How to make Tannerite, a legal compound under federal law.

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How to make tannerite

Ammonium Nitrate/Aluminum Powder Also known as Tannerite. LEGAL

SO you want to know how to make tannerite? Tannerite is a binary compound that is legally distributed and manufactured in the United States, and is commonly used down range with high velocity rifles. Preppers and Survivalists will find this legal mixture useful in a SHTF situation, and more pleased to find out that this can be bought premade through the patented version Tannerite with no need to mix. [Visit the Tannerite website.] Basically, when you shoot – it explodes.

This compound is so stable it requires high impact to detonate the mixture. Tannerite could be used on your property engaging a confirmed threat to your life or property would be it’s most practical use, disabling I.E.D.’s (Improvised Explosive Device), or disabling vehicles in Charlie Foxtrot situations. High-velocity firearm cartridges will detonate the mixture, low-velocity will not detonate the mixture.

Note: their are no federal laws for this mixture, always be in compliance with your local and state laws (Illegal in Maryland) . Be well informed.

How to make tannerite at home

The mixture itself is simple

For example: 100g AN mixed with 5g AL

  1. 95% Ammonium Nitrate [See pricing.] 50lb bags marked 34-0-0. Please note: the supply of ammonium nitrate is getting slim, this product is in crystal form and will have to be made into a fine powder. 
  2. Use blender to ground to the consistency of salt granules.
  3. Mix in well ventilated area with no open flames.
  4. Ignition Point 840 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Store in sealed container after grounded.
  6. After storage – If clumping occurs break the clumps apart and ground.
  1. 5% Aluminum Powder [See pricing.] 300-600 mesh.
  2. Use different blender to avoid contamination.
  3. Blend into fine powder.
  4. Mix in well ventilated area with no open flames.
  5. Store in sealed container after grounded.
  6. After storage – If clumping occurs break the clumps apart and ground.

How to make tannerite – The mix AN/AL

Pour the amounts into the container and shake them up until they are mixed together mixed accordingly to their weight 95/5 in any desired amount. Remember once you mix them together you must use them at the site. You cannot drive or store the stuff mixed together. Totally legal according to federal law.

A Federal explosives license or permit would be required to obtain any explosive device, such as detonators, used to initiate the mixed binary explosives. In addition, transportation of any explosive material, including mixed binary explosives, without a Federal license or permit is prohibited. [27 CFR 555.11: Definition of “manufacturer”; 27 CFR 555.26, 555.41(b)] Again do not drive with these compounds mixed.

As with any of the usCrow guides and manuals it is strictly advised that you practice caution and be well informed. Prepper and Survival weapons and devices like these require skill, character, and responsibility.

This article has been read [390723] times.

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About 2LT Website Administrator

Retired health resources analyst and county level emergency manager with specialized training in NIMS/BICS/IICS/Executive ICS/Multi-agency Coordination. Still relatively young I left the service of the federal government due to increasing concerns.

172 thoughts on “How to make Tannerite, a legal compound under federal law.

  1. Pingback: The Dangerous Thrills of Tannerite Target Shooting | The Weapon Blog

  2. there is a lot of comments here that i can see have no knowledge of even high school chemistry if you choose to play with these things please respect them and learn something about it before you start mixing chemicals up lack of knowledge is the no 1 thing that gets people hurt or killed. and thinking you know more then you do know will also get you or someone else killed. if you must experiment with things you know nothing about please at lease get advice from someone with knowledge about it beside every time some jerk blows himself or others up it only screws things up for those of us who use this stuff legal, with respect and responsibility please do not screw it it up for the rest of who enjoy shooting these targets beside the life you save with a bit of knowledge may be your own

  3. I got 34-0-0 from a farm supply. It works ok…. the boom isn’t as big as normal tammerite. The pills/white granules vary in size. I did notice the al doesnt coat them very well. It seems it only coats half the pills/granules. I tried grinding the an and it seems to turn to a powder/crystal. Not like sale granules but a soft powder. So I use it as it is. The boom is pretty small. I use a .308 and a 300 blackout.

    Any suggestions would be great on how to achieve the big boom.

