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C4 is a type of plastic explosive, a malleable plastic bomb for blowing boats and bridges. It was the explosive weapon of the Navy SEAL.


C4 is a soft, pliable off-white material resembling modelling clay both in appearance and texture.


  • Plastic explosive
  • Origin: United States
  • Detonation velocity: 18,000 mph


As the name suggests; 'Composition C' explosives existed as C1, C2 and C3. These former three explosives existed throughout WWII before the current day C4 was developed in 1956.

C4's is widely used as it can be easily molded into the desired shape. It is also very stable and insensitive to physical shock, and will not detonate if shot, set on fire, dropped on a hard surface, or when exposed to microwave radiation. Detonation can only be triggered by a combination of extreme heat and shock, as when a detonator inserted into it is fired.

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This weapon was tested against the Israeli Commando's Semtex. In the first round of testing, the C4 destroyed a boat along with the two targets that were on it while a Semtex-laced cellphone killed its target without harming four nearby bystanders. In the second round of testing, 1 lb of each explosive was detonated in two separate wooden outhouses with the C4 generating ~270 psi and the Semtex generating ~324psi. The edge was given to the Semtex for its greater explosive force.


  • C4 was also used as the payload in the CIA's explosive weapon, which was the Exploding Cigar.
  • During the Vietnam War, drug use in the US Army was very high. The soldiers discovered that C4 had intoxicating effects similar to that of ethanol.