Q&A On Flamethrowers With Charlie Hobson

Following up on his interview with noted flamethrower historian and technical expert Charles Hobson, Ian of Forgotten Weapons now has a question and answer session with him.

The questions by timestamp are:

  • 0:40 – Still in use today?
  • 1:15 – Hollywood realism
  • 3:02 – Effective historical use
  • 3:55 – Pressure and nozzle diameter
  • 4:57 – Use of fins to create laminar flow
  • 6:18 – Do they blow up if shot?
  • 7:28 – Maintenance and repair
  • 9:44 – Realism in “Saving Private Ryan”
  • 10:52 – Reproductions
  • 12:10 – Accidents
  • 14:07 – Field resupply of fuel in combat
  • 19:35 – Oxygen problems for the user
  • 20:32 – Modern improvements
  • 24:10 – Is there still a role for flamethrowers in modern war?
  • 26:35 – Lighting cigars from flamethrowers
  • 27:43 – Cost

And Now For Something Entirely Different

Flamethrowers are one of the few weapons that were used by the US military in WWII that are not only legal to own but not regulated in any way by the Federal government. Currently, only two US states ban their possession.

Ian McCullom of Forgotten Weapons interviews Charlie Hobson in this video. Mr. Hobson is one of the leading authorities on flamethrowers, their development, and their history. He has worked extensively with military museums as well as the entertainment industry on their restoration and preservation.

Mr. Hobson is the author of The Illustrated Manual of U. S. Portable Flamethrowers.

The interview with Mr. Hobson dispels many of the myths concerning flamethrowers. For example, they didn’t explode when hit by a bullet unlike what is usually shown in old WWII movies. Moreover, they killed, for the most part, not by fire but with carbon monoxide.

Just What Miggy Needs!

I’m lying in bed watching one of the Saturday morning new shows and perusing Facebook on my iPad when I see a post by Miguel Gonzalez. Miggy has a post on the proper tools to kill a spider which is not, as he opines, the .45 ACP. It is a flamethrower.

Now WWII generation flamethrowers are getting harder and harder to find. Not only that, they are expensive. I see one currently on Gunbroker with an opening price of $11,900.

Fortunately, some enterprising young men are working on bringing the flamethrower to the masses. They are starting an IndieGoGo campaign which goes live on Monday. I’ve read elsewhere that the final purchase price should be in the $799 range.

So, unless you live in California where they are illegal (imagine that!), you, too, can be the owner of your very own XM42 flamethrower. Other than killing spiders and taking out ISIS/Russian/Nazi pillboxes, I’m not sure what you’d do with it but why not.