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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I know what you're saying.

"Whaaaaaaat? Is that even LEGAL? That's like a short-barreled shotgun!"

As a matter of fact, it is, or at least in the United States (save for California, I think). It's no different than a Taurus Judge, really, which I know you all are familiar with.

However, it will be a Title 1 firearm; that basically means it is a gun you manufactured. You cannot legally transfer it to another person, so no selling it away.


Here's my flare gun. It's a Czech-made CZ 44/81 26.5mm flare gun. It's quite heavy; it weighs something in the order of over two pounds. I bought it over at Numrich's website for $75, plus some shipping. As you can see, it's in pretty good shape. The only wear is holster wear. Not a speck of rust on this thing. It has a rebounding hammer, and the firing pin is not mounted on the hammer.



The looks grow on you, trust me.

To manage the weight, it came with a satchel holster rig. It's actually leather. It also came with a steel-bristled cleaning brush and a cleaning rod, as well as a lanyard. How nice!



Here's the adapter that turns this from a pyrotechnic device into a firearm. This is the adapter made by Kennesaw Cannon Company. They also make a .22LR adapter, but I opted for a big bore toy. I figured it'd be more useful that way. This one was $60, plus some shipping.




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The total cost was less than $150 with shipping included, and there wasn't any paperwork at all to order the thing. It was all at my doorstep in the order of a week. Bam, a fully-functional firearm that you can order through the mail. I got it as a cheap alternative to a Judge, which is kind of outside of my cost window at the moment.

Okay, so what's the use for this thing? Well, let's think of a few:


  • anti-carjacking gun (although I'd trust the Judge more for this, since it holds more than one shot)
  • snake gun for trudging around the woods
  • boat gun (26.5mm flares are still available)
  • survival gun (.45 Colt slugs and .410 shotgun paired together leave little more to be desired, save for maybe some sights)
  • a testing tool for reloaded ammunition
  • a range toy (you can never have enough of those)
  • an illumination device for night predator hunting (you can purchase parachute flares for illuminating an area; this was a common practice during the first World War to keep the enemy lit up and pinned down)

Okay, there's still a lot more than that. Come up with some uses on your own. Give some feedback on what you think.

If you're really considering getting one:

Flare gun: Flare Pistol, CZECH Model VZ44, 26.5mm w/ Holster, Lanyard, Cleaning Rod & Brush Gun Parts | 1431630 | Numrich Gun Parts

Adapter purchase locations:

Cheaper Than Dirt: http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/product/ZWA-622

Mississippi Auto Arms: http://www.mississippiautoarms.com/...9.html?zenid=b577d2c6f0db238a65700f0809a44b4c
 

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Looked at one made from a section of. 45 caliber barrel several years ago. Guy made it for snakes and it was about a foot long. The rifled barrel threw about a 12 to 18 inch pattern at 10 to 15 feet. Worked great for what he made it for.
 

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DerMilchmann,

I have a friend who is a good gunsmith but prone to doing crazy things at times. He
was telling me about experimenting with firing 10 gauge shotgun shells with a flare
gun he acquired (without an adapter) He said the first couple of shells shot great
but the third one didn't, then he showed me the powder burns he had all over his
torso. I think your idea has potential and it would make a good gun to keep in the
truck or car. Let us know how your new project gun works out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'll be sure to make a range report. I'm pretty sure it'll throw birdshot everywhere with that rifling, but I think buffered buckshot may act differently, like some of the Federal loads out of the Judge.

I went ahead and popped some primed .410 and .45 Colt, and the thing works fine. No punctured primers, and they went off just fine. All very exciting so far.

I'm thinking of tapping it for a shotgun bead, because why not? Could be fun.
 

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This has got to be one of the coolest things I've seen in awhile. Definitely keep us updated on how things go. How much was the kit to swap it to .410? I went to the website, but it wasn't there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This has got to be one of the coolest things I've seen in awhile. Definitely keep us updated on how things go. How much was the kit to swap it to .410? I went to the website, but it wasn't there.
The kit was $60 off of CheaperThanDirt. They carry them, but there's also a few other sites if you're not a CTD fan. I edited the original post to include these links for sale.
 

