Join Date: Jan 2011
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Re: FLARES, Who needs them ?
At one time, I had a huge number of both expired and current flares that were up to 12 yrs old. Almost all of them were the Olin/Orion 12 guage variety but I also had 12 expired Olin/Orion hand held ones and 6 expired SOLAS Pains-Wessex hand flares and an expired Pains Wessex parachute flare (12 yrs old). I fired them all on a wet New Years night from my home (well inland).
Result: All of the old Skyblazer pen type flares fired and worked very well.
At least half the 12 G flares failed to do more'n go up 10' and fizzle. Those that did work, very few had any brightness at all, even the new ones seemed very poor. The 12 yr old Pains-Wessex rocket flare was very impressive going very high but its parachute failed.
ALL of the Olin/Orion hand helds failed to ignite. Finally, I lit the Pains-Wessex hand flares (Several yrs expired), very impressive. I used the Pains-Wessex flare to light the Olin/Orion hand flares which produced so little light as to be a joke.
My reccomendation, do not bother buying the Olin/Orion hand helds. Old Orion/Olin 12 G flares are very iffy. These were all the old style of Olin/Orion flares that looked like 12 G shotgun shells, not the new extended ones. I have not tested the new ones. However, I now carry two different types of aerial flares and only Pains-Wessex hand flares.