Odd flare cartridge H&K 19x36

Anyone have data on the H&K FHK 19x36 flare cartridge.
Cartridge marked: SIG P WEISZ 19 PPF3.96 VB09.99.

I have found that H&K made them for aircraft use and pretty much stopped production of the cartridges sometime in the 1990’s. Very few are produced every year and most of the world have a gun but no flares. The complete front pops off at firing and the back is ejected by the next round. Apart from that i know wery little.


“WEISZ” is a Bundeswehr specialty, refering to the color weiß (white). Because no “ß” was available on old-style teleprinters, “ss” is used in ordinary German (weiss). But Bundeswehr in signals and logistics uses “sz” for “ß”, in this case resulting in “weisz”.
VB is the Verbrauchsdatum, meaning “do not use after” 09.99


The manufacturer is Piepenbrock Pyrotechnik GmbH, Göllheim.


The launcher/handgun is referred to as the EFL [Emergency Flare Launcher] and was the closest thing to a semi-automatic flare gun. The small loop at the top may be considered to be the “barrel”.

Wren you fire a flare, the next one in the five round magazine ejects the case of the cartridge that just fired.

The came in White and Red, and Green, (I still have several dozen along with one EFL), in 10 packs, four packs per box, of each colour. I do not remember if you could buy a mixed colour lot

If you can find them for sale today, prices range between $3~$10 per round.

I have heard varying reports of shelf life in sealed packs being between 5 and 20 years, with 15 years being the most agreed upon, but I have no idea why. I have fired them with a date in the mid 1980s’ with no problem.

My understanding is that the flares were still produced through the early 2000’s because there were EFLs’ in inventory with military organizations and some search and rescue groups. One story goes that the factory burned down and was never rebuilt because of the “greens” and toxic waste geounds, while another says Piepenbrock Pyrotechnik GmbH merged with Feistel Feuerwerk, but I can not seem to find valid info, maily because my German sucks, and translated pages often make no sense to me.

Side notes:
The H&K EFl has been used in several movies as a weapon, but never as a signaling device.

If anyone has an EFL, Numrich Arms/Gun Parts Corp. has several magazines in stock for $40 each, while they listed are on evilbay at $75 and up.

Here is the G&K EFL page from the 2018 Wescom Defence Pyrotechnic Stores Handbook:

The Signalgerät HK you show, is the civilian version of that apparatus, and not the german military version. The difference is, that your example with the PTB sign, was and is a free one sale signaldevice…the Bundeswehr version without the PTB (even as it is the same thing) is not free to possess by german gun law.
After Göllheim closed down , their where for a timeperiod no producer of the ammo. As Feistels owner, the Comet Fireworks gmbh headquarter at Bremen was taken partly over by a british company, i think Brain Wessex, they occassionally start production again in small badges, as demand arises. Main Comet fireworks gmbh belonged or still belongs to a hongkong owner… Therefore prices are very high for one round, and reaching 9,99€ per piece. Theire is a german sea and policeoutfitter, which distributes that ammo.
I had bought the leftovers from Feistel Göllhein many years ago, including a lot of HK apparatus…all without the PTB…so I could sell them only against a license.
Unfortunatelly all production apparates for the ammo was already destroyed and partly scrapped.
But i had got a lot of ammo, which was good, as the “guns” where hard to sell against a license.
The area iGöllheim itself was first taken over by Piepenbrock, and they just rented the bunkers for storage of explosives ( about ) 50 of them away.

The right to produce explosives and storage of explosives and ammo production on this premises was by law in the hands of Diehl, Nürnberg. After Diehl has given up that right back to the comune of Göllheim, we had to leave the bunkers unfortunatelly…and the comune started to flatten all bunkers to use the area for civilian industrial purposes…
But the area was partly heavily polluted by chemicals from the pyrotechnic production…

Just a little bit history of the fade of Feistel, Piepenbrock-Feistel, and Diehl at Göllheim.

For more Info i wrote to Comet…if i get an answer, i will post here, as the real situation today is somewhat unclear to me…

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Attached some pictures from the H&K sales flyer.
Also some from a Piepenbrock catalog.

Here’s a five round pack for a UK order where the English language label was originally stuck over the top of the German language label shown.


Muskey, I wonder why the shelf life was “downgraded” to 3 years, or, if the ammo was old enough that they subtracted the past shelf life?

Forensic, I am guessing it is not convenient for you to sell me any of that 19mm… :wink: probably not withing driving distance, yea? :smiley:

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Jack, as far as I know these particular cartridges have always had a three year shelf life on them imposed by the manufacturer. On the face of it that is as long as they will stand over them and guarantee they will work in an emergency, but on the flip side, it can’t hurt sales if they have to be replaced every three years…

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If this is regaraded as reloading then please remove asap!
I intend when i have dottet all the i’s and made them fly as intended. To offer for sale front and rear parts as sets, suited for 209 shotgun primers and standard 15mm flare shells. We are working on proper driving charge and so forth.

Thanks for all the fine info, you guys rock!

Sign me up… :slight_smile: Always wanted to own one of the Notsig’geräts, if I can get one to Norway it’d be fun to try it once a year and keep it in the mountain hunting backpack.


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I carried one for many years for both emergency and desperation fire starting- and no, I never actually was in a bad enough situation to do this, but,as an experiment I went into my back yard in 2 feet of snow and lit a frozen/wet wood fire.

Here is a commercial pack of red signals by Feistel. Faded red label.
Cartridges have no headstamp and a 6mm red dot on the nose cap.
No doubt Pepper has every cartridge and packet that exists.

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Thanks guys for all the good info!

Pete, I will need to dig them out, but I swear the 19mm flares I got directly from H&K USA had a longer shelf life on them.
Of course it now occurs to me that I probably did not save a receipt, or write the purchase date on the packages, but the last flares I fired were at least 12~15 years old, and no problem.

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As long as they are hermetically sealed, lifespan is on par with what you have learned. It’s when the chemicals in the flare start to suck up moisture, expansion and ragged/no ignition starts.

26,5mm flares are prone to expansion due to moisture.

Jack, all the ones I’ve seen so far have both the manufacture date and expiry date on the headstamp, kind of like a bottle of Bud beer with its ’Born On’ and ‘Best Before’ dates! I suppose the short shelf life on them is a bit like a television warranty, the warranty might only be for a year, but you’d like to think the TV will last for a lot longer.

Ah, but with edible products the “sell by” date is actually the stock turnover date, not having anything to do with the actual “it needs to ge sold by” date… I wonder if the flare manufacturers took the same track with an “expiration” date.
Take for example Coast Guard approved flares and signel devices, which are fully functional for many years past the “expiration” date.
I knew a boat Captain who was former Navy and docked next to the Washington Navy Yard. Whenever he had to turn his flares/signals over, he gave them to me and said as long as I keep them dry and they do not get hot, they are good for at least another ten years.

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