Original Soviet Cold War PMN Anti-Personnel Blast Mine -Cleared by U.S. Army E.O.D.- INERT

Item Description

Original Item: Very Few Available. Totally inert and demilitarized according to BATF guidelines with hollow body and inert fuse. This mine cannot be converted to an explosive device and is not available for export.

An interesting Cold War Relic. This is a genuine Soviet Made PMN Mine which was collected at one of the various Proxy Wars of the 1980s and sent to the United States for study. The mine was cleared of explosive and tagged by a U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Demolition team during this time, and then tagged indicating it was safe for study. This could have come from a multitude of various locations; Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Angola, Grenada, etc. There is a number code on the bottom of the mine, which indicates that this particular mine was manufactured in 1979 (the same year as the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan).

The PMN (Rus. противопехотная мина нажимная (En: "antipersonnel pressure mine")) series of blast anti-personnel mines were designed and manufactured in the Soviet Union. They are one of the most widely used and commonly found devices during demining operations. They are sometimes nicknamed "black widow" because of their dark casings.

The design of the PMN-1 mine dates from the late 1950s. It is particularly deadly because it contains an unusually large explosive filling when compared to most other anti-personnel landmines. For comparison, most anti-personnel blast mines (e.g. the VS-50) contain around 50 grams of high explosive, which typically destroys all or part of a victim's foot. In marked contrast, a PMN-1 contains 249 grams of explosive which can easily destroy a victim's entire leg. These mines are palm sized and cylindrical in shape. The PMN-1 has a bakelite case (brown or black in colour) with a black rubber pressure-plate and contains TNT explosive.

The PMN-1 mine is armed by removing a steel ring-pull at the end of the horizontal fuze. When in position, the pin on the end of the ring-pull holds a spring-loaded striker back from the stab-detonator. Pulling out the ring-pull starts an arming delay, which comprises a thin steel wire (held under tension by the spring-loaded striker) which must cut through a small strip of lead before it is freed. The process of cutting through the lead strip takes between 2 and 12 minutes, depending on ambient temperature. After the wire has completely cut through the lead strip, the spring-loaded striker is freed and slides forward a few millimetres before stopping, blocked by the sliding gate of the pressure plate mechanism. At this point the mine is fully armed i.e. the only thing holding back the spring-loaded striker from the stab-detonator is a weak creep-spring on the pressure plate mechanism. Subsequently, any downward pressure on the pressure plate (i.e. when someone steps on the mine) overcomes the upward pressure of the creep-spring and pushes down the sliding gate that holds back the spring-loaded striker. This action frees the striker which flips forward into the stab detonator, firing both it and the adjacent tetryl booster which triggers detonation of the main TNT explosive filling. It is not a blast resistant mine.

Later versions of this mine were used in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine where Ukrainian civilians helped to clear the mines from roads.

Height: 57 mm
Diameter: 112 mm
Main charge weight: 240 g TNT (initiated by a 9 gram tetryl booster)
Total weight: 600 g
Fuze: MD-9 (stab-sensitive)
Operating pressure: 5.8 kg

These rarely, if ever come up for sale on the militaria market. As these were never imported for sale in the United States, the only way to obtain one is to find one which was part of a former EOD familiarization collection like this one! Ready for display!

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