Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Silver Fulminate

DeusExMachina - 13-12-2002 at 07:28

Silver Fulimate is a primary explosive used in "snappers". I was looking in Mega's explosives section on site and I found silver fulminate. It didn't really talk about how powerful it is. Since they sell the snappers in stores everywhere (at least where I live) wouldn't the manufacturers have to make them less powerful? If I try making silver fuminate, how powerful will it be?

I also want to say that I didn't make this topic only for that one question but for general talk on silver fulminate since when I searched on this site, google, TOTSE and Xinventions, I did not get an answer for my question. I did not bother with RogueSci (this will sound stupid) because I can't understand what they are talking about. The language that they use (about explosives and pyrotechnics) is too advanced for me so I was left to come here and ask. Plus, I the topics that they post are always very long and get off topic too fast.

trinitrotoluene - 13-12-2002 at 22:06

Note that silver fulminate is extreamly senistive to light.

kingspaz - 14-12-2002 at 05:40

Mongo Blongo - 15-12-2002 at 03:18

In those "snappers", it is silver fulminate coated onto irregular shaped rocks. When the rocks are rubbed together (causing friction) it will set off the SF.
SF is EXTREMELY sensitive to friction and heat in my experience. I would also say it is quite powerful. I strongly recommend not making this stuff, it is way too dangerous for my liking.

You don't have to make it...

Nick F - 15-12-2002 at 07:17

A strong ammonia solution will allow you to dissolve the SF from the snappers. It wouldn't be a very economical way to get it, but it'd be easy and would allow you to experiment with it.
When you have the solution, a good way to ppte it would probably be to quickly add a weak acid in excess while stirring rapidly. This should result in the formation of very small crystals as the ammonia is rapidly neutralised. Do not allow the solution to stand, as the gradual loss of ammonia could result in larger crystals.

DeusExMachina - 15-12-2002 at 07:20

I would like to experiment with it a little. I want to make a only about a gram or less. I just don't know how much of which chemicals to use to get a very small yield.

Nick F - 15-12-2002 at 08:03

Just find any procedure, like the one in KIBC, and scale it down to give a theoretical yield of 1g. That will give you an actual yield of probably about 0.6g. You may need to heat it though to get a reaction, the heat is normally generated by the reaction itself but that small amount might cool down too fast.

Interestingly, it forms an ammonia complex that is less sensitive than the straight SF, but it loses ammonia gradually and reverts back to SF. Maybe a non-volatile amine could be used instead of ammonia to get a more stable product?

trinitrotoluene - 15-12-2002 at 23:19

I guess its not very economical. I wa planning to try to extrace the SF from the snap and pops then someway convety the fulminate back to pure silver. And make a profit. But maybe not worth the cost as I cost more to buy the snappers then I get back.

DeusExMachina - 16-12-2002 at 17:59

how much do they cost? I get mine for 99 cents.

Microtek - 17-12-2002 at 00:08

Silver costs on the order of one dollar per 5 grams, so extracting it from snappers is never going to be a source of profit.

DeusExMachina - 17-12-2002 at 05:10

what is the lowest percentage of nitric acid you can use for silver fulminate? 60%?

Madog - 17-12-2002 at 11:56

i had a pic of a test to 1 gram of AP on a piece of metal compared to 1 gram of SF, the SF looks like it won, i will try to find this pic. also, in a PDF i once had and still do somewhere it had results of tests on initiation of various HEs with various primary includeing SF and other impro ones

DeusExMachina - 17-12-2002 at 14:20

This place has a video of silver fulminate detonating. The explosion was nothing and I am going to make a little so I'm pretty sure I'll be fine. I just don't know where to get nitric acid from.

Darkfire - 4-1-2003 at 12:35

I think thats HG fulminate, but im not sure. Nitric acid is easy purchase and a gold tester. Its not a hard or long syth so you should be ok.


DeusExMachina - 4-1-2003 at 19:20

ya but the only problem is that the only jewler that I that I think would have it knows my mom and if I tried buying it, mom would ask questions if I went with her to that jewler and the place is like on the other side of Toronto so I can't get there by myself. I'm going to try another store that's near my house and see if they have it.

Darkfire - 5-1-2003 at 21:31

After working with it, i had some odd stains on my hands, they were light purple, on my first batch i got a purple colored substance that floated on water, on my second it got a white precipitate on the bottom; any idea on the differances.


trinitrotoluene - 5-1-2003 at 23:11

Wow I'm going to buy an ample supply of silver. I can buy silver for $5.95 for a troy ounce.And the stuff is 99+% pure. Well I need to start saving up because i'm gonna buy 3 troy ounces.When I get it I will have an ample supply of silver to make silver azide and fulminate. Does anyone know where can I buy high purity silver for even cheaper per troy ounce?

Hermes_Trismegistus - 28-11-2003 at 20:36


no....thats about as cheap as its going to get without a process involving a pick and a shovel and a HI HO! HI HO! Its off to work I go!