While Coweta celebrated its first New Year’s with legal fireworks, several residents of eastern Coweta reported a boom that shook their homes on Saturday night.
Social media lit up with theories regarding the origins of the concussive blast. On Facebook, residents of Senoia, Sharpsburg and even Peachtree City, all reported hearing the explosion around 6:00 p.m.
Desiree Lynne and her neighbor, Valerie Pancharian, are residents of the Michael’s Crossing area. They both said the blast shook their homes.
Lynne said this was the second time in recent years that she’s felt the blast. Pancharian said she was drying her hair when she felt something jolt their house.
Peachtree City resident KayJay Miller said that she definitely heard it.
“It was pretty loud,” Miller recalled on the blast. “My dogs freaked out."
According to the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office, the source has been identified as Tannerite being detonated in the Winchester Road and Marion Beavers Road area.
Tannerite is the brand name of a binary explosive marketed primarily for making exploding targets for long range firearms practice. It is a patented combination of ammonium nitrate, which acts as an oxidizer, and aluminum powder for the fuel.
When the two separate powders are mixed and shaken, it produces an explosive material. However, the explosion produced by the mixture is non-incendiary.
Georgia doesn’t restrict the sale of products like Tannerite. Neither does the federal government, as the product is supplied as two powders that by themselves aren’t explosive.
The sound of the explosions can range depending on the amount of mixture that is used. The product falls under the same laws as black power and all other explosives that are exempt for sporting use.
Displays of the product can be found on YouTube, where excessive amounts have been used to demolish barns, blow up appliances, and even eradicate wild hogs.
According to the Tannerite website, detonation is only possible with a round traveling 2,000 feet per-second or faster. A caliber of .233 or higher is also required. Shotgun slugs, .22 long rifle and .30 carbine rounds will not initiate an explosion.
The mixture can be purchased around the county in outdoor stores like Academy, Gander Mountain and also gun stores like AR Bunker and Atlanta Range and Ordnance.
“It’s definitely loud," said Gary DeGeorge of Atlanta Range and Ordnance. “It’s a pretty popular seller, and we sell quite a bit of it."
DeGeorge said the product is another way for people to enjoy shooting.
“It’s a lot of fun,” DeGeorge said. “People really like the rush you get from hitting the target.”