Iron Sight
March 10, 2012, 11:12 PM
If you shoot dynamite with a firearm will it detonate?/Blow up?

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50 cal
March 10, 2012, 11:24 PM
Try it and see what it does:)

March 10, 2012, 11:33 PM
Maybe if it is old and the nitroglycerin has separated from the media. Of course throwing a rock at it might have the same effect. The question really is "why do you ask?"

Jeff F
March 10, 2012, 11:50 PM
It depend on the dynamite, but generally speaking yes it can. It depends on the nitro content. Most dynamite today is not manufactured with nitro, but an ammonium dynamite. Dynamite is not used much anymore, most blasters have gone on to water-gel explosives which are mostly not cap sensitive.

March 10, 2012, 11:59 PM
Hey, they do it in the TV show LOST, so it has to be true, right? :)

No but really, don't try it, because I heard enough physical shock can make dynamite go off. It's not really all that stable.

March 11, 2012, 12:19 AM
ChCx2744 stated: " It's not really all that stable." En contrare, if it wasn't stable it couldn't be shipped! On the other hand it is stupid to push the limits of a substance for what end? As other posters have noted, the stablilizors do deteriorate over time. If it is old call someone who deals with this type of thing the"BOMB SQUAD".

Old Dog Man
March 11, 2012, 01:33 AM
John Wayne could do it in the air, gotta be true!!! Al

March 11, 2012, 08:23 AM
Ah the good ol days. When you could go to the hardware store and buy some to get rid of that pesky stump in the back yard.:) As stated these days the stuff is being phased out for safer alternatives. Some guys got in trouble here for detonating a hillside that was soft and peppering a few neighbors houses.:eek: The new stuff would be hard to detonate with a bullet IMHO. Some of the old stuff, well these days I would stay away from it if I had the choice.:D

March 11, 2012, 08:25 AM
ChCx2744 stated: " It's not really all that stable." En contrare, if it wasn't stable it couldn't be shipped!

Older dynamite had to be turned 180 degrees every six weeks to prevent the nitroglycerin from literally oozing out. That is when it becomes unstable and cannot be shipped.

March 11, 2012, 11:23 AM
Sounds like an episode for "MythBusters" if they haven't done it already!

March 11, 2012, 11:36 AM
As invented by Alfred Nobel, dynamite most definitely would be set off by a rifle round which is why it saw very little actual military use and some spectacular failures when attempts were made to use it as artillery in "dynamite guns".

While dynamite was far safer than the alternatives of the time, safer explosives have been continuously developed and I don't think the dynamite made today has much resemblance to Nobel's original and is largely being replaced by more modern pumpable liquid/gel explosives

March 11, 2012, 11:38 AM
There was a documented, historical incident during the German invasion of Greece in 1941, when the retreating British had placed demolition charges (not sure if they were dynamite) on the bridge over the Corinth Canal. After the detonators failed to go off, and when the Germans were already starting to cross the bridge, a British officer took aim at the charges with a SMLE rifle and managed to set them off that way.

Black Butte
March 11, 2012, 01:11 PM
I think Tannerite would be the safer alternative.

March 11, 2012, 01:28 PM
I tried it when I was 17 years old in 1961.

My dad had bought some 40% dynamite at the hardware store to remove some of those pesky stumps in the pasture.

There were two sticks left when we got done, so one thing lead to another.

We set them up on a pond dam about 100 yards away and I shot the first one to pieces with a .22RF and a .22 WMR.
It didn't go off.

I shot the second stick with a 30-06 125 grain HP varmint load.
It only survived one shot, but it didn't go off either.

We then proceeded to pick up all the remaining little pieces and put them in a bean can and I shot it again with the 30-06.
Still no boom, and there was not enough left to try it any further.

After that, I had a very hard time believing they could shoot dynamite with a Winchester 44-40 and blow the outlaws out of the woodpile like they did on TV every week or so.


March 11, 2012, 01:35 PM
Just assume that when they do it on tv or in a movie they put a cap in it first.

March 11, 2012, 01:40 PM
I assume that, and I also assume it is not dynamite.

Just a theatrical charge of black powder remotely detonated electrically by the prop man.

They aren't gonna fool around with real dynamite & real blasting caps & real 44-40's on a movie set I betcha.


hang fire
March 11, 2012, 02:31 PM
I remember my dad many, many years ago cleared a lot of stumps out of new ground with it. He said if it gets old and oily on one side or one end it was then dangerous to even handle.

