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Explosive Experiments

Ever since I attended my first dynamite shoot (see Blanchard Blast for more details of a dynamite shoot and also Background for the history of this) I wanted to hold my own event at one of the local clubs.  But one of the bigger hurdles is a source of dynamite. I can get it, but it's expensive (about $2.00 per stick/target) and a big hassle. So I decided to try and substitute something else. I started working on the project in the fall of '96 and it wasn't until September 2, 1998 that I finally got a satisfactory result. Most of the long delay was in finding the time at a suitable testing location. Also, I didn't want to do it alone. If an accident occurred I wanted someone there in case there were enough pieces of me left to put back together in a timely manner. I also started working from (relatively) safe and easily to obtain materials up to the more dangerous and difficult to obtain materials.

The links below go to different pages that represent experiments for reactive targets, a "paper study" on the effects explosive have on the environment, like crater size, damage to trees and small animals, etc. and my interactions with the ATF.

bulletThe Failures
bulletProject Diesel
bulletProject Nitro
bulletProject Fireball
bulletProject EG
bulletExplosive Effects
bulletATF Interaction

Below are links to this page which represent experiments of the explosives on different types of objects and the results of an pyrotechnic expert.

bulletPumpkin Pop'n
bulletExorcism -- Idaho Style
bulletExpert Pyrotechnics

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Pumpkin Pop'n

On November 4th 2000 a bunch of "gun-nuts" and I went out to dispose of some pumpkins in an appropriate manner -- reduce them to their molecular components.  The flash you see is from aluminum powder (200 mesh) that I added on top of the explosive mix.  There was also about 2.5 pounds of common flour that was hoped would give us a fireball.  The flour did not ignite but it did add to the display.

We had two video cameras rolling.  One for wide angle and one for a close up.

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Exorcism -- Idaho Style

One of our former club presidents (Lyle) owns a music store.  Some of the rental instruments are particularly troublesome.  On July 8, 2001 he brought a guitar to the range to exorcise the demons -- with the help of some reactive targets.  We put three 1/2 pint targets into the guitar.  He then shot it with a .223 round.  The results are below.

Nice cloud of dust and smoke.  All the demons should be gone now.

This was the largest piece remaining.  All the other pieces found were the size of a thumbnail or smaller.

Also check out this video of Lyle playing his guitar -- loud enough to remove the demons.

Here are some more pictures (unedited) taken that same day at the range.

Lyle prepares to exorcize the demons from his guitar 100 yards away.
The demons (and the guitar) leave in a cloud of smoke and dust.

Lyle admires the cloud of dust
Adam dusts his reactive target off.

Adam admires his dust cloud.

Don creates his own dust cloud with Adam's rifle and one of Joe's reactive target.
And another shooter makes some dust with Adam's rifle.
Perry seems to like Adam's dust maker too.

Lyle shows us what's left of the guitar.  As near as we could tell there were no demons remaining. 

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Expert Pyrotechnics

Ron, a pyro extraordinaire that does work for the Confederate Air Force supplied me with these images for me to aspire towards.  See also Project Fireball.

These are best viewed one at a time on a full screen.


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Email: Joe Huffman
Last updated: July 08, 2012