1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

12 ga flares

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by Hunter125, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Well-Known Member

    I saw a pack of flares for a flare gun at the store the other day that said it was a 12 ga flare gun. Here's my question, can I just buy the flares and use them in my shotgun, or are there flares that I can buy specifically for a shotgun. My thought is that if I'm out hunting, I could just have a few flares in my pack in case something happens instead of buying a flare gun, which I probably wouldn't do anyway.
  2. RoostRider

    RoostRider Well-Known Member

    Yeah, you can buy 12 ga flares..... I have never used them, so I have no idea how well they work, how long they last, or if they damage your gun or not (my guess is not).

    Someone here will have a better input on it, since someone must be buying them.... just no one I know is all...
  3. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    Shoot flares out of a flare gun. Shoot shotgun shells out of your shotgun.

    Notice how short the barrels are on flare guns?? That's because flares really like long barrels, and especially with chokes in them. They like to run right up to the choke when fired, and stop there, and then burn out.

    Of course, they burn out the end of the barrel too.

    Yep. Flares like shotguns a lot. But shotguns don't like flares...

  4. chas08

    chas08 Well-Known Member

    This subject has been addressed here before use the search feature for more input. But the short version is, No don't do it. if the flare sticks in the barrel for whatever reason it will glow cherry red, ruin the finish, and maybe the tempering. Not worth the risk.
  5. 7X57chilmau

    7X57chilmau Well-Known Member

    I've fired a dozen or so 12 ga flares. The larger ones lasted about 5 seconds, which about equaled their flight time. The small ones simply went about 80' up and winked out.

    Resoundingly unimpressive, unless you are trying to signal a ship in visual range at sea..... And they're already looking your way!

  6. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Well-Known Member

    If you have a .44 or a .45 auto that you carry as a side arm you might be interested in these

    I've never used I just saw them the other day and happened to remember it, if they made them in .357 I'd buy some for my son to carry when hunting in the woods.
  7. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Well-Known Member

    When I was younger and dumb, after every boat season i would fire them out of my dads 500a smoothbore slug barrrel. They would still make it 100 ft or so. Turned out to be not that exciting, save your money.
  8. BBroadside

    BBroadside Well-Known Member

    Needless to say, the reverse (shotshell in a flare gun) option is an even worse idea. Not because of the recoil, but because of the blowing all the fingers off your hand. (I gather a decent 12-gauge flare gun won't chamber shotshells without modification.) Anyway, just thought I'd mention it.

    There are also .410 flares that I think hi-vel.com used to sell. I assume those would be even less impressive than 12-gauge flares, but I'm not sure what you'd fire your .410 flares out of. Most full-length guns are choked; handguns are rifled and generally have a removable choke for the .410 shells. I wouldn't try flares out of either of those unless a very wise man told me it was okay (and he had all his fingers).

    The only likely launcher for the .410 flare would be the derringer. Bond Arms has some very nice-looking ones ... I bet a flare could make it out of that barrel. You could carry birdshot for snakes, flares for signalling (but see warning two posts further down!), and 45 Colt cartridges for axe-murderers. Don't know if anyone still makes .410 flares though.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  9. ar10

    ar10 Well-Known Member

    An interesting twist on 12ga shotgun flares is you can legally have a shotgun on board your boat as long as it's listed as "flare gun".
    I got interested in it about 10 yrs ago for my boat. I also knew that guns are illegal in just about every foreign port. I ended up asking about shotguns at the Pele Island CG office and was told they were legal, however they stated they had better not find any "other 12ga" rounds if you are boarded and searched.
    Mossberg had a model, something like the Mariner, that fired both flares and had a lifeline feeder if they needed to get a line to another boat.
    (I fired some 12ga flares out of my 500 a couple of years ago with no problems, they go really high compared to the standard flare guns for boats.)
  10. Ron James

    Ron James Well-Known Member

    And if your dumb enough to get lost out in the deep dark woods and you use flares to attract attention, you will also pay the seven zero cost of containing and extinguishing the fire you started. A cell phone would be cheaper and safer:banghead:
  11. ar10

    ar10 Well-Known Member

    Disclaimer: I was at a very big range on the shores of Lake Erie when I fired mine. It was fun too:D

Share This Page