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A breaching round or slug-shot is a shotgun shell specially made for the purposes of door breaching. It is typically fired at a range of 6 inches (15 cm) or less, aimed at the hinges or the area between the doorknob and lock and door jamb, and is designed to destroy the object it hits and then disperse into a relatively harmless powder.[1]

A British police team member using shotgun hatton rounds in training

A British police team member using shotgun hatton rounds in training

Design and construction

Breaching rounds, often called TESAR, Disintegrator or Hatton rounds, are designed to destroy door deadbolts, locks and hinges without risking lives by ricocheting or by flying on at lethal speed through the door, as traditional buckshot can. These frangible rounds are made of a dense sintered material, often metal powder in a binder such as wax, which can destroy a lock then immediately disperse. They are used by military and SWAT teams to quickly force entry into a locked room. Amongst police, these rounds are nicknamed 'master keys', and their use is known as "Avon calling".[2] Ideally Breaching rounds may be used in a standard combat shotgun or riot shotgun, or in a specialized shotgun, often attached to a rifle, such as the KAC Masterkey or M26 Modular Accessory Shotgun System. The most effective use of this round is with a "Stand Off Breacher" attached to the muzzle of a specially converted shotgun. The stand off is held on the surface of the door and vents gases to prevent over pressure.[citation needed]

Examples of breaching rounds are:

  • Royal Arms has made the Tesar round for over 25 years using a frangible copper slug of various weights and configurations. Different loads for different applications. They are known as Tesar rounds and used by many military and law enforcement agencies around the world.
  • The US Military M1030 breaching round, a 12 gauge 2¾ inch (70 mm) shell which uses a 40 gram (1.4 ounce) projectile made of powdered steel, bound with wax.[3][4]
  • The Clucas MoE Hatton Round, a 12 gauge 3 inch (76mm) magnum shell which uses a 43 gram (1.5 ounce) frangible projectile, consisting of a high density wax binder.

Though designed not to endanger people behind or around a door, a breaching round is easily lethal if fired directly at a human target.[1]


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