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The Collaborative International Dictionary

blowback \blowback\ n. 1. the backward escape of unburned gunpowder after a shot.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

also blow-back, 1883, in reference to flames in enclosed spaces (firearms, furnaces, etc.), from blow (v.1) + back (adv.). Sense in reference to convert actions, etc., is from 1978.


n. 1 (context firearms English) A type of action where the pressure from the fired cartridge blows a sliding mechanism backward to extract the fired cartridge, chamber another cartridge, and cock the hammer. 2 An unintended adverse result, especially of a political action. 3 (context slang English) The act of shotgunning (inhaling from a pipe etc. and exhaling into another smoker's mouth).

  1. n. the backward escape of unburned gunpowder after a shot

  2. misinformation resulting from the recirculation into the source country of disinformation previously planted abroad by that country's intelligence service


Blowback may refer to:

  • Blowback (firearms), a system of operation for self-loading firearms that obtains energy from the motion of the cartridge case as it is pushed to the rear by expanding gases created by the ignition of the propellant charge
  • Blowback (forensics), vacuum effect created in the barrel of a firearm when it is discharged
Media and entertainment
  • Blowback (film), a 2000 film
  • Blowback (album), a 2001 release by rapper Tricky
  • "Blowback" (FlashForward), a 2010 FlashForward episode
  • Blowback (Alias episode)
  • Blowback (Journeyman)
  • Blowback (NCIS)
  • Blowback (The Shield)
  • Blowback Productions, an independent film and television production company founded in 1988 by Marc Levin. Along with producing partner, Daphne Pinkerson, they have made over 20 films and won numerous awards.
Other uses
  • Blowback (intelligence), unintended consequences of a covert operation that are suffered by the civil population of the aggressor government
  • Blowback, a 2013 spy novel by former United States CIA operations officer Valerie Plame
  • Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, a 2000 nonfiction book by Chalmers Johnson
  • Another term for backscatter
  • An aerodynamic phenomenon affecting helicopter rotors also called flap back
Blowback (intelligence)

Blowback is unintended consequences of a covert operation that are suffered by the aggressor. To the civilians suffering the blowback of covert operations, the effect typically manifests itself as "random" acts of political violence without a discernible, direct cause; because the public—in whose name the intelligence agency acted—are unaware of the effected secret attacks that provoked revenge (counter-attack) against them.

Blowback (firearms)

Blowback is a system of operation for self-loading firearms that obtains energy from the motion of the cartridge case as it is pushed to the rear by expanding gases created by the ignition of the propellant charge.

Several blowback systems exist within this broad principle of operation, each distinguished by the methods used to control bolt movement. In most actions that use blowback operation, the breech is not locked mechanically at the time of firing: the inertia of the bolt and recoil spring(s), relative to the weight of the bullet, delays opening of the breech until the bullet has left the barrel. A few locked breech designs use a form of blowback (example: primer actuation) to perform the unlocking function.

Other operating principles for self-loading firearms include blow forward, gas operation, recoil operation, revolver, Gatling, and chain. The blowback principle may be considered a simplified form of gas operation, since the cartridge case behaves like a piston driven by the powder gases.

Blowback (forensics)

Blowback in forensics refers to vacuum effect created in the barrel of a firearm when it is discharged.

After the weapon is fired, air races into the barrel once the bullet has left the muzzle. This vacuum can pull in trace amounts of materials from the environment.

Police can use blood and tissue which have entered a gun barrel through blowback in an investigation.

Blowback can also refer to the combination of gasses, dirt, and debris (unburnt powder, metal shavings) that most firearms produce upon firing. This can cause great irritation to the eyes and most ranges or organizations suggest or require the use of safety glasses when firing pistols.

Category:Firearm terminology

Blowback (film)

Blowback is a 2000 film directed by Mark L. Lester. It follows detective Morrell (Van Peebles) as he investigates whether a series of murders, identical to those by Wittman (Remar), executed years ago, are copycat or if they could be Wittman himself. Filming took place in San Diego, California.

Blowback (FlashForward)

"Blowback" is the thirteenth episode of the American television series FlashForward. The episode's teleplay was written by Lisa Zwerling and Barbara Nance and was directed by Constantine Makris. Originally aired in the United States on ABC on March 25, 2010.

Blowback (album)

Blowback is the fifth album by Tricky, released in 2001. Like Nearly God, Blowback contains several collaborations, but the album's sound is much brighter and more relaxed by comparison. Tricky himself said that he wanted to get airplay with this album, while most of his earlier albums were made to stay off the radio. Guest performers on Blowback include Flea, Anthony Kiedis, Josh Klinghoffer, and John Frusciante from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Cyndi Lauper, Alanis Morissette, Ed Kowalczyk and less known artists such as Hawkman, Stephanie McKay and Ambersunshower, with whom he already worked in 1996 for the charity compilation Childline.

A new song called "Question" and an alternate version of the song "Diss Never" (both with Alanis Morissette's vocals) are still unreleased, because her label Maverick Records held them back.

Usage examples of "blowback".

Developed by Charles Manson of the Army Technical Section in 1882-86, it used a form of blowback operation, combined with advanced primer ignition.

Alexandra Tolgren, of the Shahnapur Technological Institute, made the first serious application of the gas-delayed blowback principle which was to be the foundation of Draka small-arms design for two generations.

European experience in the Great War showed that a simple blowback weapon with a heavier bolt would do quite satisfactorily.

The Shell blowback at Surire should have habituated him to the mind-set of the kind of people he was dealing with.

They were squat, square weapons with skeleton folding stocks and blowback vents so they could be fired in free-fall.

The blowback and recoil nearly broke her wrist and she dropped the weapon through the cloud of debris and gunpowder residue.

Most small machine guns work on the blowback principle, where the working parts come forward to initiate a round, and the gases then push back the working parts, which stay to the rear unless you pull the trigger again.

Operation Sunrise, Operation Blowback, Operation Paperclip and others, thousands of Nazi scientists, researchers and administrators were brought to the United States after World War II.

Like all Russian pistols, what the East Germans call the Pistole M is a crudely designed piece of machinery with a simple blowback system and a butt angle like a letter L, but its Soviet designers gave it a legendary reliability which in tight corners makes up for all other shortcomings.

I selected a mid-point on the wall between the two cabins, knocked out the blowback cutout on the blaster and shielded my face with one hand.

It could manufacture all the traces, blowbacks, and disconnection attempts that he expected from top-of-the-line gear, attacking and defending and then counterattacking so quickly that it was like fighting war in space at light speed.

He fired once, from the hip, and the grenado exploded in midair, turning the flimsy wall between the storeroom and the lunchroom into a storm of destructive, splintery blowback.