In search of information... BLOCK BUSTER?


I have come across a shell that has BLOCK BUSTER marked on the side (see top shell in below photo) and it seems these may have been made by a company called LOCK & LOAD. My web search has not revealed any company information by this name, only that they made a variety of LE type rounds; flechette, door breeching and the like. I don’t know what’s in this shell because the only other info is the hand written “RD BLK”. Havn’t figured the “RD” out yet.

If anyone has info on either BLOCK BUSTER or LOCK & LOAD I would be grateful because I’m having little luck.


Shomer-Tec used to sell a load that they referred to as the “road blocker” which was basically a hardened slug designed for blowing holes through radiators or wheels, etc… They don’t list it anymore, but the internet archive shows it like this (takes a minute to load): Sort of like the brand new Brenneke maximum Barrier Penetration load here:

I’ve never seen a shell with “Block Buster” printed on the shell, and out of all the door breaching rds that I saw at Woodin lab none showed that, so it might not be a door breacher. “Block” might refer to an Engine-Block and lend credence to it being the road blocker type since that is what the road blocker does. Does it feel like a slug?


I just noticed that Hi-Vel (not surprisingly) also lists a “Road Blocker” 12ga, which is described in the same way as the one from Shomer-Tec. Maybe a call or email to Hi-Vel as to the “Block Buster” name will yield an answer. The Hi-Vel stock # for it is: HV-0616


Might “block” refer to masonry building blocks sometimes called cinder blocks or concrete blocks?


This shell, in fact all three shown in the picture, came from a SHELLCRACKER box also containing 2 other shells marked as a RED and a WHITE flare (ACTIV hulls). Supposedly these all belonged to a fish farmer who used them to scare birds away from his fish ponds. Shells marked “INCENDIARY” and “FLECHETTE” seem to be drifting away from an otherwise non-lethal scheme. As for this shell, clearly marked “BLOCK BUSTER” and “RD BLK”, I have no clue but it is lighter than a 1 oz shot load and heavier than the SHELLCRACKER load. If its some type of solid slug within, it’s the lightest I have ever encountered.

When I Googled “block buster ammo” I found a site listing a wide variety of specialty shotgun shells and among them was a BLOCK BUSTER I and a BLOCK BUSTER II. These were essentially breeching loads containing a HP slug, the second having the cavity filled with “explosive material”. A number of other rounds, including flechette and incendiary, were listed and identified as products of someone known as LOCK & LOAD. My search for that term was unproductive so that’s why I posted this question. I had never heard of LOCK & LOAD as a maker but obviously they did produce something like custom, specialty ammo for shotguns. I am in no way certain my shell is a product of LOCK & LOAD because there were no pictures to compare to. Perhaps LOCK & LOAD went away and someone bought their stock and simply used this hull for whatever is within. Maybe this box belonged to LOCK & LOAD, or whoever did their loading, and these are experimentals. There is also the possibility that Block Buster Vidio stores somewhere offered shot shells as an add campaign and there is no relationship to LOCK & LOAD (?) Lots of questions but not many answers!


That website that listed the Block buster I & II was an information key for people playing a certain type of role playing game, as it gave hit point and damage data on each type of ammo. Those sites are usually based loosely on reality and so it might in fact be drawing from what is/was a real outfit called “Lock & Load”. At least the name of the load is real since yours is stamped on the hull and looks legitimate (not homemade). Who knows.


You are correct Matt, as for the website. Originally I used the shortcut key but when I went back today, during my 2+ hours of searching, I discovered that… after bugging my eyes out looking for LOCK & LOAD. Do you have any idea how many people have used that name for their retail business? LOTS… here and in other countries!

So back to the BLOCK BUSTER avenue. BTW, did you know Block Buster Vidio was recently bought at auction?


Just a question regarding car engine blocks. Is there anything that could be put in a shotgun cartridge that could take out a cast iron engine block?

I wouldn’t have thought so, those blocks are thick and heavy and a 12ga is not that powerful. Even a hardened steel slug at 1600fps is going to struggle to make any significant impression. Certainly there are bits around the water jacket where the casting might be thin enough but they are a very small percentage of the whole block. Even then they will only produce a slow water or oil leak that would take miles to stop the car.


Vince, I can’t say that a 12 ga shotgun shell can deliver such a claim but they have been made and shells have been loaded with a variety of objects to do so.

In regards to the BLOCK BUSTER shell discussed here, I sent a message to Hi-Vel with a picture and this is what I got back.

Thru the course of my investigation I learned that whatever was inside the shell, for a payload, was reactive to a magnet… enough so that you could drag the shell across a desktop with the magnet. My guess is that a .50 steel ball bearing, no doubt packed in some sort of filler, would be just about right.

I have 2 of these so now I must decide if it is worth it to sacrafice one.


X - RAY no need to cut.


Ah yes, Pete, but I seem to have misplace my SuperMan X-Ray glasses and don’t plan on breaking any structural parts of my body soon so a sharp blade is more at hand.


Not trying to teach my grandmother to suck eggs but wouldn’t a very strong light be enough? Or at least a start? It may be a trick of the light but I think I can see through the middle part already.(between the B and the S )

Another old trick, not so easy to do these days, is if you know anyone who has a hobby darkroom. Lay a piece of B&W photographic paper down flat and put the cartridge on it then shine the light from the enlarger onto it for several minutes. If it has a plastic wad enough light goes through to create an image on the paper when its developed. Its almost an X ray although hobby darkrooms are few and far between since digital cameras.


Often a local Vet or dentist uses the X-ray & if pro-gun can perhaps be talked into trying some for the sake of knowledge. Important point to get across. (After all there are only two of these block busters known right, (koff, koff)
After hours perhaps ??
Just watch out for body parts with the sharp knife!


I sent Bill Woodin an email with the same photo (above) and this is his reply.

“We have a round which appears identical (except the BLOCK BUSTER is upside down), with crimped mouth, weight 467.5 grs. It was in a 3-round bag w. label:
The Can Opener
12 Ga.
My card file says “by U. S.Munitions”.”

I weighed my examples and they both came out to 469.2 grs. I also did the light trick that Vince suggested and the contents are small but not clear enough to call a ball… or anything certain. There are some powder flakes in the filler, between powder and load. As for the printing on the hulls, BLOCK BUSTER, both are different, in regards to running from or to the cup.

Will attempt to seek out an xray machine because I am not certain what is inside this shell, yet.


The person with the X-ray might need reassurances about the shell blowing up, have run into this several times.