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Old October 19, 2008, 07:59 PM   #1
Katrina Guy
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new thread-signal flares out of a shotgun?

Let me preface by stating that I am first an emergency prepareness person (NUT), NOW after Hurricane Katrina, part of this being prepared included a home defense shotgun.
Now then, does anyone here know/ever tried shooting 12 gauge signal flares from an 18" pump shotgun (improved cylinder type choke)? I know to watch out for starting roofs on fire and wooded ares ok, so please no fatherly advice/Smokey the Bear advice on the subject, just wondering if they can be fired from a shotgun, and if there is any damage to the barrel, and if so what does that damage consist of, can one still fire buckshot out of it after? I can always, after a given emergency is over with, buy a new barrel, they're cheap.
I wouldn't mind having a few signal flares in my emergency box. I know Olin company used to make them, unsure if they still do or not.
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Old October 19, 2008, 09:27 PM   #2
ActivShootr
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I think they would be a good idea for an emergency kit given they shot high/burned fast enough to not set anything on the ground on fire. Unless you shot them all the time, I don't think they would do severe damage to a barrel.
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Old October 19, 2008, 09:46 PM   #3
tranks
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aren't most flare guns just plastic? is there any reason why you can't just carry one?
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Old October 19, 2008, 09:54 PM   #4
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this came up from a quick google search...

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...?t-183662.html
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Old October 19, 2008, 10:09 PM   #5
Katrina Guy
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looks like you can fire them from a shotgun

and I was never considering some cheap Wal Mart brand of anything much less something like a flare. Going to check that orion website out and see what's up, fifteen bucks for a pack of four isn't expensive at all to me for an emergency situation, thanks for the web link and the imput.

Flare guns maybe just plastic, I don't really need one just thought about picking up some flares to shoot, you know, keep in the shot gun shells box for an emergency is all, if feasible.

Last edited by Katrina Guy; October 19, 2008 at 10:12 PM. Reason: additional text
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Old October 20, 2008, 04:53 AM   #6
rem870hunter
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firing from imp.cyl. or cyl. bore is fine. i wouldn't fire in a choke tighter than that. wasn't thinking too much about it one 4th of july years ago and tried some in an old ithaca 66 single. it had a full choke. took a few seconds before the flare exited the muzzle. luckily no barrel damage. but did not do that again. the newer flares are longer now for the flare pistols. so they may not fit in a shotgun except for a break open. the ones we have are shorter than 2 3/4". red only. dad did find and buy a 5 rd. pack of each red,green and white, all plastic. that brand is still available last i saw. somewhere he has a pack or 2 of paper 12 ga. flares made in w. germany.
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Old October 20, 2008, 07:13 AM   #7
schutzen
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12ga flares

Look at boating/fishing stores for Orion flares. They should have the 2.5” 12 ga. Flares. As to the damage to a shotgun barrel, damage a replaceable barrel or get rescued? I know which one I would choose.
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Old October 20, 2008, 08:07 AM   #8
dchi
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Yes, did it out a mossberg 18.5". It was extremly bright, lit up the whole neighboor hood just like one of those ones you see in a Vietnam movie. It was fairly quiet, less than a .22. It went up maybe only 100-150 yards and was still burning when it hit the ground. The sencond one I tried at a friend's farm, shot a 30-45 degree angle. It only went about 50 yards out and set the grass on fire.
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Old October 20, 2008, 10:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dchi
Yes, did it out a mossberg 18.5". It was extremly bright, lit up the whole neighboor hood just like one of those ones you see in a Vietnam movie...
The sencond one I tried at a friend's farm, shot a 30-45 degree angle. It only went about 50 yards out and set the grass on fire.
In my neighborhood, where the Cedar and Witch Creek fires each came within a thousand yards, possession of a 12-gauge flare might get you lynched.
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Old October 20, 2008, 02:06 PM   #10
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We had a few boxes of Orion flares at work that expired, I took them home and shot them out of my Marine 870 . They are extremely dirty, I took apart the gun and it cleaned up good.

Good point about them starting fires, they are extremely hot when they land and can start a fire very quickly. The wind will also carry them a long distance.


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Old October 20, 2008, 02:53 PM   #11
BigJimP
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Disaster preparedness is one thing (water, food, medical kit, etc ) - but a 12ga flare gun is primarily for a maritime environement / where you would fire a night time (very pistol ) red rocket flare / or during the day time a smoke flare - to attack a search vessel or search aircraft when they are searching but can't seem to pinpoint your location.

Yes, you can fire them in any 12ga shotgun / but use an open choke - and to say they will be dirty is an understatement / but they won't hurt any decent - durable shotgun. But almost every flare kit you buy / has a plastic pistol, flare gun in it / so why not just use the gun that comes in the kit ....

Shooting a flare gun - in most any neighborhood environement / just makes little or no sense. Who the heck are you trying to signal / assuming they can't seem to find you and they are looking for you. A battery operated backup cell phone charger / a small generator / some extra ammo / - any number of things will be a lot more use to you than a flare gun .....