  4. Thank you for the Tannerite recipe. I’m having a little trouble with the reaction and I’m hoping you can share some light on what I need to tweak to get a big “BOOM!!!”

    I’ve used plenty of commercially available Tannerite and I am familiar with the reaction to expect from the product. I ordered the ingredients off of Amazon to make my own. The AN appears to me the same in size and texture as the commercial stuff I have used, which is larger than the size of table salt crystals. The AL is a fine powder but appears lighter in color than what I am used to seeing with the commercially sold Tannerite. This AL is a light gray whereas the stuff sold with Tannerite is almost black and resembles gun powder.

    Mixing the ingredients by weight, 95% AN and 5% AL, I am getting detonation with a brilliant white flash and a significant flame, but not much of a “BOOM.” Certainly nothing concussive. The gunshot is much louder than the explosion of the homemade Tannerite. That is very disappointing compared to how the commercial product preforms.

    Can you steer me as to what I may be doing wrong?

    My first thought is to increase the amount of AN. As I reflect on how the mixture that I twice made looked, I was struck that the finished mixture was not as dark as the commercial mixture. That is likely due to the AL powder being lighter in color. I also noticed that the powder did not seem to stick to and coat the AN as it does with the commercial product.

    Am I correct to think that the AL powder is the catalyst for the explosion to set of the AN and that it’s the AN that makes the boom? If so, that makes me think there is sufficient AL to get detonation from the gunshot. If my train of thought is correct, should I up the AN?

    Any direction you can give me will be much appreciated.

    • Some AN is porus some less porus. For the absorbtion of liquid is faster in these than in the smoother less porus granuals of AN. (Its the distribution rate of the fetilizer to the ground) ….. OK I think if it is chalkier, or porus, the Aluminum powder will do better with it. Have had varied results. Gonna try some this Holiday.

        • Ammonium nitrate is manufactured only in 34%
          Anything else is another form of nitrogen. 46% is urea not an.

    • You have it backwards, I believe. The Al you are using is lighter, right? This may be due to the Al being mixed with magnesium (magnalium(not in Periodic Table of Elements because this is a compound, where in nature these 2 elements are not created together(mixed))) due to magnesium being cheaper, the producer(not Amazon, they are distributor) is mixing these. Magnalium is used extensively in the pyrotechnics industry. Try using pure Al from pyrochemsource(dot)com, like “Indian Black”.
      I believe changing the ratios will NOT help.

      • Black aluminum isn’t more pure just less oxidized. They add charcoal to prevent oxidization. Regular Al powder becomes very oxidized and thus less reactive. Thats why for pyrotechnics black Al is the best.

    • The darker Al you’re reffering to is likly german dark Al. They add charcoal to the Al to prevent oxidization during and after milling. This makes the Al more reactive and more suitable for pyrotechnics. Consider buying that kind of Al instead. The kind you get is very likely oxidized heavily.

    • perhaps the darker color of aluminum is due to the combination of charcoal powder with it. once aluminum gets to a certain point it becomes very unsafe to process. charcoal powder is often added to make it safer to continue refining. I have only obtained that knowledge through the research of others in how they processed their materials…I hope that helps.

    • You most likely are getting the calcium coated form of AN. Try find greenhouse grade AN it is not coated and is pure. (Prills are same size and no other forms of fertlizer in mixture) and about the AL i found some commercial grade tannerite that uses the lighter AL powder and the mixture was more like 85/15% or 90/10%. I didn’t weigh but there was for sure more powder then the darker AL.

  5. I use a coffee cup of AN and two table spoons of AL powder 5.56 to detonate it too easy. Got the AL on ebay got the AN from local fertilizer company

  6. Would like some references on a high quality product and reasonable prices. Kind of concerned about USA Chemical Supply due to recent negative comments. I have found a few but never purchased from them.

    • Hi my name is Alexandra and I am the customer service rep for USA Chemical Supply! I am sad to hear you are skeptical about our product due to negative comments you’ve heard. A lot has changed here in the past two months and I would love a chance to talk with you more about exactly what we do and who we are. Please feel free to reach me at my personal number 419-724-3949. Talk soon!

