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For several decades I've observed in westerns that during gun fight scenes, it appears that someone out of frame is firing frangible projectiles (chalk?) very close to the actors. Seems to illustrate bullet strikes well enough but seems really risky for the actors since they are not wearing eye protection. Am I correct that projectiles are fired at the actors? Did anyone ever get hurt?

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    Not sure where your theory comes from...I'd imagine most of the times they're firing blanks. Perhaps some images in your question to demonstrate what you are asking? – Paulie_D Aug 6 '16 at 20:56
  • Can't remember where I saw it - possibly "Mythbusters", "Popular Mechanics for Kids" og "How Do They Do It" - but there are several tricks they use. Small explosive "patches" (detonated electrically) is probably most common... But yes, they also used something like air-guns to fire special projectiles (possibly basically chalk) to get the effect you describe. I would imagine they often use stunt-people on set when doing such scenes... – Baard Kopperud Aug 7 '16 at 2:06
  • I'm well aware of squib charges used for simulating bullet strikes in wood, metal and people. I'm talking about scenes where bullets are replicated hitting rocks, the ground, etc but it is a cheap trick used in high volume shootouts not meant to look realistic. It has been used in every western movie and TV show for 60 years at least. – Mark Aug 11 '16 at 4:23
  • Air guns sounds reasonable and cheap, but risky for the actors. – Mark Aug 11 '16 at 4:26

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