March 11, 2012, 02:50 PM

Old dynamite sweats nitro and is very unstable.

Dad showed me that too with some we found at an old rock quarry.
He wiped some off on his finger and flicked it on the ground and snap, crackle, and pop.

BTW: Least my dad come across as an idiot, he worked as a powder man in the lead mines in Oklahoma in the 1930's.
Then was a Navy Sea Bee in WWII and did a fair share of blasting in the Philippines.
Then oil well shoooting after the war for a while.
He did know his way around Dynamite & Nitro I guess.
At least he never got blowed up.


March 11, 2012, 03:06 PM
Like others have said old dynamite is not to be messed with, 25 or so years ago my step father came across a few sticks in an old barn he was cleaning out, I don't know how old it was, but he had bought the land the barn was on about 10 years earlier and he did not put the dynamite there. He had everyone move back a safe distance while he carefully carried it out of the barn, placed it a safe distance away then shot it with a rife to detonate it. I should probably mention that he also had experience handling dynamite, as he shot stumps for a living as a young man, afterward he admitted being very nervous carrying it, and made sure not to trip.

March 11, 2012, 03:15 PM
I remember reading a newspaper story about a guy who was renovating his basement, which included taking up the old concrete floor.

Jackhammers were used.

During the excavation . . . they found dynamite below. Cases and cases of it. He and his family had unknowingly been living over it for years, and had even been in the house while the jackhammering had gone on. :what:

Police had some questions and, once they were satisfied that the dynamite had been buried there before the current owners bought the house, they left the guy alone . . . but were supposedly going to try and track down the home's previous owners for questioning.

Stuff was referred to as "old and unstable."

March 11, 2012, 04:08 PM
The old "straight" was the unstable stuff, had to be turned regularly.
Then to a lesser extent, the glycerine type.
Ammonia dynamite was safe and stable.
That was what was generally carried in hardware stores and lumber yards.
Around here everyone usually got the 40%, it was cheap.
We could buy through the 70's and maybe even into the 80's, don't remember.
Indispensible on ranches around here.
Beavers wreak havoc on us now not being able to blow out the dams.
And during runoff we're helpless when a jam forms in the river and starts taking stuff out.

March 11, 2012, 04:23 PM
about 5 years ago some high school buddies and myself found an old case of it sitting in a barn on a piece of property one of their families owned. we carefully tried to set it off with a new blasting cap and got nothing more than the blasting cap popping. later on we found out the dynamite was so old it lost all of its nitro. the wooden crate on the otherhand went off very nicely when we burned down the building

March 11, 2012, 04:32 PM
Didn't you see the oily wood and the white whiskers all over it?
That was old straight at it's most unstable state.
Lucky it didn't detonate while you were handling it.
That can get so bad a sliver of the old wood crate can go off if you toss it.
We used to run across it in old mines, spooky stuff to get rid of if you need to move it somewhere else.

March 11, 2012, 05:12 PM
When I lived in Colorado, back in the early 1980's, a friend named Kevin (resident alien from N. Zealand) who worked for the mines in NW CO was a freelance demolition guy. Probably no longer possible, but he accumulated large quantities of explosives, mostly low grade stuff and dynamite, to the extent that a lot of it was old and "leaky" (he had one of those small construction "office" trailers stacked to the top with explosives of every kind). Being an alcoholic, and from NZ, he just laughed off the leaky dynamite (I think being brave/crazy/reckless and a heavy drinker might be some kind of competition between New Zealanders and Aussies). He did a lot of crazy things, and finally got deported for tying 1/4 - 1/2 sized sticks of dynamite in trees, and shooting at them to scare trespassers off the 7000 acres he also acted as caretaker for. When unknown persons would come near his dynamite targets, he would take a .22 rifle and strike the partial stick with a .22 bullet. Apparently, the effect was like a law rocket had hit the tree. He finally scared the crap out of someone who DID report it to the local sheriff's dept, and that was the end of that. So, yes, a high impact WILL detonate dynamite.

March 11, 2012, 06:00 PM
When I was a kid I got into dad's dynamite box. He had the dynamite from the dug well that had to be blasted to get past the rock. The Dynamite was soft and very wet. Some were more flat than round. Immitating the cowboy shows that were on every saturday,my brother and I took several "sticks" and threw them as hard as we could,until we got tired of that game and put them back. It's true that GOD takes care of babies,drunks and fools(Gomer Pyle).

