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Posted: 8/27/2013 8:44:01 PM EST
A co worker just bought one of the 26.5 mom flare pistol and also bought an convention kit that allows him to shot 410/45lc and another that let's him shoot 22lr. Now I know its not accurate but all it needs are some sights or a bead sight.

I have also looked at the 37mm and 40mm but the price of the pistol is around 4x as much.
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Link Posted: 8/27/2013 10:16:57 PM EST
Pretty sure its not legal to convert flareguns to fire live ammo. I know they sell the inserts, and the inserts are not illegal to own by themselves.

Those milsurp flareguns are pretty heavy compared to the plastic commercial ones. The ammo is also much larger, not sure the difference in performance.
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Link Posted: 8/27/2013 10:24:44 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Woosaa:
Pretty sure its not legal to convert flareguns to fire live ammo. I know they sell the inserts, and the inserts are not illegal to own by themselves.

Those milsurp flareguns are pretty heavy compared to the plastic commercial ones. The ammo is also much larger, not sure the difference in performance.
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He had a paper that was from ATF that said the convention ere legal but made it a class 1 firearm. Yes they do weigh a lot more then the plastic 12ga one but can also do a lot more.
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Link Posted: 8/28/2013 4:04:59 AM EST
Are the inserts rifled? I know most of the ones for shotguns aren't and in my limited experience really aren't worth the money.
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Link Posted: 8/28/2013 4:06:11 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/28/2013 4:13:53 AM EST by Emt1581]
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Originally Posted By Woosaa:
Pretty sure its not legal to convert flareguns to fire live ammo. I know they sell the inserts, and the inserts are not illegal to own by themselves.

Those milsurp flareguns are pretty heavy compared to the plastic commercial ones. The ammo is also much larger, not sure the difference in performance.
View Quote


I researched this a few months back...here's how it works...

The insert CANNOT be sold WITH (or is it installed) in the flare gun. However, if you own/use them both together, it is completely legal. And he is correct, the inserts usually come with a copy of the letter from ATF stating their legality.

This is the one I was going to get...

Flare gun insert

However, when it came time to buy the flare gun, I discovered I could buy a 2 shot derringer, hi-point, etc. for cheaper. Back when the flare guns were under $30 shipped all day long it was a different story but I missed the boat...

-Emt1581
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Link Posted: 8/28/2013 9:36:38 AM EST
I'd settle for decently priced, recent manufacture parachute illumination flares!
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Link Posted: 8/28/2013 11:00:58 AM EST
If anybody knows of a source for said flare guns please let me know, not even for the inserts, really interested in actually using it as a flare gun.
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Link Posted: 8/28/2013 11:55:27 AM EST
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Originally Posted By 45stops-em-quick:

If anybody knows of a source for said flare guns please let me know, not even for the inserts, really interested in actually using it as a flare gun.
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The answers to which you seek can be found here:

http://shop.militaryshooters.com/catalog/subcategory.asp?content=Survival+Supplies&scid=947&ret_id=140211
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Link Posted: 8/28/2013 12:08:08 PM EST
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Originally Posted By AGreyMan:

I'd settle for decently priced, recent manufacture parachute illumination flares!
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I've had excellent results with these:

http://shop.militaryshooters.com/catalog/product.asp?ret_id=140211&pid=1031309
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Link Posted: 8/28/2013 1:23:28 PM EST
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Originally Posted By 45stops-em-quick:
If anybody knows of a source for said flare guns please let me know, not even for the inserts, really interested in actually using it as a flare gun.
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I found them here
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Link Posted: 8/28/2013 2:12:12 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/28/2013 2:16:08 PM EST by Woosaa]
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Originally Posted By tayous1:


He had a paper that was from ATF that said the convention ere legal but made it a class 1 firearm. Yes they do weigh a lot more then the plastic 12ga one but can also do a lot more.
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Originally Posted By tayous1:
Originally Posted By Woosaa:
Pretty sure its not legal to convert flareguns to fire live ammo. I know they sell the inserts, and the inserts are not illegal to own by themselves.

Those milsurp flareguns are pretty heavy compared to the plastic commercial ones. The ammo is also much larger, not sure the difference in performance.


He had a paper that was from ATF that said the convention ere legal but made it a class 1 firearm. Yes they do weigh a lot more then the plastic 12ga one but can also do a lot more.


