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Gerber Gear Ding Dong Breaching Tool

Written by Tactical Response Staff

A sledgehammer. A battering ram. A pry bar. All three are essential breaching tools for operators who need to get through doors quickly. The Gerber Gear Ding Dong™ combines these three entry tools into one tool. (Gerber Gear is the new name for Gerber Legendary Blades.)

The Gerber Ding Dong has the feel of a short-handled sledgehammer. In fact, think of the Ding Dong as a broad head sledge with a Fire/Rescue claw on the handle end. This is the same claw as used on the typical Halligan Tool, and at 27 inches long, the Ding Dong is the same length of some Halligan Tools. At just a little over 12 pounds, the Ding Dong is the same weight as some Halligan Tools.

The hammer end uses an enlarged, forged and machined head for hammering and ramming. The impact surface has been machined with aggressive cross-hatching. This texture effectively bites into doors and other surfaces as you impact them, minimizing slip and maximizing impact.

The enlarged claw on the pry bar end is an excellent addition to the modified sledgehammer. This end can be used to pry locks and hinges. It can also be used as a wedge in the gap between the door and the jam to either force the door inward or pry the door outward.

On inward opening doors, the hammer end can be used to open up the gap enough to get the claw inserted. On outward opening doors, a tap from any other tool on the hammer end can force the claw into the gap.

The Ding Dong handle has a fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) core, with a polypropylene overmold. The handle has two molded rings equally spaced to create mechanical stops for the operator’s hands, ensuring a solid grip when swinging at or ramming objects.

The Ding Dong may be able to break a chain or lock depending on the chain, lock and what it is wrapped around. The hammer end can be used to simply impact the lock. Or the Ding Dong handle can be inserted in the chain up to the hammer head and then used as a twist bar or breaker bar. The chain may or may not break, but what the chain is looped through may break, i.e., a crash bar or push bar.

The Ding Dong comes with a unique mounting system—a fiberglass plate that mounts to MOLLE gear. The Ding Dong mechanically snaps into the carrying plate and is held by a quick-detach heavy rubber strap. The mounting bracket can also be used to mount the tool in the squad car or SWAT truck. Most patrol officers will just toss it in the trunk. Unlike a Halligan Tool, the Ding Dong does not have a spike to impale anything else in the trunk, not a wedge end to cut into anything else in the trunk.

For SWAT use, individual, specialized tools like a heavy ram, a break & rake, bolt-cutters and Halligan Tool may make the most sense for the initial entry. However, for most callouts, once the initial entry is made, once the primary breach is made, the Ding Dong should be able to handle all of the rest of the residential structure and most of the rest of commercial and public buildings. Exceptions exist, of course; however, these exceptions just serve to prove the rule. The Ding Dong is that good. 

The time we spent with the Ding Dong proved to us that if patrol officers cannot make entry into the building with the Ding Dong, the specialized tools used by SWAT may be required. The Ding Dong and a pair of bolt-cutters should do it all. The Gerber Ding Dong is yet another step closer to that elusive goal of one entry tool for patrol.

The Ding Dong is one of the Gerber Gear tools for which they require public safety credentials to purchase. Through their PRO Program and shipping restrictions, Gerber only ships these restricted items to government personnel.

Published in Tactical Response, May/Jun 2014

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