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Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by RWBlue, Sep 24, 2010.
Lets talk blanks and blank safety.
Blanks are live ammo, and should be treated with the same respect due live ammo. When the trigger is pulled, that large volume of rapidly expanding searing hot powder gas has to go somewhere, and at close range, it can kill -- and has, in the past. If a demonstration of a blank cartridge's power is deemed necessary, an apple or orange can be sacrificed for the cause; make sure you are in a location safe for firearms discharge, press the muzzle against the side of the fruit (while still pointing in a safe direction), and pull the trigger.
Banks are manufactured in different ways, and some can be more dangerous than others. I can remember seeing imported (from where, I forget?) blanks that had the case mouth plugged with a small piece of wood, instead of the case itself being crimped closed like a shotgun shell. When fired in the original military weapon they were designed for, a special blank adapter would shred the wood plug as it exited the barrel, causing the splintered pieces to lose velocity and become less dangerous more quickly. If fired in a weapon without this special adapter, the plug exits the barrel unshredded, at a very high rate of speed, just like (you guessed it) a regular bullet! Less accurate, but still lethal at close to moderate distances.
Some blanks are loaded with black powder which can leave a corrosive residue behind when fired, so promptly cleaning any gun they are used in is essential.
Good enough for a "Blank Safety 101" start?
BTW, there are many different types of blanks.
Salute blanks used for Honor/Color Guard duty.
Firearm functioning blanks for use with blank firing attachments (BFA).
Grenade blanks for rifles with grenade attchments on the muzzle.
Wood bulleted blanks.
Movie blanks made specifically for firearms used for movie/TV production (Stembridge is the most famous and well known companies producing blanks and providing guns to Hollywood).
CAD (Cartridge Activated Devise) blanks developed and used for things like starting tractor motors (engine starters), setting off powder charges for mortars, activating ejection seats in aircrafts.
P.A.Knall and crimped blanks used for model guns (very popular in Europe and Asia) and "starter" guns (.22, .32, .38/.380, 8mm & 9mm are the most popular calibers).
Tool blanks for nail/stud guns and other types of construction tools (which come in various calibers and power levels which sometimes use different colored paint on the crimps to distinguish different power levels).
(Bet ya guys didn't realize that there were so many different types of blank cartridges out there, did ya?).
IIRC correctly, 2 actors died as a result of misusing blanks. One was on the set of a tv show. The actor put the muzzle to his temple and pulled the trigger. He decorated the set with his brains. Another was Brandon Lee IIRC. I don't remember the details but it was a firearms related accident involving a blank. Quick shot artist Bob Munden uses black powder to bust balloons 15 ft away. Mounted cowboy action shooters shoot balloons while riding as fast as they can using only black powder. Revolving rifles are not popular because someone eventually places their hand or forearm along side the barrel cylinder gap and the hot gas removes a large chunk of tissue. I read where a shooter lost a thumb that way. So even if the wad doesn't cause damage, the burning powder gasses will.