Condor SS-603 Hand-Held Signal Star

     Origin: Brazil

     Notes: This is a fairly-typical sort of pyrotechnic signaling device, which is a simple tube with a propelling charge that fires a star-type signal.  The SS-603 comes in white, green, or red, with the tube being the same color as the star cluster.  The user removes the lower end cap, which reveals a cord.  At this point, you will want to be holding the SS-603 over your head, because once the cord is forcefully pulled, the star cluster fires immediately.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Condor SS-603

33x207mm

0.14 kg

7

(B1/4K)

90

$23

 

Condor SS-604 Hand-Held Signal Flare

     Origin: Brazil

     Notes: Unlike the SS-603 above, this is a flare and not a star.  It is designed for downed airmen or other surface or ground troops to signal aircraft, and does launch into the air; in a way it is sort of a professional version of a Roman Candle.  The SS-604 produces an intense red flare light, and sparks can be shed that can ignite dry tinder in the immediate area.  Actuation of the SS-604 is otherwise identical to the SS-603 above. 

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Condor SS-604

44x242mm

0.58 kg

60

(B24/8K)

Nil

$19

 

Condor SS-605 Day/Night Signal Device

     Origin: Brazil

     Notes: The SS-605 is actually two devices in one, held together with red tape – a night signal firing a high-intensity red flare, and a day device which is essentially an orange smoke grenade.  They are not meant to be used while still attached to each other (and in fact, the design prevents this), but the unused half of the SS-605 can be kept for later use. Each part of the unit is set off by removing an end-cap and pulling a cord forcefully.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Condor SS-605 Flare

44x126mm

0.27 kg

25

(B24/4K)

125

$15

Condor SS-605 Smoke

44x116mm

0.24 kg

25

C0  B8

Nil

$7

 

Condor SS-606 Hand-Held Parachute Flare

     Origin: Brazil

     Notes: The SS-606 is a large-tube parachute flare with a very bright light and a parachute to slow its fall back to earth by a factor of about 5.  Like most Condor signaling devices, it comes in the form of a plastic tube, and is actuated by the removal of an end-cap and a firm pull on an igniter cord.  The SS-606, however, is known for the kick produced by its strong propelling charge; therefore, the ignition has a 2-second delay to allow the user to get a firm hold on the tube before the propelling charge ignites.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Condor SS-606

44x325mm

0.49 kg

40

(B24/15K)

300

$39

 

Condor SS-607 Hand-Held Five-Star Rocket

     Origin: Brazil

     Notes: Unlike most of Condor’s signaling devices, the SS-607 is contained within a tube of thin aluminum.  This is due to the power of the launching charge, and because instead of a single star, it launches a star cluster consisting of five stars instead of one.  The stars may be red, green or white, and when the cluster detonates, it busts in a star pattern so that each star goes in a different direction.  At one end of the SS-607 is a plastic end-cap, which is removed to reveal a cord that is pulled firmly to launch the star cluster.  There is an ignition delay of 2 seconds, due to the kick and temperature of the propelling charge.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Condor SS-607

44x329mm

0.51kg

5

(B6/3K)

300

$42

 

Condor SS-608 40mm Signaling Cartridge

     Origin: Brazil

     Notes: Not a self-firing device, the SS-608 is a cartridge for use in any 37mm, 38mm, or 40mm flare or signaling gun, and is the sort of cartridge that might be issued to pilots if they happen to get shot down.  The SS-608 fires a short-burn time flare to minimize the downed pilot’s exposure, or to minimize the time of compromise of ground troops.  SS-608 cartridges may be green, red, or white.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Condor SS-608

43x96mm

0.14 kg

6

(B1/8K)

80

$12

 

V-81 Signal Cartridge

     Origin: Bulgaria

     Notes: The V-81 is a signal star cartridge for use in 26.5mm signal flare pistols.  They have cardboard tubes of the color of the star(s) and metal rimmed bases.  The V-81 comes in white, green or red, and one, two, of three-star versions.  The V-81 is offered for export worldwide.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

V-81 (One Star)

26.5x79mm

0.1 kg

10

(B1/3K)

90

$4

V-81 (Two Stars)

26.5x79mm

0.12 kg

10

(B1/3K)

90

$5

V-81 (Three Stars)

26.5x79mm

0.14 kg

10

(B1/3K)

90

$6

 

V-83 Signal Rocket

     Origin: Bulgaria

     Notes: This is a hand-held signal device that launches a single star shell of a 2- or 3-star cluster.  The body of the cartridge is cardboard, but the bottom end is sheathed in thin aluminum to protect the user’s hand.  V-83s are available with one, two, or three stars, all of which are the same color.  That color may be white, green, or red.  A rocket-assisted version of the V-83 is also available, but this version comes only in white-star versions.  Launching is actuated using a striker cap – the end of the rocket is slammed against a hard surface, with no delay between hitting the bottom of the cartridge and launching of the star.  The rocket-assisted V-83 is actuated using a pull cord and has a delay of 2 seconds.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

V-83 (One Star)

30x226mm

0.16 kg

9

(B1/3K)

110

$14

V-83 (Two Stars)

30x226mm

0.18 kg

9

(B1/3K)

110

$17

V-83 (Three Stars)

30x226mm

0.2 kg

9

(B1/3K)

110

$21

V-83 (Rocket-Assisted, One Star)

30x226mm

0.24 kg

9

(B1/5K)

150

$20

V-83 (Rocket-Assisted, Two Stars)

30x226mm

0.26 kg

9

(B1/5K)

150

$24

V-83 (Rocket-Assisted, Three Stars)

30x226mm

0.28 kg

9

(B1/5K)

150

$30

 

