TM-01 Trip Wire Directional Mine

 

When Team Blackjack became staff for Operation: Irene we found that we needed to create some traps for one of the scenarios.  Well we brainstormed and tried to get a balance of interesting, effective and safe.  What we finally came up with was not only those but also fairly cheap.  The break through came when I happened into a dollar store called "DEAL$" and found the key.  In their party section I found "refill cartridges" for a little gun called a "Party Popper".  What this gun did was use the cartridges to fire confetti or streamers.  These cartridges used a cap, just like the little plastic caps you can buy at Wal-Mart do.  $1.00 for a package of 96 of them that are used in cap guns.  What this meant to me was reloadability!  The cartridges were 1/2" in diameter and about 1 1/2 " long and looked just like a shell for a Desert Eagle .50 AE Magnum with the primer (red cap) sticking out the back on a plastic "nipple" so to speak.

I got the cartridges out to the car and immediately opened them.  I thumped one of the caps to test the cartridge....Don't do this!  No permanent damage or even marks but man did that hurt!  It did however shoot out the streamers at a pretty good velocity so I was a happy camper.

Once I got home I started on the prototype for the "mine".  I took a common every day mouse trap and trimmed the trigger lever in half with tin snips so that I would have room to drill the mounting hole for the cartridge.  I then drilled a 1/2" diameter hole in front of the trigger which the cartridge slides right into with a snug fit and the lip of the cartridge naturally holds it in place.

Next I drilled a much smaller hole directly under the trigger for the trip wire to pass through.  The trip wire is then tied to the end of the trigger and ran through the hole.  I would suggest giving it a trip wire that is about six feet longer just wait until you are emplacing the mine to attach the trip wire.

Next I took a penny and used electrical tape to suspend it between the sides of the "slapper" so that the penny would strike the cap on the cartridge.

Finally, I stapled a craft stick to the trap so that it could be stuck in the ground upright.

 

Initially, I loaded the cartridge with 8 .20 gram BBs and test fired it.  The result was deceptive indoors as the BBs seemed to be propelled at a high velocity.  Once tested out-doors it was somewhat less than impressive.  Sixgun and myself then spent an evening testing payloads and wadding in the cartridges to try and find that balance of propellant, mass and quantity to create a viable trap.  We tried varying numbers of BBs, different types of wadding and finally arrived at this:

The cartridges were loaded with a thin cardboard wad followed by a small cotton wad to distribute the thrust evenly to the payload.  The payload ended up being a small amount of tiny star pasta that actually spread and traveled far enough to make the trap viable then another thin cardboard wad was placed in the end to retain the payload in the cartridge.

We are going to continue with payload research to find the perfect projectiles for the trap.  Of course, you can forgo the payload and create quite an effective sound trap.

Here are some pictures of a finished trap that was used during Operation: Irene for the first time.

Click the thumbnail to enlarge the picture.