How To: Explode Targets Using Tannerite

Exploding targets: An absolute BLAST, but be safe when using tannerite – a type of binary explosive used for firearm practice and general fun (when you know what you’re doing).

What is Tannerite?

There are an abundance of exploding targets in the marketplace, commonly referred to as “Tannerite”. Daniel Jeremy Tanner developed and patented “Tannerite” in 1996. Over the years as other products have come out they all usually get generically called “Tannerite.” It’s kind of like all tissue being called Kleenex.

Exploding targets are a two-part binary compound consisting of an “oxidizer”, ammonium nitrate and ammonium perchlorate. The “sensitizer” or catalyst is aluminum powder and zirconium hydrate. Neither component is explosive by themselves and are very stable even when mixed, requiring the impact of a high velocity bullet (2,000+ FPS ) to cause the explosive reaction.

As neither component is explosive they are not regulated by the ATF. Combining the components does constitute an explosive however and that can be regulated by the ATF. The ATF advise that “person manufacturing explosives for their own personal, non-business use only ( E.G. personal target practice ) are not required to have a federal explosives license or permit. However, persons falling into certain categories are prohibited from possessing or using exploding targets.” Basically if you cannot pass the NICS background check you cannot use exploding targets.

Blowing up an old grill with some good ole’ Tannerite and rifle action!

How to Have a BLAST & Stay Safe

These things are a ”BLAST” literally and figuratively. You do however have to keep safety in mind.

  1. While not flammable or able to be set off with flame or a fuse, the reaction can ignite combustible material, such as dry grass.
  2. Maintain your distance, shoot at a safe distance and with eye and ear protection.
  3. Do not put into appliances or machines and attempt to “BLOW THEM UP.” We’ve all seen the videos of the guy who almost got killed by the refrigerator door. Or the guy who caught shrapnel in his leg and lost his leg from the riding lawn mower he blew up (Warning rough language on this one).
  4. Get out in the country away from people. These things are loud and someone is apt to call the police and complain about their noisy neighbors.
  5. Have fun, be safe and shoot straight.

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