The major classes of compounds in smokeless propellants include energetics, stabilizers, plasticizers, flash suppressants, deterrents, opacifiers, and dyes (Bender 1998; Radford Army Ammunition Plant 1987).
Except for ball powder, smokeless powder is manufactured by one of two general methods, differing in whether organic solvents are used in the process (Meyer 1987; Radford Army Ammunition Plant 1987).
The organic solvent method mixes nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine with solvents and any desired additives to form a doughy mixture (Meyer 1987; National Research Council 1998; Radford Army Ammunition Plant 1987).
The Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Virginia is the sole producer of this essential ingredient for all propellants used throughout the Army's ammunition industrial base.
Of further concern is the fact that all ammunition roads lead through the Radford Army Ammunition Plant because it is the sole Government-grade producer of nitrocellulose.