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Per ORS 480.200 {(1)} (3), revised in 1999 by HB 3190, "Explosive" means a chemical compound, mixture or device, the primary or common purpose of which is to function by explosion.  The term includes, but is not limited to, dynamite, pellet powder, initiating explosives, detonators, safety fuses, squibs, detonating cord, igniter cord and igniters, but excludes fireworks as defined in ORS 480.110 (1), primers and fertilizer, as defined in ORS 633.310.  Previous wording, now deleted, referred to a "chemical reaction resulting in a substantially instantaneous release of gas and heat."
Explosives are divided into two distinct groups:  low and high explosives.
 LOW EXPLOSIVES are said to deflagrate (burn) rather than detonate (explode).  These are primarily used as propellants.  The arbitrary cut-off speed between high and low explosives is 3,300 fps (feet per second).  An example of a low explosive is black powder.
HIGH EXPLOSIVES are designed to shatter (brisance) rather than push.  Detonation velocities for high explosives range from 3,300 fps to 29,900 fps.  Blasting caps, dynamite, TNT, plastic explosives, binaries and blasting agents are examples of high explosives.