3526 People Told Why They Can’t Make Fireworks

November 14, 2010 by · 23 Comments
Filed under: Turbo Pyro 

If you have a problem making fireworks, find out how you can overcome each of those problems yourself.

Yesterday we asked folks to take a survey on why they were NOT making their own fireworks.

The most important question was this:

Please tell us the main reason you are not making fireworks at this time.

Here’s what they told us.

Notice that the two most important problems were — No Storage Magazine, and Lack of Knowledge.

The really good news is that most, if not all, of those problems can be solved. And an exciting product from Skylighter called Turbo Pyro can help you do just that.

First, here’s good news about the list of fireworks-making problems:

No Manufacturing License: Did you know that it is completely legal federally to make all the fireworks you want for your own, personal use? Well the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) says you can. Sign up below and download a copy of the letter from the ATF which gives you permission to make your own fireworks without a federal license.

No Fireworks Storage Magazine: We’ll show you how you can quickly and inexpensively make a magazine that meets all BATFE regulations.

Lack Fireworks Making Knowledge: This used to be one of the hardest, longest, and most expensive hurdles to overcome. This is where Turbo Pyro comes in, and fast! We’ll show you how to compress a year of learning into just two days.

Can’t Test Fireworks: When you make fireworks, you need to be able to fire and test them. This may be less of a problem than you thought. Can you already shoot consumer fireworks on your property? If so, that’s good news for you. Stay tuned.

No Legal Facility to Make Fireworks: Here’s a…ahhhh…my “dirty” little secret– my BATF-approved (honest!) manufacturing facility.

Yep, an old picnic table. In my yard, behind my house. Scarred and burnt. We’ll show you how to easily, simply, and inexpensively comply with BATF regs pertaining to fireworks manufacturing.

Legal Danger and Risk? Well sometimes it’s real. Sometimes it is not. You’ll learn how to figure out what your actual risks are. And guess what? The “man” is not out to git you. And try this on for size: you can not only get yourself legal. But you can actually have law enforcement agencies coming to you for advice and help in fireworks matters.

High Start-Up Costs: It is easy to spend $1,000 – $1,500 just to get started making fireworks. But next week, I’m going to show you how you can learn to make all the major types of fireworks for less than $200. Sign up below to find out how.

Not Enough Time: Suppose you could whack your learning curve from a year or more to 2 days? Would you believe that you can make 90 fireworks, from scratch, in 2 days? If you sign up below, Turbo Pyro will show you exactly how–next week.

Physical Danger/Risk: This is real. It is a part of the process of making and handling pyrotechnics. And it’s largely up to you. You’ll get first hand information shortly from several of the world’s top fireworks makers on how to manufacture and use fireworks and survive. If you have never made fireworks before, you definitely need to know what you’re getting into before you start.

Legalities of Making Fireworks Where You Live: In some places it’s legal. In others, it’s not. Either way, you need to know, before you start making fireworks. You’ll get tips on how to find out exactly what’s legal in your area.

So, here’s what happens next.

I am putting together a series of letters that’ll go out to you during the next week or so. Those letters will address many of the concerns above. Along with some incredible free information coming your way, just for the asking.

It will take about a week to get it all written and out to you. So, I’m going to send it out piecemeal, as soon as I get each chunk written.

I promise you that you are going to be absolutely tickled pink by what you see.

If you’re not, then unsubscribe or send me some hate mail!

So what is all this really about? What is Gilliam up to this time?

Simple, we will be making 50 sets of a product called Turbo Pyro right before Thanksgiving.

My objective with Turbo Pyro is to open up fireworks making to all those people who have really wanted to start, but couldn’t, for various reasons.

I want to enable as many people as possible to begin to successfully, safely, inexpensively, and legally begin to make fireworks within two days of getting Turbo Pyro into their hot little hands.

More than 1100 people have gotten Turbo Pyro so far. Here’s what one of them said about it:

“THE perfect starting point for the wannabe pyro, whether young or adult… good fun and educational, simple to follow and…without a huge expense for people who just want to get their feet wet for the first time. Great fun.”

The reviews from Turbo Pyro customers have been fantastic. We have never had another product which has been so enthusiastically received.

