Exploding Targets?


September 2, 2003, 09:07 PM
Are there any exploding targets that you could buy or make?

I would be shooting under controlled conditions. Such as; on my lease, at a safe distance, when it is wet in case of fire, etc.

I do not want to make, or have in possesion anything illegal.

Do any of you have any ideas?

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September 2, 2003, 09:17 PM
Yes there is ... albeit I think a tad pricey ....... go look here ....


September 2, 2003, 10:46 PM
Fill aspirin or other small PLASTIC bottles with %75 black powder.

Shoot with a high power.

Makes a nice flash and POOF! Nothing real dangerous but fun and flashy.

September 2, 2003, 10:56 PM
That Tannerite looks kind of fun, but because of that I'm sure the People's Republic has seen fit to enact a law against it. :(

September 2, 2003, 11:03 PM
Buy some dry ice and find some empty plastic bottles. Put a little water in there and cap it off with a small amount of dry ice. Cap it quickly and shoot it within 10 minutes, before it goes off.

Have fun...:D


September 2, 2003, 11:12 PM
Pumpkins, watermelon, and other various types of large fruit...:D

Also balloon animals filled with red paint, and if you really want to get dangerous, try a Molotov Cocktail...:uhoh:

Stay away from pressurized cans (whipped cream, shaving cream, propane tanks, and the like).

September 2, 2003, 11:16 PM
Charcoal briquettes make a fine reactive target

September 3, 2003, 03:02 AM
How about the one target that's reactive, will "explode", is basically free and doesn't require cleanup?????


Get some small bowls (like margarine bowls), fill them up and suspend a string in them, looped. Freeze. Take out, hang from target stand or tree. Shoot and watch the ice go boom!

September 3, 2003, 02:20 PM
Thanks for all the replies!

I was, however thinking about something with a LOUD report. I don't care as much about the visual effects as the audible effects. I could listen to a fireworks display and enjoy it almost as much as seeing it!:)

I like big booms!:cool:

Any more suggestions?

September 3, 2003, 03:21 PM
Did you go read re the Tannerite?? From all I have read it makes a LOT of noise ... and I like Booms too!:evil: :p

September 3, 2003, 03:24 PM


about half way down there are some exploding targets. I have used these before and they are a blast. I was hitting them at 25 yards with my Mark23 with great results. A direct hit to the red portion of the target will give you a LOUD report and a little flash and smoke. Just be careful of where you place them.

September 3, 2003, 03:34 PM
Fatboyclone I just bought a couple bags of those. I have hit them with .22 .308 and 9mm. Definately a boom! But I have had a LOT of smoke!:D

September 3, 2003, 04:38 PM

Are all those shotgun rounds legal? Some of them would make devastating self-defense loads.

I really liked the DragonBreath. I guess you would need shades when firing those!:cool:


That is just what I was looking for! I will try some of those out!

September 3, 2003, 05:19 PM
check your local laws when ordering any of the novelty ammo. also be sure to be prepare in case of a fire when using any of those. it hasn't been too dry this year but always use caution.

September 3, 2003, 05:41 PM
a friend & i done this in Colo. several years back, he lived in a rural area on a 100 a. farm, we took an accetelyne welding outfit lit it up, got a nice hot flame burning, extinguish the flame, leave valves as is, direct the mixed gases into a large plastic bag, filling full & tight, tie it off, tie two helium filled ballons to bag, tape a couple feet of cannon fuse to gas bag, lite the fuse & turn loose.......!!!!!

our first attempt, the bag got about 200 ft. high & 300 yds away when it blew, the concussion & boom was awsome !! second attempt two bags of gas, one more helium ballon & longer fuse......., RESULTS: not enough lift, it arose to about 200 feet & drifted almost a mile when it blew, right over a turkey farm !! we heard later about 50 turkeys died of heart attack (????)

if you have an area where you can do a night shot.., they are beyond anything any fireworks display will provide, especially if you get creative & put small amounts of magneisum, aluminum, copper dust or even a small amount of black powder in the bag before filling with gas will make multi colored "sparklie" show.....

as for shooting exploding targets..., forget it..!! everything i did as a kid would get you 20 to life today, back then, "...it was just the neighborhood kids having fun with some old dynamite"......!!!!!

September 3, 2003, 05:42 PM
if you really want to get dangerous, try a Molotov Cocktail...

Just FYI, I believe those are NFA weapons. (Yeah, like someone is really going to go through that whole process to make something that gets used up on the first 'shot').

September 4, 2003, 12:06 AM
I'm fairly new to the XTS (eXploding Target Sport), but I had a blast with a 12gauge slug and a watermelon.
Vistory is sweet. And sticky.

