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Old 09-06-2014, 09:32   #1
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12 gauge or 25mm?

Our new to us boat came with one 12 gauge flare gun and one 25mm. I would still like to have two in order to keep one in the companionway and one in the ditch bag. However, I would like two of the same gauge. Hubby is concerned that it might be easier to get 25mm overseas, so we should keep one of each.

Anyone have experience with this?
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:54   #2
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Re: 12 gauge or 25mm?

The 26.5mm ex-military flare guns are not fantastically easy or cheap to get flares for (I'm in Europe ... FYI). Since you already have a 12 gauge flare gun as well you might be better off getting a sub-caliber insert to fire 12 gauge flares out of it ... like from: GaugeMate Product Info and standardise on that size of round.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:04   #3
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Re: 12 gauge or 25mm?

"However, any modification of a flare gun to shoot live rounds, including combining it with a flare gun insert constitutes a title 1 Firearm."

I think I will stay away from such modifications.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:21   #4
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Re: 12 gauge or 25mm?

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Originally Posted by Greenhand View Post
"However, any modification of a flare gun to shoot live rounds, including combining it with a flare gun insert constitutes a title 1 Firearm."

I think I will stay away from such modifications.
I thought about that option and consequently asked the question here. The consensus was if you used 12g shotgun shells in a converted 25mm flare gun it would likely blow up in your face/hand, so a fail safe legal compliance maybe. Our previous owner was a kleptomaniac and the 25mm gun went walkies along with much other 'portable' stuff before handover, so being forced to re-equip from scratch , I bought a new 12g kit (signal gun, shells and a couple of extra handheld smokes and lots of spare shells as well for the pistol, all this came in a plastic waterproof case we will keep routinely in the cockpit locker (along with our spare lifejackets and grab bag which also contains a handheld VHF)
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:51   #5
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Re: 12 gauge or 25mm?

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"However, any modification of a flare gun to shoot live rounds, including combining it with a flare gun insert constitutes a title 1 Firearm."

I think I will stay away from such modifications.
I think the regulation is pretty clearly meant to keep you from firing gun ammunition in a flare gun, not sub caliber flares, now if you keep a box of 12Ga Buckshot with your flares, then I bet you'll have a problem
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Old 09-06-2014, 15:35   #6
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Re: 12 gauge or 25mm?

Do remember that the 25mm flares are much brighter and long lasting than the 12 ga items. If you are carrying them with the thought of actually using them in a distress situation, the choice is obvious. If you are carrying them to fulfill your legal obligations only, the 12 ga will do.

Proper SOLAS rocket flares are much, much better signals than either of the sorts you are carrying.

Jim
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Old 09-06-2014, 17:00   #7
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Re: 12 gauge or 25mm?

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Do remember that the 25mm flares are much brighter and long lasting than the 12 ga items. If you are carrying them with the thought of actually using them in a distress situation, the choice is obvious. If you are carrying them to fulfill your legal obligations only, the 12 ga will do.

Proper SOLAS rocket flares are much, much better signals than either of the sorts you are carrying.

Jim
according to the specs IIRC the 12 g ones go higher even though less bright. I agree proper Solas flares are much better and indeed what we always used on our boats back in Europe but they are sold real rip off prices over here just as are liferafts and liferaft servicing cost. If we were to seriously equip for longer offshore passages again I suspect a satellite phone and/or EPIRB would be far more cost effective and sensible solutions .

In the first instance we have a full DSC VHF set as well as a backup non DSC one plus a spare antenna and a handheld VHF as well. Our cruising range these days is much less extensive ( east coast ICW and Florida to Bahamas) which will have us in range of VHF shore stations pretty well all the time so the difference betwixt 12 and 25mm signal flares I think will be less of a worry.
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Old 21-05-2017, 08:07   #8
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Playing the Devils Advocate here ... Re: 12 gauge or 25mm?

... suppose one is in the habit of loading one's own shotgun shells. What would be wrong (other than the legal implications) with using a 12 gauge barrel insert on a 25mm Olin flare gun, then reducing the powder charge significantly, for close range use only. One might also use birdshot, vs. buckshot, and at close range, the load, especially given the shot pattern when fired from a 2" flare gun barrel, should deter most terrorists, kidnappers or would-be lethal intruders.

Any self loaders out there?

G2L
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Old 21-05-2017, 08:12   #9
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Re: 12 gauge or 25mm?

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I think the regulation is pretty clearly meant to keep you from firing gun ammunition in a flare gun, not sub caliber flares, now if you keep a box of 12Ga Buckshot with your flares, then I bet you'll have a problem
Check my post below and tell me what you think.

G2L
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Old 21-05-2017, 11:01   #10
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Re: Playing the Devils Advocate here ... Re: 12 gauge or 25mm?

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Originally Posted by Gone2long View Post
... suppose one is in the habit of loading one's own shotgun shells. What would be wrong (other than the legal implications) with using a 12 gauge barrel insert on a 25mm Olin flare gun, then reducing the powder charge significantly, for close range use only. One might also use birdshot, vs. buckshot, and at close range, the load, especially given the shot pattern when fired from a 2" flare gun barrel, should deter most terrorists, kidnappers or would-be lethal intruders.

Any self loaders out there?

G2L
Yes I'm familiar with hand loading shotgun shells. The issue with a flare gun is that the body of the gun will not stand up to the charge necessary to properly fire a normal round. Even low base rounds. I would concur with what was already said here regarding the re chambering of the 26.5 mm flare pistol. The issue is not just the barrel. I do know an American guy who made his own flare pistol out of a single shot 12ga. It's even orange, but I'd hate to be in his shoes WHEN (because one day it will be) discovered while checking in or during a routine Coast Guard boarding.
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Old 24-05-2017, 09:24   #11
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Re: Playing the Devils Advocate here ... Re: 12 gauge or 25mm?

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Yes I'm familiar with hand loading shotgun shells. The issue with a flare gun is that the body of the gun will not stand up to the charge necessary to properly fire a normal round. Even low base rounds. I would concur with what was already said here regarding the re chambering of the 26.5 mm flare pistol. The issue is not just the barrel. I do know an American guy who made his own flare pistol out of a single shot 12ga. It's even orange, but I'd hate to be in his shoes WHEN (because one day it will be) discovered while checking in or during a routine Coast Guard boarding.
OK, thanks. Appreciate your input. Where I am, out side the US and other civilized nations, no legal implications would apply, but the safety factors are a big concern. Thanks for helping to clarify such.

Looking at my gun, the weak link seems to be the barrel locking mechanism, which depends on a plastic hinge to keep the barrel locked in the firing position, rather than the downward, loading position. Not good if the barrel decided to flip down while firing a lead round.

Best regards.

G2L
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Old 02-06-2017, 05:52   #12
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Re: 12 gauge or 25mm?

I pay the "tax" of keeping current approved flares aboard. My *go-to* is a 26.5 with a full set of mixed flare/smoke/illumination paras. IF it gets serious, the P/W (?) rocket flare might get attention failing that I have a sackfull of P/W magnesium handhelds.
Other than the current lot, all are out of date somewhere between several years to a couple or more decades. None ever failed to ignite or illuminate magnificently!
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