CXT-87 Chemical Attack Warning Rocket

     Origin: Bulgaria

     Notes: Though designed specifically to provide warning of chemical attack, the CXT-87 could be used for general signaling purposes as well.  The rocket, like many such Bulgarian devices, is contained in a cardboard tube with a length of the bottom of the tube sheathed in light aluminum to protect the user’s hand.  The CXT-87 can be ignited by a pull cord after removing an end cap, or ignited electrically after installation on a vehicle.  Once fired, the rocket emits a bright yellow light and a loud hissing noise until it burns out.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

CXT-87

40x264mm

0.45 kg

30

(B12/8K)

400

$28

 

NORINCO Type 57 Signal Pistol

     Origin: China

     Notes: Like most flare guns, the Type 57 is a single-shot, break-open pistol designed specifically for launching flares or star signaling devices.  The Type 57 is a very simple pistol consisting of only 30 parts, most of which are in the trigger mechanism.  The hammer is single-action and must be cocked before the Type 57 can be fired.  The Type 57 is based on the Russian SPSh-2 signal pistol, and is rugged and easy to maintain.

Device

Caliber

ROF

Weight

Bulk

SS

Price

Type 57

26.65mm

SS

0.9 kg

1

2

$238

 

NORINCO 27mm Signal Cartridge

     Origin: China

     Notes: Useable in both 26.5mm and 27mm flare guns, this cartridge launches a bright flare which may be red, green, white, or yellow.  The cartridge is contained in a plastic case with a brass endcap.  The burn time is short, but during this time these cartridges are visible from a long distance due to their intensity.  Unfortunately, this is mitigated somewhat by the low altitude at which they detonate.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

NORINCO 27mm

26.65x79mm

0.06 kg

7

B4/13K

90

$8

 

NORINCO 11mm Pyrotechnic Pistol

     Origin: China

     Notes: Not a conventional pistol in design, the 11mm Pyrotechnic Pistol is a single-shot device that looks more like a pen gun-type weapon than anything else.  It is designed to be a compact signaling device for downed airmen and for survival packs used by crews whose ships have sunk.  The cartridges are 22mm long, and are screwed into the top end of the device.  A knob is then pulled back to cock it, with the knob’s extension dropping into a detent.  It is striker fired, and the user simply pushes the firing knob out of its detent.  It is a short-range device firing a small flare, just enough to get the attention of someone close by.

Device

ROF

Weight

Bulk

SS

Price

11mm Pyrotechnic Pistol

SS

0.06 kg

0

1

$118

 

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

11mm Pyrotechnic Cartridge

11x22mm

0.01 kg

4

B1/2K

30

$1

 

Maadi Abu Redis Signal Pistol

     Origin: Egypt

     Notes: This is another sign gun that is based on the ubiquitous Russian SPSh-2 signal pistol.  As such, it is a break-open device which is very robust in construction, simple to maintain, and easy to use.  Unlike most such pistols, the Abu Redis has no trigger guard, or a conventional trigger; instead, a trigger bar is set against the pistol grip.  The pistol grip is rather elongated and has a lanyard loop on the butt.  The hammer is single-action and must be cocked before firing the Abu Redis.

Device

Caliber

ROF

Weight

Bulk

SS

Price

Abu Redis

26.5mm

SS

0.92 kg

1

2

$250

 

Lacroix Type 252 Day/Night Distress Signal

     Origin: France

     Notes: Though the Type 252 is a signal device, it not designed to be launched into the air – it is to be held up and used to signal from the ground.  The Type 252 is a small device with a percussion igniter at each end, so it must be hit against a solid object to actuate.  It can be held in the hand once ignited, since it does not produce enough heat to burn the user.  One end of the Type 252 produces thick orange smoke for daytime use, and the other end produces a red flame for night use.  The night end is very bright and can be seen a surprising distance away.  Once one end is used, the Type 252 must be discarded, as the other end becomes unusable.  The Type 252 is watertight, and the night side can be used underwater down to a depth of 70 meters.  Note that the both the prices below are for the complete device; one does not double the prices to obtain the full price for the Type 252; likewise, do not double the weight figures to arrive at the weight of the entire Type 252, or the size for the final size of the Type 252.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Type 252 (Day)

38x126mm

0.14 kg

30

C0  B12

Nil

$24

Type 252 (Night)

38x126mm

0.14 kg

15

B6/12K

Nil

$24

 

Lacroix Mle F-1 Hand Signaling Device

     Origin: France

     Notes: The Mle F-1 consists of a family of signaling devices, all within almost identical containers.  The containers are not only marked with their type – the markings are embossed, allowing identification of the type of Mle F-1 by touch (for those familiar with the markings).  The all come in plastic tubes with plastic endcaps; when these are removed, they reveal a cord which is a pull-friction device, actuated by a firm pull.  They all fire after a 3-second delay.

     There are basically two sorts of Mle F-1 devices – standard star signals and parachute star signals.  Each use single stars.  The stars may be white, green or red.  Burnout is roughly twice as long for parachute stars as for standard stars.  The containers of the parachute stars are much longer than the standard stars.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Mle F-1 (Standard)

28.5x146mm

0.09 kg

7

B1/3K

90

$8

Mle F-1 (Parachute)

28.5x273mm

0.16 kg

15

B1/5K

90

$15

 

Lacroix Type 328 Distress Signal Kit

     Origin: France

     Notes: The Type 328 is a kit of small flare devices contained in a waterproof resealable plastic bag.  The Type 328 kit consists of four F-428 red flares, two Type 328 radar-reflecting red flares, and a snap-together launcher and grip.  Designed primarily as rescue aids, they are quite bright and the radar-reflective flares are visible on radar from a good distance away.  The Type 328 radar-reflective flares are interesting in that, in addition to deploying a bright red flare, they also release a cloud of chaff to help friendly radar-equipped aircraft to find those who need to be rescued.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