[Turbo Pyro] is exactly what I was looking for. The projects were easy to follow and fun to put together. Before I talked to you about this I had been on the fence about getting involved with pyro. I am definitely hooked and cannot wait to take these projects to the next level and make bigger ones!!! (Maybe there will be an intermediate Turbo Pyro???)!!!!!!! I would definitely recommend this kit to anyone wanting to learn more about building fireworks.

Thanks again Harry! Jason Chopick…..PGI’s newest member!!

Sign Up below to get on the Early Bird list. Everybody on the Early Bird list will get first crack at the Turbo Pyro kits, ahead of everybody else. I believe that there will only be 50 or so kits completed this time. (We have to get the Turbo Pyro combo tool sets custom machined for us.)

And be sure and download the letter from the ATF which confirms it’s Federally legal for you to make your own fireworks. It’s free and you should keep a copy of it in your files. Your name will automatically be added to the Early Bird list for Turbo Pyro.

Download the ATF letter PDF

Double Check your email for accuracy to ensure you receive access to the free PDF. Our privacy policy keeps your email safe and secure. We will never sell, rent, give, or divulge your email information to ANYONE.

Enter your email for FREE access

Please comment below. What are your questions and concerns about making fireworks?

Harry Gilliam


23 Responses to “3526 People Told Why They Can’t Make Fireworks”
  1. acelightning says:

    My biggest concern is the cost. Even $200 is beyond my budget now – and I know I’d want to buy more supplies and make more fireworks after I’d gone through that $200.

    Furthermore, I rent the place I live in. I have no back yard and no workshop space – not even room for a magazine.

    I keep reading the newsletters and articles, though, and *someday* I hope I’ll be able to make pretty colored lights in the sky!

  2. In the Military I ran Ammunition Points and was an ammo and explosive expert (very long ago). I have made some small fireworks (mainly report) with flash powder, as well as other things. I love the idea of also making smoke etc as well as your typical fireworks, but in the past I did them for simulation because I’m part of the tactical community.

    well, it’s been a few years since I made anything at all (much of that was just not knowing the laws well enough, as well as not having a commercial firework background, so for normal fireworks I’m a bit lost.

    I really would love to start making fireworks because as a disabled vet I have a lot of time on my hands, but the real problem is funds (Army disability provids you with about 75% of what you need to survive and nothing more).

    If I’m ever able to get a kit etc I would try to do a video review on it (thats basically what I do now) to comment on the kit to my 3,000 video subscribers to see if they have the same interests. who knows, it may start a good following in the tactical community.


  3. Bryan says:

    Do you have any resources for Canadians looking to get into this as a hobby? Lists of suppliers that ship required materials to canada etc.



  4. Bill Johnson says:

    The first question that needs to be answered is….is it legal to make fireworks, test them and then shoot them off for fun where I live!! El Cajon California…92021 thanks….Bill

  5. Lars Wallin says:

    It is exciting to have the oppertunity for a qick start. Although it can be very dangerous. I am sure that your starter kit will probably not inclued chemicals without the proper information, with regards to safety.

    Myself I think it is best to learn all of the safety aspects involved first. I have been learing about rockts for over 1/2 year, and just before opening your survey result email, received a email from a friend about a fellow who was killed on his front lawn, testing rocket fuel. It took place kind of close to home in Pennsylvania. Article title “Off-Duty Fire Fighter Killed in Chester County Explosion | NBC Philadelphia?”

    Sounds like the 22yr old man was very knowledgable with a degree in chemistry as well as taking part of a fire house.

    There was no detals about what kind of mix he was testing, weather conditions, what sparked the explosion, etc. RIP to the young pyro tech..


  6. David Emond says:

    Good Morning: I have the Turbo Pyro kit and love it. I got a Job Box “RIDGID” from Home Depot. I have done everything as instructed but can’t find the required 5 pin pad locks to fit my Lob Box. I got the small box as I am limited for space and I think the locks are 1 1/2″ Shackel locks. Any ideas? Keep up the GREAT Work. David

  7. chris says:

    @David Emond,

    Master #5 2″ shackle, Americam 700 series long shackle, Medeco 6 pin 2″, Abloy 2″, MultiLock 2″ shackle –the last ones are hi security and ca be pricey. Check on line. Master/American available at any large hardware outlet.

    if the shackle won’t fit thru the loop, try adding on an American 1 or 2 jointed hasp.

