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M1A1 and M5 WWII US Booby Trap Firing Devices

Article about: I was digging though my Ordinance box and thought that these two firing devices or booby traps, would be interesting to you all. The first is an M1A1 Pressure Firing Device attached to a gre

  1. #1
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    Default M1A1 and M5 WWII US Booby Trap Firing Devices

    I was digging though my Ordinance box and thought that these two firing devices or booby traps, would be interesting to you all. The first is an M1A1 Pressure Firing Device attached to a grenade. This M1A1 is mint and still has the two safeties attached to it. One is a split pin toward the end that keeps the firing pin from striking the primer. The other safety is a sheet metal clip that keeps the pressure plate from being depressed. Note that there are two strings attached to both safeties for easy removal. The assembly with the prongs is very versatile and can be shortened by removing the interconnecting rod and screwing it directly to the pressure plate.

    An interesting note is the primer/detonator that screws onto the end of this device. These are always missing when you buy the device, because they are the things the go boom, when the device triggers. These detonators are double threaded things with a smaller fine thread on one end and a course, larger thread on the other end that is the same thread as a grenade.

    The reason I bring up the subject of the detonator is that I was at the OGCA gun show a long while back and stopped at a table that had a junk box with three black cans that were priced $3.00 each and were marked REPLACEMENT PARTS FOR ANTI PERSONNEL PRACTICE MINE T4 10- IGNITOR ASSEMBLIES. I was intrigued and bought one of the cans and opened it up to look inside and then immediately bought the last two cans. What was inside is shown below and were practice igniters that will not only work for all of the various firing devices, but also the rebounding type, anti personnel, mines. The detonator section is made up of a small powder charge inside a black enameled paper tube. When triggered, the igniter times for about 4 seconds and the paper end explodes with about the same power as a couple of firecrackers. Not enough to detonate high explosives, but enough to act as a noise maker/attention getter that the booby trap/mine had been activated, during practice. But the important thing is that live, or not, the metal part still acts as an essential, coupler for the various firing devices to grenades/mines, etc. These couplers seem to be in short supply, compared to the Firing Devices.

    Lastly, I have an M5 Pressure Release Firing Device that is designed to be used on the underside of a mine to make it more difficult to remove from the ground. When the mine is lifted, this mousetrap type device detonates it. The M5 comes with a primer called a “Standard base” which is not powerful enough, by itself, to detonate a mine. It is screwed into a second assembly called an Activator which has enough bang to blow up the mine. The M5 can also be used to explode a grenade, but the “Standard base” would still need to be replaced with a detonator, or an Activator added. This M5 is also mint and complete with the safety locking pin and string to remove it. I got this M5 off of Ebay and was really pleasantly surprised that when it arrived, the detonator was still live on it, with the protective cap.


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  2. #2
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    Default Re: M1A1 and M5 WWII US Booby Trap Firing Devices

    Sorta surprised this post didn't get at least one response. How about three more mint fuzes I recently bought together. An M1, M3 and M6 along with their live standard bases with primers. Also, included are the internal diagrams of the three fuzes.

    Bob

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    Last edited by rambob; 01-03-2012 at 02:07 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: M1A1 and M5 WWII US Booby Trap Firing Devices

    I think they are cool, nice collection of them and thanks for showing.

    Eric
    [h=3]e plu·ri·bus u·num[/h]

  4. #4

    Default Re: M1A1 and M5 WWII US Booby Trap Firing Devices

    Very informative, Bob...Thanks for posting...
    Thanos.

  5. #5

    Default Re: M1A1 and M5 WWII US Booby Trap Firing Devices

    Very nice... I love ordnance items....BILL
    "As long as there are brave men and warriors the halls of Valhalla will never be silent or empty"

    In memory of my father William T. Grist December 26, 1920--September 10, 2009..
    901st. Ordnance H.A.M. North Africa, Italy, Southern France....ETO
    Also in memory of my mother Jane Kidd Grist Feb. 22, 1920-- September 27, 2009... WWll War bride May 1942...

  6. #6

    Default Re: M1A1 and M5 WWII US Booby Trap Firing Devices

    Do you know what type of trap this is?

    Regards,
    Steven
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: M1A1 and M5 WWII US Booby Trap Firing Devices

    Yes sir I do know that one. That is a Release Firing Device M1. See the attached diagram for the details. BTW. This is about the only Booby Trap fuze device that I do not have in my collection.

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  8. #8

    Default Re: M1A1 and M5 WWII US Booby Trap Firing Devices

    Thanx for the info.
    Like you I've got them all except the M5(mouse trap).
    Got most of them from the army booby-trap course.
    The M1, I bought it not so long ago.
    If you're intrested there is a UK seller who has 2 for sale a lot cheaper than I got it, even with postage.
    http://www.dugup.co.uk/oridinance/ordinance_1.htm

    Regards,
    Steven

  9. #9

    Default

    Awesome stuff thanks very much....i just found a M1A1 device in the ground yesterday. cheers

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