Parts of a Blank Gun Explained
A blank gun is a type of replica firearm that creates the appearance and smoke of live ammunition, but in reality, it contains no bullets or shots. The use of such guns to simulate nonexistent weaponry in movies, television and theater productions, video games, and reenactments has been common since the late 19th century. Whether their function is decorative or theatrical, these firearms are typically intended for use only as props. 

To some degree, however, all firearms are replicas at some level because they either lack firing mechanisms (antique firearms) or contain inert cartridges (replicas or blanks). These guns are also popular among collectors who pursue items that were produced early on when their mechanical features were less reliable than those manufactured today. 

Relatively inexpensive, these guns were also a favorite of early movie makers seeking to convince the public that their films were of a higher quality than they actually were. In addition, the use of "canned" or pre-recorded soundtracks had not yet become commonplace in feature films. This meant that firearms whose fire could be synchronized with on-screen visuals required blank ammunition.

Basic Types of a Blank Gun

These guns are generally classified into two basic types: gas and spring-loaded. The main difference between these different types of guns is how the blanks are loaded onto the moving parts of the gun. 

The blank guns use a built-in cartridge to fire blanks through a semi-automatic process using compressed air as an oxygen source. Spring-loaded blanks use compressed air to push blank projectiles out of the end of the loading port. The most popular of these types of blanks is the "Brake" type. 

Brake blanks are constructed with a spring system that uses the rear mounting surface of the gun, which is usually an area that other parts cannot be attached to, as a source that pushes the blank out of the barrel. Many military-style weapons use this type for its portability and ease of use.

These guns are also available in imitation firearm-inspired finishes such as wood, plastic, and metal when considering their aesthetic value. These guns can also be customized with weapon accessories or models from popular television and film franchises like Star Wars or James Bond.

Also Read: What is a Starter Pistol?

First Recorded Use of Blank Ammunition

Directors have entirely abandoned the use of blanks but it has substantially declined for reasons of cost as well as security concerns. Today, the practice is most prevalent in Eastern Europe and Russia where it is relatively common to see blank-firing weapons used on television and in film productions.

The first recorded use of blank gun ammunition in the film industry was in 1892. A year later, the writer and director Maurice Tourneur made the first feature film solely for the purpose of using blank-firing firearms and weapons to simulate on-screen realism. However, it is believed that before this time, there may have been some experimentation with cheap blanks as well as a few other firearms from which no projectiles could be safely extracted. 

As early as 1878, Charles Jourdan produced a mute black-powder pistol named "Myrmidon". This pistol was capable of firing an actual bullet but contained no cartridge. In 1902, the Hungarian producer Alexander Korda produced a film entitled "The Madness of King George". That same year director David Wark Griffith incorporated blank ammunition into his movie, "In Old California", even though he refused to admit that this was an intentional feature.

A more ambitious and realistic effort to use blank ammunition in a motion picture occurred in 1909 when French producer Emile Cohl completed his silent film "Les Vampires". The next year the United States entered World War I and most American citizens began to reject any form of filmmaking that represented untruthful images or undermined national morale.

Parts of a Blank Gun

There are a total of six parts, which will be explained in detail below.

  • Barrel 

The barrel is a tube that is located at the front of the blank gun when looking from down the length of it and sits above the grip area. 

When looking at a gun from behind, if you draw an imaginary line from the tip of your nose to the tip of your gun and then extend that line towards you, it would be about 4 inches past your butt end. A normal size person may only need a small bullet because they're generally only 5'1"(155 cm) tall, but if you're 6'6" tall, you'll need a larger-sized bullet. 

  • Grip 

The grip is where you hold onto the gun and move it around to shoot a target. The grip area is usually made of plastic, rubber, or wood (if any) and can be shaped in many different ways to fit your hand perfectly. 

There are various shapes and sizes depending on what style of gun you're holding. The majority of guns today will have some kind of rubber or plastic material covering the grip area to provide padding while handling the gun.

  • Trigger 

The trigger goes back (and sometimes forward) to actuate the mechanism that creates an explosion in order to release hot gases which propel a projectile out of the barrel towards your target or prey animal, with varying ranges depending on what kind of ammunition you're using (e.g., birdshot, buckshot).

The trigger can be of many different sizes and shapes. Most modern guns will have a safety switch that will prevent the gun from accidentally firing so you don't have to have your finger on the trigger while carrying it around.

  • Magazine 

This is a small tube-like tube, located in the grip area that houses the ammunition for the gun. In order to house the ammunition for the gun, it needs a place to reside. There are most commonly 2 or 3 different magazines for most guns: 

1) a full-capacity magazine that holds many bullets, 2) an empty-recoil magazine that holds one bullet and is ejected when the gun fires and 3) an extended-capacity magazine that adds more bullets to the existing magazine (usually adds two more).

  • Barrel End Cap 

The barrel end cap (sometimes called the head) is a little disc that sits at the back of your front firing blank gun as it's pulled out and pushed back into place inside the gun, which prevents debris and liquid from entering your barrel during storage and firing.

The barrel end cap is usually made of some material that doesn't easily bend or break while being used to make a small explosion (usually from a primer that ignites powder(s)) inside the gun to propel a projectile through air or space towards your target.

  • Firing Pin 

The firing pin is usually made of some material that doesn't easily bend or break while being used to make a small explosion (usually from a primer that ignites powder(s)) inside the gun to propel a projectile through air or space toward your target. The firing pin is usually made of some type of metal, so it can be easily hammered out or broken while inside the gun during disassembly.

In order to load a round into the chamber and fire it, you need to drill a hole into your gun's barrel before loading in a bullet. 

You will typically need to drill most spring-type guns first which are held by 2 screws usually located at the back of the gun, then after installing these screws, you will have sufficient space for a bullet so that you can proceed with loading (usually if your factory ammo is 10 rounds and you want 20 rounds, you'll need to send back your gun to get more bullets).

Benefits of Using a Blank Gun

Do you want the realistic feel of shooting your target without the loud noise and gunpowder residue? If so, then you may want to consider investing in a blank-firing pistol. These guns are not just for law enforcement and military use; they also have a variety of benefits for civilian shooters. Below, we'll explore some of the benefits that come with owning a 9mm blank gun

  • Less expensive than real firearms  
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors in any weather condition    
  • No special permits are required to purchase or own one in most areas around the country Blank-firing guns are not considered firearms by law; they are classified as "toys"
  • Wide variety of blanks to choose from  
  • Ages 8 and up can legally own a blank gun 
  • Can be used for police training, movie props, and crowd control

A blank gun will often feel just like a real gun in your hand and can fire blanks just like its live-firing counterparts. These guns are not just for law enforcement or military use; you or anyone else can purchase them if desired. There are also many different types of blanks available on the market today that fire different types of blanks depending on your intended purpose. 

Blanks aren't designed to shoot out projectiles, but instead make a loud sound when fired; this noise is similar to that of a real gunshot. They are also popular among those who are interested in performing a home project. Many homeowners have found that their blank-firing pistol is an ideal option for building custom props for police training, movie prop replica guns, or even new firearms for personal use.