Impact explosives are often used as primers. Of the ones discussed here, only mercury fulminate and nitroglycerine are real explosives; Ammonium triiodide crystals decompose upon impact, but they release little heat and no light. Impact explosives are always treated with the greatest care, and even the stupidest anarchist never stores them near any high or low explosives.


Ammonium triiodide crystals are foul-smelling purple colored crystals that decompose under the slightest amount of heat, friction, or shock, if they are
made with the purest ammonia (ammonium hydroxide) and iodine. Such crystals are said to detonate when a fly lands on them, or when an ant walks across them.
Household ammonia, however, has enough impurities, such as soaps and abrasive agents, so that the crystals will detonate when thrown,crushed, or heated. Upon detonation, a loud report is heard, and a cloud of purple iodine gas appears about the detonation site. Whatever the unfortunate surface that the crystal was detonated upon will usually be ruined, as some of the iodine in the crystal is thrown about in a solid form, and iodine is corrosive. It leaves nasty, ugly, permanent brownish-purple stains on whatever it contacts. Iodine gas is also bad news, since it can damage lungs, and it settles to the ground and stains things there also. Touching iodine leaves brown stains on the skin that last for about a week, unless they are immediately and vigorously washed off. While such a compound would have little use to a serious terrorist, a vandal could utilize them in damaging property. Or, a terrorist could throw several of them into a crowd as a distraction, an action which would possibly injure a few people, but frighten almost anyone, since a small crystal that not be seen when thrown produces a rather loud explosion. Ammonium triiodide crystals could be produced in the following manner:


* iodine crystals
* clear ammonia
* (ammonium hydroxide,
* two throw-away glass jars for the suicidal)


* funnel and filter paper
* paper towels

1. Place about two teaspoons of iodine into one of the glass jars. The jars must both be throw away because they will never be clean again.
2. Add enough ammonia to completely cover the iodine.
3. Place the funnel into the other jar, and put the filter paper in the funnel. The technique for putting filter paper in a funnel is taught in every basic chemistry lab class: fold the circular paper in half, so that a semi-circle is formed. Then, fold it in half again to form a triangle with one curved side. Pull one thickness of paper out to form a cone, and place the cone into the funnel.
4. After allowing the iodine to soak in the ammonia for a while, pour the solution into the paper in the funnel through the filter paper.
5. While the solution is being filtered, put more ammonia into the first jar to wash any remaining crystals into the funnel as soon as it drains.
6. Collect all the purplish crystals without touching the brown filter paper, and place them on the paper towels to dry for about an hour. Make sure that they are not too close to any lights or other sources of heat, as they could well detonate. While they are still wet, divide the wet material into about eight chunks.
7. After they dry, gently place the crystals onto a one square inch piece of duct tape. Cover it with a similar piece, and gently press the duct tape together around the crystal, making sure not to press the crystal itself. Finally, cut away most of the excess duct tape with a pair of scissors, and store the crystals in a cool dry safe place. They have a shelf life of about a week, and they should be stored in individual containers that can be thrown away, since they have a tendency to slowly decompose, a process which gives off iodine vapors, which will stain whatever they settle on. One possible way to increase their shelf life is to store them in airtight containers. To use them, simply throw them against any surface or place them where they will be stepped on or crushed.


Mercury fulminate is perhaps one of the oldest known initiating compounds. It can be detonated by either heat or shock, which would make it of infinite value to a terrorist. Even the action of dropping a crystal of the fulminate causes it to explode. A person making this material would probably use the following procedure:


* mercury (5 g)
* concentrated nitric acid (35 ml)
* ethyl alcohol (30 ml)
* distilled water


* glass stirring rod
* 100 ml beaker (2)
* adjustable heat source
* blue litmus paper
* funnel and filter paper

1. In one beaker, mix 5 g of mercury with 35 ml of concentrated nitric acid, using the glass rod.
2. Slowly heat the mixture until the mercury is dissolved, which is when the solution turns green and boils.
3. Place 30 ml of ethyl alcohol into the second beaker, and slowly and carefully add all of the contents of the first beaker to it. Red and/or brown fumes should appear. These fumes are toxic and flammable.
4. After thirty to forty minutes, the fumes should turn white, indicating that the reaction is near completion. After ten more minutes, add 30 ml of the distilled water to the solution.
5. Carefully filter out the crystals of mercury fulminate from the liquid solution. Dispose of the solution in a safe place, as it is corrosive and toxic.
6. Wash the crystals several times in distilled water to remove as much excess acid as possible. Test the crystals with the litmus paper until they are neutral. This will be when the litmus paper stays blue when it touches the wet crystals
7. Allow the crystals to dry, and store them in a safe place, far away from any explosive or flammable material.

