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Thread: How dangerous to the user are Flamethrowers?

  1. #21
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    From what I understand the various US military issued flamethrowers had a 1 "accident" rate in every 100 firings or less, in practice and training. In combat with tracers flying towards your tank (the flamethrower operator tends to draw fire for some reason) I would think the rate is much higher. Now that was with compressed air as the pressurization agent, modern rebuilds use nitrogen so at least you don't have an explosive mix of fuel and air in the tanks.

    IF I were so inclined as to use a flamethrower, one of the modern commercial models would be my choice. I would assume the safety features are more numerous as but a single "accident" with one of them and the liability lawsuit would be epic. Uncle Sugar turns one of his recruits into a Crispy Critter, they just pay out the life insurance policy and re-issue it to the next guy in line...

  2. #22
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    They are often used by Forestry Departments for controlled burns; don't hear of many accidents with those.

  3. #23
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    Foreign manufactured, military flamethrowers are included under "Category II—Artillery Projectors" of the ß 447.21 The U.S. Munitions Import List.

    They are subject to importation regulations as "arms, ammunition, and implements of war", with further regulations being potential based on what country they were made.

    I can bet almost certainly the "pyro igniters" for these types of flamethrowers fall under NFA categorization as "Destructive Devices".


    Probably good reason why you never see these come through the auction houses, and can't find youtube videos of collectors showing them off.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by sniperdoc View Post
    They are often used by Forestry Departments for controlled burns; don't hear of many accidents with those.
    I think the mostly common tool used for starting backfires is a drip torch.
    More recently helicopters and drones have been used equipped with with "dragon egg" dispensers (think self-combusting ping pong ball launcher).

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    Looked a little. Flamethrowers appear to be legal in all states. Only state that restricts them is the U.S.S.R of california (obviously). They are limited to 10 foot flames there.
    As with guns a flame thrower is only as safe as the operator... in my climate it would be extremely foolish to fire one when their isnt a foot of snow on the ground. Plus in the summer would need a burn permit from the sheriff to run it... who is the fire chief of the local volunteer fire department I am on... which may be amusing at least to have that conversation with him lol!
    Drip torches are the preffered way. Always good policy to keep the back burn smaller then the fire your trying to control...

  6. #26
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    Flamethrowers are illegal in Maryland too; Maryland considers them "destructive devices".
    Last edited by OldBesty; 11-30-2020 at 02:16 AM.

  7. #27
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    If you ever attended a Phoenix Society meeting, you'd be inclined to stay the h*ll away from something like a flamethrower! JMO!!
    Last edited by ole442; 12-22-2020 at 08:26 AM. Reason: Bloggschnarff!

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimshady View Post
    From what I understand the various US military issued flamethrowers had a 1 "accident" rate in every 100 firings or less, in practice and training. In combat with tracers flying towards your tank (the flamethrower operator tends to draw fire for some reason) I would think the rate is much higher. Now that was with compressed air as the pressurization agent, modern rebuilds use nitrogen so at least you don't have an explosive mix of fuel and air in the tanks.

    IF I were so inclined as to use a flamethrower, one of the modern commercial models would be my choice. I would assume the safety features are more numerous as but a single "accident" with one of them and the liability lawsuit would be epic. Uncle Sugar turns one of his recruits into a Crispy Critter, they just pay out the life insurance policy and re-issue it to the next guy in line...
    US Army replaced M2 flamethrowers with M202 Flash
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M202_F...XM191%20system.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattnh View Post
    US Army replaced M2 flamethrowers with M202 Flash
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M202_F...XM191%20system.
    Appears in "Commando" shoot-out scene

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by sniperdoc View Post
    They are often used by Forestry Departments for controlled burns; don't hear of many accidents with those.
    A lot of the forestry service models are vehicle mounted and use a gas or electric motor powered pump to pressurize the system. If they spring a leak or otherwise malfunction you hit the big red stop button and grab a fire extinguisher. Also use kero or diesel fuel, in a large tank.

  11. #31
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    Last edited by mattnh; 11-30-2020 at 04:21 PM.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by r View Post
    strobo32,
    what cu ft is your tank and did you have it hydrostatically tested before building? do you plan on during a hydro every 5 years same as in scuba diving? how much pressure do you use in discharge tank? is it CO2 same as paintball?
    It uses a 20 LB CO2 tank. It holds 3.5 gals of liquid. The CO2 tanks are rated at 2.5x the pressure it uses. I have no plans to have it hydo tested. I do have plans to change the lines if they start to degrade. It's uses paintball CO2 tanks that are regulated to 350 psi.

    In that photograph, I'm using straight gasoline because it's being shot in the street in front of my house. I didn't want the flame to go too far. Straight gasoline makes a large fireball. If I mix soap, kerosene or diesel with the gas, it will reach about 45 feet.

    Before i made mine I had training with an expert. I learned and shot a few of the historical examples.




    https://www.flickr.com/photos/40775099@N03/8267503283/
    Last edited by strobro32; 12-01-2020 at 07:02 AM.

