Pyrotechnics, Rocketry & Explosive Science

Improvised Munitions Handbook (Improvised Explosive Devices or IEDs)

U.S. Army technical manual on making explosives, sabotage devices, firearms, etc. from available materials. Chapter include: Explosives and Propellants; Mines and Grenades; Small Arms Weapons; Mortars and Rockets (for example: a cardboard container grenade launcher); Incendiary Devices; Fuses; Detonators and Delay Mechanisms. Illustrated.

In Unconventional Warfare operations it may be impossible or unwise to use conventional military munitions as tools in the conduct of certain missions. It may be necessary instead to fabricate the required munitions from locally available or unassuming materials. The purpose of this manual is to increase the potential of Special Forces and guerrilla troops by describing in detail the manufacture of munitions from seemingly innocuous locally available materials.

Manufactured, precision devices almost always will be more effective, more reliable, and easier to use than improvised ones, but shelf items will just not be available for certain operations for security or logistical reasons. Therefore the operator will have to rely on materials he can buy in a drug or paint store, find in a junk pile, or scrounge from military stocks. Also, many of the ingredients and materials used in fabricating homemade items are so commonplace or innocuous they can be carried without arousing suspicion. The completed item itself often is more easily concealed or camouflaged. In addition, the field expedient item can be tailored for the intended target, thereby providing an advantage over the standard item in flexibility and versatility.

The manual contains simple explanations and illustrations to permit construction of the items by personnel not normally familiar with making and handling munitions. These items were conceived in-house or, obtained from other publications or personnel engaged in munitions or special warfare work. This manual includes methods for fabricating explosives, detonators, propellants, shaped charges, small arms, mortars, incendiaries, delays, switches, and similar items from indigenous materials.

From the Contents:

Section 0 — Introduction
0.1 Purpose and Scope
0.2 Safety and Reliability
0.3 User Comments
Section 1 — Explosives and Propellants (including igniters)
1.1 Plastic Explosive Filler
1.2 Potassium Nitrate
1.3 Improvised Black Powder
1.4 Nitric Acid
1.5 Initiator for Dust Explosions
1.6 Fertilizer Explosive
1.7 Carbon Tet – Explosive
1.8 Fertilizer AN-Al Explosive
1.9 “Red or White Powder” Propellant
1.10 Nitric Acid/Nitrobenzene (“Hellhoffite”) Explosive
1.11 Optimized Process for Cellulose/Acid Explosives
1.12 Methyl Nitrate Dynamite
1.13 Urea Nitrate Explosive
1.14 Preparation of Copper Sulfate (Pentahydrate)
1.15 Reclamation of RDX from C4
1.16 TACC (Tetramminecopper (II) Chlorate)
1.17 HMTD
1.18 Potassium or Sodium Nitrite and Litharge (Lead Monoxide)
1.19 DDNP
1.20 Preparation of Lead Picrate
1.21 Preparation of Picric Acid from Aspirin
1.22 Double Salts
1.23 Sodium Chlorate
1.24 Mercury Fulminate
1.25 Sodium Chlorate and Sugar or Aluminum Explosive
Section 2 — Mines and Grenades
2.1 Pipe Hand Grenade
2.2 Nail Grenade
2.3 Wine Bottle Cone Charge
2.4 Grenade-Tin Can Land Mine
2.5 Mortar Scrap Mine
2.6 Coke Bottle Shaped Charge
2.7 Cylindrical Cavity Shaped Charge
2.8 Not Available
2.9 Funnel Shaped Charge
2.10 Linear Shaped Charge
Section 3 — Small Arms Weapons and Ammunition
3.1 Pipe Pistol for 9 mm Ammunition
3.2 Shotgun (12 gauge)
3.3 Shotshell Dispersion Control
3.4 Carbine (7.62 mm Standard Rifle Ammunition)
3.5 Reusable Primer
3.6 Pipe Pistol for .45 Caliber Ammunition
3.7 Match Gun
3.8 Rifle Cartridge
3.9 Pipe Pistol for .38 Caliber Ammunition
3.10 Pipe Pistol for .22 Caliber Ammunition — Long or Short Cartridge
3.11 Low Signature System
Section 4 — Mortars and Rockets
4.1 Recoilless Launcher
4.2 Shotgun Grenade Launcher
4.3 Grenade Launcher (57 mm Cardboard Container)
4.4 Fire Bottle Launcher
4.5 Grenade Launchers
4.6 60 mm Mortar Projectile Launcher
Section 5 — Incendiary Devices
5.1 Chemical Fire Bottle
5.2 Igniter from Book Matches
5.3 Mechanically Initiated Fire Bottle
5.4 Gelled Flame Fuels
5.4.1 Lye Systems
5.4.2 Lye-Alcohol Systems
5.4.3 Soap-Alcohol System
5.4.4 Egg White Systems
5.4.5 Latex Systems
5.4.6 Wax Systems
5.4.7 Animal Blood Systems
5.5 Acid Delay Incendiary
5.6 Improvised White Flare
5.7 Improvised Iron Oxide
5.8 Improvised Yellow Flare
5.9 Improvised White Smoke Munition
5.10 Improvised Black Smoke Munition
Section 6 — Fuses, Detonators & Delay Mechanisms
6.1 Electric Bulb Initiator
6.2 Fuse Igniter from Book Matches
6.3 Delay Igniter from Cigarette
6.4 Watch Delay Timer
6.5 No-Flash Fuse Igniter
6.6 Dried Seed Timer
6.7 Fuse Cords
6.7.1 Fast Burning Fuse
6.7.2 Slow Burning Fuse
6.8 Clothespin Time Delay Switch
6.9 Time Delay Grenade
6.10 Can-Liquid Time Delay
6.11 Short Term Time Delay for Grenade
6.12 Long Term Time Delay for Grenade
6.13 Detonator
Section 7 — Miscellaneous
7.1 Clothespin Switch
7.2 Mousetrap Switch
7.3 Flexible Plate Switch
7.4 Metal Ball Switch
7.5 Altimeter Switch
7.6 Pull-Loop Switch
7.7 Knife Switch
7.8 Improvised Scale
7.9 Rope Grenade Launching Technique
7.10 Bicycle Generator Power Source
7.11 Automobile Generator Power Source
7.12 Improvised Battery (Short Lasting)
7.13 Improvised Battery (2 Hour Duration)
7.14 Armor Materials
Appendix 1 — Primary High Explosives
A1.1 Mercury Fulminate
A1.2 Lead Styphnate
A1.3 Lead Azide
Appendix 2 — Secondary High Explosives
A2.1 TNT
A2.2 Nitrostarch
A2.3 Tetryl
A2.4 RDX
A2.5 Nitroglycerin
A2.6 Commercial Dynamite
A2.7 Military Dynamite
A2.8 Amatol
A2.10 Blasting Gelatin
A2.11 Composition B
A2.12 Composition C4
A2.13 Ammonium Nitrate
C.1 Version

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