Binary explosives are incredibly safe-to-use low explosive mixtures, when they are used correctly.
Unfortunately, even some professionals sometimes forget that while binary explosives are very stable and predictable, they still must be respected as explosives, and that placing them in a such a way that they can create shrapnel is a very bad idea.
The Washington County Sheriff’s office says an instructor conducting firearms training was seriously injured when he was hit by shrapnel after an exploding target went off.
The office said 42-year-old Scott Turner of Albany suffered life-threatening injuries in the accident. He was flown Saturday night to a hospital in Portland.
Turner was leading a group of former military and law enforcement officers in firearms training involving the use of Tannerite. The group had rented a private facility near the rural community of Timber.
The training exercise involved shooting the exploding target. The target was placed behind a car door and when it exploded, shrapnel from the car door hit Turner.
In every single incident we know of where someone was injured using these targets, three things happened.
The first is that the users used a much larger than recommended mixture. Most manufacturers recommend keeping the target mixture down to 1/4-1/2 lbs per target. That hasn’t kept people from making binary mixture targets of hundreds of pounds, and creating massive blasts.
The second is that users are too close to the target when they fire upon it. “Too close” depends upon the size of the charge, but we’d recommend not being inside 100 yards for even the smaller charges, and not being inside 300 yards of you’re going to exceed manufacture guidelines. Most of the serious injuries and near misses we’ve seen have been with large charges, inside 100 yards. Some have been inside 50 yards.
The third is that the charge should never be contained in any sort of a container that could produce shrapnel. We’ve see binary explosives placed inside cars, appliances, and similar metal objects. When you shoot a binary explosive contained in any sort of a metal object, you are creating a shrapnel bomb.
Sadly, Mr. Turner was injured when the binary explosive was placed behind a car door, and the detonation (predictably) created shrapnel, some of which hurt him.
A certain fake Russian Youtube star nearly suffered a similar fate two years ago by violating every possible binary explosive safety rule.
We enjoy the safe use of binary explosives, even larger than recommended mixtures, when they’re done intelligently and from a safe distance.
People can get hurt with even stable, low explosive mixtures if they aren’t careful.
Be safe out there, and if you’re a praying person, I’m sure Mr. Turner and his family would appreciate your prayers.