RDX is a high-energy explosive that is based on hexamine ( the main ingredient in "Esbit" food heating tablets) and red fuming nitric acid, or, paraformaldehyde, and ammonium nitrate in an acetic anhydride medium. It is used by insurgents overseas because of its ease of manufacture, and by the military because of its great stability, extreme brisance (violence of detonation) resistance to accidental initiation, and tremendous power. It is not only much more powerful than TNT (exactly twice as much, by weight), but far, far, easier to make. TNT requires a minimum of two, but usually three steps involving very reactive materials, whereas RDX can be synthesized in one step, using only moderately reactive ingredients. RDX is also used as a rocket propellant, yielding a respectable specific impulse of 280 newton*seconds, when it is bound with HTPB (hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene), and other processing facilitators. Mixed with either HTPB alone, wax, or with many other phlegmatizers (a substance which makes things stick together), RDX gives birth to an entire family of plastic explosives, such as Composition-C (C1, C2, C4), Semtex, PBX, and many others. Its a close cousin of HMX, which is just RDX with another nitramine group in its molecule.
I used two pounds of RDX to blast that boulder in my yard into sugar sand!
The military claims that C4 plastic explosive is really just RDX mixed with a rubber-like material.