Follow TV Tropes


Spent Shells Shower

Go To

"Sitting in a Humvee while the machine gun on top is tearing a seam into hell is an experience - hot brass and links raining down into the passenger compartment like a Skittles commercial for infantrymen."
Just Another Soldier: A Year on the Ground in Iraq

One way to emphasize More Dakka, or at least how powerful a weapon is, is showing all the bullet casings being ejected out of that gun. Expect this to be noisy.

In scenarios involving Humongous Mecha, the falling bullet casings from said mecha's guns can be large enough to present a danger to whoever and whatever is unlucky enough to be under them.

Compare Dramatic Gun Cock. Contrast Cartridges in Flight, for when the shells are fired out along with the bullet in precisely the way real-life ones don't. When combined with Bottomless Magazines, may raise the Fridge Logic of where all that ammunition was before it was fired...


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Deliberately averted in the original Appleseed manga. Shiro's notes indicate that he thought it would look cool if the E-SWAT members weapons sent spent casings flying everywhere, but he felt that would conflict with the professional nature of their missions, and thus their weapons would have attached pouches to catch spent casings and keep their operation neat.
  • The Area 88 OVA opens with a shot of 20mm shells falling from Shin's F-8E Crusader as he tears up a column of enemy tanks.
  • The Black★Rock Shooter TV anime absolutely relishes in this. When the gatling guns come out, expect them to basically vomit spent shells in every direction, leaving huge piles littered around the ground that are often bigger than the combatants and their firearms combined.
  • Shows up in the first episode of Elfen Lied.
  • Happens repeatedly in various Gundam anime, which is bad news for any innocent bystanders, considering the shells are typically a) the size of two-liter soda bottles and b) falling from several stories up.
    • In the very first episode of the original Mobile Suit Gundam Amuro is nearly killed by spent casings from a Zaku's pan-fed machine gun after running out of an emergency shelter.
    • In Mobile Suit Victory Gundam, there's a scene in which a civilian, caught in a battle between two mechs, is killed when a mecha-sized empty casing (coming with several others from a mecha-sized machine gun) falls on her head.
    • Also happens in Mobile Suit Gundam F91 movie during the colony takeover part when a woman is also struck in the head by such a shell from one of the colony defense force units while trying to evacuate with her child.
  • The intro to Gungrave features this in a couple of places.
  • Henrietta goes on a killing rampage in the opening scene of Gunslinger Girl, littering the floor with 5.7x28mm shell casings, including a closeup shot of them hitting the floor between her schoolgirl white socks and little black shoes. Later it becomes a plot point when she slips on a spent casing in the Killing House and is told to use a brass catcher in future.
  • Shows up in Hellsing at times.
  • Mariya Renevskaya of Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force has the ability to fire live bullets without the use of a gun, so this was inevitable when she started wrapping her arms with thick ammo belts and started firing them like a machine gun.
  • Rebuild of Evangelion: Unit 01 fires an Eva-sized Gatling gun at Shamshel, raining spent cartridges on the street below. Just one of the cartridges is big enough to flatten a car.
  • Space Patrol Luluco: A flashback in episode 5 has bullet casings littered on food as Luluco's parents exchange gunfire between each other.
  • In Space Runaway Ideon, someone on the street gets clobbered by a giant shell casing from a Humongous Mecha-wielded gun.
  • The second season of the Sword Art Online anime has a minigun surrounding its wielder in spent shells, with the added effect that - because of the way VRMMORPGs handle broken items like spent ammunition - the shells quickly shatter into light.

    Comic Books 
  • G√≥rsky & Butch recreate the Matrix helicopter scene. Then it shows a street sweeper on the street below, cussing at the sight of the raining shells.
  • Brianna Diggers' "Lay-Z-Boy of Doom" in Gold Digger carries a pair of armrest-mounted miniguns for its main armament. Unfortunately, Bri' failed to realize until after she started shooting that she'd placed the ejection ports so that all that hot brass ended up in her lap...
  • These have been included in too many action shots of The Punisher to list, both on covers of comic books and inside them.

