Shooting Airgun Pellets Out of A .22 LR, Using Nail Gun Blanks (Follow Up)

I don’t think I have to say: Kids, do not try this at home.

As we reported previously, Taofledermaus, unsafety expert and ammunition experimenter has solved the rimfire ammunition crisis for those who do not so heavily weigh the continued use of their limbs. He has experimented with muzzle-loading a .22 caliber airgun pellet (weight: about 14 grains) into a .22 LR rifle and chambering and firing the weapon using a nail gun blank round. This is a very interesting (and not particularly safe) test, which gave me a whole new level of respect for my nail guns!

RyeOnHam, though, wasn’t satisfied: He decided to conduct his own tests using a chronograph. Anyone who watches the Taofledermaus video should definitely also watch Rye’s, which contains great examples of why this combination is dangerous:

His results though, are frankly jaw-dropping. With the most powerful nail gun blank, he achieved an astounding 2,864 ft/s with the 14 grain pellet. Not only is that terrifyingly high velocity from a .22 LR firearm, it’s also much, much more powerful than a standard .22 LR would, producing about the same energy as a .22 Magnum, in fact.

Taofledermaus responded with a second video, where they try everything from loading the pellet backward to shooting the pellet at kevlar body armor:

Will nail-gun blank cartridges ease the .22 LR ammunition shortage? Boy I hope not. For now, I’m going to keep shooting centerfire, instead.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Dukeblue91

    Thank god I still have several thousand rounds of .22lr left.
    Even though I have not found any to buy in almost 1.5 yrs.

  • Roy

    The .22lr shortage has spurred me to just get rid of all my 22 chambered firearms. I put the money into upgrades and ammo for other firearms. I’ve found that I spend less time tearing apart guns on my tailgate since. I never realized how horribly unreliable my 10/22 was until I built my AR.

  • Nice catch, thanks.

    Well, at the very least I got the next two videos up. I’ll change the title.

  • I never use the word “power” in the article.

    • Sadler

      “it’s also much, much more powerful than a standard .22 LR”

      • Look up the definition of “powerful”.

        • Sadler

          “having great power”

          • So if I said “Vladimir Putin is a very powerful man in Moscow” you would take issue with me using the physical sciences concept of “power” incorrectly? Am I understanding that right?

          • Sadler

            So, what you’re saying is that these rounds have more political strength than .22 LR?

            What I take issue with is saying you “never” used power in your article, but used an adjective that means having power.

          • What I’m saying is that the physical science term “power” which refers to a specific quantity (which is not energy; you’re right) is not the word I used in the article; that word was “powerful” which means a variety of things including “strong”. If I edited the article to say “it’s also much stronger than a standard .22 LR” would you still take issue?

            The thing is, words have multiple meanings. If you’re going to criticize my word choice when the word I use is being used correctly (though not to mean what you’re assuming), you might try to find something else to occupy your spare time. I hear Twin Peaks is an engrossing show.

            I gotta say I knew when I wrote the article that somebody would take issue with my use of the word “powerful”. Once upon a time I would have probably done the same in your position, but I’ve since grown out of that.

  • Guest

    Why not glue the pellet on the end of the blank?

  • Although the velocity is very high, I wonder what kind of pressures are in the chamber. That would be the real threat wouldn’t it?

    • Alex Nicolin

      Chamber pressure should be much lower, due to the decreased friction and inertia. The pellet basically touches the barrel only at the head and at the end of the skirt, and it’s very light. Thus, it’s easily pushed forward before pressure can build up.

      • So I don’t really see much of a safety concern. Although I don’t see the point of doing this. We have had plenty of .22LR available here in NY for months now. That’s fortunate because we can no longer order ammo online because of the unSAFE act.

        • Watch RyeOnHam’s video for why this is not so safe.

  • Alex Nicolin

    Pellets are designed to be shot at speeds of 900 fps (0.8 Mach) or lower, where all air flow is subsonic. They are simply not made for supersonic speeds. At that kind of velocity, they tend to become very unstable, due to the transsonic air flow over the skirt. That’s why when you have a powerful air rifle, that can drive normal pellets at, or past the speed of sound, you are better off transitioning to heavier ones, that don’t go past ~950 fps.

