How to Make Tannerite

February 7, 2014 by | Be the first to comment »

So you want to learn how to make tannerite? Of course you do—there are times when explosives come in handy. Besides, they can be loads of fun!

But making explosives without an elaborate lab and an extensive background in chemistry is usually about as smart as letting the local meth dealer babysit your kids. However tannerite is different from other explosives because it’s a simple binary compound that is incredibly stable.

Before we get to the fun stuff, let’s get the disclaimer out of the way. There are currently no federal laws prohibiting the production or use of tannerite, but you need to be aware of any state and local laws that may apply—for example, it is illegal in Maryland. Even where 100% legal, you still need to use your head. Combine the ingredients when/where you plan to detonate them to reduce the chance of accidental detonation. (Also, transporting or storing the mixture is a violation of federal law.) Keep it far away from people, vehicles, and buildings that you don’t want to destroy. And finally, if you’ve never used explosives before, seek the guidance of someone who has.

OK, let’s get into the good stuff.

Making tannerite:

Ingredient #1

  1. 95% (by weight) ammonium nitrate
  2. Grind to the consistency of salt granules with a blender, coffee grinder, or even a mortar and pestle in a well ventilated area with no open flames. (Its ignition point is 840° Fahrenheit)
  3. Store in sealed container after ground.

Ingredient #2

  1. 5% (by weight) aluminum powder (300-600 mesh.)
  2. Using a different blender to avoid contamination, blend the aluminum into fine powder in a well ventilated area with no open flames.
  3. Store in sealed container after ground.

Pour both ingredients into a container with plenty of extra space so you can mix them thoroughly. I like to pour them into a one gallon jug, filling it half way and shaking it vigorously for about five minutes. A federal explosives license or permit would be required to obtain any explosive device, such as detonators, used to initiate this explosive mixture, but the impact of a round fire from any rifle larger than a.22 LR will provide sufficient force to initiate detonation.

I know someone is going to ask about the minimum safe distance to detonate tannerite—that’s quite complex and depends on a variety of factors.

For a simple answer, 100m would be my absolute minimum. For a more detailed answer, I suggest learning the factors that the military looks at when dealing with explosives, covered in detail, complete with mathematical formulas in Explosives and Demolitions FM 5-25.

Have a blast, folks! :)

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