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Old 11-11-2012, 19:10   #46
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Re: Flares as a weapon

erhg, hopcar, apparently I wasn't clear enough. I'm talking about using the flares as flares, in which case I'd consume the oldest ones first. In my personal experience the age doesn't matter as long as they were stored properly. New flares sometimes don't fire, old flares sometimes don't fire.

By definition flares are reserved for an emergency, so either life or property is in imminent danger of loss. But if you mean life trhreatening as in "under attack"...No, I wouldn't screw around with para flares for that at all. Or any flares.
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Old 11-11-2012, 20:20   #47
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Re: Flares as a weapon

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Originally Posted by Astrid View Post
Unless of course one has one of these:

27mm Catalog of Enemy Ordnance

(which by the way, I do not.)


Good luck getting ammo for the Kampfpistole. It is, however, where I got the idea for my reloads. That and the 40mm M76 buckshot loads from Vietnam. The possibilites are endless. I use a Webley and Scott, I've posted pics before. Been looking for the Doppel Schuss version of the Kampfpistole forever, still haven't found one. It would be really effective with steel case reloads.
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Old 11-11-2012, 21:48   #48
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Re: Flares as a weapon

hellosailor, I'm going to disagree with you. In my experience older flares are less likely to work properly than new flares assuming both were stored in similar conditions. Like you I save expired flares and I sometimes test fire them. I find it unsettling how often an expired flare fails to work. In any emergency situation I'd burn my newest flares first in hope of a more immediate response. I'm thinking sitting in a raft with a coasty plane approaching. I don't want to be trying to reload as the plane flys away.

The thread was about using the flare gun as a weapon. I agree with you that it isn't much of a weapon but if I chose to use it as a weapon, I'd want it to fire the first time. You are pretty unlikely to have time to reload.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:35   #49
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Re: Flares as a weapon

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Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
In my opinion, carrying a loaded flare pistol is plain dangerous and poor practice, especially on a vessel carrying paid passengers.


Frankly, a 50 foot sailboat is not that complicated to inspect and if you can't find the safety items after an inspection, what in the hell are you taking paid passengers out for?

I have stood COI's on ships up to 165 feet (148 passengers) both as a Deck Officer or Captain. I have also stood numerous USCG Courtesy Inspections on my own and other boats I was Captaining.

I don't ever remember the USCG offering to put anything away after an inspection and if they did, as the Master I would insure it was put away right before I took paid passengers out.


I certainly would not blame the USCG Inspectors for something I was responsible for...
I want to kill this out of context poor horse, but not every inspection over the past 30 years was a problem. Many times I was alerted to possible problems and many times I reported to their commander unreasonable demands and never once was I denied. I remember the San Francisco USCG, as that was my stomping ground before I sailed to paradise 30 years ago. I mention that I also maintained my Sausalito Y.C. membership from 1974 thru 2002 just insuring you, I was an active sailor and again also that it is wise to be a yacht club member if you cruise. (Another story.)
My dangerous safety equipment was stored is a secured compartment accessible only to crew and captain. The Coasties never mentioned that loaded was a problem. Nor is it in the regs. (You are preaching to the Choir.) The USCG inspectors must travel over 60 miles to reach my dock and many times after standing by all day, they were waylaid elsewhere and did not show. Also, if you wish, I will outline some of their outlandish demands, as they are hilarious and may be interesting to the CF members. I would explain to them, "The only safe automobile is kept in a garage with the garage doors open." "Why didn't you do this or that is eternal." Capt.Fred >.<
P.S. In some cases, what may appear safe for the passengers restricts the captain from safely sailing the boat in all conditions!
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:56   #50
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Re: Flares as a weapon

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Good luck getting ammo for the Kampfpistole.
Indeed. Interesting though, that both the US 40mm and the Kampfpistole used the high/low pressure system.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:06   #51
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Re: Flares as a weapon

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Originally Posted by Astrid View Post
Indeed. Interesting though, that both the US 40mm and the Kampfpistole used the high/low pressure system.


Oh, the US Ordnance Department got loads of ideas from the Gerries, as I'm sure you know. Amazing how much US ordnance is a direct copy of German gear, from the Springfield copy of the Mauser on up. Even the M60 was based on the MG42. The list is endless.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:26   #52
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Re: Flares as a weapon

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"Well I've got to get rid of them somehow"
Not really. A common misunderstanding here in the US is that "all" of your pyros must be in date. That's called illiteracy. Our regulations require a certain number of pyros to be current, anything beyond that is no one else's business. And if you've stored them in a hermetically sealed case, which is the only waythey will be reliable at all, they keep perfectly well often for 10-20 years.
So, get rid of them? No. If you've stored them properly, just put the container aside and expect that you will have them as "more flares" when you need them. Preferably using the oldest ones first.
A little thread drift...how long are they safe to keep? I have literally a grocery sack full of expired signals of all kinds that have accumulated over the years as they expired. Not hermetically sealed, just tossed in a locker. Are they worth keeping around as backups or should I dispose of all but the most recently expired?
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:27   #53
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Re: Flares as a weapon

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Effective?? I'd have to agree with atoll. You be the judge:


I'm surprised that nothing more happened to him.....I remember a number of years ago, when a Hollywood actor shot himself in the head with a gun loaded with blanks and died.

I guess blanks are more lethal that flares.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:32   #54
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Re: Flares as a weapon

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Originally Posted by Sailormantx View Post
A little thread drift...how long are they safe to keep? I have literally a grocery sack full of expired signals of all kinds that have accumulated over the years as they expired. Not hermetically sealed, just tossed in a locker. Are they worth keeping around as backups or should I dispose of all but the most recently expired?

In most coastal areas the Coast Guard does fairly regular supervised flare shoots. You can take all your old flares and shoot them off and then dispose of them safely. It's good practice.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:02   #55
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Re: Flares as a weapon

hopcar, were your pyros new-ish or had they sat on a shelf somewhere for a year before you bought them? And, how did you store them?

sailormantx, anything combustible can degrade and spontaneously combust under some circumstances, I'm sure. I had something (possibly hurricane matches) go off in a box of camping gear, started a smoldering fire that was most disturbing. My mistake for not keeping them in a metal sealed container. I would expect that if you keep your pyros in proper storage, meaning an airtight metal container like a surplus ammunition box, there is no danger to them. Simply because they can't combust in the lack of oxygen.
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Old 12-11-2012, 16:41   #56
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Re: Flares as a weapon

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Originally Posted by 1000 islands View Post
I'm surprised that nothing more happened to him.....I remember a number of years ago, when a Hollywood actor shot himself in the head with a gun loaded with blanks and died.

I guess blanks are more lethal that flares.
I expected it to be worse, however I am talking about the 25mm parachute flares as used in the UK. These fire a rocket powered projectile that then burns bright red for about 30 seconds.
Flare guns are illegal in the UK. However I think you may be able to use one if you get a firearms certificate but I beleive they are very difficult to obtain.
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Old 12-11-2012, 16:46   #57
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Re: Flares as a weapon

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Originally Posted by Sailormantx View Post
A little thread drift...how long are they safe to keep? I have literally a grocery sack full of expired signals of all kinds that have accumulated over the years as they expired. Not hermetically sealed, just tossed in a locker. Are they worth keeping around as backups or should I dispose of all but the most recently expired?
I'd be wary of using very old or dodgy flares, I know that there are instances of misfires injuring the operator, even on unexpired flares. I'd dispose all the very old ones, you never know they could spontaniously combust.
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Old 12-11-2012, 16:53   #58
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Re: Flares as a weapon

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"Well I've got to get rid of them somehow"
Not really. A common misunderstanding here in the US is that "all" of your pyros must be in date. That's called illiteracy. Our regulations require a certain number of pyros to be current, anything beyond that is no one else's business. And if you've stored them in a hermetically sealed case, which is the only waythey will be reliable at all, they keep perfectly well often for 10-20 years.
So, get rid of them? No. If you've stored them properly, just put the container aside and expect that you will have them as "more flares" when you need them. Preferably using the oldest ones first.
We have to be a little careful here in the UK. I am pretty sure that we are allowed to keep expired flares but it is only a shortish hop to France (About a 12 hour trip for me). If the French authorities catch you with expired flares they will fine you . God knows what the Belgians would do, especially if you had red diesel in your tank as well .
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Old 12-11-2012, 17:21   #59
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Re: Flares as a weapon

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
I had something (possibly hurricane matches) go off in a box of camping gear, started a smoldering fire that was most disturbing. My mistake for not keeping them in a metal sealed container. I would expect that if you keep your pyros in proper storage, meaning an airtight metal container like a surplus ammunition box, there is no danger to them. Simply because they can't combust in the lack of oxygen.
If by pyros you mean explosive devices, the whole point is that they are carrying their own oxygen already in them. Not that keeping them contained in a metal box isn't a good idea anyway, but they can still ignite without available oxygen.
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Old 12-11-2012, 18:22   #60
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hey i was trying to be pro-active here and pc,guess i will just have to stick with my mini 14,and 30 round clip
Seconded, only I left mine in the states and regret it every day.
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