Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Akron, OH
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I'm new to sailing and hope to someday cruise the world. I am not new to firearms, self-defense, and improvised weapons though and consider myself something of an expert on physical and personal security doing consulting/ training in it as well. I do carry a weapon with me much of the time. Though as Mick said; the safety is between your ears. My weapons are always between my ears as well. Even if I have a firearm (and I have permits), I often have a blade as well. Also, a hot cup of joe works wonders against someone.
The only reason I am chiming in, b/c I do realize this is a hot issue, is to hopefully save someone a painful learning experience. Flare guns cannot be converted to shoot regular 12 gauge shells. Don't try it - unless you put in a vise and pull it with a string - from far away. That said, a flare coming out of a flare gun is probably just as good as buckshot, ball, slug, etc. I've used the 26.5mm Czech flare guns in military simulaton exercises and even firing them horizontally on the range. They are very reliable and if you hit someone with it you can expect a horrible wound pattern from concussive as well as thermal factors.
Another option is to look into a cheap paintball gun/pistol and carry CO2 12 gram cartridges. Paintballs are prone to deterioration in humid weather therefore you might decide to mold or craft your own projectiles. This still provides deterrence, especially if piracy is an issue. Also, for whatever you do choose to do, I would suggest training if you expect to utilize it. There is nothing worse than using an untried weapon in a fight. That is a recipe for disaster.
Lastly, you need to think long and hard on all of this. Because, even if you win an altercation you can expect to suffer psychologically as well as physically and financially (legal repercussions). Aftermath, even for a survivor can be traumatic.
Ultimately, avoidance is the best option, whether armed or not.
Quib Quib, 12' O'Day Widgeon