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Old March 4, 2006, 02:32 PM   #1
Chaingunner
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Flamethrowers

Flamethrowers aren't machine guns, nor are they really guns (if you assume that a "gun" is a device that uses a mechanical operation to launch a chunk of metal), so are they class three weapons, or what?

I don't have one, I don't intend to make one, and I don't want one; it just occured to me that I don't know and would like to know.
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Old March 4, 2006, 02:40 PM   #2
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Maybe "any other weapon"?
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Old March 4, 2006, 03:13 PM   #3
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I'll bet it would be regulated somehow

First - - I have no personal knowledge of the specific law as applies to a flamethrower.

Second - - I'm not saying this is the way things SHOULD be.

But, there was a force-fit decision made some years back, long pre-11 SEP, that BATF had some jurisdiction to investigate crimes of arson, where an accelerating agent was used- - gasoline, that sort of thing - - from the standpoint that anything that COULD explode, could be a bomb. I don't know at what point they decided that non-accelerant arson was an ATF matter. Maybe it technically is not. But, if they're called in to assist in a local arson investigation, it's kinda like the camel getting his nose in the tent. Nowadays, of course, there's the possible terrorism aspect, which can automatically get just about any ol' federal agency involved.

What does this all have to do with a military-type flamethrower, one asks? Well, there's the accelerant aspect. AND, what's a flamethrower FOR, except to commit arson - - I mean, setting stuff afire, forgetting some local requirements that it be mortgaged or insured property in order to qualify. Yeah, I think: Any Other Weapon.

Re-reading the above, I find that the reasoning looks a bit convoluted, if not a little confused. And if I feel that way, I wonder how much sense it could make to someone else.

As the late Rosanne Rosannadanna might have said, "NEVER mind."


I'll not delete my blathering, though, in case it sparks a train of thought in someone else's mind.
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Old March 4, 2006, 03:23 PM   #4
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Johnny Guest probably knows better than me, but I could see them as DDs (destructive devices).
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Old March 4, 2006, 03:29 PM   #5
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Technically a flamethrower is not a firearm.

(hows that for irony?)


They are not regulated as NFA weapons or as firearms at all under federal law. That said, state law still applies so they may be regulated by your state. They are, however, old and still regulated by Murphy's law; unless you know what you're doing and how to pressure test the system you can easily end up like a smouldering Wiley E. Coyote after a serious mishap on the ACME rocket skates.

FWIW, Charlie Hobson is one of the few experts on flamethrowers and has one for sale on subguns.com for $12,500.

flamethrower for sale

In his ad, he cautions about tanks which do not pass a proper pressure test: "Some flamethrowers explode when pressurized; this is the same as a five-gallon gas can with a hand grenade attached."
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Old March 4, 2006, 03:34 PM   #6
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Flame Throwers

Just to be on the safe side pals, we have a no burn ban in the cross timbers of Texas due to the drouth so if you see any Al Queda or Taliban please dispense with them in some other manner until it rains a bunch more.
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Old March 4, 2006, 04:37 PM   #7
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Model

I assume most of us will not ever lay hands on a real one, but I used to mess with what was essentially a scale model flame thrower, namely, a can of WD-40 with long spray nozzle, and a bic lighter. I will not go into detail about how this system works, due to the possible readership of children and defectives, but I used it successfully as a removal system for wasp and hornet nests, and even some pranks on unsuspecting bystanders. In my youth. (no persons harmed!!!)
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Old March 4, 2006, 08:14 PM   #8
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I have made several Flamethrowers in my life. Everything from the high end Supersoaker/diesel combo using a Propane torch for ignition to the low tech mist bottle and a zippo. I want to get around to making another super soaker flamethrower this summer. Then I can use it in the winter to take the ice off the driveway. Very cheap entertainment, just be sure that nothing around you will burn.
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Old March 4, 2006, 08:29 PM   #9
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Jelly

I'll bet you make your own napalm, too. Wonder how that super soaker would work on clearing out gopher holes. I think they should use flame throwers in Afghanistan to clear out some of those caves. I think it would have a demoralizing effect on the terrorists if we started useing those again. They deserve it.
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Old March 4, 2006, 09:10 PM   #10
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Two Steps In One

Boy, you can shoot your game and cook it all at once.

