A combustion bomb has been developed which allows simulation of diesel combustion without the need to heat the bomb to high temperatures. Simulation of the compression stroke is achieved by burning a lean precharge composed of acetylene, oxygen and nitrogen. By controlling the initial partial pressures of these constituents it is possible to burn them to a state with an oxygen concentration, temperature and pressure representative of conditions in a diesel engine at the start of fuel injection. Diesel fuel injected into these gases autoignites and burns in a manner typical of combustion in diesel engines.This paper describes the design and operation of such a bomb. Experimental results are presented to illustrate its salient features. Particular attention is devoted to various means of obtaining optical access to the flow and the advantages offered over rapid compression machines or heated bombs.