrel towards the target.

Since blank cartridges have no such bullet, there is no projectile with which you could endanger a target at ordinary firearm engagement distances. For this purpose (and at these ranges), blanks can be practically considered harmless.

However, when firing a blank, you still create a controlled explosion in the gun that must be capable of creating the impact to cycle the cartridge (ejecting the spent cartridge and loading the next one), producing heat, rapidly expanding gas, blisteringly loud noise, and other such theatrical elements leaned on in military exercises. You’ll note that any of these things are dangerous if you get too close; I still have a bit of tinnitus from my service days.

The *real* danger of a blank, though, is that since there is no bullet pushed through the barrel to remove the primer and propellant left from the firing of a previous blank, the inner barrel gets obscenely dirty over the course of a blank-fire exercise, necessitating hours of rifle disassembly and cleaning between training operations. Boo.

Source: trained and instructed as an ammunition specialist in the Armed Forces for several years.

Let me put it that way: The propellant gases from the cartridge propel whatever is in front of them out of the barrel. If it’s just air, the air is dissipated harmlessly over the next half a meter or so. If it’s a bullet, the bullet will be propelled and hit whatever is in its route. If it’s human skull right in front of the barrel, a pellet of skull bone will be ripped off and propelled through the brain.

1 bullet is actually a combination of a cartridge charge and the bullet itself.

The bullet itself is the thing that leaves the gun barrel. The cartridge holds the propellent that is struck and basically explodes.

A blank is a cartridge and propellent without the bullet.

It’s still very dangerous. Anything inside the barrel will go flying and it will not go straight like a bullet would.

Also you will have super heated and high pressure gas leave the barrel as well. So if you held an empty gun with a blank against your chest and shot you could easily kill yourself. Even if you cleaned the barrel completely the pressure and hot air could kill or seriously hurt you.

Antonio Velasco Gutierrez was killed by a gun on set. It was loaded with real bullets. Keaway Lafonz Ivy suffered the same fate. Top tip: employ an armourer, even for “harmless” guns because sometimes they are real.

Brandon Lee, killed by a blank firing weapon on set as others have said.

Jon-Erik Hexum jokingly picked up a blank firing weapon and shot himself in the head during production delays. The gas sent a fragment of skull into his brain.

Sadly, blank-firing weapons kill. Either way, it’s best to treat all firearms as loaded, all the time.

A bullet has two main parts: The “round”, which is the part actually launched at the target, and the “case”, which holds the gunpowder and which stays behind in the gun during firing. (A lot of guns will then eject the case so that another round can be chambered, but I digress.)

To make a “blank”, the round is eliminated from the equation. Instead, a slightly elongated casing is used and the end is crimped shut to help seal the gunpowder from just pouring out. Some wax or wax-paper is usually also used

With a blank, there’s still a lot of very hot and high pressure gas and burning gunpowder coming out the barrel of the gun, not to mention debris from the blank case. So it is still far from harmless, especially at very close range.

There are two notable instances of actors dying from having blanks fired at them:

* The movie actor Brandon Lee died in the filming of the 1990s movie *The Crow* when, unbeknownst to the crew, one of the guns used in a scene had had a round jammed in its barrel; the blank dislodged the jammed round with enough force to kill Le.
* Jon-Erik Hexum was a TV actor who was filming a scene that involved him loading bullets into a gun. In between takes he got restless and started goofing around, and apparently nobody had told him just how dangerous blanks still are, because he pressed the gun against his temple and pulled the trigger. The force of the gasses coming out of the barrel was enough to punch a quarter-sized hole in his head. Suffice it to say, he didn’t survive either.

Blanks used in military style sence are bullets without the projectile. They have either a paper plug to hold the powder, or the end of the casing is crimped.
They are dangerous as they blast the same force as a regular round, with out the projectile. There is still high speed hot gas ejected along with particles of gun powder. At close range it can cause serious burns and blast injuries to the body, and at point blank range to the head will kill a person.

There have been cases where people have been playing Russian roulette with a blank round thinking it was safe, and they died (play stupid games, win stupid prizes)

They are dangerous the way fireworks are dangerous. They’re explosives that should be fine if everything goes well, but if they are misused, either accidentally or on purpose, or faulty, they could cause injury or death.