TEN-X TACTICAL TX-12 STW: tenxtactical.com; 909-946-8369
In the gray area between the use of rams and Halligan tools of mechanical breaching and the use of high explosives, exists several different techniques, tools and devices. Pneumatic jamb spreaders, cutting saws, torches and even using hooks attached to vehicles to pull security doors off their hinges—all are a part of the breaching toolbox. Another common method in law enforcement S.W.A.T. work and on military battlefields is using door-breaching rounds in specially modified 12-gauge shotguns.
SERBU SUPER-SHORTY: serbu.com; 813-243-8899)
This wasn’t always the case. The British Special Air Service pioneered the use of shotguns for breaching. Short-barreled semi-auto shotguns with pistol grips were used to breach using standard buckshot fired into door locks and hinges. The problem with this was the over-penetration of buckshot into the room, possibly endangering the hostages or innocents inside and the creation of secondary missiles, such as pieces of metal or wood. Additionally, standard shotgun barrels could bounce off the wood or metal doors, slowing follow-up shots as well as the possibility of a barrel burst if the end of the barrel was thrust flat against a door.
MOSSBERG 500 CHAINSAW; mossberg.com; 203-230-5300
In the U.S., LAPD S.W.A.T. borrowed the use of the shotgun to breach from the SAS in their training build-up for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. LAPD bomb squad personnel developed the first flash-bangs as well as the first specialty breaching slugs during this time.
Standoff muzzle devices set breaching shotguns apart from the rest. This Mossberg 500 has also been modified with the FLEX interchangeable stock system, a railed forend and a SureFire X300 light for close quarters. Sean Utley Photo, Inset Jeff Rose