F-428 Flare

20x70mm

0.06 kg

5

B1/6K

150

$2

Type 328 Radar Reflecting Flare

20x70mm

0.09 kg

5/10

B4/6K/13K

150

$6

Total Kit

20x70x300mm

0.52 kg

N/A

N/A

N/A

$109

 

Device

Caliber

ROF

Weight

Bulk

SS

Price

Type 328 Grip-Launcher

20mm

SS

0.1 kg

0

1

$89

 

Lacroix Type 428 Distress Signal Kit

     Origin: France

     Notes: This is a simple package of six small red flares and a hand launcher, contained in a waterproof plastic resealable bag.  The kit is quite small and easily carried by persons who have little room for gear, like pilots or special operations personnel.  Though the flares are not bright (about 5000 candlepower), the rocket booster fires the flare to almost half a kilometer.  The launcher itself consists of a tube; most of it is a handle for the user; the flare clips into the well as the end of the launcher, and the flares are short metal tubes with rounded ends.  Inside the kit, the flares clip into a plastic holder, with the flare holder, launcher, and plastic bag held together by a dummy cord.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Type 428 Flare

15x70mm

0.02 kg

11

B1/4K

400

$1

Total Kit

15x70x140mm

0.25 kg

N/A

N/A

N/A

$40

 

Device

Caliber

ROF

Weight

Bulk

SS

Price

Type 428 Grip Launcher

15mm

SS

0.12 kg

0

0

$38

 

Lacroix 40mm Signal Cartridges

     Origin: France

     Notes: Despite the caliber, these cartridges are designed for 40mm signal pistols and not for grenade launchers.  The signal stars come (in order of brightness) in green, red, or white.  Though the burn time is short, this is enough for the star to ignite while the shell is still traveling upwards and not burn out until it is about 15 meters above the ground, assuming the cartridge is fired straight up.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Lacroix 40mm (Green)

40x100mm

0.13 kg

7

B3/10K

100

$11

Lacroix 40mm (Red)

40x100mm

0.13 kg

7

B3/15K

100

$13

Lacroix 40mm (White)

40x100mm

0.13 kg

7

B4/27K

100

$18

 

Lacroix ASATOX Chemical Attack Warning Device

     Origin: France

     Notes: The ASATOX is a hand-held rocket in a tube of thin aluminum with a twist-grip at the end to ignite the rocket (one twists the grip and pulls it sharply).  The ASATOX is specifically meant to alert nearby units of chemical attack, but can be used for other signaling purposes.  The rocket ignites after a 1.5-second delay; as the rocket flies into the air, it ejects several white star signals and emits a loud whistle (139 decibels).  All stars deploy within 5 seconds after launch.  To work properly, the ASATOX must be pointed vertically upwards or at the near-vertical.  It should be noted that there are three burst radii listed below instead of the normal two; the third is the audible radius of the whistle, assuming there are no other interfering loud noises.  There are also two burn times; the second is the duration of the whistle.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

ASATOX

47.5x347mm

0.69 kg

20/10

B5/12K/500

200

$52

 

Lacroix Type F-2 Short-Range Illumination Rocket

     Origin: France

     Notes: This is technically not a signaling device, as it is designed to produce battlefield illumination rather than for signals use.  It is a tube similar in appearance to the ASATOX above, and it is actuated in the same fashion – by turning the handgrip at the rear and then pulling it downward sharply.  The rocket fires, then deploys a high-intensity parachute flare.  There is no launch delay because the F-2 uses a soft-launch device and the flare does not eject until the rocket has reached 140 meters.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Lacroix F-2

40x323mm

0.58 kg

25

B300/76K

140

$69

 

Heckler & Koch P-2A1 Signal Pistol

     Origin: Germany

     Notes: The P-2A1 is a standard break-open-type signal pistol which can also fire certain riot control cartridges.  The unit is very simple, with a single barrel and a pistol grip/trigger unit.  Safeties ensure that the hammer cannot fall with the P-2A1 broken open, nor can a cartridge fire with the P-2A1 in that state.  When the weapon is broken open, any cartridge in the chamber (whether spent of not) is partially ejected, allowing the user to pull the cartridge or case out of the pistol.  The hammer of the P-2A1 must be manually cocked before the pistol will fire, but there are no other safeties that function while the breech is closed.  Maintenance is simple, as is operation.

Device

Caliber

ROF

Weight

Bulk

SS

Price

P-2A1

26.5mm

SS

0.52 kg

1

4

$182

 

Heckler & Koch Emergency Flare Kit

     Origin: Germany

     Notes: This device is sort of handle/trigger unit without a barrel, magazine-fed and loaded with 19mm DM-13 signal cartridges.  The firing unit has simple selector switch for safe and fire.  The device has an effective fire rate in Twilight 2000 v2.2 of “BA,” as before each shot the firing unit must be switched from fire to safe and back again to cock the weapon.  The unit is compact and easy to place in survival kits.

     The DM-13 stars and their 5-round magazine are likewise quite compact.  The DM-13 stars are usually red, but may also be had in white, green, or yellow.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

DM-13 Star

19x37mm

0.4 kg

5

B1/3K

65

$1

 

Device

Caliber

ROF

Weight

Bulk

SS

Price

Launcher Unit

19mm

BA

0.23 kg

0

1

$54

 

Nicosignal Flare Kit

     Origin: Germany

     Notes: This is an interesting device – a simple grip loaded with six cartridges, which fires semiautomatically by means of a trigger bar on the side.  The grip also has a selector switch allowing for safe and fire options.  The flares may be red, green or white, and are loaded onto the grip as a cylindrical magazine atop the device.  The Nicosignal also has a dummy cord to prevent its loss.  Cartridges come in the cylindrical magazines only and cannot be loaded separately.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Nicosignal Flares

