Defense Inventory:

Production, Distribution, and Storage of C-4 Explosive

NSIAD-90-139FS: Published: May 7, 1990. Publicly Released: Jun 11, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on C-4 explosive, focusing on its storage, production, and distribution.

GAO found that: (1) C-4 is an explosive mixture that produces a cutting action when detonated; (2) two separate facilities produced C-4 and the Army had identified another four producers to meet mobilization needs; (3) the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms restricted the purchase of C-4 to persons with a license and valid permit; (4) various Army organizations controlled the production, storage, distribution, use, and disposal of C-4; (5) the C-4 production process was not particularly dangerous, but C-4 would be difficult for individuals to produce because the explosive component was difficult to obtain; (6) since 1985, U.S. C-4 production, military requirements, and consumption have greatly fluctuated; (7) various Army bases stored C-4; (8) the Department of Defense had issued various reports concerning C-4 controls and physical security; (9) it could not determine whether the Army could account for all C-4 produced within the last 5 years; and (10) C-4 production exceeded military requirements by less than 1 percent.

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