These Fire Piston Fire Starters are pre-tested to assure optimum performance and are intended to provide a lifetime of service. We will therefore repair or replace any of one these items that fails to perform for any reason - no questions asked. If you are not satisfied with your purchase for any reason, simply return it in original condition within five days for a full refund. Fire pistons by Wilderness Solutions are the only compression fire starters endorsed by knowledgeable outdoorsmen such as Ron Hood of Hoods Woods, Mountain Mel Deweese and Allan "Bow" Beauchamp.
Because O rings seal so effectively, all fire pistons having an O ring suffer from an inherent drawback. Trapped air inside the cylinder prevents full insertion. Like a spring, the compressed air forces the piston back out of the cylinder making it inconvenient to carry and causing the risk of a lost piston. We find solutions such as putting a thread under the o ring or changing O rings to be unacceptable and have therefore developed a solution to this problem - and it works so well its being patented.
The solution was to engineer an integral pressure relief valve that allows the trapped air to be released yet that is easily re-sealed, enabling full compression for fire lighting. Once the valve is closed, the piston is effectively trapped by vacuum preventing its accidental loss in the field.
The 2nd Generation pistons feature brass tipped shafts for long service and durability. Like all Wilderness Solutions fire pistons they're covered by a lifetime repair warrantee.
This item features:
-- Asian Water Buffalo Horn
-- Standard Thumb Screw
-- Mini size 1" X 3 1/2"
2nd Generation fire pistons are absolutely the hotest firing and latest state of development in compression fire starting.
The 2nd Generation, vented fire pistons from Wilderness Solutions are the hottest firing, most effective fire pistons in the world. With their patent pending pressure relief valve they set a new standard of performance in compression fire starting devices. These fire pistons are pre-tested to assure optimum performance and are intended to provide a lifetime of service. We will therefore repair or replace any of our fire pistons that fails to perform for any reason - no questions asked. If you are not satisfied with your purchase for any reason, simply return it in original condition within five days for a full refund.
A fire piston is a device of ancient origin which is used to kindle fire. It uses the principle of the heating of a gas (in this case air) by its rapid compression to ignite a piece of tinder, which is then used to set light to kindling.
A fire piston consists of a hollow cylinder ranged in size from around 3 inches to 6 inches (7.5 cm to 15 cm) long, sealed at one end and open at the other. A piston, about a quarter inch (ca 0.64 cm) in diameter, can slide into the cylinder forming an airtight seal with the cylinder wall. The piston has a handle on the end to allow a firm grip to be applied to it and can be completely withdrawn from the cylinder.
Native, and modern versions, are made from wood, horn, antler and bamboo. Lead was used to cast fire pistons in both modern and native versions. Other metals have also been used in modern versions. The piston has a notch or recess in its face into which a piece of tinder is placed.
The piston must be rammed quickly into the sealed cylinder with a single stroke. The compression of the air causes the temperature to rise rapidly to 260 degrees Celsius, or 500 degrees Fahrenheit. This is hot enough for the tinder on the piston face to ignite. It can then be withdrawn and transferred to a larger mass of kindling to create a fire
If you have ever made fire by friction or been frustrated in the attempt, you know how much effort goes into getting a coal. Now... imagine being able to create that glowing, smoking coal in one instant and with no effort....
As a survival device, one of the most compelling aspects of Wilderness Solutions fire pistons is their ability to ignite a variety of natural tinders that can be collected in the woods and fields without special preparation. Some of these tinders having practical value for fire making include true tinder fungus, mullein pith, milkweed pod ovum, milkweed down, cattail fluff, poplar cotton, and wood punk. In addition, cotton charcloth, familiar to flint and steel firemakers works very well in the fire piston and can be made at home.
In terms of fire making efficiency a well maintained fire piston in either material should be expected to light on the first or second attempt.
A Note From Our Supplier, Jeff Wagner:
A traditional fire piston consists of a wood, horn or brass cylinder approximately 4 – 5 inches long and a precisely fitted piston. To achieve the necessary compression, the piston must create an airtight seal, yet be able to move freely within the cylinder. To accomplish this, the piston is wrapped a short distance with string or leather to create a gasket. Grease is applied to the gasket for lubrication and to aid in creating the seal.
In construction, great care must be exercised to assure the bore is concentric and free of imperfections. Minor dimensional variations in either the bore or piston can result in loss of compression preventing the piston from generating the necessary heat. While difficult and tedious to fabricate, fire pistons represent a durable and effective fire-starting device able to create innumerable lights. When a piston eventually becomes worn from repeated use, original performance can be restored in minutes by simply re-wrapping the gasket.
Fire pistons can be used to ignite a variety of natural tinders, plus the same cotton charcloth so familiar to flint and steel users. Some of the more useful and common of the natural tinders for the fire piston include, milkweed pod ovum ( the puffy structure remaining inside the pod after the fluff has been dispersed ) milkweed down, poplar cotton, the pith of the mullein stalk and cattail fluff. In a hardwood forest environment, decayed wood punk, collected from dead standing trees, represents a very useful and abundant wild tinder. Wood punk lights very easily in the fire piston, catches a spark from flint and steel without charring and can be blown into flame in place of a fiber nest. However, the best of the natural tinders is actually a fungus. True Tinder Fungus or Inonotus obliquus is parasitic growth common to birch trees and may develop at the site of an injury to the tree such as a broken limb. This fungus has a blackened, charred looking exterior with an interior the color of buckskin and consistency of cork. The interior of this fungus makes remarkable tinder that is difficult to extinguish once ignited. In addition to use in fire pistons, tinder fungus will also catch a spark from flint and steel without special treatment and it makes an excellent hearth board for hand drill and bow drill fire making.
To create a fire using a fire piston, a small amount of tinder is placed in a cavity carved into the end of the piston. The piston is inserted a short distance into the cylinder. The cylinder is gasped firmly and the piston given a quick push or sharp blow with the palm. The piston is immediately withdrawn to reveal a smoldering ember in its tip. The ember is placed into a bundle of shredded bark or punk wood and blown into flame. With a small amount of practice, the entire sequence can be performed in well under 30 seconds.
A glowing ember is more lasting than an isolated flame and unlike a flame it is made stronger by moving air. When an ember is placed in tinder such as the shredded inner bark of certain trees, fungus, punk wood, etc. it expands rapidly, increases in temperature and bursts into open flame with a few breaths. With a little breeze blowing these materials can become virtually self-igniting and generate sufficient heat to sustain combustion. This coal initiated fire making process is precisely how fire was made for thousands of years prior to the development of matches and instant flame technology.
The fire piston represents a unique, effective and period correct fire making tool worthy of inclusion in any possibles bag. With just a little practice, your next rendezvous campfire can ignited in only a few seconds and everyone who sees the fire piston in use will be completely amazed…
SHIPPING TIMES: Most, but not all orders leave our warehouse within 1-7 business days. Allow time from the day we ship for UPS or the USPS to deliver it to you from Upstate NY. Please call for rush orders before 2:00 Eastern time. That means that some items, to some locations could take two weeks or more. Remember, we're a 50 year old family run business, so feel free to call us for a rush. We can get most of our items out the same day and use next day air and get it to you tomorrow, but you need to call before 2:00 Eastern time.
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