Exploding target question


October 13, 2004, 10:07 PM
I'm sure most everyone has seen the small targets that explode when hit in the center with a bullet bigger/stronger than a .22 (Actually, CCI Stingers will set them off). They're about 2" square with a yellow face and a red 1" dot in the center. They're filled with "flash powder" that's shock sensitive, which is why they explode with a bright flash when shot. I've gone through quite a few of them, and they're very entertaining. Problem is, they're about a dollar a pop (pun intended), and that gets quite expensive. The "Tannerite" targets are not what I'm talking about - those are WAY out of my price range.

Recently, at a big gun show (you can probably guess which one), there was a table that sold "pyro" supplies. They had the two ingredients (I'm not saying what) to make your own exploding targets. Since I enjoy these so much, I was tempted to buy the chemicals, but I'm not sure of the legalities. I assume the chemicals can be purchased separately, but when mixing is involved, that's probably another issue. I've also heard that mixing is legal, as long as the finished product doesn't exceed a certain weight. Which is it?

I'm fully aware of the sensitivity of flash powder. I understand it can be set off with only a static spark. What I'm concerned about is how legal it is to "roll your own." Anyone have any experience with this?

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October 13, 2004, 10:12 PM
Can't help you with how to make them, but those "Tannerite" targets DO look like fun (if a little bit hazardous :D ); http://www.the-ozone.com/album/Movies/Tanneritevsdryer.wmv

October 13, 2004, 10:14 PM
I don't want to know how to MAKE anything. I'm asking where I could find out how legal it is IF I made my own.

October 14, 2004, 12:00 AM
Do we have target police now? If you know what to buy and it is legal to buy and own then I would have a good time. Target police be dammed That my.02:D

October 14, 2004, 12:05 AM
First of all, I believe that nearly all gunshows are "observed" to some degree or another.

Second, I believe that someone buying the ingredients for explosives at a gunshow might draw some extra "observation."

Third, if you are investigated and found to have an "arsenal" and "bomb-making supplies" these days, you are guilty until proven innocent.

October 14, 2004, 12:31 AM
I said legal to buy and own. If I have a black powder rifle couple pounds of powder and Iam replacing the water pipes in my house, would you say I have bomb-making supplies. I guess because I own more than 1 firearm, I have a arsenal. The only reason I can think of a federal agency looking at me is if I didn't pay my taxes or ..... Wait I know I tore the tags off my pillows . O their coming to take me a way He He Ho Ho Ha Ha:D :rolleyes:

October 14, 2004, 01:01 AM
Do we have target police now?

Yes, we do.
A month or two ago, I saw a callout for the bomb squad. I looked at the notes on the call. It said, five suspects in custody with two LARGE cases of Tannerite. ATF and Homeland Security enroute.

October 14, 2004, 01:17 AM
444: was that 30 July 2004?

If so, it was 7 people detained. I was one of them.

ATF didn't show up. They called, and the moron on the other end of the phone said they'd never heard of tannerite, and it wasn't their bunny. LVPD Homeland Security guys showed up, eventually, though.

They kept us out there for 4.5 hours while they bumbled around, unwilling to bother calling the ATF back and read them the ATF reg number off the bottle to find out what the stuff was.

Confiscated all of my firearms.

Destroyed our tannerite.

Funny, they didn't mess with the 70 people on the other side of the hill who had 20 cases of tannerite. I guess we were clearly the more dangerous group.

Interesting that the original responding officer claimed to have never heard of tannerite before either, even though he'd just had it explained in great detail to him by the gents with the .50s one ridge over.


October 14, 2004, 01:29 AM
That might have been, I don't know the date but I am sure it had to be the same incident.
Whatever, tell these guys about the target police.

by the way, who is "Homeland Security" ? Do they wear uniforms? Do they have marked vehicles ?

October 14, 2004, 02:14 AM
LVPD Homeland Security was a couple regular cops in civvies who had no more clue than the Clark Cty Sherriff (responding officer) or the BLM officer.

Ultimately, some detectives from robbery came out (I guess maybe I'm supposed to cut them some slack for it being a Saturday) and took over the scene. These were the guys who yanked my guns in "for safekeeping" I believe was the term used. Real convenient for my friend who lived in San Diego whose M8 also got impounded.

So here's the story. I, my fiancee, and 5 of our friends go out to a spot just west of the Sloan exit on I-15 where we've been going for the last 4 years, with Tannerite, each time. This is during the Defcon computer security convention. One ridge over is the official Defcon shoot, who we are too cool to associate with. ;) Plus, we didn't want to share our watermelons with them.

Sherriff Shinypants has a motorist pulled over on the shoulder when he hears a boom. He calls in, and hears that there have been complaints from Sloan about "explosions". They send out a helicopter, which buzzes us and the DC Shoot crew. Shinypants goes and investigates the group of 70 first, as one might expect. The range officer for that group explains what Tannerite is, how it works, why it's legal, etc. Everything short of a demo. Around that time, we shoot another one, and Shinypants says "Oh, it must not have been you guys."

