M18A1 Claymore

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M18A1 Claymore anti-personnel mine

The M18 Claymore series are directional antipersonnel mines developed during the 1950s. The M18A1 Claymore is the main production version and the most likely to be seen: it was adopted by the United States Military in 1960 and first used in Vietnam in 1966. Contrary to depictions in media which usually show it as rigged to a tripwire or proximity detonated, the M18A1 is almost always used in a command-detonated mode using the M57 "clacker" detonator (a small piezoelectric toggle generator based on an igniter developed by the US Navy for the "Tiny Tim" air-to-surface rocket) linked to the mine via a cable. Multiple mines can be daisychained to the same detonator. While they are not usually used in a self-detonated mode, it is possible to rig up systems to detonate the mine via other means: anything which can trigger a blasting cap will work.

The mine's payload is 700 1/8-inch (3.2mm) steel ball bearings encased in a resin matrix, set in front of a convex layer of C4 explosive that is normally triggered by a blasting cap. On detonation, the ball bearings are ejected in a 60-degree arc at around 4,000 feet per second (1,200 meters per second or Mach 3.6) with the force of the detonation distorting them to the point they resemble .22 caliber bullets. The mine's effective range is around 55 yards (50m), though fragments can travel up to 270 yards (250m). The "hump" on the top of the mine is an iron sight to allow the user to judge its area of effect when placing it, with the two "ears" on the side a pair of removable combination shipping plugs and priming adaptors which cover the two fuze wells: these can be rotated, and can either be used to route a cable through to an inserted blasting cap, or removed to insert non-standard detonators. Claymores are typically issued in an M7 bandolier ("Claymore bag") containing a printed instruction sheet, a mine, M6 electric blasting caps, the M57 detonator, a 100-foot (30m) M4 firing wire wrapped around a plastic spool, and an M40 circuit tester for function tests.

The original M18 was barely produced (only 10,000 were made, some of which made their way to Vietnam in 1961) and can be distinguished from the M18A1 by having straight stakes for legs rather than the fold-open scissor-legs of the M18A1, with stability provided by a third leg in the middle which extends out in front of the mine, and with the iron sight on top of the mine an optional accessory. It is not marked "FRONT TOWARD ENEMY." It is also internally different, using C-3 explosive instead of C4 and using steel cube projectiles instead of ball bearings. It was ineffective, having numerous reliability issues and a range of only 30 yards (27m). The battery-powered firing device issued with this variant and early M18A1s was notoriously unsafe to the point that FM 23-23 ("Antipersonnel Mine M18A1 And M18 (Claymore)") states that batteries should not be inserted into it unless the user is attempting to detonate whatever it is attached to.

In a live-action production the mines are, obviously, never going to be live devices outside of stock footage. The mine casing often comes from an M68 Inert Training Kit: the mine in this kit, the M33, has no explosive or pyrotechnic filler, and is either blue, black, or green with a blue band. The kit also contains an M10 inert firing wire. In films, M33 mines can sometimes be recognised by the green paint flaking off or being scratched due to handling, revealing the original color below and / or the word "INERT" written on both edges of the rear face on some variants (for example in Predator). In both this movie and Commando the armorer appears to have ground off "M33" from the rear face, leaving only the words "BACK APERS MINE," though more recent films have either added the "M18A1" lettering or used reproduction M18A1 backplates.

The M18A1 Claymore and variants can be seen in the following films, television series, video games, and anime used by the following actors:

Contents


Specifications

(1954-1960s (M18), 1960 – Present (M18A1))

  • Type: Antipersonnel mine
  • Origin: United States
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg)
  • Length: 8.5 in (21.6 cm)
  • Fire Modes: Command detonation, other methods can be jury-rigged

Film

Title Actor Character Notation Date
The Green Berets As part of base defense perimeter 1968
Commando Arnold Schwarzenegger John Matrix With fictional wireless detonator 1985
The Park is Mine Jong Soo Park Tran Chan Dinh 1985
Platoon 1986
Predator Bill Duke Sgt. Mac M33, green paint partially rubbed off in one scene showing blue underneath 1987
Bullet in the Head Simon Yam Ah Lok 1990
Bullet in the Head Jacky Cheung Fai 1990
Bullet in the Head Việt Cộng 1990
G.I. Jane Jim Caviezel Slovnik 1997
Proof of Life Russell Crowe Terry Thorne 2000
Sniper 2 2002
Tears of the Sun Cole Hauser James "Red" Atkins 2003
S.W.A.T. Jeremy Renner Brian Gamble 2003
S.W.A.T. Colin Farrell Officer Jim Street 2003
The Punisher Thomas Jane Frank Castle 2004
Jarhead Brian Geraghty Fergus 2005
Rambo Sylvester Stallone John Rambo 2008
Predators Oleg Taktarov Nikolai 2010
Maximum Conviction Steve Austin Manning 2012
Red Dawn (2012) 2012
No Tears for the Dead 2014

Television

Actor Character Show Title / Episode Note Air Date
U.S. soldiers Tour of Duty 1987-1990
U.S. Marines Generation Kill 2008
Extremists East West 101 2009

Anime

Title Character Note Date
Kochikame, The Movie JSDF members 1999
Future Diary 2011

Video Games

Claymore mines in videogames are almost universally shown as proximity detonated, usually triggered by stepping inside their blast zone; as a result, their area of effect is generally unrealistically small. Proximity detonation is not a feature of the real mine, which is typically command detonated using a "clacker" triggering device.

Game Title Referred as Mods Notation Release Date
Ghost Recon 2001
Vietcong 2003
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Fictional version with proximity detonator 2007
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Fictional version with proximity detonator 2009
Call of Duty: Black Ops Claymore Fictional version with proximity detonator 2010
Crysis 2007
Metal Gear Solid Claymore Fictional version with proximity detonator and optic stealth 1998
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes Claymore Fictional version with proximity detonator and optic stealth 2004
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Claymore Fictional version with proximity detonator and optic stealth 2001
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Claymore Fictional version with proximity detonator 2004
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Claymore Fictional version with proximity detonator 2008
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker Fictional version with proximity detonator 2010
Battlefield 2 2005
Battlefield: Vietnam 2003
Fallout Tactics Claymore 2001
Project Reality 2005
Project Reality Type 66 2005
Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising 2009
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2010
Delta Force: Xtreme 2 2010
Battlefield Play4Free 2011
Vietcong 2 2003
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Fictional version with proximity detonator 2011
War Inc. Battlezone 2011
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier 2012
Project Reality: Falklands 2012
Project Reality: Vietnam 2012
ArmA Tactics M18A1 Claymore command-detonated and proximity-detonated 2013
Battlefield 4 2013



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