Lead azide (RD-1333, LA) has been widely used in ordnance systems for many years. Virtually all chemical detonators utilize LA as the initial shock wave generating compound necessary for proper detonation of subsequent main explosive charges. LA is a reliable explosive material and because it has been studied extensively, properties and manufacturing processes are well defined. Despite being a useful energetic material, LA contains lead, a toxic heavy metal that is released to the environment during production and use. Environmental health and safety regulations on lead containing materials are quite extensive and are likely to increase in severity in the future, along with compliance costs. The manufacture, use, demilitarization and disposal of LA (and ordnance containing them) are deeply impacted by these regulations, and lead-free alternatives to LA have been sought for many years. LA also has shortcomings in that it is unstable in non-hermetic munitions applications (forming copper azide) and because of this has been limited in use by NAVSEA instruction 8020.3A (1986).