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Author: Subject: Insensitive/Practical Recreational Explosives
Armistice19
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[*] posted on 1-6-2013 at 18:19
Insensitive/Practical Recreational Explosives


As we all know Independence Day is just over a month away, and some of us can hear the fireworks in our neighborhoods already. Every year around this time I usually get out my AL, KCLO4 and Static Guard and make some FP for the occasion, but after 4 years of BP and FP I feel it may be time to step it up. We have a large remote area to work with, and safety is always our first concern. That means if we are going to make bigger batches we need to think of something more stable/insensitive than FP, yet more powerful than BP. I am currently a Lab Tech at a refractories research center, and I have been making basic explosive/incendiary mixes at home for 7 years now. Perhaps I would consider making a decent blasting cap for something like ANFO, but It's currently in the upper 80's-90's here in Western PA, and this would be my first time making a blasting cap. To sum it up, I need suggestions for some simple, easily manufactured, practical, and insensitive explosives.

[Edited on 2-6-2013 by Armistice19]




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[*] posted on 1-6-2013 at 20:11


Simple in preparation? Picric acid, nitrourea. TATP as initiator. Or lead salt of aforementioned picric acid.



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[*] posted on 1-6-2013 at 20:48


If he has never performed a nitration before I don't think picric acid should be the first..but that's just me. I would say silver acetylide or mercury fulminate for primary and ETN for secondary if inexperienced with HEs.



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[*] posted on 1-6-2013 at 22:20


Nitrourea with a fulminated primary, IMO that would be good for you (or me).



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[*] posted on 1-6-2013 at 23:49


Well, I forget about silver acetylide. It is good for beginners too, but according to my own experience and all of what I've read TATP is not as dangerous as many people think. All relatively save primaries are not for beginners. If you wanna play this game, some risk is inescapable. 1 gr of sensitive explosive may evaporate your finger. That's all. You may be killed only when you insert detonator into main charge. Do it and run away. Use electric ignition system, it can be easily prepared. Fuse is a more dangerous thing- many people was killed, thinking that it stopped to burn.



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[*] posted on 2-6-2013 at 00:05


There are ways to be 100% safe with AP, but I'm lazy and prefer the 99.5%. We wont take decisions about your safety, so make your own research.
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Armistice19
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[*] posted on 2-6-2013 at 04:23


If it is in fact true that there are ways to be 100% safe with AP then I might consider synthesis, but only if I made an extremely small amount first, and then work my way up. I will do some research. As I said, it is 80-90 degrees over here, and I do not want to loose a finger or worse. As far as picric acid goes, I'm just not comfortable with it. If I were to perform my first nitration I would like to start with something safer like nitrocellulose. Let me be clear that I do not have any professional lab equipment at home, and would be doing this in an improvised fashion. (which reminds me I need to buy a new scale)

It also appears that HMTD may be a good option if synthesized somewhere cooler with air conditioning perhaps?

[Edited on 2-6-2013 by Armistice19]

[Edited on 2-6-2013 by Armistice19]




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[*] posted on 2-6-2013 at 05:54


The 100% safety comes when you're ready for it's auto detonation, if the detonator inserts itself in the main, after the fuze is like, 50% burned or something. Yes NC is a decent secondary. I have one, it's almost year old. Only washed with tap water. I'm storing it in a black film can under the sun and it still hasn't autoignited at over 60C every day for a few hours. It hasn't lost power.
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[*] posted on 2-6-2013 at 06:14


http://www.intheredexplodingtargets.com/

No blasting cap neccesary. Just shoot it with a high caliber rifle. Fun, safe AND legal!

EDIT: Forgot discount code "gy6vids"
I believe you'll get 15% off.

[Edited on 6-2-2013 by gnitseretni]
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Armistice19
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[*] posted on 2-6-2013 at 14:46


Yes tannerite is cool, never shot it yet but I've heard alot about it. However I'm really more trying to test myself with actually making something at this point. I love to create, and watch my creations go boom. I would like to feel proud this year, and go big or go home. In other words, store bought explosives are out of the question in my mind. Synthesis in and of itself is a joyful experience. Ease of manufacture is important only because I have a month to obtain materials and begin production. Really, I am much more concerned about how safe the material is to make, and how stable/insensitive it is after it is complete. I know I am just a beginner, but I would rather try to make something and fail multiple times, than succeed and blow my hands off.

(Also please no tertiary suggestions at this point, I know I already said ANFO but tertiaries seem a bit too complex at this point)





[Edited on 2-6-2013 by Armistice19]

[Edited on 2-6-2013 by Armistice19]




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[*] posted on 2-6-2013 at 15:40


Picric acid is pretty safe, except for the poisonous fumes produced during the synthesis. It can be quite challenging to make properly, if a challenge is what you are looking for. It doesn't require a lot of actual lab equipment, but some helps. A glass coffee pot and a hot plate can be made to work with a little effort (manual swirling or stirring). A hotplate stirrer makes the synthesis much easier.

