The Anarchist's Cookbook - Explosives
by William Powell
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How to make Nitroglycerin
All modern explosives are simply a derivitive of a nitric acid base.
When nitric acid is mixed with other compounds, this is called nitration.
Mercury, sugar, cork, cotton, and other substances can be used as the
nitrating agent....well, enough of the theory- on to the explosives.
NITROGLYCERIN C3H5 (NO3)3
1. Fill a 75ml. beaker to the 13 ml. level with fuming nitric acid.
2. Place beaker in an ice bath and let it cool to around 0 degrees.
3. Add 39 ml. of fuming sulfuric acid. The stronger the better. Be sure to
pour slowly and carefully.
4. Watch the temperature with a centigrade thermometer. If it gets too hot,
stop pouring the sulfuric acid until it cools.
5. When the acid solutons are about 15 degrees C, add a few drops of
glycerin with an eyedropper, SLOWLY, until the entire surface of the
acid is covered with it.
6. If the temp rises above 30 degrees, you will blow yourself up.
Dont let it rise above 30 degrees.
7. Gently stir the nitrated mixture. The nitroglycerin will form on top of
the acid and the sulfuric acid will absorb the excess water.
8. Transfer the solution to another beaker of water. The nitro will settle
on the bottom and most of the acid can be drained away.
9. Remove the nitro with an eyedropper (this will not be easy) and drop it
into a sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) mixture to neutralize remaining
10. Remove the nitro from the bicarbonate with the eyedropper.
11. You now have nitro, ready for use. It should burn with a clear blue flame
if it is of decent purity.
Mercury fulminate is a high explosive, often used in blasting caps. It is
very stable, much more than nitro.
1. Take 5 grams pure mercury and mix with 35 ml. nitric acid.
2. SLOWLY AND GENTLY heat the mixture. When it bubbles and turns green,
you know the silver mercury is dissolved. You should to this outside.
3. After it is dissolved, pour the solution into a small flask of
ethyl alcohol. This will result in red fumes.
4. After a half hour or so, the red fumes will turn white, indicating that
the process is near its final stage.
5. Add distilled water to the solution.
6. Filter the solution through a coffee filter. You should get small white
crystals. These crystal are pure mercury fulminate, and should be
washed several times to get rid of the excess acid.
7. Go blow something up.
GUNCOTTON - SMOKELESS POWDER
This low explosive is almost in the upper explosive class, and it is
very stable and easy to make.
1. Boil cotton for 30 minutes in a solution of 2% NaOH (lye). If the solution
does not turn yellow while boiling, you did not add enough NaOH.
2. Wash the cotton in hot water and let it dry.
3. Mix slowly and carefully, at 25 degrees C, 250 ml. Concentrated Sulfuric
acid, 150 ml. concentrated nitric acid, and 20 ml. distilled water. They
must be kept at 25 degrees.
4. Place the dried cotton in the acid solution (you should have it in an
ice bath- the acid solution that it) and stir for 35 minutes.
5. Nitration is now complete. Wash the acids away in boiling water at least
three times. If you do not wash the acids away, it will be more unstable.
6. Let the smokeless powder (guncoton) dry in AIR. If you put it in the oven
to dry it, it will explode. This may sound stupid, but a 11 year old did
it and he is no more.
I made some of this stuff recently, and it works pretty well!! If you stuff
it into a pipe and pack it in, cap both ends, and stick a fuse inside
(rocket fuses work the best) you have a devastating pipe bomb. When I did it
we blew it up near a fence... the fence was blasted into pieces and there
was flying pieces of steel everywhere!! Be sure to get far enough away...
Smokeless powder, along with many other explosives, MUST be under pressure
Tetryl is a compound commonly used in TNT, often used to set it off. The
stuff on road flares that ignites when you scratch it on the asphalt is a
weak type of tetryl. It is very powerful. It was used in Vietnam as booby
traps---one of these traps was to fill a pipe (smoke type) with tetryl in
the mouthpiece. When someone took a puff, BOOM!! No more head............
1. A small amount of dimethyllaniline (as much as you want to make) is
dissolved in excess sulfuric acid.
2. This mixture is now added to an equal amount of nitric acid. Keep this
in an ice bath, as if you dont it may explode.
3. After five minutes, the tetryl is filtered and then washed in cold water.
4. The tetryl is now boiled in fresh water, with a little bit of baking soda.
Repeat this until the tetryl passes a litmus paper test.
5. Filter the tetryl again and let it try. When detonated, it reacts much
I will list several of the recipes for low class explosives of black
Black Powder #1
1. Potassium perchlorate: 69.2%
2. Sulfur 15.4%
3. Charcoal 15.4%
Black Powder #2
1. Potassium nitrate 37.5%
2. Sulfure 3.0%
3. Straw charcoal 18.0%
Black Powder #3
1. Barium nitrate 75.0%
2. Sulfur 12.5%
3. Charcoal 12.5%
Black powder is very nice and easy to make, but it is not as powerful as
smokeless powder or as stable. That is why I prefer making smokeless powder,
although it can be a bit more expensive.
Formulas for different colored smoke screen:
Black Smoke screen
Magnesium powder 19%
2 part sugar to 1 part potassium chlorate
White smoke screen
Zinc dust 66%
Yellow smoke screen
Potassium chlorate 25%
Red smoke screen
Potassium cholrate 20%
paranitraniline red 20%
Ammonium Nitrate compounds
Ammonium nitrate is a very explosive compound in itself, and can be gotten
in white crystalline form. This is the explosive which kept Germany in
WWI. There are hundreds and hundreds of formulas for ammonium nitrate,
all which are very powerful, but I will only list a couple:
Ammonium Nitrate Compound #1
Ammonium nitrate 38%
Potassium nitrate 35.5%
Ammonium oxalate 10.5%
sulfur clour 4.5%
Ammonium Nitrate Compound #2
Ammonium nitrate 94.5%
charcoal powder 2.5%
pyro powdered Al 3%
Ammonium Nitrate Compound #3
Ammonium nitrate 73%
barium nitrate 19%
potato starch 9%
potassium percholride 14.5%
Ammonium Nitrate Compound #4
Ammonium nitrate 76%
If you like gelatin dynamites such as plastique and plastic explosives,
this is basically 75% nitro with 5% guncotton with 15% potassium nitrate
and 5% woodmeal.
WHERE TO BUY CHEMICALS
Any of the chemicals needed for the above experiments can be bought at
any chemical supply store. As you can see, sulfuric and nitric acid are
necessary for many compounds. If you take chemistry, you can probably
steal these from chem lab with no problem. Concentrated sulfuric acid
is 18 molar, and concentrated nitric acid is 14 molar.
If you live in the bay area, I have found the following to be a very good
source of chemicals:
ARK Chemical Distributors
3410 Pacheco Boulevard
It is located off Pacheco boulevard off of highway 680. If you are coming from
the south and have just crossed highway 4, then turn left on the Pacheco
boulevard exit. Continue down this road for a few miles. The building you
are looking for is right across from the Shell Oil refinery and is about
3 stories high. It is hidden by a high fence and is behind the Clementine
I have found lots of cute girls working here, and they don't ask anby
questions when you buy chemicals... and they have all the chemicals,
supplies, and things you will need.
Don't blow yourselves up!