[[quoteright:330:[[Webcomic/{{Spacetrawler}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shootcontrolpanel_9446.png]]]]

->"Sergeant Colon!" he snapped, his mind still buzzing with universal policemanhood, "shoot the lock off!"\\
The sergeant hesitated. "What, sir? With a bow and arrow, sir?"\\
"I mean-" Vimes hesitated. "I mean, open these gates!"
-->-- '''Creator/TerryPratchett''', ''Discworld/GuardsGuards''

In movies and television, a locked door, or a padlock on a cage is never an impediment so long as the Hero has bullets to spare. One or two shots is generally enough to destroy the lock, allowing the door to open.

Unfortunately, in real life -- as shown by the ''Series/MythBusters'' -- this requires a high powered gun at close range, which causes lots of very dangerous shrapnel. Lesser firearms, especially handguns may harmlessly bury rounds in even standard padlocks to little effect. Only SWAT teams and soldiers ever do this in real life, and it involves a shotgun, Kevlar body armor, specialized ammunition (a powdered metal breaching round, often jokingly referred to as "Avon Calling"), and full face protection. Even then, the goal is not specifically to destroy the lock, but to destroy the surrounding door or the hinges. The old standby "entry tool" (a small battering ram) is a better choice in most situations; the reason breaching shotguns exist at all is that a battering ram requires at least two people to operate, and [[CaptainObvious the shotgun can be used to shoot bad guys too]]. That or a good, hard kick on [[MyopicArchitecture an especially flimsy door]]. (The [=MythBusters=] have done that one, too.)

Attempts to shoot the lock mechanism itself tend to leave the distorted metal jammed in place while the bolt or latch remains closed. In effect, it is actually ''more'' locked than if you had left it alone. Although if you decided to shoot the lock with a [[GrenadeLauncher Rocket Launcher]], [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill that's]] [[ThereWasADoor another]] [[OpenSaysMe story]].

The SpeculativeFiction version is shooting [[DestructionEqualsOffSwitch the control panel]] for the automatic door or force field, or [[ForceFieldDoor automatic force field door]]. While there are doors that "fail safe" or "fail open" when power is cut, in fiction this is always coincidentally whichever the shooter and/or plot requires. (Note to villains: The EvilOverlordList recommends rigging yours to reverse this.)

Tested on ''[[http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot5.htm The Box O'Truth.]]''

Not to be confused with [[ThrownOutTheAirlock getting shot out of an airlock.]]

See also OpenSaysMe, ThereWasADoor and AxeBeforeEntering for other violent ways to get throught the doors.


