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M2 Flare Gun question...


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#1 kfields

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 04:23 PM

I purchased the flaregun about 5 years ago locally. I work in Tipp (Tippecanoe City) City, Ohio and so I have an interest in items manufactured locally for the war effort. The box came from fellow member 'Championhilz who found it locally to him in Mississippi. We cut a deal and so I was able to mate the box to the pistol.
I was wondering if anyone can tell me more about this type flare gun and who might have used it. This is a heavy piece as it's made out of cast brass - no sheet metal frame on this one! It is also Army ordnance marked. The box is marked as shown and some of the smaller print says the company was a contractor to the government. The box is 6 3/4 inches x 8 1/4 inches which gives you an indication of the size of the pistol it contains.
So what situation or what type units would have used these?
Here's some pics and Thanks!

Kim

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  • MVC_077S.JPG
  • MVC_075S.JPG

Edited by Charlie Flick, 06 April 2011 - 06:23 PM.


#2 kfields

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 04:24 PM

xxxxxxxx

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  • MVC_079S.JPG


#3 Charlie Flick

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Posted 06 April 2011 - 06:22 PM

Hi Kim:

That is a nice example you have of the M2. I have one in similar condition in my own collection of signal pistols and projectors.

This pistol was intended for use by US Army Air Corps (later USAAF) personnel engaged in aerial flight. It was originally developed in the 1930s and was supplanted soon after the war started by the much cheaper and lighter weight AN-M8 Pyrotechnic Pistol. An interesting feature of the M2 is that the rather short "barrel" really only functions as the seat for the disposable barrel that is part of the signal cartridge itself. It used muzzle loaded, rimless cartridges such as the Flare, Aircraft, Parachute, M9 and other aircraft signals. The cost was originally about $25 per unit, not cheap at that time. The design was made so that the handle and trigger were oversized so as to be easily handled by a gloved hand.

The Tech Manual for the M2 is TM9-290 entitled "Pyrotechnic Projectors All Types." I have not checked all of my manuals and other research materials for further references but it shows up in the version of this TM published 1/18/43. According to the TM the pistol frame is actually made of bronze, not brass, although it looks like brass to me. In addition to the period manuals information on the M2 can be found in Robert Gaynor's "Flare Guns & Signal Pistols."

The only period photo I have ever seen of this M2 in use is one I have somewhere in my photo archives. It is an 8 x 10 publicity photo taken early in the war and shows an airman in full winter leather flying gear and a B-8 O2 mask inside of a large aircraft with a loaded M2 in his hand. I have forgotten now what the caption says but it was sort of along the lines of "Your Air Force is always ready", or some baloney like that.

They are a neat piece of almost forgotten signaling equipment history.

Regards,
Charlie Flick

#4 1944

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 04:41 AM

Thats a Really Nice looking M2 Bronz Flare Gun Pistol you have got along with its Original Box that it was Issued in
Its a Very Intresting Piece of Signaling Equipment you have got there, :thumbsup:

#5 kfields

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 10:05 AM

Thanks for the information Charlie. I've looked for some of these rimless cartridges at a 'fair' price. They seem to be tough to find.

Appreciate the comment '1944'.

Kim

#6 1944

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Posted 07 April 2011 - 10:15 AM

Appreciate the comment '1944'.

Kim


Your Welcome Kim my friend :thumbsup:
It sure is a Rare M2 Flare Pistol to have its a Nice one .

#7 robinb

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 07:08 PM

Here's a variety of flares, and how they look when loaded into the pistol. The color bands stick out of the barrel when it's loaded.
f1.JPG
f2.JPG

#8 kfields

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Posted 10 April 2011 - 02:57 AM

Thanks for the pic Robin.

Now I know visually what I'm looking for for sure.

Kim


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