# ATF APCP Letter

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#### Green Arrow

##### Well-Known Member

Unless you are going to fly Ballistic flights, :jaw::eyepop::jaw: you will need an LEUP for the BP ejection charges and ignitors..........

YEAH!!!!!! :dark::dark:

#### cwbullet

##### Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
Global Mod
I smell another lawsuit.

#### ben_ullman

##### Well-Known Member
I smell another lawsuit.
OR contempt of court.

"APCP explosives mixtures"
"ONLY un regulated BP motors" (what BP motors are regulated?)

Ben

#### cwbullet

##### Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
Global Mod
I still do not understand why Estes motors which contain black powder are not regulated. I do not want to encourage this, but why are they exempt?

#### UhClem

##### Well-Known Member
I still do not understand why Estes motors which contain black powder are not regulated. I do not want to encourage this, but why are they exempt?
27 CFR 555.141(a)(10)

Model rocket motors that meet all of the following criteria--
(i) Consist of ammonium perchlorate composite propellant, black
powder, or other similar low explosives;
(ii) Contain no more than 62.5 grams of total propellant weight; and
(iii) Are designed as single-use motors or as reload kits capable of
reloading no more than 62.5 grams of propellant into a reusable motor
casing.

#### RandyT0001

##### Well-Known Member
I smell another lawsuit.
Good luck on getting BP taken off the list. The ATF has hundreds of examples where BP is used to make pipe bombs and bomb ignitors/detonators to present as evidence to a federal judge in order not to vacate BP from the explosives list.

