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Old 22-03-2011, 09:27   #1
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Non-pistol flare launcher

I'm bringing this over from another thread to avoid further insult and attack.

The idea is to figure out a way to launch a flare without a pistol, so that when one arrives in countries that consider them to be a gun and contraband, one isn't out that important piece of safety equipment. I'd suggested something like a clay pigeon launcher.

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Originally Posted by muskoka View Post
The thread is "has anyone actually sailed with firearms?" - not launching flares. Or turnips.

Some suggestions, launch them with surgical cord or bungee run inside a piece of ABS plumbing pipe. They need fins or a drogue attached or they'll just tumble in flight. And no, the velocity won't put the flare out as they're intended for use in extremely high winds with heavy salt spray. Happy now?
The tumbling issue is a good point. The clay pigeon launcher idea might have allowed them to be hurled spinning laterally, but the tube idea, while more concise, wouldn't allow that. Also, a lit flare could be hard on PVC tube... and I don't really think that a bungee or that sort of thing would provide sufficient energy to launch a flare very far.

Any other thoughts?
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Old 22-03-2011, 09:38   #2
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

Good idea to start a new thread.

Attach it to an arrow and use a bow or spear gun. But I reckon a slingshot made with surgical tubing and a long drogue attached to the flare might work. You could test it with a length of plastic electrical conduit filled with sand to approximate the weight.

I've seen water balloons launched from junks using surgical tubing tied off to the boat. They could fire them pretty accurately over a good 100 meters.
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Old 22-03-2011, 10:17   #3
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

Parachute flares have their own launchers, no need to jury rig stuff. Parachute flares go higher, burn brighter and longer.

Cannot imagine taping a flare to an arrow, igniting it and then holding it over my head to fire it a short distance into the air. Maybe have a burn time of10-15 seconds. Arrows do not like additional weight. A flare is really heavy compared to an arrow. Arrow 2-3 ounces, flare probably 14 oz. If the arrow didn't fold up or break, would probably just spin end over end..

Have had flare guns declared and confiscated, always returned upon clearing out. But times and rules do change...
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Old 22-03-2011, 10:26   #4
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

Have you ever heard of "meteor flares"? Totally self contained and no launcher is neccesary.
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Old 22-03-2011, 10:30   #5
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

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Have you ever heard of "meteor flares"? Totally self contained and no launcher is neccesary.
And another example:

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Old 22-03-2011, 11:05   #6
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

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Cannot imagine taping a flare to an arrow, igniting it and then holding it over my head to fire it a short distance into the air. Maybe have a burn time of10-15 seconds. Arrows do not like additional weight. A flare is really heavy compared to an arrow. Arrow 2-3 ounces, flare probably 14 oz. If the arrow didn't fold up or break, would probably just spin end over end...
You're probably right and I'm not volunteering to give it a go.

I had to light a handheld up at a survival at sea course and it burned for a few minutes during which I was very uncomfortable. We tried to get a handheld parachute flare for our grab bag but couldn't find any locally. I think they may be restricted.

I think I'd be most inclined to use as instructed and dispose of them when they reach their sell by date. Flares are pretty scary things.
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Old 22-03-2011, 11:13   #7
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

The slag dripping off flares cab do a lot of damage to people and boats when the wind shifts..
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Old 22-03-2011, 11:31   #8
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

There was a shocking article in YM about two years ago concerning an RYA instructor who had a handheld flare misfire backwards into his abdomen. It nearly killed him. Hopefully none of us will ever have to use one in anger.
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Old 22-03-2011, 11:34   #9
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

There really isn't a need to launch a flare into the air, but if you feel you must, perhaps a kite?
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Old 22-03-2011, 11:35   #10
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

What gets me is a lot of third world countries would not allow a gun/flares but will allow fireworks, which could be converted into explosives.

As for the flare pistol, I'd just declare it when pulling into port. If they take it away, then so be it, just buy another when you get somewhere you can have it, or try reclaiming when you leave.

Besides the new pistols are plastic. One would burn their hand, or worse, trying to use a shotgun shell in that. The cartages for the flares are self contained. The pistol is just a holder to do the launch.
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Old 22-03-2011, 11:48   #11
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

delmarrey
I watched a video of someone firing a shotgun shell in a plastic flare gun as an experiment. The results were graphic, violent, and predictable. He was smart enough to tie it to a tree instead of holding it though.
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Old 22-03-2011, 12:12   #12
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

Want to talk video's watch this highly intelligent individual

That looked lie a 25mm instead of a 12 gauge.
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Old 22-03-2011, 12:41   #13
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

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What gets me is a lot of third world countries would not allow a gun/flares but will allow fireworks, which could be converted into explosives....



There are plenty of self-contained flares that launch from their own non-gun-style straight tubes. These, ironically, can easily be used to shoot the projectile flare in any direction, and with a little practice, probably just as accurately as the gun-style launchers.
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Old 22-03-2011, 14:03   #14
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

What countries don't allow pistol flare guns?? This is the first time I've heard of a problem with them.
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Old 22-03-2011, 14:13   #15
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Re: Non-pistol flare launcher

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What countries don't allow pistol flare guns?? This is the first time I've heard of a problem with them.
The problem is not with the flare guns. The problem is with the people who ban them...
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