September 4, 2003, 01:33 AM
The SAF machinegun shoot in Las Vegas used a stick of dynamite attached to a gallon jug of gasoline to make a reactive target.

A half-gallon milk jug of ANFO would make quite a loud report when struck by a round also. Check to see if you need to get a permit first. Farmers have used ANFO for years to blow stumps and the coal companies use the stuff by the truckload when they shoot a slab shot. ANFO is extremely stable and there are formulas on the Internet.

Go to http://www.bigjimsmgs.com and drop a line to Big Jim to see what they do for reactive targets when they have a shoot.

September 4, 2003, 12:03 PM
A half-gallon milk jug of ANFO would make quite a loud report when struck by a round also. I don't think so Jim ...... IIRC ANFO requires to be ''kicked'' by something with a VOD (velocity of detonation) in excess of 5km/sec .... usually Cortex (det-cord) or even a 1/2 stick of 80%. It burns with some difficulty and to succeed with genuine detonation ..... must have a very brissant primary.

September 4, 2003, 01:46 PM
The formula for tannerite is very safe, cheap and easy to make yourself if you know how. Their website itself will tell you how it works and the velocity of round you need to set it off. Contrary to belief it is not ANFO, but similer.

January 10, 2010, 06:06 PM
Hey Guys,

Just thought I'd let you know where to get exploding target supplies.
I have a web site that sells Bulk Mix ( you supply your own container ) or targets that come in a target jar. It has the same force and stability of tannerite. Actually Tannerite is just a trade name. I sell all the chemicals that are in " Tannerite " and the jars just like Tannerite for almost 1/2 off!
He was too specific in his patent so I tried adding the 10% of other chemicals and there was no differance in the sound or force. So I started a company for people like me to have access to these targets and not get ripped off!!
If you are interested the link is http://www.sureshotexplodingtargets.com

I hope this saves someone some cash!
I will be changing the shipping cost Tue.

Matthew (mds213 )

January 10, 2010, 09:13 PM
use clay with clay holder?

January 11, 2010, 10:09 AM
You won’t get much noise but a great visual display is to shoot unopened beer cans; premium brands do no better that the cheap stuff.

Try to hit the very bottom, makes them jump better.

January 11, 2010, 11:35 AM
I saw a show on the discovery channel a few months back, I think it was that show Dave Mordahl briefly had. Anyway, he was out shooting with some good 'ol boys and they made their own explosive targets. I'm guessing it's the same stuff thats in tannerite, on the show it sounded like they just had to order 2 or 3 compounds and mix it together. Anyway, they'd tape baggies of it to targets, or the underside of clays, and it would explode pretty good when shot. Also, it needed a high velocity round to set it off, a pistol or .22 wouldn't cut it, but .223 and shotguns were doing the trick. Anyone else remember that show? Anyone have the recipe for it? They said repeatedly it was legal to do, but they were careful to not say enough to make it too easy for any goofball to go off and make a batch.

January 11, 2010, 11:37 AM
I just watched the little video on the bottom of the www.tannerite.com page, it does sound just like the stuff from that show. Binary explosive.

January 11, 2010, 12:41 PM
Hi Paw Daddy,

Growing up, one of my crazier neighbors welded a plate to a 55 gallon drum that had been drilled to accept a 12 gauge shotshell. He then put another plate with a bolt that rested on the primer. The rifle ball hitting the top plate would set off the shot shell with predictable results. There were no arguments that the target was hit @ 500 yards.

If this sounds like a good idea to you, seek help immediately.

January 11, 2010, 12:51 PM
Farmers have used ANFO for years to blow stumps and the coal companies use the stuff by the truckload when they shoot a slab shot. ANFO is extremely stable and there are formulas on the Internet.

This is true, but getting ANFO to detonate reliably requires either a #8 blasting cap or prima-cord. Most of the blasting people I've run across recommend a booster as well. The problem you are going to run into- any compound sensitive enough to react to small arms fire is too sensitive for general use. I could mention a number of compounds from nitrostarch to nitroglycerin, none of which should be handled by any hobbyist. Even the rather innocuous nitrogen iodide is highly dangerous in large enough quantities for your stated use.

File this under - would be nice but responsibility denies it.

January 11, 2010, 01:11 PM
Propane tank and AP/incendiary rounds make a pretty big POP............

January 11, 2010, 03:23 PM
Tannerite is a blast... literally. Always fun at the range, we had a group buy on another board not too long ago.

They will ship to all states. From their web page:
TANNERITE is STILL 100% legal in all states, provided you do not exceed your state's black powder storage amount. Do not mix more than you intend to use at one time to ensure compliance. We are not responsible for "Acts of stupidity", so please use common sense.

chris in va
January 11, 2010, 07:54 PM
I know this thread got started in 2003, but...