As a home protection device I could see some minor flaws with a flamethrowers. That is unless you have an awesome sprinkler system.
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Old March 4, 2006, 11:51 PM   #11
satankilledmymom
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i actualy know someone who owns an old ww2 flame thrower and no thair is no federal law regulating flame throwers
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Old March 5, 2006, 09:09 PM   #12
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Deterrent

I'll bet he can walk thru the worst parts of Columbus with that on his back and no one will mess with him! Probably let a short burst go down a dark alley before entering, and pass thru in peace!
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Old March 5, 2006, 10:47 PM   #13
roy reali
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Re:tom2

It wouldn't the cats in the ally much good either.
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Old March 6, 2006, 10:41 AM   #14
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I have also done the super soaker and gasoline one, works pretty good and looks really cool. I however do not advocate the use of childrens toys to create a potentially dangerous home-made flamethrower, unless you want to light bonfires the fun way! You also have to run water through it after each time or the o-rings will be shot in a couple hours. Also invest in a good supersoaker, the farther it shoots the more fun it is.
Here is a cheapo with melted o-rings

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File Type: jpg supersoaker.jpg (79.9 KB, 5924 views)
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Old March 7, 2006, 07:44 PM   #15
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Sad to say but if flamethrowers were legal to own and available cheap. I'd get one. for collection purposes. I do own blow torches' and use them. I am a plumber
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Old March 7, 2006, 08:57 PM   #16
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improved soaker

YOu need some kind of ignition source attached to that soaker a few inches from the muzzle. Then you will get real flamethrower action, like I get with the WD-40. Sorry, no photos. No one to take the picture available, and they would probably stand too far back! I am really suprised this thread has not burned out yet. Maybe it will become a seperate forum on TFL if this keeps up. Like, for educational purposes only! Besides, with all this imagination, we will eventually get someone hurt. Flammable liquids and gasses present a myryiad of fun possibilities but professional standards must be adhered to. Once saw a suited boss at work with a cigar in his mouth. He went over to a green ox. bottle, took a big hoot of O2, and proceeded to blow it thru his cigar, creating a interesting mini flamethrower effect, to our amusement.
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Old March 7, 2006, 09:02 PM   #17
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Btw

Doesn't the forestry service use some kind of flamethrower to start backburns and burn up brush? I will have to watch some smoke jumper programs.
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Old March 8, 2006, 09:06 AM   #18
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Tom: yes once we get some nice super soakers we will put on an integrated ignition system but because the orings in this particular soaker where shot it spilled gasoline all over the muzzle and my hand everytime I pumped it and I didnt want the fire too close to myself. Have seen many people (including me) light themselves on fire, luckily it was quickly resolved and no injuries yet. Ill get some pics of some 10-15 yard flames this summer once the supersoaker isle is up and running at walmart
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Old March 8, 2006, 11:51 AM   #19
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PVC pipe, compressed air, Propane torch = SERIOUS flamethrower...Do a search on the web, there's people making some pretty sophisticated (and safe, relatvely speaking) ones.
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Old March 8, 2006, 11:54 AM   #20
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-1 on that, I will leave that to professionals. Supersoakers are cheaper and work good for me. That sounds REALLY dangerous.
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Old March 8, 2006, 12:17 PM   #21
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Actually, they've done some pretty good engineering, including things like one-way valves and such, to avoid any possibility of injury... Will probably try one myself... Effective range is WAY more than Supper-Soaker (like 30-40 feet)...Probably gonna try an build one myself (just for giggles) when I have time.
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Old March 8, 2006, 12:18 PM   #22
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If you don't want to trash the O-rings so fast use something like rubbing alcohol or high proof windshield washer fluid as a fuel.
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Old March 8, 2006, 12:22 PM   #23
urbanassault
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Same reason we are using supersoakers and not propane, pvc, and compressed air contraptions, $$$$. Gas is cheap (relatively )
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Old March 8, 2006, 12:24 PM   #24
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dfaugh: if you do build on post some pics, would be interested to see what a 35ft flame looks like!! On the same topic, there is a company called Atlas Ammo that sells all kinds of specialty shotgun ammo (nails, doorbusters, screemers, rubber, bolos) and yes fire balls, I have not tried them yet but plan to pick some up at the gun show at the end of the month
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Old March 8, 2006, 04:45 PM   #25
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Hydrogen works great too. In my chemistry class we filled balloons with hydrogen and the teacher (knowing I love that sort of stuff) let me set them off. YOu get about a 4 foot in diameter fire ball that lasts for less than 1/2 a second.

Looks cool though!
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