(Flare) 16x45mm; (Magazine) 50x45mm

0.09 kg

6

B2/8K

80

(Magazine) $6

 

Device

Caliber

ROF

Weight

Bulk

SS

Price

Nicosignal Launcher

16mm

SA

0.23 kg

0

0

$33

 

Comet Signal Cartridge

     Origin: Germany

     Notes: Designed for 26.5mm or 27mm signal pistols, Comet Signal Cartridges deliver a flare, a smoke signal (the same color as the flare), and a loud bang when they detonate.  They are therefore effective at day, night, and in places where potential rescuers cannot see the sky or are not looking in the right direction.  This also means that their visibility radius is not reduced during daylight hours as are flares and star signals.  They are contained in aluminum casings and can be identified by their markings or by touch, as they have notches on the rim specific to the color and type of Comet cartridge.  Comet cartridges (of any type) are very common in the West and elsewhere, and have also enjoyed wide sales to civilians.  Comet Signal Cartridges may have red, white, green, or yellow flares and smoke.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Comet Signal Cartridge

26.5x80mm

0.06 kg

8

B8/19K (Flare)  C0  B8 (Smoke)

120

$8

 

Comet Parachute Signal Cartridge

     Origin: Germany

     Notes: Comet Parachute Signal Cartridges fire a flare suspended on a parachute, and are usable as signals or for battlefield illumination.  They are quite long and will come close to filling the barrel most 26.5mm or 27mm signal pistols.  Two versions are available; the standard type uses an ordinary rocket motor which will leave a smoke trail, and a smokeless propellant type which will not leave a smoke trail, thus protecting the shooter from having his position traced back to source by following that smoke trail.  The flares may be red or white.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Comet Parachute Signal Cartridge

26.5x170mm

0.12 kg

30

B16/61K

300

$11

 

Comet Smoke Signal Cartridge

     Origin: Germany

     Notes: This signal cartridge emits thick smoke (either purple or orange, though Comet will make it in other colors upon request) which burning when it reaches the vertex of its flight and then continues to emit smoke for the duration of its burn time.  Like the Parachute Signal Cartridge, the Smoke Signal Cartridge is quite long and almost fills the barrel of the typical 26.5mm or 27mm signal pistol.  Though the Smoke Signal Cartridge is designed primarily to test wind conditions for incoming helicopters and aircraft, it can also be used for general signaling as well as to mark targets for air or artillery strikes.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Comet Smoke Signal Cartridge

26.5x148mm

0.09 kg

7

C0  B8

120

$7

 

Comet Color Signal Rocket

     Origin: Germany

     Notes: This is a hand-held tube that fires a rocket after the user removes the endcap and pulls the cord that is attached to the end of the rocket.  The device ejects a parachute-suspended flare or a standard flare cluster.  They are designed for signaling, but can also be used for battlefield illumination.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Comet Color Signal Rocket (Red, Parachute)

45x270mm

0.44 kg

40

B8/30K

300

$38

Comet Color Signal Rocket (Green, Parachute)

45x270mm

0.44 kg

30

B16/61K

300

$76

Comet Color Signal Rocket (Red, Cluster)

45x270mm

0.44 kg

40

B12/45K

300

$57

Comet Color Signal Rocket (Green, Cluster)

45x270mm

0.44 kg

30

B24/91K

300

$114

 

Comet White Parachute Signal Rocket

     Origin: Germany

     Notes: These hand-held devices are meant primarily for battlefield illumination, but are also useful as signaling devices.  They are contained in aluminum tubes with plastic endcaps.  There are three types: The Type 1234 and 1236 are for the most part the same design, but differ in caliber.  The Type 1260 is a more powerful version of the Type 1234.  The Type 1234 and 1236 are actuated by removing the plastic base, then giving the looped wire underneath a sharp pull.  The more powerful Type 1260

has a much larger plastic endcap; actuation requires the user to pull a safety pin, then twist the endcap sharply.  All three use smokeless propellants for their rockets and there is no smoke trail to trace back to the user.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Type 1234

45x270mm

0.44 kg

30

B35/13K

300

$36

Type 1236

33x295mm

0.3 kg

30

B10/8K

300

$22

Type 1260

45x300mm

0.55 kg

30

B45/17K

500

$40

 

Comet Type 1315 Day/Night Signal

     Origin: Germany

     Notes: The Type 1315 is designed for use by night or day; it is a hand-held device that is not launched, but simply held in the hand.  The Type 1315 uses a white plastic tube with a brown endcap at one end and a red endcap at the other.  When the user removes the brown cap and pulls the igniting wire, a cloud of orange smoke is produced.  When the red endcap is pulled and the igniting wire pulled, a red flare is produced.  The Type 1315 is watertight to 30 meters, and up to this depth the flare may still be used.  Both ends may be used, as different times as necessary; using one end does not affect the use of the other end.  The price, weight and size listed below are for a complete unit on both lines of the table; do not add the two sizes, weights or costs together.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Type 1315 (Smoke)

30x190mm

0.17 kg

20

C0  B10

Nil

$17

Type 1315 (Flare)

30x190mm

0.17 kg

20

B30/11K

Nil

$17

 

Comet Type 1219 Signal Pistol

     Origin: Germany

     Notes: The Type 1219 is a common, ordinary type of signal pistol, robustly built of steel with plastic grip plates.  However, the hammer is not required to be cocked before a shot; instead, the Type 1219 has a safety switch.  Like most such pistols, it is loaded and unloaded by a break-open barrel.

