Notes on Coated Rice Hulls

WARNING AND DISCLAIMER:  If you are underage, then consult with your parents or guardians before attempting any of this.  You are on your own - I'm not responsible for your actions or harm you may bring to others because of your actions.  Making the items described below  can result in injury or death to you or people in your vicinity. Some things mentioned here may be illegal to make in your city, county, state, or country so check the laws that apply to you before you attempt anything described here. These notes are not complete on purpose. If you are reading them and new to pyrotechnics, then you are making a mistake. Stop now - this page is not for you. Get a beginning book on fireworks (see Skylighter or American Fireworks News (very quick shipping)  for a start) and read up. You can't make any of this work without more information so read up or join a club or ask someone to help you.

Caution: Rice Hulls are very energetic - much more energetic than commercial BP.  Handle them with care and do not store large quantities.

This is a note on making BP coated rice hulls.  Coated rice hulls are used as burst for many types of shells.  The hulls are coated with BP and binder and the result is a strong, lightweight, and very fast burning burst powder. Rice hulls can be augmented with flash, slow flash, whistle or just used alone. This page shows how to make about 120 grams of coated rice hulls which is enough for a couple of small 2 or 3 inch shells.  You can increase the amount to a couple of pounds and still use this technique. Make a small batch for your first try so you see how it all works.  The biggest problem with making a large batch is clumping and/or getting the moisture right. 

This page show making hulls that are 7:1. That is, there are 7 parts BP to one part rice hulls.  You can make them lighter than that - I have had good success with 5.5:1. 

You can get rice hulls from home brewery shops, from pyro suppliers or as part of group buys if you are in a club. They are reasonably cheap.  A few pounds are quite bulky and will last a long time.


Measure out 15 grams of rice hulls

Put them in a baggie 
Add some water to the baggie. Make sure all the
hulls are wet. Let the baggie set for 10 or 15 minutes
Snip a corner of the baggie
Drain off the excess water. Squeeze it out. Put in a
NEW baggie with no holes (important).
Add 5 grams of SGRS or Dextrin to every 100 grams
of good BP powder or Meal D. This batch uses105 grams
of BP. You need the binder to keep the BP on the hulls and
make the finished product sturdy and less dusty.
Mix up the binder and BP and then pop it into the
baggie with the damp rice hulls. 105 grams of BP and
15 grams of hulls makes approximately 7:1 BP on
hulls but you can get by with as little as 5.5 to 1 or
even a bit less.
Knead things until all the hulls have taken on BP
Pour out into a tray.
These hulls were still dusty so some water was spritzed
onto them and they were mixed until all the dust was
taken up
You can see by comparing this photo with the previous one
that the hulls now have most of the BP stuck to them
Dry thoroughly.  If you don't have a drying box then
just let them set out for a couple of days.


When dry, store your hulls in an airtight container and
keep in a safe storage. Rice hulls are very fast burning
so be careful.