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Flash Powders

This page contains 164 formulas in 30 tables.


DANGER: Flash, concussion, report, and salute compositions are highly explosive. Extreme care must be exercised when preparing, handling, or using any such composition.

Perchlorate/aluminum-based flash powders I
 
Lancaster  Lancaster  Lancaster  Lancaster  Lancaster  Shimizu  Ofca 
name  European #1  European #2  U.S. mix #1  U.S. mix #2  U.S. mix #3  Flash Thunder #1 
Potassium perchlorate  66 70 67 63 60 50 60.8
Aluminum, German black 26.1
Aluminum, dark pyro 34 30 17 27 25 23
Sulfur 16 10 8.7
Antimony trisulfide  15 27
Titanium, sponge (or flake) 4.3
Cab-O-Sil 0.1
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Perchlorate/aluminum-based flash powders II
 
Shimizu  Shimizu  Allen  Allen  Allen  Allen 
name  Thunder #3  Thunder #4  Oma formula  Oma formula  Rozzi formula 
Potassium perchlorate  64 72 62 62.5 64 50
Aluminum, dark pyro 23 28 11 12.5 18 31
Aluminum, -325 mesh 23 18
Sulfur 13 4 25 3
Antimony trisulfide  16
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Perchlorate/aluminum-based flash powders III
 
Pyro-Tec  Allen  Allen  Allen  Allen  Allen 
name Cba formula  Rozzi formula  Orl formula  Oma formula 
Potassium perchlorate  50 48 61.5 57 56 62.6
Aluminum, dark pyro 25 36 23 11.5 31 26.2
Sulfur 25 28.5 13 11.2
Charcoal 3
Antimony trisulfide 16 15.5
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Perchlorate/aluminum-based flash powders IV
 
Allen  Klofkorn  Allen  Allen  Allen  Hitt  MC 341
name  Craig formula  Hit formula  Patent  
1,253,597 
Mil-spec M-80 simulator
Potassium perchlorate  58 61.5 40 25 47 46 64
Potassium nitrate 25
Sulfur 10 25 3 14 10
Antimony trisulfide 15.5 3 35 3.5
Aluminum, dark pyro 42 23 47 25 15 40 22.5
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Perchlorate/aluminum-based flash powders V
 
Weingart  Weingart  PGI  PGI  PGI  APFN 
name Titanium salute  Titanium salute  Titanium salute  Tenge formula
Potassium perchlorate  40 53 66 66 66 55
Sulfur 20 16 4 14
Antimony trisulfide 16.5
Aluminum, dark pyro 40 31 16.5 8 8 14
Aluminum, bright flake 26 22
Titanium, 30 mesh +8 - 15 +8 - 15 +8 - 15
Bran (or sawdust, or wheat hulls) 17
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Perchlorate/magnalium-based flash powders
 
PGI 
Potassium perchlorate  50
Magnalium, -325 mesh  50
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Perchlorate/nitrate/aluminum-based flash powders
 
Allen  Allen  Allen  Allen  Allen  Degn 
name  Young/Hitt Formula  Craig formula 
Potassium perchlorate  37 39 17 43 25 30
Barium nitrate 19 23 43 21 25 30
Sulfur 14 2 6 25
Antimony trisulfide 5 26 3
Aluminum, dark pyro 25 31 36 25 40
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Perchlorate/magnesium-based flash powders

CAUTION: Magnesium-based flash powders are more sensitive and violent than those made with aluminum. Individuals inexperienced with flash are encouraged to avoid such compositions.
 
