How to make pneumatic squibs

Written by alex smith
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How to make pneumatic squibs
Safely create realistic bullet hits. (man with gun image by Valentin Mosichev from

Squibs are small explosive devices used in film and television to simulate a bullet hit. The explosive is placed between a shield on the actor and a blood pack. When the charge is detonated, a spray of blood shoots from the actor's body. These explosive squibs are dangerous and illegal to use if you are not properly licensed. A much safer alternative is to use a pneumatic squib system, using compressed air to "fire" the blood.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Hand-pump garden sprayer
  • Quick-release valve
  • Vinyl tubing, at least 8 feet long, wide enough to fit on the valve
  • 5-minute epoxy
  • Zip-tie
  • Scissors
  • Duct tape
  • Fake blood
  • Water

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  1. 1

    Remove the hose that comes attached to the garden sprayer.

  2. 2

    Attach a quick-release valve to the garden sprayer with five-minute epoxy.

  3. 3

    Attach the vinyl tube to the quick-release valve. If the valve has a nipple, simply push the tube onto it. Otherwise use epoxy or a zip-tie.

  4. 4

    Seal the other end of the tube shut with epoxy.

  5. 5

    Cut a small diamond shape into the tube 3 inches below the sealed end.

  6. 6

    Fill the sprayer's tank with fake blood. If it is thick, thin it a bit with water.

  7. 7

    Close the quick-release valve.

  8. 8

    Pump the garden sprayer 30 to 40 times to pressurise it.

  9. 9

    Duct tape the end of the tubing to the actor's skin. The diamond hole should be positioned facing out through a small hole in the clothing.

  10. 10

    Open the quick-release valve to allow all of the pressure (and blood) to be released through the diamond hole.

Tips and warnings

  • Different thicknesses of blood require different amounts of air pressure. Practice until you get a realistic effect before filming.
  • Do not over-pressurise the garden sprayer.

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