SLAM FIRE LAUNCHER
By GROG Copyright 2015 3LC Productions
This review is going to be on the MLR Slam Fire 26.5MM launcher. Mark Rogers from MLR was kind enough to send me his newest launcher offering, as well as a nice soft shell case for it. Upon receiving the launcher I was not surprised at the quality, as this is something I have come to expect with anything MLR. The barrel and base section of the Slam Fire is made of high quality steel, with a welded base, and set screw type firing pin set up. This is the same set up as the 37MM version of the Slam Fire. The 26.5MM version provided to me uses two pistol grips from AR-15 lower receiver for function. The launcher also has a trigger, which releases the forward barrel to travel rearward, causing the base of the casing to impact the set firing pin, setting off the lift charge. The function of the launcher is so simple, it simply cannot fail to fire. The fit of the commercial 26.5mm ammo available currently is very nice, with no binding of the casings before or after firing. Simply pull the barrel section forward and tip up to eject the spent casing.
The outward fit and finish of the launcher is superb. It should be properly maintained, as the commercial rounds use black powder, which is highly corrosive to steel barrels and parts. I recommend washing and scrubbing the launcher with hot soapy water after each firing, then oiling the parts with a Remington oil wipe or similar. Wipe the outside of the barrel and base well with the Rem oil wipes, to keep any corrosion from forming. Store the launcher in the case that comes with your launcher. You can also add a moisture absorbent pad, or wrap the launcher in an oiled rag, to keep it well functioning. If you take your launcher camping, or plan on using it in a survival situation, I highly recommend wrapping it in an oiled cloth, then using a vacuum bag and sealing device, seal it in plastic. Seal the rounds also in plastic, vacuum packed like the launcher, to ensure it will be ready when you need it. The pistol grips can be removed, and you can place the right sized allen wrench in the bag with the launcher to re-assemble when needed. This will make the launcher smaller, for tight storage. I also recommend sealing your rounds in a similar manner, minus the oiled rag. Sealing the rounds in plastic will ensure they are dry and ready for any emergency. Also, if placed together, the whole system will float in case it is dropped in water. Include a small foam block if you desire, this will aid in the flotation of the launcher itself. Experiment with your set-up to make sure it performs as you require.
DO NOT carry or store the launcher loaded, or with a round chambered resting on the firing pin. The firing pins are sharp, and will set off a round with little pressure. The launcher is called the “Slam Fire” but you do not need a lot of force to set off the primer. You need not “slam” it home. I recommend a firm rearward pull on the barrel section, and this will be enough to fire the launcher.
Practice with your launcher before relying on it in a survival situation. Know how your ammunition will work, and how to fire it to signal an aircraft or ship. Do not fire it directly at an aircraft or anything occupied by persons or animals which might be harmed by impact or resulting fire. When trying to signal a ship, it is best to aim your launcher in front of the vessel, so anyone piloting it will see. When signaling an aircraft, aim to the front left side to be visible to the pilot.
Keep in mind that flares can and have caused forest fires. When you practice with your launcher, try to do it after heavy rains, when everything that may ignite is wet. Dry grasses will ignite and burn over a snow cover. Take a 4 gallon sprayer with you or have one standing by when you fire your launcher, to put out any fire that may ignite. YOU are responsible for anything damaged by firing a launcher, intentional or not.
Base section of launcher
OAL: 16” loaded and set on the trigger sear
OAL CLOSED: 12.25”
BASE ID: 1.25”
BARREL ID: 26.5MM
Barrel portion of launcher
FIRING PORTION OF REVIEW:
To test the 26.5MM Slam Fire I decided to use 4 rounds, two red star flares, one white star parachute flare, and one rocket powered 6 star cluster. The bases of these casings use the standard rounded 26.5mm casings. The launcher performed flawlessly, I have no complaints.
The firing pin is very sharp, and should set off any primer on the market. Like I wrote above, don’t feel the need to slam the two pieces of the launcher together. To fire the launcher, simply move the forward portion firmly rearward after pulling the trigger. In case of a misfire, simply push the forward portion open a few inches and re-close the launcher.
Since this launcher uses a minimum of moving parts, I highly recommend it for survival situations where the importance of your launcher working may be your life, or death. As long as the launcher is stored properly, and the ammo is also stored properly, this launcher will not let you down. With the multitude of adapters now available for the 26.5mm, you could even use it in a survival situation to kill small or medium game for food. 26.5mm to .410ga 45/long colt would work fine in a defensive role too. The launcher is lightweight, and compact, and will meet the needs of anyone in a backwoods, swamp, or other survival situation. GROG