    From 30 years as a locksmith,

  8. william says:

    there is a clause that you can have the magazine in a residence, as long as it is in a seperate room of the house as long as there is a fireproof door, or wall that seperates the room with magazine in it from the rest of the house, even though the room is attached to the residence. Or did i read it wrong, because if i did i’m in trouble, because that is how my 30ft by 30ft magaine is. infirmation came from atf we site under magazines and storage of.

  9. John says:

    One consistent thing about information and/or government is there is no consistency! After browsing Nebraska state law, there is nothing to support ATF recommendations on any thing relative to users and hobbyists as far pyrotechnics. All information relates to retailers and sellers of large amounts of fireworks. I can imagine the financial resaon for safety..it’s called profit and while I doubt most people would rather not break the law…it would be nice to see it in hardcopy print.

  10. Jim says:

    I have read the atf letter and still have a bit of scepticism with this letter being before 9/11/2001 and will having this on file keep one from getting arrested if the local yocals don’t want to hear it? Is the law still the same in this aspect? Any idea of Ohio’s law on this? Please respond and inform me.

  11. William says:

    I think we live in different times, I recently had a visit from the “FBI” because apparently I was considered a threat or possible terrorist, all because I inquired about minimum order requirements pertaining to ammonium nitrate commonly used in exploding targets and thought about making my own since they are very expensive to buy, they are sold on ebay even the AN but maybe since they don’t refer to the AN which they sell by itself on ebay as ammonium nitrate rather they call it the active ingredient mix might stop them from being flagged or interviewed by our paraniod “FBI”. They even read all my email for 3 months before the surprise house visit without any prior reasonable cause other than suspicion alone and one previous visit by cops for noise (fireworks) not even mine!. Reason on letter after visit was unlicensed/unregistered illegal distructive device!? which was 2 liter soda bottles filled with compressed air, can’t imagine what kind of trouble I would be in had it been explosive powders, probably would be in jail (Guantanamo). So I find it rather hard to believe one can actually make any explosive device without being stereotyped as a unibomber, or harrased by our law enforcement officials. But I guess they have the right to do whatever they want since the Patriot Act was signed. But I don’t want to give them any more reasons to violate my privacy because I simply love the smell of smoke. If this Turbo Pyro was all true I would deffinetly want a legal document of some kind from the BATF or Federal Government stating that making fireworks is ok in my state and testing them out here in the country is also ok. I would be sold in a heart beat then. also that ATF letter posted is 15 years old a lot has changed since then, and Federal doesn’t govern the enforcement of State laws which I probably live in one of the most paraniod states possible and thats Florida. The above is absolutely true and I have NO prior criminal record ever, I even have a clean driving record, but like I said we live in different times and would love to buy Turbo Pyro but until there is more concrete documentation covering my butt, I will stick to popping balloons and hope those don’t get banned anytime soon.

  12. Bryan,

    Sorry, but we don’t. We can’t get shippers to take this stuff into Canuckland.


  13. Lars,

    Nobody knows what he was making. And it may never be discovered. But I can tell you this: it would be difficult to impossible to kill yourself using the materials included in Turbo Pyro.

    They were designed with safety in mind. They are “low” explosives. The amount of fireworks composition is kept small. The sizes of the individual devices is kept small–very close to the size of consumer fireworks in many cases.

    And if you follow the instructions closely, your risk will be relatively low.

    Now, all that being said. This is making fireworks. Things that explosive. Do not undertake it if you can’t get comfortable with the idea of handling explosive materials. It is not for everyone. And certainly, do not undertake this if your local or state laws prohibit it.


  14. William,

    I am not sure what the answer to your question is. But personally, I absolutely, positively would never store homemade fireworks in my house, inside a magazine or not. In the event of a fire, the magazine could explode, causing even more damage than the fire.


  15. John,

    Nebraska law has nothing to do with ATF.

    Exactly what would you like tosee in hardcopy print?


  16. Jim,

    This is established ATF policy that has not changed since 9/11.

    The letter is the most recent one I know of from ATF. However, any ATF inspector will confirm this, if you ask. In fact, when and if you apply for an ATF explosives manufacturing license now, the agents will attempt to convince you NOT to; they’ll explain to you that you do not need a license to manufacture fireworks for your own use. This is so consistent now, that I suspect it is ATF policy and training for all Inspectors who must interview prospective licensees.


