Can flare gun rounds be an effective self-defense tool?
We are sure everyone has seen flare guns for sale at your local Walmart or other sporting goods store. These devices are meant to help signal for help when you are in distress, and that is why they are usually located with the boating supplies. Because in adverse weather conditions they can signal your position to rescuers better than a flashlight or signal mirror.
However, one innovative YouTuber just happened to notice that flares are listed as being 12 gauge. This got him wondering: would 12-gauge flares work out of a shotgun? Well, there is only one way to find out.
Part of his reasoning for this experiment is just the question of wondering if a flare gun can be used as an effective self-defense tool. The results are rather interesting to watch.
Even though there was a significant loss of velocity on the flares through the shotgun, these things still worked out of a 12-gauge shotgun with no problems. In both instances, the flare had a decent amount of penetrating power on the watermelon too. Not so much on the ballistic gel. However, because flares are bright, hot, and will set your clothing on fire, there is no question one would get any attacker to back off.
The chamber for a flare gun and the design of the flares is considerably different than a regular shotgun. We suspect the design of the shell for the flare is what caused it to lose some velocity. It would be interesting to see a chronograph of data on the speeds of each.
Even though this experiment proves this does work, we do not recommend using flares as a self-defense round. You are probably better off with a standard load of buckshot. We would be interested to see what the bore looks like after shooting one of these. However, if someone were in a pinch and had no other option, it seems a flare would be a viable solution. We are filing away this little bit of information in the back of our minds for the zombie apocalypse. You know, just in case!