May 2008 14

Front Towards Enemy!

Games, Rants!

Front Towards Enemy!

So, nothing bothers me more about Call of Duty 4 than how it and every other game, movie and .. media of choice .. misrepresent the Claymore mine. In CoD4, its used as an anti-personnel mine, as it should be.. but it has a minuscule range, and isn't very powerful. If they wanted a small anti-personnel mine thats fine, but why besmirch the good name of the Claymore?

Everything I have seen about the Claymore mine in modern day media is likely convincing kids all over the world that the M18A1 Claymore Mine has 2 little lasers that shoot out to represent its firing arc, that all of them are self detonating and that right behind the claymore is a perfectly safe place to be -- wrong..

While there are some mines that can be triggered by the mine itself, the vast majority of them are fired by an individual using the clacker (or rather, the M57 firing device.) And they are absolutely devastating when they go off.

While in the US Army, I got to see a Claymore mine detonated in person. It was one of those US Weapons demonstrations that they do in basic training to get the soldiers pumped up, and let me tell ya -- the Claymore was damn impressive. The drill sergeants had setup human silhouettes all around the claymore, front and back. Those in front were about 150 feet away and those in back were about 50 feet away.

When the drill finally pushed the plunger, the world moved. A massive explosion took place and a huge cloud of dust and debris rained down.. The drill came walking up with a huge shit-eating grin and once the smoke cleared ALL of the silhouettes were gone. We got to see them after wards too, no one would have lived. Thats when it became clear to me that the Claymore mine was NOT compatible with life..

The Claymore mine fires 700 1/6th inch steel balls and uses the Misznay-Schardin Effect to spray those balls outward in a 60 degree arc in front of the mine. (Thus the iconic, "FRONT TOWARDS ENEMY"). Within that 60 degree arc it has an effective range of 65 to 100 feet, out of that 60 degree arc the range is less, but the mine is still quite effective and you're gonna have a bad day if you're closer to it than 50 feet. I mean think about it, it has almost a full pound of c-4 explosive in it; that will ruin anyones day.

In 1954 Picatinny Arsenal issued criteria that the claymore mine had to meet, they were as follows;

  • Must weigh less than 3 pounds.
  • Must throw enough fragments so that at a range of 55 yards (50 meters) it achieves a 100 percent strike rate on a 1.3 square feet target (in other words, it always must hit a person at 55 yards)
  • Fragment area must not be more than 8 feet high and no more than 60 degrees
  • Fragments must have a velocity of 4,000 feet per second of kinetic energy delivered to the target.

This means that if you're closer than 55 yards you're going to be hit by at least one if not more steel balls traveling at 3500+ feet per second.. That's just awful.. Not bad for a device that costs less than $200 each.

I think it seriously down plays the effectiveness and devastation that a Claymore mine can put out when some game says it only has a range of 3 or 4 virtual feet and, oh you can live through it, and oh its safe to lay down behind it..

You can't live through it, they have a good long range, and it only takes one of those 700 ball bearings to kill you.

You certainly can't lay down behind it and be safe .. On the front it says "FRONT TOWARDS ENEMY", and on the back it says "GET THE FUCK AWAY!!".. er.. okay it just says "BACK", but maybe it should say more..