Jump to content

Disperser, Riot Control Agent, Portable, M3

Recommended Posts



Based on my original post about the picture from the Panama Canal Zone Riots of 1964, we determined that the item in the picture was an M3 Portable Riot Control Agent Disperser, which was basically a modified M2 Portable Flamethrower. I obtained a manual for it, and want to share some of the pictures from within.


The weapon fired a mixture of CS-1 and talc. (It was loaded with 8 pounds of CS-1, and 29 pounds of talc.) I imagine whoever carried it could feel quite a difference after firing! The duration of a single burst was approximately 19 seconds, and in short bursts of 5-6 seconds, the filling would last about 30 seconds in riot use. Several were supposed to be employed by different troops, in quick succession, if necessary to quell a riot.


The example identification plate shown in the manual had a manufacturing date of January, 1959 at the U.S. Army Chemical Arsenal in Edgewood. The manual is dated 1972, and superceded the same manual designation, published in 1962. I wonder if any of these dispersers are still in inventory? I also wonder, if they are not in Army inventory, whether they were destroyed, or if it's possible some might have made it to any police departments. Any further information you may have is appreciated.
















David Albert


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...