Laws and lawyer talk are one of civilization’s most purposely confusing creations. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the legislation of guns. In Arizona, a person can own anything they may wish to have, from fully automatic machine guns, hand grenades, cannons, even a minigun. While in other areas of the country, a person can not own an unregistered weapon of any kind at all. The laws are as varied, or in this author’s opinion, as ludicrous and draconian as they can be. However, some times the law does work in the favor of the Armed Citizen. The following example is such a case.


I present to you, the Polish 26.5mm Warsaw Pact Flare Gun. A gun that isn’t a gun, until it is a gun. The end of the Cold War (I know we have another one on the horizon, if not already) brought many surplus guns and equipment to the civilian market. One of which is this flare pistol originating from Poland.


I won’t bore you with the history or the mechanical function of the gun other than to say it’s a full metal constructed flare pistol chambered for 26.5mm flares favored by the Eastern Bloc at the time of its production. The one I purchased was produced in 1952, and functions like a modern day flare pistol. Break it open like a single shot shotgun, load the flare, close it and fire it. Surplus flares can be purchased, but there is a 12 guage conversion “sleeve” (… which, when inserted, can accept common 12 gauge flares found for sale at Wal Mart and on line. So you’re saying, “So what dude? Why do I care? I can’t hunt or protect myself with a dang flare gun! And I live in an area that doesn’t allow me to own a gun!” Well, this is where this flare pistol becomes “A gun, that’s not a gun, until it is a gun”.


In addition to accepting 12 gauge flares (do not attempt to insert a 12 gauge shot gun shell into the conversion sleeve and shooting it, unless you enjoy self amputation), this flare pistol will also accept conversion sleeves for 45PC/410 and .22lr shells. Those inserts can be purchased on line as well. NOT PRESSURE RATED FOR 12 GAUGE SHOTGUN SHELLS, STANDARD OR MINI SHELLS.…… These inserts come with a letter from the ATF which clarifies that you are legal to posses the flare insert AND a flare pistol. Only when you insert the sleeve, will it become a Class 1 firearm (check your local laws to ensure you are in compliance). You’re probably asking me why I think this is a viable choice for a fire arm? One…it’s effective for short range self defense and perhaps even small game in a pinch. Better than a sharp stick. Here are a couple of examples.


In some states, you may not own a pistol until you’re 21. These items can be purchased by mail. Some folks are not able to own Class 1 fire arm, but can own black powder weapons, this is an alternative for those who are affected. These items are all unregulated, and require no registration of any kind. Lastly, they are affordable. $80 for the flare pistol, $29 for the 22Lr insert, $59 for the 45LC/410. For $109 to $139, you can have an effective close range self defense and small game gathering device delivered to your door step. Check your local laws. As with all things, you are responsible for your own actions. This is for educational and entertainment purposes only. I’m not an instructor or a lawyer. It is in fact a gun, that is not a gun, until it is a gun.


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