Remember the epic flamethrower scene in James Cameron’s 1986 sci-fi thriller Aliens? You know, the part where Sigourney Weaver lays waste to a slew of unhatched alien eggs with a massive fire-spitting flamethrower at the end? Well, if you’ve ever wanted to know exactly what that kind of power feels like, a mere $1,600 is all that stands between you and the flamethrowing bliss that comes with such a device.
Manufactured and sold by an Ohio-based company called XMatter, the X15 Flamethrower is equal parts fascinating and terrifying. Right out of the box, the X15 possesses the ability to shoot streams of flames up to an astounding 50 feet, depending on the type of fuel mixture and tip used during operation. However, if a 50-foot flame stream seems a bit pedestrian to you, the company also offers a separate Napalm Mix — for an extra $139 — which increases the maximum range considerably.
In a video posted to XMatter’s site, the company’s shows off how a mixture of 75 percent diesel, 25 percent gas, and some of XMatter’s Napalm Mix shoots roughly 10 to 15 feet further than the recommended 90 percent diesel, 10 percent gas mixture. We’re not sure when a 60-foot flame would be more beneficial than a 50-foot one, but hey, options!
We know what you’re thinking. How could this possibly be legal to buy? Well, because selling and purchasing flamethrowers is a largely unregulated field, people living in states other than California or Maryland can head over to XMatter’s website and order one right now. Flamethrowers aren’t technically considered firearms by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and are fully legal to purchase by anyone over 18. For the other two states listed above, proper flamethrowing device permits are required in order to own an X15 in California while Maryland’s fire code completely prohibits the ownership of a flamethrower anywhere in the state.
Despite the safety and legal risks inherent to the X15, XMatter co-founder Quinn Whitehead told Popular Mechanics he knows people will mostly want to use his flamethrowers to have a “whole lot of fun.” Though he also pointed to the industries of agriculture and pyrotechnics as areas where people will likely use the X15, he understands interest is much higher in just messing around with something as devastating as a flamethrower.
It remains to be seen how the ATF plans to regulate flamethrowers like the X15, but there’s no denying just how outrageously fun it would be to actually fire one of these — safely, of course. Before Whitehead launched into his company’s scripted pitch about the X15 to Popular Mechanics, he said something which so perfectly sums up XMatter’s desire to sell such a device.
“Why not? This is America, land of the free.”
Let’s just hope those who actually operate the X15 Flamethrower put a little more thought into why they are using it than that.