Piercing Guns


What are They?

Piercing guns are devices that are used to pierce the ears. A sterile earring is place in the gun and when the trigger is pulled the earring is forced through the ear, with the butterfly back being attached to the post of the earring. They are commonly used in shops selling jewellery and accessories.


When Should They be Used and When Should They not be Used?

Ideally, they should never be used, for the reasons listed below. However, if they are used it should only be for piercing the ear lobes. The tissue there does not contain cartilage, which is tougher so harder to pierce, so there is less of a risk. Piercing guns should never be used to pierce any other part of the body.


Risks of Using Piercing Guns

  • They cause trauma to your ear due to a blunt object being forced through the flesh.
  • Those who provide piercing using guns often do not have a great deal of training.
  • The aftercare instructions that are given along with a gunned piercing are often not very appropriate, and the cleaning solution is often not particularly useful.
  • A professional piercing studio is more sterile than the corner of a shop. Rooms are designed specifically for piercing and they make sure that all equipment and surfaces are kept clean.
  • Some people may find guns less painful than being pierced with a needle, but there is not a lot of difference. The needles are sharp and designed for piercing, and are much better for your ears than guns.
  • Studs are the only jewellery that can be put into a piercing gun, whereas professional piercers use whichever jewellery is the most appropriate, made of good quality materials, such as titanium.
  • Needles are used once and thrown away. Guns are not. Even if some components are only used once, the rest of the gun isn’t, and bacteria can be transferred from one person to another, however carefully it has been cleaned.
  • Some people’s ear lobes are thicker than others, while earrings for guns are the same length. This means that for those with thicker lobes, there will be less room to allow for swelling, which can cause pain and irritation to the ear.
  • It is easier for a professional to ensure that the piercings are even. They do this by marking where they are going to pierce, and checking with you that it is okay. When a gun is being used the ear can not be seen while the gun is in place, which can result in uneven piercings.