March 11, 2012, 07:31 PM
Beaver dams? Oh, yeah, Kevin used to set dynamite with trip fuzes. The beaver would trip the fuse, get blown in the air, and Kevin would go retrieve the beaver for the pelt, which was usually just fine....no holes.............and the dam was blown free in the process.

March 11, 2012, 11:22 PM
Yes. Dynamite can/could be shot off with a rifle. Trust me, I know. I've seen it happen.

Guy B. Meredith
March 12, 2012, 12:49 AM
Interesting. Now you've got me scratching my head.

When I was in high school my brother, a friend and I used to try out formulas for things like nitro cellulose and TNT.

Moving forward a few years to the early 1970s, the friend, who is now a local LEO, invited me to go out to his aunt's property in Perris, California along with 50 pounds of dynamite, a reel of primacord and his 9mm.

We worked at knocking down eucalyptus trees on the property by tying the dynamite to the trees with primacord and lighting it off.

The we got to putting a cap and fuse on bundles and tossing them. One bundle did not go off and I remember John taking a shot at it with his 9mm, but for the life of me I can't remember whether it detonated.

Now I'm going to be up all night trying to pull that memory out of whatever pit it is locked in.

Thanks a lot.

Jeff F
March 12, 2012, 01:08 AM
That old 40% stuff would not go off with a rifle shot, but the high drive 60 and 70% stuff would. We used to use it in ditchen, you would only have to cap the end of the run and that detonation would propagate down the line in a chain reaction, no det cord needed. That stuff would defiantly go off with a rifle shot.

March 12, 2012, 11:24 PM
My grand father had a case of 60% ditching Dynamite which was used to clear the fields of stumps ... if you've never hit a stump with a tractor and a solid beam turn plow ... it ain't no fun. We kinda had a Christmas tradition of pulling over a slender pine in what we called a "flat pond" ... tying a couple sticks and letting the tree go back up ... for some reason it sounded twice as loud as one on the ground.

In 1969... I had just got a brand new Golden Spike Winchester 30/30 for Christmas... for some reason(bad fuse I think) the three sticks failed to go off... and Dad said go shoot it with the 30/30... well I was not too good of a shot with it and kept moving closer to the target to hit it .... the shock wave put me flat on my rear with my teeth and finger nails hurting... the taste of nitro in my mouth has never been forgotten... those three sticks did go off but they had a cap in one of them and the rest of the case has been long blown....

Pat M
March 13, 2012, 12:14 AM
Never had the opportunity to play with dynamite when I was a kid.....a lot of mishaps with fire, but never dynamite. I guess that's a good thing.

March 13, 2012, 12:23 AM
When I was a kid we used to set sticks on the hood of a truck in the summer so the nitro would sweat out and we could wipe it off with our finger and sling it at each other to make a pop sound and a little poof of smoke. I do not know how I am still alive with all of my fingers.

March 13, 2012, 12:36 AM
Take a pill from grandmas heart medicine, set it on the concrete, and see what happens!

March 13, 2012, 06:22 AM
A friend shot of a 5lb stick of 60% Hercules TNT with his Garand. He put the stick in the middle of a dirt road running by his house and stood behind a pickup with his four boys.

The blast cleared all the rocks/gravel off the road many feet in diameter and blew down through the hardpan a foot or so. The debris scoured off some of the paint on the blast side of his pickup and the stuff that came through under the pickup scoured some of the hide of his kids shins who were all in cut off shorts. It also broke some of the windows on that side of his house. They were lucky that's all that happened.

March 13, 2012, 07:24 AM
Take a pill from grandmas heart medicineGrandma's? I got my own!

March 13, 2012, 07:32 AM
In the 1960s,we had a couple of ner-do-wells try to steal dynamite from a mining company near our house. They tried to break into the explosives building(concrete block structure with steel doors) by blasting the door off with a small dynamite charge. The resulting blast shook everyone,including my from our beds,scaring the entire community for miles. Windows were shattered in downtown businsess miles away from the blast center. The vast crater is still there. The brilliant would-be thieves were quickly apprehended,in shock and deaf from the blast.

March 13, 2012, 08:58 AM
If you shoot dynamite with a firearm will it detonate?/Blow up?


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