Device

Caliber

ROF

Weight

Bulk

SS

Price

Type 1219

26.5mm

SS

1 kg

1

2

$150

 

IOF 16mm Signal Cartridges

     Origin: India

     Notes: These cartridges are small flares fired from a pen-gun-type device.  The cartridges are screwed into the end of the launcher and readied for firing by cocking a spring-loaded knob, with firing done by pushing a switch just below the front end of the launcher.  Flares may be red, green or white, and are short-range and have a short burn time.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

IOF 16mm Flare

16x40mm

0.06 kg

4

B1/5K

60

$1

 

Device

Caliber

ROF

Weight

Bulk

SS

Price

IOF 16mm Launcher

16mm

SS

0.13 kg

0

0

$41

 

IOF 38mm Signal Cartridges

     Origin: India

     Notes: Designed for 38mm signal pistols and grenade launchers, these are short-range flare rounds with a relatively short burn time.  The cartridges are light in weight and are contained in cardboard tubes with an aluminum base.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

IOF 38mm Flare

38x133mm

0.08 kg

8

B3/12K

90

$13

 

Pindad 25.4mm Illuminating Cartridge

     Origin: Indonesia

     Notes: Designed for 25.4mm (1-inch) signal pistols, these cartridges will not work with their larger 26.5mm or 27mm cousins, despite the fact that the complete cartridge has a diameter of 27.2mm. The Pindad cartridges use aluminum casings with older-type Berdan primers, and instead of modern propellants use blackpowder to propel their flares.  These cartridges fire red, white or green flares.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Pindad 25.4mm Flare

25.4x57mm

0.05 kg

4

B2/3K

60

$2

 

DIO Hoshdar Multipurpose Pistol

     Origin: Iran

     Notes: These two signal pistols, the Hoshdar 1 and 2, are essentially identical in form and function except for their caliber and the resulting size.  Both are described by the manufacturer as “multipurpose pistols,” as they are able to fire riot-control munitions as well as signal cartridges.  Like most such pistols, the Hoshdar is a break-open pistol, but has a rather large securing latch atop the device to ensure the breech stays shut.  The Hoshdar has a rather short and narrow pistol grip and a trigger with a trigger safety that ensures that the trigger must be fully pulled to the rear of the trigger guard before it will fire.

Device

Caliber

ROF

Weight

Bulk

SS

Price

Hoshdar 1

26.5mm

SS

0.81 kg

1

2

$194

Hoshdar 2

38mm

SS

0.95 kg

2

3

$294

 

Bernardelli PS-023 Signal Pistol

     Origin: Italy

     Notes: Sort of a rare caliber for a signal pistol, the PS-023 can fire any sort of 37mm pyrotechnic cartridge, including certain types of smoke rounds designed for larger grenade launchers used for riot-control purposes.  The PS-023 is a simple device which breaks open for loading and unloading.  Atop the device are prominent metal latches, one of which is used to latch the breech, and the other which is pulled to unlatch the breech.  Other than the rather short barrel, it is a conventional sort of signal pistol.

Device

Caliber

ROF

Weight

Bulk

SS

Price

PS-023

37mm

SS

1 kg

1

3

$224

 

SIMAD Signal Cartridges

     Origin: Italy

     Notes: These are two essentially similar shells, separated only by their caliber. They are star shells designed specifically for signaling.  Each shell has a pair of star signals in an aluminum case sealed with a weatherproof disk at the bottom of the shell.  Identification of color and type is possible with markings by day and indentations which can be felt at night.  The SIMAD Cartridges come in white, red, green, and yellow.  Though designed specifically for a US Navy contract for use with their standard Mod 8 Signal Pistol, the 1.57-inch star shells can be used by any 40mm signal pistol; likewise, the 1-inch shells are designed specifically for the ubiquitous Very Pistol, but can be fired from any 26.5 or 27mm signal pistol.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

SIMAD 1.57” Star

39.5x97.5mm

0.08 kg

7

B2/10K

80

$11

SIMAD 1” Star

27x66.7mm

0.05 kg

5

B1/6K

80

$3

 

SIMA MGP-S2 Convertible Signal Pistol

     Origin: Peru

     Notes: Is it a signal pistol, or a survival pistol?  Well, it’s both, really.  The MGP-S2 appears to be a small but conventional signal pistol at first, but it has an unusual wrinkle – if one breaks open the barrel and then inserts a special drop-in barrel, it can also fire .38 Special revolver ammunition, converting it to a short-range survival pistol.  The standard signal cartridge for the MGP-S2 is a small, 12-gauge flare (it cannot fire conventional 12-gauge ammunition).  The drop-in barrel is simply inserted into the breech of the signal barrel, then an endcap is screwed onto the muzzle to lock the barrel in place.  In either case, the MGP-S2 automatically ejects the spent casing once the breech is opened again.  The barrel is locked shut during firing with a device derived from the Webley stirrup lock, after which the hammer must be cocked manually.

Device

Caliber

ROF

Weight

Bulk

SS

Price

MGP-S2

12 Gauge (Flare); .38 Special (Pistol Barrel)

SS

0.59 kg + 0.2 kg Pistol Barrel

1

3

$147

 

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

MGP-S2 Flare

18.59x33mm

0.03 kg

3

B1/4K

50

$1

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

MGP-S2 (.38)

SS

2

Nil

1

5

Nil

11

 

SPSh-2

     Origin: Russia

     Notes: The SPSh-2 is a much-simplified (mostly for manufacturing purposes) version of the older LP-1, which is itself a close copy of a World War 2 Walther signal pistol.  Most Eastern-Bloc signal pistols are also, to a greater or lesser degree, based on the SPSh-2.  The SPSh-2 built primarily of steel stampings, and is a standard sort of break-open signal pistol.  It is capable of firing both Eastern and Western 26.5mm and 27mm cartridges.  The SPSh-2 has no trigger guard, only a trigger bar, but the device cannot be fired until the hammer is cocked and a safety switched is moved to the fire position.  Until then, the trigger is recessed into the pistol grip and cannot be pulled.  The hammer must be cocked and the trigger switched to fire before the barrel can be loaded, as the barrel release is at the bottom of the trigger bar – but the breech cannot be locked again until the hammer is forward again and the device set to safe again.  Simpler for production, but more cumbersome in use.  The SPSh-2 is no longer in production, but it was produced and exported in such large numbers, both to military and civilians, and it can still be found almost anywhere.