Lancaster  Sturman  Degn  Degn  APFN  Lindsly 
Potassium perchlorate  38 45 50 40 40 70
Magnesium, fine 57 50 50 34 35 12
Aluminum, dark pyro  26 25 18
Graphite powder 5
Potassium dichromate  5
Cab-o-sil +0.1
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Perchlorate-based report compositions I
 
Allen  Allen  Allen  Degn  Allen  Davis  Allen  Davis 
name Craig formula    Hitt  
formula 
Potassium perchlorate  57 38 78 70 55 84 55 34
Barium nitrate 23
Sulfur 38 2 19 18 10
Charcoal, airfloat 8 33
Antimony trisulfide 25 27 35
Sodium salicylate 30
Sawdust 5
Rosin 10 8 33
Benzene 3
Meal A 2
Paraffin +0.1 
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Perchlorate-based report compositions II
 
Allen  Psm 
name  Hitt formula 
Potassium perchlorate  55 59
Sulfur 3 30
Antimony trisulfide 42
Lampblack (or charcoal, 
airfloat) 
11
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MAG/55 flash powder

CAUTION: Magnesium-based flash powders are more sensitive and violent than those made with aluminum. Individuals inexperienced with flash are encouraged to avoid such compositions.
 
Gregory  Gregory 
name Standard MAG/55  Superbright MAG/55 
Potassium perchlorate  64 60
Aluminum, German black  15 15
Aluminum, American dark  5
Aluminum, bright flake 5 5
Aluminum, atomized 1
Magnesium, 400 mesh  5 10
Magnesium, 200 mesh 5 10
Cab-O-Sil +2 +2
Wood meal +2 +2
Potassium dichromate  +1 +1
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Photoflash powders I

CAUTION: Magnesium-based flash powders are more sensitive and violent than those made with aluminum. Individuals inexperienced with flash are encouraged to avoid such compositions.
 
Standard  
Formulary 
AMCP  AMCP  SA Cyclopedia  SA Cyclopedia 
name  1899 composition  706-185  706-185 
Potassium perchlorate  40
Barium nitrate 54.5 49
Ammonium nitrate 6
Sulfur 6.5
Aluminum, flake 70.5
Magnalium, fine  45.5 60
Magnesium, fine  91 33
Lithium carbonate 4.5
Calcium carbonate 4.5
Lycopodium powder 23.5
Beef suet 11.5
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Photoflash powders II

CAUTION: Magnesium-based flash powders are more sensitive and violent than those made with aluminum. Individuals inexperienced with flash are encouraged to avoid such compositions.

DANGER: Chlorate and sulfur/sulfide mixes are known to be very sensitive to shock, flame, spark and friction.

DANGER: Chlorate flash mixtures decompose faster than perchlorate flash mixtures and are more sensitive to shock, flame, spark and friction.

DANGER: Chlorate and red phosphorus mixes are extremely sensitive and highly dangerous, and can explode with little provocation. Even experienced individuals are encouraged to avoid such compositions.
 
Fortunes in  
Formulas
Fortunes in  
Formulas
Standard  
Formulary 
unknown  SA Cyclopedia 
name  1899 composition  Patent 3,674,411  1899 composition 
Potassium chlorate  67 67 67 24.85 60
Aluminum, flake  25 27
Magnesium, fine 33 30
Titanium powder 48.01
Sulfur 0.03
Antimony trisulfide  10
Red phosphorus 24.85
Sucrose 8 6
Magnesium oxide 0.66
Sodium lignosulfonate  0.23
Sodium 2-ethylhexyl 
sulfate
0.03
Trichlorophenol 0.04
Hydroxyethyl cellulose  1.30
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Photoflash powders III

CAUTION: Magnesium-based flash powders are more sensitive and violent than those made with aluminum. Individuals inexperienced with flash are encouraged to avoid such compositions.

CAUTION: Calcium metal and calcium hydride react with water exothermically to evolve hydrogen gas. Compositions containing calcium metal or calcium hydride should be sealed against moisture and not be stored.

DANGER: Potassium permanganate mixes are regarded as sensitive and unstable. They should not be stored under any circumstances.

DANGER: Chlorate flash mixtures decompose faster than perchlorate flash mixtures and are more sensitive to shock, flame, spark and friction.