Really despite all the foolishness in the media, picric acid is one of the safer explosives most hobbyist experiment with. Of course if you just want a bang there are far easier things to produce.




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[*] posted on 2-6-2013 at 15:45


The reason I say picric acid is not for beginners is because of the synthesis itself, you need to be experienced in nitrations to get it to work, runaways are extremely easy to accidently cause with PA. Its extremely poisonous itself along with NO2. When the OP says he wants to practice with nitrocellulose first that screams good idea. Its what I did.



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[*] posted on 2-6-2013 at 15:55


I just thought he might get bored with NC after a while and want a bit more of a challenge. The OP is completely free to make up his own mind. There is a lot of hype surrounding picric acid and the dangers associated with it. I think you may be right that the difficulty level may not be right for a beginner, but I feel that it is probably one of the safer ones from an accidental explosion perspective. Just use lots of ventilation and common sense as the fumes are poisonous.



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[*] posted on 2-6-2013 at 16:30



I am wondering if this is a relatively safe procedure. Protective glasses and ear plugs are worn, a 2 inch plastic tube selaed on one end about the diameter of a pencil is placed in a mounted steel vice grip to hold in place. Filled 2/3 full w/ dry HMTD using a small paper funnel and plastic spoon, this is hand pressed with a plastic tee smoothed on the end. Then poke a hole carefully for Visco fuse which is then stuck in, and then a bit of epoxy on the HMTD and around the fuse sealing it.

-Would this work well?
-How long can these be stored
-approx. how much HMTD would fill 2 inches of pen tube?



[Edited on 3-6-2013 by golfpro]
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[*] posted on 2-6-2013 at 18:08


Go big or go home. That means you not only need a HE that's easily made but one that's also easily scaled up. Since you're new to nitrations, that IMO rules out secondary HE's made by nitration since you said you only got a month. Probably best to stick to ANFO or Tannerite for main charge and focus on making reliable/safe blasting caps, because those are definitely not something to put together last minute! I'll leave primary HE recommendations for use in blasting caps to others.
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Armistice19
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[*] posted on 2-6-2013 at 18:24


golfpro, I have been known to make the same mistake in the past, but please have a more related, contributional/appropriate mindset when using this resource.

Anyway, NC sounds very much my level. I am also looking at lead azide simply for it's standard use as a primary because of it's relative stability. I understand this may be a bit more difficult to synth than other primaries, and requires a clean environment free of all contaminants, especially copper or zinc. However I am comfortable purchasing SOME lab equipment and chemicals to make the process easier, but after a new car purchase I have a slim budget. Also does anyone have a decent thorough Figure of Insensitivity chart? I would love to take a gander at one!

As far as ANFO goes, I would love too! It's ingredients are readily available, and the slurry is quite easy to make, but I know NOTHING about boosters. Lets not forget that the month I have to work with includes the delivery time for materials and equip. If I have to wait till next year I will, I was just hoping for the best.

[Edited on 3-6-2013 by Armistice19]

[Edited on 3-6-2013 by Armistice19]




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[*] posted on 2-6-2013 at 18:42


Armistice, look at the HE salute diagram at about 1:05 in this vid, it is something I want to try also. It is heat shock detonated. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ux4SQQjOts
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[*] posted on 2-6-2013 at 21:33


Quote: Originally posted by chemcam  
The reason I say picric acid is not for beginners is because of the synthesis itself, you need to be experienced in nitrations to get it to work, runaways are extremely easy to accidently cause with PA. Its extremely poisonous itself along with NO2. When the OP says he wants to practice with nitrocellulose first that screams good idea. Its what I did.


I disagree. PA is just for beginners- it does not require special lab glass at all. Here is a tread on this compound. I used 3 liter glass vessel from under cucumbers and simple pot as hot water bath. When I used KNO3 (or NaNO3) + H2SO4, I had no runaway nor problem with NO2. Very small and negligible amount. (but NH4NO3 gave me runway, not very intensive, however). It is interesting compound, and its salts has some useful properties.




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[*] posted on 2-6-2013 at 23:15


When you decide on an insensitive formula you will always need more initiator which is always characteristically more sensitive, basically negating the comfortability in the recreation you want to have. Once there is an initiator in or close to any insensitive energetic compound you have a situation that demands the same upmost liquor free respect as would nitroglycerin or any organic peroxide that's been suggested here!
If I were you and you have to step up I'd explore the possibility of getting hold of some primer cord that's been manufactured to a tight spec. and have an expert with you when you do your thing, oh and post a vid!

