Tar­get ex­plo­sives shake up­Mid­dle­brook

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - METRO - BY LAURA PETERS

MID­DLE­BROOK— Over the past few weeks, res­i­dents of the quiet town of Mid­dle­brook have been hear­ing loud ex­plo­sions at ran­dom times.

“The big booms were rather scary,” Lynn Nor­ley said. She started hear­ing them a week ago at her farm on Dutch Hol­low Road in the early af­ter­noon and even­ing.

“The first one we heard we thought was like dy­na­mite or some­thing,” she said.

Later, she was at a friend’s home for din­ner, just down the road, and the booms hap­pened again.

Mid­dle­brook Fire Depart­ment’s Chief Op­er­a­tional Of­fi­cer Ja­son Shultz says the cause of the racket is Tan­ner­ite, an ex­plod­ing tar­get.

Hunters and those do­ing tar­get prac­tice have turned to us­ing the ex­plod­ing tar­gets for an added adren­a­line rush.

Ac­cord­ing to Hen­ley Gabeau, who writes a weekly Mid­dle­brook news­let­ter sent out via email, many res­i­dents had been talk­ing and re­port­ing the loud ex­plo­sions.

“It sounds like a very loud fire­work,” said Kevin Har­ris of Do­min­ion Out­doors in Fish­ersville. The sport shop, which spe­cial­izes in guns and hunt­ing gear, sells Tan­ner­ite and other ex­plod­ing tar­get brands.

Shultz said if some­one hears an ex­plo­sion and is con­cerned, they should call 911.

Tan­ner­ite is a com­bi­na­tion of am­mo­nium ni­trate, which acts as an ox­i­dizer, and alu­minum pow­der for the fuel, ac­cord­ing to the Bureau of Al­co­hol, To­bacco, Firearms and Ex­plo­sives.

When the two pow­ders are mixed and shaken it pro­duces an ex­plo­sive ma­te­rial. The com­bi­na­tion is rel­a­tively sta­ble, non­flammable and is det­o­nated with a high-velocity shot, which makes it ex­plode and pro­duces a loud sound.

Tan­ner­ite falls un­der the same laws as black pow­der and all other ex­plo­sives that are ex­empt for sport­ing use, its web­site said.

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