Two Typical Gas Grenades

Photo Courtesy of Federal Laboratories, Inc.

Federal Triple Chaser hand grenade. This grenade breaks into three sections (as illustrated) two seconds after being thrown. Each section travels in a different direction, functioning as an individual grenade and covering a' wide area quickly with visible gas.

out rupturing the grenade body, discharges in rapid succession three heavy blasts of gas. As each blast occurs, the device jumps ten or twelve feet in a different and unpredictable direction. The first blast or gas discharge occurs two seconds after the grenade leaves the hand (this represents between 40 and 50 feet of travel). The two succeeding blasts occur at one second intervals. The total discharge of all gas in the grenade is completed in four seconds. There is no opportunity or time for a throwback. The invisible gas released is in a very heavy concentration. The manufacturer states that the total gas discharged is approximately 35 percent more than the Army Fast Candle or the standard size burning type grenade. No fire hazard is present. It is available in smoke. It can be thrown directly into a mob. Each blast of invisible gas is about ten feet in diameter.

Federal Spedeheat. This is a burning type grenade that begins its action at the time thrown. The entire cqntent of gas is discharged in about 35 seconds. This grenade is nonexplosive and becomes extremely hot during the burning period. This makes a throwback difficult. The grenade discharges a heavy visible gas smoke concentration through the openings in the top, bottom and sides. A fire hazard is present. It is available in tear gas or nauseating gas. The grenade body does not rupture. Due to the throwback hazard, the manufacturer recommends that it be used some distance from the mob with a favorable prevailing wind. It is not recommended to be thrown directly into the mob. The diameter of the tear gas burst can easily be observed by the smoke cloud that accompanies its release.

Federal Triple Chaser. This non-explosive grenade separates into three gas producing sections in about two seconds after being thrown. Each section travels in a different direction, functioning as an individual grenade. A good volume of visible gas is thus discharged in three places practically simultaneously. The sections travel with a sizzling, hissing sound brought about by the burning and moving action. This has a definite psychological effect. In this particular grenade the hazard of throwback is minimized and a heavy visible concentration of gas is delivered over a larger than normal area. This grenade is available with pure tear gas or with sickening gas. The individual sections do not rupture and it can be thrown directly amongst the rioters.

The Federal Triple Chaser and the Lake Eric Jumper Repeater type grenades arc best employed among rioters, and in situations where the mob members are rather widely dispersed. Densely packed masses of rioters are best attacked by using blast type grenades such as the Lake Erie Model 34 that can be thrown directly into their mob or by using the Federal Spedchcat grenade in conjunction with a favorable wind.

A blast dispersion type grenade that throws off a cloud of tear gas dust is now produced by Federal Laboratories. Their Model 121 has an aluminum case that rips open but does not throw any dangerous loose fragments. This grenade, according to the manufacturer, does not create any fire hazard. Users are warned; however, not to permit the grenade to go off accidentally in the hand as serious injury can result. An earlier blast type grenade listed by Federal was their Model 120 which had a fiber body that disintegrated at the time it released its charge of tear gas dust. This grenade is not now manufactured as apparently there was danger to the user from fragmentation.

In years past Lake Eric also produced a bursting type grenade called the Green Band. It was very effective but due to fragmentation of the metal case at the time of gas release, it also has been discontinued. At the present time all Lake Erie grenades are of the instant blast dispersion type but their steel grenade bodies remain intact and there is no fragmentation. Gas is dispersed instantly through holes in the grenade body but there is no danger due to flying metal fragments.

Smoke Grenades (Candles). Both Federal and Lake Erie produce a large grenade for use in smoke screens and air current testing. The smoke (PIC) is oily white and very thick. This type smoke is generally considered to be non-irritant and non-toxic but a long exposure to a heavy concentration can result in irritation and discomfort.

For a heavy, prolonged smoke screen, it is recommended that burning candles be used. They burn continuously for several minutes. By placing the candles to take advantage of the wind, streets and other critical areas can be more completely blocked and obscured for longer periods.

Shoulder Gas Guns and Projectiles. The development of the 37mm gas gun (i'/2" caliber) along with accurate short and long range projectiles has given law enforcement another very potent weapon to use against barricaded criminals, insane persons, and mobs.

These guns, and ammunition for them, are manufactured by both Lake Erie and Federal. They arc shoulder fired and equipped with sights that, after practice, enable their accurate use at ranges well out of physical contact with dangerous mobs or individuals.

Lake Erie Chemical Pen Gun

Photo Courtesy of Federal Laboratories, Inc.

FEDERAL 37mm gas gun for" use with long and short range gas projectiles against persons and mobs with barricade type shells.

Photo Courtesy of Federal Laboratories, Inc.

FEDERAL 37mm gas gun for" use with long and short range gas projectiles against persons and mobs with barricade type shells.

Federal Gas Gun

Photo Courtesy of Lake Erie Chemical Co.


Photo Courtesy of Lake Erie Chemical Co.


Training is necessary in their use and firing to develop accuracy, as it is with any other type of firearm. Special individuals or units skilled in the use of this equipment will "pay off" in saving lives and property and counteract all other negative effects of individual and mob violence. Practice projectiles are available from the manufacturers for training.

Tear gas and nauseating gas projectiles and combinations can now be launched against targets up to 350 yards distant. Accurate shooting with tail-fin projectiles enable consistent hits up to 75 yards on ordinary window-sized targets after training.

Lake Erie 37mm shells are usable in the gun manufactured by Federal and vice versa. Sight adjustments are necessary when using the barricade shells in guns of the opposite make.

Short-Range Gas Shells. These 37mm shells are quite effective against rioters at close quarters. They are excellent for protection of gates, entrances, or narrow approaches to buildings. The gas is blasted directly from the muzzle of the gun with effective ranges up to 35 feet (in still air). A cloud of about 15 feet in diameter is released containing a heavy concentration of gas.

It is recommended that masks be used in this type of gas projection. If masks are not available care should be taken not to fire against an adverse wind. Due to eye danger from flying particles of wadding from the shells, the gun should be aimed at the feet of the persons toward whom the gas is directed. Tear and sickening gas are loaded.

Long-Range Gas Shells. This type has proven most effective in controlling or dispersing mobs beyond the effective range of hand-thrown missiles. They are best used against large mobs and are not intended to be fired directly at individuals as is the short-range type.

With the long-range shell it is possible to lay down gas barrages on the windward side of a mob or in the rear if wind conditions make us^ of hand grenades impracticable. If the gas concentration is heavy enough, all physical contact with the rioters can many times be avoided. Both tear and sickening gas can be loaded in these projectiles. The gun is usually elevated from 30 to '60 degrees for this type projection. Some guns have adjustable sights that have been developed to determine definite ranges, but again training must be done to achieve efficient use of the long-range gas projectile. The various manufacturers supply practice projectiles and others containing smoke for training purposes.

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