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How Can a bullet be fired without a gun?

Question:  I guess that pliers can be used to hold it, and a candle lighter can be used for heating. Can a bullet be fired without a gun?

Answer 1:

So far, all I am reading are some lame answers that are wrong.

With what you just described, you will get an explosion, but chances are, the bullet will not travel very far at all.

The simplest answer is NO.

In my misspent youth, I have tried similar things…and I am still alive today to tell about it. So, let me describe what would most likely occur…

A metalic cartridge (handgun or rifle catrtridge) must be fired from a chamber. The reason for this is that that cartridges are generally made of brass…and brass is a very soft metal. This is good for reloaders, as the brass can be run through a reloading die, and the mere force from the muscles of an arm are enough to reshape and resize the empty brass cartridge back to its original (smaller) dimensions for reloading purposes. But, the soft brass is bad for anyone wanting to try the experiment that you mention. What happens is that when the gunpowder inside the case ignites, it will try to expand in all directions. When the cartridge is properly seated inside of the chamber of a handgun or rifle, the walls of the brass case swell just a bit, but then the increased preassure looks for the path of least resistance, and that is when the bullet starts to be pushed out of the mouth of the cartridge case. As the pressure increases, it continues to push the bullet, out of the chamber area and down the barrel of the gun.

So, what happens when the metalic cartridge is not confined to a chamber? Simple. It expands and usually finds that the path of least resistance is the brass cartridge case itself. What happens is that the brass case will rupture through the and the gasses will escape that way. In the best case scenario (least dangerous), the case merely ruptures in one spot and the gas from the burning powder is released in along a “seam” on the side of the cartridge case. In a worst case scenario (most dangerous) the brass case comes apart into many pieces and throws brass shrapnel is all directions (sort of like a mini hand grenade).

The bottom line is this. When we try to use things in a manner in which they were not meant, bad things can happen. Metalic cartridges are meant to be fired from a firearm that is specifically designed to shoot that caliber of cartridge. Any deviation from this can result in serious injury, property damage or death.

Answer 2: 

his was actually done on a TV show several years ago to show what would happen.

A .308win round was placed in a mannequin’s hand at waist level about 15″ away from the body and then heated with a propane torch.

The cartridge detonated in just a couple of seconds sending the bullet only about 3 feet away (without the case being confined in a chamber it can’t build enough pressure to propel the bullet very far).

It was the small pieces of the case after the round detonated that proved to be the biggest hazard. Pieces of the casing struck the mannequin 8 times in the face and many more times in the torso. It also completely blew off the mannequin’s hand.

It was determined that the damage a human would suffer would be far greater than what was caused to the mannequin for the simple fact that flesh isn’t as durable as the material that the mannequin was made of.

NOT a smart thing to ever try to do. It would guarantee you a quick visit to a hospital emergency room.

Answer 3: 

Dont **** around with live ammos unless you are planning a life insurance claim. One mistake can b deadly. If u want a simple contraption to set off a bullet without a gun u can put the bullet in a seamless steel tube with thick wall n put it in a mouse trap with a steel bb taped to primer n remote fire with a long string attached to the trigger mechanism of the mouse trap while hiding behind a safety barrier. Do it in a remote area away from general public.

Answer 4:

if you wanna to that, do not buy centerfire rounds. you can use rimfire blanks or shotshells in a PVC pipe and hit it with a hammer.

if you heat the cartridge up it would explode like a tiny hand grenade, showering you and deadly shrapnel.

The primer itself also explodes, the bullet stays more or less where you fired it, the case splinters and explodes, the primer shoots backward from the bottom of the case like a bullet, going thru as much as 1/4 plywood. If that’s where your hand was, you would probably have a gruesome injury and a hole in it.

If you want to shoot a cartridge off without a firearm to do it in, you can shoot shotgun shells (12 gauge) by sticking it in a double-walled 3/4″ PVC pipe. That’s one pipe over another, reinforced by glue and duct tape. clamp the pipe to point in a safe direction, wearing ear protection slam a hammer into the primer. That way you can safely (somewhat) detonate a live cartridge. shotgun shells burns at much lower pressures than centerfire rifle do, meaning less chance of explosion like a grenade.

Or you can build a “zip gun” to shoot .22lr in.

When it comes to blanks, lighten them up or throwing in a fire is still very dangerous, they won’t explode like a grenade, but it will still make enough noise to damage hearing, and throw small particles of stuff at you at very high speeds. If you value your life and body part, don’t do it.

Answer 5: 

Reading some of these answers makes me wonder how the human race made it this far! CIH and a few others are right on the mark with their answers.

Oh you can make a loaded round go off by many means, you can also ignite gas by many means. Now I see why some lawn mowers had a warning not to try to replace blades while its running! LOL

I knew one idiot that drilled a hole in a piece of 2×4 wood and put a .300 win mag round in it and heated the round with a torch, he’s blind now, took out both of his eyes.

Ammo is not meant to play with, it’s made for a gun designed to shoot that particular round of ammo.

Answer 6:

You can certainly get an explosion of the cartridge in that manner but the bullet will have no specified direction. It will just fly off in some unspecified direction just like the rest of the fragments of the exploded cartridge. I have to warn you, if you try this, it won’t be the smartest thing that you have ever done. You should expect some serious injuries to yourself and anyone near you. Don’t do it!

Answer 7:

Start with a piece of steel with a thickness equal to the length of the bullet. Drill a hole in the piece of steel with the same diameter as the bullet. Tap the hole part of the way down for a screw of a larger diameter. Drill a hole down the center of the screw. Insert a firing pin in the screw hole and you have a simple bullet firing device.

Answer 8:

Any shell can be fired without a device to fire it. The main idea of striking the primer is a positive no matter how you look at it, however not safe in any way or means.

Heating the shell will also fire it. Causing the powder to ignite under heat instead of spark. However in this case you have a projectile flying with no true path and a shell casing that is going to fly like shrapnel. You will also have other debris around it flying as well like an explosion.

The third true way would be pressure. Same as striking the primer. Under intense pressure a brass casing or steel will fire as well.

Answer 9:

You would have to be crazy or seriously mentally handicapped to try this but if you put the casing in a vise and smack the back of the shell on the primer you will get it to fire but I wouldn’t suggest doing this

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