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?