Since the first part of WWII, the armed forces of the United States has been searching for the perfect plastique explosives to be used in demolition work. This search led to the development of the C composition plastique explosives. Of this group, C-4 being the latest formulation that has been readily adopted by the armed forces. This formulation was preceded by C-3, C-2, and composition C. In this chapter we will cover all of these explosives in their chronological progression as they were developed and standardized by the armed forces. All of these explosives are cyclonite or R.D.X. base with various plasticizing agents used to achieve the desired product. This plasticizer usually composes 7 – 20 % of the total weight of the plastique. The procedure for the manufacture of R.D.X. will be given at the end of this chapter. All of these explosives are exceedingly powerful and should be used with the utmost care ( detonation velocity from 7700 – 8200M/sec. ). All of these C composition plastique explosives are suitable for and usually the explosives of choice for all demolition work using shaped charges, ribbon charges,and steel cutting charges. All these explosives are relatively easy to detonate with a #6 blasting cap, but as with all explosive charges the highest efficiency is obtained through the use of a booster in conjunction with the blasting cap.
This collection of books by Tim Lewis present tried and true home production methods for various military grade plastic explosives out of commonly available materials, the production of blasting caps to detonate these explosives, and fertilizer explosives as as alternative.