  • The Real Teal’c

    I have actually shot and chronoed this set up a few weeks ago. Rifle Cz 452 16in barrel, #3 nail blank, and some H&N Copper plated .22 dia 25.77gr rn pellets. I thought It would be a logical Idea to use a plated pellet instead of a dead soft lead pellet, for a multitude of reasons. Most importantly melting the skirt into the rifling, leading, and also the possibility of having some structural integrity of the projectile once it left the bore. They were fast at 2200 avg fps.

  • Barney Samson

    FWIW I did this about 20 years ago. The first .22 pellets I used were basically hollow and they suffered from blow-outs of the front of the pellet. Pressing a BB or lead shot from a shotgun shell in the skirt cured this for the most part but was a bit cumbersome. Heavier pellets having more lead at the front also cured this. I also loaded them backwards, using a modified Armstrong mixture (no phosphorus) in the hollow skirt. Got a quite loud pop on impact, and no- I do not recommend anyone do this or even attempt to make Armstrong comp in the first place. Much more recently I used NA Arms lead .22 bullets and I consider them superior to a pellet. Of course there are also various weight .22 lead bullet molds available.
    I also found a way to reprime rimfire brass. As long as this is used in a revolver or a single shot so the shell can be orientated so the firing pin will hit a fresh portion of the rim, the reliability is as good as any bulk ammo. Using this primer composition along with a heavy pellet or NAA bullets replicates Aguila Colibri or Super Colibri .22 ammo.

  • See? Power and force are not the same physical quantity. Obviously, the dictionary definition isn’t rigidly adhering to the nomenclature of physical science.

  • Cameron Bissell

    there is a company out there (can’t remember the name) that makes adapters to shoot pellets like a single 00 buck using a larger rifle and a .22 blank.

  • MIke

    Now what if someone wants to try and shoot real 22LR rounds out of the concrete tools these blanks are designed for? Is there some design feature that does not allow this to work?

    • Vorant

      There’s a hardened metal piston that’s substantially larger than a 22 that drives the nail into the material, removing that piston would create a very real safety issue.

  • Jamie Clemons

    3:18 last video slo mo fly.

  • William M Durham

    Does anyone realize just what this combination really is? This is the perfect murder weapon. It can be used at fairly close range to kill someone with a totally untraceable weapon. The pellet is totally destroyed, no bullet or power residue or rifling to check. A really easy and fast way to get rid of your enemies. A cheap 22 rifle or pistol, a box of pellets, and a box of nail gun shells that are also not controlled in any way. Perfect way to off anyone without leaving any trace. Just maybe this should not be on this site or any other one, but OOPS to late, kats out the bag now, watch the news for future showings of the use of this weapon.

  • sometrend

    Ok, I am going to tell all of you a story about a very stupid kid of 11. I assure you it is factual and I hope all of you are old enough to know better than try what I did.My dad had an old S&W top break in .38S&W. We raised a few pigs each year to supplement the family food requirements throughout the year and my father used that old gun to kill them. He bought 1 box of ammo for it each year,used 3-5 rnds and let me shoot the rest under his supervision… I loved that old gun. Well, I couldn`t buy live ammo at 11…the gent at the local hardware knew my dad and even showed up sometimes to help slaughter the pigs. So,I had a brain storm…he had some smokeless blanks in .38 and I had a 3.00 I had saved from chores, I told him My dad was going to record some gunshots for a school play. I also went to a sporting goods store and bought some super vel bullets…not loaded ammo so its ok to sell to a snot nosed kid right? lol. Well,being smarter than the entire town I lived in,knowing I now had ammo and could sneak that smith out and use it on a particular rabbit I couldn`t trap….I dropped a bullet into the cylinder,then a blank. That combo tied the gun up so I figured just 1 charged chamber was enough. I saw that bunny after waiting for an eternity,cocked the hammer,aimed…and WOW! the gun disintergrated in my hands. The cylinder was no where to be seen,the topstrap was missing the rear portion,lock and all…and my ears were ringing! I don`t know how but I didn`t have a scratch on me. I`ve been handloading and shooting for the 42yrs since then but I am still extremely hesitant to try anything like that again. Paying for my dads gun and my stupidity took 2 years and that made an impression!lol