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Thread: Flare gun

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    France
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    25

    Default Flare gun

    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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Surrey & boat in Dorset. Both have pubs
    Posts
    3,648

    Default Re: Flare gun

    I had one once but they then required a firearms licence plus a secure locker (safe would a better word) on board so I got rid of it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    On the Celtic Fringe
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    13,749

    Default Re: Flare gun

    Quote Originally Posted by miha90 View Post
    The disappearance of them probably has something to do with more regulations.
    Quite rightly so. Dangerous in the wrong hands.
    Cynical Scottish almost retired engineer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Portchester, Solent
    Posts
    4,961

    Default Re: Flare gun

    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.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
    Posts
    1,180

    Default Re: Flare gun

    Quote Originally Posted by alahol2 View Post
    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...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    France
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Flare gun

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Surrey & boat in Dorset. Both have pubs
    Posts
    3,648

    Default Re: Flare gun

    Quote Originally Posted by miha90 View Post
    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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Home East Lancashire boat Spain
    Posts
    4,530

    Default Re: Flare gun

    Quote Originally Posted by alahol2 View Post
    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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Emsworth Hants
    Posts
    12,250

    Default Re: Flare gun

    When we were in the Caribbean some American boats had flare guns they had to hand them into customs when they arrived in a new county.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Hampshire UK
    Posts
    4,083

    Default Re: Flare gun

    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.

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