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20 May 2007

A sends PDF and HTML versions of TM 31-210: (273 pages, Zipped, 4.4MB) (271 pages, Zipped, 4.2MB)

[Cover and Table of Contents]
TM 31-210
Department of the Army Technical Manual


(Improvised Explosive Devices or IEDs)

Headquarters, Department of the Army
1969 – original publication
2007 – Thanks-to-Feinstein's Electronic Edition (v3.0)

Improvised Munitions Handbook (Improvised Explosive Devices or IEDs)

Table of Contents

Section 0 — Introduction
0.1 Purpose and Scope
0.2 Safety and Reliability
0.3 User Comments
Section 1 — Explosives and Propellants (including igniters)
1.1 Plastic Explosive Filler
1.2 Potassium Nitrate
1.3 Improvised Black Powder
1.4 Nitric Acid
1.5 Initiator for Dust Explosions
1.6 Fertilizer Explosive
1.7 Carbon Tet – Explosive
1.8 Fertilizer AN-Al Explosive
1.9 “Red or White Powder” Propellant
1.10 Nitric Acid/Nitrobenzene (“Hellhoffite”) Explosive
1.11 Optimized Process for Cellulose/Acid Explosives
1.12 Methyl Nitrate Dynamite
1.13 Urea Nitrate Explosive
1.14 Preparation of Copper Sulfate (Pentahydrate)
1.15 Reclamation of RDX from C4
1.16 TACC (Tetramminecopper (II) Chlorate)
1.17 HMTD
1.18 Potassium or Sodium Nitrite and Litharge (Lead Monoxide)
1.19 DDNP
1.20 Preparation of Lead Picrate
1.21 Preparation of Picric Acid from Aspirin
1.22 Double Salts
1.23 Sodium Chlorate
1.24 Mercury Fulminate
1.25 Sodium Chlorate and Sugar or Aluminum Explosive
Section 2 — Mines and Grenades
2.1 Pipe Hand Grenade
2.2 Nail Grenade
2.3 Wine Bottle Cone Charge
2.4 Grenade-Tin Can Land Mine
2.5 Mortar Scrap Mine
2.6 Coke Bottle Shaped Charge
2.7 Cylindrical Cavity Shaped Charge
2.8 Not Available
2.9 Funnel Shaped Charge
2.10 Linear Shaped Charge
Section 3 — Small Arms Weapons and Ammunition
3.1 Pipe Pistol for 9 mm Ammunition
3.2 Shotgun (12 gauge)
3.3 Shotshell Dispersion Control
3.4 Carbine (7.62 mm Standard Rifle Ammunition)
3.5 Reusable Primer
3.6 Pipe Pistol for .45 Caliber Ammunition
3.7 Match Gun
3.8 Rifle Cartridge
3.9 Pipe Pistol for .38 Caliber Ammunition
3.10 Pipe Pistol for .22 Caliber Ammunition — Long or Short Cartridge
3.11 Low Signature System
Section 4 — Mortars and Rockets
4.1 Recoilless Launcher
4.2 Shotgun Grenade Launcher
4.3 Grenade Launcher (57 mm Cardboard Container)
4.4 Fire Bottle Launcher
4.5 Grenade Launchers
4.6 60 mm Mortar Projectile Launcher
Section 5 — Incendiary Devices
5.1 Chemical Fire Bottle
5.2 Igniter from Book Matches
5.3 Mechanically Initiated Fire Bottle
5.4 Gelled Flame Fuels
5.4.1 Lye Systems
5.4.2 Lye-Alcohol Systems
5.4.3 Soap-Alcohol System
5.4.4 Egg White Systems
5.4.5 Latex Systems
5.4.6 Wax Systems
5.4.7 Animal Blood Systems
5.5 Acid Delay Incendiary
5.6 Improvised White Flare
5.7 Improvised Iron Oxide
5.8 Improvised Yellow Flare
5.9 Improvised White Smoke Munition
5.10 Improvised Black Smoke Munition
Section 6 — Fuses, Detonators & Delay Mechanisms
6.1 Electric Bulb Initiator
6.2 Fuse Igniter from Book Matches
6.3 Delay Igniter from Cigarette
6.4 Watch Delay Timer
6.5 No-Flash Fuse Igniter
6.6 Dried Seed Timer
6.7 Fuse Cords
6.7.1 Fast Burning Fuse
6.7.2 Slow Burning Fuse
6.8 Clothespin Time Delay Switch
6.9 Time Delay Grenade
6.10 Can-Liquid Time Delay
6.11 Short Term Time Delay for Grenade
6.12 Long Term Time Delay for Grenade
6.13 Detonator
Section 7 — Miscellaneous
7.1 Clothespin Switch
7.2 Mousetrap Switch
7.3 Flexible Plate Switch
7.4 Metal Ball Switch
7.5 Altimeter Switch
7.6 Pull-Loop Switch
7.7 Knife Switch
7.8 Improvised Scale
7.9 Rope Grenade Launching Technique
7.10 Bicycle Generator Power Source
7.11 Automobile Generator Power Source
7.12 Improvised Battery (Short Lasting)
7.13 Improvised Battery (2 Hour Duration)
7.14 Armor Materials
Appendix 1 — Primary High Explosives
A1.1 Mercury Fulminate
A1.2 Lead Styphnate
A1.3 Lead Azide
Appendix 2 — Secondary High Explosives
A2.1 TNT
A2.2 Nitrostarch
A2.3 Tetryl
A2.4 RDX
A2.5 Nitroglycerin
A2.6 Commercial Dynamite
A2.7 Military Dynamite
A2.8 Amatol
A2.10 Blasting Gelatin
A2.11 Composition B
A2.12 Composition C4
A2.13 Ammonium Nitrate
C.1 Version History
C.1.1 Version 1.0 (1969)
C.1.2 Version 2.0 (1970s)
C.1.3 Version 3.0 (2007 – Thanks-to-Feinstein's Electronic Edition)
C.2 Copyright Information

Frankford Arsenal
Philadelphia Pennsylvania
For Official Use Only

For further information or additional inserts, contact:

Commanding Officer
Frankford Arsenal
ATTN: SMUF A-U3100, Special Products Division
      Small Caliber Engineering Directorate
Philadelphia, Pa. 19137

Additional inserts will be made available as evaluation tests are completed. Please notify the above agency of any change of address so that you may receive them.

