APM's can kill or simply disable their victims. They can be activated by pressure, a tripwire, or remote detonation. The three basic categories of anti-personnel mines are: blast, bounding, and fragmentation.
These are the most common type of mine deployed. Blast mines are buried only a few centimeters underground. They are general activated by a pressure plate which is sensitive to the weight of an average person. (11 to 25.3 pounds of pressure.) Blast minds are intended to destroy objects in close proximity. Human feet and legs are ideal targets.
The damage from a blast APM usually results in secondary damage--infection. Amputation of the affected limb is often necessary to save the whole body.
M14 Blast Mine
The M14 mine is a small, plastic mine originally developed by the U.S. in the 1950's but now employed by many nations around the world. This particular mine is equipped with only 31 grams of Tetryl, the explosive charge. The mine aims to damage people and objects within its close vicinity.
In order to activate the mine, the safety clip is removed and the pressure plate is rotated to the "ON" position. (The letters "A" for armed and "S" for safety are embossed on the plate for identification.)
Once the mine is armed, a pressure of at least 19.8 pounds (9 kg) activates the pressure plate and causes the mine to detonate. The pressure plate presses on the Belleville spring, which in turn pushes the firing pin down on to the detonator and finally ignites the main Tetryl charge.
When buried, only a small part of the igniter protrudes from the ground. These mines can be pressure or tripwire activated. Upon ignition, a propelling charge is set off, lifting the mine about a meter into the air. The mine's main charge then detonates, causing injury to the upper portion of the body.
A soldier steps on an Anti-personnel mine. The mine shoots up at detonates at face-level.
M16 Bounding/Fragmentation Mine
This mine is composed of three main parts: a mine fuse, a propelling charge, and a projectile. The main charge for the M16 consists of 1.15 pounds (521 grams) of TNT explosive.
To arm the mine, the safety pin is removed from the striker on the top of the fuse. The M16 can be detonated either by applying pressure or pulling the release pin. Both methods result in the following sequence of activation:
Fragmentation mines can release shrapnel (metal or glass) in all directions, or can be directed to one specific area (directional fragmentation mines). The blast radius can be as large as 200 meters. These minds can also feature a propelling charge, giving them characteristics of a "bouncing betty."