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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DET (AKA DETONATION) CHORD ...

I remember the engineers having some of this stuff way back when and it was pretty neat to have wit ya should the need ever arise ...

Is it possible for you to supply us with any info (such as burn rate & ignition info) on this handy little piece of rope ... :?:

Also ... Is it still produced and in use in todays military ... :?:

TIA Bill

Six
 

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Sorry Six I don't have any Engineer Manual available. My specialty is ordnance items. I can tell you my platoon used it a few times in country to blow up a few UXO. I don't remember the burn rate but it was something like 20,000 ft per second. The main problem I remember is you can't be shy with packing the C4 (or C3, we had some of that too when I was in). If the C4 is not packed tight enough there is a risk of the det cord blowing the material apart without detonation.
 

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they still use det cord six. they use it for clearing mine fields and for tactical entry among i'm sure dozens of other uses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Bill & fubar ... :wink:

I do recall them telling us at one time that the burn rate was quite fast and that is about 4 miles in one second which is pretty quick if I do say so myself ... :wink:

Six
 

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A subject dear to my heart.

I was with 1st Engineers (USMC).
We mounted out ( 1st Mar Div ) in 65.
First to Oki for awhile, then to Nam ( Chu Lai ).

Always had a few wraps of det cord with me on ops.
The stuff was just plain ole fun !

Back in camp we made "CENSOREDGI cans" with it.
One wrap around a 50 gal drum - "Blam"
instant two halves.... just weld on a couple of handles.

Det cord also served us well to "lubricate" prisoners.
Just a short demo for them as to how it worked ~
then one wrap around the neck, .... they got the idea.

I had a love affair with C-4 as well.
It was my favorite "trading item".
I packed at least 20-40 lbs of it on ops.

A 1" ball of C-4 would heat a C rat...like... RIGHT NOW !
It doesn't explode when lit, .. just burns like a torch straight outta hell.

That little C-4 ball was worth a can of Peaches or Pears
...or Pound Cake.......... or a 5 pack of Camels !
Made life worth livin' back then.

Days long gone..... but I can still smell em !

Thanks to all of you.... My Brothers !
 

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Our EOD guys use the stuff as shape charges to propel water. It's amazing the damage an incompressible fluid can do when propelled with sufficient energy.
 

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Interesting lesson

later, dozer

p.s. I'm sure clicking on those links has raised my rating with the NSA
 

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I remember the engineers having some of this stuff way back when and it was pretty neat to have wit ya should the need ever arise ...

Is it possible for you to supply us with any info (such as burn rate & ignition info) on this handy little piece of rope ... :?:
Memory don't fail me now....

As far as I know, Det Cord is made from an RDX (Research Department Explosive) powder that is packed into a tube.

One of it's chemical names is Cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine, which is the only one I know of that doesn't include numbers in the name and explains why everyone just calls it RDX.


RDX has a brisance of 27,000 FPS (A bit over 5 miles a second.)


It's most commonly used with PETN (Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate) in the manufacture of both C4 and Semtex, in a 60/40 and 40/60 ratio respectively. PETN burns at 26,000 FPS That's why C4 burns a bit faster than Semtex. In fact, the main difference are the plasticizers. C4 always put me in mind of Marzipan, although it's slightly less edible.
 

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Our EOD guys use the stuff as shape charges to propel water. It's amazing the damage an incompressible fluid can do when propelled with sufficient energy.
As the resident anal-retentive science dork I am forced to point out that water, being ordinary non-degenerate matter, is in fact compressible. GI5
 
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As the resident anal-retentive science dork I am forced to point out that water, being ordinary non-degenerate matter, is in fact compressible. GI5
This may true but det cord with IV packs do make excellent door breaching charges. Did many in my career as a 12B, both stateside and in the sandboxRNGR1
 

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I remember 26,000 feet/sec. This stuff is a lot of FUN! One year when I went back to South Africa, my policeman friend came and picked me up. He was a Colonel and went through explosives training, and had a big red box in the trunk. I asked him what was in it, and he replied Cordex, P4, Semtex, a couple of handgrenades, a russian limpet mine and a few other things I don't remember. And an R6 with plenty of ammo. I asked him if it wasn't dangerous to drive with in the car, and he told me if it went off, we would not even feel it...USN3

Went out to the SAP training grounds, and spent half a day blowing things up, shooting at the P4 with the R6, cutting poles down with the Cordex, chucking M26 and russian handgrenades. He saved the limpet mine for last, it was a big sucker, and he set it off with P4 and a timer. Most of the other stuff we took shelter not more than about 100 yards away, but for the limpet mine we were FAR away, and when that sucker went off, it shook the ground and was LOUD. I liked the little R6 a lot, and he asked me if I would like one. Though he was kidding, but he was serious, told me he could "appropriate" one for me if I left the country with it. He must have thought you could own anything you wanted in the US. It was tempting, but the visions of sharing a cell with Leroy or Bubba was not. Just so happens that I breezed through customs on the way back with my legal rifles and handgun I took with me (the good old days..).DI5

The semtex looked like purple donuts from what I remember.
 

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This may true but det cord with IV packs do make excellent door breaching charges. Did many in my career as a 12B, both stateside and in the sandboxRNGR1
No argument there.

You ever make any "Reverse Door Openers" ?
6" sections of 1/2 copper pipe covered with a layer of C4, stuck onto door hinges with chewing gum and connected with detcord?
 

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As the resident anal-retentive science dork I am forced to point out that water, being ordinary non-degenerate matter, is in fact compressible. GI5
Don't worry, your not the only anal-retentive science dork.GI2 Being an engineer really has its moments...my wife just gives me the strangest looks sometimes.

So in regards to your commentary I wasn't expecting to get into a fluid dynamic debate and didn't think the need to preface my comments with scientific gobbledygook, but for all intents and purposes water is incompressible.

Keeping in mind compressibility of water is a function of pressure and temperature the result is a fluid who's density changes very little in its liquid state when subjected to these changing variables. So technically speaking you are correct. There is no such thing in reality as water being an incompressible fluid.

In the absence of having my undergrad books readily available I believe the observed change in volume when the correct temperate/pressure is reached is about 0.3%. When the change in density with pressure is so small as to be negligible we typically refer to it as incompressible hence my use of the term.

So there you have it, a discussion on fluid dynamics on a gun forum. Go figure. GI3
 

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All I remember was using it in 1975 in a land far far away and enjoying its many uses! I remember stories from the EOD guys that electrical detonators should not be used near high power lines. I heard one apocryphal story about a guy who had the electrical detonators stuck in the C4 forgetting to short the wires before jumping out of the Land Rover and got blown up. I also remember another story of a guy picking up a long strand of det cord - when it was set off, lost fingers on both hands!

The stories may or may not have been true but we had a lot of fun blowing things to kingdom come that week!
 
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