Anti-personnel blast mine



The PMN is a bakelite-cased, pressure operated, anti-personnel blast mine (sometimes called the 'Black-widow'). Made in the former Soviet Union, it has been found in Afghanistan, Angola, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Chechnya, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Honduras, Iraq, Kurdistan, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Somalia, Republic of South Africa, Sudan, Tajikistan, Vietnam and Yemen. The mine has a body that is usually raw (reddish-brown) bakelite with a black rubber top. Some green and some black examples have been found. Green mine bodies may be painted to look reddish brown.

Height: 56mm
Diameter: 112mm
Main charge: approx. 200g pressed TNT*
Fuze: the detonator is usually a stab-sensitive MD-9. The booster contains approximately 8g Tetryl

*Until 2009, the main High Explosive (HE) charge was erroneously reported in the main reference work, "Janes mines and mine clearance" to be 240g TNT. Research in 2010 by the government research institute (CSIR) in South Africa, backed by original Russian reference works, has led me to revise the estimated HE content to 200g. The use of wax to aid the pressing process should be remembered when removing content and weighing it yourself. That said, the HE content is pressed from a prepared cartridge into the mine and may reasonably be expected to vary by up to 10g. The top of the pressed TNT is painted with a thick black lacquer to hold it together.

The picture above shows the mine with the cast TNT fill exposed. The picture below shows the mine, with its metal content separated below. The presence of the loop of metal holding the rubber top in place usually means that the mine is relatively easy to detect with a metal-detector.

The Chinese Type 58 AP mine is reported to be an identical copy except that attempts to disarm the Chinese mine by unscrewing the booster charge and detonator are reported to have led to initiations.

This mine is routinely disarmed by some groups, and considered a 'no touch' mine by others.