Dumber than a box of locks

We see it all the time on TV and in the movies. BLAM! Somebody just shot a padlock off of something or other. I’ve always been amused that the door or box or gate or whatever is never damaged despite the lock being blasted to smithereens with one well-placed shot. Sure, I’ve never really bought how easy it looks to shoot a lock off in the first place, either, but I’ve never spent much time dwelling on it. Turns out it’s harder than I would have thought, according to The Locks O’ Truth on the Box O’ Truth:

My friend DVDTracker, sent me an IM on AR15.com and asked, “OP, I wonder how difficult it is to shoot a lock off? I’ve seen it done on TV and in movies, but wonder if it is as easy as they show it to be. How about if I send you some funds to buy some locks. Will you shoot them and report back?”

The only answer was, “Sure! Why not?”

Here’s a pic of what a XM193 5.56 varmint round does to one:


It left a nice hole coming out, too. But the lock held. Go look for more pics.

Lessons learned:

1. “How hard is it to shoot off a lock?” Answer: Very hard.

2. Pistols won’t shoot a lock off or even penetrate the lock.

3. Pistols are pistols and rifles are rifles. Enough said.

4. I now understand why our troops are often seen carrying “breeching shotguns” on their backs and a rifle in their hands. Shotguns will blow a lock off. Rifles will blow holes through a lock, but will not reliably shoot one off.

5. The rifles went through the locks with ease. It is obvious that you could “knaw” off the lock, little by little with a rifle, but a shotgun does it with one shot.

Really, you’ve got to go read the whole thing. I mean it.

Plus, check out AK Vs. AR – Some Observations

Many thanks to the reader who tipped MO off to this great site!


  1. The .223 round makes nice neat little holes in metal as well as people. The locks remain intact because relatively little energy is transferred to the lock itself. Weatherby had a great ad a few years ago on American Shooter. It was a remake of the old Masterlock commercial except they were using a .460 Weatherby Magnum. It had a beautiful slow motion replay of little pieces of lock flying everywhere.

  2. Oh man everytime I see anything on the .223 I go nuts. Why is the ‘won’t splatter a lock’ thing a surprise? It’s typical of the inadequacy of the that particular round. Of course the other one that is once again raising it’s ugly head is the magazine jammin problem, due to the talcum power dust and the fact that it prevents those small rounds from rotating up the magazine and feeding. I would almost bet (almost because I am not familiar with the lock used) that a ballpeen hammer would open those locks quicker when applied correctly.

  3. The Weatherby commercial you’re talking about had a .300 WbyMag if I’m not mistaken.