Chemistry in firing a weapon

By : Austin Weis

1. Reactions invovled

One of the biggest reactions in weapon is the reaction between the spark and the gunpowder in the shell of a gun, which creates a huge amount of gas that pushes the bullet out of the barrel at high speeds.

2. Where do we find the reactants

To find the reactant you first have to combine sulfur, charcoal, and potassium nitrate. The sulfur is a very common chemical and can be bought online. The charcoal can be bought almost anywhere. Potassium nitrate can be found in fireworks, rockets, and fertilizers.

3. What happens to the product/byproducts

What happens to the byproducts of gunpowder, is when it ignites it is all shot out of the end of the barrel and dissipates into the air and ground. Which creates pollution.

4. Enviormental impacts

Gunpowder is bad for the environment just as a car is. When you shoot it launches the gunpowder gasses into the air which causes pollution. Some of the chemicals released into the air are sulfer, potassium carbonate, and nitrogen.

5. Endo- or Exothermic

The are both endo and exothermic. To ignite the gunpowder there has to be a spark to set it off. After it ignites it creates a huge amount of heated gas which shoots out the end of the barrel.

6. Who is affected by this Chemistry

Almost anyone is affected or can be affected. When the gunpowder ignites so many harmful chemicals are released into the air, that we breath almost every second.

7. How important is the Chemistry

There is a huge importance in the chemistry of firing a weapon, without the reactions of the chemicals nothing would happen. Which means there would be no hunting, which would lead to overpopulation of animals.

8. Fun Facts

Gunpowder was first produced by the Chinese.

In America, there are approximately 270 million firearms possessed by civilians, and only 897,000 carried by police.

Close to 33,000 Americans were victims of gun-related deaths in 2011

In the first 11 months of 2012, the federal government performed 16.8 million background checks on legal gun purchases, which was a record high since the system was founded back in 1998.

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