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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was watching an old episode of the TV series Homeland a couple days ago and saw something interesting.

The episode was set in the US Embassy in Pakistan and the main character, CIA operative Carry Matheson, was about to leave the embassy with a firearm.

There was a barrel in the CIA area with "Firearm loading and unloading station" written on it.

It was a barrel, with about a 10 inch diameter hole in the top, and presumably sand in the bottom to catch accidental discharges.

She inserted a magazine in her weapon, then stuck it into the hole and racked the slide to chamber a round and then pulled it out and holstered it.

Presumably the same thing in reverse is done to remove a chambered round when returning to the Embassy before putting the weapon back into the armory.

Is think kind of thing common?

For all I know, every police station in the country has one of these.

Seemed like a good idea.
 

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Used them on some military bases in the Far East and South East Asia 1967--1971 After that never saw one again until that Homeland episode.
 

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I've only been in a couple embassies and have never seen one. I didn't necessarily go everywhere in the embassy and it may also depend on the location of the embassy.

ETA: I have seen similar things elsewhere though.
 
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Never been to an embassy but we did have clearing barrels next to the Command Post and Armory.
 
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It's not a bad idea for unloading and clearing a weapon.
I have known some to dry fire into a sand can.
 

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In theater I despised these things. Here we have Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines being entrusted to have a weapon locked and loaded when on mission but we tell them to turn it off because they come on the FOB. NDs happened at these clearing barrels far too often. We kept our crap locked and loaded all the time but when visiting most other FOBs we had to clear at the barrel when entering.
 

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It was a standard thing for us in U.S. Army Europe in the 70s and 80s... We pulled armed warhead guard on the Pershing missile launch pads at the various combat alert sites, and a clearing barrel was posted at the exit of the exclusion area, and various other buildings. Woe unto you if you actually fired a round into the barrel, weapons were supposed to have magazine inserted, but the chamber clear. Still an old habit with me; I almost always carry the same way even now, loaded, chamber clear.
Pad 1.jpg
 

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Clearing barrels were common sights on the PBs, FOBs and bases I was at on deployments. They were also common at stateside armories.

I keep a 5 gallon bucket full of sand next to my safe, to serve the same purpose.
 
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The police department I retired from had one in the men's and women's locker room's and the armory. We also had one at most of military armories I went to (USAF & US Army). One Navy base that I was TDY at didn't.
 
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All AF SFS armories have clearing barrels as part of the daily issue / turn in process. Otherwise, guns are kept loaded and holstered through the shift.

At home we have kitty litter buckets, with built in lids that help keep things tidy and dust free, filled with dirt near all the safes. The guns are normally stored loaded here and locked up that way, but when cleaning or needing to unload/load the barrel is pointed into a dirt bucket, just in case.
 

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Clearing barrels and exchange on Shelby.
 
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I've made a few of these, usually a 10 or 12" pipe welded to a base at 45 degrees. they usually stand 30 to 36" off the floor and have about 24" of sand in them. The theory is that it will contain the muzzle if the gun went wild keeping the muzzle in place.

But a stack of newspaper or even magazines will also stop a bullet safely. Next to my bench in the garage I have a bucket of sand, in the house its a recycling bin. DR
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Has anyone done tests to see how much sand it takes to stop a typical 9mm or 357 magnum round?

Say the type of sand you buy at the hardware store for the garden or mixing cement.
 

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Standard feature at every armory and military police weapons cage. Nothing wakes you up quite like some idiot in front of you who drops the hammer on a rd left in the chamber at the end of a shift...
 

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It was a standard thing for us in U.S. Army Europe in the 70s and 80s... We pulled armed warhead guard on the Pershing missile launch pads at the various combat alert sites, and a clearing barrel was posted at the exit of the exclusion area, and various other buildings. Woe unto you if you actually fired a round into the barrel, weapons were supposed to have magazine inserted, but the chamber clear. Still an old habit with me; I almost always carry the same way even now, loaded, chamber clear.
View attachment 168034
I'm guessing it takes one HELL of a clearing barrel to do a Pershing missile... :rolleyes:
 

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I recall seeing one at an outpost in Central America that consisted of stacked truck tires and backfilled with sand. Not fancy but would do the job.
 
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