OR contempt of court.
I don't think they are in contempt of court. They are exerting their authority to regulate black powder. If the high power APCP rocket motors do not include a BP ejection charge they are not regulated. If they do include a BP charge then they are still going to be regulated since the BP is not for use in antique firearms and /or devices (cannon) in historical re-enactments or hunting per Section 555.141 (b) "...if the black powder is intended to be used solely for sporting, recreational, or cultural purposes in antique firearms, as defined in 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(16) or antique devices, ...". What the motor manufacturers need to do is find a substitute to the BP ejection charges in their motors and reload kits. Until that happens maintain your LEUP and magazine. It would be better (and probably cheaper in the long term) to spend the money on a substitute for BP in HPR motors and reloads than filing another lawsuit. (IIRC there is already a non-BP alternative that uses compressed CO2 but it is patented. Maybe the patent owner could release that patent so the motor manufacturers can use it or make it very cheap to license (like $25 per manufacturer) so that HP can quickly get out from under federal ATF oversight and regulations.) #### ben_ullman ##### Well-Known Member what happened to TWrackers post? Ben #### BsSmith ##### Well-Known Member Really? The exaust from a rocket motor could probably do more damage than the best bomb you could make out of the BP supplied with a reload. Why regulate it? I guess this is the end of motor deploy and the beginning of electronic deploy. #### AKPilot ##### Well-Known Member what happened to TWrackers post? Ben It looks as if he deleted his own post, from the edit message. #### deandome ##### Well-Known Member Pyrodex? #### powderburner ##### Well-Known Member Pyrodex is a black powder cousin, with a slightly altered formula. It supposed to burn (in firearms) without generating all the nasty corrosive by-products. Strictly speaking (and that's the only way a lawyer or bureaucrat will make an official statement), anything containing potassium nitrate (either by itself or mixed with literally anything) is on the federal list of explosives. Pyrodex has potassium nitrate in it. Pyrodex is unregulated for use in firearms because of our "sister NAR" organization (the NRA) but for any other use (like rocketry) Pyrodex becomes re-classified as an explosive again. This is the same trick by which the government has started picking on sugar motors now. They have potassium nitrate in them, too. What I love about this situation is the bizarre fact that I could theoretically hold an infinite quantity of Estes BP motors without any LEUP, storage locker, or anything else, but I may not hold one single gram of commercially-made loose BP if I want to use it for a model rocket ejection charge (at least, not without the LEUP, storage locker, etc.). Does it make sense to any of you? I have to wonder what loophole is used to sell those stump-removal products over the counter, seemingly without any requirement to store yard-maintenance products in an explosives locker, or without any requirement to file for a LEUP to clean up the yard. Those stump-removal products are mostly KNO3, not really pure enough to make black powder worth a hoot, but still solidly on the federal list of explosives. Also, from what has been explained to me by a legal professional, the afore-mentioned laws pertaining to black powder apply only to commercial aspects of BP manufacture and use. Unless all those other laws have also changed, it is completely legal to make your own BP and use it, without holding a LEUP or LEMP, and apparently without any restriction on quantities. So the ATF letter seems incorrectly worded as regards black powder, as though they are trying to intimidate us to not even try. You should do your own check into the murky legal conditions to satisfy yourself before you try to push anything. Last edited: #### cwbullet ##### Obsessed with Rocketry Staff member Administrator TRF Lifetime Supporter Global Mod I can buy a 50 lb bag of black powder to shoot cannons and not be regulated, but as soon as I put 1 gm in a rocket -> regulated. This makes sense? #### MysticalRockets ##### Well-Known Member I can buy a 50 lb bag of black powder to shoot cannons and not be regulated, but as soon as I put 1 gm in a rocket -> regulated. This makes sense? Yeah, I smell another lawsuit in the making. #### deandome ##### Well-Known Member There really is a legal issue re. lack of enforcement. You can't allow something to go unchecked for decades & then just say "NOW we're gonna care". And iffen anyone had the desire/time/money to push this, I believe one could argue that the very concept of "usage" could/should be irrelevant when it comes to purchase & possession of dangerous materials. If safety & security is the goal...and clearly it is...I think a big legal effort could force them to EVERYONE to get a LEUP to get BP, or let everyone get it willy-nilly. Do you need a LEUP to buy diesel fuel & fertilizer? Yeah, I smell another lawsuit in the making. #### RangerStl ##### Well-Known Member There really is a legal issue re. lack of enforcement. You can't allow something to go unchecked for decades & then just say "NOW we're gonna care". Actually, the Federal Government is quite adept at doing just that. Who's gonna make them stop? N #### cwbullet ##### Obsessed with Rocketry Staff member Administrator TRF Lifetime Supporter Global Mod I know what you can do with it. I know it can expload, but would terrorists be more likely to act like rocketeers or muzzel loader owners? I do not know, but I am tired of them treating 2 groups differently based on the NRA and its lobby. #### bobkrech ##### Well-Known Member ....It would be better (and probably cheaper in the long term) to spend the money on a substitute for BP in HPR motors and reloads than filing another lawsuit. (IIRC there is already a non-BP alternative that uses compressed CO2 but it is patented. Maybe the patent owner could release that patent so the motor manufacturers can use it or make it very cheap to license (like$25 per manufacturer) so that HP can quickly get out from under federal ATF oversight and regulations.)
Randy

The Rousetech CD-3 CO2 ejection system requires an e-match and BP or Pyrodex(R), and it is heavy and expensive compared with BP or Pyrodex(R). It is not a workaround.

Bob

#### cwbullet

##### Obsessed with Rocketry
Staff member
Global Mod
Necessity - maybe we need to fin another way to do it.

#### quickburst

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I still do not understand why Estes motors which contain black powder are not regulated. I do not want to encourage this, but why are they exempt?

They are not exempt. The ATF chooses to ignore them, probably because they are less than 62.5 grams.

#### TWRackers

##### Well-Known Member
what happened to TWrackers post?

Ben

I realized the basic premise of my post was wrong: I missed the distinction between AP and APCP. When I saw the reference in the letter to motors containing APCP only, I read that as "AP only" and thought to myself, "Myself, NO motor only has AP in it, that's just the oxidizer. Are they trying to pull a fast one?"

Then I realized my mistake, making my entire post moot. Rather than editing it, I saw a "Delete" button at the bottom, so I just killed it myself.

