The next time you’re having a conversation around the water cooler, be aware that a British company has developed a way to make that water barrel into a projectile. The “Wall Breaker” is a non-explosive cannon developed by BCB International Ltd. in the U.K. It uses compressed air to fire plastic water drums that can knock a large access hole in walls, gates, doors – and apparently, vans – for military and security forces to gain quick entry.
The company says it uses a typical 20-liter water cooler drum, or about 5 U.S. gallons, and a U.S. gallon of water weighs 8.35 pounds. This suggests a projectile weighing nearly 42 pounds, heavier than most 105 mm projectiles, leaving the barrel at 984 feet per second, about a third the muzzle velocity of a 105 mm howitzer. Unlike a 105 mm howitzer, however, its target during typical use is going to be within a dozen feet, although range is quoted as “3 to 300 meters.” Of course, you can also put “sand, concrete, or other pourable materials” into the container, according to the company.
“Our system uses compressed air and it fires a charge, a big barrel of water – and that impact can smash through a double layer breeze-block wall,” says BCB spokesperson Philippe Minchin. “What’s great about using water is that the casing shatters and it just sprays out water. It means security teams are much closer to the point of entry, giving them vital seconds for rapid entry and maximum shock effect.”
You’ll be able to see more of the system if you attend Modern Day Marine in Quantico, Va., Sept. 25-27.