I posted this video earlier:


In Minnesota over the 4th of July, an 18-year-old was killed when a firework went off in his face.

In Indiana, an 11-year-old was also killed by a firework.

The fatalities were caused by large mortar style fireworks.

The big mortars, which are intended to launch an explosive payload a few hundred feet into the air, detonate with significant force.

Any firework capable of sending sparks a hundred feet or more can be lethal if it goes of next to a person’s head.

In the video above, a man can be seen laughing a mortar firework at people.

This is tantamount to firing an M203 at someone.

The lethal effective blast radius might be a bit smaller but having a mortar firework detonate next to a foot or hand will result in an amputation, and can cause loss of eyes if it detonate near the face.

IANAL, however I think there is sufficient evidence to justify returning fire in jurisdictions where self defense is allowed, if someone launches fireworks at you.

It will be an interesting case if it were to happen.

Make sure you have hand and eye trauma surgeons as your expert witnesses to describe what sorts of injuries fireworks can cause.

They definitely qualify as “grievous bodily harm.”

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By J. Kb

8 thoughts on “On the dangers of fireworks”
  1. A 45-70 takes about 0.16 oz of black powder. A 3in mortar shell fireworks will have 4 or 5 oz of BP for lift, around 4 oz of stars and 4 plus oz of BP for the bursting charge.

    You do not want to be close when that goes off.

    1. That’d be in the professional display fireworks category, no?
      The legal-for-the-public shells are 1.75″ diameter, with the canister varieties often being 5″ long overall. I’m not sure what the legal limits for pyrotechnic content are, and I’m too lazy to look them up right now.
      Finally living in a place where such things are legal, with a great big front lawn, I’ve been learning about the fun stuff… and those shells do make a big boom indeed, and are very much not to be trifled with.
      The ones in the vid looked to be no more powerful than the ones I was setting off (in the approved manner) a few days ago, but plenty dangerous if mishandled as those were.

      1. Over the counter fireworks are 1.75 in limited. 3 in are in the small professional or amateur level.

        Federal law has limits on transporting even low explosives. Amateur displays will make all the compounds, create all the stars, make all the BP to make a few shells in a weekend event. 3 in is the smallest and 12 in is the largest I’ve read about.

  2. If I get shot at with paintballs/beanbags/fireworks here in Texas, I’ll let you know what happens after. Of course, if I’m lucky, it’ll be on fake media about an old dude shooting future MIT students while they were out having a little fun.

  3. Ummm, Im in the commercial fireworks business.. 3 inch are the LOW end of size… we can get 8s 12s, 16s all are in INCHES.. I was launching 6 inch shells at a show last year and I had four of them go off 8 feet out of the tube.. THAT was a rush.. anything that goes boom is not to be trifled with.. then again, the old saying- if you gonna be dumb, you better be tuff

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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