    Film — Animated 
  • Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay: When Whale's men open up on the Squad with fully automatic weapons on board the train, a rain of spent casings is shown hitting the floor around their feet.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Black Hawk Down: when a helo's minigun is being fired above a soldier on the ground. One (hot) shell actually falls down the soldier's shirt, burning him a bit. Which makes it a Deconstruction.
    • Also Truth in Television. A fresh hot shell casing down your collar burns pretty much like you'd expect a hot piece of metal falling down your shirt would. Many modern military uniforms include a velcro tab on the underside of the collar so that you can turn it into a mandarin collar to protect yourself from this occupational hazard. Some female gun enthusiasts on YouTube have also confessed to re-evaluating their cleavage limits after such occurences.
    • Also done to a lesser degree throughout the movie, with slow-motion shots of shell-casings being ejected from rifles, particularly towards the end of the movie when ammo is dangerously low and they have been told to make every shot count.
  • Used realistically in Dredd 3D, in the scene where Dredd and Anderson have to outrun minigun fire- several members of Ma-Ma's gang are shown shovelling spent cases.
  • Dark Blue World (2001). Casings are seen ejected from the Spitfires during the mid-air battles. According to the DVD Commentary the director made a point of including this, having owned toy Spitfires as a boy and noting the ejector ports.
  • The Gods Must Be Crazy: when a group of African guerrillas are shooting at a helicopter, one is annoyed by the man next to him, whose submachine gun is throwing its shells into the first's head.
  • Hot Shots! Part Deux had that scene where the hero became nearly buried in his spent shells. Played for Laughs, of course.
  • The behind the scenes feature for Peter Jackson's King Kong (2005) shows a scene where the actors are practicing the use of their Tommy Guns; one actor is positioned to the right of the other and catches the spent casings in his mouth.
  • The Matrix franchise:
  • The Old Guard opens with spent casings and an empty magazine falling to the floor, then the camera pans across the protagonists lying dead on the floor, riddled full of bulletholes. It then cuts back to a day or so earlier, showing who they are and how they got there.
  • Pacific Rim: Uprising: Bracer Phoenix's machine guns leave cartridges the size of cars.
  • In Restrepo, one soldier operating a mounted machine gun had the misfortune of a spent shell (which are really damn hot) falling into his shoe.
  • Seen in Suicide Squad (2016) when the SEAL team opens up with automatic weapons on the advancing horde of zombies. There is a close-up on the spent casings raining down around their feet.
  • In True Lies, Salim Abu Aziz rakes a public restroom's stalls with dakka from a sub-machine gun, littering the floor with spent casings.
  • Wanted: during Bullet Time at the end.
  • Watchmen: Nite Owl's ship has a minigun, and a floor compartment with pop-up chute for catching spent casings.
  • In Waterworld, a Smoker operating a Maxon Mount four-machine gun chassis in the atoll assault scene showers the boat it is mounted on and his crew with hundreds of .50 calibre brass shells. The crew is also seen shoveling up the spent casings into buckets, presumably because the metal casings were very scarce in a post-deluge world and would be reseated with new powder and bullets after the battle.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. In "The Mad Mad Tea Party Affair", a THRUSH agent empties his gun at some UNCLE agents, and a bunch of casings get thrown from off-camera in an apparent attempt to invoke this trope. Presumably the idea was the ejected casings had hit the wall and fallen back into view.
  • MythBusters: After blowing a fish barrel to hell with a minigun, there's a huge pile of spent shells.
    Adam: "I'm no, like, crime scene investigator, but I strongly suspect that someone's been firing a gun in the vicinity of this car."
    • And that time they were trying to shoot an escape hole through a piece of flooring.
    • And the time Kari cut down a tree with a minigun.
  • Sons of Guns does this from time to time.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Shows up in Stargate: The Ark of Truth. During the course of the movie Replicators get unleashed on the Odyssey. A group of airmen guard the entrance to the Asgard Computer Core so Carter and Marks can find the command to shut the Replicators down. By the time they do, the hall way is covered in spent shells and Replicator blocks.
    • Also showed up in the show proper during the episode "Allegiance". In an attempt to kill the cloaked Goa'uld assassin, O'Neill lays down heavy fire with a squad support machine gun. At one point the action slows down so you can see the action working on the machine gun and the casings ejecting.
    • This trope is why the show switched the team's weapons from MP5s to P90s. When a scene called for the team to stand side to side while firing, the production team realized the side ejecting MP5s would send spent shells into the faces of the actors. So they switched to the P90 which ejects spent casings downward.

