Idiot Packs Ground Burst Simulators and Grenades In Luggage

The Transportation Security Administration releases a week in review showing what prohibited items they recovered the week prior. There have been some doozies and they did a pretty decent job of putting together a weirdest finds video for last year, but what I saw when I opened the email this time took me a bit off guard and made me really question the intelligence of some travelers.

We have all waited in line to be rapeyscanned (Rapiscan) and looked at another passenger in line or two and thought what in the hell are you doing? Now the bag that had the explosives was checked, but I am sure that they owner of the ordnance was exactly the type for me to ask “what the hell are you doing” in my head.

Inside the checked back there was a large ammo can with a big orange label on the side that said EXPLOSIVES (Hint, they ask you when you check in if you have any prohibited items) that contained no less than THREE ground burst simulators, two live M83 smoke grenades, and one inert practice grenade.

What. The. Hell?

You can check out the TSA blog to see their week in review, they are released every week and detail how many firearms were recovered as well as highlights of some of the more interesting prohibited items.



Patrick R

Patrick is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Co-Director for TFBTV. He is a verified gun nerd and also podcasts at The Firearms Podcast. With a lifelong passion for shooting, he has a love for all types of firearms, especially overly modified plastic handguns, precision rifles, and AR based things. You can follow Patrick on Instagram @tfbpatrick, Facebook, or contact him by email at tfbpatrick@gmail.com.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


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  • Flounder

    Please tell us more about your adventures with the TSA Patrick! And what kind of weekend were you planning on having with all those toys?

    • ozzallos .

      Oh, you’re with TFB! Let me get some *additional* screening for you.

    • Sgt. Stedenko

      TSA took his Lucky Charms

  • So that’s where they went.

  • neckbone

    More amazed the TSA even found them. Considering their pass/fail test results done by the agency itself. Something like 90% plus of simulated guns and bombs get past these gatekeepers.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      They probably let ten Saudis with suitcases marked “NOOKLEAR” walk on through.

      • Brick

        That’s because they are trained for packages that say “NOOKULAR”

    • USMC03Vet

      Exactly. They’ve been on the burner for so many years that now they are putting out their own propaganda which nobody can accurately fact check to save their funding.

  • M.M.D.C.

    I can almost understand forgetting your carry piece at the airport and getting yourself cavity searched by the TSA. Almost.

    But this is truly stupid. I would love to see a video of his interrogation. “Thoser jus simelaters, man!”

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      I love stories about the guys who get caught cheating and before they walk out the door to the airport on their next business trip the wife sticks a pistol in his suitcase.

      • Thomas Kuhn

        “heaven hath no wrath as a women scorned” (been there… been exposed to that!)

    • Mystick

      I remember being in proximity to an “artillery simulator” improperly buried and getting peppered with high-velocity plastic shrapnel. It was fortunate that I was wearing heavy clothing.

      • throwedoff

        Buried? Never once was an artillery simulator buried when I was subjected to their nastiness. It was my IOBC cadres’ favorite way of waking us up in the morning every morning in the field. Artillery simulators and grenade simulators are fun when you’re the one throwing them around. Not so fun when you’re on the receiving end. Looks like this guy had some stuff that should have gone in the amnesty box!!!

        • Thomas Kuhn

          10-4

          • throwedoff

            I wonder if Mystick is referencing an “artillery flash simulator”? I had one experience with a liberated specimen a few decades ago. We dug a shallow hole and placed it in the hole. It was electrically detonated, so we ran a fifty foot extension cord back to the pickup and connected it to the terminals of the truck battery. There was definitely a flash as well as a loud boom. Our shallow hole turned into a crater about two feet deep and three feet in diameter in freshly packed caliche on a dormat section of new highway construction. Needless to say we exfiltrated the area expeditiously.

        • Mystick

          This incident was not in any way connected to a military exercise.

  • TheNotoriousIUD
    • Mystick

      It goes to 11.

  • Martin Grønsdal

    it will require a lot of skills to better that!

    • ozzallos .

      It rubs the lotion on its skin.

      • Thomas Kuhn

        How many other (sometimes) movie goers will recognize this? I did and I appreciate your humerus correlation.

