NOTE: this video is bait-and-switch clickbait. Team Epiphany Jake does NOT fire a gun at his arm. The only thing the manic Canadian damages is some random crap and any chance of any credibility. BUT he promises he’ll shoot his arm for 50k likes (presumably with some kind of protection). And the video illustrates the extreme danger that blank guns pose . . .

Brandon Lee famously died for that sin. That said, Mr. Lee didn’t die from a blank cartridge per se. A gun used during filming for the movie The Crow had a squib load, a .44 caliber bullet, stuck in the chamber. A subsequent blank round propelled the lethal lead into Mr. Lee.

But there was an actor who died from a blank round: pin-up Jon-Erik Hexum. Wikipedia.org tells the tragic tale, recreated in the video above with devastating effect.

On October 12, 1984, the cast and crew of Cover Up were filming the seventh episode of the series, “Golden Opportunity”, on Stage 17 of the 20th Century Fox lot. One of the scenes filmed that day called for Hexum’s character to load bullets into a .44 Magnum handgun, so he was provided with a functional real gun and blanks.

When the scene did not play as the director wanted it to play in the master shot, there was a delay in filming. Hexum became restless and impatient during the delay and began playing around to lighten the mood.

Apparently, he had unloaded all but one (blank) round, spun it, and, apparently simulating Russian roulette with what he thought was a harmless weapon, at 5:15 p.m., he put the revolver to his right temple and pulled the trigger.

Hexum was apparently unaware that his actions were dangerous. Blanks use paper or plastic wadding to seal gunpowder into the cartridge, and this wadding is propelled from the barrel of the gun with enough force to cause injury if the weapon is fired within a few feet of the body should it strike at a particularly vulnerable spot, such as the temple or the eye.

At a close enough range, the effect of the powder gasses is similar to a small explosion, so although the paper wadding in the blank that Hexum discharged did not penetrate his skull, there was enough blunt force trauma to shatter a quarter-sized piece of his skull and propel the pieces into his brain, causing massive hemorrhaging.

I think it’s safe to say that Team Epiphany Jake’s “research” proves the point: don’t f*ck around with blank guns.

If you use one, do so in a sterile environment with independent verification of the rounds loaded. The same protocol you should use for simunitions. And if you’re shooting something, anything, at point blank range be beware that there will be shrapnel.

More generally, think long and hard before you point ANY “real” gun at something you’re not willing to destroy. Especially when you consider the possibility of a hidden round and cross-contamination of ammunition. ‘Nuff said?

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34 Responses to Guess What Happens When You Shoot a Blank Gun Point Blank at Your Arm

  1. Hey my older brother SHOT me in the face with a 22blank when I was about 12. I could have been blinded…never told my dad. No joke…

    • Your brother shot a blank at your head? That explains your incoherent ramblings. /end_teasing

      Sorry former water walker, I couldn’t resist! Have a great weekend!

      • Oh it’s OK…my ex-wife pointed a real gun boo-lit at me. Have to work tomorrow so it ain’t a fun weekend.

    • When I was much younger a bunch of inebriated friends thought it would be funny to crash into my bedroom late one night. Bunch of Jackass wannabes. Luckily I had only blanks in my pistol next to the bed (don’t ask), but the cardboard wad from that .22 hit the first guy through the door dead center on his sternum and scared the crap out of him. Much hilarity ensued as they fell all over each other un-assing my bedroom.

      Left an interesting little bruise, as I found out after the excitement died down.

  2. When I was a kid my friend and I stole a bunch of blanks from the ride opperator on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland. We smashed them with a hammer in my driveway. Needless to say but the cops soon then arrived when there was a report of gun fire. Oh they joys of stupid youth.

    • I did the same thing except they were real. We thought it was funny how after hitting them they seemed to disapear. Luckily my Grandmother put a stop to it. Nobody ever explained why everybody was angry at us.

  3. Wrong on so many levels.

    I lived in Wilmington, NC at the time when the film studio filming “The Crow” was full of rampant errors, negligence, and sloppy firearms handling.

    What happened to Brandon Lee was tragic and completely avoidable had the firearms “expert” done his job.

    Brandon was shot at point blank range in the gut with a squib round HP in the barrel left from a primer fired bullet (no powder), and subsequently a full power “blank” (all powder, no bullet) the next day.

    This assclown needs to learn a bit of respect and stop trying to be an Internet hero.

    He’s not. He’s a clown.

  4. I recall as a kid watching the gunfights at Six Flags Over Texas. They started every show with a warning speech and showed what a blank-firing gun (don’t remember if it was the “Six Shooter” or the coach gun) would do to you if you got too close. He’d muzzle a Styrofoam cup (full of confetti maybe?) and blow it to smithereens.

