Unusual Tools in the Explosives Industry – Part 2

This is the second part of Bruce Koffler’s article on bench crimpers

Chilean-manufactured bench cap crimper

The other model that I have and use is made in Chile, purchased about 25 years ago. It was imported to the USA by Petro-Explo and they may still offer it on special order. It is no longer shown on their website. It is painted battleship grey.

Chilean-manufactured bench cap crimper

Chilean-manufactured bench cap crimper

Chilean-manufactured bench cap crimper

The jaw assembly is held in place by a large hex nut with a male (external) thread, at the front of the unit. The inner surface of the nut is beveled, wide at the back, narrow at the front– so that when the handle is operated, it pushes the open jaw tooth assembly forward; the beveled (tapered) surface inside the nut forces the jaw teeth inward detonator shell, crimping it in a series of two multi-ring stab crimps.

The jaws of this device are totally different than the du Pont crimper. They are machined at the front end of one long piece of tubular steel, that was probably heat-treated to make it springy. There are a series of slits cut much of the length down the tube, with inward-facing points in two rows near the front end.


Jaw tube (right), removed from the tool housing after unthreading the hex nut face plate at left. Note the small pieces of irregular metal debris from crimping the detonator shells.

The jaw assembly is removed for cleaning out the buildup of fragments, preferably with a blast of high pressure air; removal also allows for dry lubricating. When the operator moves the tool handle, the jaw teeth are forced inwards towards the center hole, around the detonator shell, as the assembly is driven forward into the internally -beveled face plate nut.

Part 3 of this article will be continued in the next issue.

Author – Bruce B Koffler

Bruce B. Koffler, B. Sc., MCA, is the President of Securesearch, Inc., in Toronto, Ontario, Canada–whose company he established in 1970. He has been an IABTI Associate member since 1982. He was a law enforcement officer for an Ontario Government ministry for 16 years, and instructor/ examiner in several programs for 30 years. He is a certified trainer and frequent contributor of technical articles on explosives, small military ordnance items, IEDs, firearms and ammunition, to police, security and forensic science journals, including The Detonator. He can be contacted by e-mail at: bkoffler@securesearchinc.com or by phone at: 1-800-221-9788 or international at (416) 948-8832