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The 10-lb. JTC Claw can effectively breach almost any doorway for lightning fast entries.

During Hurricane Katrina, law enforcement and fire departments went house to house, in a flood zone, trying to rescue trapped people. The main tool needed wasn’t a gun—these men and women needed breaching tools. Many reported that the tools they used broke during repeated breaching. At other times, tactical units responding to barricaded suspects may be faced with a situation where they must enter in a matter of seconds to save the lives of hostages.

The process of door breaching is as much science as art. It takes physics, knowledge of engineering and some brute strength to get in. These legally authorized “forced openings” occur via one of four methods: mechanical breaching, ballistic breaching, explosive breaching or thermal breaching.

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The JTC Jersey Boot (above) and Twin RAM (below) are the next evolution of tactical breaching tools, designed by cops for cops.
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Mechanical breaching is the most common form and often uses basic handheld or power-driven tools that operators can carry with them and use. In recent years, ballistic breaching, usually by use of a shotgun-breaching round, has become more common in the law enforcement world. The art of explosives breaching uses of small explosives charges to breach a barrier. This method is used predominately by the military, but as law enforcement comes across more and more fortified and Class 3 doors on “gangster” households, this method is being used more. Thermal breaching puts a little heat on the subject—law enforcement can use an arc welder or similar welding device for large steel doors or walls. However, the mechanical breaching tools are by far the most common.

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