The initial scene plays out almost every day in America. SWAT operators stage in preparation for serving a drug search warrant. The announcement is made, and following an appropriate amount of time, the breach attempt begins. Numerous blows are delivered to the door of the subject, but the stronghold refuses to give. The clock ticks precious seconds away as the common situation takes on a dramatic and fatal twist:
Ramming without effect delayed the entry and gave the suspect time–time to pick up a firearm, time to create a self-defense alibi and the time to fire with effect on the entry team.
Issue #1: The degree of target hardening is determined by the suspect and beyond control of the entry element, though specific intelligence related to it (undercover officers, confidential informants, surveillance) can be helpful in preparing for the breach as it relates to issues two and three.
Issue #2: Knowledge and experience can be acquired over time. Initially through foundational and advanced training, then experientially as the learning is validated in the field.
Issue #3: Real world operational breaching is the mechanical ram because if its simplicity and general effectiveness, both of which are directly related to target hardening and not controlled by the officers. The mechanical ram works because the locations are generally not equipped properly when it comes to fortifying. We’ve all heard tales of New York bars and 15 deadbolts in a steel frame, but the practical reality is most doors are one-hitters because most suspects have done little to keep us out.
Those who breach for a living will tell you that any door can be opened if they expend enough time and energy. Unfortunately, too much time rolls the tactical ball into the suspects’ court. If you stumble onto a genuine player during this process, the time delay can result in serious and fatal consequences.
The #7001 CI charge is proprietary, but I wouldn’t be giving away trade secrets if I mentioned that it weighs 15 grams and consists primarily of magnesium powder, aluminum powder and potassium perchlorate. Upon ignition these compounds burn rapidly, as opposed to detonating. Therefore, they offer nothing more than the primary byproducts of combustion: heat, light and sound. They do this in about 54 milliseconds, while generating 174.5 decibels and elevating the atmospheric pressure 1.7 PSI at five feet. The WALLBANGER™ takes advantage of this energy and a secondary blast effect (focusing) to direct the pressure wave from the top two surfaces of the device to the door. The end result is a significant low-order explosive ramming effect, delivered while allowing the operator to safely stand away from the front of the door. Unlike a traditional DEFTEC #25, the #7001 CI is fired using a shotgun primer and non-electric (NONEL) blasting cap initiation cord system. This is an instantaneous method of igniting the charge, as compared to the M201A1 mechanical fuze (average delay 1.5 seconds) most often observed on the #25.
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