The Dangers of the Hangfire – Also Known as “Don’t Look Down a Gun Barrel”

Know what a hangfire is and abide by the rules of gun safety.

A “hangfire” is a type of firearm malfunction that can be quite dangerous when the four rules of firearm safety are not followed. A hangfire occurs when the powder is slow to ignite and goes off after a delay. Hangfires can go off with near full force after a short delay, or go off with limited force causing a “squib,” which is when the bullet travels part way down the barrel and get stuck.

So when you pull the trigger and nothing happens, keep the gun pointed in a safe direction and be ready for it to go off anyways. Do not do what this guy does and look down the barrel – heck, don’t look down the barrel at any time unless the gun is disassembled for cleaning.

Looking down the barrel of a shotgun on a hangfire

Know what a hangfire is and abide by the rules of gun safety.

I’m going to say it again: don’t ever look down the barrel of an assembled firearm.

Here’s the video – you can hear the click, but there’s no bang. That’s what you need to pay attention to.

While it is a staged/fake video for educational purposes, it still is useful to learn from.

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Brian Purkiss
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Brian Purkiss is a firearms instructor, competitive shooter, proponent for individual liberty and Second Amendment rights, and a web developer. He enjoys competing in and organizing Run and Gun Competitions, as well as shooting in USPSA, Outlaw matches, and 3 Gun.