  5. Very early in army training the company sergeant major fired a 7.62 mm blank at a tree from about 18 inches and it blew a piece out the size of my hand out by 3 inches deep. A quick way to show to be careful.

    This was 40 years ago. Probably not allowed any more to protect the trees.

    The internet guy is an idiot

  6. So desperate for approval, I hope he eventually realizes how pitiful this looks given the slightest familiarity with guns, thus to the average American.

  7. Actor Pete Duel killed himself playing around with blanks on the set of the 70’s TV show, Alias Smith and Jones. Guns are just nothing to joke around with.

  8. Blanks + idiots = Injuries & Fatalities.

    Reminds me of actor/model Jon Erik Hexum from N.J. a “sex symbol” that would have rivaled Patrick Swayze. He just got the male lead in a new series, “Cover Up”, in 1984, filmed seven episodes (7), during a break while taping he was messing around with a functional .44 magnum revolver, unloaded all but one blank and simulated playing Russian Roulette placing the handgun against or near his head after spinning the cylinder then pulled the trigger. The blast and wadding drove a quarter-sized piece of his skull into his brain, raced to the hospital, underwent hours of surgery but it was to no avail, six days later he was declared “brain dead”, After consultation with his mother his body.was transported to San Fransisco on “life support” and organs donated, nearly a dozen people (including a five year old boy and forty-three year old grandmother got his kidneys) were saved.

    Knowing that Hexum grew up in Englewood N.J. (in Bergen County just across the river from NYC) NOT a hotbed of firearm ownership or gun culture by ANY means, leads me to believe had he been introduced to firearms and firearm safety at an early age he might still be alive today.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon-Erik_Hexum

  9. Blanks + idiots = Injuries & Fatalities.

    Reminds me of actor/model Jon Erik Hexum from N.J. a “sex symbol” that would have rivaled Patrick Swayze. He just got the male lead in a new series, “Cover Up”, in 1984, filmed seven episodes (7), during a break while taping he was messing around with a functional .44 magnum revolver, unloaded all but one blank and simulated playing Russian Roulette placing the handgun against or near his head after spinning the cylinder then pulled the trigger.

    The blast and wadding drove a quarter-sized piece of his skull into his brain, raced to the hospital, underwent hours of surgery but it was to no avail, six days later he was declared “brain dead”, After consultation with his mother his body.was transported to San Fransisco on “life support” and organs donated, nearly a dozen people (including a five year old boy and forty-three year old grandmother got his kidneys) were saved.

    Knowing that Hexum grew up in Englewood N.J. (in Bergen County just across the river from NYC) NOT a hotbed of firearm ownership or gun culture by ANY means, leads me to believe had he been introduced to firearms and firearm safety at an early age he might still be alive today.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon-Erik_Hexum

  10. I remember reading about the John-Eric Hexum accident when I was a kid because he was the star of a show called, The Voyagers, that I liked. Learned real young not to do stupid with guns.

  11. I have seen demos before cowboy fights of what blanks can do to coke cans from six feet away. I also have a replica 1861 Springfield rifle, and one of the recommended practices is firing a cap alone at grass before first use, just to see the grass wiggle so you know the bore is clear.

    If a cap alone can make grass wiggle several inches away form a 42 inch barrel, there is no way I am putting that against my skin. It’s impressed every new shooter I’ve shown it too.

  12. When I went through Marine Basic Infantry Training at Camp Geiger, NC in 1964, every barracks had posted on the bulletin board a series a photos showing what a blank from an M-1 Garand would do. Some knucklehead had put the muzzle on top of his boot and pulled the trigger. The wadding had gone completely through the boot, sole and all. That would include his foot, the idiot.

    • It seems that nothing has changed.

      I had a kid put his muzzle on his boot after a patrol and clear his rifle.

      Now we have warning posters about not chewing on blasting caps and not using .50BMG cartridges as hammers.

  13. When I was a kid, I had my dad’s pistol and what I thought were blanks. The pistol’s disconnector did not work, so it fired in fully automatic mode, which we all thought was cool. I put it to my head to clown around with my friends, and thinking that there was no blank in the chamber, pulled the trigger. There was a live round in the chamber, and the bullets in the magazine were NOT blanks – they were shot shells. All 7 rounds fired directly into my temple. The brain damage was massive, and ever since, I’ve been a liberal . . .

  14. Team Epiphany’s founder Jake McCormick is an *ss clown, but he is wearing “tactical gloves” so he must be doing something right…

  15. I got shot with a blank gun in high school. Little teeny tiny thing. More like a cap gun. Still stung, but not bad. Also it left a big black sooty stain on my shirt. Just goofing around in drama. Not that I was happy with it, but I didn’t hold a grudge.

    Did learn a lot about blank guns from that. I definitely wouldn’t shoot anyone with one.

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