Most people will ask “what in the world do you need a flamethrower for?” Well, there actually are some practical uses for a flamethrower.
- Igniting controlled burns for agriculture and land management
- Melting large amounts of snow and ice – U.S. troops used flamethrowers on the streets of Washington, D.C. as one of several clearance methods for the surprisingly large amount of snow that fell before the presidential inauguration of John F. Kennedy.
- Pyrotechnic displays – Nothing like igniting a pile of black cat firecrackers with a 50′ stream of a napalm gas mixture!
- Zombie apocalypse – this reason may be a little far fetched, but can you imagine the psychological impact this would have on intruders during a grid down or collapse of society? I’m not talking about the taking of life with this thing; I’m just talking about the psychological impact of witnessing with your own eyes the display of power the flamethrower has to offer – it would make me think twice about challenging someone on their property. Just imagine seeing this flame being projected toward you….
Is this Legal?
Yes it is. Today in the United States we now have the ability to own and operate personal flamethrowers. In the United States, private ownership of a flame thrower is not restricted by federal law, but is restricted in some states, such as California – check your state and local laws before purchasing and/or operating a flamethrower.
A U.S based company known as X Matter has developed the X15 Personal Flamethrower. The X15 Flamethrower comes fully tested with everything you need, which this means there is no assembly required. Out of the box both the tank and hose assembly are already mounted onto a military surplus LC-2 pack frame.
Also included in the box are the hoses, pressure valve, Napalm mix, and a 20 ounce capacity CO2 tank which sits inside a military surplus M16 magazine pouch attached to the frame. Also enclosed are the instructions for the fuel mixture.
All you as the user will need to provide is the gasoline, water – mixed with the gas this will help the napalm mix into the gas, take the provided CO2 canister to your local outdoor store to be filled, and purchase a blue handheld propane canister that mounts to the bottom of the pack frame – this fuels the pilot light that ignites the napalm mix as it exits the wand.
For the purpose of this review, I will be using 3 gallons of regular unleaded gas mixed with 3 ounces of Napalm mix. Once I have the mixture mixed and ready I will pour it into the X15 tank using a funnel that I had available. In order to mix everything I chose to use a new 5 gallon bucket. I poured 3 gallons of 87 octane fuel into the bucket, followed by 64 ounces of water. Once the fuel and water were in the bucket I began to add the Napalm mix sifting it through a strainer to eliminate any clumps. For the 3 gallons of fuel/water mix we ended up using 8 tablespoons of Napalm mix – adding 2 table spoons at a time and stirring. Once the fuel mixture was at the desired consistency we poured it into the tank, installed the pressure valve, CO2 canister, and pressurize the tank up to 1,000psi depending on your fuel mixture. Once pressurized, it’s time to light the pilot and go to work on whatever it is you’re going to incinerate.
- Weight – 49lbs – With the tank loaded with 3 gallons of fuel, a full CO2 canister, and small propane canister you’re looking at some considerable weight to be supporting on your back. For some it may be a two person job to get it onto your back and situated.
- Dimensions – 14″ x 14″ x 26″
- Fuel – The X15 can use any commonly available liquid fuel. For best results without napalm mix, a 90% diesel and 10% gasoline mix is recommended.
- Operating Pressure – 1000 psi – For this review our tank stabilized at around 600psi.
- Max Range – 50ft achieved with 1/4” tip and 90% diesel 10% gasoline mix at 1,000psi
- MSRP – $1599
After Action Report:
Our initial batch of fuel mixture didn’t quite turn out like it should, so we abandoned that and started a new one which went much better. I had contacted the company upon having the mixing issues and they promptly got back to me to troubleshoot the issue – on a Sunday afternoon! Once we overcame that issue it was time to load the mixture into the tank and prepare it for transport to the burning grounds.
The first thing you’ll notice once the the tank is topped off is the weight – this may be an issue for some. Lugging around close to 49lbs on your back is no picnic. Reminded me of my days in the Marine Corps humping around a heavy ruck. We arrived at our location and unloaded everything. I had to install the propane canister which proved to be a bit of a challenge because I had the canister already mounted in the clamps. The issue I ran into was that the end of the hose that connects to the canister does not have a free floating cap so you have to actually rotate the canister to screw it onto the hose. Nothing that couldn’t be overcome, but a little frustrating nonetheless. The first few bursts seemed to be mostly a watery mix which didn’t ignite – maybe due to the mixing of the gasoline, water, and napalm. After that though is was game on.
For this test I used 3 to 5 seconds bursts. Anything more and my face would have melted off – the flame produced out in front of you is extremely hot. We probably got close to a total of 60 seconds of burn time with the 3 gallons of fuel. The only real issue I had with the entire package were the lack of better detailed instructions. The flame thrower does comes with a quick start guide and paper on mixing the fuel, but it was all pretty vague. A troubleshooting guide may be a nice addition to any future X15’s that go out – that would have helped me immensely when mixing the gasoline and Napalm mixture. All in all, the X15 Personal Flame Thrower is a bad ass piece of gear that is guaranteed to get the job done – whatever job that may be.
*Be sure to wear protective clothing while operating this flame thrower. During my testing of the X15 I was wearing Flame Resistant (FR) clothing made by Carhart, a pair of Safariland Hatch gloves, and my trustworthy Oakley protective sunglasses.