1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Propellants

PROPELLANTS, a generic name for explosives used for propelling projectiles from guns and other firearms, in order to distinguish them from the more violent explosives used in shells, mines, &c., to produce a blasting effect. Some explosive substances can be used both as propellants and as bursters, as for example gunpowder, and some of the ingredients of a propellant may be similar, though differently proportioned and combined, to those of a “high explosive;” (For details see Explosives; Gunpowder; Cordite, &c.)