APACHE JUNCTION (KSAZ) - It may be an odd question, but who could possibly want to buy a device that can shoot a flaming trail of fire some 30 feet, incinerating anything in its path?
As it turns out, plenty of people do, and a Valley-based company has experienced runaway success, as they make and sell flamethrowers.
It may be obvious, but the best place to check out the Ion Productions Team's XM42 modular flame thrower is behind it. Each burst from this flamethrower is a burning ray, shooting out 30 feet into space. A solid 10 yards of flame.
"The surprising thing is once you shoot one, you understand why," says Matthew Kelley, Vice President of Ion Productions Team. "It gives you a feeling of awe, it seems. You do it, and you want to do that again."
Ion Productions Team makes the flamethrower in Apache Junction. Fuel from the flamethrower comes from gas, a mixture of gas and diesel, or ethanol. A smaller tank allows 30 seconds of flames, while a larger tank can last a minute. A specially-designed backpack canister is good for 3.5 minutes of nonstop fire.
The company says the flamethrower can come in handy in the real world.
"It does have a utility purpose for a lot of people to clear driveways, do back burns on property, clears land a lot quicker," says Kelley, who went on to say that visual effects companies can use it for commercials, and that it can even be used to heat and prepare tracks for drag racing.
What about crowd control?
"I wouldn't recommend it," Kelley says.
The list price is $1,099, but it can be bought on the XM42 website for $899.
Of course, with a flamethrower this good, what would happen if it fell into the hands of a bad person?
"Sure, the same way a can of hairspray and a lighter [can]," explains Kelley. "If you use it the wrong way people could get hurt and do bad things with it. I mean, you could chop somebody's hand off with a Skilsaw."
If used properly, there's something about shooting a fearsome bolt of flame that never gets old.
The XM42 flamethrower is designed to shoot out a 30-foot flame, which is perfectly legal in Arizona and almost all of the country. However, California does not allow flamethrowers with more than a 10-foot flame, so the Ion Productions Team sells modified flamethrowers to buyers there.
(Can't see this video? Click here)