Pyro Universe FAQ

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 What are the firework laws in my state?

State fireworks laws usually fall into one of four general categories.  Futhermore, individual states may not allow certain devices for whatever reason.

 What are the firework laws in my town?

Folks, there are tens of thousands of towns in the United States alone.  I know the specific laws for only one – mine.  If you want to find out, contact either your city clerk or fire marshal and ask them for information.  In most cases, towns have a printed information packet stating all local fireworks ordinances, including what can be bought/sold and when.

 Will you send me fireworks or free fireworks samples?

No.  Pyro Universe is not a firework manufacturing, display, or distributing company.  I made this site just to share information about pyrotechnics with other enthusiasts.

 Can I use PVC pipe for aerial shells?

No. PVC is an incredibly brittle material. If, for some reason, a shell fails to leave the tube (loaded improperly, gets stuck, etc.) the burst charge will shatter the tube into shrapnel. This goes with any size shell. If HDPE is used, however, a shell malfunction would only shred the tube into long, harmless plastic strips.

 I can’t find HDPE pipe!  Where can I get it?

Most people seem to have trouble finding it because it’s heavy duty and isn’t sold in most hardware or plumbing stores.  Try asking around in your area.  The stuff you want is type DR-11, with an exact inside diameter of 1 7/8 inches (this can vary by a few hundredths of an inch and still be ok).

 Can I use metal pipe for launching shells?

Yes.  Metal pipes are mainly used to launch very large shells, i.e., around 12″ and up.  They’re not used very often anymore for smaller shells simply because of their weight.  If you use metal pipe for your shells, make sure it’s thick enough (at least 1/8 of an inch).

Can I use “Pyrodex” for making black match?

For some reason, Pyrodex (a brand of smokeless gunpowder) doesn’t work for making fuse.  You’ll need to use “Goex” brand.

 I’m trying to find pipe to use for launching shells.  How big should it be?

The inside diameter is the most important part.  Consumer shells have a diameter of 1.75″, so the mortar needs to be only slightly bigger – about 1 7/8″.  This allows the shell to move up and down the tube, but keeps too much of the lift charge gases from escaping.  If you were to use a pipe with a 2″ I.D., the lift gases would escape around the edges of the shell, sending it to a dangerously low altitude.

 Help!  The only pipe I can find for my shells has an inside diameter of 2″.  What should I do?

A somewhat effective method I have found is to slightly increase the diameter of the shell itself.  Unwrap the fuse of the shell, and take it out of the string loop at the top.  Gently bend it back so it’s out of your way.  Get a roll of duct tape, and rip off several 6″ long strips.  Tear each of these strips in half, lengthwise.  Now start wrapping these around the middle of the ball of the shell, keeping track of how many you put on.  Periodically insert the shell into the tube to make sure it still fits – stop adding tape when it just barely goes in.  Put the same number of tape strips on each shell you plan to launch from a 2″ tube.

 Why won’t you update more often?

Unfortunately, maintaining Pyro Universe is not my full-time job.  It’s my personal hobby; something that I do whenever I have free time.

 Where can I buy fireworks online?

There are hundreds of firework companies that maintain websites that allow you to view price lists and order their products online.  Of course, I haven’t had the opportunity to purchase from each and every one of these dealers, so there’s no way I would know who has the best products and the best prices.  If you’re looking for a place to buy, I would recommend checking out the companies that have banners on this site, because their paid advertisements help fund the costs of running Pyro Universe.

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