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ALBERT LEA, MN — A southern Minnesota bachelor party quickly turned tragic on Sunday.
Those at the party were shooting at an explosive target and shrapnel ended up hitting a party-goer, and killing him.
Those targets were made of Tannerite. It is a brand-name explosive target that comes in a container about the size of your fist, but it packs quite a punch.
You can find Tannerite on the shelves of most of your local gun shops and it is pretty popular.
“I was kind of surprised how well it sells because it’s a fun product,” said Milan Hart, owner of Hart Bros. Weaponry in Albert Lea.
He said Tannerite works like a chemical reaction.
“It’s a product that, until it’s mixed, is not an explosive, you have to mix two ingredients together and then you shoot it with a bullet from a gun that will go faster than the speed of sound,” Hart said.
He said there is a reason that an explosive product is used for this kind of hobby and it is not just to watch an explosion.
“If you’re shooting long range, let’s say you want to set a rifle in at 250 yards and you want to hit something the size of a prairie dog, you can shoot at this and it does show you that because it explodes with a real loud bang,” Hart said.
He said if you follow the instructions there should be no problems with the target itself, especially if you keep your distance.
“It recommends a hundred yards, you can do it closer, I don’t recommend that. Follow the directions, the product wouldn’t be on the market if it wasn’t safe,” Hart said.
He said those who use it for target practice should not worry about it being unsafe, especially because it takes a certain type of impact to make it harmful.
“Even when it’s mixed, you can take it, hit it with a hammer, you can burn it with a torch, it’s not going to go off. It’s simply because of the impact of the bullet traveling faster than the speed of sound, creates an energy that then transfers into the product making it explode,” Hart said.
Area law enforcement agencies said that they do not use this type of product for their target practice so it is not something they are very familiar with. It is definitely a product used by a more recreational shooter.
Those with Fillmore County did say that safety precautions were taken at the scene when the incident took place.