Is Tannerite the explanation for loud booms around the Midlands?

Published: Feb. 15, 2013 at 10:11 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 25, 2013 at 10:11 PM EST
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NEWBERRY COUNTY, SC (WIS) - If you like guns, then you've likely heard of Tannerite -- it's a brand of exploding target. Two powders that are harmless by themselves, but when you mix them together and hit them with a high-velocity bullet, the resulting explosion can be heard for miles.

We picked up 10 pounds of it Friday morning for a little more than $50. 

"All of this is completely legal," said Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster.

Foster says it was made for recreational shooting and long-range rifle practice.

Check out YouTube, and you'll find plenty of people experimenting with hundreds of pounds of it.

You'll also find what could be the explanation for many of the mysterious and earth-shaking explosions in the Midlands recently.

"By no means do we know proof positive that some of the booms we've heard in Newberry are from that, but it's a reasonable assumption that it is," said Foster.

While the targets are legal, Foster says you should still be mindful of noise ordinances. We found that out when our small detonations generated three phone calls and several texts to the sheriff. Sorry about that.

It is widely available and admittedly makes for good video, but Foster just asks that you keep it within reason.

"Be cognizant of your environment, be mindful of your neighbors, and everything will be lovely," Foster said.

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