* Commercials for Weatherby ammunition would show a lock penetrated, but not completely destroyed, by a rifle cartridge.
* For years, the Master Lock company ran TV commercials during the UsefulNotes/SuperBowl where they would shoot one of their own padlocks with a gun to demonstrate its durability. This is an interesting application of RealityIsUnrealistic, because its effectiveness is based on viewers' expectations that a lock will break when fired at. (This commercial is referenced in the Creator/StephenKing-as-Richard-Bachman novella "Literature/{{Rage}}", when the narrator/protagonist puts his locker padlock in his shirt pocket, where it later saves him from a sharpshooter [[PocketProtector bullet in the heart]]. The narrator mentions later viewing that commercial, with adverse emotional effects.)
** Spoofed by an advertisement for a high-powered cartridge, which showed it blowing apart the lock with the words, "Sorry, Master Lock".
* In [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQbXeAycblU "The Crunchie Train Robbery,"]] the outlaws shoot the padlock off the strongbox holding the Crunchies.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Gets played with in the first episode of ''LightNovel/{{Gosick}}''. We see a maid shooting at a locked door, ostensibly to free her master, who is locked inside. Turns out that the maid is killing the master via a shot to the eye ''through the keyhole'' while the master was peeking through the hole.
* In ''Manga/HighschoolOfTheDead'', Takashi ''tries'' to do this, but resident Gun {{Otaku}} Kohta quickly stops him, worried that one of the bullets will riccochet and hit one of them.
* Done in ''Anime/TheFumaConspiracy'', but for the opposite effect most people go for. The lock is an old-fashioned one whose purpose is to disable the booby traps guarding a treasure stash. The person shooting it does so to trash the mechanism after his enemies steal the vase with the key hidden inside.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Scrooge [=McDuck=] does this in the Creator/CarlBarks comic "The Old Castle's Secret".
* In one of the ''Comicbook/WarPictureLibrary'' comics, the heroes are freeing a captured British spy from prison, and one suggests shooting out the lock. The spy responds: "You've been watching too many cowboy movies; the ricochets would kill us all." (As the prison has stone walls and a steel door).
* ''Comicbook/{{Bookhunter}}'''s opening scene shows a SWAT team using a shotgun with "shocklock rounds". In the preliminary briefing, Agent Bay points out that the hallway's layout prevents them from using a ram.
* Mentioned, but averted, in ''Comicbook/{{SHIELD}}'' #2 (2014)
--> '''ComicBook/MsMarvel''': Can you shoot the '''lock''' off?
--> '''Coulson:''' A.K.A. "Fire into a lunchroom full of high school students?" No.
* ''ComicBook/RatchetAndClankComic'' One of Artemis Zogg's robots do this to Talwyn to trap her on the ship in the 4th issue much to Ratchet's alarm.
* ''ComicBook/TheMazeAgency'': Lt. Bliss does this in "The Return of Jack the Ripper...?", when she, Jen and Gabe converge on the apartment where the killer is holding their last intended victim.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In the ''Manga/DeathNote'' fic ''Fanfic/AllYouNeedIsLove'' during their raid on the terrorist base this is [[OpenSaysMe Light's solution to Matsuda's "door problem."]]
* This shows up in ''Fanfic/FalloutEquestriaOccupationalHazards'' with Twintails and his rechambered .45 ACP Luger. Much to his companion and friend Minty's dismay, he does quite enjoy ballistic lockpicking over the standard bobby pin and screwdriver kind.
** Taken UpToEleven by the sequel, ''Fanfic/FalloutEquestriaEmptyQuiver'', where Night Strike continues the tradition of ballistic lockpicking with Thumper - a [[{{BFG}} 40mm]] GrenadeLauncher that doubles as a [[ShotgunsAreJustBetter shotgun]], and as such can load slug rounds.
*** Not that it works all the time, mind. One instance of failing a terminal hack to gain access to a secure hardened submarine pen led to her attempting a brute force hack with Thumper, only succeeding in obliterating the terminal and keeping the armored blast doors shut. Luckily for the group however, the sub pen was well-defended from both aerial and tank attacks, and as such has a mass of [[NoKillLikeOverkill Flak 88]] batteries on the roof, along with some decently hard-hitting APHE rounds. Needless to say, they aren't locked out of the place for too long.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/BigTroubleInLittleChina'': Jack Burton shoots off a padlock to free the female captives from their cells in Lo Pan's warehouse.
* The weasels use a machine gun to shoot a hole around the lock on Eddie's door to open it in ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit''.
* In ''Film/NoCountryForOldMen,'' the villain (chillingly well-played by Javier Bardem) shoots off locks, but with an air gun that drives a metal spike through the lock and launches it into the next room. As cool as this is, it is sadly [[http://www.intuitor.com/moviephysics/NoCountry.htm impossible.]]
* Done surprisingly realistically in ''Equilibrium'', which is otherwise notorious for outrageous GunFu. At the beginning of the film, a heavily-armored SWAT-type team raids a building because the residents [[CulturePolice are enjoying looking at paintings]]. The residents barricade themselves behind a locked door. The team breaches the door with point-blank shotgun slugs to the hinges and the door frame near the lock. Then RuleOfCool takes over as Preston dodges the residents' fire and singlehandedly kills them all with GunKata.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** In ''Film/ANewHope'', Luke shoots a door to keep ''shut'', cutting off pursuing Storm Troopers. Unfortunately, it also stops the bridge controls from working, making a heroic swing across a chasm (and a kiss that [[BrotherSisterIncest later becomes awkward]]) necessary.
** The garbage compactor [[NoOSHACompliance doesn't have a control panel]] on the inside (even though the chutes are big enough for a Wookiee to fall into), so Han tries shooting the door itself. That turns out to be a [[ReflectingLaser very bad idea]].
** In ''Film/TheForceAwakens'', Han resorts to this to open a door panel, after trying and failing to do a proper bypass.
* Subverted in the film adaptation of Phillip K. Dick's ''Film/{{Paycheck}}''. The hero and his girlfriend have sealed themselves inside a room, and she is about to smash the control panel for the door when he stops her and lets her know that will only keep them from opening the door from ''their'' side, not the bad guys.
