Backyard Ballistics (tm)

Content Copright 2001 - 2006 by Private Data, LLC
I built a Ball Mill. Of the type commonly known in the hobby as a "Sponenburgh Mill". Visit my Ball Mill webpage. 

Stingers - spin stabilized fin/stickless rockets. They're in BAFN II. I have 1lb tooling from Thunder 'N Lightning including a custom drill guide. His tooling is somewhat pricey - but you won't regret it.

I was helping a friend with some outdoor theatrical smoke. This was a last minute request while packing. I didn't know anything about it and with time being short, brought some reject (cores off center, etc) KNO3 / Sorbitol Candy Rocket fuel grains, and also made up some lactose white smoke mix (3 KCL03, 1 Lactose, 1 Amonium Chloride) per on of the books (Lancaster?). We learned the cored fuel grains worked the best given what we had and that the lactose fuel mix required finesse. At the time we picked up the supplies from Skylighter, Harry suggested I pick up the book "Smoke Generation: Tactical, Survival, Civilian" By Gary Purrington of Firefox.(I bought it from Harry - he stocks some of Gary's work) This is an excellent book in my opinion. It has great coverage of the subtleties of smoke, particularly the difficult colored smokes. It's not strictly a how-to-book, but covers a lot of ground, in a manner approachable by most pyrotechnic hobbiests, before getting to what most people want - the formulaes page. I suggest buying it and reading it cover to cover as the formulas, particularly the color ones, require some finesse in packing, loading, etc.

I'd like to add additional  theatrical effects such as bullet hit squibs as well as more indoor-friendly effects.

I have been building up a web page on Ignitors (Igniters :) ) It's on my rocket page. Mike's Ignitor Page.

Film canister shells look fun - but I haven't played with them yet. Here's a cached document.

Dimock's PyroPage - the ultimate launch point.

Dan Williams's tool & project page is a common jumping off point for practical home made tooling. Seemingly it keeps moving; here's the last known good location for Dan William's Amateur Pyrotechnician page.

Dan Thames has a good PyroPage and Air Cannon page. He puts me to shame because he goes out and "just does it" while I while away on details and hardly actually get anything built.

DJ's nozzleless rocket page. While theoretically less efficient, the darn things typically just fly with a minimum of fuss. The ROI is very high and the big bore throaty launches are very showy and very satisfing - after all, why else are we building rockets and not display shells? Note - the current cat's meow seems to be 1/4" x 5" spindle for 1lb rockets - hot, fast, fewer catos than with the 1/8" core. I am currently using a "1lb black powder rocket" tooling set from Hal Bentley for nozzled (per it's design) and nozzleless with good success. His tooling is very nice and very affordable.

Another nice page with many nice projects are Dan and Kathy's:

Here's a safety tip - be careful when cutting rocket sticks. I can only plead that since I thought it highly likely, I cleared the room and also made sure my fingers wouldn't get slivers if it did happen. My radial arm saw saw obliged and shot the sticks across the room and into the wall. OK, I got two bundles of sticks - but I was asking for it as I was feeding into the rotation of the blade. Why? So every single piece didn't kick up or out and bust if I had fed against the rotation. I recommend a band saw (best) or perhaps a small table saw (better).

I also have a couple of cached documents. One on Impact Firecrackers, and two PGI articles from 2000, one on Smoke, and another on Whistles.

I have also cached the PFPFormula Database from April 1998 as well as the PFP Zip File. I forgot where I got this - and will update this. Off a google search I'm sure.

U.S. Mesh and Sieving Information and other related resources

Industrial Surplus (Hydraulics, vacuum, compressed air): Burden's Surplus Center in Lincoln NE 800-488-3407

Industrial Fluid Power Vol 1 from Womack