Gerb - Nitrate Golden Falls


Name: Nitrate Golden Falls
Source: Alan Yates


percent parts component
48.45% 47 Aluminium (-80+325 mesh, granular)
38.14% 37 Potassium Nitrate
9.28% 9 Sulfur
4.12% 4 Dextrin

Required Mass


Ball mill all but the Aluminium briefly to mix well, then screen in the metal.

You can use more coarse Aluminium if you find the sparks don't make it all the way to the ground, try replacing about 20 parts of the granular Aluminium with firefly style flitters.

For large batches use boric acid dissolved in the moistening water (best), or add 1 part boric acid. This will prevent any nitrate/Al reaction.


This composition is just a slight modification to Shimizu's Golden Wave #2 so I take no credit for it.

I usually omit the dextrin and moisten the composition with spray laundry starch. You can use any other binder you wish, it is not at all critical.

The composition should be pressed damp into thin dry-rolled lance casings, A full sheet of A4 copy paper makes an excellent lance. A 19 mm ID tube makes a very spectacular device, 30 mm or larger are positively scary and make a fantastic ground display, but the composition will still burn reliably down to 5 mm. Dry time is several weeks with larger devices. Allow at least 5 days no matter what the size.

A very hot first fire is required to ignite the composition. An ID deep of an 4:1 mixture of composition to meal may be used, followed with about half an ID of meal, slurry primed. This can sometimes fail to ignite properly, especially with more coarse Aluminium. A more aggressive step priming with 3 or more steps will help, but it annoying to mix up and apply so many prime layers.

A better first fire is any organic perchlorate colour composition with about 10% fine aluminium added, followed by a slurry prime. This makes a transition effect from a pretty average looking dribble of sparks coming from a coloured flame to a waterfall of golden fire. I often use my Gold Driver composition which burns plenty hot for the job and takes fire itself from just meal slurry priming.