Yeah Ive seen that type of letter, its a response from tech branch. There is also this warning on atf.gov about flare guns and inserts that fire live ammo being an unregistered AOW. http://www.atf.gov/press/releases/2006/05/050406-openletter-nfa-flare-inserts.html

Looks like if the insert is threaded its ok, if its smooth bore its not legal.

edit: not threaded, but rifled
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Link Posted: 8/28/2013 2:37:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/28/2013 2:39:32 PM EST by Makarov]
I saw a shooter at my range try the .22LR version.They are horribly inaccurate even beyond the lack of sights on the host flare gun. Really useless unless you were at contact distance in which case I would likely want/need more than one shot. It does make the flare gun a Title 1 firearm (legal for you to "build") which can create a whole lot of other issues for you, especially onboard a boat. Frankly, I would just buy an NAA mini-revolver (for the size) or a Yugo M57/70 for real firepower at an economy price.

Also, even quality flare guns really weren't designed or built to handle firearm ammunition. It may work but probably not good for regular use.
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Link Posted: 8/28/2013 5:53:29 PM EST
I have one and find it useful. With the parachute flares it lights up a decent amount of real estate, about 5 acres for 10+ seconds.
They are cheap and ammo is still fairly easily obtainable.
Now compare that to the 40mm parachute flares and they will light up at least 40 acres for 45 seconds.

As to the inserts, as long as it's rifled then it's good to go. No 20 or 12 gauge adapters, smooth bore.
The launcher I have is metal and from the kick of the parachute flares, I have no doubt it would handle any reasonable cartridge you would want to shoot out of a pistol.
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Link Posted: 8/30/2013 12:12:05 AM EST
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Originally Posted By okent:
I have one and find it useful. With the parachute flares it lights up a decent amount of real estate, about 5 acres for 10+ seconds.
They are cheap and ammo is still fairly easily obtainable.
Now compare that to the 40mm parachute flares and they will light up at least 40 acres for 45 seconds.

As to the inserts, as long as it's rifled then it's good to go. No 20 or 12 gauge adapters, smooth bore.
The launcher I have is metal and from the kick of the parachute flares, I have no doubt it would handle any reasonable cartridge you would want to shoot out of a pistol.
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Have you shot many of the flares? I've passed these things over repeatedly because I figured the flares are old enough I wouldn't trust them. If they were reliable though, then they'd be fun to pay with.
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Link Posted: 8/30/2013 5:27:44 AM EST
If you buy one, buy it to shoot flares. there are a million other pistols I would rather have than a single shot converted flare gun.
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Link Posted: 8/30/2013 7:32:03 AM EST
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Link Posted: 8/31/2013 6:39:03 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Variable556:

Have you shot many of the flares? I've passed these things over repeatedly because I figured the flares are old enough I wouldn't trust them. If they were reliable though, then they'd be fun to pay with.
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Originally Posted By Variable556:
Originally Posted By okent:
I have one and find it useful. With the parachute flares it lights up a decent amount of real estate, about 5 acres for 10+ seconds.
They are cheap and ammo is still fairly easily obtainable.
Now compare that to the 40mm parachute flares and they will light up at least 40 acres for 45 seconds.

As to the inserts, as long as it's rifled then it's good to go. No 20 or 12 gauge adapters, smooth bore.
The launcher I have is metal and from the kick of the parachute flares, I have no doubt it would handle any reasonable cartridge you would want to shoot out of a pistol.

Have you shot many of the flares? I've passed these things over repeatedly because I figured the flares are old enough I wouldn't trust them. If they were reliable though, then they'd be fun to pay with.


I shot 6 boxes this 4th of July alone, 10 flares per box. Never had a failure though one "broke" apart about 20 yards out of the barrel. It was a red tristar or something similar.
I have made it a point to get every variation of flare I can find including the black smoke version.
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Link Posted: 8/31/2013 8:02:20 PM EST
I have a 22LR 26.5mm insert. It is uselessly inaccurate. I bought it because I already owned the flare gun and decided it might be worth spending $20 to have a functioning .22LR pistol. Maybe I'll find a good use for it, but I doubt it.

On the subject of inserts, I bought a rifled stainless steel .410 to 22LR adapter for a Leinad .45LC derringer that is substantially more accurate, and made that pistol much more useful.
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