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Blank Guns: The Basics



2022-01-11 13:22:31




Blank guns are non-lethal alternatives to firearms. They feel, sound, and work just the same. These days, blank guns are becoming a sought-after means of self-defence as they are legal but still sound and look like a firearm. Although, they have many other uses other than self-defence, including in movies or drama productions as props, starting pistols, and firing flares. 


These guns look like real firearms, but they cannot shoot live ammunition. You load them the same way you would a firearm, but they have less recoil. You do not have to have a permit or license for a blank gun. Whether you are looking to shoot pepper cartridges, make a loud noise, fire teargas, or just look dangerous, a blank gun gives its owner a sense of security. 


The Different Forms of Blank Guns


Blank guns come in two different forms: revolvers and pistols. It is up to the owner which one will suit them better.




Pistols typically have the advantage of having a slimmer design and holding more cartridges in their magazines. They have both manual and automatic safety options for extra protection. One issue is that if a pistol misfires, you have to eject the bad cartridge manually before you can load the next one to resume firing.


There are many different kinds of pistols to choose from, so before making your choice, always test out your preferred option, making sure that the size and weight suit your needs and hands.




Over the years, technology has made significant advances, which is also true of the different types of blank gun revolvers available today. Depending on the size of your revolver, it will hold five or six gas cartridges or flash-bang cartridges in its swing-out cylinder. 


Luckily, unlike the pistol versions, the revolvers do not require that you intervene manually or reload if the gun misfires or has any other malfunction. Typically, you would need to pull the trigger back in these scenarios to fire the next round in the chamber. Like with the pistols, there are many different-sized blank gun revolvers, so test out the size and feel of your preferred choice before buying one, ensuring it is the right fit for you.


Two Different Types of Blank Gun Ammunition


There are two main types of ammunition: blank rounds and pepper cartridges




Blank rounds make an explosive sound like live ammunition, accompanied by a muzzle flash. Blanks are filled with gunpowder, but they do not contain a projectile. While blank ammunition is less dangerous than live ammunition, they are still dangerous in their way and can cause fatal injuries.


Pepper Cartridges


Pepper cartridges turn blank guns into self-defence weapons. When you fire the pepper cartridge from your blank gun, it vaporizes the irritant inside it, causing a gas cloud to emerge from the barrel. It is the most effective within a range of 6 meters.


What happens when the irritant comes into contact with the skin, eyes, or lungs? It will cause intense burning if it lands on your skin, followed by inflammation of the affected area. If you get the irritant in your eyes, it causes temporary visual impairment, typically around 30 minutes. If breathed into the lungs, it will cause difficulty breathing but not be life-threatening. 


Extra Facts about Blank Guns


The following is a short list that contains some extra blank gun facts:

  • Blank guns are manufactured so that they are weaker than your average firearm
  • Off the shelf ammo will be unable to fit into a blank gun because the barrels are made out of magnesium - the barrels are also narrowed, preventing users from being able to fire projectiles
  • All blank guns contain barrel plugs at their muzzles ends, and this helps you to be able to differentiate between a blank gun and a real firearm
  • Blank guns and pepper guns are not designed in the same way as firearms and therefore will not perform in the same way
  • If your blank gun fires any projectiles like a nylon ball, rubber ball, pepper ball, lead, etc., it would be necessary to license it as per South African law
  • Even if you do not plan to shoot any projectiles from your blank gun, you still need to take precautions and implement safety measures as severe injuries have occurred on rare occasions


Loading Your Self-Defence Blank Gun


When loading the blank gun you use for self-defence, it is always good to load two blanks for each pepper round. You can then shoot off two warning shots before shooting the pepper round. In many cases, the sound and sight of the fired blanks will solve the problem without you ever having to fire your pepper round. It’s best not to fire pepper rounds inside cars or buildings, as this puts you at risk of being affected by the irritant. So try always to remember to load your blank cartridges last. This way, they will be the first you shoot off.




Blank guns might look very similar to your average firearm, but they have some fundamental differences. Blank guns do not shoot projectiles, and therefore you do not need to have a license to own one. They have many uses, from self-defence to props in the movies, from starting pistols to firing flares. Before choosing a blank gun, make sure you get the feel of the one you prefer before purchasing. If you have any other blank gun related questions, you can get in touch with the Tactical Defence Store Team, and we will happily answer any questions you might have.


Japi from Pretoria   2023-12-08 14:51:18 / Reply

Good day, why is it that nowadays, if you carry your blank gun concealed, police or crime wardens take it away and sometimes detain you?

Apostle from 41 Kruger road president park Midrand   2023-05-21 01:16:42 / Reply

Good day I need blanks cadrage gun

BieBie from Johannesburg   2023-02-10 18:51:54 / Reply

Ek't so ruk terug vir my n 9mm Austria, met blank en peper bullets gekoop. Hy het n barrel block in, omdat ek mos nie n lisensie het nie. Ek wil weet as ek met n pepper patroon skiet.. gaan daai pepper mos my ook affekteer.. aangesien die pepper in die barrel teen daai block uit kom?
Baie dankie

Jason from Cape town   2022-07-11 08:52:04 / Reply

Hi there Team
I'm from Cape Town and I own a blank gun for self defense purposes , I just want to know when keeping the blank gun on me does it have to be in a gun Holdster if police stops me. Your feed back would be much appreciated thank you

alan from vredenburg   2022-07-06 14:24:17 / Reply

Hi ek het net 1 vraag hoekom word die blank guns af gevat deur die police en dan word daar n klag teen jou gemaak van in besit van n vuurwapen nadat hulle kan sien dis n blank gun plus j moet n licensie het vir die blanks omdat dit n primer bevat. So help my reg is daar meskien enige bewyse dat jy nie n licensie hoef te het nie