Lead Styphnate

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lead Styphnate


an orange crystalline compound. It is poorly soluble in water and most organic solvents. Its density is 3.1 g/cm3.

Lead styphnate is an explosive initiator with a heat of explosion of 1,550 kilojoules per kg (370 kilocalories per kg), a flash point of 275°C, and a rate of combustion of 25–30 cm/sec at high density. It is obtained by the reaction of sodium styphnate with lead nitrate and is used for compositions in detonators and percussion caps.


Gorst, A. G. Porokha i vzryvchatye veshchestva, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1972.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Lead is also involved in the primer (lead styphnate) to start the combustion of the gun powder, which propels the bullet down the barrel.
(6) Another example is lead nitrate (used in lead styphnate) which is used in almost every gun primer for small and medium caliber ammunition.
By 1979 chemists were working on a dry powder mixture for filling .22 cases that was non-explosive until exposed to water, whereupon a chemical reaction converted it to conventional lead styphnate (primer compound).
Primer mixtures often contain three inorganic compounds: lead styphnate (initiator), antimony sulfide (fuel), and barium nitrate (oxidizer) (Wolten et al.
plant (with CCI primers because Federal can't make MIL-SPEC lead styphnate and FA956 mix) then shipped the cartridges to LCAAP (bulk packed) to be linked with LC Tracer and packed out for delivery.
Soon the T53 was replaced with the modern non-corrosive lead styphnate mix and designated FA 36 in 1958.
Most primers used in North America consist of lead styphnate (Pb) as an initiating explosive, barium nitrate (Ba) as an oxidizer, and antimony sulfide (Sb) as a fuel; therefore, a combination of these elements in a single particle proves very significant.
"The primary ignition component is still based on lead styphnate, which is the standard primary explosive used in small arms primers, though Federal's formula is unique.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that Mrs Wilkins was working with lead styphnate, a sensitive primary explosive, on March 2, 2005 when she was killed.Investigators found that the company allowed unsafe working procedures to develop by providing too little supervision and monitoring.
The original caps used chlorate of potash with fulminate of mercury, but most modern primers use lead azide, potassium per-chlorate or lead styphnate. The Remington #11s used fit perfectly.
The boxer primers are nickel-plated brass as well, and lead styphnate is the primary explosive to ensure positive ignition.
New heavy-metal-free primers use a compound commonly known as Dinol to replace lead styphnate as the initiator.