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Old September 2, 2008, 12:05 PM   #1
azredhawk44
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Join Date: September 28, 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
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Pistol Cartridge Flares?

So, 12ga flare guns exist. Cheap little things that pop a flare into the sky hundreds of yards for emergencies.

We carry guns in the woods and other places for use as defensive weapons, but I was thinking while hiking yesterday, "what stops someone from making flares in the same caliber as a handgun?"

We have snakeshot, after all, in pistol caliber form. Heck, there's even snakeshot for 9mm or 45acp autos. Won't cycle the slide, but whatever.

I saw two forest service helicopters fly over me during my hike, and I thought: How would I signal them if I needed emergency help? They wouldn't hear the reports from my revolver or see muzzleflash unless it was night.

Then I thought: Six .44 magnum-powered flares would really be something to see at night! Or even during the day! Heck of a lot better than a single flare gun.

On that note: Does anyone know of a company that makes .357 or .44 flare cartridge?

Or, does anyone know of flare-oriented reloading projectiles? Would handgun pressures tear one apart too quickly? Would you have to use relatively reduced charges of fast powders (Titegroup, Unique, etc) to propel and ignite the flare projectile? How would one make a flare-projectile if none are available on the market? Is this even a safe idea?

I'd love to have a handful of .44 flares for my gun when I'm hiking.
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Old September 2, 2008, 12:09 PM   #2
azredhawk44
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http://www.hi-vel.com/Catalog__21/Ha...un_flares.html

I found these, but I don't like the looks of them.

For one thing, the rimmed cartridges appear to be plastic. I don't want to have it melt into the cylinder. Secondly, the only propellant is the primer. I want more propellant to reach higher altitude. These things only supposedly reach 150-200 feet, and some of the canyons I hike are much deeper than that. I'd like 500 feet if possible.

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Old September 2, 2008, 12:11 PM   #3
snuffy
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Hiking, is that some sort of health nut sport?

Seriously, the flares are probably corrosive. So any use of them would make a messing cleaning necessary. Also the small size that would be possible would make them hard to see. Not practical in my mind, but I never was accused of being smart anyway!
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Old September 2, 2008, 12:45 PM   #4
azredhawk44
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Join Date: September 28, 2005
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Quote:
Seriously, the flares are probably corrosive. So any use of them would make a messing cleaning necessary.
If I'm in bad enough shape that I need to use a signal flare for someone to come get me, I don't care if my pistol rusts. I'll get a new one if it gets ruined.

Aside from initial load development or function testing, I don't intend to shoot something like this often at all. I'll clean the gun thoroughly each time and that will be the end of it. I'd stick a handful in a ziplock bag in my pack and be done with it.

I just found a book that describes the building of Estes model rocket engines and chemical rocket engines. The motors they describe are 3/4 inch to 2 inch in diameter with a maximum altitude of 7000 feet. They describe using black powder for the propellant, so I could probably substitute some Triple 7 to avoid corrosive problems for the gun.

Obviously, I want about a .425 diameter or so engine (I don't think I even want to engage the rifling on the barrel for fear of damaging the motor), and I want a chemical filler that leaves a tracer-like trail, but with no resulting projectile to come back down and injure someone. Maybe a slight sparkle or burst at peak propellant height, like a firework.

Iron oxide burns red, yes? Magnesium burns white? What burns blue or green?
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