Old Tactic used again: booby-trap ammunition
The front page of the New York Times today (Sat, 20 Sep) is “Syrians Place Booby Traps in Rebel Guns”.
…Ghadir Hammoush, the commander of a fighting group in Idlib Province who said he knew of five instances in which rifles had exploded from booby-trapped ammunition…
The practice has principally involved rifle and machine-gun cartridges, but also the projectiles for rocket-propelled grenades and perhaps mortar rounds according to interviews with more than half-dozen rebel leaders in Syria and many fighters, as well as aqn examination of shattered rifles and the contents of a bobby-trapped cartridge.
The primary source for doctored ammunition has been the Syrian government.
I’ve seen assertions that both sides used this approach in the desert in WWII.
I have seen indications the US created booby-trap 7.62x39mm ammo in Vietnam including a warning in 1966 not to use captured VC/NV ammo with two or three listed headstamps because it could be booby-trapped. I assumed at the time that this must have been ammo the US booby-trapped since specific headstamps were listed.
When I was with the RAF in the mid-70s, I heard rumors that the British had used similar items in some problem areas in the post-WWII period.
I have a 9x19, reported Russian made that is a booby-trap round. In the early 1990s some of these showed up in both 9x19 and 45ACP. With the 45s was a cloth sack with Cyrillic on the front indicating the rounds were booby-trap cartridges, as I remember. At the time I was told that the language on the Sack was Bulgarian and not Russian, even though the cartridges were Russian made. This is also when the unheadstamped, red and green tip 9x19mm rounds were coming out of Russia (claimed to be from the KGB), and the cases on all three appear identical.
Some ideas just continue to be reinvented.
Always looking for 9x19mm cartridges, boxes and DATA!!!
for books on cartridge-info on 9x19mm-Updated 25 July 2012---9mm German WWII Cartons & Cases
IAA since 1965 ECRA since 1967