How to Detonate Explosives the Peshmerga Way

According to their laws, the Iraqi Army isn’t allowed to enter Iraqi Kurdistan. Because of that they have the Peshmerga, the military forces who provide security for that region. “Peshmerga” literally translates as “one who confronts death” and these soldiers are fairly fearsome warriors with a history extending back thousands of years. As for the role they’ve played in the Iraq war, well, peshmerga soldiers played key roles in the capture of Saddam Hussein and also captured Hassan Ghul, the al-Qaeda member who led our own troops to Osama bin Laden’s personal messenger; it was a pivotal moment along the way to the terrorist’s death. Today peshmerga soldiers are battling it out against ISIS, and when they recently came across a vehicle booby-trapped with 50 kilos of explosives they decided to handle it their own way.

The peshmerga way of dealing with  vehicle loaded to the gills with explosives doesn’t involve waiting around for EOD techs, it involves retreating behind cover and detonating said explosives themselves. But they don’t just detonate it, they shoot it with an H and K G36. The G36 is chambered in 5.56 NATO and you may recall reports of significant problems with the rifle’s accuracy as it heated up; those reports were later said to be inaccurate and blame for problems was laid at the feet – or copper jackets, as it were – of the ammunition being used at the time.

Take a look at the video link below to find out what happens when a 5.56 NATO round impacts a vehicle full of explosives. The soldier himself is surprised and to say the photographer gets a shock is an understatement. One thing’s for sure, the explosives are taken care of, and you have to admit this looks like fun (I don’t really have to say “do not try this at home” do I?).

TFB Staffer

TFB Staff, bringing you the latest gun news from around the world for a decade.


  • Ben Warren

    “Hold my doogh and watch this!”

  • Hokum

    Wow, this is literally the first video without all that allah akbar fuss 🙂

    • iksnilol

      Uh, the start going “Allahu ekber!!” after detonating the explosive. Just like Americans/westerners like to go “WOOO!”, people in the middle east go “ALLAHU EKBER!” when celebrating or diplaying excitement.

      • Hokum

        All I hear is “Oiiiiiiiii OOOOOeeeeeeeeiiiiiiii!!!!” Maybe I missed that.
        Anyway our “Wows and WOOOs” and their “Allah akbars” aren’t equal. I saw tons of videos with different kinds of awesome explosions and the guys certainly were excited to shout “Wow!” just a couple of times and opposite to that – in almost every eastern video you constantly hear “Allah akbar” after literally each shot, explosion and what not…

        • TheFortyTwa

          You can definitely hear them saying it after the shots if you listen carefully.

    • bernardg

      They are Kurds, one of the most liberal & moderate nation tribe on practicing Islam. They do yell, but not as vigorously or zealot as ISIS, for example.

  • kev

    G36 probably from Libya or supplied by nato either way nice shooting!

    • Ominae

      IMO, they were sent in by Germany with approval.

  • Tom

    As I understand it lots of these improvised bombs are so unstable to safest thing to do if its not in a built up area is just to stand clear and blow it up. Not sure how often it was done but in Northern Ireland the British Army did have and was allowed to use light anti-tank (LAW 66s and 80s) weapons to blow up car bombs!

    • Bill

      It’s somewhat unusual for a small-arms round to actually detonate most explosives, though it will for some of the low grade stuff like tannerite. Usually you use a rifle or robot mounted shotgun to “disrupt” the fusing/detonating device.

      Typically you have to use another explosive, and a LAWs round would work just fine.

      • Tassiebush

        According to Major John Plaster in The Ultimate Sniper military grade explosives tend to be deliberately made to be shock resistant whilst commercial dynamite will go off with a bullet impact so I guess it depends on what is procured or manufactured.

        • Mark_KTO

          Commercial grade dynamite is quite stable, unless it’s been allowed to get too old. The nitroglycerine seeps out and crystallizes. Not good. In that state, frowning at it can set it off.

      • Mark_KTO

        “a LAWs round”

        It’s not a round, it’s a rocket, and it’s not a LAWs, it’s a LAW – Light Antitank Weapon. No “s” on the end.

        It would also be massive overkill, a stupid waste of munitions.

        • Bill

          It isn’t massive overkill and a stupid waste of munitions if it’s a VBIED sitting outside of YOUR position and your adversary’s main fighting vehicle is a Toyota or Nissan technical. Then it’s “dominating the battlespace” and one less thing to carry.

    • Grindstone50k

      A friend who went EOD in the Army said they primarily detonate in-place most IEDs in SWA. Usually detcord or a bit of C4 to set it off.

      • n0truscotsman

        Indeed. I remember the waiting. And living off of copenhagen and wild tigers.

  • Anon E. Mouse

    Looks like an old school FPSRussia video before he jumped the shark. Actually, he wouldn’t have shot it behind cover.

    • Jeff Smith

      The reason he stopped was because his cameraman took a piece of shrapnel from one of those explosions.

      • the ammo addict

        No, he stopped because he got raided by the BATFE. Using explosives (even tannerite) for profit without an FEL is illegal. If he wanted to get an FEL, he could still set off explosives in his videos.

  • William Johnson

    SMUD (small arms UXO demolition) has been around for a while. It was not recommended in Iraq because of the TTP of daisy chained explosives which would result in explosions in other areas. Longest distance that I remember from my tour was multiple charges along a road with the total distance being over a kilometer.

  • iksnilol

    Standard procedure to detonate explosives on site. Only problem is if they are daisy chained, then you can have unexpected casualties far away.

  • Mario AK

    video title : Peshmerga soldier shoots IED with Koch G36 assault rifle
    video tags : Peshmerga, shoot, IED, Bomb, with, Koch, G36, assault, rifle
    This is how it’s done people

  • Clodboy

    Note how the gun in the vid has the combo sight system of the original Bundeswehr G36 variant, as opposed to the the more compact sight of the G36E (the actual export variant).

  • Bal256

    I like the Peshmerga, but I never put any stock into “warrior history spanning thousands of years”. It’s like saying the spirit of the Samurai flow through all Japanese businessmen, or something ridiculous like that. I have some Pacific Islander in me but I can’t open up a coconut properly to save my life, and end up either using a hammer and power tools, or more likely just buying the canned milk.

    • Bob

      Well, warrior history where the current generation is still fighting the good fight means a lot more than a Japanese businessman saying he has the blood of Samurai running through his veins… Of course, I don’t know much about these guys, so if they are just a bunch of guys waving around AKs and talking a bunch of BS and bravado, I retract my statement. ;D