Flare for the dramatic

,Rawles mentioned the a supplier for 26.5mm flares the other day.

Years back, Sportsmans Guide had a deal on genuine HK21A flare guns. As I recall, they were something like thirtyfive bucks or so and I bought a few. At the time there was a goodly amount of 26.5mm Czech flares on the market (26mm will work also). I wound up with quite a variety of projectiles and smoke. Hey, why not? They were cheap(ish) and definitely fun to play with.

Practical? Mmmmm….not sure. But..here’s where they shine – 26.5mm flares are far more…substantial..for your perimeter tripflare warning systems than those rinkydink 12 ga. Olin flares. A quick trip through the plumbing section of Home Depot gets you pretty much everything you need to build a tripflare warning system.

For the more DIY minded, I recall reading a how-to somewhere on the internet about nailing a rat trap to stake, and then attaching the pull chain off some of those Skyblazer flares to the trap bar. Set the trap, it gets triggered, bar snaps down pulling the chain and igniting the flare. Clever.

Of course, thinking about that sort of thing led me down the rabbit hole to how to make other perimeter warning devices using mousetraps. Interesting stuff.


Remember: primers are dangerous and they might ignite things you didn’t want to ignite that were in close proximity to them. So..be careful. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

6 thoughts on “Flare for the dramatic

  1. My problem with the mouse trap concept: I’ve used those wooden cheap traps quite a bit, because they’re cheap, and thus essentially disposable. But they corrode quick when exposed to the weather. I have doubts as to how one would work in a setup thats supposed to last more than a few days.

    • I would imagine you could spray them down with something to protect them from the elements without compromising their function.

    • Thompson’s water seal and a coat of flat dark color (brown, green, sand, etc.) makes them much longer-lasting.
      So does relocating them onto hardwoods, instead of the supplied basswood or pine. If you can get a single mahogany board, cut it into trap-sized sections, and seal it with oil, it’ll last decades.

      If you know someone (or possess yourself) minor welding skills, you can place the components onto flat bits of steel tread or flat plate, paint them in the same flat tones, and/or dunk the assembly less the working bits in plastic dip or coat with truck bed sealer, and they’ll likely outlive your grandkids. The spring and trigger can be readily replaced when they rust out every few years.

      We won’t talk about what you get when you weld a screw-on base for a piece of 4″ tubing with a 0.725 inch inner diameter to the base, and add a firing pin assembly to the striker. Because it’s a felony now, and because in a WROL period, it’s lethally effective with 12 ga. buckshot and a tripwire.
      I’ve heard.

  2. Flare flair; cute.
    One of my roomies tends to not respect boundaries (i.e., he thinks my open unoccupied bedroom door means come in and snoop; trailcams don’t lie). Time for research on the temperature of said flares and the kindling point of household furniture…

    • Bad plan.

      Arson investigators, district attorneys, landlords, and insurance claims adjustors look dimly on booby-traps and residential arsonists.

      And even if it works, you’ll play hell trying to get the sh*tstains out of the carpeting in the doorway.

      Some things are meant to be solved with a stern warning, and a suitable punch in the nose if that fails. (You were subduing him after making a citizen’s arrest, of course).

  3. 45 years ago I was using mousetraps, wire, a battery and a flashbulb (remember those?) to make flash booby traps for ROTC field exercises when we didn’t have the real stuff. They work.

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