Interesting about the SureShot targets. Until my range banned the use of 'tannerite', I had been making my own out of AN, AP and aluminum powder. Finding pure prilled AN is very difficult, so it's nice to know he sells it by itself. 20# for $60 isn't too bad when you simply can't find it at all.

BTW Knob Creek is the range that banned it for general range use. Crazy huh?

January 15, 2010, 12:44 PM
Hey ,

I thought about on of the posts on here about anfo and the reply to it was 75% correct.
ANFO has to be set off with a cast booster, a #8 cap or det cord would not likely do it. In the industry we sell cast boosters made from RDX or PETN (the stuff in detcord ) and the customer fills the hole with ANFO then places the cast booster in the hole with a #8 cap in it and it's all hooked up with NONEL tube. It takes a blast around 23000 fps. to set it off. I have shot it and no go! Could not set it off with a 30-06 or a 22-250. It's just too stable. I sell E1 grade Ammonium Nitrate! If you look on my home page you will see in the lower right corner a brown sack with a 5.1 Oxidizer sticker on it. If you look close there is an orange outline around the yellow sticker. If you peeled off the sticker it says 1.4D Explosive. They don't normally sell straight AN so I get it in ANFO bags with the label blacked out by marker where it says Fuel Oil And an oxidizer sticker put on it and they are filled with the Ammonium Nitrate that would normally be made into ANFO. So I allways have my license with me if they were to pull the truck over with oxidizer plackerds on it and think I put Stickers on ANFO!! Little scary !! Again if any one has questions on where to get exploding targets or on explosive chemistry I know a little more than some. but I'm not a rocket scientist by far!! You can check out http://www.sureshotexplodingtargets.com I put the legal stuff right on there.

Have a good day,

January 15, 2010, 01:32 PM
The targets I sell are exactly what you saw on wreckreation nation! And they are completely legal!! 1 and 2 Lb and the raw chemicals also if you want to mix your own, save a little money and supply your own containers!


February 14, 2010, 08:00 PM
"Sure Shot Exploding Targets" On Sale Now Check It Out (http://www.sureshotexplodingtargets.com)

February 14, 2010, 08:12 PM

Try my 2Lbers. All my customers say good things about them!

February 14, 2010, 10:13 PM
I shot some 2x2" stick on exploding targets a buddy had a few year ago. When hit they would make a LOUD bang (and blow a 1" hole in a 2/6!!) don't remember the brand, but they were FUN :evil:

July 19, 2010, 04:05 PM
Does anyone know where in california to buy the Ammonium nitrate fertilizer to make these targets? I am in the military and traveled last year through Texas on my way to Florida and bought (2) 50 lbs of 33-0-0 and was told it was ammonium nitrate fertilizer and that it would work. However, after I got home and added the AL to it and tried shooting with my AR nothing happened. So I did the research on what I purchased and found that it is American Plant Food Company brand Ammonium sulfate with UREA but is labled 33-0-0. Obviously I bought the wrong stuff but still want to make these targets can someone point me in the right direction on where to buy.

Shadow 7D
July 19, 2010, 04:11 PM
Don't know if anybody has linked it, but I know that there is a thread here somewhere about how to make home made tannerite,

I believe that it's basically fertilizer and aluminum powder
you can add stuff like carbon/charcoal powder for a yellow flash
diesel for a fireball and other stuff, but I would suggest starting VERY small and working up, cause it is an explosive even if it's a legal Binary.

July 19, 2010, 04:43 PM
here is the recipet.


Have fun be careful and good luck finding the fertilizer to make this. it seems almost impossible to find. If anyone knows any place close to california that sells it please send me a private message and let me know

July 19, 2010, 05:38 PM
Legal or not, if you buy any quantity the dealers are under orders to report the sale. Do not be surprised to get a visit from the "men in black". For some completely legal target material go to DownSouthAmmo.com here is a link:
http://downsouthammo.com/ Nice folks to deal with.

August 16, 2010, 01:40 AM
I am a licensed manufacturer of explosives and also sell exploding targets and kits so you can use your own containers and save money. We actually have a new 1/2 LB "Rimfire Magnum" that you can set off with a .22LR and is as loud as 4LBS of tannerite!! I started a group buy for the targets with free shipping! But as far as reporting to the ATF or any agency, that is completely false! I have had face to face meetings with the ATF and I am not required to report anyone who buys the targets! I get I.D. for personal comfort not because I have to! So don't worry about big brother knocking on your door!


