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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This list was published this week by the ATF. Nothing was changed from the 2019 list:


It lists all ATF recognized explosives. It includes "smokeless powder" even though it's a fast burning propellent and NOT an explosive. It doesn't detonate.

This text proceeds the list:

". Subject to limited exceptions in 18 U.S.C. 845 and 27 CFR 555.141, only Federal explosives licensees and permittees may possess and use explosive materials, including those on the annual list. "

We need to keep an eye on the US Code and ATF regulations as the next terms of the President and congress play out. Nothing in the Second Amendment is specific about ammunition needed for usable firearms.

Right now, 18 U.S.C. 845 states:

(a)Except in the case of subsection (l), (m), (n), or (o) of section 842 and subsections (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), and (i) of section 844 of this title, this chapter shall not apply to:
...

(4)
small arms ammunition and components thereof;
(5)
commercially manufactured black powder in quantities not to exceed fifty pounds, percussion caps, safety and pyrotechnic fuses, quills, quick and slow matches, and friction primers, intended to be used solely for sporting, recreational, or cultural purposes in antique firearms as defined in section 921(a)(16) of title 18 of the United States Code, or in antique devices as exempted from the term “destructive device” in section 921(a)(4) of title 18 of the United States Code;

and

The rules in ATF regulation 27 CFR 555.141 state:

§ 555.141 Exemptions.
(a) General. Except for the provisions of §§ 555.180 and 555.181, this part does not apply to:

(4) Small arms ammunition and components of small arms ammunition.

(b) Black powder. Except for the provisions applicable to persons required to be licensed under subpart D, this part does not apply with respect to commercially manufactured black powder in quantities not to exceed 50 pounds, percussion caps, safety and pyrotechnic fuses, quills, quick and slow matches, and friction primers, 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, as exempted from the term “destructive devices” in 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(4).
 
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50 pounds.... I could be in trouble. Is that cumulatively ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
50 pounds of black powder (not smokeless powder). That's the statutory and rules based limit of possession.

Black powder detonates, and is an explosive. Smokeless powder doesn't detonate, is a fast burning propellent, but is still on the ATF list without specifics about amounts you possess.

Like all the firearms related laws I've encountered, they reflect a rabbit's warren of cross references to other laws - many of which may be more limiting, or conflicting. By the time you need to know the details, it's "Surprise, Surprise!!!" in the words of Gomer Pyle...
 

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Smokeless powder is a flammable solid, not an explosive - black powder is an explosive.
 
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