DANGER: Barium peroxide is unstable and prone to spontaneous decomposition. Flash mixtures made with barium peroxide should not be stored under any circumstances, and extreme caution must be exercised when handling such compositions.
 
unknown  TM1316  SA Cyclopedia  MC277  Ellern  PSM 
name  Patent  
2,098,341 
1899 composition  #50
Potassium perchlorate 80 24
Strontium perchlorate  20
Potassium chlorate 14
Potassium permanganate 40
Barium nitrate 54.5 34
Barium peroxide 20
Aluminum, flake  12.5 +4
Magnesium, fine  54 40 28
Magnalium, fine 45.5
Calcium/magnesium 75/25  80
Calcium metal 20
Calcium carbonate  21
Magnesium oxide  4.5
Silica 8
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Photoflash powders IV

CAUTION: Magnesium-based flash powders are more sensitive and violent than those made with aluminum. Individuals inexperienced with flash are encouraged to avoid such compositions.

CAUTION: Calcium metal and calcium hydride react with water exothermically to evolve hydrogen gas. Compositions containing calcium metal or calcium hydride should be sealed against moisture and not be stored.
 
AMCP Kirk-Otthmer  AMCP  Ellern  Ellern  TM1316 
name  706-185  M46 Photoflash  
Bomb 
#49 #48 Pfp 054
Potassium perchlorate  30 40 50 49
Barium nitrate 60 30 60 (21µ)
Aluminum, flake 10 40 26 20 31 9 (1.4µ)
Aluminum, atomized  30 31 (16µ)
Magnesium, fine 34
Calcium metal 30
Calcium fluoride 20
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Photoflash powders V

CAUTION: Calcium metal and calcium hydride react with water exothermically to evolve hydrogen gas. Compositions containing calcium metal or calcium hydride should be sealed against moisture and not be stored.
 
Ellern  TM1316  TM1316  TM1316  TM1316  TM1316  TM1316
name  #47 Pfp 648  Pfp 661  Pfp 673  Pfp 675  Pfp 679 Pfp 685
Potassium perchlorate  60 67 80
Sodium perchlorate  15 57
Strontium nitrate 70 (30µ)
Barium nitrate 50 (147µ) 
Aluminum, flake  40 50 43
Aluminum, atomized 30 (16µ) 
Silicon  33
Calcium 85
Boron 20
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Photoflash powders VI

CAUTION: Magnesium-based flash powders are more sensitive and violent than those made with aluminum. Individuals inexperienced with flash are encouraged to avoid such compositions.

CAUTION: Calcium metal and calcium hydride react with water exothermically to evolve hydrogen gas. Compositions containing calcium metal or calcium hydride should be sealed against moisture and not be stored.
 
TM1316  TM1316  TM1316  TM1316  TM1316  TM1316  TM1316 
name  Pfp 694  Pfp 695 Pfp 716 Pfp 717 Pfp 718 Pfp 723 Pfp 726
Potassium perchlorate  35 56 72 20 45 43
Sodium perchlorate  37
Aluminum, atomized 10 (16µ) 20 (16µ) 27
Calcium hydride 53 65
Calcium/magnesium 75/25  35
Calcium fluoride 30
Potassium borohydride  44 28 80
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Photoflash powders VII

CAUTION: Magnesium-based flash powders are more sensitive and violent than those made with aluminum. Individuals inexperienced with flash are encouraged to avoid such compositions.

DANGER: Chlorate and sulfur/sulfide mixes are known to be very sensitive to shock, flame, spark and friction.

DANGER: Chlorate flash mixtures decompose faster than perchlorate flash mixtures and are more sensitive to shock, flame, spark and friction.
 
TM1316  SA Cyclopedia SA Cyclopedia unknown 
name  Pfp 699 Slow photoflash  Slow photoflash  Patent 3,726,728
Potassium perchlorate  20
Sodium perchlorate 31.4 (+60)
Lithium perchlorate 68.6
Potassium chlorate 18 9
Barium nitrate 10 36
Sulfur 6
Aluminum, flake (+40)
Magnesium, fine 36 30
Calcium/magnesium 75/25  80
Shellac 36
Beef suet 19
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Chlorate/aluminum-based flash powders I

DANGER: Chlorate and sulfur/sulfide mixes are known to be very sensitive to shock, flame, spark and friction.

DANGER: Chlorate flash mixtures decompose faster than perchlorate flash mixtures and are more sensitive to shock, flame, spark and friction.
 
