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The C-4 that I worked with in the Navy came in 'socks' - two blocks of C-4 connected by det cord. It's stable until you use a military blasting cap and then the pressure of the cap's detonation caused the shattering capability or brisance (detonation pressure) of the C-4 to move in a direction based on the shape that it's molded to or that the cap sends it (25,000 feet per second). That shattering effect blasts steel, concrete, pretty much anything, into small pieces as they start to move at that same speed.In the Navy, we spent a lot of time at San Clemente Island, setting up demo trains because you want all of the explosive to detonate at the same time. This was accomplished by using det cord and knots that connected the det cord - cherry knots, sliding cherry knots, quad knots, etc.
I never kept any on hand long enough to find out! Makes things go Boom pretty well. We would set up dual firing systems to ensure a good shot when working on large "projects". The dark plastic wrapper could be removed and the explosive formed into all kinds of shapes.
Slice off a chunk and it makes a hot fire to cook over.
Has a Lot# and manufacturing date, but no "Explodes best by:" date on it.
One way to test the C-4's viability is to pinch off a small piece and light it on fire. Then, hit it with a hammer and Bob's your uncle......
If memory serves, and it does most of the time, commercial dynamite is actually Fuller's earth (a porous clay) and nitroglycerin - wrapped in a paper tube. Over time, the liquid nitro will settle to the bottom of the clay tube. The solution is to turn it over from time to time - so that it settle in the other direction. Pretty much keeping it somewhat homogenized. C-4 is a complete package. It's all Boom Boom stuff. Nothing to settle.
Dynamite. See Sorcerer 1977 Roy Scheider to see what unstable dynamite is like. Especially the scene where one guy puts his hand into a box of old dynamite only to pull it out covered in liquid nitroglycerin.
There is not a problem in the world that cannot be solved by a suitable (underlined) application of high explosives. You're welcome.
we trained on "how to blow up an AWAC aircraft" to keep it out of the bad guys hands. as simple as a one pound block against the MLG wheel well forward bulkhead and a sixty second delay cap. very effective with the center fuel tank with a ramp load in it. the result would be molten metal cooling on the ramp and a billion or so dollars up in smoke. better be a good reason to destroy one. enjoyable training.