hmm... I hardrive will stop a bullet after all


Jacobus Rex
March 26, 2004, 09:29 AM
We just had great fun yesterday evening. Three of the guys from work and myself went shooting to "demill" about 30 or so hardrives from work. We can't just throw them away because of security issues, they have to be destroyed. I'm the IT Administrator so I get to pick the method of destruction! :cool:

It was great fun, but hardrives are tougher than you might think. They would stop 9mm and .45 ACP most of the time. .45 made big dents and torn spots. 9mm went in one side and but didn't exit mostly. Of course .22 LR didn't do much to them. However, .17 HMR punched right through them. I didn't think the bullet would hold up enough to go through.

The most fun was 7.62x39, .308, 12 gauge slugs, and .30-06. A hardrive will fly 20 feet up in the air! :D (or at least pieces of it will) :D Penetration was not an issue!

I'll try to post some pictures later on.

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March 26, 2004, 10:03 AM
While I'll grant that it would be a lot of fun to shoot up a bunch of hard drives, you could destroy them a lot easier simply by installing Windows on them.


Old Fuff
March 26, 2004, 10:35 AM
I second that ....

March 26, 2004, 10:43 AM
you could destroy them a lot easier simply by installing Windows on them.

:D :D :D :D ohmygawdineededthat...good thing my coffee cup was not beside me.

March 26, 2004, 10:58 AM
shot up about a half a dozen of em the other day. Close range with 12 ga (pointed into the dirt-be safe), and they would FLY! ...Very cool. Cant wait to scrape up a few more bad ones. The platters also made interesting ariel targets for bird shot :cool:

Harry Tuttle
March 26, 2004, 11:15 AM
shooting harddrives defines the term "missing sectors"

the data not replaced by 30 caliber holes, is still on the drive
but most heads tend to stick on the slag surrounding the data loss area

March 26, 2004, 11:29 AM
This is the first time I ever read anything here that looked like I could contribute to so I figured I'd go ahead and bite the bullet and register.

Any who, I'll go ahead and state that I was one of the other 3 guys at this shooting and had a total blast. I got to break in my p89 and wingmaster 20 gauge on a few hardrives and I must say, I'm extremely impressed with the p89 and birdshot at about 25 paces is almost completely ineffective against the hardrive horde.

The thing I found most amusing at this shooting was the flying Apple Seed Router after being shot a few times by an 870 express 12 gauge slug. That was funny!

I would have felt bad about executing potentially usable hardrives, but these were all old Apple/Macintosh hardrives that needed kill'n, so it was blast!

March 26, 2004, 12:51 PM
.17 HMR punched right thru!!
WOW, I'm impressed. I know it's pretty hi velocity, but I didn't think there was enough mass there to get through a hard drive.

BTW, Welcome falloutguy!

March 26, 2004, 01:04 PM
These data integrity tests pop up over time here and on the former TFL:

.38 Special double-ended wadcutters can indeed be stopped by IBM hard drives:

But add some velocity and a hard-cast semi-wadcutter, and they go sailing through:

A .308 Winchester, 6.5-06, and .45-70 do considerably more damage:

Sean Cloherty
March 26, 2004, 01:35 PM
. . . and I though I was the only one who had to explain the .30 caliber holes in the drivein my cube.

Another use for old HDs, mining for magnets.

The magnets which control the r/w heads are VERY powerful for their size. They work wonders holding up the kids "art" to our textured fridge.

March 26, 2004, 01:46 PM
Hmmm... this is good information to know. If my desktop PC ever gets caught in the crossfire of a raging gunbattle, it is comforting to know that the data on my hard drive will likely survive.


March 26, 2004, 01:56 PM
Another use for old HDs, mining for magnets.

Just be careful when you're taking them apart, the platters can be extremely sharp and cut your hand something awful.

El Tejon
March 26, 2004, 01:56 PM
Someone just rented "Office Space"?:D

Which one of you took my stapler?

March 26, 2004, 04:47 PM
30-30 SP and HP 150 grain and 170 grain, I can verify, have no problem punching through hard drives as well. Nice .30 cal hole, very satisfying.

I've got a couple old combination locks that we can't find the combinations for anymore, so I have a plan for those :evil:

March 26, 2004, 05:04 PM
I think I will find a bunch of old hard drives and chain them together... they will make a good trauma plate so I can take incoming fire while assembling my .300! :evil:

March 26, 2004, 05:12 PM
Interesting, I destroyed a Dell earlier this year with a combination of .45ACP, 7.62x39, and 5.56 from a variety of sources. Shots with 200gr .45ACP +P GoldDot's tore open the HDD casing like a sardine can and literally folded the drive platters over on themselves. Nice big holes thru all four platters then out the back of the case. Impressive penetration, this after going thru the front of the computer case as well.

The 7.62 did amazing things to the processor heatsink. I need to get a good picture of that. An increasing bore hole at an odd angle clear thru 5 heatsink fins with a molten metal look at exit.

I'm in charge of the hardware at work as well. :evil:

4v50 Gary
March 26, 2004, 06:42 PM
I'll keep this in mind when I want to bulletproof a car or suitcase. ;)

Dave Markowitz
March 26, 2004, 07:20 PM
<Bugs Bunny>

Hard drives make the most interesting targets!

</Bugs Bunny>

.30 Carbine works really well on old, POS Fujitsu IDE drives.


March 26, 2004, 09:54 PM
Actually, now that you know what you know, the thing to prove now is the Mil 5.56 rounds and the AK rounds. If the drives prove unbeatable with these, you can donate all those drive to the guys and gals in Iraq for their protection. Seems they still don't have full coverage of decent plates.

Now this might sound weird or bad, but I thought if an old drive would stop a bullet of the type "found in my area" and I had nothing else available, you can bet I'd stuff old drives in wherever they'd fit. Matter of fact, I have two right here. Thanks for the idea.


March 26, 2004, 10:37 PM
much more info on salvaging rare-earth HD magnets here. (

That site - Dans Data ( is also a huge wealth of computer knowlage that I highly recomend.

(hey - there's even a part about what kind of LED lights to use in an underground shooting range!)


March 27, 2004, 04:19 AM
NO NO NO!!! When the hard drive stops working, you're supposed to DEFRAG it. DEFRAG!! DEFRAG!!



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