  • Disturbed's video for "Indestructible" features footage of this, presumably from a Gatling gun.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech: Artwork for any mech firing autocannons or machine guns will almost always show spent shell casings being ejected from the weapon. The Kraken is very commonly given this treatment: with five autocannons in each arm it's More Dakka incarnate!
  • Some miniatures in Warhammer 40,000, such as the Ork boy with big shoota, depict spent cartridges leaving the gun quickly and falling in a heap below.

    Video Games 
  • Used as an attack by the fifth boss in the Shoot 'Em Up game 19XX. After firing out its rapid machine cannon weapon, it ejects out the shells forward, at your character! You will die if you get hit by them, but thankfully, they are destructible. (Starts at 4:13 here.)
  • Battle Garegga has a playable ship whose special weapon is More Dakka, accompanied by spent shell casings that also cause massive damage to enemies.
  • Battle Mania Daiginjou has a row of bullet holes spreading across the title screen, followed by over a dozen casings falling onto it.
  • Cortex Command has some weapons that eject lots of casings, some weapons that eject very large casings, and some weapons that eject lots of very large casings. If a character stays in the same position and shoots for long enough, it's entirely possible to make quite large piles of empty shell casings - that you can then walk on.
  • Downwell has an upgrade that lets you weaponize this by heating up the bullet casings so they damage enemies.
  • Fallout 4 features this extensively. Every single ballistic weapon visually ejects casings appropriate to the caliber it is chambered for. These casings then drop to the ground, bounce and roll physically correct and make metallic noises while they're at it. Although the game has a rather low limit of how many casings it displays and how long they linger, mods are available to extend these numbers almost indefinitely. Nothing like mowing down a hostile outpost from an elevated position with a minigun and finding yourself ankle-deep in a shiny brass carpet sparkling in the light of the sunset. And they say romance is dead.
  • Ghost Hunter: the Glock can be fired fast enough to cause an obvious fountain of shiny brass shells. Shows off the graphics, but the Glock is the emergency weapon, so it's not a display of More Dakka.
  • The minigun on the Warthog in Halo. The developer even pointed out that the shells would not stick to the surface but actualy bounce around based on the terrain. They showed this off by placing a Warthog on a hill and fired the gun with the shells realisticly rolling down the hill.
  • League of Legends champion Jinx, in her promotional video, literally bathes in spent minigun shells while more continue to shower down onto her. In a less literal fashion, her custom-made, hot-pink minigun Pow-Pow! spits spent casings by the bucketload.
  • Mass Effect 2
    • The limiting factor on the guns' ammunition isn't the ammunition itself but the heat sinks that allow them to keep firing without melting. Whenever Shepard reloads he ejects a spent heat sink that looks remarkably like a red-hot shell casing.
    • Deconstructed in Zaeed's loyalty mission where a spent heat sink ignites a fuel trail and causes an explosion.