    • Try these guys. If you have questions give them a call. John will probably answer. He is the owner. The 50 pound kit is about $95 which includes shipping. That makes a one pounder about $1.90 as compared to about $7 – $8 for one pound of Tannerite. Tell John Chris said hello! Good luck! And if you find any better deals please advise.

  7. It seems very simple until you hear all these questions and answers, and many variations. Plus, more recently I have seen lots of negative comments about the quality of USA Chemical Supply’s products. Are they inexpensive, or cheap and of low quality.

    • Ammonium nitrate can come from organic sources primarily chicken dung but not sure if further processing is required

  8. Planning an experiment with a crossbow 400 fps and a BowMag arrow head that holds a 357 magnum bullet. A low grain bullet high velocity bullet (over 2000 fps) fired into Tannerite.

  9. I just got back from the range. Everything went great but my homemade Tanerite. I mixed 95% ammonium nitrate with 5% aluminum powder by weight. I pre-ground the ammonium nitrate in a blender to the consistency of table salt. After blending at the range I package the mixture in 16 ounce pop bottles. I shot them with my .223 at 40 yards. The bullet went through the container and no detonation occured. Can anybody tell me what I might have done wrong. Or can you tell me what you do to make things more reliable. I don’t know if the aluminum (30 Micron) I bought was the wrong kind or what. We ended up taking all of the mixture and spreading it on the cornfield that we were shooting at.

    • I usually put it in a ziplock bag and ductape it tight so it is compressed. Perhaps try that.

    • The aluminum powder needs to be 300 to 600 mesh. And if the container your shooting it in is not packaged tightly it will just bounce around. The components need to be in a container where they are packaged tightly to work properly. And do not blend the ammonium nitrate. Leave it in the granules.

    • Try using a soft point hunting round. A FMJ will go right through it. It doesn’t have enough push to detonate on a small round like .223.

    • Try packing it is a PVC pipe with end caps glued on. I use it to blow up beaver dams on my farm.

      • Would you mine telling me what you used to blow up beaver dams . I have two places on my land that is backing up water . I need to know the recipe and what to put it in to blow the dam out . Thanks , K

    • If you grind the pill too small, it does two things. It makes it harder to detonate, makes a higher detonation velocity. For targets, keep the pill the same size and it will do fine.

      • Thank you for that advice. I had a few duds and was thinking I needed to grind my AN into a finer mesh. I think my problem mat be leaving an air gap at the top within the container I’ve filled with the mix.

    • 3 micron al powder 500-600 mesh (eBay).
      An prills.
      To make .22 sensitive add potassium perchlorate.
      Will detonate using simple fuse.
      A few minutes of researching the webs will provide more info.
      This is as far as I can go.

      • adding potassium perchlorate to tannerite will not make it explode by a fuse a fuze would work but that would be illegal to make or to have a fuse is what fireworks use a fuze is a blasting cap very illegal

    • 30 microns is waaaaay to big. Need 3 or less. Your AL is 10x too large. Don’t even try to blend it either. Buy new AL.

    • Sorry about the multiple posts. Didn’t know there was a comment review process.
      I thought either the site or my tablet was glitchy.

  10. I have some nice 5000 mesh AL along with perchlorate and AN believe 5/5/90 will be a good starting point.

  11. I think you are surely rite about some people .some people dont need to know these things..great wisdom in understanding .and stupidity in being an idiot..i only hope that some stupid idiot dosent ruin our freedom to posses tannerite and or other helpfull things as such as this.

    • I’m suprised you can now. I’m not sure I believe it’s legal. What did the ok’d bomber use potassium nitrate? It was ammonium nitrate right?

          • I live in a very agricultural state, and as of 2017 they don’t sell ammonium nitrate at all any more. Even the 34_0_0 is just coated urea. To many assholes messing around and putting it on YouTube. In my opinion.

  12. Is the mix ratio 95/5 by “weight” or “volume”. Also, how long can it stay mixed and still work?

  13. I have a couple of beaver dams I need to destroy before they flood my front yard and crawl space. I don’t own a hunting rifle, but have a .22 long rifle. Will that detonate the tannerite?

    • no, it needs to be a high powered rifle. centre fire = .223 or greater. 22 lacks the speed/fricvtion to start the reaction.

