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M7 Riot Control Hand Grenade
M54 Riot Control Hand Grenade

The M7 riot control hand grenades are burning type grenades filled with either the CN or CS riot control agent. The 4 variants differ in the amount and type of filler they contain and the number of emission holes. The grenades can also be rifle launched using the M2 series of grenade projection adapters and from shotguns using a special launching cup adapter.

The M7 riot control grenades are intended to be used to control riots or disperse personnel. Urban areas often create variable and shifting wind patterns. When using CS grenades, soldiers must prevent the irritating smoke from affecting friendly troops. The CS grenade burns intensely and can therefore also ignite flammable structures. Enemy troops wearing even rudimentary chemical protective masks can withstand intense concentrations of CS gas.

The M7 and M7A1 grenade bodies are sheet metal. The M7 has 6 emission holes at the top and 2 rows of 9 emission holes each along the sides. The M7A1 has 4 emission holes at the top and one at the bottom. Each are loaded with with the riot control agent CN, with the M7 filler weight being 10.25 ounces and that of the M7A1 being 12.5 ounces. The total weight of the M7 is 17 ounces, while the M7A1 weights 18.5 ounces. The grenades use either the M200 or M201 series igniting fuzes. The M7 and M7A1 grenades, which can be thrown by the average soldier 35 meters, have a burn time of 20 to 60 seconds.

The M7A2 and M7A3 (also known as the ABC-M7A2 and ABC-M7A3) grenade bodies are sheet metal with 4 emission holes at the top and one at the bottom. Each are loaded with with the riot control agent CS, with the M7A2 filler weight being 5.5 ounces and that of the M7A3 being 12 ounces. The M7A2 has the CS agent in gelatin capsules, while the M7A3 has 4.5 ounces of pelletized CS along with 7.5 ounces of burning agent. The total weight of both types is 15.5 ounces. The grenades use the M201 series igniting fuzes. The M7A2 and M7A3 grenades, which can be thrown by the average soldier 40 meters, have a burn time of 15 to 35 seconds.

Also related to the M7 series is the M54 riot control grenade. The M54 consists of an M7A3 grenade modified to accept an 8-to-12-second delay fuse. This modification permits hand-drop of the grenades from low performance aircraft at altitudes up to 1,500 feet, providing additional safety to aircrews. When dropped from this altitude, the grenade begins to emit a cloud of CS at 50 to 100 feet. The M54 weighs about 1 pound and is filled with 115 grams (4.1 ounces) of pelletized CS in a pyrotechnic mix. It burns for about 15 to 35 seconds with an area coverage similar to that of the M7A3.




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