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I have three 26.5mm flare guns. I have a insert for each one. 22LR, 38 Special and 45C/410. Why not. Mine are legal but it may depend on where you live. Lot of crazy laws out there. (Too bad the 12GA insert is for 12 Gage flares only.)
Here is another link where i got the 38.:
New ! GaugeMate Flare

A little expensive but it is fun is to get a BP pistol and get a conversion cylinder for it. Have to grind a little on the pistol. I made 4.
http://www.kirstkonverter.com/
BP pistols here
http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/browse.cmd?N=1100201&WTz_l=SBC;BRprd705740
again expensive but no registration unless you sell it as a cartrage gun. Can always be seperated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I always wanted to get a black powder revolver and convert it for cartridges. I had my eyes on a New Model Pocket Remington reproduced by Pietta, with one of the steel frames so it'd be suitable for conversion to .32 S&W Long. The cylinders for them, however, are not cheap. Kind of unfortunate, but oh well. Nobody that I am aware of makes cartridge-accepting versions of many of these guns.

As for that .38 converter, good job in finding it. I was wondering why there wasn't one around.
 

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Check the video out:


I think I'll own one of these, soon.

Also, there’s a vid on youtube of someone converting a flare gun to shoot a .50 cal. ball In black powder but it requires a little too much machining for me. I’ll post it once I find it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Well, it looks like I might not have to do a video on it anymore.

Good find. It wasn't up when I purchased my flare gun, but it's always nice to see others interested.

Bah, who am I kidding. I'll definitely do a video on mine. I saw his shooting video (separate), which was a little less than satisfactory. He didn't say what length of shotshell he was firing, and he didn't say which type of .45 Colt he was firing after showing he had two different kinds. No visual on the target, either.

He also stated that the insert is smoothbore in the comments section. It is NOT smoothbore.

Also, here's the video you were talking about, Flinger:

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Have you shot it?
I will tomorrow. I should be back with some delicious reports on Sunday. Tested loads will be CCI Blazer .45 Colt, 200 grain JHP, and Federal .410 3" #4 birdshot (.13 caliber pellets, ~75 of them).

Any suggested tests y'all would like me to do in particular? I have one or two in mind, but that's about it, along with some .45 Colt plinking.

Also, there'll be a quick tabletop look, followed by a separate shooting video, with shots of the target included. Well, at least I'll try to do that. I'm not gonna be the only one wanting to shoot it.
 

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I will tomorrow.
Also, there'll be a quick tabletop look, followed by a separate shooting video, with shots of the target included. Well, at least I'll try to do that. I'm not gonna be the only one wanting to shoot it.
Great! Looking forward to your review.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
OP, I just saw one of these on ebay. Advertised to fit a 12ga and may fit your flare gun but not sure how well it will hold up.
Thanks for directing me somewhere with this. I don't think it'll the barrel's outer diameter, unfortunately, but I'll keep looking around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Well, I just shot it. The recoil of a 3" .410 is worlds different than a .45 Colt.

First, a non-visual report, cause we were out of Shoot-n-C targets (sorry).

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.410, 3", #4 lead birdshot (Federal Hi-Power):

Patterns were very, very wide, as expected. I put 5 through it at some different ranges.

2 yards, an empty 12 oz soda can was left essentially unidentifiable. The ground surrounding it got a good shave, too. The first round expanded inside of the chamber, but no others did. I had to use a knife to remove it. The rest could be plucked with the fingernails.

5 yards, another empty soda can had around 15 pellets strike it. Still decent for snakes, but I'd use a smaller shot size to increase hit chance.

10 yards, 2 pellets on a 12 oz soda can. Upon discovery, I quickly transitioned to my U22 Neos on my belt and made the can dance. Teehee.

I'll cut one open and count the pellets when I get home.

As a note of interst, I tried one of my experimental .410s, where tje shot only sits in a shot cup and doesn't go any further. The shell OAL was about 2", but it grouped much tighter. I'll test this more later.

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.45 Colt, 200 grain JHP (CCI Blazer):

I need to take this to a range to test. I don't want to say anything until I see if the bullets tumble or not, but I don't think they do. You guys might have to wait a bit longer for the shooting video, but the review will at least have some mention of how it shot. I scored some hits, but I beed to practice. My targets were too small. I'll use a human-sized one next time.

On the bright side, they fell right out of the chamber.

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In summary, it's extremely fun. It works, it didn't blow up in my hands, and it actually hit targets, from what I can tell. .45 Colt needs more testing, and I'll try to get some buckshot.

Seeya next time.



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