  • Will

    If you want to see REAL airport security fly out of Tel Aviv or Jerusalem some time. It’s been obscenely secure for fifty years.

    • jonp

      Yup. If our government really wanted to secure our airports they would have just asked the Israeli’s how they do it and copy. Instead we got the typical Billion Dollar Goat Screw

      • billyoblivion

        The Israelis profile the living hell out of people.

        Probably make them eat the one thing that is kosher, but not Halal too.

    • Wow!

      But “real” security would be offensive to muslims and criminals! Profiling is racist! We can’t have that… /s

  • b. griffin

    They were pyrotechnics! Not explosives! I swear!

    • Paul R. Laska

      They are explosives. A simulator is flash powder, which is a low explosive until a certain quantity, when it performs as a high explosive. Possession of a simulator is a felony.

    • throwedoff

      If you pulled the fuse cords on both of the artillery simulators at the same time and held one in each hand, when the whistling sound stopped you would find yourself minus two hands. The smoke grenades are considered pyrotechnics (pyro as in fire) which ignite inside the canister creating pressure that expels the smoke out of a hole in the base of the canister. Shortly into the combustion process along with the smoke exiting the base of the canister a jet of flame will usually be visible blowing out of the smoke orifice. So, yeah, smoke grenades can be dangerous on a thin aluminum skinned aircraft filled with jet fuel.

  • Suppressed

    I like how I have to wait in their in lines but they have time/staff/resources to share/create content for social media.

  • jonp

    Saw an old guy standing at the gate talking with a TSA Chick. She was holding a box (military medal box) and told him he couldn’t board with that pointy thing, it was prohibited and she would have to seize it. I saw what it was and headed for her but her boss got there first. He took one look and apologized up, down and sideways then ordered her to apologize and give it back.; Yeah, you guessed it, it was a Medal Of Honor.

    • Thomas Kuhn

      God bless the Boss with some Balls!

  • Ranger Rick

    The quest continues to see who can be a greater moron, please tell me he got 3-5 years for this?

  • Evan

    When I was in the Marine Corps, we stopped at the Baltimore airport on the way to Iraq. We were in uniform. The TSA dope tried to take the carbon pick out of my cleaning kit. He eventually gave up after explaining in detail how I had a rifle on the plane, and so did the 400-odd other guys who were there dressed like me. These people are submorons.

  • Joshua

    I made a key chain out of a fired .303 Mk VII marked case with a new bullet, passed through at least half a dozen airports with it, including international (Ca/US and back again) and it was finally in a little sh!thole of an airport in Northern BC where it was confiscated, this place was one of those airports only accessible by turboprop, it only opens for a couple hours when a plane is coming in, and the woman screening officer pulled it off my keychain and told me I would not be permitted to board the plan with it, wouldn’t give me a reason, wouldn’t talk about it, just wanted me to arrange for someone to claim it within 48 hours, meanwhile I was starting a cross country plane trip, and the person I was there visiting only makes a trip into this particular town once a month.

    I was not happy, most of all because I didn’t even think about it when I boarded the plane out there.

  • valorius

    No brass no ammo sergeant!

  • Madcap_Magician

    But you can see that all the other people who were caught were also idiots. Just look at the percentage of guns that were found loaded but not chambered.

  • spencer60

    So no ‘explosives’ then…

  • BeenThereDoneThat

    Could the inert grenade be made… ert? Old Steven Wright joke!

    • Thomas Kuhn

      This is not an “old Steven Wright joke.” In my home town of Cheshire, Ct there was a fellow student named Harmon Lxxxxx who decided to “reactivate” a “practice” WWII grenade with shotgun black power and a home-made timer fuse. My home town now has a “Harmon Lxxxxx Memorial Youth Center named after him. Good luck with recreating fuses that depend upon the time it takes for strong acid to eat thru a thin piece of aluminum foil before the main charge goes off! (As a Mechanical Engineer, how many thousands of tests did the Army Proving Grounds go thru before they ended up with a foil thickness?()His companion (and my friend) at the sand pit where this happened has been forever scared. He had to pick up the bloody pieces and run for help that he knew was useless. This is home-town New England PTSD. I don’t know if he ever recovered. If anyone out there can bring me up to date, I would be grateful. God Bless you, Harmon.