This procedure can also be done by volume, if the available mercury cannot be weighed. Simply use 10 volumes of nitric acid and 10 volumes of ethanol to every one volume of mercury.


Nitroglycerine is one of the most sensitive explosives, if it is not the most sensitive. Although it is possible to make it safely, it is difficult. Many a young anarchist has been killed or seriously injured while trying to make the stuff. When Nobel's factories make it, many people were killed by the all-to-frequent factory explosions. Usually, as soon as it is made, it is converted into a safer substance, such as dynamite. An idiot who attemts to make nitroglycerine would use the following procedure:


* distilled water
* table salt
* sodium bicarbonate
* concentrated nitric acid (13 ml)
* concentrated sulfuric acid (39 ml)
* glycerine


* eye-dropper
* 100 ml beaker
* 200-300 ml beakers (2)
* ice bath container ( a plastic bucket serves well )
* centigrade thermometer
* blue litmus paper

1. Place 150 ml of distilled water into one of the 200-300 ml beakers.
2. In the other 200-300 ml beaker, place 150 ml of distilled water and about a spoonful of sodium bicarbonate, and stir them until the sodium bicarbonate dissolves. Do not put so much sodium bicarbonate in the water so that some remains undissolved.
3. Create an ice bath by half filling the ice bath container with ice, and adding table salt. This will cause the ice to melt, lowering the overall
4. Place the 100 ml beaker into the ice bath, and pour the 13 ml of concentrated nitric acid into the 100 ml beaker. Be sure that the beaker will not spill into the ice bath, and that the ice bath will not overflow into the beaker when more materials are added to it. Be sure to have a large enough ice bath container to add more ice. Bring the temperature of the acid down to about 20 degrees centigrade or less.
5. When the nitric acid is as cold as stated above, slowly and carefully add the 39 ml of concentrated sulfuric acid to the nitric acid. Mix the two acids together, and cool the mixed acids to 10 degrees centigrade. It is a good idea to start another ice bath to do this.
6. With the eyedropper, slowly put the glycerine into the mixed acids, one drop at a time. Hold the thermometer along the top of the mixture where the mixed acids and glycerine meet. DO NOT ALLOW THE TEMPERATURE TO GET ABOVE 30 DEGREES CENTIGRADE; IF THE TEMPERATURE RISES ABOVE THIS TEMPERATURE, RUN LIKE HELL!!! The glycerine will start to nitrate immediately, and the temperature will immediately begin to rise. Add glycerine until there is a thin layer of glycerine on top of the mixed acids. It is always safest to make any explosive in small quantities.
7. Stir the mixed acids and glycerine for the first ten minutes of nitration, adding ice and salt to the ice bath to keep the temperature of the solution in the 100 ml beaker well below 30 degrees centigrade. Usually, the nitroglycerine will form on the top of the mixed acid solution, and the concentrated sulfuric acid will absorb the water produced by the reaction.
8. When the reaction is over, and when the nitroglycerine is well below 30 degrees centigrade, slowly and carefully pour the solution of nitroglycerine and mixed acid into the distilled water in the beaker in step 1. The nitroglycerine should settle to the bottom of the beaker, and the water-acid solution on top can be poured off and disposed of. Drain as much of the acid-water solution as possible without disturbing the nitroglycerine.
9. Carefully remove the nitroglycerine with a clean eye-dropper, and place it into the beaker in step 2. The sodium bicarbonate solution will eliminate much of the acid, which will make the nitroglycerine more stable, and less likely to explode for no reason, which it can do. Test the nitroglycerine with the litmus paper until the litmus stays blue. Repeat this step if necessary, and use new sodium bicarbonate solutions as in step 2.
10. When the nitroglycerine is as acid-free as possible, store it in a clean container in a safe place. The best place to store nitroglycerine is far away from anything living, or from anything of any value. Nitroglycerine can explode for no apparent reason, even if it is stored in a secure cool place.


Although the procedure for the production of picric acid, or trinitrophenol has not yet been given, its salts are described first, since they are extremely sensitive, and detonate on impact. By mixing picric acid with metal hydroxides, such as sodium or potassium hydroxide, and evaporating the water, metal picrates can be formed. Simply obtain picric acid, or produce it, and mix it with a solution of (preferably) potassium hydroxide, of a mid range molarity. (about 6-9 M) This material, potassium picrate, is impact-sensitive, and can be used as an initiator for any type of high explosive.

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