Introduction, Purpose and Scope, Safety and Reliability


  1. Purpose and Scope

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 persoimel 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.

  1. Safety and Reliability

Each item was evaluated both theoretically and experimentally to assure safety and reliability. A large number of items were discarded because of inherent hazards or unreliable performance. Safety warnings are prominently inserted in the procedures where they apply but it is emphasized that safety is a matter of attitude. It is a proven fact that men who are alert, who think out a situation, and who take correct pre­cautions have fewer accidents than the careless and indifferent. It is important that work be planned and that instructions be followed to the letter; all work should be done in a neat and orderly manner. In the manufacture explosives, detonators, propellants and incendiaries, equipment must be kept clean and such energy concentrations as sparks,

friction, impact, hot objects, flame, chemical reactions, and exces­sive pressure should be avoided.

These items were found to be effective in most environments; however, samples should be made and tested remotely prior to actual use of assure proper performance. Chemical items should be used as soon as possible after preparation and kept free of moisture, dirt, and the above energy concentrations. Special care should be taken in any attempt at substitution or use of items for purposes other than that spec­ified or intended.

3. User Comments

It is anticipated that this manual will be revised or changed from time to time. In this way it will be possible to update present material and add new items as they become available. Users are encouraged to submit recommended changes or comments to improve this manual. Comments should be keyed to the specific page, paragraph, and line of the text in which changes are recommended. Reasons should be pro­vided for each comment to insure understanding and complete evalua­tion. Comments should be forwarded directly to Commandant, United States Army, Special Warfare School, Fort Bragg, North Carolina 28307 and Commanding Officer, United States Army, Frankford Arsenal, SMUFA-J8000, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19137.

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