Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Bomb Disposal Overkill?

I'm certainly no expert but I can't help but wonder if some of this local bomb disposal stuff we hear about doesn't go a bit overboard?

The Times-Standard reports on a supposed live hand grenade found in a truck in Fortuna. The Sheriff's Dept. bomb disposal folks go down and blow it up. Was all of that necessary?

The pictures to the left are of U.S. hand grenades. The top one is the old "pineapple"style grenade used during World War 2. The bottom being the most modern type, at least of the last type I've personally seen.

Yes, they can cause damage and even kill people, but the don't detonate by just looking at them. You have to pull the safety pin, then release the "spoon"- the lever that holds the ignition pin back from firing the primer. Once the primer is hit, it ignites a blasting cap but there's also something like a 5(?) second delay before the main charge goes off. They're not something that's going to go off just by touching them. 

So why go through all the hassle of blowing it up? You could take the grenade out somewhere safe, pull the pin and throw it. Of course, that could cause problems if it didn't go off. Then you would have the dicey job of having to get in close to it and use explosives to destroy it. You could always try to unscrew the fuse assembly from the main body of the grenade. Then all that would go off is the blasting cap. 

Not sure if that's easier said than done, though. On the grenades used for training purposes the fuses can be unscrewed by hand.

But why make such a big scene over a hand grenade? All I can figure is it's standard operating procedure to handle all such incidents the same way even though they could have easily just taken it down to the Mad River bar, pulled the pin and tossed it.


At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Old grenades are unreliable. Trust how it's supposed to work and you could end up dead.

At 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whats your phone number? Next time we'll just call you and you can take care of it.

At 2:24 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Fine by me.


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