    • Also played straight in the case of the machine guns on some vehicle/vehicle sized enemies - the Viper gunship, YMIR mech and geth Prime all have spent casings. These are apparently lots of heatsinks being rapidly ejected, as heavy weapons load multiple sinks with each reload.
  • The Mass Effect 3 Groundside Resistance Pack DLC includes, among others, the N7 Typhoon light machine gun. This BFG is not only obscenely powerful and comes with several goodies like in-built penetration, increased damage resistance while aiming and the largest clip size out of any weapon in the game - it's also the only infantry weapon in the entire trilogy to invoke this trope. The justification seems to be the same as the heavy machine guns' mentioned above, given how the spent "casings" look an awful lot like many, many tiny thermal clips. The Typhoon still ejects a glowing standard heat sink during reloading, though. And for some reason, the casing shower effect disappears the moment the shooter activates a special ammo type.
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo does some of this during the in-game Gatling Good level, but it's far more noticable when the The Matrix example above is used as part of the levels opening cutscene.
  • Max Payne: The Ingrams empty their 50 round magazines in about 1.5 seconds, at most, pouring brass onto the ground. And you can fire two at a time.
  • Kurt's Arm Cannon in MDK2 emits cascades of casings ejected per second when he fires it.
  • In MechWarrior 4, your 'Mech will eject spent autocannon casing after every salvo. If you're using multiple autocannons or the Rotary models in particular, expect a cascade of brass behind your 'Mech with every pull of the trigger.
  • Overwatch: Bastion's "Bullet Rain" intro showers the camera in spent shells before zooming out to show his minigun firing away.
  • Starcraft II: When Valerian Mengsk invades Char General Warfield is desperately holding a position against the Zerg and this trope is used to show exactly how dire a situation he and his men are in. They're up to their ankles in spent shells, but even with all that dakka they are still about to be overun with Zerg.
    • Also inverted when Raynor guns down a hydralisk Zerg in one shot with his heavy penetration rifle. The shell is big enough that it embeds itself in the ground with a thunk when it ejects, like the Ring in The Lord of the Rings films when Bilbo finally lets go and drops it to the floor.
  • Streets of Rage's Final Boss is Mr. X, apparently the only guy in the city to have a firearm, and an impressive Tommy gun at that. Killing him sends his corpse to the ground in a hail of casings.
  • The Vulcan cannon in the freeware game SUAVE.
  • Several Super Robot Wars games feature this during attack animations for units that use shell-firing weapons. Macross Valkyrie units do this, ejecting a shower of spent gunpod brass in strafing runs or when blazing away with all weapons. Oddly, the strafing run animation suggests that the spent shells follow gravity, but all other animations treat them as weightless in zero-G. On the other hand, the Alt Eisen has its Revolver Stake, which is fired by a cylinder of shells in its arm. One of its attacks involves completely emptying the weapon into an enemy's face, then opening the cylinder and ejecting all six empty shells on the ground around it in a noisy spray.
  • The Heavy's minigun(s) in Team Fortress 2 notably ejects shells out of a solid plane of the model.