Improvised Munitions Handbook (Improvised Explosive Devices or IEDs)


C.1 Version History

C.1.1 Version 1.0 (1969)

The only things known about the very first publication from 1969 are that it was printed in loose-leaf form and on lighter paper than the widely-available v2.0 reprint. These are known because the procedure for making an Improvised Scale shows a picture of loose hole-punched sheets and the text says, “Each sheet of paper [of the Improvised Munitions Handbook] weighs about 1.3 grams.” However, the reprint uses heavier paper that weighs about 4.5 grams a sheet.

C.1.2 Version 2.0 (1970s or 1980s)

A 6-by-9-inch (15-by-23-cm) trade paperback with a brownish-yellow cover, apparently a reprint of the original publication, is referred to here as v2.0. It has been available to the public for decades, particularly from alternative mail-order publishers and military surplus stores.

C.1.3 Version 3.0 (2007 – Thanks-to-Feinstein's Electronic Edition)

This electronic edition was created from the reprint described above. (“Thanks-to-Feinstein” is a satirical reference to Senator Dianne Feinstein who passed a perverse law that erodes free speech in the U.S.)

Diagrams were scanned at 300-dpi grey scale and saved as JPEG format. Text was scanned and converted by optical character recognition, manually checked, and reformatted in HTML. The colophon (this section) was added. A PDF file was created from the HTML files.

All corrections and changes made while converting the original paper document to electronic form are listed below. Nothing substantial was changed; this electronic edition adheres as closely as possible to v2.0.

Corrections and formatting in v3.0

  1. Some words and phrases were corrected for spelling, consistency, or errors in metric conversion.
  2. Most abbreviations were expanded for clarity.
  3. Trivial changes such as removing or adding whitespace, capitalization changes, or deleting unnecessary periods at the end of words in a table are not itemized.
  4. Hyphenation at ends of line were removed.
  5. Words in ALL CAPITALS were changed to boldface.
  6. Underlined words were changed to italics.
  7. Words that were both ALL CAPITALS AND UNDERLINED were changed to boldface.
  8. Page numbers were removed, but the HTML source code has comments that indicate the v2.0 page numbers; look for “IMH v2.0 page number nnn” in the HTML source code of this document. The PDF edition does not provide a way to view the HTML comments.
  9. Most mixed numbers (i.e., consisting of a whole number and a fraction) have a hyphen in v2.0 (e.g., 1-1/4 inch). For consistency, all mixed numbers are now shown with a hyphen; e.g., 1 1/4 inch became 1-1/4 inch.
  10. The handbook used both table headings “Material Required” and “Materials Required”. All former were changed to the latter for consistency.
  11. Likewise the handbook used both table headings “Common Source” and “Source”. All former were changed to the latter for consistency.
  12. Section numbers were changed from Roman to Arabic numerals in keeping with current practice; e.g., Section V, No. 7 became Section 5.7
  13. Although this document is titled the Improvised Munitions Handbook, improvised munitions are now better known as improvised explosive devices or IEDs. The current expression was added in parentheses alongside each occurrence of the title.

Words and phrases corrected in v3.0
Page in IMH v2.0 Original word in IMH v2.0 Corrected word in IMH v3.0
005 manufacture explosives manufacture of explosives
006 of assure proper to assure proper
010 re-desolve redissolve
012 squeexe squeeze
014 tablespoonsful tablespoonfuls [2 occurrences]
014 tablespoonsful tablespoonful
017 Comp. C-4 Composition C4
017 Comp. B Composition B
028 mononitrobenezene mononitrobenzene
032 Anti-freeze Antifreeze
032 non-permanent nonpermanent
043 C-4 C4 [5 occurrences]
044 C-4 C4 [2 occurrences]
054 Place 1/4 teaspoon 3. Place 1/4 teaspoon
059 milliters milliliters
071 No. 8 commercial commercial #8 (a)
074 handtight hand tight
075 Non-Electric Military Nonelectric military
076 anti-personnel antipersonnel
077 non-sparking nonsparking
078 pre-heat preheat
081 non-metallic nonmetallic
083 NON-ELECTRICAL nonelectrical
084 Non-metal Nonmetal
085 Method 1 Method I
086 non-electrical nonelectrical
087 Non-metallic Nonmetallic
089 non-electrical nonelectrical
090 non-electrical nonelectrical
092 non-electric nonelectric
092 so so that so that
094 explosove explosive
098 re-inspect reinspect
102 re-inspect reinspect
103 hand-tight hand tight
105 re-fold refold
109 hand-tight hand tight
113 8-1/2 [inch] 26-1/2 [cm] 8-1/2 [inch] 21-1/2 [cm] (b)
113 6 [inch] 20 [cm] 6 [inch] 15 [cm] (b)
120 re-inspect reinspect
124 guage gauge
132 push-rod pushrod [2 occurrences]
134 push-rod pushrod
135 push-rod pushrod
151 sulphuric acid