  13. #33
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    These people https://throwflame.com/products/xl18-flamethrower/ apparently make new ones commercially, but they’re very proud of them. At $500, though, it becomes a very tempting toy. Strobo did you build it from a kit of some kind, or did you have to figure it out? I might be ok building one, but designing it, no way.

  14. #34
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    I used https://flamethrowerplans.com/how-to...thrower-ebook/ to start and then modified it to be more like the Throwflame one.

    I bought the plans from flamethrowerplans.com for about $50 about 6 years ago. The ebook is now $97. Over the years I upgraded to some of the parts used on the X15 Throwflame system.

    A good unit can be made for about $500. If you really want to make one, I recommend supporting the flamethrowerplans guy as he has the cheapest, fastest plans. Between the throwflame and flamethrowerplands videos, there are many helpful video tutorials on fuels.

    Update:

    I just wanted to give Rob @ Flamethrowerplans.com a big thank you!

    I bought his ebook back in Dec 2012. I just emailed him to see if he made any improvements to his system since I bought them. He just sent back his updated plans free. It is full of suppliers links, pics, step-by-step illustrations, tech and FAQs . That was very nice of him.

    His plans cost $97 and are worth it. It saved me a lot of R&D in the beginning. I recommend his plans.



    I do have some suggestions to improve the ease and cost of his system as compared to the Throwflame X15.

    1. Only get one Bernsomatic torch and do not modify it. It can be mounted just like the Throwflame X15 system. Just use the 1" 1/8 NPT pipe on the muzzle instead of the 3" nipple.

    2. Do not buy the extended propane torch hose. Save a lot of time and money. Mount the torch head to the power wash wand like the X15. Screw the propane tank to directly to the Bernsomatic cast torch head like the X15. Keeping a propane torch tank on it's side has problems with gas delivery.

    3. Do not use the quick connect fittings on the 3/8 hose. They leak. It is easy enough to unscrew the newer power washer wands from the hose by hand.

    4. His cheap scuba tank backpack is much easier to use than to make one like the X15.

    5. I also prefer the USGI 2 grenade/3 mag pouch to hold the 20 oz CO2 tank, the extended ASA hose and 2" pressure gauge. The cooling CO2 tank can chill two beer cans that hare held in the grenade holders.

    6. Buy the $50 Loews power washer wand.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by strobro32 View Post
    I used https://flamethrowerplans.com/how-to...thrower-ebook/ to start and then modified it to be more like the Throwflame one.

    I bought the plans from flamethrowerplans.com for about $50 about 6 years ago. The ebook is now $97. Over the years I upgraded to some of the parts used on the X15 Throwflame system.

    A good unit can be made for about $500. If you really want to make one, I recommend supporting the flamethrowerplans guy as he has the cheapest, fastest plans. Between the throwflame and flamethrowerplands videos, there are many helpful video tutorials on fuels.

    Update:

    I just wanted to give Rob @ Flamethrowerplans.com a big thank you!

    I bought his ebook back in Dec 2012. I just emailed him to see if he made any improvements to his system since I bought them. He just sent back his updated plans free. It is full of suppliers links, pics, step-by-step illustrations, tech and FAQs . That was very nice of him.

    His plans cost $97 and are worth it. It saved me a lot of R&D in the beginning. I recommend his plans.



    I do have some suggestions to improve the ease and cost of his system as compared to the Throwflame X15.

    1. Only get one Bernsomatic torch and do not modify it. It can be mounted just like the Throwflame X15 system. Just use the 1" 1/8 NPT pipe on the muzzle instead of the 3" nipple.

    2. Do not buy the extended propane torch hose. Save a lot of time and money. Mount the torch head to the power wash wand like the X15. Screw the propane tank to directly to the Bernsomatic cast torch head like the X15. Keeping a propane torch tank on it's side has problems with gas delivery.

    3. Do not use the quick connect fittings on the 3/8 hose. They leak. It is easy enough to unscrew the newer power washer wands from the hose by hand.

    4. His cheap scuba tank backpack is much easier to use than to make one like the X15.

    5. I also prefer the USGI 2 grenade/3 mag pouch to hold the 20 oz CO2 tank, the extended ASA hose and 2" pressure gauge. The cooling CO2 tank can chill two beer cans that hare held in the grenade holders.

    6. Buy the $50 Loews power washer wand.

    That is a very useful response, thank you very much. I agree with you that the skull-sweat of R&D work deserves compensation, I donít begrudge the guy that, particularly as itís exactly the part of the project I didnít want to do myself.

  16. #36
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    Rare item for those interested
    https://www.gunbroker.com/item/887181086

  17. #37
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    Iíll see ya one up ole buddy! Still rocking my Dragon!

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    Quote Originally Posted by strobro32 View Post
    I made my own. $500. Better to burn out than to fade away.




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