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Animated Series: In "Robin's Reckoning", a paranoid gangster empties his Thompson into the ceiling of his hideout when he hears a noise, covering the floor and his feet in spent casings.
  • Beast Wars: Rhinox makes a pretty epic pile of spent shells at his feet while trying to cover Rattrap and Dinobot (who are, of course, fighting) to get in the base.
  • Samurai Jack: in "Robo-Samurai vs Mondo Bot", Mondo Bot fires its Machine Guns at Robo-Samurai.
  • Sym-Bionic Titan: when the H.M.E.R. uses its arm gatling guns.

    Real Life 
  • The book Just Another Soldier: A Year on the Ground in Iraq provides the page quote.
  • The AC-130U "Spooky II" has a 25x137mm Equalizer Gatling gun with a top firing rate of over four thousand rounds per minute. The spent shells are longer than the width of your hand. There have been many stories of crew members shoveling those shells.
  • Averted with modern jet aircraft that use a double-ended feed system, returning spent casings/jammed rounds back into the magazine, maintaining the aircraft's center of gravity, and preventing the engines from sucking in spent brass.
  • Naval cannons would count, since some videos of them show shells after shells piled on the deck while firing salvos, except these are large cannons that fire more or less, around 100mm shells, some examples include this and this.
  • This can be considered a liability if a gun ejects shells too energetically. For one thing, the flying brass can catch sunlight and give away your position to the enemy if you were firing from concealment. For this reason, many sniper rifles are bolt-action, so that the marksman can decide when to reload, and so shell casings can be carefully collected after each shot.
  • There are many cases during daylight bombing raids in World War II that a bomber machine gun turrets ejected cartridges rained down upon the windscreens of bombers below and behind it. In a tightly packed formation, this would occasionally present a problem when the impact of the 50 caliber cartridges would start to shatter the windscreens due to the speed and sheer number of which were falling.
  • Many female firearms instructors and sport-shooters mention that getting shell-casings down one's cleavage is very unpleasant (imagine dropping a fresh-from-the-frier french fry down your shirt), and suggest wearing high-collared shirts, buttoned most of the way.
    • For both genders, this is also one argument against bullpup weapons - since the action is ejecting cases behind the trigger from within what is functioning as the buttstock, unless the rifle in question has a reversible ejection port, trying to fire it lefty will typically result in that shower of brass all hitting the shooter right in their face.
      • Many bullpup weapons are quite reconfigurable, so a leftie can change the side of the gun from which shells eject. The Steyr Aug has this feature, for example. The British Army's SA80 bullpups like the L85 and L86, on the other hand, do not have this feature and, as a result, must be exclusively fired right-handed, even if the user is left-handed; along with the extensive reliability issues that dogged early models, this has contributed to making the L85 and its ilk deeply unloved among their users.
      • This is also why the current US Army uniform includes a velcro tab to let the soldier flip the collar up and seal it.
      • Some weapons, like the P90, eject their spent cases downward; others, like FN 2000 assault rifle, feature a "brass chute" that directs spent casings forward, away from the shooter's face, and lets them fall out of an opening in the front of the firearm.
  • Simultaneously averted and played straight with Russian machine guns, like Maxim M1910 (a Russian licensed variant) and its successor, the PK\PKM general purpose machine gun. On one hand, both of them use non-disintegrating belts (no small, snaggy links falling out; old belts were cloth, modern are metallic, come in 50-round strips and are multiple-use). On the other hand, PKM ejects its brass with unusual gusto, capable of injuring unprotected skin, and hurls the cases to the left - an unusual direction for Western users. This is because PK* action is basically an inverted AK writ large, so while AK has its ejection port, as usually, on the right side, inverting it effectively moves the port to the left.
  • The mini gun and similar weapons have a quite impressive example of this. The spent shells are rather forcefully ejected to make room for new bullets, so a specialized pipe is used to redirect the casings. When fired at full RPM, this pipe looks like it is spewing liquid brass.
    • Australian veterans of the Vietnam war share a favourite complaint; 'supporting' fire from American UH-1B 'Huey' gunships frequently made strafing runs from whatever direction was convenient, oblivious to friendly infantry on the ground receiving literal showers of hot brass casings from the twin M134 miniguns. The furious rate of fire from these weapons gave little time for the chamber to cool between shots, meaning the casings were hot enough to cause burn injuries even after falling from the sky.
  • Classic photographs from both world wars show artillery pieces, especially after the prolonged bombardments of the Western Front, surrounded by heaped spent brass shell casings that are taller than the guns.
  • A story goes that sailors like messing with the New Meat by telling them the circular markings on the deck are caused by a species of seabird that eats parasites and barnacles in the hull, the circles are due to the fact that it pecks around its feet. In reality, the markings are those left by spent casings from the ship's guns.
  • Averted for many modern fighter jet guns. Foreign object damage (acronym-ized as FOD) is a serious risk for these aircraft all the way to their manufacturing origins. To prevent spent casings from getting sucked into the jet engine intakes, they are often recycled back into the magazine space now vacated by the ammo expenditure.


Powder goes berserk

Powder unleashes her minigun on her attacker.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / GatlingGood

Media sources: