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Old 22-03-2011, 16:24   #16
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
What countries don't allow pistol flare guns?? This is the first time I've heard of a problem with them.
Gordmay posted that on a thread awhile back in 2010, I think.
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Old 22-03-2011, 16:45   #17
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

There isn't a need to launch a flare into the air? Oh really? I guess they make them do that just for kicks and giggles, then. Or maybe it's so that a potential assist or rescue vessel can find you in high seas?
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Old 23-03-2011, 09:36   #18
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

Bermuda:
All firearms and ammunition must be declared on arrival to the customs officer, who will either impound them until departure or seal them on board. Firearms include spear guns, Verey pistols and flare guns.


Netherlands:
All firearms must be licensed, and a copy of the licence carried. There are restrictions concerning signalling pistols. Very type flare pistols must be accompanied by a firearms certificate issued in the country of origin


In Europe we cannot carry a flare gun without a fireams certificate which is well nigh impossible to get.

With gangs now converting flare guns into weapons, restrictions may become more severe.
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Old 23-03-2011, 09:47   #19
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

There are some good looking expired handheld parachute flares on EBay right now:

Lot of 6 Marine Hand Held Parachute Flare Comet - eBay (item 370494134561 end time Apr-17-11 20:51:17 PDT)

(Not sure if that link copied correctly. Try searching for item # 370494134561.)

You get 6 flares, mfg 2005, expired 2008, for $43.55 total including shipping.

That's enough to give one a trial shot on the 4th of July and still have 5 left over for the boat.

These would be in additional to all your legal in-date flares, of course.
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Old 23-03-2011, 10:09   #20
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

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Originally Posted by Cormorant View Post
...That's enough to give one a trial shot on the 4th of July and still have 5 left over for the boat...

I was wondering when and where it may be legal to "test" old flares - I have mabe ten 3-packs of expired, oldest maybe from the late 80s. Been interested in checking to see what might be expected of older flares. It would be easy out west over the desert, but in the East, I was thinking after several days of heavy rain, in an open field, well inland... Any ideas (without waiting for 4 July)?
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Old 23-03-2011, 10:15   #21
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pirate Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

With proper Flares one does not need a Pistol...
Welcome to the 21st Century Guys....

We've been using them since the last century....
Beats any flare gun I've bought from West Marine
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Old 23-03-2011, 10:15   #22
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

We carry these rescue streamers on our Spinlock Deckvests. They're about 12 meters long and were developed by the military for downed pilots. We also have one for the liferaft, though as that's big & orange it's perhaps not as necessary.

RescueStreamer® - Emergency Distress Signaling Device

The beauty of the streamers is that they provide passive 24 hour visibility and are particularly effective for airborne SAR. These are a great, relatively cheap contribution to you safety kit.
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Old 23-03-2011, 10:20   #23
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

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With proper Flares one does not need a Pistol...
Welcome to the 21st Century Guys....
Indeed...

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Old 23-03-2011, 10:23   #24
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

I'm a SAR pilot [retired] Streamers in the water are several orders of magnitude less visible than a smoke in daylight or a flare at night. But don't fire them until you can see me heading your way. In the open ocean don't wast them on airliners at thirty-something thousand feet. They will be smaller than a pair of pixels on your computer screen. You have a better chance of being noticed with your epirb.
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Old 23-03-2011, 10:32   #25
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

Sandy,

No doubt about flares/smoke being more visible. The streamers are passive aids only.

We carry the streamers as MOB aids on our life vests. We also have PLB's attached.
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Old 23-03-2011, 10:50   #26
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

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Originally Posted by Whimsy View Post
I was wondering when and where it may be legal to "test" old flares - I have mabe ten 3-packs of expired, oldest maybe from the late 80s. Been interested in checking to see what might be expected of older flares. It would be easy out west over the desert, but in the East, I was thinking after several days of heavy rain, in an open field, well inland... Any ideas (without waiting for 4 July)?

I've heard of yacht clubs organizing old-flare shooting events, with advance notice and approval of the Coast Guard. Maybe you can find, or organize, something similar in your area?

There was a good extensive report online (sorry I've forgotten where) that tabulated the results of one such event -- type of flares and their ages, and what worked and what didn't. So it can all be instructive as well as good pyrotechnic fun. . . .

We live up in the mountains, and have a big field we can shoot over when the conditions are right. If you ever find yourself traveling in upstate NY, bring your old flares and feel free to stop by.
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Old 23-03-2011, 11:02   #27
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

I found that old-flare report I was thinking of. Hope it's okay to copy and paste, as it's very instructive.

