Distraction techniques

Discussion in 'Protest Advice' started by TrippyYippy, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. TrippyYippy Member

    One of the best mass distraction techniques to cover your escape from a riot or pre-riot situation is the humble smoke bomb.

    All smoke bombs need a fuse of some sort. A string dipped in lighter fluid or kerosene and allowed to dry is easy but smells and doesn't burn as predictably as a gunpowder fuse. To make gunpowder fuse take cotton string or clean shoelaces, dip them in clean water, roll them in gunpowder, then braid tightly and allow to dry thoroughly before use.

    The easiest of all smoke bombs is the ping pong bomb, sometimes known as "chinky cherries" or "pig pong balls."

    Ingredients per bomb:
    6 pack of ping pong balls, real ping pong balls are nitrocellulose other small plastic balls won't work.
    A plastic drinking straw
    Scissors or sharp knife (scissors are easier)
    Aluminium foil
    A fuse

    Make a hole in one of the ping pong balls big enough to fit the straw in snugly, set it aside.

    Take the other 5 ping pong balls and cut them into small pieces like you were making confetti, put all the chopped up ping pong bits inside the ball you set aside earlier.

    Cut your straw down to about 2.5 inches and slide it onto your fuse so there's about an inch of fuse sticking out the bottom. Insert the straw with fuse snugly into the ping pong ball. Trim the fuse to the desired length, the longer it is the longer it will take to start emitting smoke.

    Wrap the whole thing in foil covering everything except the open end of the straw with the fuse hanging out.

    To use:
    Place on ground with straw pointing up, the foil can be pinched into little feet to keep it from rolling if you want. Light fuse and make ready to escape. Probably the least dangerous smokebomb, you might singe your fingers if you try to pick it up before it's burnt itself out but that's about it.

    Best uses:
    Causing confusion, unless you have a lot of them they won't really create a thick enough smoke screen to cover an escape. Using a few to make smoke start rolling out of the windows of a nearby building like it's on fire can distract the police sufficiently to allow a lot of people to get away.

    The classic sugar and potassium nitrate smokebomb is a little more difficult to make but produces a LOT of smoke and is a lot more versatile than pig pong balls.

    Ingredients for one pound of smokebomb:
    2 parts granulated sugar, by weight. (approx 6.5 oz or 185 g) For thicker, more nasty smelling smoke use dark brown sugar instead of white sugar.
    3 parts powdered potassium nitrate, by weight. (approx 9.5 oz or 270 g) aka KNO3, saltpeter, stump remover.
    1 tablespoon (1/2 oz, 15 g) baking soda
    Cooking pot and spoon you don't mind not using for food again, a cast iron pot is optimal because it heats and cools slowly and evenly.
    Match heads (optional)
    Receptacle for the smoke bomb substance (optional but recommended)


    Mix the dry sugar, KNO3, and baking soda together thoroughly. Place the dry mixture in the pot and put it over very low heat, if your gas stove has a low btu "simmer burner" that's perfect. If you don't have a simmer burner just keep the flame on minimum.

    Stir constantly so the mixture melts evenly, it'll start to look a bit like peanut butter if it was somehow made of melty plastic.

    When the mixture starts to gel take it off the heat, transfer the sugar mixture to a container such as a thick walled cardboard tube, shoebox, cleaned out squash, just about anything that's not plastic, metal, or glass is good. You can also just lay it out in an amorphous glob or mold it while it's still malleable. Press your fuse into or through your bomb while it's still soft.

    Rolling it around the empty cardboard tube from paper towels is a good way to make it burn faster, just take your fuse and run it through the roll and secure it on each side with a paper clip. When you light the fuse it ignites the whole length of the bomb and allows more air into the reaction.

    Some people like to add match heads before it hardens up to help it start burning. I like the little flares it adds when the match heads catch but it's totally up to you.

    To use:
    Light the fuse and walk away. Near garbage cans under a piece of newspaper is a good place because it looks like trash, be aware of which way the wind is blowing, you want to set it off upwind of your intended target so the smoke confuses and frustrates them while your comrades make themselves scarce.

    Best uses:
    Smoke screen. Especially if you use dark brown sugar this makes a lot of THICK white smoke that smells nasty and heavily reduces visibility. It is a bit more dangerous than pig pong balls as it produces quite a bit of heat and a small amount of flame, but if you don't try to pick it up or move it after it's lit you're in no real danger. The best places to plant these bombs are on asphalt or concrete not too close to significant amounts of flammables. Next to full trash cans is bad (unless you want to burn down the building in which case it's good, I'm assuming you don't want to cause loss of life and property), next to empty trash cans is good. In an empty dumpster is good. Tucked among rocks is good. On the pavement in an alley is fine too.

    An alternate smoke bomb recipe is to use a 1:3 ratio of sugar to KNO3, mix the powders thoroughly with the baking soda, and let it soak into wet newspaper. Once the paper dries (takes 8-12 hours, more if the weather is very wet) fold each sheet into a strip about 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Roll this strip into a cylinder and secure the ends together with paper clips or staples.

    To use, simply light anywhere on the cylinder and toss it. They burn out in under a minute and will produce a lot of white smoke very fast. I've heard them called "Abby's Doobs" before. They're light, easy to carry, tossable, and pretty safe since they burn up so fast. You can't light them and walk away before they go off like the others though, so if you use them you need to gtfo immediately.
  2. that is a truely awesome writeup.
  3. it is dangerous to inhale the smoke, it is toxic. Do not try this!
  4. TrippyYippy Member

    The smoke produced from the sugar/KNO3 and ping pong ball bombs are about as safe as smoke gets (ie: it's still a by product of combustion and may cause mild irritation of the mucous membranes) but it's not substantively dangerous. Cigarette smoke is worse for you and I'm sure you're exposed to that more often. ;)

    I know how to make a variety of actual toxic smokes, as well as toxic gas and dangerous explosives. I won't be posting those recipes here as I don't think they are warranted.
  5. I believe he's refering to the youtube series where a fellow explains after blending a golf club/rake/etc. "don't breath the fumes, they're toxic"
  6. zzz Member

    Great instructions, OP.

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