The Modular Battering Ram (MBR) is the latest addition to Paratech’s Tactical Forcible Entry line. Well-named, the ram is, in fact, modular. The MBR body is designed to receive three different impact heads. It is also designed to accept a coupler, which accepts another MBR body. The Paratech ram can quickly be upgraded from a one-operator ram to a two-operator unit.
The Paratech MBR comes with three quick-change ram heads. The Standard head is 6 inches in diameter. Importantly, the Standard head has a radiused, slightly domed impact surface. In reality, operators seldom hit the door with the ram head perfectly flat against the door. This means the force from an ordinary flat-head ram gets transferred through just the edge of the head, just an edge contact. This more focused impact can crack or splinter a door, instead of spreading the force out to the lock or hinges.
The rounded, radiused Paratech MBR head accounts for the slight off-angle of the operator’s impact. Even if the incoming swing of the ram is at an angle, the MBR head still impacts over a wider surface, an “area” instead of a “line.” The 6-inch mushroom-shaped head is less likely to penetrate and get stuck than a smaller diameter head. This impact spread over a larger area makes the MBR more angle-tolerant, mistake-proof, user-friendly.
The Ball head has a perfect ball shape. This is the head to use when the operator wants to concentrate the impact energy over a smaller area. The Ball head is the right choice for breaking glass block, wire-reinforced plate glass, hurricane glass, or other odd shaped or even objects. In addition to a more concentrated force, the Ball head also allows a more location-precise impact.
The Cone head has a sharp, wedge-profile point. This steeply angled point is designed to concentrate the impact energy on one small spot. This is the head to use when striking concrete block, brick, metal or wooden boards. The point penetration may allow the insertion of chemical agents, or the fulcrum of an entry tool, or be the first step to continue to crack or splinter your way into the structure.
The pointed Cone head also works extremely well against difficult glass. The same diameter as the 3.5-inch ram body, the Ball and Cone heads simply cannot get stuck inside the structure after impact.
The removable coupler, of course, connects one MBR body to another. It can remain in the end of the single ram body to increase the impact force. The coupler itself weighs 7.5 pounds. It can be removed to lighten the carrying weight, or it can be deleted from the MBR kit altogether to lower the purchase price.
The Paratech MBR with the Standard head on one end and the coupler on the other—the typical condition—weighs 34.5 pounds. The ram body is machined from 6000-series “aircraft” aluminum. The heads and coupler are made from “leaded” steel. It takes less than 10 seconds to swap impact heads, add or remove the coupler or a second MBR body.
A great deal of effort went into designing the ram handles. Paratech benchmarked a number of existing rams. They noted the flexible, rubber strap handles and the rigid, steel bar designs. They took a whole new approach—and set a new standard for a timelessly old tool.
The steel handles are solid and rigid—made of steel flat stock. By loosening a knurled lock collar, each handle can be rotated to one of five settings to accommodate individual comfort, multiple-operator use, or storage needs. It takes about five seconds to change the angle of the handle. Each handle can be positioned separately: one knuckle guard up, both guards up, handles separated for an optimal center of gravity, handles close together for tight spaces.
One of the best features of the Paratech MBR is the knuckle guards: steel flat stock protectors on the outside edge of each handle surrounding the foam grips. The experienced breacher will immediately see the need for such guards!
Each handle has a medium durometer foam covering the grip. Paratech tested many different kinds of grips before selecting this one. Some were so soft and spongy, they fell apart after just a little use. Others were so hard that the benefit of the covering was lost. The medium foam allows an extremely firm grip and gives better precision to the impact strike than smooth steel or hard plastic or rubber.
Paratech has designed a rigid carrier for the MBR and other breaching tools. The TFE Backpack holds the MBR in the center, their bolt cutters on one side, and their 24-inch Halligan Tool on the other side. On the Halligan side, the TFE Backpack also has the Velcro® straps to secure other tools like their sledgehammer and percussive response tool with bullpoint bit.
We spent quite a bit of time ramming things with this robust, cleverly designed breaching tool. The 27-pound base unit was easy to precisely swing, thanks to the foam grips, and hard on the doors we hit, thanks to the 6-inch rounded head. Using the pointed head, we broke enough cement blocks to be convinced of its effectiveness. Obviously, ramming through a cement block wall is a slow, noisy process…but this setup makes it relatively easy to do.
The Paratech MBR with one body, three heads and a coupler has an MSRP of $1,200. The minimum setup, the body with the Standard head, has an MSRP of $750. The TFE Backpack has an MSRP of $245.