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Snippet from Wikipedia: Dragon's Breath

Dragon's breath, dragon breath or dragonbreath comes from mythology, as used to describe the ability of dragons to emit fire from their mouth.

Dragon's Breath, Dragon's breath, dragon breath or dragonbreath may also refer to:

  • Dragon's breath (ammunition), a pyrotechnic shotgun shell
  • Dragon's Breath (dessert), a dessert made with liquid nitrogen
  • Dragon's Breath Cave in Namibia, with the largest non-subglacial underground lake in the world
  • Dragon's Breath (chili pepper), one of the world's hottest chilli peppers
  • Dragon's Breath Blue, a Canadian cheese
  • "dragon breath", a euphemism for bad breath (halitosis)

Dragon's Breath is an exotic incendiary round for a 12 gauge shotgun. Dragon's Breath consists primarily of magnesium pellets/shards. When the round is fired, sparks and flames can shoot out to about 100&nbsp;ft. Dragons Breath is normally chambered in 12 gauge 2 3/4“ shot shell. The rounds are safe to fire out of an improved cylinder bore as well as a modified choke barrel, common on many shotguns.<ref>Of Dragon's Breath and hammer-shells</ref>

While its actual professional combat or tactical usage remains undocumented, the visual effect it produces is impressive and entertaining, similar to that of a short-ranged flamethrower or fireworks, making it popular among gun enthusiasts. Also undocumented, it has been claimed by enthusiasts that the rounds are often used as a distress signal, similar to a very short duration emergency flare gun, though some would argue a flare would be better fitted for such. The round has also been used for intimidation purposes. The pyrotechnic shell is expensive compared to other shells, costing $5 (USD) per round. There is little or no record of its use in actual combat. Because it is a very low-power round, it cannot be used in an auto-loading shotgun or semi-automatic shotgun; it does not produce enough recoil energy to cycle the action, causing the mechanism to jam. An additional reason to use the round only in a manually operated firearm is that the round shoots at least a little flame for 3–5 seconds. It would be hazardous if a shell still emitting flame were to be ejected from a semi-automatic shotgun.


Dragon's breath rounds are banned in many locations, due to their inherent fire hazard. Even in areas where the round may be shipped, an extra fee for hazardous materials may be charged.<ref>exotic shotgun ammo</ref>

United States

Illinois law states that a dragon's breath round is any round that “contains exothermic pyrophoric misch metal as the projectile and is designed for the purpose of throwing or spewing a flame or fireball to simulate a flame-thrower”.<ref>Public Act 92-0423</ref> This shotgun round is banned for use by anyone who is not authorized to possess, manufacture, or sell by the law. The wording is very similar in Florida law as well.<ref>Florida Crimes Code Section 790</ref>

Dragon's Breath rounds appear in video games such as Black Ops, New Vegas, and Killing Floor as shotgun rounds.

In the FOX show Bones (season 8, ep. 19), Dr. Jack Hodgins suspects a Dragon's Breath shell could have caused the burning-death of a former Marine Sergeant, and the subsequent fire that destroyed the room.

Kyle Myers also known as ”FPSRussia“ shot the mossberg chainsaw with dragon breath on his YouTube entertainment videos “TOP SHOT :: FN FS-2000 & Mossberg Chainsaw” and “12 Gauge Bullpup!”.

In The Dresden Files the inhuman assassin Kincaid uses Dragon's Breath rounds to kill Red Court Vampires.


Fair Use References are embedded in the above article as footnotes.

dragon_s_breath.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/12 18:33 (external edit)