Shinypants is joined by BLM officer Grumpy. Shiny and Grumpy drive around the ridge and come up to our group, stopping a ways away. The helicopter is hovering about 20 feet off the ground, right next to these guys, and even though we can't hear a bloody thing they are saying, we decide to clear the guns and walk up to them. We go through the usual kick in the testicles routine, and then they start questioning us. "What are you doing? Why are you here? What is causing the explosions?" We explain what tannerite is, how it works, why it's legal, etc. Grumpy begs to differ, "all explosives are illegal on BLM land!"

Shiny calls the ATF. The ATF passes the buck, tells us to go get screwed. We ask them to call back and read the official ATF number to the ATF guy so he can look it up, but no one is willing to handle the tannerite. I offer to handle it for them and read the number to them, but that idea gets shot down.

We get sat down, on the ground, at 1100 hrs, just south of Las Vegas, on a nice clear day. Time passes. We wait for someone to grow a clue, but it never really happens. LVPD dispatcher finally finds the tannerite website (which we've been telling them the address to for the last hour) and finds the ATF documentation that says this stuff isn't legally an explosive.

"Oh, but you can find anything on the internet. Even Kiddy Porn! That doesn't make it right, just because you can get it on the internet."

(Get used to this line, it'll come up again.)

Another hour passes. We're finally allowed to get some of the water we have in our truck. Shinypants opens the tailgate of his SUV and we're allowed to move into the shade. The LV / DHS guys show up. They try real hard to get their Crown Vics stuck on the rocks. One of them is so concerned about what a dangerous terroristic threat we pose that he's brought his 5 year old with him. They question us. "Where did you get this stuff. How does it work?"

"We bought it on line. Tanner has an ATF license. Look it up. Call the ATF."

"Oh, but you can find anything on the internet. Even Kiddy Porn! That doesn't make it right, just because you can get it on the internet."

Another hour passes. We don't all fit under the shady spot, so we're taking turns roasting. When we ask if we've been arrested, we're told no, but that we can't use the bathroom alone, or make phone calls, or move around without an escort.

Detective Joe shows up, with his partner Bob. Joe and Bob question us.

"We bought it on line. Tanner has an ATF license. Look it up. Call the ATF."

"Oh, but you can find anything on the internet. Even Kiddy Porn! That doesn't make it right, just because you can get it on the internet."

Y'know, I'm a freaking internet professional, and by this time I'm starting to think you can't use the internet for anything other than illegal activities. Of course, that's probably really just the 3 hours of sitting out in the Nevada sun at the hottest part of the day in July talking.

So then the bomb squad shows up. They question us. They've actually bothered to look at the website. Still, they ask the normal round of questions...

"We bought it on line. Tanner has an ATF license. Look it up. Call the ATF."

"Oh, but you can find anything on the internet. Even Kiddy Porn! That doesn't make it right, just because you can get it on the internet."

Ok, so even the bomb squad got the Kiddy Porn seminar in training. Great.

So, finally they stir everything up real good with the thumbs they've been storing in their bums, and decide to take all of my guns, even though no one is issuing a citation. Of course, by now, they've had grit blown into them for 4 hours, but we get all of them packed safely (ha ha) away into the truck of Joe and Bob.

The bomb squad rather anticlimactically blows up a pair of inert powders, I'm given a reciept for my babies, and we're sent home.

Two weeks later they finallly get things processed and I get my toys back. I have to diassemble the bolt on my 1903 to get the grit our of everything. two more weeks later and my friend sends in a notice of transfer so I can pick up his handgun without having to come back for it himself.

After hearing our story, Tanner tells us that the head of the BLM buys his product, and blows it up... you guessed it. on BLM land. Because it's not an explosive. Just like we told everybody for 4.5 hours.

So, I guess the moral of this story is: something I can't say here because this is The High Road. :cuss: :fire: :cuss: :fire: :cuss: :fire:

So, even if the things you are buying are perfectly legal, you might still have a really long, unpleasant day.

-Ogre, who has never had a positive interaction with an LEO.

October 14, 2004, 07:08 AM
Wow! I feel much safer now!

I'm glad to see that our loyal public servants are vigilantly neutralizing all terror threats in our Motherland...I mean Homeland. Who knows what would have happened if your group had been left to their own devices? Someone could have had some fun. I shudder at the thought!

Speaking of kiddy porn-

Your friendly public servants seemed to know an awful lot about it. In his book, Freedom in Chains, James Bovard notes that the biggest trafficker of child pornography is the Federal Government - because they send so much through the mail as "bait" to entice people into ordering it. WHO would apply for such a federal job!? :barf:

So, there you have it. Guns and target shooting are now the equivalent of kiddy porn.

All of this gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when I think of how my tax money is being spent. I'm so glad that our government is working hard to protect our freedoms.

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