M18A1 Claymore Mine
by Tim Davis

The Claymore was developed to defend against mass attacks. Seven hundred steel balls are embedded in C4 Explosive. The mine is shaped like a curved rectangle. This convex design allows for a full sixty-degree pattern of deadly steel balls when the mine is activated. The blast mows right through elephant grass.

For an even more devastating effect, a solid material or tamp is placed behind the mine. It was not only used defensively, but in ambushes. One deadly method was to detonate mines shoulder high on a tree, and then a second or two later, detonating additional mines at ground level. A friend of mine kept one in the top flap of his rucksack to use as a last resort.

The mine can also be pried open and the C4 used to heat up food. The Claymore was used extensively by Rangers during the Vietnam War.


Primary Function Anti-personnel mine
Manufacturer Department of the US Army
Dimensions L: 8.5 in
W: 1.5 in
H: 3.5 in
Weight 3.5 lbs
Body Casing Polystyrene and fiberglass
Charge C4 with 700 Steel Balls
Activation/Firing Various. Command Detonation,
time delay, tripwire, remote
Charge Initiation Electrical or non-electrical
blasting cap
Effective Range 50 m