Gun Digest reviews two breaching tools used for entry.
The goal in any active shooter situation is to get in and stop the shooter as quickly as possible to end the killing. Once the shooter is stopped your team can safely clear the building and bring in medical. But the top priority is to get inside and get in the fight. If you cannot breach a door to get to an active shooter then your team’s firepower and training are neutralized and the active shooter has time to kill more people.
Often it takes SWAT teams time to assemble and respond. Very few SWAT teams in the country and even fewer patrol officers use explosive breaching. So while you are waiting for a way to get in, the shooter is killing more people. Shotgun breaching without training and the correct shotgun ammunition can lead to wounds from ricocheting bullets or the deaths of civilians on the other side of the door if they are hit by penetrating buckshot. A round from an AR-15 can also ricochet off the lock, seriously injuring the breacher or members on their team.
What this all boils down to is that patrol officers will be the first on scene and should have a means to breach a do if the need arises. The decision to enter and engage an active shooter is personal and based on department policy. But if you know you want to be inside attempting to stop the shooter, you need a means of entry. You need a breaching tool you can carry on your emergency vest or in your patrol car.
1) Paratech Buster Tool
Carrying an effective personal breaching tool provides the ability to breach outer steel doors to get into a building and continue to breach doors inside the building while clearing rooms. The Paratech Buster tool is small at 15.5 inches long and light enough at 5.7 pounds to carry in a tactical holster on the back of a water carrier while operational for 24 hours. The axe handle chops through drywall. The pike creates a hole in sheet metal and claw end cuts sheet metal.
Unlock the buster and you can “slam and ram” the claw into a door jam without a sledgehammer. This saves the weight of carrying a 5-pound sledgehammer. The tool extends to 21.5 inches which increases its leverage. The claw tool can be removed and inserted into a keyway in the axe head for twisting leverage in confined spaces. This will help break locks, hasps and even some chains.
This tool alone is not a guarantee you will breach an outer steel door. You have to train in order to know where to insert the claw in the door jam to defeat the locking mechanisms on different types of doors. Having a longer prying tool and a heavy sledge hammer to force the claw deeper into the door jam would be better, but the weight is just too much to carry with an 80-pound tactical load in a situation that can take hours to clear a building or a 24-hour tactical operation, as experienced during the Mumbai terrorist attacks in India.
2) Double-Tap X Breaching Tool
The Paratech Buster tool is an effective breaching solution for its weight but the ideal breaching tool to carry is significantly heavier. The “Double-Tap X Breaching Tool” at 14 lbs can breach some exterior and most interior doors, locks, windows, chains, cables, and bars. It is a higher strength multi-purpose breaching tool that is more powerful in hammering and prying ability than the Paratech Buster.
The Double-Tap X Breaching tool is 32 inches folded and 43 inches extended, with a 303 Stainless Steel shaft. One side is a hammer. The opposite side of the hammer is designed to cut cable, rebar, fence, or steel bar 3/8 inchs or smaller by twisting. It is not a perfect a cable cutter but it works most of the time. The top of the tool has a spike designed to concentrate the force of the slide hammer in a small point to poke out a lock. The groves cut into the handle help hold the tool when you are swinging it into the door. It’s a hammer design that is easer to use and requires less training.
The Double-Tap X Breaching tool also comes with a laminated instruction sheet with example pictures as a quick reference guide for the operator. It is crucial to use a beaching tool of this strength that can hold up to the stresses of high-impact strikes. It is not uncommon for breaching tools to break because metal outer doors at schools and businesses are extremely well built and take a significant amount of force to breach. Brian Clement of Arc-Pro Welding who has significant real-world combat and breaching experience created the Double-Tap X. Operators all over the world use his tools.