Device

Caliber

ROF

Weight

Bulk

SS

Price

SPSh-2

26.65mm

SS

0.9 kg

1

2

$238

 

PG-431 Illuminating Rocket

    Origin: Russia

    Notes: This is similar to other such devices made by other countries, but much more powerful.  The kick from this device is so great that Russian doctrine calls for the user to hold the PG-431 against the barrel with the end of the PG-431 braced against the handguard, set the butt in the ground, then launch it as a 45-degree angle instead of straight up.  (It can be fired straight up or by hand, however.)  The PG-431 deploys a flare that is said to be almost blinding if you look at it.  Contained in a thin steel tube, the PG-431 is actuated by unscrewing the base, then pulling a lanyard with a pull-ring on it.  A variant of the PG-431 is designed to warn of NBC attack; it fires a bright red star instead, and emits a piercing whistle for 9 seconds.

      Two other variations of the PG-431 also exist: a 40mm model with a longer flare-burn time, and a 50mm version with a two-stage rocket to greatly boost the flare’s maximum altitude.  These two do not have NBC alarm versions.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

PG-431 Flare

30x225mm

0.19 kg

9

B19/29K

450

$27

PG-431 NBC Alarm

30x225mm

0.19 kg

9

B5/7K/1K

450

$20

PG-431 Flare

40x225mm

0.25 kg

20

B12/19K

300

$32

PG-431 Flare

50x300mm

0.31 kg

30

B19/29K

1200

$99

 

CPI 1.5-Inch (38mm) Signal Cartridges

     Origin: Singapore

     Notes: Designed for use in most standard 38mm and 40mm signal pistols, these CPI Cartridges are star-signal shells (except for one) that use a brass case visible at a good distance.  The red, green, and white cartridges are single signal stars, while the yellow cartridge is a flare.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

CPI 1.5” Star Shell

39.7x100mm

0.09 kg

8

B2/11K

120

$10

CPI 1.5” Flare

39.7x100mm

0.09 kg

8

B4/22K

120

$10

 

Swartklip 37mm Cartridges

     Origin: South Africa

     Notes: These are standard sorts of flare and star signal shells designed for firing from 37mm and 38mm signal pistols.  The different types of cartridges can identified both by markings and by markings on the base.  Star signals come in red, green, and yellow; the flare shell is a white illuminating flare.  Cases are cardboard with brass end caps.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Swartklip 37mm Star Shell

38.7x97mm

0.12 kg

6

B2/10K

100

$10

Swartklip 37mm Flare

38.7x97mm

0.12 kg

6

B4/20K

100

$10

 

Swartklip 15mm Signal Cartridges

     Origin: South Africa

     Notes: These small flares are designed for the type of launcher often called a “pencil launcher;” in other words, a pen-gun-type launcher which is small and simple in operation.  To use this device, one screws a flare cartridge onto the 15mm end of launcher (the flares are actually wider), cocks the launcher by pulling back the operating knob and locking it, and then pushing an injector-type of disc at the back end of the launcher to release the spring-loaded firing pin.  The flares for the Swartklip launcher come in red, green, and white, and have both visual markings and tactile markings on the cartridge for identification.  For the most part, construction is of plastic, except for two parts in the launcher and certain elements in the flares.

Device

Caliber

ROF

Weight

Bulk

SS

Price

Swartklip 15mm Signal Launcher

15mm

SS

0.12 kg

0

0

$38

 

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Swartklip 15mm Flare

24x40mm

0.1 kg

6

B2/8K

100

$2

 

Swartklip Hand Rocket Flare

     Origin: South Africa

     Notes: This rocket-powered flare is designed primarily for battlefield illumination, but can also be used for signaling.  Unlike most such hand-fired flares, the Swartklip Hand Rocket Flare is spin-stabilized to ensure a stable trajectory; this also allows for the use of a smaller rocket motor.  The flare is easy to operate; one simply removes the end cap and a safety pin inside the cap, and a small trigger springs open on the side.  When the trigger is pressed, the flare is fired with no delay.  The high-intensity flare is parachute-suspended and has a relatively long burn time.  (A training version is also available; this operates in the same manner, but fires a reduced-charge inert cartridge.)

     The Swartklip Hand Rocket Signal Flare is similar in form, but the opposite in intent – they are designed primarily for signaling with a secondary use as battlefield illumination.  Operation is the same, and the rockets are spin-stabilized.  Two versions of the Hand Rocket Signal Flare – the PARA, which is parachute suspended, and the STAR, which is not.  The PARA comes in Red, green, yellow, and illumination (white).  The STAR does not have an white version.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Swartklip Hand Rocket Flare

48x267mm

0.35 kg

35

B50/76K

200

$82

Swartklip PARA (Red)

48x267mm

0.27 kg

35

B15/23K

250

$53

Swartklip PARA (Green)

48x267mm

0.27 kg

35

B7/11K

250

$27

Swartklip PARA (Yellow)

48x267mm

0.27 kg

35

B20/30K

250

$77

Swartklip STAR (Red)

48x267mm

0.27 kg

10

B100/152K

250

$164

Swartklip STAR (Green)

48x267mm

0.27 kg

10

B35/53K

250

$57

Swartklip STAR (Yellow)

48x267mm

0.27 kg

10

B108/163K

250

$177

 

