As you walk on by, will you answer my question?
December 25, 2012 1:18 PM   Subscribe

Settle a Christmas debate: Could Brian from the Breakfast Club really have committed suicide with a flare gun?

Could you ever kill someone with a flare gun? Shot to the temple? Shot to the stomach?
posted by anthropomorphic to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A sharp blow to the temple can definitely kill someone - subdural hematomas are no joking matter, and the bone there is very thin. It wouldn't be a guarantee, for sure, but I strongly recommend against trying it.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:29 PM on December 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

There is a youtube video of some idiot shooting himself with a flaregun, in the head ... actually there is a couple ... but this should give you the idea

The "shot" is low velocity, the "bullet" has little inertia and a large cross section. And the flare doesn't light up fully immediately. Basically it will bounce off, as seen in the video.

You can, however, insert shotgun cartridges, which will fire. The result will depend on the gun and cartridge ... anything from an exploding gun to a wildly inaccurate shot (or both). You can also buy flare gun barrel "sleeves" to fit common caliber munitions ... their accuracy is not great, but in the right flare gun they are reputedly safe.
posted by jannw at 6:29 AM on December 26, 2012

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