Shimizu  Klofkorn  Allen  Pyro-Tec Allen  Davis 
name Flash Thunder #2  Firecracker mix 
Potassium chlorate  43 27 63 67 52 64
Potassium perchlorate  29
Antimony trisulfide  26 14 9 32 9
Sulfur 10 18 16
Sucrose 8
Aluminum, dark pyro 31 20 10 25 16 9
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Chlorate/aluminum-based flash powders II

DANGER: Chlorate and sulfur/sulfide mixes are known to be very sensitive to shock, flame, spark and friction.

DANGER: Chlorate/realgar mixes are extremely sensitive and highly dangerous, and can explode with little provocation. Even experienced individuals are encouraged to avoid such compositions.

DANGER: Chlorate flash mixtures decompose faster than perchlorate flash mixtures and are more sensitive to shock, flame, spark and friction.
 
Allen  Degn  Allen  Allen Allen  Allen  Allen  Allen  Howell Labs 
name  Rozzi  
formula 
Rozzi  
formula 
Rozzi  
formula 
Potassium chlorate  61.5 50 41 67 55 61.5 30 50 30
Potassium nitrate 20
Barium nitrate 3
Aluminum, dark pyro  23 16 16 16.5 27 15 40 25 25
Sulfur 16.5 8.5 30 25 25
Antimony trisulfide  15.5 16 6 18 15
Realgar 34
Lampblack 16
Barium carbonate 2
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Chlorate/aluminum-based flash powders III

DANGER: Chlorate and sulfur/sulfide mixes are known to be very sensitive to shock, flame, spark and friction.

DANGER: Chlorate flash mixtures decompose faster than perchlorate flash mixtures and are more sensitive to shock, flame, spark and friction.
 
Weingart  Allen  Allen 
Potassium chlorate  55 47 61.5
Sulfur 27
Antimony trisulfide 6 8
Aluminum, dark pyro  9 47 30.5
Charcoal 9
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Chlorate/magnesium-based flash powders

CAUTION: Magnesium-based flash powders are more sensitive and violent than those made with aluminum. Individuals inexperienced with flash are encouraged to avoid such compositions.

DANGER: Chlorate flash mixtures decompose faster than perchlorate flash mixtures and are more sensitive to shock, flame, spark and friction.
 
Pyro-Tec  Pyro-Tec 
Potassium chlorate  69  43
Magnesium 31 57
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Chlorate-based report compositions I

DANGER: Chlorate and red phosphorus/realgar mixes are extremely sensitive and highly dangerous, and can explode with little provocation. Even experienced individuals are encouraged to avoid such compositions.

DANGER: Chlorate and sulfur/sulfide mixes are known to be very sensitive to shock, flame, spark and friction.
 
Shimizu  Shimizu  Chemical 
Formulary 
Allen  Allen  Allen 
name  Red Explosive  Toy Pistol Cap  Lang formula 
Potassium chlorate  63 60 8 58 63 74
Potassium nitrate 45
Red gum 19
Realgar 37
Antimony trisulfide  33
Charcoal 25 3 5
Red phosphorus  8
Sulfur 32 18 32
Rosin 9
Zinc carbonate 1
Stearin 1
Sand 4
Dextrin 2
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Chlorate-based report compositions II

DANGER: Chlorate and sulfur/sulfide mixes are known to be very sensitive to shock, flame, spark and friction.
 
Allen  Allen  Davis  Weingart  Howell Labs  Allen  Allen  
name Rozzi formula 
Potassium chlorate  57 50 50 67 63 50 55
Potassium nitrate  11
Sulfur 12.5 22 21
Charcoal, airfloat 25
Antimony trisulfide  29 37.5 50 5 36
Antimony powder 11
Rosin 14
Red gum 25 9
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Chlorate-based report compositions III

DANGER: Chlorate and sulfur/sulfide mixes are known to be very sensitive to shock, flame, spark and friction.
 
