M 39 blast type 5

Does anyone know what this is? It’s a light-alloy tube, 127mm (5 inches) long with an external diameter of about 21mm. One end is closed, with a rim and a small primer, the other end is open and sealed with some glossy black substance.

There’s no headstamp but very faint stencilling on the side, which reads (among other things) M 39 BLAST TYPE 5 and FEDERAL (something) PITTSBURGH. It also says USE BEFORE APRIL 1950.

My first thought is that this is some sort of tear-gas cartridge; Federal Laboratories (based in Pittsburgh) is (or at least WAS) one of the major manufacturers of all sorts of anti-riot and lachrymatory dispensers. I know there’s at least ONE member here that specializes in tear-gas munitions… Bueller? Bueller?

check this out
lucyandlumper.com/cgi/webdat … ction=form

hope the link works


Thanks gentlemen - Ric, that’s the one! What I took to be ‘Type 5’ must have been part of the ‘B’ of a very faded ‘Billy’.

But what exactly is it, and what was it fired from? The letters CN do suggest tear gas…

From my handy-dandy “TEAR GAS MUNITIONS” book:


Great stuff, Rick - I’d never heard of those. So you had the choice of thumping someone over the head with the billy, or firing tear gas at them?

Does the book go on to describes the effects of firing this, in terms of range etc?

But wait! There’s MORE!!!


Whooppeee!!! I answered a question on the forum. First time. I’m so proud. Whatta I win?


I found that clicking on the pictures of the pages makes them more legible.

This is a must have book but long out of print and no reprint coming. Putting this on a disc would be a great winters project for someone with a scanner. I bought the collection from the author of this book. It was sold to the major collector of this stuff a couple of years ago. Gas munitions are a universe of collecting on their own.

Thanks very much, Rick, that’s terrific!

I agree that the book looks like a very interesting one to own.

Till that scan becomes available one might look into this one:

FM 3-22.40 Non Lethal Weapons 2003

rapidshare.com/files/40788718/FM … 3.pdf.html

hi EOD,
this link doesn’t seem to work…

It is not a website but a manual which you have to download.
Checked it right now, it works perfect.

it works, thanks!

Great investigation work Rick! Super interesting LTL ammo fired from a unique dispensing device that in its self is a weapon. Also, it seems that Tony’s round is rarely seen.

These are not rare items. There has never been much interest in police munitions of this type. It has picked up recently due to the big display at St. Louis this year and last of LTL ammo.