A Caution to Ordnance Collectors

Related to some earlier posts on safety and ordnance collecting - a vendor in MN has been selling training Russian/Bulgarian TM-62 AT mines, refitted with replacement fuzes. During a recent incident during shipping it appears that some of these fuzes may be live training fuzes, containing a spotting charge.
Over 300 of these have gone out, and efforts are underway to identify recipients and identify any hazardous materials. The vendor is working with authorities. If you have received one of these mines it is recommended that you contact your local authorities and request assistance.

1 Like

Jeff, you got photos of the fuze in question?

Busy at work at the moment, give me a couple of hours.

These are the pictures that I have at this time. So far two have been recovered in MI, one appears to be empty of any supplemental charge, one does not. I have no documentation on the training fuzes, so cannot advise with any confidence. If anyone has any documentation I’d be happy for a copy. The problem is that there seems to be a variety of fuzes, one basic design, but different features and possible manufacturers.

Gray cover has the X-ray with nothing in the bottom, brown cover appears to have material in the base.

Knowing plenty of Russian mines, having worked with in the field and having lots of Russian docs on these I never have seen a practice variant of this one which contains any energetic material.
Any such Russian type normally would have a red band for a marker to indicate a spotting charge.

Is it possible that these are life fuzes which were deactivated and somebody missed a primer?

sorry for the off topic
the “primer” is the same as PMN2 AP mine ?

I do not know right now.
But if so, would it matter?

Too much isn’t known. The mines are described as Bulgarian, but I don’t see any factory codes. There is one description of a cup in the bottom which contained a white powder, suspected to be sulphur. - not yellow? One description makes it sound as though one has popped, but it never actually comes out and says it. I have no documentation on a practice puff type charge, but it seems logical. Do you have any explanation for the difference in the X-rays?
Keep in mind that the fuzes probably came separate from the mines. Too many of the mines show heavy damage that the fuzes would not have survived.

Jeff, I agree, these need more examination.
The mine you have shown is Bulgarian. Means the fuzes could be too (but as you say no guarantee, though the importer most likely will be bale to tell where he got them from).
The small charge container in the lower section would benormal for a MVCH-62 fuze.
The one above is missing it. Maybe a flaw as it did not matter for a dummy mine.
But as we kno some dummies in the east are assembled with 100% original parts except the energetics.
Means the one with the container (#10 in the diagram below) may still hold an inert substance.
I assume this filler will be analyzed in the course of the investigations?
I understand one of the fuzes in question was set off somehow? Do images of the remnants exist?

MVCh-62 in armed position:

For a better impression here a cutaway of the fuze (transport position).

Cutaway by Derk J. Harms.

Image source: internet

Unsure, too many fingers in the pie and different sources reporting different information from different items. If anyone is actually coordinating information they are not putting it out. The information I have seen states that on the initially reported item in question, the fuze “activated” (sounds like armed from the description), and for responding officers there was the presence of a white/yellowish powder that was later identified as sulphur based through field testing.

I don’t know if any more data will be received, law enforcement is not trained in military ordnance so across the field they are being being told to refer it to military sources. The military has largely pushed away from diagnostics or evaluation of ordnance, limiting the options of the techs. The information I’ve seen so far is just examination of remaining scrap, which is telling little or nothing.