It’s great that you fans notice stuff like this. And there IS a reason. When the Mexican government offered Burt whatever he wanted, he loaded up his T-2 truck with all the fun stuff he’s not allowed to have in the U.S., high explosives – TNT, C-4, and the like. When REAL H.E. goes off, it makes very little flame and creates a devastating shock wave. That’s the effect S.S. Wilson wanted and that’s what Peter Chesney created for the end of Tremors 2, using real high explosives, by the way. If you look at the grass in the foreground of the building when it blows up, you can see the shock wave.
Now, in Tremors 3, we wanted the look of Burt’s ammo, reloading powder, black powder, and gasoline blowing up. All those things “explode” more slowly, with a lot more flame, than H.E., so Larry Fioritto and his team created that kind of explosion, with LOTS of gasoline, black powder, etc.
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