Shooting computers - what with?


July 18, 2003, 02:34 PM
If you wanted to shoot a computer, and needed to obliterate/disable the hard drive beyond recognition, what would you use (assuming a portable weapon, concealable under a trenchcoat or so)?

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Dave Markowitz
July 18, 2003, 02:49 PM
Any handgun 9mm or larger should do it. Here's what happens when you introduce Mr. Hard Drive to Mr. M1 Carbine:


July 18, 2003, 02:52 PM
Yeah, but that's a hard drive that was outside the PC when it was shot, right?

I wonder what happens when you try to shoot through a PC, trying to hit the hard drive. Won't 9mm fragment?

Silent Bob
July 18, 2003, 02:59 PM
Me and my friend shot one with his S&W .44 Magnum. The damage to the hard drive wasn't all that impressive.

July 18, 2003, 03:01 PM

Jeff White
July 18, 2003, 03:02 PM
Thermite grenades. I'm not sure what round you could shoot into the case and reliably destry the hard drive. If you had time to remove the hard drive to shoot it, you'd have time to dispose of it any way you like and wouldn't need to shoot it.

Several years ago we were taking a class on some new software the PD had adopted to interface with the enhanced 911 stuff. (supposedly to cut down on the telecommunicators and the officers entering duplicate data, didn't work out well) The second night while on patrol we stopped in at the computer store and the manager gave us a monitor out of his dumpster. We took it to the range and shot it. I can personally verify that Winchester 115 gr 9mm +P+ (duty load at the time) will not penetrate all the way through a monitor.

We took the monitor back to the class room at the PD and replaced the working monitor with it. The look on the instructor's face the next morning when he came in and thought that one of us really did shoot the computer out of frustration was priceless :cool:


July 18, 2003, 03:03 PM
Even through the PC you should be ok. The case of the computer isn't strong enough to stop a 9mm or larger from penetrating the HDD. We have shot up many computers and monitors using 9mm to 7.62x39 to Shotgun slug. Actually, we used .22lr as well, worked real well for case mod applications, but prolly wouldn't penetrate a HDD. You're going to have a hard time hitting that HDD consistently while it is in the case since it will prolly be obstructed from your view. Have fun killing that poor defenseless machine!!! :D

July 18, 2003, 03:05 PM
Synoptic: I do suspect that in most PC's the HDD's are located in similar location.

My choice rounds currently (pure theory, I don't have a gun):


TT-39 with 7.62*25mm's


Glock-19 with a 33-round magazine.

July 18, 2003, 03:15 PM
I suggest a high capacity Benelli M1 with 3" magnum #6 shot as fast as you can pull the trigger.

Always wear eye protection as the chips would be flying, so to speak!

July 18, 2003, 03:28 PM
remington 11/87, tube extension and 10 + 1 of #2 buck oughta be more than adequit. i once had a link to a site called macintrashin. com (no the actual link, lost it) that showed creative ways to destroy future skynet drones.

July 18, 2003, 03:29 PM
i would think a American 180 would buzz it to oblivion

heres a person favorite:

July 18, 2003, 03:43 PM
9mm will take care of it, though 7.62X25 from a CZ-24 is more fun.:D

July 18, 2003, 04:04 PM
Looks like frodo had a compaq with that drive :D and something somewhat old...few years atleast. here at work we have no less than about 50 of fujistu drives just begging to be taken to the range since we cant get rid of them

pistol rounds dont go to well with computer hardware. now a 7.62x54r...oh yea :D

July 18, 2003, 04:07 PM
Would an AK in 7.62mm do the job?

July 18, 2003, 04:09 PM
I can verify that a .22LR will not penetrate through the platters of a hard drive (well, they well if you hit the same place 4+ times).

A Shotgun is going to be your best bet, though they are a little difficult to conceal under clother. That being said, any handgun round 9mm and above should be more than sufficient. The only real trick is actually hitting the drive while it is still inside the computer... not all manufacturers mount the drive in the same place.

July 18, 2003, 04:10 PM
Why does weapon have to be concealable? Is someone still using it? I would think a shotgun blast or three would do the trick quite nicely.