August 16, 2010, 09:45 PM
This just arrived in the Cabela's flyer:

"Star Exploding Targets...consist of two inert components that when mixed blow up if impacted by a high-velocity projectile...takes at least a 40gr bullet at 2200fps to detonate."
RHA-23-0102 et. al.
0.5 lb "safe distance 50 yds" $6.99 each $19.99 for 3
2.b lbs "safe distance 100 yds" $17.99 each $49.99 for 3

Jeff F
August 16, 2010, 10:09 PM
I don't think so Jim ...... IIRC ANFO requires to be ''kicked'' by something with a VOD (velocity of detonation) in excess of 5km/sec .... usually Cortex (det-cord) or even a 1/2 stick of 80%. It burns with some difficulty and to succeed with genuine detonation ..... must have a very brissant primary.

You are correct, however, if you mix AN and the right amount of German brown powered aluminum it will make it shock sensitive ala Tannerite. I worked for a blaster for a period of time and we used to mix up some of our own stuff for certain jobs.

August 16, 2010, 10:22 PM
Here ya go - not cheap but fun.

Rail Driver
August 17, 2010, 12:41 AM
I know it's not exactly an "exploding target" but I use charcoal bricks. You can get them in bulk at walmart and get your bulk pack of .22 at the same place. Makes for a great afternoon of fun shooting even though you get a little dirty setting up the targets :D

They explode nicely when struck with any bullet.

Pocket Rocket
August 17, 2010, 02:22 AM
Star Targets (http://www.startargets.com/en/?page_id=2) is a company based in Utah. I've used these and they are nicer than Tannerite because the catalyst is already in a packet inside the container. You just empty it and shake whereas you have to measure both components with Tannerite. The prices are better, too. I've never bought them at Cabela's since the local gun stores in Vegas stock them.

August 17, 2010, 01:42 PM
If you use 1 lb or more of Tannerite or similar be prepared for a visit from the police. I can tell you from experience. Unless you don't have any neighbors closer than like a mile someone will probably call. I had th ATF come out. Also the guy at Tannerite is very knowlegable and helpful

Pocket Rocket
August 17, 2010, 09:59 PM
Sure Shot Targets also come with a pre-measured bag of catalyst for each target!

Star Targets have this same feature. I have never compared the decibel level between other brands and Star Targets, but I certainly wasn't disappointed when the Star Targets ignited. I had nice results with the 1/4 lb and 1/2 pound targets and I've seen folks blast the larger ones. Try it inside a pumpkin :D

I've had one not ignite once, but the bullet (7.62x39) clipped the bottom corner and dispersed the fertilizer or whatever is inside it. Maybe I got a dud, or maybe I didn't shake it up long enough. The container says to do so for 45-60 seconds.

August 18, 2010, 01:43 PM
Pocket Rocket , That happens with all targets except the Rimfire Magnum targets from Sure Shot! Even Sure Shot Targets, when grazed, will either not detonate or will put off sparks, this includes Tannerite! I also have had issues with all targets and 7.62 rounds. The issue I have found is if your using the X 39mm and not the X 54mm you will have a hard time setting the target off! Also, even with a 7.62X54mm round you still have trouble setting them off at any distance. It comes down to the amount of kinetic energy applied to a small area and the 7.62 rounds sometimes do not create the energy needed!! I know without question the 1/2LB Sure Shot Rimfire Magnum Target will detonate reliably with any supersonic round from a .22LR at 1200-1400FPS and up! These targets allow you to shoot them with your long range, big bore rifle or you have the option to shoot them with a .22LR or the like! Just trying to get factual information out there for people to read!


August 19, 2010, 12:32 PM
Cabelas sells that stuff too. It is in their catalog and on line.

August 19, 2010, 01:19 PM
FWIW I bought four of the Star targets (advertised as rimfire targets) from a shop here in Utah. Couldn't get a single one to detonate or even spark, even with 7.62x54R. Lesson learned: don't bother cheaping out - buy reactive targets with good reputations. They are not all created equal.

January 22, 2011, 11:11 PM
If you contact me I will only charge you S&H for 3 Sure Shot Magnum Rimfire targets so you can see what a real rimfire target should do. Star was working with the guy that used to sell Scarecrow targets and ran the Scarecrow name into the ground while it's owner was in the middle east. He was making rimfire targets for star using the Scarecrow formula without permission from the owner of the formula Tim O'Neil. Thanks to his complete lack of understanding chemistry the formula didn't work well at all! I have worked with Tim O'Neil and using the pure chems I can get with my license we came up with a target that is .22lr sensitive and 1/2Lb is as loud as 5Lbs of Star targets! We now have our rimfire targets in Sportsmans Guide with the centerfire hopefully to come. You are verry correct Gord! ALL EXPLODING TARGETS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL!!

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