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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 02-13-2007
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In pretty much all of Europe, a flare gun is a gun and is treated like any firearm. I guess it depends on the scenario. Whether the sight of a gun is enough to scare off a casual thief or be the cause of a fire fight with a well equipped pirate. Those who win can return and claim the value of carry arms (either the yachtsman or the pirate) the other might not return. I have pondered carrying muzzle loaders. In a lot of countries, these are regarded as toys and only the powder needs a license. There's powder in old flares. However, they look like guns so.... M&M is one combination, crossbows and long bows for range and cutlasses for close quarters? Hell - I'm a sailor.
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  #12  
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Don't start a fight unless there is no other choice and you are armed well enough to win. Muzzle loaders probably won't do the job.

As for countries that have outlawed self defense (usually the more violent places, e.g. Mexico) either don't go there or make doubly sure that you heirs know where to find the will and insurance policies.

To close on a positive note, sometimes the bad guys pick up your funeral expenses.

Last edited by Goodnewsboy; 02-13-2007 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 02-13-2007
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I think Cam has stated it correctly - avoid places where trouble is likely.
Using Col. Cooper's color code system to be "aware" and chances are pretty good that trouble can be avoided almost all of the time.
Idiens - loading a muzzleloader with flare powder or any unknown powder is not a good idea. They are designed for black powder which burns quite differently and with lower pressure than a modern spherical extruded smokeless powder. Just as old blackpowder shotguns will KB on you if you use a modern shell, an unknown charge in a muzzleloader can be suicidal. Then again, just imagine the psychological effect of having your assailant looking down the business end of a blunderbuss
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Old 02-13-2007
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http://www.seasonshot.com/Home.cfm

Dunno, it sure reads like a gag site to me.
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There is an adapter kit out there that allows you to fire a .22 round from a flare pistol. And there are some old verey pistols out there that can handle larger loads. I think the thing you have to remember is that a .22 or a 12 gage is really just asking for trouble in a world where AK-47's are the most popular firearm ever created. I think if you're planning to defend yourself against machette wielding theives bear spray is probably the eaisest defense. Easier than shooting mace through a flare gun. Lets keep in mind that if you shoot a local in many countries, you're probably going to jail regardless of if it was justified. My opinion is that the best defense is to avoid the problem areas all together. Research your destination, travel in a small flotilla, talk to friendly locals, don't flash around expensive iteams. No matter how well you're armed, there's always someone with a bigger gun. My route over the next few years will take me to some less than favourable places. I have to admit that there are places that I won;t cruise with women on board. It's a lot easier to give up your boat than girfriend/wife/daughter. I know that the whole issue of pirates gets a lot of attention because it has a certain fear and excitment attached to it but many more sailors go missing because they fall overboard or contract an illness.
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I think the crux of the matter is if the bad guys are out to get my property then I'll give it to them. If their intent is to cause me or mine bodily harm then I'll certainly use an available modified flare-to-.22 conversion (with a probable foot-pound energy energy value equivalent to throwing an eraser at someone) against an AK - in the hopes that I can then appropriate said firearm and use that

There is a popular saying in the US - "I'd rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6"

The recent spat of posts on piracy have shown me that the likelihood of my encountering such on my circumnavigation is very low, with the exception of Aden/Red Sea - and then I'll do the convoy thing.

And I am painfully aware that my fiberglass boat offers me concealment, but absolutely no cover to any FMJ round.
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As they might say in Maine, howinell do you shoot mace through a flare gun?
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Old 02-13-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin
Idiens - loading a muzzleloader with flare powder or any unknown powder is not a good idea. They are designed for black powder which burns quite differently and with lower pressure than a modern spherical extruded smokeless powder.
Yup! I used to both muzzle load and reload cases, so I am well aware of the difference. I still don't think I'd go to sea armed anyway.
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Old 02-13-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
For me...the inconvenience has led me to the M&M defense....Mace and Machete's! Won't cover every possible situation but the incidence of fire-arm bearing boarders in most places is extremely small and I stay away from places that have any reputation for violent crime.
It's hard to know at the start of a five-year circ just how that "reputation" thing is going to play out.

Yes, I am aware that the firearm issue is extremely problematic. As a Canadian, our gun laws are stricter than those of the U.S., but nowhere near as strict as many other places. And as someone with a brother-in-law on an ETF (SWAT to some) squad, I have any amount of actual firearm advice and I daresay choice. The gun, unless I go to the expense and legal trouble associated with buying the thing in "legal" countries and chucking it into the drink on final approach, is an unlikely option away from North America.

The flare gun-as-chastiser idea is just that: an idea, a middle ground between trying to kill a boarder and putting up my hands to three guys with fish knives after our rum and wallets. We have discussed such things as cross-bows and even recursive bows, which would come in handy for firing messenger lines to other boats or ashore, or even certain forms of fishing/hunting. Most everyone I know has small axes and/or machetes by the companionway, and I carry a six-inch knife and a four-inch rigging knife and a multitool most times I'm aboard, but the idea is to discourage them from ever getting aboard in the first place.

Our new-to-us boat is steel: I would have no hesitation ramming some Third World dory if they made a move, while calling on all frequencies for help. But that too, is a last resort.

Maybe I can electrify the deck?
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Old 02-13-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
http://www.seasonshot.com/Home.cfm

Dunno, it sure reads like a gag site to me.
Could be, but we can all use a laugh on the subject of firearms...

Speaking of which, I came up with this the other day:

Q: Who is Lisa Nowak's favourite Star Wars character?

A: Mace Window.
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