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Old 29-11-2013, 14:25   #31

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Re: 25mm ignal pistol versus 12 gauge version

Interesting can of worms, Paul. The USSA investigation into the R100/Fastnet sinking among other things mentions that all crew apparently are calling for pen flares or laser flares in PFDs from now on, and it looks like this might come into future ISAF/USSA requirements. I fully agree that hitting something with a laser pointer would be tricky, but then again, it isn't very different from using a signal mirror and trying to paint a target with that.

On pilots and the USCG and procedure, well...they also advise us (for many years) to shut off all strobe lights when a helo is nearby, as it destroys pilot night depth vision.

Still, as I understand it, if someone is lased in the eyes there's no much to be done in the way of treatment or first aid, and if the pilot is able to see well enough to keep flying back to difference can it make it he completes the rescue before heading back? Sounds like the brass is just doing cya on that one.

Memo: Do not fire flares, starshells, lasers, or other munitions directly at approaching rescue personnel. (ROFLMAO at the thought we really would need a memo on this.)

Going back to recent rule changes and upgrades...

Robin, you'd need one pyro set in the RIB and another on the boat in order to keep legal anyway. For the USCG you buy any blister pack that says "Meets USCG requirements for day/night..." and that's done. And leave them stowed. Buy the same basic set but in SOLAS devices in a nice sealed SOLAS container, when you actually are concerned with signaling someone.

The recent safety upgrades are pointing toward (pointing toward, not necessarily requiring yet) separate grab kits or separate packs for the life raft, including a separate VHF with DSC and GPS attached or built in. The message behind the lines seems to be pretty clear that redundancy and the new technology are going to be pushed more. As the price of most of this stuff has ramped down over the years, I can't say it seems altogether unreasonable. Although, my own wallet is sometimes best approached with an oyster shucking knife in hand.<G>

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Old 29-11-2013, 15:25   #32
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Re: 25mm ignal pistol versus 12 gauge version

You might want to research 25.5 mm flare gun. It's not an over priced piece of plastic. Cost less.

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Old 29-11-2013, 15:34   #33
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As a retired military helicopter pilot maybe I can shed some light (pun intended) on the helicopter at night thing. While most of my flying was using Infrared, almost all other helicopters are only equipped with Night Vision Goggles, or also know as light intensifying. A bright light, especially red in color will temporarily "shut down" NVG's, if the aircraft is in a particularly difficult situation, not much is harder than trying to hover in high winds at night, with no reliable ground reference points, it can cause the aircraft to crash.
Being that full face goggles were discontinued in the early 1980's, a pilot's eyes are subject to lasers, very, very few if any civilian lasers are actually capable of causing retinal burns, these burns are essentially identical to being flash burned by watching an electric arc by the way, but if somehow or another someone had a laser of high enough intensity, it could blind the pilots whether temporarily or not is irrelevant as it only take a very few seconds for a helicopter to become unstable enough to crash.
I think the whole reaction to laser is overblown, but governmental agencies are known for that.
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Old 29-11-2013, 16:04   #34
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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post

OH - I have so done this!

Much research on our part and we bought a Polish surplus military flair launcher. The "German" launcher is also a great alternative but harder to find. You will pay as little as 50 dollars but more likely up to 100. Any more than that & keep looking. You might get really lucky and find one with a pouch/holster. There is no registration and no paperwork. It can be legally shipped in the US. The USCG does not consider it a firearm.

They are very well made on a par with a good rifle. Shotgun shells are 2-3/4; 3" and 3-1/2". The 12 ga adapter is 2-1/2" and so does not permit chambering of gun shells. This is good or it is re-classified as "other" by BATF and requires registration as a handgun and will be a pain to manage in many places even with the papers. I was also told by the various sellers that you would not want to be holding it while it discharged a 12 ga gun round.

There are other inserts available that permit firing 30-06, 22-long, 410 shotgun. As noted above, this creates other problems you may choose to deal with.

There are foreign countries that consider a flair launcher a fire arm (England for one). They require all hand held single use expensive launchers.

Below is exacly the model I have. There are antiques on the market and some in bronze. This will never blow out or otherwise fail like the plastic Orions.
In the UK a license is required for a flare gun. But it's readily available. But in fact handheld flares have completely taken over the market. Also full spec SOLAS flares are better anyway. I don't really see the point of having a flare gun.

Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! -
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Old 29-11-2013, 18:19   #35

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Re: 25mm ignal pistol versus 12 gauge version

" The USCG does not consider it a firearm"
In the US, the USCG does not ordinarily make or enforce any rules concerning "firearms". (If they came across a gross violation of federal code, they could, but that's not something that ordinarily happens.) The only time the USCG may take issue with a definition of "firearm" is if some boarding team asks whether you have any "firearms" on board.

However, under various state and federal laws, any device that launches a projectile of any kind, using any type of stored energy, whether that is compressed gas, springs, or explosives, is a firearm. That's the general definition used in many places in federal statues and state ones, not my opinion but written laws.

And while many states, and some cities like Chicago, New York, and DC (all notorious for their own municipal gun laws) may turn a blind eye toward "pyros" in general, they also have laws to enforce. Take a flare gun on the subway and get stopped with it, and you'd better be able to prove that you're coming to or from your boat, or you're still going to be busted for firearms possession. Feel free to debate that with the judge, because you'll still spend the night in jail.

As to shipping the flare gun into the US? The USPS and every carrier have their own rules about shipping long guns and pistols, some regulated by US code, others added by the carrier. Stick a firearm of any sort into a random box and "ship it", and you're rolling a set of loaded dice in this country. Offhand, that's probably a $5,000 or $10,000 fine even if they decide it was an innocent mistake. Of course, shipping a can of hair spray by air can be illegal too, if you don't meet HAZMAT regulations. And again, the carriers all add their own on top of it.

Bottom line, if it looks like a gun and works like a gun, in the US it may still be prosecuted as a gun.
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Old 29-11-2013, 18:40   #36
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Re: 25mm ignal pistol versus 12 gauge version

thanks everyone for the good information about flares. Solas it is for me after reading this thread
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Old 29-11-2013, 20:53   #37
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Re: 25mm ignal pistol versus 12 gauge version

Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
OK flare gun and a plastic ketchup full of gasoline, squirt the gasoline, then shoot the flare
It's a bad joke guys, don't get upset
Flare gun idea nowabandoned since I'd probably set fire to the boat with it, now thinking of adding a bayonet to a boathook or buying a really heavy 'priest' from the tackle shop.

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