Can a nail gun kill really?

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If you happen to be a big fan of action or sci-fi movies, you probably have seen bad guys being killed using nail guns.

But does it work in real life? Can a nail gun kill really?

Let’s find out.

Make sure to read to the end as we will also look at some safety measures to follow when using a nail gun.

Can a nail gun kill?

To begin with, let us first inspect how powerful these nail guns are.

How fast does a nail gun shoot?

Here is the thing:Well From our research, a Paslode pneumatic nail gun can fire nails at speeds of up to 144 feet per second.

So, how fast does a nail gun shoot in MPH?

Well, the above translates to almost 100 mph! I know you will agree with me that that’s pretty fast.


How far can a nail gun shoot

As regards the range, with this Paslode pneumatic nailer, the furthest distance a nail gets fired is approximately 50 yards(we haven’t heard or seen it shooting any further).

And just to add, with each consecutive shot, the distance typically keeps decreasing and eventually it comes to the 121 to 134 feet per second range.

With that out of our way, let us go back to the main question “Can a nail gun kill really?”


Can a nail gun kill?

The short answer is Yes!

Indeed, nailers have air pressure that is high enough to shoot fasteners at 155MPH.

And that can kill (regardless of the size of nail) if shot at point blank and you aimed at the heart, central nervous system, or other critical body organs.

Of course, you got to fire at the right spot accurately which is not always easy- you’re more likely not to  hit the heart or skull but it’s definitely possible to die from a nail gun if someone is super precise.

But on a more re-assuring note (depending on your motive), they’re designed with the all-important safety mechanism that prevents accidental firing (nails only come out when it’s pressed down onto something)

However, you can disable this (folks do when exploring nail gun self defense) and it is, for the most part, easily disabled.


Nailers have the potential to inflict serious injuries on you or someone else

Now, nailers have the potential to inflict serious injuries on you or someone else.

This is the case, especially with the powerful pneumatic framing nail guns.

Let us have a look at how dangerous or not, nail guns can be.


Can I use a nail gun as a weapon?

To begin with, nail guns are not designed to fire nails over long distances.

In fact, most nails will travel at distances of approximately 10 feet.

In addition, at this distance, the nails already lack the power to penetrate anything and will tend to bounce off a cardboard.

And as I already mentioned, nail guns are designed with your safety in mind so they fire nails only when pressed directly on to a surface.

Additionally, nailers are designed in a manner that they apply force all the way through the stroke.

This greatly reduces the velocity after they exit the gun hence why they do not fire far.

Also do not forget the fact that nails are rather heavy, which slows their fire distance much more.


By-passing the safety guard

However, it’s worth noting that if you were to bypass the safety mechanism, this definitely increases their firing distance and firing power too.

And a bypassed nail gun can fire up to almost 1600 feet away with speeds of up to 1,400 feet per second!

Firing a nail at such a speed will enable it to penetrate stressed concrete up to 10 cm!

I’m sure you can imagine what harm it can cause to the human body.

So in summary, at close range – where you can get contact- your nail gun can be deadly once you fire it precisely at vital organs (head, chest area, etc.)

However, at distances where contact isn’t possible, only a bypassed nail gun can be used as a weapon.


How to use a nail gun safely

First, you must know how to shoot a nail gun. If you’re new to nailers, here is a brief reminder of how you should fire a nail gun:

  • First load the nail strip into the gun’s magazine.
  • Then put on your safety glasses and power on the gun’s power source.
  • Place your nail gun’s tip against the surface you are going to nail.
  • Push the tip against the surface exerting pressure on the gun and pull the trigger.
  • Pull your gun away from the surface and move it to a new position that you intend to nail. Repeat the previous step till done.
  • Once done, you can now disconnect your nail gun from its power source.

More basic safety tips

With that out of the way, let us now look at some basic safety tips – you really do not want to hurt yourself or a loved one when working with your nailer.

As I mentioned earlier, nowadays, nail guns are made with safety in mind.

This happens to be more of a rule of thumb – no matter what tool you are using, it likely has excellent safety mechanisms in place.

And so when it comes to nailing your projects, the no-mar safety contact will prevent your gun from firing unless it’s safely in contact with your work surface.

When firing over a distance, you’ll therefore have to pull back the sliding mechanism meaning that for long range firing, you will have to use both hands – one to pull the trigger and the other to pull the safety catch.

That aside, the no-mar safety contact tip reduces risk of certain injuries but it still isn’t a foolproof system.

This is because many constructors will tend to keep the trigger depressed at all times and instead, decide to use the safety contact tip as the trigger mechanism.

In other words, when they press the gun onto a surface, it automatically fires the nails.

Using the gun this way also makes it easier to accidentally fire nails-all that is required is to press the gun barrel to any surface including your leg and boom! The nails are fired in sequence till you get the gun off that surface.

However, some manufacturers have opted to reduce this risk by building a sequential trip system into their nailers.

And with it, you’ve to release and depress the safety contact tip each time you want to fire a nail.

Now, below are a few additional steps you will want to follow so as to use your nail gun safely:

  • Never bypass or remove safety mechanisms such as the catch release trigger. Doing so will make your gun fire anytime the trigger is pulled even if by accident.
  • When carrying nailers, carry them by the handles. Do not carry them with your finger on the trigger as a slight misstep may result in you accidentally pulling the trigger.
  • When moving your gun or performing maintenance on it, always make sure that it’s first disconnected from its power source. This is of importance since accidental pulling of the trigger may occur.
  • When nailing, make sure that no matter what, the nail gun is never pointed towards yourself or someone else. The nail may go right through the timber or even not be fired into the timber but towards the one the gun is pointed towards.
  • Keep fingers, hands, and other body parts out of the way. If you want to support your surfaces, use another piece of timber to hold your surfaces in place.
  • If using a pneumatic nail gun, you should maintain a stable footing and make sure that the air hose is out of your way at all times.
  • Don’t point your nail gun towards your colleagues or friends at any time especially if the gun is still connected to its power source.
  • Finally, don’t try to climb a ladder with the nailer cradled against your body especially if it is still connected to its power source.

Can a nail gun kill – Recap

At close range, – contact – a nail gun is a deadly weapon if used to fire nails at vital organs such as the chest area, the neck or head.

However, it will not cause any serious harm if you fire nails to muscular areas such as the hands or legs(This may only cause some pain to your assaulter and perhaps even slow him/her down).

Now, when nail guns are used at a distance, they won’t do any harm to your assaulter.

This is due to the fact nailers don’t fire nails for long ranges and the nails lose their power after a few feet.

However, if you have bypassed your nail gun’s safety mechanism, it can injure an assaulter even over some distance.


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