M18A1 Claymore Mine
The M18A1 Claymore mine is used as an
electrically-controlled, one-shot weapon. It is used in support of other
weapons employed in a unit's final protective fires.
It is a directional, fragmentation antipersonnel mine, designed
primarily for use against massed infantry attacks. It has:
- A fixed plastic sight
- Folding, adjustable legs
- Two detonator wells
- An olive-drab plastic case
The mine weighs a little over 3 pounds, consisting of 1 1/2 pounds of
Composition C4 explosive, plus steel sphere projectiles.
When detonated, the M18A1 mine projects steel fragments over a
60-degree, fan-shaped pattern approximately 6 feet high and 50 meters
wide, at a range of 50 meters.
This pattern of distribution is very effective up to 50 meters,
moderately effective to 100 meters, and dangerous out to 250 meters.
One mine and its' accessories are carried in the M7 bandoleer. Attached
to the flap of the bandoleer are complete written instructions for
installing, arming, testing, and firing the mine. It is strongly
recommended that if at all possible, you read the directions before using
To Arm the Mine:
- Aim the mine using the sighting slit.
- Firmly press the support legs into the ground, rechecking the aim.
- Lay wire from firing position to the mine.
- Insert blasting cap into either detonator well and secure with the
To Fire the Mine:
- Take cover at the firing position.
- Insert plug of wire directly into M57 Firing Device, with the
"Safety" in the "On" position.
- Rotate the "Safety" to the "Off" position.
- Depress the handle (squeeze the device) sharply. This will send an
electrical current to the blasting cap, causing it to detonate. The
detonation of the cap, in turn, will cause the main charge of C-4 to
detonate, sending the steel fragments into the opposing personnel.
To Disarm the Mine:
- From the cover of the firing position, move the "Safety"
to the "On" position.
- Disconnect the M57 firing device from the blasting cap wire.
- Approach the mine from the rear.
- Carefully remove the Shipping Plug - Priming Adaptor and the
blasting cap from the detonator well.
- Return all material to their original positions in the M7 Bandoleer.
Helpful Tips on Claymore Mines:
- The C-4 explosive is relatively stable, usually requiring a sharp
explosion from inside the detonator well to set off the main charge.
- Since it can be fired only once, timing is everything. It should not be
used against single targets, but saved for its' intended targets, massed
personnel. When lead elements of an enemy formation approach within about 20
or 30 meters of the mine, it should be detonated.
- Although the mine is designed to spray an arc of 60 degrees in front of
it, you can expect to get stray fragments and secondary missiles anywhere
in front of the mine out to about 250 meters. You can also expect
secondary fragments to rebound up to 100 meters behind the mine.
While you can't rely on these stray or secondary fragments to effectively
stop an enemy, they may be hazardous to your own personnel in the area.
More Information on
More Information on Operational Safety
From Operational Medicine 2001:
Health Care in Military Settings
CAPT Michael John Hughey, MC, USNR
January 1, 2001
Bureau of Medicine and
Department of the Navy,
2300 E Street NW,
United States Special Operations Command,
7701 Tampa Point Blvd.,
MacDill AFB, Florida,
Textbooks and Manuals
This website is dedicated to the development and dissemination of medical information that may be useful to those who practice Operational Medicine. This website is privately-held and not connected to any governmental agency. The views expressed here are those of the authors, and unless otherwise noted, do not necessarily reflect the views of
the Brookside Associates, Ltd., any governmental or private organizations. All writings, discussions, and publications on this website are unclassified.
© 2006 Medical Education Division, Brookside Associates, Ltd. All rights reserved