        • By weight… 7 parts potassium perchlorate and 3 parts blackhead aluminum… add a heaping plastic spoonful of that mix to 1lb. of ammonium nitrate and shake to mix… it will go off with a .22

          • I live in a very agricultural state, and as of 2017 they don’t sell ammonium nitrate at all any more. Even the 34_0_0 is just coated urea. To many assholes messing around and putting it on YouTube. In my opinion.

          • Sorry to sound like a prick, but if you’ve got away with that “idea” of yours more than a few times, you should quit blowing stuff up and play Powerball. Why do you think a .22 sets it off? Maybe because it is dangerously unstable. So…… Shaking it in your hand. You know what? Never mind.

      • 40 grain Defence Round 22 Mag Round. Pack mixture snug 95/5 or 11/grams/1gram by weight. Container must have no air gaps. Leave Ammunium Nitrate as it comes ground, aluminum 500 mesh or better. Don’t forget to mix well and keep mixture dry. Once mixed larger quantities can be stored in smaller packed containers for target practice etc. The aim here is safety, not seeing how big an explosion you can make and either hurt someone or get the product outlawed because of your stupidity.

    • You could possibly add some sulphur to the mix to increase the sensitivity. Haven’t tried it but it works with most if not all pyrotechnic mixtures

    • No, high powered/velocity rifles only such as .223 but I have set it off with a .22 magnum and .17 hornet.

    • Tannerite needs at least 45 grains traveling at over 2000 fps. .22 can not produce the Shockwave needed for tannerite.

    • No. You will need a good hunting rifle that is about a 30-30 or .308 or bigger. The bullet needs to hit it going over Mach 1 (faster than the speed of sound) a .22, 12guage 9mm ect. Will do nothing but put a hole in the bag and waste the explosive by spreading it all in over the ground. I speak from experience….

      • You’re incorrect in so many ways….. Just some quick numbers to prove it… .30-30 and .308 are both the same size projectile at about .308 inches or about 7.62 millimeters (.308 inches is technically 7.82mm but hey) ….. Now a 9mm is bigger in diameter and not far behind in weight either…. Now even 9mm rounds traveling at over 1250fps do not set it off most times! Why? According to your theory it should right? But what about a smaller .223 weighing in at much less than half the weight and moves only about 750-1000 FPS more sets it off?!?!? It has to do with the amount of friction as the round passes through the media… Think of it as a match getting struck on a box… Go slow and the match will not light, but go faster and the match lights! I don’t care how small the projectile is as long as it has the speed to move enough mass around while creating the right amount of friction (the need for speed!)

          • It has to hit with at least 200ft pounds of pressure I know this because all I study is pyrotechniques I have a gravel pit that I blow stuff up in all the time

        • That’s a great analogy, the striking of a match. I tape a 22 formula target to a big one which is the regular formula and it blows up every time. You can also use a fuse to detonate the 22 formula. Its actually more powerful with a fuse than shooting it. I don’t know why, but it is.

        • A 308 round .30 cal is 7.62 mm NOT 7.82 mm if you do not believe it just measure it with a accurate caliper your 7.82 may have been a typo though 30-30 308 nato and 30-06 300 win may 300 wetherby mag also 7.62mm and many others which are 30 cal are 7.62 mm if you reloade and try using your 7.82 mm in any 30 cal load and if you could seat the bullet it would not chamber unless forced and then i think not , for your sake because it weill blow up in your face

          • Oops, you’re wrong. And a .300 win mag actually uses a .308 not a .300 caliber bullet. And .308 is 7.823mm. Check it. And do your research before you speak.

  14. If you live in or near farm country, you can get ammonium nitrate much cheaper at a feed store or farm fertilizer store. New regulations require that the seller keep a record of anyone buying bagged AN and report suspicious activity to the .gov, so be sure that you have a large garden or small pasture. I wouldn’t think that they would understand Tannerite or exploding targets.

    • Do you know if a .22 long rifle will detonate the tannerite? I got a couple of beaver dams that got to go before they flood my septic system.

      • No. Tannerite requires a high power rifle to detonate. There are some “low velocity” targets that will work with a 22LR and they seem to be more volatile.

