The Box O’ Truth #25 – Breaching Rounds

My friend Darkmage sent me a note asking, “Have you ever shot Breaching Rounds?

How would they work as anti-personnel rounds? Would they be “safer” for use in a home?”

Well, I didn’t know. But Darkmage offered to send me some rounds to test. He ordered them from The Sportsman’s Guide.

They are listed as “military over-runs” and that’s what the package looked like.

We cut one open to see what it looked like inside.

This is it.

This is it.

We weighed the capsule and it weighed 400 grains.

25-2We then cut it open and it was filled with some type of metal powder.

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Well, time to visit the range.

I set up a standard lock on a 2 X 4.

These rounds can be used against locks like this, and can also be used to blow open a standard door knob lock.

The door knob locks are shot between the door knob and the door jam, destroying the bolt and opening the door

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First, we would use the breaching round to blow off the lock. That’s what it is designed for.

I read an interesting article on the internet about how these rounds are supposed to be used. Here’s the link:

http://www.combatshootingandtactics.com/published/Shotgun_Breaching.pdf

These rounds should be shot onto the lock from 6 inches or so. Some folks contacted me after the “Locks O’Truth” to tell me that the way I was shooting the locks was not the best way to blow them off.

I already knew that. I was simply shooting them the way they are often shot in the movies.

If you really want to blow one off, you shoot down onto the top of the lock, as I am going to do today.

There should be minimum possibility of back-splash, but I’m not taking any chances.

I wore a face shield and used a piece of board as a cover.

Here I am, ready to go.

Here I am, ready to go.

You can see the hasp of the lock in the air on the right side of the picture.

Here I am firing.

Here I am firing.

And this is the result, a broken lock.

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Notice the line of “splash” that we got from where the powder hit the top of the lock

It cut a groove in the wood behind the lock as marked by the arrows.

I am pulling out part of the shot cup that was imbedded in the wood.

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Well, they worked on a lock, just as advertised.

So, the next question is, “Are they safer to use indoors and will they penetrate drywall walls?”

I set up the old “Box O’ Truth” with 12 sheets of 5/8 drywall in it.

Here I am, shooting it with a breaching round.

Here I am, shooting it with a breaching round.

As often happens at 15 feet, the wadding made a second hole in the first sheet of drywall.

25-10But we were amazed that the round penetrated 10 sheets of drywall!

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This is the hole in sheet #10.

This is the hole in sheet #10.

And this is where it bounced of sheet #11.

And this is where it bounced of sheet #11.

Now, we had to ask, “Why did it penetrate #10 and then say, ‘That’s it, I quit’, on #11?

I don’t know.

Here's the wadding in front of sheet #11.

Here’s the wadding in front of sheet #11.

Well, time for the Waterbox O’ Truth.

How many jugs (and inches) of water will this round penetrate at 15 feet?

Only one way to find out.

25-15The hydrostatic shock busted the side of my box again.

25-16It blew up two jugs and stopped before the third jug.

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You can see the powdered metal on the floor of the box.

You can see the powdered metal on the floor of the box.

We decided to shoot another to confirm the results.

Here's another Award Winning Photo by Tman. Well okay, he hasn't won any awards, but he takes good shots.

Here’s another Award Winning Photo by Tman. Well okay, he hasn’t won any awards, but he takes good shots.

The towel I had on the front of the box to simulate clothing was blown all the way back and almost hit me.

I and my shotgun were soaked!

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This time it penetrated two jugs and stopped before the third jug, exactly like last shot.

But this time it busted my box up again.

Looks like it’s time for a fund-raiser for the Waterbox O’ Truth.

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Lessons learned:
  1. Breaching rounds work great against locks or door locks. Just as expected.
  2. These rounds tend to act like a “solid” until they hit something. That means that they penetrate a lot of drywall before coming apart. They are certainly not “safe” to shoot indoors if wall penetration is a concern.
  3. They penetrated about 12 inches of water, which would mean approximately 6 inches of flesh, at 15 feet. They are not designed as an anti-personnel round, but I sure wouldn’t want to get shot with one. As Tman noted, “That looks like 400 grains of death.”

Thanks to Darkmage for funding a very interesting experiment. And thanks to Tman for the Award Winning Photography.

Shooting stuff is fun.