How to Make a Smoke Bomb

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Make Smoke Bomb
Smoke billows from an M18 green smoke hand grenade during a U.S. Marine Corps attack and defend field exercise at Kahuku Training Area, Oahu, Hawaii, May 20, 2010. The training was part of an infantry squad leader course by the School of Infantry-West, Advanced Infantry Training Battalion. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jody Lee Smith/Released)

In this guide we will discuss how to make a smoke bomb.  Smoke bombs have many uses for preppers and survival groups.  Whether it be training, or diversionary tactics, knowing how to make a smoke bomb will not only save you money, but quite possibly save your life.  Why should you know how to make a smoke bomb? Personally, I think using smoke bombs during LFX (live fire exercises) are quite effective at training your survival group to sight in on a target that isn’t clearly presented, forcing you to focus on sounds, and muzzle flash.  For actual combat smoke bombs can be used to provide cover for movement, crowd control, IED simulation, signal air support, or as a diversion.  

Are smoke bombs illegal?

how to make a smoke bombNo, smoke bombs are not illegal.  Much like many other things in this great country, owning smoke bombs won’t get you in trouble, but how you use them will.  For example, if you ignite a smoke bomb in a public area, causing a disturbance, you’ll more than likely catch a charge.  Long story short, don’t be an asshole.  Use these on your own property, and in a responsible manner. Military grade smoke bombs aren’t that hard to find, but can be on the pricey side.  A solution I’ve found that produces similar results is to either make them yourself or buy the Enola Gaye Smoke Grenade for $18.99 + Free Shipping.  The Enola Gaye Smoke Grenades come in seven different colors, and have a ninety second burn time.  Compared to the military grade smoke bombs that have a two minute burn time they’re not that bad.

Smoke Bomb Precautions & Guidelines

If you want to know how to make a smoke bomb the first thing you need to know is there is no ‘one way’ of making a smoke bomb, each method will produce different colors, durations, and thicknesses.  In this guide I will teach you how to make a less complex smoke bomb that will have a longer duration, thicker smoke, and different colors.  Unlike the guides you find online, we’re going to teach you how to make an effective military grade smoke bomb that is guaranteed to burn for at least two minutes!  Just like every other ballistics article we write, you will need some protective gear including; Extreme Heat Resistant EN407 Certified Gloves, and DeWalt Safety Goggles.  Your work area should be lined with old newspapers to cut down on cleanup, and you won’t want to wear anything you won’t mind parting with since the dyes will permanently stain whatever you wear.

How to a Make a Smoke Bomb

To make a smoke bomb you will need four primary ingredients and one housing element, housing element can be a Campbell’s Soup can, potassium nitrate (otherwise known as saltpeter), granulated sugar, fuse, frying pan, and aluminum foil. To make a simple smoke bomb follow these steps;

  1. Open your soup can, empty, and clean it out. Do not disregard the top.
  2. Mix together 3 parts potassium nitrate, and 2 parts granulated sugar.
  3. Bring your frying pan to a low heat and add your mixture from Step 2.
  4. Continue mixing with a plastic whisk until the powdered mixture fully liquefies.
  5. While waiting for the mixture to liquefy grab your soup can top, drill five circles an 1/8th of an inch in from the edge and one in the center.
  6. Pour the mixture into the the soup can, place the top of the soup can on top of the can.
  7. Insert your fuse through the center hope until it reach the bottom, trim excess according to desired time to ignite.
  8. With the lid off allow 6-8 hours to fully harden.
  9. After the mixture has hardened put the can top back on threading the fuse through the center, and seal to the can with a 1/16th in bead of silicone.

Other Smoke Bomb Mixtures

Like I said there’s plenty of other smokebomb mixtures, but the most nasty and effective mixture includes white phosphorous, in which I will write an entire article dedicated to.  The variants of smoke bomb mixtures vary greatly such as; red smoke (potassium chorate 15%, paranitroaniline red 65%, lactoise 20%), green smoke (synthetic indigo 26%, auramine yellow 15%, potassium chlorate 35%, lactose 26%), any color smoke (potassium nitrate 6 parts, sugar 4 parts, 1 tbsp baking soda, 2 tbsps powdered dye), and many other variations.

In closing…

We always appreciate your comments and tips.  If you guys have any tips and advice to throw in feel free to comment below!  If you try making your own, record it and show us the results!

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About Administrator Ryan

Administrator Ryan has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Emergency Administration and Management from the University of Kentucky, and has been the primary handler for since it's founding. Professional background includes over a decade's experience in survival and preparedness, graphic design, computer programming, website coding, and asset management. Personal background in mountaineering, climbing, rappelling, combat training, and big game hunting.

35 thoughts on “How to Make a Smoke Bomb

  1. hey, so i want to use this for airsoft, can i safely walk through the smoke and breathe it in?

  2. Thanks a lot. I’ve wanted to make a smoke bomb for a long time and couldn’t find any straight answers.

  3. What are the exact measurements for the ingredients? I don’t understand the 3 parts one ingredient and 2 parts for another ingredient?

  4. Might I ask if this smoke grenade would hurt the people you use it on? I would like to make one for airsoft fights and I’d rather not go home in a cop car.

      • you have to be cautious when making potassium nitrate compounds because the process of making potassium nitrate can be toxic or non-toxic depending on what is mixed to make potassium nitrate. if you buy potassium nitrate packets that are already mixed, you still have to be cautious about what other chemicals are added with the potassium (hydroxide or chloride) to create potassium nitrate.

        for instance, one of the steps to creating potassium nitrate is by mixing ammonium nitrate with potassium hydroxide. to which, when combined, they create a toxic ammonia based gas.

        if mixing potassium chloride with ammonium nitrate, there should not be any ammonia gas.

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  7. Just guessing based on cooking knowledge, but be sure to use a plastic whisk when stirring the mix. When making caramel, a metal spoon doesn’t work, wooden or high-temp silicon spoons do. Try it with just sugar if you want. I suspect a bamboo whisk would work but stick to the recipe is best.

    • Gear,I use jewt dipped in wax for fire starter gear,even wet with ferrous road can get it going,not sure if hot eneough.You can buy rolls of magnesium strip off of the big net sites,that should be hot enough I would think.I will make one for me friends kid to watch(not play with/ignite!),will post results.

    • Most gun stores that carry Black Powder stuff for the muzzle loaders will carry “Cannon Fuse” 12 feet for $12 or so. You can make it via youtube but this stuff works even better.

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