      • Yes. .22lr WILL detonate tannerite or home made versions. Just make sure the round is hi velocity and not the cheaper sub sonic loads

        • Trust me subsonic loads are not cheaper!!!! They usually cost quite a bit more!

          Source: I’m a gun, ammo, tannerite dealer

      • I just bought a can of Ka-Boom at Cabella’s for $7 that is compounded for .22 at >1000 FPS, most .22L will handle that. I have yet to try it.

      • The flash powder sifted from a few firework mortars combined with the propellant from the shells (ground into a fine powder) will detonate tannerite when ignited with a fuse.

        • You can simply use a strobe firework with an extended piece of cannon fuse, the resulting burn is more then enough to ignite any of the formentioned mixtures

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  16. No federal laws governing and explosive device? You boys really read ATF regs selectively. An explosive device is an explosive device. Doesn’t matter what’s in it, lol.

    • Actually ATF does not consider it an explosive until the 2 ingredients are mixed… They have ruled it legal, so long as it is mixed on site for target shooting… All compounds must be dispersed at the range… That’s why it is illegal to mix it, then transport it… Once mixed, it is an explosive…

  17. Tannerite can be greatly improved and if anyone has a reliable source for AN ammonium nitrate contact me because I’d like to buy some more and I’ll share info on how to improve the product.

    • I have a supplier of unlimited ammonium nitrate.. I pay around $80.00 for 50 lbs with free shipping.. No b.s I’ve been buying 50lbs a month with no issues.. Text me and es will exchange info.. 702-328-6266

      • I have a hard time following this blog, how can I get a small amount and a recipe to print out and use ?

        • U can buy aluminum powder off ebay and u can buy cases of the ice pack containing ammonium nitrate for under 15 bucks. A case of 24 will produce about 6 to 10 pounds of the explosive target as long as u mix properly and make sure the pack holding the explosive target is wound up tight before detonation

    • I just bought 25 pounds from the Clay store online. I also found that the fetilizer worked better if it was not ground up into a powder but left in the small bead size.

      • Nitric acid with urea makes urea nitrate it is in the special forces hand book, to make improvised anti personal devices also basic high school chemistry but making this yourself is illegal it doe’s have a higher nitrogen content then Ammonium nitrate
        if you choose to do this i recommend you get a license without it it may be more trouble then you planned on

  18. I was going to see what this stuff was all about but i dont think i need it. LOL looks like you can get killed with it to me i will pass LOL

    • Tannerit is safe to use smartly you ignite with a high power rifle by shooting it just do it from a long distance.

    • No. 95 5 is the optimum mixture. Aluminum is the fuel an is the oxidizer. An explosion is just a really fast burn.

    • I tried the Iron Oxide with AL in tannerite using about 50/50. Didn’t detonate with .22LR. Have also hit these targets with 5.56 and the didn’t detonate. EVERY time I hit one with .30 they have detonated.

      • its easier to detonate a LARGE FIRECRACKER with your own fuse for proper length to get the effect. if u dont have firecracker or just cant figure out shit, a homemade flash bang firecracker with enough impact force to cause critical mass can be made from the carboard in a coathanger, 2 tightly squared pieces of tinfoil, some black or muzzle powder, and fuse. its easy from this point to make a firecracker that you can light and have time to walk to safe area before blasto yo!!

      • I mixed them together and I blew up my barn and I got the cops called on me. So do I need a license to do this.

        • its your barn right !!!! just don’t get to having to much fun and blow the neighbors barn cause it is so much fun it can get addictive

          • YES!! you need a permit. these targets are made as a TARGET PRACTICE, not to blow up misc things!!!! where are you people reading that it is legal and OKAY, to blow stuff up with these targets?!!! it says on the directions for target practice purpose only.

  19. This is not a recipe for a legal explosive called, “Tannerite”. This photo was not made with a Tannerite® target.

    Tannerite® Sports Marketing developed the patented formula that is the only safe exploding target on the market. Any formula or recipe that does not

    “Tannerite® brand targets employ a binary explosive used as a shot indicator for long-range firearms practice and training. Tannerite® brand target detonations occur at a very high velocity, producing a large explosion and a cloud of water vapor. Small caliber rim-fire or slow moving pistol ammunition will not initiate a detonation.

    Since the two components that make up Tannerite® targets are not explosive until mixed, they can legally be purchased in the USA without a license. Tannerite® targets are exceptionally stable when subjected to less severe forces such as a hammer blow or being dropped and they cannot be initiated by any kind of flame or electricity.

    Tannerite® is the registered trademark for Tannerite® brand targets and binary exploding rifle targets are a patented invention by Daniel J. Tanner.

    • this mix has been used for over 100 years he may have made it popular for target shooters but he did not invent it there are 100’s of formulas using ammonium nitrate

      • Its saying the target itself was made by Dan tanner. no where did it state he is the soul creator over binary explosives.

    • I would not suggest using a chlorate, use potassium perchlorate, might not be as much fun but it has a better stability

    • This is the type of idiot who blows their hand off because he doesn’t know what he’s mixing. That is not a flash powder formula jackass. Safest flash is al powder and potassium perchlorate, 30/70 ratio by weight.

    • you mean potassium Chlorate KClO3 potassium chloride is like Soduim chloride , a common table salt replacement for people with a sodium problem your body doe’s need its sodium chloride as doe’s it potassium chloride electrolites the Chlorates and Perchlorates, which are a bit safer then Chlorates are very common in pyro mixtures the Perchlorates less touchy then the Chlorates potassium Perchlorare is KClO4 look it up it may save your life if you are playing with things you know very little or nothing about

      • Can you use any other substitute instead of potassium perchlorate to make it 22 sensitive

  20. 34-0-0 is way the Taliban uses against our forces. It’s now illegal as a fertilizer in Afghanistan. You can also use urea nitrate and acid, or an ammonium nitrate fuel/oil mixture more commonly referred to as AN/FO.

    • Urea will not work with this mixture that would be 33-0-0 u need ammonium nitrate. If ur are getting ur supply from cold packs read ingredients on back most are made with urea now

  21. I bought some “All seasons Top Dresser 34-0-0” but it says Primary Nutrients derived from ammonium sulfate and Urea… will this still work in proper combination of the aluminum powder?

  22. ok people here is my contribution get your ammonium nitrate from instant cold packs at any store like Kroger or Wall-Mart take out the water and you have 100% pure ammonium nitrate put 1 spoon aluminum powder in it and shoot it goes bang and as far as quantity to test try a small pill bottle half full at 50 yards and be safe …..oh and never grind these in the same grinder get two grinders please and mark them it will go boom the finer it is the easer it explodes ….Martin

  23. Could we maybe get some specs on how much Tannerite will produce how large of an explosion? For example, if I wanted to make a tiny amount, just to test the knowledge and my own personal handling, and use it to, say, remove an old tree stump on my grandfather’s property…would a zip-lock sandwich bag be enough? Too much? Too little?
    I really feel like this is something that should be specified, lest someone lacking wisdom attempts to use 80 lbs of this to remove a tree stump, and shoots it from 50m.

  24. Firstly, thank you for sharing this information. Please don’t take my additional query as skepticism of your knowledge. I only believe that, perhaps, the Zeolite formula has been changed.

    The MSDS on Zeolite lists its composition as follows:

    Chemical Analysis, Typical

    Chemical Percent

    SiO2………………………… 60.08%
    Al2O3……………………… 10.55%
    CaO………………………… 2.80%
    MgO………………………… 0.93%
    Na2O……………………… 1.91%
    K2O………………………… 1.64%
    Fe2O3……………………… 0.90%
    TiO2………………………… 0.21%
    MnO………………………… 0.03%
    P2O5………………………… 0.05%
    H2O + CO2……………… 25.29%
    + H2O……………………… 4.31%

    This is the MSDS o0f the produce you have hyperlinked above. Has it perhaps changed or am I missing something?

  25. I checked up ZEOMAX Garden Aid on amazon, it doesnt say anything about being 34-0-0 are you sure that it is?

  26. Pingback: West Texas Blast May Be A Bombing - Page 3

    • Not likely, tannerite requires a high velocity impact to be detonated. I mean come on, there were a million things in that factory that could have caused the explosion, let alone a million and one things outside of the factory that could of been used in a much more effective manner.

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