Chris Cheng

Chris Cheng is History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 champion and author of “Shoot to Win,” a book for beginning shooters. A self-taught amateur turned pro through his Top Shot win, Cheng very much still considers himself an amateur who parachuted into this new career.

He is a professional marksman for Bass Pro Shops who shares his thoughts and experiences from the perspective of a newbie to the shooting community. He resides in San Francisco, CA and works in Silicon Valley.


  • Clint Notestine

    I remember watch techtv, pre G4, and kevin rose hooked up a thermite container in his computer with a remote switch. Melted the crap out of his computer and lawn.

    • JT

      would this work as effectively on SDD’s? Even so, this much thermite would only be for a giant HDD array, not really a single drive

      • Hking

        It would work better on SSD’s as they are smaller and would melt easier?

  • Arisaka

    What application does thermite have in the field of plinking? Tannerite I get but thermite?

    • dan citizen

      can’t imagine. welding, cutting, etc… But plinking?

    • Asdf

      I had an old blacksmith instructor that used to weld up mortars and fill the the first part of the tube with black powder, the fill the rest with thermite. Wait till night, light the thermite, back way up, and boom. A fountain of liquid iron.

      Who knows what prison you’d end up in if you tried that today.

  • timetobleed

    I’m Jesse Ventura. I wash a guvernor, a navy seal and I wore feather boas in the WWE. I investigate nothing and believe in anything. George Washington couldn’t have cut down that cherry tree on his own. That axe was coated with thermite dust! 9/11 was planned by JFK on the MOON!

    • FunnyGuy

  • Howie Blumenkopf

    Maybe if someone was attacking you you could poor it into a half circle around them and throw up a wall of fire and burn through the sidewalk creating a flaming trench of death?.

  • JT

    I don’t see the uses really. Thermite used to be a big deal back when you had people pouring them on telephone coin boxes, but you don’t really see many of those today. And there are a lot of alternatives to opening locks than just pouring thermite on them, that don’t involve handling dangerous compunts

    • claymore

      Ah dude the main dangerous ingredient is plain old RUST.

  • Vincent

    I’m wondering what’s so different about this stuff that makes it burn hotter than the devil’s anus. Or an acetylene torch. Or basically any flame produced by combustion in oxygen.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Please see my post above. You can do additional research on your own into the way rapidly-oxidizing metals, especially when combined with catalysts such as high-pressure oxygen, create very high temperature levels above those of aceytylene or conventional combustion processes.

      One of the standard tools of the trade in industrial-commercial diving and sub-sea construction work is the field of underwater cutting and welding. Virtually all modern underwater cutting and burning systems are based on the rapid combustion of an otherwise stable metal or composite alloy of metals, enhanced by a high-pressure oxygen media. Typical examples are the ultra-thermic hollow-bodied oxygen-jet driven magnesium/aluminum/steel electrodes ( such as the BROCO Ultra-Thermic and Arc-Air Sea Dragon rods ), composite tubular cutting rods, and the self-consuming Kerie Cable system. All are designed to function extremely well in that most hostile of working environments — underwater where the surrounding environment itself is constantly trying to quench the arc, regardless of pressure, depth, salinity and ambient temperature. The trade-off? Plainly and simply, while they are far more efficient and powerful than other forms of cutting and burning, including when they are used topside in a dry environment, they require larger volumes of compressed oxygen and are expensive as well. This is why most topside cutting still utilizes more traditional, less costly methods such as oxy-acetylene systems. Even the newest forms of “dry” cutting, eg., plasma-arc, are a good deal cheaper in the long run than ultra-thermic systems in a non-submersible application. But for “hot” underwater use, the ultra-thermic system is the ultimate way to go.

  • Jordan Bear Pollard

    God knows what you’d ever use it for, but it makes a hell of a conversation piece.

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    Are we all forgetting the original utility of Thermite bombs and similar devices? They were designed as, and still are, in many ways, the ultimate portable incendiary device. Thermite generates the sort of temperatures that even in this age of advanced explosives and pyrotechnic technology, are considered the penultimate level of incendiary power. The power of a Thermite device lies in its basic function — the extremely rapid exothermic oxidation and reduction process. The “fuel” component of a Thermite device might include typical metals such as aluminum, magnesium, boron, silicon, titanium and zinc. The “oxidizer” component, which engenders the reaction train ( once initiated ) usually includes oxides of boron, silicon, chromium, manganese, copper, iron and/or lead. We are used to thinking of all these metals in terms of their usual stable hard forms, and most people have a difficult time understanding that if the same apparently “stable” elements are subject to a major and immediate structural alteration at the molecular level, eg., when subjected to sufficiently high heat, they can, and will, become combustible fuel sources in themselves. That is why magnesium can be both a completely innocuous, strong and lightweight metal suitable for special applications such as true “mag” wheels and racing engine components, yet can form the basis for incendiary bombs that are virtually impossible to quench.

    Most of us also tend to think of something as apparently mundane as formed aluminum or steel as being a hard and stable structural entity, not as a fuel that can burn. Well, guess what? Aluminum, in particular, is well-known for its pyrophoric properties when subject to temperature ranges far beyond melting point. Aluminum will burn, under the right conditions, as will all other metals, the only difference being the ignition threshold. Even titanium, known primarily for its light weight and extreme heat resistance, will burn if the conditions are right.

    Steel — yes, good old reliable, plain-jane steel in all its various alloys — will burn just as readily if subject to the right amount of heating and catalytic input. Case in point — the disastrous Piper Alpha incident of 1988 in the North Sea. A gas condensate explosion in a machinery space in the Piper Alpha offshore platform gave rise to a major fire that was jointly fueled by burning crude oil and leaking high-pressure natural gas, the worst possible combination that one could possibly imagine for this sort of scenario. Crude oil does not burn easily, and it takes a lot to ignite the volatiles within the crude. However, once it starts to combust, it will continue to do so with an intensity and at a temperature level that is very difficult to overcome. Add to that the catalyst of burning HP natural gas from ruptured piping, and you have the ultimate recipe for a conflagration that beggars belief. It is a matter of record that the hardened steel structure of Piper Alpha, built to withstand the long-term rigors of the North Sea and the worst maritime conditions in the world, actually melted, and then burned until only the jagged stubs of the jacket legs that once supported the upper platform remained at sea level, Of the original crew of 225, 167 ( some sources state 165 or 169 ) perished within a few hours. A majority of the remainder were injured to one extent or the other, with most suffering serious burns, fractures and combinations of skeletal and soft-tissue trauma. And all this in spite of already fairly-advanced organic fire-prevention and mitigation systems, subsequent Board Of inquiry criticisms notwithstanding.

    Insofar as military usage is concerned, the history of Thermite devices is long and distinguished. They were used with great success and reliability by Special Forces units such as the early SAS during their now-famous airfield raids against the Luftwaffe in North Africa, by assorted Commando units, and by many other raiders, both Axis and Allied, to inflict damage and destruction out of all proportion to the numerical strength of the protagonists. They have never been the mere province of a handful of sophisticated jewel thieves and lock breakers, as some might be inclined to think.