What is a Claymore mine?
The Claymore mine is an anti-personnel mine named after a Scottish sword. In contrast to ordinary land mines that detonates when stepped on, Claymore mines fires 700 steel balls in a horizontal 60° fan-shaped arc that is 2 meters high and 50 meters wide (it can go up to 100 meters wide).
This is like having 700 soldiers positioned facing the enemy on a 50 meter stretch and firing, at the same time, one shot each. The advantage of the mine is that it does not need excessive manpower for the same work and it can be activated using a remote control.
At present, the M18A1 Claymore (replacing the M18 Claymore) is used by militaries around the world.
Killing Range Against Enemies
The Claymore mine has an effective range of 50 meters. The maximum range from the front is 250 meters. In other words, the 700 steel balls will kill or severely injure anyone facing its front within a 50 meter distance; any further than that up to 250 meters, the lethality of the blast decreases. The mine is usually detonated once the enemy approaches the killing range.
Using The Claymore Mine
Although the Claymore mine is mainly a defensive device, it has applications in a limited amount of offensive operations. When the mine is used in controlled detonation for an ambush operation, they are regarded as offensive weapons. A remote control or non-electrical trigger is used for detonation.
The alternative is setting up the mine as a booby trap to prevent or delay enemy infantry from infiltration. This involves connecting a tripwire or timer that would activate the blast caps of the Claymore.
Though rarely used this way, a claymore mine can be used against unarmored vehicle.
Safety Distance For Friendly Forces
The safety operating distance for the M18A1 Claymore is 16 meters (must take cover). The back blast and side blast of the Claymore mine is 100 meters. The Claymore front toward enemy maximum range is 250 meters. Any friendly forces, should maintain behind cover to be safe from secondary missiles and fragments from the blast.
Claymore Mine For Training Purposes or Fun
A dummy Claymore is used to train the soldier to set up and employ the mine. Many militaries use the non-lethal Airsoft Claymore (spring loaded with BB pellets) for war training exercises, as it provides a realistic simulation of what would really happen without casualties.
Military personnel and hobbyists who love war simulation games (like paintball and laser tag) have also taken to buying these Claymore mines.