Tonight we have a British flare pistol. Flare pistols were invented by the American Edward Very at the end of the nineteenth century and were in widespread use by the First World War for both signalling distress and for basic communications on the battlefield. This example however dates from the Second World War and is a simple, reliable and utilitarian piece of equipment.
This particular pistol does not have a makers mark, but it’s believed this particular example is probably manufactured by Berridge Ltd and is a Mollins No1 MkV. It does have other markings all over the barrel:Firing an inch calibre cartridge, this gun would have been able to discharge red, green and white star flares. The pistol is a single action, having to be cocked before each flare is discharged. There is a ring on the butt to allow a lanyard to be attached, although holsters were available, most seem to have been carried by tucking them into a soldier’s webbing.The stud on the barrel is to allow an extension to be fitted to allow line throwing:This particular pistol has been deactivated by having the pin removed and a bar welded across the inside of the barrel: