Weapon Review – Cartridge Trap

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This continues an intermittent series on weapons that are particularly adaptable to Special Operations Low Intensity Conflict (SOLIC) situations or so-called ‘zombie wars’. There are a number of weapons that are easy to both make and use in these small wars/guerrilla conflicts. Today, we look at one of the simplest and least expensive land mines/boobytraps, the cartridge trap.

The Vietnamese take credit for coming up with this one because they (the Viet Cong) employed it successfully against the US military in Viet Nam. They’re very simple to build. The Vietnamese usually used a 7.62×39 cartridge but you could also use something as potent ad a .50 BMD cartridge.  A man’s weight will set it off. Bamboo works, so does simple lath and a ten penny nail. They are not immune from detection by a metal detector, but mines are usually area denial weapons. They slow troop movement, allowing for snipers to go to work or they force troops into an un-mined area (killing funnel).
The cartridge trap isn’t as elegant as a “Bouncing Betty” (The German S-mine (Schrapnellmine, Springmine or Splittermine in German), also known as the “Bouncing Betty”) nor is it as effective, but if all you have is wood scraps, a few nails and a  magazine full of cartridges, you can still lay out a minefield that will work.

11 thoughts on “Weapon Review – Cartridge Trap

  1. Stepping into a gopher hole is often a recipe for tibia/fibula double "boot top" fracture as well. Whatever works.

  2. Just set up a bout a thousand of these along the American mex boarder. That should slow down a whole bunch of invading illegal aliens. heltau

  3. You'd need millions of them. And the deer and wildlife could be hurt by them – so that wouldn't be a great use of these improvised landmines.

  4. I've seen them used. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't but their presence does constitute an 'area denial' of sorts and that's what they're intended to do.

  5. Maybe we need to pass a newer and tougher law, or set of laws outlawing bamboo and scrap wood that are components of the mine. If you simply substitute a sharp stick (pungee stick) for the cartridge and crap on it, the pit mine still works. Legislation solves everything in America (and everywhere else).

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