The golf ball-sized grenades and top popper mines of Southeast Asia
The Loadout Room has a great piece on two unsung weapons in the U.S. arsenal used extensively by SF types during the conflict. The M-14 Anti-Personnel mine, more commonly known as the “Toe Popper,” and the V40 Mini-Fragmentation Grenade.
The first weapon, the M14 mine, looked like a small, thick disc that was olive drab in color, 2.2 inches in diameter and 1.5 inches in height. It contained 1 ounce of Tetryl explosive to make up its 3.5-ounce weight. This lightness came from its mostly plastic construction, and, to set it off, required a pressure of between 20 to 35 pounds.
The V40, at 2.6 inches high, 1.6 inches in diameter and weighing just 4.8 ounces, the grenade gave the appearance of a modified golf ball. A safety spoon like that found on standard grenades extended along its side and when released, caused the fuse mechanism to detonate the grenade four seconds later. The fragmentation pattern came from 326 squares pressed inside the metal casing and had a 16-foot lethal radius.
How were they used?