People lighting short fuses and running from their peroxide jammed homebrew devices makes me shiver.




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[*] posted on 3-6-2013 at 14:58


Quote: Originally posted by golfpro  

I am wondering if this is a relatively safe procedure. Protective glasses and ear plugs are worn, a 2 inch plastic tube sealed on one end about the diameter of a pencil is placed in a mounted steel vice grip to hold in place. Filled 2/3 full w/ dry HMTD using a small paper funnel and plastic spoon, this is hand pressed with a plastic tee smoothed on the end. Then poke a hole carefully for Visco fuse which is then stuck in, and then a bit of epoxy on the HMTD and around the fuse sealing it.
-Would this work well?
-How long can these be stored
-approx. how much HMTD would fill 2 inches of pen tube?


Sorry OP (Armistice19), I feel the need to save this persons fingers so I will answer his post.

That is not safe at all, fuse goes in first, then EM, then cap the end. Basically you shouldn't make it until the day you need it.

-I wouldn't do that, if epoxy is touching the HMTD and a piece gets in it, it will detonate when the epoxy hardens most likely
-Don't store peroxides made up into a det, make them when you are ready to use them. And don't store it loose either in a closed container.
-What? the space it takes up it totally dependent on its density and we have no way of knowing the size of the pen, how much you compact it and so on...

EDIT: Caterpillar, At least the OP is smart, he knows to start with NC and not listen to you.

[Edited on 6-3-2013 by chemcam]




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Armistice19
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[*] posted on 3-6-2013 at 20:05


Chemcam, thank you for saving a fellow members fingers. If I had more knowledge of primaries I would have done the same. froot, I will absolutely post a vid! However, I don't really have any experts at my leisure, nor have I met any in my area (though I sincerely wish for that opportunity). Unfortunately it will be my sole responsibility to ensure my own safety this holiday season, just like the others before it. Having said this, I believe I will perform my first nitration as safely as possible, that means NC. I will probably make this a few times and try synthesizing more soluble/insoluble versions. Once I feel comfortable with that I might try doing some semi-sensitive nitrations in on a small scale before I eventually attempt mercury fulminate, and then eventually urea nitrate. Looks like this year is gonna be lots of NC. Can I get a big enough bang with this stuff (craters but no shrapnel)? Any safety suggestions while I continue research on NC synth?



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[*] posted on 3-6-2013 at 21:47


How about this.

Go pro for the 4th.

Every professional display company in the USA will be running maxed out that day, and any of them you ask will most likely have a spot for an interested amateur to get some display crew work.

You want a new explosive related experience for the 4th and safety, that's my best recommendation. I run a company that does display work, contact me if you want to know more.

There's no such thing as a "safe primary explosive". There's no way that your first synthesis will be risk free, or assembly of a device using it will be either.

My primary concern in display work IS safety. Pleasing customers and making money come second-

Many of the kids answering your question here make my skin crawl when I see the things they're doing and posting on YouTube. They think I'm overly cautious. I used to know lots of confident kids like them- Some are dead. Some are maimed. Some learned to think things through, plan for the worst imaginable eventuality and to be prepared with a plan to deal with those eventualities when they come about despite their best effort to avoid them. That's what it takes to make it long term in this field-




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[*] posted on 3-6-2013 at 22:05


Bert, I agree with you, so many videos I have seen on youtube that make me nervous, short fuses, impure chems, no safety gear and the one that gets me the most is these people doing EM videos barefoot, WTF, huge explosions in populated areas...makes me sick. There are ways of learning about explosives safely, most people however choose to go from knowing nothing to making a 250mL batch of nitroglycerin or a kg of TATP.

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[Edited on 6-4-2013 by chemcam]




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Armistice19
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[*] posted on 4-6-2013 at 19:45


Bert, I think I could learn a lot from an experience like that, and would be absolutely beneficial in my life. ChemCam I love your motorcycle analogy, it rings quite true, and it is very insightful. If I do find a display to help out with, then I would certainly save a $h!7 ton of money this year. Either way the ghost of Independence Day past has left me plenty of spare unused KCLO4, and a little experience too. Fear not, NC is still happening (with video) just not sure when at this point. We shall see.



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[*] posted on 5-6-2013 at 00:21


Quote: Originally posted by chemcam  


EDIT: Caterpillar, At least the OP is smart, he knows to start with NC and not listen to you.

[Edited on 6-3-2013 by chemcam]


It doesn't make him smart nor stupid. It is the choice of his own. I started with NC too, but later I realized that PA is more interesting and its preparation is no more complicate than preparation of NC (gun cotton).




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