EXPAL Red Parachute Flare

     Origin: Spain

     Notes: This hand-launched rocket-boosted flare is designed primarily for signaling, and is suspended on a parachute along with having a very long burn time.  The rocket is gyroscopically stabilized, leading to a very accurate flight path.  If the user is in the water, he can actuate the device and then throw it into the water, and the flare will right itself, float, and fire.  The EXPAL red parachute flare has a launch delay of 2 seconds.  The device’s tube is plastic as is the end cap; one removes the end cap, then pulls a cord at the bottom of the device to actuate it.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

EXPAL Red Parachute Flare

45x245mm

0.42 kg

45

B12/19K

200

$49

 

EXPAL Red Hand Flare

     Origin: Spain

     Notes: This is a compact red flare projector, designed primarily for signaling.  It is a compact plastic cylinder with an end cap, also of plastic.  To actuate the flare, the end cap is removed, reversed and screwed back into the device (forming a hand hold), then the ignition ring is pulled.  The EXPAL Red Hand Flare does not have any launching device; it is simply held in the hand.  One should not simply throw it onto the ground if there is any dry materials around, as a fire will start almost immediately.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

EXPAL Red Hand Flare

35x122mm

0.11 kg

45

B6/7K

N/A

$10

 

Helios Illumination Rocket

     Origin: Sweden

     Notes: This hand-fired rocket is designed primarily for battlefield illumination, and is very bright and intense.  The flare is suspended on a parachute and has a long burn time.  The Helios is contained inside a metal tube, and is fired by removing the end cap, bulling a safety ring, and then pushing the trigger lever.

     The Horizon is similar in concept and design, but is longer and more powerful, with a brighter flare.  Internal construction is also somewhat different due to the more powerful booster rocket.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Helios

45x270mm

0.55 kg

30

B20/289K

170

$72

Horizon

45x400mm

0.75 kg

30

B25/342K

250

$107

 

Pains-Wessex Hand-Held Illumination Rocket

     Origin: UK

     Notes: Also produced under license by SME Ordnance of Malaysia, this rocket is designed primarily for battlefield illumination or search area illumination.  These rockets are in common use by the British, US, and many countries worldwide, both by military and civilians.  The rocket and payload are contained in a waterproof cardboard sleeve, and actuated by removal of the top and bottom caps and a safety pin.  When the bottom cap is removed, a trigger lever is revealed, and a simple press fires the rocket.  There is no delay.  The resulting flare is suspended on a parachute.

     The Radasound and Radaflare rockets are similar in form and function, but the Radasound deploys five small packages of chaff instead of a flare.  The Radaflare deploys four small packages of chaff and one red star signal.  They can be used to indicate location to friendly radars, decoy enemy radars, and radar testing and calibration.  The Burn Time indicates the time in minutes that the chaff will be visible on a typical radar; for the Radaflare, the first number is the star signal burnout (in seconds, as is normal) and the second the chaff visibility.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Pains-Wessex Illumination Rocket

48x267mm

0.35 kg

30

B40/61K

300

$41

Pains-Wessex Radasound

48x268mm

0.35 kg

19

B0/10K

300

$41

Pains-Wessex Radaflare

48x268mm

0.39 kg

11/15

Star: B3/11K;

Chaff: B0/8K

300

$62

 

Pains-Wessex Day/Night Distress Signal

     Origin: UK

     Notes: Not designed to be launched, this consists of a orange smoke dispenser for day use, and a red flare for night use.  The device is contained in a plastic tube, with raised ribs identifying the flare end for identification in darkness.  The signal is waterproof and floats until opened.  One simply unscrews the appropriate end and pulls the ignition cord.  The flare will light underwater if necessary.  Both ends may be used, whether or not one end has already been used.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Pains-Wessex Day/Night

42.5x139mm

0.23 kg

18/20

Smoke: C0  B4/3K; Flare B3/4K

N/A

$33

 

Manroy Signal Pistols

     Origin: UK

     Notes: The Manroy Signal Pistol is built similar to the Very-type pistol, and is a standard sort of break-open device requiring the hammer to be cocked for the pistol to fire.  Construction is generally of steel with plastic grip plates, and is otherwise of standard construction for such a device.  The Manroy Signal Pistol comes in a 25mm version, generally used by civilians, and a 26.5mm version, generally used by the military.

Device

Caliber

ROF

Weight

Bulk

SS

Price

Manroy Signal Pistol

25mm

SS

0.82 kg

1

2

$207

Manroy Signal Pistol

26.5mm

SS

0.87 kg

1

2

$218

 

Pains-Wessex 38mm Signaling System

     Origin: UK

     Notes: Not as complicated as it sounds, this is simply a signal pistol along with flares designed specifically for (but not restricted to) the same pistol.  In addition, the Pains-Wessex 28mm Signal Pistol can fire any 37mm or 38mm signal cartridge.  Construction is mostly of lightweight phosphated steel, with plastic grip plates.  Under the pistol grip is a lanyard loop.  Operation is similar to most such pistols – break it open and cock the hammer to fire the device.  Unlike most such pistols, the barrel swings open to either side for loading instead of breaking from front to rear. 

     The flares come in red, green, white, and a white flare that is designed specifically for battlefield illumination.  They are contained in aluminum cases, with both visual markings and tactile markings.