As I recall they typical "very gun" 12ga flare only goes about 100 feet in the air / there are other survival flares on the market that use a pen-light type launcher that would be more suitable / fly higher. A pen-light flare would be a lot more practical / if you really need one ......but out of 1,000 things I can think of to put in a disaster preparedness kit ......a flare gun, will not make the list ......( unless I wanted to start a heck of a fire, about 100 feet away for some reason )....and I can't think of one.
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Old October 20, 2008, 06:06 PM   #12
Katrina Guy
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Katrina Guy

Well my survival kit would amaze you (post Hurricane Katrina).
I like the idea of some signal flares in the kit, perhaps some boating store would have some of the Orion brand in a length shootable out of my shotgun. A chrome police type blow whistle is also in my search, most of them I've seen now-a-days or made in China plastic thingys.
I'll post a webpage with my survival kit contents and reasons for each, one of these days. And yes, I watch Les Stroud's "Survival Man" episodes all the time. I'm probably the only citizen that actually owns a real McCoy fire ax too (can obtain one if interested from an industrial marine supply store-tug boats have them on board all the time).
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Old October 20, 2008, 07:16 PM   #13
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I don't doubt you lived thru hell with Katrina / and how we responded as a nation to help the gulf coast is embarassing / not to mention all the other storms we've had this season as well. I was a Coast Guard officer for 10 years - and I understand the marine environment - but unless I misunderstood, you weren't talking about living or survinging on a boat. I would always have a good supply of flares on a boat.

A fire axe, a whistle ( and any number of things ) are all very important but very different issues than the discussion we were having in general about a need for flares.... in my opinion. But if you really want the flares - you should put them in your kit / but living in a metropolitan area east of downtown Seattle about 20 miles, I have no need for flares in my kit - even in the event of a major earthquake, etc.

But if you do put them in your kit / I would still depend on the flare gun that came in the kit ( makes it easy to store and use ). Flares also have an expiration date / so please make sure you keep them dry and current. It would be good to see what is in your kit - if you feel like you want to post it someday / a lot of people on here might learn something from it. But unlike a lot of people, I carry a complete first aid kit in both of my vehicles as well / just my nature. Take care.
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Old October 20, 2008, 07:33 PM   #14
Katrina Guy
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BIG Jim, you're my kind of guy!

yes, I have a first aid kit (do it yourself kit from the drug store in a Sears zippered too bag from their tool dept.) and wow, I'm so impressed others besides me keep something in the car! I used to keep a mini fire extinguisher in the car too, did put out a couple fires in other people's cars.
SO we all learned from Katrina, you didn't have to survive it or live through it to learn, I preach that everyone have a good stock of emergency supplies on hand at all times for any emergency, beit natural or terrorist made. This last storm, Hurricane Ike, hit Houston bad, wind no flooding, everyone, the whole city for the most part, was out of power for days to weeks, I was out for six days. Poor saps waiting in line for ten hours (Camping overnight) for some government water ($5.00 worth), two bags of ice, and some DEluxe government tv dinners, while I didn't have to leave my abode during it all. Had plenty of light, radio, and canned goods plus a Coleman brand single burner propane stove to heat it up with. SO unprepared folks waited forever in line for five bucks worth of bottled water and some MRE's, all because they didn't prepare a head of time. A head of time preparing doesn't mean run to the store the night before and grab whatever crap is left on the store shelves either. The Red Cross has been preaching for years now that every American have enough emergency provisions to get by for three weeks, good advice!
REgarding signal flares, just something I would like to have in the emergency kit, probably never need it but would feel better having it. Thanks for the advice Big Jim on the expiration of said flare shells, good advice.
I love this forum, for the most part the posters seem to be people of common sense, which is the best of all senses no doubt.
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Old October 20, 2008, 07:38 PM   #15
Katrina Guy
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by the way Big Jim,

on behalf of my fellow citizens of New Orleans, THANKS to the Coast Guard for saving sooooo many lives after Hurricane Katrina! We citizens did not build the levees we trusted in/were led to believe were sound.
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Old October 21, 2008, 02:30 AM   #16
Al Thompson
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One overlooked use of the flares - illumination. I've played with them and they do give you the ability to "see" what's out there.
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Old October 21, 2008, 11:18 AM   #17
BigJimP
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Katrina Guy - it wasn't me on the front lines down there / but a few of my old comrades were involved ( but all my buddies are around 30 years in now ) / but yes, they made us all proud. Glad to hear you did well during the whole thing / and with the last storms to hit there too.

Its also good to hear that you take your preparedness very seriously - up here in the NorthWest we live a pretty easy life / no tornado's, etc - we might get a windstorm that knocks our power out for a few days / but like you did we lost power for about 6 days a couple weeks before Xmas last year - and a good backpacking stove, some soup, even some old pans I can cook on in the fireplace, candles, etc (just common sense stuff that's easy to keep in a kit) we were in good shape. My wife teases me for keeping so much stuff around sometimes / but its really not hard to do.

But I will tell you - last year the one thing I learned, 6 days out of power, one of my neighbors ran out of a critical medication. We were able to get what he needed - but it was hard ( power down, no computers ..) so older people / or for little kids especially - diabetics, asthma, etc need to really think about stocking an extra perscription in the house for 30 days in their kits. We ended up feeding a lot of older neighbors, etc one good meal a day / had some company too - you have to make the whole thing an adventure. But like you said, if you want flares, then by all means keep them in the kit - and its obvious you have enough common sense to use them properly. Take care.
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