It’s a little hard to tell from the article but it appears a guy was making .223 shell casings into explosive devices:
Robert J. Heintz Jr., 36, of Deep Creek Road, has been charged with risking a catastrophe, unlawful possession or manufacture of weapons of mass destruction and recklessly endangering another person in connection with Friday night’s explosion. Heintz, who suffered a serious hand injury during the explosion, was arrested. He had been released from an area hospital on Sunday.
When authorities interviewed Heintz at the hospital, he claimed that he purchased .223 rounds off the Internet from Bulgaria and claimed that the tips were loose on the rounds, according to the arrest affidavit. Heintz allegedly claimed that he was attempting to place the tip back in place with a pliers at the time of the blast.
Heintz, according to the arrest affidavit, told police that he researched “some recipes on the Internet” and downloaded them on his computer. Heintz further claimed that he had mixed a batch using the instructions from the Internet and packed the substance into the .223 round, police alleged.
“He continued to explain that he attempted to ignite these rounds in his back yard with no success of detonation,” Moyer alleged. “Heintz explained that he went back into the house to do another round at the computer table, packing the recipe into the brass when the bullet exploded.”
He is being charged with possession or manufacture of weapons of mass destruction? That seems more than a bit excessive from the information I can glean from the article. I would have given him an honorable mention for a Darwin Award and told him to apologize to his wife for making a mess in the house.
Here is a hint for people that don’t want my nomination for Darwin Awards in the Explosives category. Don’t let metal come in contact with metal in the presence of explosives. Even if you don’t use metals that can create sparks the point of contact between the two metal surfaces generates tremendous pressures. Imagine one pound of force applied to your pliers that makes contact with another piece of metal on an area that is 0.010 x 0.010 inches square. That is 10,000 PSI. Those sorts of pressures, even when confined to an exceedingly small piece of material can initiate a chain reaction. This is part of the reason so many pipe bombers end up blowing themselves up. The threads of the steel pipe create extreme pressures and start a reaction resulting in the rapid dissasembly of the bomb builder a few milliseconds later.