Boomerite problems

Yesterday Barron and I went out to do more tests on our Boomerite mixture and packaging. It failed the last time we tried it and we want to get the problem solved.

We tried both the new packaging and the old from about 20 yards with .223 Wolf hollow points. All were complete duds. There was not even a hint of reactivity.

We were quite perplexed. What could have changed? Thinking that maybe some water had gotten into the old stuff we mixed up a new batch with some fresh ethylene glycol. Still absolutely nothing.

Barron was measuring the KClO3 and reported the powder didn’t seem quite right to him. There was no dust! I had three air cleaners in the shipping container because we knew the KClO3 generated a lot of dust and it wasn’t healthy to breath it. But there was no dust. Something was wrong. Could it have gotten wet? Maybe it could have drawn moisture from the air.

We took a couple of pounds to my parents house and dried it in the kitchen oven. Still no dust when handling it.

We ground some in the mortar and pestle. There was a little bit of dust but I could tell it still wasn’t as fine as what we usually have. Usually it it is so fine you cannot feel any grittiness. With this you could.

The Boomerite we made with the dried and ground KClO3 didn’t go boom with Wolf 60 grain .223 HP’s from Barron’s rifle. I had him try some 50 grain VMAX that I had. With the non-dried (or ground) we got a little bit of detonation but still not normal. With the ground and dried it went boom.

I put some of the KClO3 under the microscope. The crystals are average about 1/3 as large as granulated sugar. It should be much smaller than that.

It turns out there even though I was getting “MIL-SPEC” KClO3 “just like” always before there are various “Classes” within that spec. I strongly suspect we got a different class with this drum of KClO3. That could explain, rather than the plastic deli containers, why we had problems with a lot of the targets at Boomershoot. At the private party we had last summer it didn’t detonate very well either. We used the 50 grain VMAX bullets from fairly close and about 20% did not detonate properly.

Barron has more details on our experiments.