Saturday, November 21, 2020

Destructive Devices

Greetings Me Droogs and Droogettes!
Today's Saturday, so we'll call it "Sergeant's Time Saturday" from here on out.  Now now, I -know- Sergeant's Time was is? (dunno if they still do it) but it was when I was in the green machine a time in the unit that the day was spent without occifers, doing Basic Training Shit.
C.T.T. or Common Tasks Training.
Every Wednesday.  In the Infantry, we'd start off with an early morning roadmarch, rain or shine.  5 Miles was the norm with a full combat load.  (40+ pounds of bullshit).  Then, after we got to where we wuz going, we'd either stop and begin 'basic training skills' like donning, wearing and working in M.O.P.P. 4 (ggas mask, chem suit and alllll the other bullshit) and other skills like mine emplacement, or something as such that were basic soldiering skills that we needed to keep up on.

So, today, with keeping that in mind, I figure that because of the upcoming 'spicytime' going over a piece of basic kit that we used.  The subject for today is the M18A1 Claymore Antipersonnel Landmine
So, some historical background:
Dude name of Norman McLeod began developing his mine in 1952 into the T-48 concept and was presented to the US Army. The Army liked what is saw and accepted the design (with some modifications) into their inventory as the "M18". The M18 was evolved into the M18A1 after 1954 to fulfill a Picatinny Arsenal requirement for an improved form. 

The M18 Claymore anti-personnel mine was developed into two distinct versions - one with a peep-type sight and the other without. The peep sight was devised to help give a Claymore operator a "field-of-vision" for the semi-circle blast pattern presented by the M18 when detonated. A training version is noted by its bold blue color whereas operational M18s have an Olive-color appearance.
The mine component itself consists of a plastic case that is concave and rectangular in shape. Along the "active" side of the case are the embossed words "Front Toward Enemy" while the rear is embossed with "Back" to help keep the operator from making a lethal mistake during setup. The plastic component contains a composition of C3 explosive. The concave nature of the mine's design allows for a forward blast area that produces a fan-shaped pattern of steel balls across a horizontal arc of approximately 60-degrees. The steel balls packed within the mine are then projected out from just above ground level by the resulting explosion to a height of about 2 meters with a maximum kill radius of 100 meters and an effective kill range of 50 meters. Wounding has been noted as far away as 270 yards from the blast zone though a range of 55 yards is deemed optimal. As can be expected, extreme professional care should be taken during the set up of Claymores. This is not only do to the mine's inherent explosive nature but the fact that up to 20% of the internal steel ball projectiles can blow back towards a friendly line upon detonation. As such, common practice for M18 setup includes the use of natural earth mounds or hills positioned behind the Claymore to help eliminate or reduce such friendly-fire incidents.  
The detonation of a M18 Claymore systems is by way of an electrically-actuated firing device issued with each mine.  The M57 device (known as a "clacker") is held in the hand and features a trigger that is squeezed a number of times by the Claymore operator to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy using an armature and magnets. The M18 can still be detonated in the electrical or non-electrical fashion which lends herself to be used as a dedicated mine or as an "individual weapon". In fact, so long as the operator can find a way to actuate the blasting caps, the M18 will trigger.

The M18 Claymore system is roughly 8.5 inches in length, 1.375 inches wide, 3.25 inches high and weighs just 3.5 pounds. 700 steel-based sphere ball bearings (10.5 grains) are used as the projectiles, set within an epoxy resin, and a 1.5lb layer of composition C-4 explosive is used for detonation. Detonation is initiated by a No 2 electric blasting cap. 4 x 6" spike legs are attached to the bottom of the M18 Claymore system to allow the mine to be easily secured into soft grounds. A bandolier is issued for the carrying of M18 Claymores and also contains an instruction sheet.  That sheet is here:

So yeah, a nasty toy for fun times.  
Here's a home-made expedient one that you can make at home:
Along with a how-to for a tripwire detonator:
All available on Home Depot or Amazon.

Definitely a means to keep the bad guys on their collective toes AND great for deploying around su casa, as the 25-50 meter standoff can be that 'edge' you might need in a full on uncivil war.  Let me know if you found this to be helpful, and don't forget to ping the tip jar.  I missed a full week of work dammit!
So, More Later I Remain The Intrepid Reporter
Big Country

9 comments:

  1. yup, handy as hell, and if you happen to break one and have popcorn handy it great for it cooking up
    of course we had the old steel pot, so here ya go, get some peanut butter in a can(c-rations) use the oil
    that floats to the top, might need 2, anyway. remove 1/2 of the boom and dig a small hole to rest the pot on, it lights easy, just don't drop anything on it while burning, bad things happen when that happens
    but you can cook up popcorn that way in the field keep shaking the pot so it doesn't burn, good to go !

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  2. My buddy who was at Khe Sanh (pre '68) as a SeaBee told me the VC used to crawl up, sometimes for over a day, and try to turn the Claymores around.

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    1. that's why the mine was never pointed directly away from your position. 90 degrees was a bit excessive, but 45-60 degrees worked fine. Keep listening here, I'm sure Sarge will cover all the little "niceities". worm

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  3. There is now a version that uses a non-electric trigger mechanism instead of wire and a clicker. It uses a variant of an M81 Igniter and shock tube to trigger a non-electric blasting cap. Shock tube is a thin plastic tubing lined with a mixture of HMX and aluminum powder that propagates at about 5,000 fps. I used to work for the subcontractor that made the igniters for the prime contractor. Safer in that it can't be triggered by a stray electrical charge such as static electricity.

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  4. Such devices would come in very handy during "spicy times". Trick is acquiring them. They don't just offer them for sale at the local gun show. Making your own C4 or similar substance is in theory not complicated. In practice it is one of those endeavors that is extremely unforgiving of any mistakes made in the process. Noted terrorist and murderer Che Guevera was quoted once as saying roughly half of the people in his lil old revolutionary cadre assigned to making explosive devices ended up dead or maimed due to accidents.

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  5. Looks like an outstanding way to turn a SWAT team into a "short stack"...

    Just sayin'...

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  6. when we set our claymores we would set a grenade with the pin pulled under the claymore carefully resting it on the spoon so when charles lifted it he would have a little surprise

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  7. Put a Pop Tart under the Claymor

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  8. I was not aware that electric blasting caps and sheet explosive were available @ Amazon and Home Depot.
    _revjen45

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