Quantcast Marine Illumination and Smoke Signals

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Marine illumination signals are similar in appearance to a standard shotgun cartridge. When fired from the proper pistol or projector, a burning star (somewhat like a star from a Roman candle) shoots high into the air. In this section, we will describe the marine illumination and smoke signals and pyrotechnic pistols currently in use. These include the

1. Mk 2 marine illumination signal,

2. Mk 5 pyrotechnic pistol,

3. AN-M37A2 through AN-M39A2 series, double-star illumination signal,

4. Mk 1 marine illumination signal, and

5. AN-M8 pyrotechnic pistol.

Mk 2 Marine Illumination Signal

The Mk 2 marine illumination signal is available in three colors: red, green, and white. Each cartridge has a percussion primer and a propelling or expelling charge of ten grains of black powder, which projects the burning star to a height of about 200 feet. The star charge is a tightly packed cylinder wrapped with a quick match (a fast-burning fuse) that ignites it when fired. The star charge is separated from the expelling charge by a shock-absorbing wad of hard felt. The cartridge is closed by a wad that is so marked that color of the star can be determined at night by feeling it, as shown in figure 1-7.

The red star may be identified by its corrugated closing wad, the green star has a smooth closing wad, and the white has a small conical boss on its closing wad. Each of the three colors may also be identified by the corresponding color of the paper on the cartridge.

The burning time for each of the stars is approximately 6 seconds.

Figure 1-7.-The Mk 2 marine illumination signal.

The illumination signals are available in ten round metal or cardboard containers. The containers are packaged in wooden boxes that hold 40, 45, or 100 containers.


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