#### ben_ullman

##### Well-Known Member

I realized the basic premise of my post was wrong: I missed the distinction between AP and APCP. When I saw the reference in the letter to motors containing APCP only, I read that as "AP only" and thought to myself, "Myself, NO motor only has AP in it, that's just the oxidizer. Are they trying to pull a fast one?"

Then I realized my mistake, making my entire post moot. Rather than editing it, I saw a "Delete" button at the bottom, so I just killed it myself.
hehe funny, I was in the middle of quoting you and pretty much helping you understand just that Then I got this "post does not exist" thing and refreshed and it vanished

Ben

#### TWRackers

##### Well-Known Member
hehe funny, I was in the middle of quoting you and pretty much helping you understand just that Then I got this "post does not exist" thing and refreshed and it vanished

Ben
Yep. And I just saw the new "Harry Potter" movie yesterday, and have learned a few new ways to vanish stuff. :eyepop:

By the way, you can get your own wands at http://www.alivans.com . I've been to their facility in Panama City, Florida. Nice place, cool stuff.

Last edited:

#### falingtrea

##### Well-Known Member
Anyone want to design an APCP "gas generator" to replace the black powder ejection charge?? Then you would have a APCP only motor for sure. :2:

#### r1dermon

##### Well-Known Member
Pyrodex is a black powder cousin, with a slightly altered formula. It supposed to burn (in firearms) without generating all the nasty corrosive by-products.

Strictly speaking (and that's the only way a lawyer or bureaucrat will make an official statement), anything containing potassium nitrate (either by itself or mixed with literally anything) is on the federal list of explosives. Pyrodex has potassium nitrate in it. Pyrodex is unregulated for use in firearms because of our "sister NAR" organization (the NRA) but for any other use (like rocketry) Pyrodex becomes re-classified as an explosive again.

This is the same trick by which the government has started picking on sugar motors now. They have potassium nitrate in them, too.

What I love about this situation is the bizarre fact that I could theoretically hold an infinite quantity of Estes BP motors without any LEUP, storage locker, or anything else, but I may not hold one single gram of commercially-made loose BP if I want to use it for a model rocket ejection charge (at least, not without the LEUP, storage locker, etc.). Does it make sense to any of you?

I have to wonder what loophole is used to sell those stump-removal products over the counter, seemingly without any requirement to store yard-maintenance products in an explosives locker, or without any requirement to file for a LEUP to clean up the yard. Those stump-removal products are mostly KNO3, not really pure enough to make black powder worth a hoot, but still solidly on the federal list of explosives.

Also, from what has been explained to me by a legal professional, the afore-mentioned laws pertaining to black powder apply only to commercial aspects of BP manufacture and use. Unless all those other laws have also changed, it is completely legal to make your own BP and use it, without holding a LEUP or LEMP, and apparently without any restriction on quantities. So the ATF letter seems incorrectly worded as regards black powder, as though they are trying to intimidate us to not even try. You should do your own check into the murky legal conditions to satisfy yourself before you try to push anything.
You need a manufacturers license for KNO3 now, in quantities larger than 1lb per year. Also, you can manufacture your bp, but you cannot remove it from your property, if that is your intent, you need a licensee with hazmat endorsed cdl to take it, and you cannot accept any payment. Once you accept payment, it's considered commerce and the fines go from minimal to astronomical.

##### Roger Smith
They are not exempt. The ATF chooses to ignore them, probably because they are less than 62.5 grams.
Model rocket motors are specifically exempted from BATF regulation. See 27 CFR 555.141:

§ 555.141 Exemptions.
(a) * * *

(10) Model rocket motors that meet all of the following criteria

(i) Consist of ammonium perchlorate composite propellant, black powder, or other similar low explosives;

(ii) Contain no more than 62.5 grams of total propellant weight; and

(iii) Are designed as single-use motors or as reload kits capable of reloading no more than 62.5 grams of propellant into a reusable motor casing.

-- Roger

#### ben_ullman

##### Well-Known Member
You need a manufacturers license for KNO3 now, in quantities larger than 1lb per year.
Really? Looks like I better start making stuff!!

Ben