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Newsgroups: rec.pyrotechnics
From: (Arno Hahma)
Subject: Re: Exploding Targets
Date: Sat, 4 Dec 1993 11:36:40 GMT

In article <>,
Michael Moroney <> wrote:

> (Mark Anthony Messina) writes:

>>potassium perchlorate as an oxidizer.  I hear that chlorates are more
>>dangerous to work with

Correct, chlorates are more hazardous. You'd have to consider
compatibility with other ingredients.

>>impact)?  I.e. I need something that will go off when a bullet hits it
>>but won't go off if you look at it wrong.

Why not use explosive bullets instead? Then you could use just about
any targets. Making the explosive bullets is easier, as you only need
one of those toy cap circles to set off the bullet. You could load the
bullet with something insensitive enough to make the procedure safer
and then use one cap circle as a fuze on the top.

I tried explosive bullets with a friend of mine and they worked quite
nicely. A .357 bullet filled with 300 mg of PETN or RDX and fuzed with
lead azide will explode from hitting practically anything solid. Such
bullets make about 10 cm wide holes to a standard cardboard target -
they effectively make the center of the target disappear. We also added
fine magnesium dust into the explosive to make the hits _very_ visible.

>it hazardous to work with, because it _is_ impact sensitive.
>It takes only one accident to ruin your day.

That is right - therefore you should minimize the amounts of sensitive
materials. For a target you need quite a lot of primary explosives (or
mixtures having equivalent properties). For a bullet, a few milligrams
will be enough. The rest can be insensitive and loaded separately.

>Chlorates can be worked with if you know what they could do and you
>work in such a way that if an accident happens you won't be harmed.  This
>is difficult.  You should also know what chlorate combinations are really
>hazardous (e.g. with red phosphorus)

>(p.s.  please use returns once in a while so your posts are readable)

They are readable after filtering the text through "fmt -60" ;).


From: (Arno Hahma)
Newsgroups: rec.guns
Subject: Re: [BOOM] Exploding hollowpoints?
Date: 11 Feb 1994 15:43:01 -0500

In article <>,
William S. Rowell <> wrote:

#What would happen if you took a nice, big, hollowpoint bullet and filled it
#with gunpowder or Pyrodex, sealed the tip somewhow, and fired it at a hard
#(concrete, metal?) target? Would the force of impact be enough to ignite the
#powder and make a nice friendly "boom"?

Pyrodex or gunpowder aren't that sensitive, so they might not ignite
but from a good hit to a hard surface, like stone, concrete or steel.
Ground match heads would work much better, but only in small amounts.
Large column of the match head composition may ignite in the barrel
from the acceleration forces.

#I have no intention of trying this- I like my eyes and hands, but would this
#in theory work?

At least it works, if you choose the materials right. I filled .357
bullets with 300 mg of PETN or RDX and primed the charge with lead
azide. To add the visual effect, I also added magnesium powder to the
explosive, so it flashes brightly when it explodes. It is nice, as you
can see where the hits went (and hear too ;).

Such bullets ignite from hitting practically anything, like a
cardboard target, that they make about 10 cm holes into.  It gives you
some tolerances, it is easier to punch the bullseye ;-). 

As a drawback, the bullets cause one h*** of a shower of tiny
fragments, when they go off... So, they are not ideal for close range.

#Thanks, Seth


From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Exploding bullets
Organization: Dixie Communications, The South's First Commercial Public Access Unix

ag715@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Damian Lukowsky) writes:

#My freind has drilled holes into 44mag ammo, put a few grains of
#black powder in the hole, then tapped a primer into the hole. The
#idea being that when the round strikes a surface it will ignite
#the primer and powder and go 'bang'. 
#Does this work? Is it legal?

It would work but I doubt that black powder would yield anything significant.
At the local gun shows, there's an outfit selling exploding bullets in 
everything from 9mm to 12 ga shotgun shells.  He had a cross section of
a 12 gauge shell on display.  It contained a small primer and what 
looked and smelled like TNT in a very thin walled projectile.  The
explosive looked to be about the volume of a marble.  The video tape
that was playing was very impressive.  The 12 gauge shell completely
exploded a 5 gal pail of duct putty.  A .45 round  pretty well emptied
it but did not burst the pail.


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