Source: Cape Dory Boats - View topic - Annual Meeting of the NE Fleet!


Outdated 12 Gauge pistol Flares: - Of the ~80 outdated 12 ga. pistol flares only two did not display the flare while in the air. All flares left the flare gun (some dating back to 1992.)



Outdated Handheld Flares: - Most of the outdated handheld flares did not ignite via their installed scratch cap. (My batch was representative with 5 out of 6 not working.) All could be ignited from another handheld flare already burning. All the outdated Skyblazer handhelds did not work. (Note; Mfg by Skyblazer, Anaheim, CA. Skyblazer' was bought by Orion, Peru, IN. They no longer mfg "Skyblazer handheld flares.") Most of the outdated SOLAS handheld flares worked well!! And, they appeared 10 X brighter the USCG approved handhelds.



Skyblazer Rocket Flares: - Most of these worked as designed giving performance similar to the old version of the 12 gauge pistol flares. Their firing mechanism was intuitive easy to use under stress. These flares are usually in a sealed 3-Pack, which may contribute to their reliability, although I do not know if they were past expiration date. (Which might suggest placing our loose handheld and 12 Ga. pistol flares in a zip-lock bags and sealing them?) Currently mfg by Orion.



SOLAS Parachute Flares: - Most of the outdated SOLAS parachute flares (Paine Wessex) did NOT work. The biggest problem was with the firing mechanism - falling apart as you removed the bottom cap. This mechanism is very fragile. When using these you must take time to carefully read the instructions and manipulate the firing mechanism gently. All in all, not a good combination for emergency equipment. The ones that were able to be triggered did function. And as with the handheld, the SOLAS parachute flares were multiple times brighter than anything else, went higher and burned longer. Their use in an emergency by people not knowledgeable with the firing mechanism is very iffy. I do not plan on buying more SOLAS flares until this trigger mechanism is refined, strengthened and simplified.



The old style 12 Gauge vs. new style 12 Gauge Pistol Flares: The typical old style 12 gauge pistol flare is a paper shell with a wax coating ~2 inches long with a max height of 250 feet. As I understand it from Defender, these are no longer available or approved. The old 12 gauge with its paper shell and wax coating is susceptible to moisture intrusion over time. The new style USCG approved 12 gauge pistol flare is made of a plastic material (similar in appearance to the Orion / Olin flare guns), ~3-1/2 to 4 inches long (fits flush with the end of the flare pistol) and has a max height of 500 feet with a slightly longer burn time. The plastic appears to be better sealed against moisture.



25 mm Pistol Flare: - An Orion 25 mm pistol flare was fired for comparison. It goes VERY high and multiple times brighter than the 12 ga. (obviously.) The 25 mm would significantly enhance being seen over the 12 ga. or the Skyblaster flares. Though costly, I plan on stocking more of the 25 mm flares.



Some not obvious or expected observations:
12 Ga. Flare Guns: - Out of 25 to 30 used, we had 3 flare gun failures!!. A new Orion flare gun blew the muzzle end off on the first round! A second Orion flare gun developed a longtitudal crack on the bottom side of the muzzle. A Olin flare gun would not completely close the breach resulting in a misfire of the installed flare. The flare was installed in a second Olin flare gun and fired successfully. This is a 10 % failure rate people. For Emergency Equipment this failure rate is very HIGH!! I'm going to bring this to USCG and manufactures attention. Orion has a lifetime warranty. I am going to try to use this program for my malfunctioning Flare Gun. (Orion formally was marketed under the Olin name.)
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Old 23-03-2011, 11:32   #28
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

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I found that old-flare report I was thinking of...
Thanks much! Good stuff to know. I've copied the info and link in case these posts are censored...
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Old 23-03-2011, 12:03   #29
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

Way back when I was a kid we used to make balloons full of hydrogen gas. Perhaps 2 or 3 balloons full on a tether, with a road flare on a line would do? It would give you half an hour of red flare, and be kept near the boat.

Making hydrogen is fairly easy. We used a bottle with some water in it. Mixed in dry lye powder, and then started dumping aluminum foil into it. Put a balloon over the bottle end and let it fill.

Not the fastest way to get a flare up there, but it might be worth trying anyway.


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Old 23-03-2011, 23:58   #30
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

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The problem is not with the flare guns. The problem is with the people who ban them...
Surely the question was "What countries don't allow pistol flare guns??"
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