Ammunition items most often destroyed by burning include the following:
Pyrotechnics (except photoflash bombs, photoflash cartridges, and parachute flares).
The following ammunition items are destroyed by detonation:
Ammunition with HE fillers.
Photoflash cartridges and bombs.
Disposal by Burning
Disposal by burning is limited to burning on the surface, in a pit, in a trench, or in a deactivating furnace. The use
of deactivating furnaces is normally a depot function. Munitions to be burned must be examined carefully to
ensure that no removable detonators or blasting caps are included. All removable detonators, blasting caps, and
similar items must be removed from munitions to be burned to avoid unexpected detonation. Sites must not be
left unattended during burning. They must be observed from the specified safe distance for the item being
burned. Refer to TM 9-1300-206 for safe burning distances for specific munitions.
An ignition train is used in pit, trench, or surface burning operations to allow personnel sufficient time to reach a
safe distance before the combustion of the munitions begins. A nonelectric ignition train consists of a fuse
igniter, a time blasting fuse, and a small bag of smokeless powder. An electric ignition train consists of a blasting
machine, a firing wire, a flash-vented squib, and a small bag of smokeless powder (NSN 1375-00-772-1369 or
NSN 1375-00-772-1370), which may be purchased locally in one-pound cans. The official nomenclature is
powder, rifle, smokeless, Class 1.3C.
Burning high explosives when initiators of any description are included will probably result in a detonation.
When burning explosives or munitions, protection against the possibility of a detonation must always be taken.
Mixing various types of bulk explosives must not be permitted during burning operations.
Since explosives contain their own oxidizers, burning explosives cannot be extinguished by smothering.
Improved conventional munitions (ICM) must not be burned, as this could cause scattering or ejection of cargo.
Scattered or ejected cargo is considered armed and hazardous.
Surface Burning. This is an expeditious method for disposing of munitions. As in other explosive
operations, great care must be taken to ensure safety. Disposal by open burning must not be undertaken when
wind velocity exceeds 15 miles per hour.