Infantry Drills

H-90: Ballistic Reduction

Previous: H-87: Mechanical Reduction

H-90. Ballistic reduction requires the use of a weapon firing a projectile at the breach point. Ballistic reduction is not a positive means of gaining entry and should not be considered the primary method for gaining initial entry into a structure. It may not supply the surprise, speed, and violence of action necessary to minimize friendly losses on initial entry. In certain situations, it may become necessary to use ballistic reduction as a backup entry method. A misfire of an explosive charge or the compromise of the assault element during its approach to the target may necessitate the use of ballistic reduction as a means of initial entry into the structure. Ballistic reduction may have to be followed up with a fragmentation, concussion, or stun grenade before entry.

H-91. Once initial entry is gained, shotgun ballistic reduction may become the primary method for gaining access to subsequent rooms within the structure. Surprise is lost upon initial entry, and other reduction methods are often too slow, tending to slow the momentum of the assault team. If a door must be used for entry, several techniques can be used to open the door. Doors should be considered a fatal funnel because they usually are covered by fire, or may be booby-trapped. (Refer to ATTP 3-06.11 for more information.)

H-92. Unless a deliberate breach is planned, the platoon or squad can employ a series of progressive reductions. An example is an attempt to open a door by using the doorknob first, then shotgun reduction, then explosive reduction as a final option. Mechanical reduction can be used to clean up a failed attempt of a shotgun or explosive reduction, but also can be used as the primary reduction technique. Based on the multiple situations the complex urban environment presents, the leader needs latitude in his options.

Next: H-93: Exterior Walls

Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad