SkyBlazer XLT Aerial Flare: 14 Years Old Still Functions!

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Well I was doing some reorganizing of my storage the other day and ran across a little sealed from the factory package of handheld aerial signal flares that have been in an old emergency bag for years and years (at least 13 years). And just like any other red blooded American male would do… I says to me self..”I wonder if these things still work? Only one way to find out!”. But I had new I needed to get a few pictures of the things before I destroyed them so I could tell yall about them.Flare 3


So anyways I was at the family get together for Thanksgiving so I shot them off there for everyone to enjoy. (children and adults love flares!)


And guess what these were made in Aug of the year 2000. So that means they are 14 years old! These guys have not been in a climate controlled area either. Hot cold Hot cold… banged around and stuff. They worked after 14 years… crazy. I will have to get some more. Water proof and they are suppose to float.

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There are many types of flares and flare guns, but these are all one piece. No need to load a flare gun. Flares seem useful for a lot of things. Signalling for help… starting a fire from a distance… in a pinch I guess you could use it for self defense to. I would hate to take one of these bad boys to the chest or face… couldn’t imagine having tactical nylon or even a shirt getting melted to me… so prolly not fun for a bad guy either… sounds painful and might start a fire to. But I would rather have a real gun anyway (Watch: Only Rednecks Use Flares for Defense). Found this on a online forum “Yes, I believe a flare gun would probably kill someone in the range that you’d likely be using it in self-defense. Careful where ya point that thing.”

Also this from the same thread “If you do have to use it (hopefully you wouldn’t need to in a defensive situation), make sure your aim is good. The aunt of a friend of mine had a snake in her backyard and, not really knowing what to do, decided to try killing it with a flare gun. The flare hit the ground just in front of the snake, bounced over her fence, and landed in a neighbor’s palm tree. The tree caught fire, of course, and Flare 4the fire department had to be called. No major damage was done, but it certainly shows the need for care with one. At least the event resulted in a funny story.”

Kyle Karr, 25 got shot in the head with a flare gun and lived… so there are draw backs as a defensive weapon… but way better than nothing. Another tool in the survival tool box.


This is what the BoatU.S. Foundation said about the Sky Blazer XLT Flares in their article about their tests:  “The Skyblazer is the only USCG approved aerial flare tested that had a built in firing mechanism. It’s a flare that is compact, waterproof

and floats—making it a good choice for small craft (we felt it would be great for PWC and Canoe/kayak operators) as well as the individual offshore boaters that might like the added safety of storing them in a lifejacket pocket or foul weather gear jacket.

Some of the trade-offs of the Skyblazer were that testers felt that the directions were very small and not descriptive enough to feel confident that they were firing the flare properly. This was magnified because of the units’ small size—which also gave the impression of having more apparent recoil than the bulkier SOLAS models. Proper hand placement on the device is imperative—holding it improperly can lead to excessive recoil and potential injury.

Orion issued a safety notice about their Skyblazer product on 9/26/2008 indicating a possible risk of minor injury when using this product. Revised instructions were subsequently issued to prevent such injury and the product design has been modified.”


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They were Sky Blazer brand XLT Flares. no longer works or exists because Orion Signals bought them out awhile ago…

So if you want new ones you have to get the ones made by Orion Signals here. “Orion Signals SkyBlazer XLT Aerial Flare”


So this Emergency Survival Tool that was 14 years old function tested perfect! They seem handy, so you might consider getting some for your emergency backs, kits, and cars today.


If you have a personal story about Flares or Pocket Flares for defense or survival please give your insight on the subject comment below!                              Trust but Verify.