July 18, 2003, 04:11 PM
Why does weapon have to be concealable?

I'm struggling with a short story...

July 18, 2003, 04:16 PM
Would an AK in 7.62mm do the job?
Oh, yeah! Hehehe. :D

July 18, 2003, 04:18 PM
I'm struggling with a short story...

It might be easiest just use a compact SMG, then. Something like a MAC10 or micro-UZI or something.

July 18, 2003, 04:26 PM
"Is this an NFA legal machinegun?"

"I don't know, Mrs. NFA Database Maintenance-Person..." - aims at registry computer - BLAMBLAMBLAMBLAM - "Guess we'll never really find our, Mrs. Maintenance Person".:evil:

July 18, 2003, 04:28 PM
Personally, I'd dispense with the firearm (save the ammo in case someone protests the machine's destruction).

Any serious damage to the platters will disable a hard drive sufficiently to pretty much obliterate the data. I vote for a 5 pound sledge. First couple hits to knock the case apart and get a free line of sight to the drive bay and then deliver a few strokes to the hard drive.

I really like Jeff White's thermite grenade idea, though.

I love the smell of burned electronics in the morning. Smells like secure data.

Brian Williams
July 18, 2003, 04:29 PM
Make sure the Monitor is on cause it causes the CRT to implode when it is. if it is off the projectiles just punch thru the glass but when a CRT is on whoohooo! its shatters the whole tube. I had a harddrive I shot thru with a LRN 45 acp pushed by 6Gr of 231 that cracked the frame and knocked the platters off but did not penetrate thru the platters.

.357's do a nice job on both CRT's and Harddrives.

A Marlin 1894cp in 357 16.5 barrel 8 shots, trim the stock to a 10" or an 11" pull, I would think it would be quite concealable under a trenchcoat. Load the thing with some 170gr Corbons......

If I wanted to do it quietlike I would get a Ruger 10/22 with a internally supressed barrel and some Ramline 50 round mags with a Ramline folding stock.

July 18, 2003, 04:32 PM
If your purpose is to make the data irrecoverable, shooting the PC is a poor way to go about it. Take the hard drive out of the computer and blow the !@#$ out of it to be sure.

Depending on how paranoid you are, the only truly safe way to dispose of a hard drive is to melt it down. According to some people I know who specialize in forensic data recovery, "Short of melting down the hard drive, recovering data is just a matter of how much money you're willing to spend."

Me, I'm not that paranoid. I have about 20 old servers I just replaced that are sitting in a storeroom. Before I get rid of them I'll pull out all of the hard drives (they're in removable enclosures) and mix them up so that the RAID-5 arrays are thoroughly disrupted. Then I'll boot them up and reinitialize the array before I give them over to whoever is going to take them off my hands.

If you're just wanting to eff it up, have fun with it. Take rour biggest baddest blaster to it. Multiple times.

July 18, 2003, 04:35 PM
Cordex beat me to it. I was going to suggest one not fool around with a firearm (which would be sloppy, extremely noisy and possibly a serious hazard to others) and get the fire axe from down the hall.

A couple two-three whacks and you'll see the hard drive. Couple whacks more and the spin is gone.

I used to have a pet fire axe named "Igor" (long I). Solved a multitude of minor problems.

July 18, 2003, 05:10 PM

I have used 9mm and up, favorite of course is the .45ACP, then we have used fuel to burn them, then buried. Can I play?

" He pulled his Caspian 1911 in 9x23, knowing where the HDD was...after the shots he poured the lighter fluid...using the book of matches next to the candles he lit a smoke,then lit the book and tossed toward the HP...pulled the door closed with his was still cold ,damp and raining as he strolled to her rental Camry...he got in gave her a nod...she waited for the light to change, checked the rearview...took an abrupt left turn instead of straight..."

Dave Markowitz
July 18, 2003, 05:25 PM
Looks like frodo had a compaq with that drive and something somewhat old...few years atleast. here at work we have no less than about 50 of fujistu drives just begging to be taken to the range since we cant get rid of them

You sir, are a geek. <---Compliment.