  17. William,

    Since Ammonium Nitrate was used in the Oklahoma City bombing, it has been under increasing scrutiny by government agencies. It is not generally used in fireworks, and that’s probably one of the reasons we are still able to get and sell the other oxidizers commonly used in fireworks (potassium nitrate, potassium perchlorate, strontium nitrate, etc.).

    I am not surprised that it created a “red flag.” Though it is unfortunate you were targeted. I am not hearing such stories from people making fireworks. In my experience Federal agencies know the difference between fireworks and other explosives. Fireworkers tend to be left alone, as long as they do not cause problems or have an accident.

    Just for your information, I estimate that there are between 35 and 50,000 fireworks making hobbyists in the US. The agencies are aware of this. And since ATF explicitly permits this activity, Federal agencies are not “looking” for fireworkers to bust.

    If they were, it would be incredibly simple for them to do. But they do not. We should all thank our lucky stars that we live in what may be the one country in the world where we can make our own fireworks.

    Finally, do not confuse Federal regulatory agencies with your state agencies. What is legal Federally may or may not be legal to do under your state laws. Unfortunately, you will have to check out your own state and local laws to figure out what’s legal where you live.

    Keep in mind that making fireworks will be covered by one regulation/law, and that shooting them by another. I can tell you that Florida has probably the most active fireworks club in the country consisting of a several hundred expert fireworks makers. The ATF attends at least one club meeting a year, and the state and local officials are all aware of what the club and its members are doing.


  18. William says:

    Thanks Harry that was very informative, I think you are absolutely correct with that oxidizer not being used in fireworks might have been the key factor, I will check my local laws and requirements before ordering just to make sure I don’t have any hurdles to keep legal. again thanks for your advice and good information.


  19. Justin Case says:

    I already have more chemicals and tubes that I need to make small mortar shells than I could possible need, manly just flying fish fuses in different colors and reports with black powder. My main problem has been timing the shell fuse to trigger the shell at the top of it’s straight up flight. I’m using standard green underwater fuse. My first shell had a fuse to long and the shell landed before going off. A too short fuse was more like a head high ignition. And I can’t set off a bunch at once without attracting too much attention, although there are those holidays that give me a little ‘cover’. So it is a balance between the launch charge, the shell weight, and the trigger fuse length. Is there any way to measure these to get them right the first time or is it just trial and, um, error? I have been making half inch shells and I want them to go off about 100 feet up. I suppose I could make shells with baking powder for weight and time them during the day, when I can see the shell and a clock, but that burns up the launch tubes and shell casings. I have plenty of black powder. And it leaves burnt paper all over to blow down the street. I already know it would he frowned upon to get too much attention. Flash powder is nice but way too dangerous to store and too loud for my street.

    Just a side note, all my neighbors have replaced their wood shingle roof with more fire proof materials and they have no problem with a few illegal things blowing up in the air or fountains on the ground, but a production line with a big setup and display is out of the question before some wife gets on the phone. I am stuck with the small but glittery stuff and it is fun to watch as long as the local cars paint remains intact. When my black powder cannon goes off, the show is over and I keep a low profile because it is so loud, several car alarms go off and that is a bit irritating to the neighbors.

  20. John says:

    Mostly, that as a hobbyist, I am within the law…that if required, I have appropriate permit(s), that if there are ATF requirements I have complied. I’m still pretty much small scale and have not made much more than 100-500 grams of any type of BP. Pretty small peanuts. Cautious and responsible go hand in hand. John,

  21. Justin,

    Looks like you are actually well on your way to getting your questions answered–by doing the right kind of testing. Yes, daylighte testing your shell lift using a dummy shell is exactly the right way to get your fuse timing correct. Sure, you will be using up supplies. That’s the only way you can make fireworks. The most important thing to do is keep good notes. Record your experiments–what worked, what did not, amounts, fuse lengths, shell size, weight, etc.

    Our fireworks making projects are designed so that most of the trial and error has been done for you already. What you are describing is the way it looks when you don’t have a pre-designed project for you.

    My final suggestion is that you not do your testing in your neighborhood and at your house.


  22. Bill,

    You will need to check El Cajo and Calfornia laws and regs pertaining to making and testing and shooting fireworks to know. There is no known national database of this info.


  23. John says:

    Most of what I’ve tried to find about fireworks laws in Nebraska is based strictly on retail sales and storage of fireworks and commercial stuff. There is no mention of it as a hobby, permits or licensure. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place?

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