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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 100% Outstanding book. The best there is
The Preparatory Manual of Explosives is your one-stop for high quality explosives data and information. The book is full of excellent and detailed laboratory procedures for the preparation of over 160 of the worlds most widely used explosives. No other book that I know can compare to the exhaustive detail this book has. The book's chapters are arranged in specific order...
Published on April 29, 2008 by T. Disco

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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Much of the material is copied, wrong or chem. 101
The title of this book, and the subject matter, would lead one to expect this is a professional reference for chemists, people working with industrial processes or students. It is none of these.

It's full of grade school chemistry lessons, such as an entire page devoted to the folding of filter paper, including step-by-step illustrations. There are listings...
Published on June 10, 2012 by asdfgh


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Much of the material is copied, wrong or chem. 101, June 10, 2012
This review is from: The Preparatory Manual of Explosives (Paperback)
The title of this book, and the subject matter, would lead one to expect this is a professional reference for chemists, people working with industrial processes or students. It is none of these.

It's full of grade school chemistry lessons, such as an entire page devoted to the folding of filter paper, including step-by-step illustrations. There are listings for each common acid, such as hydrochloric, nitric, sulfuric, along with charts listing how much acid to add to how much water to make various concentrations. Adding 100ml of water to 100ml of concentrated nitric acid yields 50% nitric acid. Who would have thought? This is repeated for every 10% change in concentration, with each acid type. Often these instructions have mixed units. A 20% concentration is listed in ml and then 30% is listed in mg. If one does not know how to perform the most basic of lab procedures, such as mixing acid to required strength, they probably shouldn't be trying to synthesize dangerous and often toxic organic compounds.

There are numerous processes and synthesis listed. The information varies from material obviously copied out of patents, military manuals and product literature, to homebrew instructions that border on the absurd, such as the method to distill gasoline. So far, my favorite is the instructions for nitroglycerine, which shows a separatory funnel set up, with the dire warning "make sure the apparatus does not tip over"! I always thought you were suppose to juggle the apparatus along with some flaming logs and a chainsaw while making nitro. Many of the listed procedures vary significantly from industry standard practices. Sometimes in bizarre ways, such as stirring a mixture for 24 hours, when the reaction should have fully completed in only a few minutes.

There are the sections bordering on the bizarre. In one section the author describes in great detail how if you should imbed 1 pound of TNT into your chest, your body will be blown into "about 10 jagged pieces". What if you got 20 not so jagged pieces? Does it mean something went wrong? The book goes on with similar childish descriptions such as "jagged, uneven, bits of bone, flesh and body parts, removed or left dangling" and so on.

The grammar is poor, obvious spelling errors, etc. Appears no editor or proofreader was used. Finally, there is no publisher listed anywhere in the book, and only a single copyright date of 2007. Kind of unusual for a book claiming to be in it's 3rd edition. There is also an amusing self-written copyright and disclaimer notice on the first page, with the statement that any attempts to sue the author "is a violation of knowledge and truth..."

I kept the book due to it's amusement value. It makes for some great laughs if you are a chemist or other scientist with a basic understanding of chemistry. Make sure to wear your tin foil hat while reading :)
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 100% Outstanding book. The best there is, April 29, 2008
By 
T. Disco (Knoxville KY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Preparatory Manual of Explosives (Paperback)
The Preparatory Manual of Explosives is your one-stop for high quality explosives data and information. The book is full of excellent and detailed laboratory procedures for the preparation of over 160 of the worlds most widely used explosives. No other book that I know can compare to the exhaustive detail this book has. The book's chapters are arranged in specific order to give the reader a full description of the chemistry of explosives, laboratory techniques, reagents and solvents, intermediates, and explosives dynamics. Also, the book is very easy to understand, and was specifically designed for both chemists and non-chemists. The Preparatory Manual of Explosives is by far the best explosives book available, and I would recommend you checkout the authors other books, all of which contain exhaustive and precise information for every ones book collection. A super must have book for the chemist, non-chemist, amateur, pyrotechnician, and anyone with
just a curiosity to know.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Explosive Manual, January 9, 2012
By 
Larry Marantz (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Preparatory Manual of Explosives (Paperback)
An interesting book. Tells you how to make practally every explosive known. In most cases the ingredents are not obtainable and/or are dangerous to use. Having made many of these materials (50 years ago) when I was an "energenic materials" chemist I was interested how the field has progressed. Nothing better than PETN, RDX and HMX has come along. I warn DYI's don't try to use this book to make anything. You will just injure or kill yourself. There are several word errors in the book (incorrect words used), where a spelling checker will not find the error.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Eh, not too impressed, April 10, 2008
By 
Robert R. Cook (Northern Virginia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Preparatory Manual of Explosives (Paperback)
Ok, it is encyclopedic in scope, there are thousands of compounds detailed here. My problem is that it's filled with instructions similar to this: now mix 300 grams of unicorn horn, prepared in the usual manner, with 15 grams of finely divided unobtainium, being careful not to defenestrate the mixture.
It is an interesting read, but most folks could lay hands on materials to mix up maybe five percent of the compounds listed, max. If you're a chemist this is a great book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars You MUST have chemistry knowledge!!!!!, March 18, 2012
This review is from: The Preparatory Manual of Explosives (Paperback)
This book is good for people who KNOW chemistry, if you're just a regular joe that wants to create an explosive, this book is NOT for you! You must have chemistry knowledge in tools and slang. I bought this book because I heard that al-qaeda was reading this, but when I opened it, and read through most of it, I found myself lost! Not only is most of the chemicals impossible to find, but preparing them looks even harder! It's pretty much useless to the average person, you're better off buying The Poor Mans Jame bond book, or some other book, now if you know chemistry, and have a basic chemistry kit set, then you can try some stuff out, other than that, you'll just scratch your head and put it on the shelf to collect dust! Do not buy this book if you have no chemistry background!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Undergrad, October 18, 2011
This review is from: The Preparatory Manual of Explosives (Paperback)
If you've taken organic chemistry and organic chemistry labs, you will find yourself quite familiar with the techniques and equipment used in this book. An interesting read for those with enough chemistry background to fully appreciate it. For all others, prepare to do a little extra research.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Preparatory Manual of Explosives, April 11, 2009
By 
Wallace F. Crawford (Des Moines, Iowa United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Preparatory Manual of Explosives (Paperback)
While much more technical than I anticipated I have found it a fascinating read. If there is one frustration it is because I have so little knowledge and understanding of chemistry. Nonetheless, my interest and curiosity have spurred me on to a general appreciation of this topic.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Preparatory Manuak od Explosives, Third Edition, February 3, 2009
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This review is from: The Preparatory Manual of Explosives (Paperback)
The manual describes details of synthetic procedure of over hundred of the explosives. If they are the specialists who studied organic chemistry and trained organic chemistry experiments, they can reproduce the manual correctly. However, the experiments must be carried out in appropriate facilities, and non-specialist must not attempt to prepare these materials. It is regretful that qualities of figures and structure of the materials are poor and there are some mistakes in these structures.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, February 25, 2008
This review is from: The Preparatory Manual of Explosives (Paperback)
This is an excellent reference text for organic chemists interested in the theoretical synthesis of energetic materials
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, November 26, 2010
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This review is from: The Preparatory Manual of Explosives (Paperback)
has all the lab procedures you could ask for. thorough explanations and descriptions. Good for scientists, but may be a little complex for the laymen.
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The Preparatory Manual of Explosives
The Preparatory Manual of Explosives by Jared Ledgard (Paperback - April 4, 2007)
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