It came from a Compaq DeskPro at work. It developed bad sectors. I've got a couple more waiting for trips to the range. Shooting them is the best use for a Fujitsu hard disk.

Nathaniel Firethorn
July 18, 2003, 05:33 PM
A UMP or .50 BMG rifle might just do. :evil:

- pdmoderator

July 18, 2003, 06:22 PM
thelonegunman at chairs the Creative Cybercide Foundation. you can see his work linked in the above site. Apparently buckshot works well but so does just about every thing else.

lee n. field
July 18, 2003, 06:55 PM
.45 ACP pokes thumbprint shaped dents into the platters.

July 18, 2003, 07:32 PM
Make sure the Monitor is on cause it causes the CRT to implode when it is. if it is off the projectiles just punch thru the glass but when a CRT is on whoohooo! its shatters the whole tube.

They're Cathode Ray Tubes. That means they're sealed glass under vacuum, from the day they're assembled. Under vacuum when turned on. Under vacuum when turned off. Under vacuum with green eggs and ham. Under vacuum, Perfessr I am. So they'll implode, regardless of when they're hit. ;)

Shooting hard drives is a great stress reliever. I'm particularly fond of using a .45-70 on them, myself:

Big hole:

Ballistic tests report:

July 18, 2003, 08:13 PM
Webhobbit has some good photos of him and Glocksman shooting some computer stuff. Maybe he'll check in with a link.:cool:

July 18, 2003, 08:37 PM
I have heard what a 220 swift will do to 1/2" plate, what about a HDD? Anyone want to volunteer?:)

July 18, 2003, 09:05 PM
That was hit at 100 yards by a 6.5-06 running just over 3200fps, with a 120gr Nosler Ballistic Tip. That's a fairly lightly-constructed bullet, moving pretty quickly. Here's the frontside of that drive:

Clean hole, like a wadcutter.

Here's the backside:

The .220 Swift would add another 800fps or so to the velocity, but the aluminum-bodied HD just doesn't offer a whole lot of resistance. Maybe with a Hornady A-Max or Sierra Blitz-King, it would be more dramatic. Maybe not.

Brian Williams
July 18, 2003, 09:24 PM
here is a monitor that was shot many times while turned off.

Here is a TV I shot once while it was on.

There is a big difference if there is a couple of thousand volts running thru the grid. OBTW I have been working with various electronic components and CRT's for about 25 years and they only blow real well when turned on otherwise mostly a big poof as it gets cracked or holed.

July 18, 2003, 10:07 PM
Micro, for the most part you're correct, the HDD is generally located in roughly the same place, but not always. For example, some Compaqs have the HDD located at the top of the case, some Dell's have the HDD located in the bottom drive bay, some machines have it located under the floppy drive.

Second, yes, a 7.62x39 out of an AK should be more than sufficient to punch through the drive. That would be my first choice. If you try a shotgun make sure you have eye protection as I have had the casing of monitors knock some shot back at me before...

good luck

July 18, 2003, 10:42 PM
When I was in the Army 67-71, I worked in a place where we used lots of computers proceesing lots of secret stuff. Since this was overseas and near Communist held areas, we had to be concerned about getting 'overrun'. Accordingly, we had a building really close by that was full of thermite 'slabs'. In case of a 'bugout', we were instructed to place a slab on each piece of compter equipment and touch it off. I"m glad I never had to do it, but it would have been interesting to watch. I suspect the thermite would do the job very adequately.

July 18, 2003, 11:01 PM
Thermite grenades were standard issue on board. Were we forced down by hostiles, our instructions were quite clear - thermite grenades would be placed inside and around the equipment racks, as well as between the racks and fuselage, and initiated. The molten burning aluminum would dissuade hostile forces from trying to capture and salvage the plane and equipment. :eek:

July 19, 2003, 12:19 AM

...yup I'd say an AK does the job quite nicely indeed.

VEPR K in 7.62x39 using barnaul hp to be more specific.

July 19, 2003, 12:20 AM
double tap sorry

July 19, 2003, 12:30 AM
Youre supposed to put Willy Pete on the slag after you are done with the thermite. We must be thurough (sp?)...

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