Device

Caliber

ROF

Weight

Bulk

SS

Price

Pains-Wessex Signal Pistol

38mm

SS

1.4 kg

2

2

$294

 

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Pains-Wessex Flare (Red)

38x70mm

0.09 kg

8

B6/42K

100

$7

Pains-Wessex Flare (Green)

38x70mm

0.09 kg

8

B3/25K

100

$4

Pains-Wessex Flare (White)

38x70mm

0.09 kg

8

B6/42K

100

$7

Pains-Wessex Flare (Illumination)

38x70mm

0.09 kg

8

B12/91K

100

$15

 

Pains-Wessex Miniflare No 1 Mk 3 Kit

     Origin: UK

     Notes: The No 1 Mk 3 Kit consists of a pen-type launcher and eight small screw-on star signal cartridges.  The kit is contained in a waterproof plastic case that seals watertight when the lid is closed.  The star signals may be red, green, or white, and may be a mix of colors in one kit.  Cartridges are aluminum-cased with threading on one end; the pen-gun-type firing device is of aluminum alloy with a threaded cup on one end.  A simple trigger launches the flares.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Pains-Wessex Miniflare (Red/White)

32.5x16.7mm

0.02 kg

7

B2/2K

100

$1

Pains-Wessex Miniflare (Green)

32.5x16.7mm

0.02 kg

7

B1/1K

100

$1

 

Device

Caliber

ROF

Weight

Bulk

SS

Price

Pains-Wessex Miniflare Projector

22mm

SS

0.02 kg; (Kit) 0.22 kg

0

3

$53; (Kit) $92

 

Pains-Wessex 51mm Illuminating Rocket

     Origins: UK

     Notes: This device is designed to provide brilliant battlefield illumination with a decent illumination period.  It is contained in an aluminum tube with an endcap revealing a pull cord.  The Pains-Wessex 51mm is suspended on a parachute. There is a 2-second delay before firing.

     The Pains-Wessex 51mm can also be placed on a small tripod and ignited electrically.  The tripod is 3.9 kilograms, but is preferred since the Pains-Wessex 51mm can produce quite a whomp of recoil when hand-held (it’s best steadied on the ground), and the placement on a tripod allows for a number of the devices to be set up and fired quickly when necessary.  When electrically ignited, there is no launch delay, and the firing angle is 32 degrees.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

Pains-Wessex 51mm

55x385mm

1.02 kg

30

B60/228K

250

$153

 

WDS Lightweight 57mm Signal Rocket Launcher

     Origin: UK

     Notes: The WDS (Wallop Defence Systems) Signal Rocket Launcher is not designed for hand-held use, and in fact cannot be used in such a manner.  The rocket is fired from a reusable, folding, lightweight launching stand designed to be carried and used by one man.  This stand has rudimentary sights and leveling bubbles, both of which glow for night use.  A family of rockets are available for the WDS Launcher, including illumination flares, signal flares (red, green, or yellow), and a maroon flare with an audible signal (at 140 decibels).  The rockets can be launched at a variety angles including straight up to as little as 30 degrees, and each rocket come in five different fuze versions to allow for different ranges and burst altitudes.  (Note that these are not variable fuzes, and I have called these range bands below.)  Ignition can be by a pull cord, electrical, or induction, and the rockets can be set in advance and fired singly or in groups from one igniter if electrical ignition is chosen.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

WDS 57mm Illumination Flare (Range Band 1)

57x300mm

1.8 kg

6

B50/190K

600

$128

WDS 57mm Illumination Flare (Range Band 2)

57x300mm

1.8 kg

9

B50/190K

800

$171

WDS 57mm Illumination Flare (Range Band 3)

57x300mm

1.8 kg

12

B50/190K

1000

$214

WDS 57mm Illumination Flare (Range Band 4)

57x300mm

1.8 kg

14

B50/190K

1200

$257

WDS 57mm Illumination Flare (Range Band 5)

57x300mm

1.8 kg

17

B50/190K

1800

$386

WDS 57mm Signal Flare (Range Band 1)

57x300mm

1.8 kg

6

B13/48K

600

$64

WDS 57mm Signal Flare (Range Band 2)

57x300mm

1.8 kg

9

B13/48K

800

$86

WDS 57mm Signal Flare (Range Band 3)

57x300mm

1.8 kg

12

B13/48K

1000

$107

WDS 57mm Signal Flare (Range Band 4)

57x300mm

1.8 kg

14

B13/48K

1200

$129

WDS 57mm Signal Flare (Range Band 5)

57x300mm

1.8 kg

17

B13/48K

1800

$193

WDS 57mm Audible Flare (Range Band 1)

57x300mm

1.8 kg

6

B13/48K/3K

600

$80

WDS 57mm Audible Flare (Range Band 2)

57x300mm

1.8 kg

9

B13/48K/3K

800

$108

WDS 57mm Audible Flare (Range Band 3)

57x300mm

1.8 kg

12

B13/48K/3K

1000

$134

WDS 57mm Audible Flare (Range Band 4)

57x300mm

1.8 kg

14

B13/48K/3K

1200

$161

WDS 57mm Audible Flare (Range Band 5)

57x300mm

1.8 kg

17

B13/48K/3K

1800

$241

 

Device

Caliber

ROF

Weight

Bulk

SS

Price

WDS Lightweight Launcher Device

57mm

˝

2.5 kg

3/5

N/A

$196

 

38mm Colored Signal Cartridge

     Origin: Yugoslavia

     Notes: These are standard sorts of signal cartridges, firing a star signal.  They are aluminum-cased and marked with both visual and tactile markings. They can be fired not only from signal pistols, but from 38mm grenade launchers.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

38mm Signal Cartridge (Red/White)

38x80mm

0.11 kg

6

B3/42K

100

$8

38mm Signal Cartridge (Green)

38x80mm

0.11 kg

6

B2/27K

100

$7

 

38mm Single-Star Illuminating Cartridge

     Origin: Yugoslavia

     Notes: The name of this cartridge is somewhat confusing, as it is a very bright star, designed for battlefield illumination.  It is otherwise similar to the Colored Signal Cartridges above.  A similar cartridge, the Triple-Star Illuminating Cartridge, is similar but emits three stars.

Device

Size

Weight

Burn Time

Burst

Altitude

Price

38mm Single-Star Illumination

38x80mm

0.12 kg

6

B6/91K

80

$13

38mm Triple-Star Illumination

38x90mm

0.15 kg

5

B9/137K

80

$20