Mechanically Initiated Fire Bottle

Section V

No. 3

The mechanically initiated Fire Bottle it an incendiary device which ignites when thrown against a hard surface.


  • Glass jar or short neck bottle with a leakproof lid or stopper.
  • “Tin” can or similar container just large enough to fit over the lid of the jar.
  • Coil spring (compression) approximately 1/2 the diameter of the can and 1 1/2 times as long.
  • Gasoline
  • Four (4) “blue tip” matches
  • Flat stick or piece of metal (roughly 1/2″ x 1/16″ x 4″)
  • Wire or heavy twine
  • Adhesive tape


1. Draw or scratch two lines around the can - one 3/4″ (19 mm) and the other 1 1/4″ (30 mm) from the open end.

2. Cut 2 slots on opposite sides of the tin can at the line farthest from the open end. Make slots large enough for the flat stick or piece of metal to pass through.

3. Punch 2 small holes just below the rim of the open end of the can.

4. Tape blue tip matches together in pairs. The distance between the match heads should equal the inside diameter of the can. Two pairs are sufficient.

5. Attach paired matches to second and third coils of the spring, using thin wire.

6. Insert the end of the spring opposite the matches into the tin can.

7. Compress the spring until the end with the matches pastes the slot in the can. Pass the flat stick or piece of metal through slots in can to hold spring in place. This acts as a safety device.

8. Punch many closely spaced small holes between the lines marked on the can to form a striking surface for the matches. Be careful not to seriously deform can.

9. Fill the jar with gasoline and cap tightly.

10. Turn can over and place over the jar so that the safety stick rests on the lid of the jar.

11. Pass wire or twine around the bottom of the jar. Thread ends through holes in can and bind tightly to jar.

12. Tape wire or cord to jar near the bottom.


1. Carefully withdraw flat safety stick.

2. Throw jar at hard surface.



The safety stick, when in place, prevents ignition of the fire bottle if it should accidentally be broken.

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