Flare gun

miha90

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Out of curiosity, why are flare guns not a thing anymore? I can not seem to find many on the market. They seem to be more compact that normal flares so a great space saver if you ask me. The disappearance of them probably has something to do with more regulations.
 

alahol2

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We have carried one for the last 20 years or more. The firearm certificate is a bit of a faff every 5 years and new shells are almost unobtainable these days. Luckily the shells appear to have no expiry date and are quite well sealed.
The pistol and plenty of shells don't take up much space. I feel more confident about firing a shell from a steel pistol than I do from a tin or cardboard tube.
 

langstonelayabout

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We have carried one for the last 20 years or more. The firearm certificate is a bit of a faff every 5 years and new shells are almost unobtainable these days. Luckily the shells appear to have no expiry date and are quite well sealed.
The pistol and plenty of shells don't take up much space. I feel more confident about firing a shell from a steel pistol than I do from a tin or cardboard tube.

They most definitely do have a 'use by' date! Hopefully you also keep the pistol in secure storage aboard your boat.

I'd recommend that you discuss disposal/new cartridges with a company that supplies them to SAR helicopters as they are used aboard these. The licencing arrangements for the pistol amazed me when I discussed them with Hampshire Police 10 years ago... :)
 

Boathook

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Good thing we are allowed to have flares on boats then. Not sure why plastic flare guns are cause for concern with legislators.

If you are talking about the type with around 8 cartridges in a drum it is because of the rapid firing that could be done. They have been banned here for years but I used to see them for sale in France a few years ago. Wouldn't surprise me if the French have tightened the rules.
 

pcatterall

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We have carried one for the last 20 years or more. The firearm certificate is a bit of a faff every 5 years and new shells are almost unobtainable these days. Luckily the shells appear to have no expiry date and are quite well sealed.
The pistol and plenty of shells don't take up much space. I feel more confident about firing a shell from a steel pistol than I do from a tin or cardboard tube.
+1 on that. We used them all the time when surveying in remote area. I certainly would feel more confident firing a very pistol flare than a carboard tube thingy.
 

rob2

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Regulations have made flare pistols more difficult to own, but they have inherent disadvantages compared with more common flare types. They don't achieve as great a height as a parachute flare and the burn time is quite short. As such, when trying to attract the attention of someone who isn't necessarily looking for you, you might expect to have to fire half a dozen cartridges in quick succession to achieve the same chance of success.

What with that and the fact that you would have to unlock the storage as an invariable part of your departure process to ensure the pistol was readily accessible if needed, ordinary flares in the chart table drawer have a lot going for them.

Rob.
 

Sea Devil

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Regulations have made flare pistols more difficult to own, but they have inherent disadvantages compared with more common flare types. They don't achieve as great a height as a parachute flare and the burn time is quite short. As such, when trying to attract the attention of someone who isn't necessarily looking for you, you might expect to have to fire half a dozen cartridges in quick succession to achieve the same chance of success.

What with that and the fact that you would have to unlock the storage as an invariable part of your departure process to ensure the pistol was readily accessible if needed, ordinary flares in the chart table drawer have a lot going for them.

Rob.

+1 I had one for decades and the big problem IMO is the height they shoot flares to - much less than half that of conventional flares. A parachute flare stays up there for a considerable time whereas the flare gun pyrotechnic goes out pretty quickly... And all that is apart from firearms certificates et al
 

duncan99210

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Very pistols are problematic for the reasons outlined by others. There is a alternative available though: personal miniflares like these https://www.force4.co.uk/pains-wessex-personal-distress-signals-miniflare-mk8.html . 9 flares and launcher in a fairly small package, costly though at £63.95.
The military use them these days for signalling rather than the Very pistol, which probably explains the lack of new Very cartridges in UK.
Just spotted a handheld version of the Roman candle which is about the same size as a standard handheld flare but projects 2 stars up to about 60m. Item is here https://www.force4.co.uk/crewsaver-aurora-sky-lite-2-star-red-distress-flare.html .
 
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