4 thoughts on “Chemical dynamics of explosives

  1. They could be formed but they wouldn’t be of much use. I would expect them to detonate (or at least ignite) before they left the barrel. And even if they didn’t because they are so much less dense than lead they wouldn’t make it past 100 yards.

    Chuck, are you going to be there this year? I keep inviting you but you haven’t shown up yet.

  2. Joe,

    I’d LOVE to be there, but this year the shoot coincides with the Face of America bike ride. Face of America is a two-day inclusive bike ride of approximately 110 miles, creating a team of people with and without disabilities. It honors and actively includes servicemen and women who have been severely injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. It also has able-bodied active duty servicemen and women participating as well as anybody else who wants to be on the TEAM, both civilian and service members.

    The coolest thing I’ve done in a long time, because I get to ride with other wounded service members, and the ride culminates at the Gettysburg home of Marine Corporal Seamus Garrahy, a very old Marine and procurer of BBQ and Beer.

    Honestly, the ride is ridiculously challenging of the body and mind, but a restorer of spirit. A guy who was to be on my team this year was going to ride from Oklahoma to Bethesda to start the ride, but died from an aneurysm on the way there.

    But I promise, I will get to Boomershoot, someday. Maybe I can convince the idaho guard to lemme borrow an Abrams…

  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octanitrocubane

    Octanitrocubane (molecular formula: C8(NO2)8) is a powerful high explosive that, like TNT, is shock-insensitive (not readily detonated by shock). The octanitrocubane molecule has the same chemical structure as cubane (C8H8) except that each of the eight hydrogen atoms are replaced by a nitro group (NO2).
    Octanitrocubane is thought to have 20-25% greater performance than HMX (octogen), the state-of-the-art military explosive as of year 2000[update]. This increase in power is due to its highly expansive breakdown into CO2 and N2, as well as to the presence of strained chemical bonds in the molecule which have stored potential energy. In addition, octanitrocubane produces no water vapor making it less visible, and both the chemical itself and its decomposition products are considered non-toxic.
    Small amounts have been synthesized in the laboratory, but not enough for performance testing as an explosive.[1]
    Octanitrocubane was first synthesized by Philip Eaton (who was also the first to synthesize cubane in 1964) and Mao-Xi Zhang at the University of Chicago in 1999, with the structure proven by crystallographer Richard Gilardi of the US Naval Research Laboratory.[2][3]

    Its R.E. factor is about 2.7.[citation needed]

    Ritchie here: This appears to be quite difficult to make. The base material, cubane,
    takes about 15 steps to create. If this explosive is ever produced in usable amounts it will be very expensive.

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