XM42: A Crowdfunded Flamethrower

A group calling themselves the Ion Productions Team are crowdfunding a handheld flamethrower they call the XM42 (I am not sure where the name comes from … a movie? Or are they referencing the  Abwehrflammenwerfer 42, Germany’s huge WWII flamethrower mine?). The XM42 does not have a high pressure gas tank and the investors have avoided showing how it functions. It looks like the rear handle pumps up and down either to pressurize the 1 liter tank or to directly pump out the fuel. It runs on standard gasoline (87 Octane).

The XM42 is “selling” on Indiegogo starting at $699 for the basic model.

They claim to be making the first handheld flamethrower. This is only partially accurate. Charl Fourie, the South African inventor of car security flamethrower, developed and sold a “pocket sized” flamethrower in the early 00s. I don’t think he ever went into full scale production, only selling small quantities expo/market events.

I can’t blog about a flamethrowers without sharing a couple of my favorite flamethrower videos. Enjoy …

Thanks to Marcos and Nicki for the tip.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • sianmink

    It werfs flammen.
    I wouldn’t consider gasoline to be the ideal flamethrower fuel, but you can’t beat it for availability.

  • Andrey Martim

    Let me ask something… The flamethrower weapons falls under the Geneva Convention laws, right? So… Why are them legal to own in US?

    • Kyle_D

      The Geneva Conventions only cover military personnel, it has no authority over civilians. Hence Geneva compliant militaries use FMJ “ball” ammunition, while it’s still perfectly legal for civilians to use hollow-point and expanding bullets.

      • Darren Hruska

        Actually, it’s the Hague Conventions that covers the military use of expanding ammo.
        As for flamethrowers and other incendiary devices in warfare, they’re only “banned” for use around civilian populaces and against vegetation that’s not being used as cover or concealment by enemy combatants. If there’s no civilians around, but a good number of enemies, then flamethrowers are fair game.

        • jamezb

          And if I recall correctly, the U.S. did not sign the Hague convention, although we do for the most part abide by it.

          • Darren Hruska

            Yep, that’s what I’ve also read. It’s likely abided by simply to appease to other NATO countries that DID sign it (at least one of the reasons anyways). I mean, if we were using hollow point 5.56x45mm NATO loadings, it wouldn’t be too wise to share our stockpiles with the UK, for instance.

          • Michael Bergeron

            The US has a historic tendency not to sign treaties that get rid of ways to wage war, we generally follow them but we always have the option to go against them.

    • sianmink

      Geneva is mostly about treatment of prisoners and civilians during wartime. Hague covers weaponry.

  • skeptic

    ideas tossed around since 2007? so they came up with the idea in middle school?

  • An Interested Person

    I actually have a very good use for one of these. I just wish it wasn`t so expensive.

  • iowaclass

    If it runs on gasoline, I think it’s just a really big blowtorch. Flamethrowers us napalm or another jellied fuel.

  • iksnilol

    What range does it have? The closest thing to a straight answer to that was that one of their reviewers mentioned that it spits a 25 foot (7.62 meter) flame.

    Doesn’t sound like much.

  • dan citizen

    My business partners and I discussed marketing one of these back in the ’80s

    We decided it was a liability nightmare.

    • jamezb

      I would require one helluva long, inclusive, signed, witnessed, co-witnessed, notarized, bulletproof, lawyerproof, foolproof, and, of course, fireproof, release.

  • DaveP.

    …there’s just no way this can go wrong, is there?

  • possumcollege

    Firstly, I feel like they could have just filmed four minutes of maniacal laughter while melting snowmen/cheese sculptures/chocolate Santas with this. Second, it’s hard to take it seriously when the project goals are developing a flamethrower that is both “safe” and “awesome,” two aspects of a flamethrower that are often mutually exclusive, in my experience.

    • Anomanom

      I’m pretty sure that “safe” is not generally a term which should be applied to a device, the sole purpose of which is to set things on fire from a distance by expelling flaming hydrocarbons.

  • morokko

    Actually, the Germans produced this kind of handheld flamethrower at the end of WWII – in the form of disposable Einstossflammenwerfer 46, which was quite handy at 3,6 kg. From 1944 they managed to produce approximately 36000 of these babies, which were originally designed for airborne troops. So the high claims of
    Ion Productions Team Ion Productions Team belong to the realm of marketing pitches. You just can not beat the German engineers motivated by swiftly approaching Soviets when it comes to ingenuity in designing of weapons.

    Ion Productions TeamIon

    • iksnilol

      It was also single use, firing a burst lasting about half a second.

    • Don Ward

      No. You cannot beat the, erm, brilliance of Nazi scientists.

  • Danny

    Doesnt look like anything new. My buddy bought the X15 flamethrower a few months ago and that thing is BADASS

  • Sid Collins

    You got a nice flame job there, Becha. I’m gon’ gi’ya a lil’ touchup! A lil’ touchup! Just a lil’ touchup for ya!

    Best scene in Deal of the Centruy

    • jamezb

      “The Peacemaker” drone was pure deja-vu of today’s fighting drones. amazing foresight, really.

  • Brendan G

    The CEO looks exactly like Anders Breivik.

  • sam

    “I need some napalm, for killing weeds in my garden as far as you know.” -The Postal Dude in Postal 2

  • Southpaw89

    Not recommended for home defense.

    • Tassiebush

      Haha yeah whilst you may immolate an intruder the destruction of your own home and urgent need to rescue loved ones is definitely a significant negative!

  • Tassiebush

    Wow those videos were like a progression of potency! This product looked like a souped up drip torch compared to that awesome footage of the Flamethrower against the wasp/hornet nest. That one looked like it’d still cause blunt trauma if the napalm failed to ignite!

  • wildbillb

    less talk, more awesomeness.

  • Phaideaux

    Performance wise this looks like what you get when you tape a barbeque lighter to a super soaker. I suppose it would be very difficult to get anything better out of it without a pressure tank though.

    Still cool though, I hope the project works out for them.

  • Joe

    A can of spray ether and a Bic lighter? I’m thinking of something re purposing sterno and an ignition source would work better. It’s gelled and would travel further and stick to what it hits.