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  1. #1
    SelfDefenseNovice is offline Junior Member
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    Is There A Useful Metric: After gun fires, how harmful is the smoke and red fire

    I have an amusing but digressing question about all the black smoke and red fire () from my PT1911 handgun. It's exciting to see the dark red color. It's like a small explosion. I've only seen it a few times when I shoot. I've seen it when others shoot.

    If I'm not seeing it am I doing something wrong when I shoot.

    What is it called. Does it go by different names. Does each gun have a metric describing the smoke and fire content.

    It must stay in the air for awhile around me. Is it harmful to my eyes, lungs, or skin, and what should I do about it.

    Do gun ranges do something about it such as keeping the air circulating etc. Do the gun ranges themselves have a rating.

    Do people who shoot at a range, ever, have a unique smell. Do I have to worry about taking a shower and washing my cloths after shooting. What detergent should I use.

    On my end, I do know that I can better fire after exhaling a breath.

    Thanks,

    Addendum:

    My guess is that wearing one of those N95 respirators is totally out of the question. It would be unwise to say the least. I'll never wear one.

    FYI: One trick police use to determine the distance between gunfire and a victim is to look for a cone of particles on a victim. So, particles are definately infront of the gun after it's fired. Question: Shouldn't the amount of particles also determine the caliber of the gun.

  2. #2
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
    SouthernBoy is offline Senior Member
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    With all due respect, perhaps you should sell your gun and take up golf.

    Firearms use a propellant to send a projectile down a barrel and exit into the ambient atmosphere, on its way to some target select by the shooter. The "fire" you are seeing from time to time is simply the burning of that propellant as the projectile leaves the barrel. Slower burning propellants = more "fire".

    As for smoke, it had better not be black otherwise there could be other factors at work. Unless you are shooting a black powder firearm, the color should be bluish/grayish and not too much of it (depends upon the type and quality of the propellant used in the ammunition).


    What is it called. Does it go by different names. Does each gun have a metric describing the smoke and fire content.
    I hardly know how to answer this question.

    It must stay in the air for awhile around me. Is it harmful to my eyes, lungs, or skin, and what should I do about it.
    It can linger a bit depending upon the range and other factors (if indoor, ventilation... if outdoor, wind speed).

    Do gun ranges do something about it to keep the air circulating etc. Do the gun ranges themselves have a rating.
    See above for the first question here. I have never seen nor heard of a range rating system.

    Do I have to worry about taking a shower and washing my cloths after shooting. What detergent should I use.
    Tell me you're kidding with this one.

    On my end, I do know that I can better fire after exhaling a breath.
    You should not hold your breath when shooting unless you are going for serious precision and then you only hold your breath just before pulling the trigger (you let it out then hold for that final second).


    My friend, you need to spend some time on several different ranges as an observer to see what other folks do. Try to glean some experience and answers to your questions be watching people who appear to really know what they're doing. The shooting sports have been around a long time and I would imagine most people steeped in the gun culture (I am one) have fired many tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition in a variety of calibers and designs and are none the worse in wear for it. Quite the contrary, it has enriched our lives, given us enjoyment and fun, and offers the side benefit of making us better at something that can be quite an exact discipline. I've been at this for 45 years and the God willing, will be at it until He takes me to my final reward.

    So to reiterate, visit some shooting ranges, do some reading and other research, and take a quality course of safety and the use of firearms for you own sanity and satisfaction.

  3. #3
    berettabone is offline Banned
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    What????

  4. #4
    95chevy is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Is There A Useful Metric: After gun fires, how harmful is the smoke and red fire

    This topic to me seems like a mechanic that's afraid of getting grease on his hands.

  5. #5
    paratrooper is offline Senior Member
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    For some odd reason, I find this thread very disturbing.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by paratrooper View Post
    For some odd reason, I find this thread very disturbing.
    I hear you. At first I thought it was satire. Now, ???

    If he's for real, it would be really good if SelfDefenseNovice could find an accomplished shooter (i.e., gun nut) to take him under their wing.

  7. #7
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    I've been trying to answer his (her?) questions in his other threads.

    I sense that there's a lot of fear involved here.
    I can't quite make out whether it's fear of the gun itself, and what it does, or SelfDefenseNovice's fear of doing the wrong thing, and, maybe, coming off looking foolish.

    So, SelfDefenseNovice, here are a few more answers:
    1. The bluish-gray smoke and red fire you see are completely normal. As SouthernBoy wrote, they are merely the normal products of combustion.
    2. If you do not see red fire and bluish-gray smoke when you shoot, it means that the cartridges you're using are loaded with "low flash" gunpowder. This is neither better nor worse than any other gunpowder, but rather just a different chemical formulation.
    3. It's called "fire" and "smoke." Some people call it "gunsmoke." Each cartridge is loaded with enough of a particular gunpowder to force its bullet to move at a particular speed as it exits the gun. Each different powder formulation is measured by weight, and each powder's charge is of a different weight, even for the same weight of bullet. In one case, the .45's 230-grain-weight standard bullet can be driven by six (6) grains-weight of Winchester #231 gunpowder. This load spews fire and smoke because WW#231 powder is comparatively "dirty."
    4. The products of combustion are not notably harmful. However, indoor shooting ranges are carefully ventilated (under federal rules) to control lead particulates, which can be harmful because lead accumulates in the body. If you shoot outdoors, natural air movement solves the lead problem. No breathing apparatus is needed in either case.
    5. People who shoot a lot may smell very faintly of combustion products. Normal bathing and clothes-washing is sufficient to control these faint odors. One should bathe and change clothing before engaging in, um, intimate contact anyway, I think.
    6. SouthernBoy has explained breath control. Just follow his instructions.
    7. Some gunpowder-combustion residue remains embedded in the shooter's skin, even after bathing. The police can test for this, and the test's sensitivity helps indicate how long ago the shooting event took place. Absent a measurable bullet fragment, or a measurable entry hole, there is no combustion-product test that will reliably indicate the caliber of the shooter's gun.

  8. #8
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    "Fire" you say? Stand next to someone shooting a Tokarev. That's fire!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanP_from_AZ View Post
    . . . If he's for real, it would be really good if SelfDefenseNovice could find an accomplished shooter (i.e., gun nut) to take him under their wing.
    Steve M1911A1 (A#1 Gun Nut) to the rescue, thank you very much !

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurryin' Hoosier View Post
    "Fire" you say? Stand next to someone shooting a Tokarev. That's fire!
    My Ruger Alaskan with full power .454 Casull loads in a 2 1/2" barrel produces some pretty impressive fire plumes at night.

  10. #10
    Jonny_Cannon's Avatar
    Jonny_Cannon is offline Junior Member
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    I would say the smoke and fire is most harmful if you are on the business end.

    Cannon

  11. #11
    twomode is offline Member
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    And I submit that if you're on the business end, the smoke and the fire are the LEAST of your worries!

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