Tannerite is a binary explosive used primarily as a target for firearms practice. Tannerite is unique in that it is exceptionally stable when subjected to less severe forces such as a hammer blow or being dropped. It is supplied as two powders which are combined to produce the explosive.


The manufacturer recommends using convert|0.5|lb|kg|adj=on preparations of the substance, which should detonate when shot by a high-powered rifle. Small caliber rimfire or slow moving pistol ammunition will not initiate a detonation.

Tannerite is used by shooting clubs to provide explosions for their participants in large-scale weaponry demonstrations or other events. Ordinarily, firing high powered machine guns and other rifles won't produce much more than and some sound upon impact of the round on the target. With reactive targets, these shooting clubs can provide a movie-like experience such as exploding cars.

Tannerite detonations occur at a very high velocity, producing a large explosion and cloud of water vapor. It may be useful for persons who are firing at long ranges; in this scenario, a long-range rifle shooter emplaces targets, retreats to his firing position, and fires. The shooter doesn't wish to have to walk down range to see if he has a hit -- the Tannerite will detonate and serve as an indicator.

Manufacture and sale

Tannerite is often sold in pre-sized and shaped explosives for control and use.

Since the two components are not explosive until mixed, they can legally be purchased without a license. Combining the components constitutes manufacturing explosives.Fact|date=January 2008 In most parts of the United States, this is legal for personal use.Fact|date=January 2008 Once mixed, the components are an explosive and it is illegal to transport these materials on public roads in a vehicle without proper insurance, packaging and placarding. Storage of the mixed Tannerite is also prohibited unless stored in approved magazines.

Tannerite consists of two components, a sensitizer and a bulk material. The bulk material is a mixture of ammonium nitrate and ammonium perchlorate, while the sensitizer is a mixture of dark flake aluminium powder and a small amount of zirconium hydride. Simpler mixtures of ammonium nitrate and aluminium powder are also known to work, but are less sensitive and harder to reliably detonate.

In the news

On January 14th 2008, a man in Red Wing, Minnesota was accused of detonating convert|100|lb|abbr=on. of tannerite inside the bed of a dump truck by shooting it with a .50 caliber rifle from convert|300|yd away. The ensuing blast could be felt at Prairie Island Nuclear Power Plant, and officials from the FBI, BATF, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, US Postal Service, and the US Coast Guard have become involved, along with local law enforcement agencies. [cite web |url=http://www.kare11.com/news/news_article.aspx?storyid=492577 |format=HTML |date=14 January 2008 | accessdate=2008-01-19 | publisher=KARE 11 News|title=Big boom could land amateur bomb maker in huge trouble ] The man, Brian Wesley Childs, was arrested for gross disregard for human life and destruction of property with an explosive or incendiary. [cite web |url=http://www.hastingsstargazette.com/articles/index.cfm?id=19057&section=homepage&property_id=26 |format=HTML |date=16 January 2008 | accessdate=2008-01-19 | publisher=Hastings Star Gazette|title=Blast near Red Wing brings felony charges ]


External links

* [http://www.tannerite.com/ The Manufacturer]
* [http://www.lsbllp.com/mgshoot.html The Southern Ohio Machine-Gun Blast]
* [http://www.boomershoot.org/2008/blast.htm Boomershoot: Tons of explosives once a year]
* [http://survivalops.com/ See Tannerite in action]
* [http://www.helpmegetag5.com/movie.htm Tannerite in use to demolish a Macintosh G4]

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