Allen  Allen  Howell Labs  Weingart  Weingart  Faber 
Potassium chlorate  57 56 56 60 60 67
Potassium nitrate 12
Sulfur 31 23 30 16.5
Antimony trisulfide  33 15 5
Charcoal, airfloat  10 16.5
Lampblack 13
Calcium carbonate  29
Rosin 10
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Nitrate/aluminum-based flash powders

CAUTIONNitrate/aluminum compositons commonly create basic conditions evolving heat, which may lead to spontaneous combustion. 1% to 2% of boric acid should be added to counter the reaction.
 
Allen  Lancaster  MC 340  Allen  Miller  Miller 
name Bangor powder  Bangor powder 
Potassium nitrate  50 67 60
Barium nitrate 68 57
Sulfur 30 9 14 16.5 10
Aluminum, dark pyro  20 23 9 29 16.5 30
Meal A 91
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Nitrate/magnesium-based flash powders

CAUTION: Magnesium-based flash powders are more sensitive and violent than those made with aluminum. Individuals inexperienced with flash are encouraged to avoid such compositions.
 
Mendota  Danvisevich 
Potassium nitrate  23.5
Barium nitrate  67
Strontium nitrate  6
Sulfur 23.5
Magnesium, fine  33 47
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Exotic flash powders I

CAUTION: Magnesium-based flash powders are more sensitive and violent than those made with aluminum. Individuals inexperienced with flash are encouraged to avoid such compositions.

DANGER: Potassium permanganate mixes are regarded as sensitive and unstable. They should not be stored under any circumstances.
 
Visser  Visser  Visser  Degn  Visser  Visser  Edel 
name Green flash  Permanganate  
flash 
Purple flash  Green flash  Yellow flash  Smokeless flash 
Potassium perchlorate 37 43
Zirconium hydride  7
Potassium permanganate  41
Strontium nitrate 11
Barium sulfate 50 50
Sodium nitrate 86
Barium nitrate 21 29
Barium oxide 25
Magnesium, -400 mesh 50 37 14 7
Aluminum, dark pyro 50 24 36
Sulfur 35
Black copper oxide 11
PVC 4
Zirconium 27
Rice starch  5
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Exotic flash powders II

CAUTION: Magnesium-based flash powders are more sensitive and violent than those made with aluminum. Individuals inexperienced with flash are encouraged to avoid such compositions.

DANGER: Potassium permanganate mixes are regarded as sensitive and unstable. They should not be stored under any circumstances.
 
APFN  Pyro-Tec  Degn, Lippy,  
Palder 
Degn  Degn  Davis 
name  Red flash  Red flash  Violet flash  Yellow flash 
Potassium perchlorate 33
Potassium chlorate 12
Potassium permanganate  80 60
Strontium nitrate 50 24
Sulfur 10
Aluminum, dark pyro 10 40
Magnesium, fine 50 50 48 34
Strontium carbonate 38
Paris green 24
Black copper oxide
Sodium oxalate 33
PVC 4
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 Exotic flash powders III

CAUTION: Magnesium-based flash powders are more sensitive and violent than those made with aluminum. Individuals inexperienced with flash are encouraged to avoid such compositions.

CAUTION: Magnesium/teflon mixtures have been known to ignite spontaneously, however circumstances surrounding such incidents are not well known. Individuals intending on making such a composition are urged to exercise extreme caution.

DANGER: Chlorate flash mixtures decompose faster than perchlorate flash mixtures and are more sensitive to shock, flame, spark and friction.

DANGER: Barium chlorate is unstable and prone to spontaneous decomposition. Flash mixtures made with barium chlorate should not be stored under any circumstances, and extreme caution must be exercised when handling such compositions.
 
Degn  Pyro-Tec APFN  APFN  Pyro-Tec  Degn   PEP 12(1)
name  Green flash  Green flash  Sanford  
formula 
Sanford  
formula
Blue flash  Blue flash  M22
Potassium perchlorate  42.5
Potassium chlorate  11 32
Barium chlorate 36
Barium nitrate  48
Calcium sulfate 57 64
Aluminum, dark pyro  36
Magnesium, fine 48 46 43 42 42.5 75
Paris green 22.5 13
Teflon 10
PVC 4 7 3.5 2
Fluorelastomer 15
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Last updated April 22, 1998.
Copyright (C) 1997,1998, Andrew KrywonizkaAll rights reserved.