* Played straight at the end of ''Film/TheMaskOfZorro''.
* Charles Lee Ray in ''Film/ChildsPlay'' did this to the lock on the toy store door.
* ''Film/JamesBond'':
** He uses both variants in ''Film/TomorrowNeverDies''. He first fries a code lock to ''open'' a door (toward the MadScientist's bureau), then shoots another lock on a ceiling hatch to ''seal'' it so the BigBad's minions can't pursue him. The door was about to lock itself anyway; Bond shot the lock so that the bad guys couldn't open it from their side.
** Also in ''Film/TheWorldIsNotEnough'', Valentin Zukovsky did this to release Bond from Elektra's torture device, even as he [[GoOutWithASmile suffers some mortal wounds]], using a gun disguised as a walking stick. Later, Bond also do this to release M from her cell.
** ''Film/DiamondsAreForever''. The door to Willard Whyte's room was secured with a padlock. It was shot off the door with a pistol to free him.
** In ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'', Bond shoots the lock of a jammed door in a subway tunnel in order to force it open.
* Used in the movie ''Film/{{Ghost}}'', as the plot is nearing its climax. Molly and Oda Mae barricade themselves inside their apartment and refuse to let Carl inside. He shoots out the lock with his ''small handgun'', with ridiculous ease. The lock simply falls right out of the door and he is able to open it without any further problems.
* ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'':
** ''Film/TheTerminator'': The Terminator shoots out a door lock with his SPAS-12 during the police station assault. Could count as EarlyInstallmentWeirdness as in later movies a Terminator can knock steel doors off their hinges. Perhaps it's because [[GunsAkimbo he has his hands full at the time]].
** ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'': The T-101 doesn't seem to bother with pistols. An M79 grenade launcher works better, though it's less "shoot the lock" and more "obliterate the door". Earlier in the film, he does this to padlocked fence gates while driving a motorcycle, ''with a shotgun''. Granted, it is designed to be a perfect killing machine, but that kind of precision is still very impressive.
** In ''Film/TerminatorGenisys'', T-101 punches out the panel for the fingerprint recognition, upon which the facility doors open.
* At the end of ''Film/TheLeechWoman'' a detective shoots out the lock on the titular character's bedroom door, which at least seems vaguely more plausible since a door handle's locking mechanism probably isn't anything near as sturdy as a combination lock. At any rate, it's more plausible than everything else in the film.
* In ''Film/HighlanderTheSource'', the first non-Duncan Immortal in the movie breaks into a tower and rides the elevator to the top. To prevent the guards from calling the elevator, he stabs the control panel with his scimitar. Stupidly enough, he stabs the control panel ''outside'' of the elevator, only preventing ''him'' from calling the elevator. Even if he thought of destroying the panel inside the elevator, there was still a perfectly fresh elevator ''right next to that one!''
* ''Film/SkyCaptainAndTheWorldOfTomorrow''. The title character throws an object and hits the control box for a door, causing the door to close and prevent pursuing robots from capturing him.
* In ''Film/DieHard'', when John [=McClane=] is cornered on the rooftop, he shoots out the lock of a door to escape through.
* ''Film/DieHard2'' has John shooting a padlock on an access grate to get onto a runway at Dulles Airport.
* Guns are used to do '''everything''' in ''Film/{{Ultraviolet}}'', unlocking doors included.
* ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk''. Indy shoots out the lock on the plane's cockpit so Marion can escape.
* Jack does this to a door in ''Film/{{Speed}}''. It takes him a few tries to nail the lock, and he comes very close to shooting some pedestrians on the other side of the door.
* The first ''Film/ResidentEvil'' movie. After Spence leaves the laboratory he shoots out the locking mechanism on the door so the others can't get out.
* ''Film/{{Clue}}'', of all places. When Col Mustard and Miss Scarlet are trapped in the lounge, Yvette recovers the revolver from the cupboard and shoots the lock twice from across the room. At least one of the bullets goes through the lock and Col. Mustard claims it hits him in the shoulder, and if you look closely and you'll see his suit coat is damaged and he was apparently grazed by the bullet. (In general Yvette manages an astounding level of RecklessGunUsage in [[https://youtu.be/uIUCcORbMvg?t=33s about 30 seconds]]: she manages to accidentally discharge the gun, takes aim at the lock to the door despite two people [Professor Plum and Mister Green] being in the way and needing to dive to the ground to clear the space, doesn't hesitate to fire despite both Colonel Mustard and Miss Scarlet being just on the other side of the door, grazes Mustard as mentioned above, and then accidentally points the gun at Plum and Green ''again'', causing them to once again frantically scurry out of the way once more lest she unintentionally shoot them.)
* Subverted in, surprisingly enough, ''Film/{{Skyline}}''. A door lock is shot twice to no effect.
* Blowing out the hinges with a shotgun also occurs in the 1982 film ''Who Dares Wins'' (aka ''The Final Option''), inspired as it was by the SAS tactics in the 1980 Iranian Embassy Siege.
* Subverted in ''Film/{{SWAT}}'' when the BigBad locks a sewer exit the protagonists were chasing him through. The lock is obviously a high-end, very tough lock, and a couple of shots from an assault rifle barely dent it. They have to resort to blowing the entire grate off with a claymore.
* ''Film/{{DEBS}}''. While the protagonists are secretly meeting with Lucy Diamond at Endgame, Bobby shoots a padlock that's securing a door leading to their location.
* Done at the end of ''Film/KellysHeroes''. Of course, since they shot the lock off with a ''tank'', they also ended up shooting off half the door.
* ''Film/{{Flash Gordon|1980}}''. Prince Barin does this several times while traveling through Ming's fortress after escaping from the dungeon, with a RemovableTurretGun he took away from one of Ming's {{mooks}}.
* ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra'': More like ''stab'' the lock. Snake Eyes doesn't think much of M.A.R.S.' security systems.
* DoublySubverted in ''Film/MulhollandFalls''. When attempting to get into a restricted military area, a character is taunted for trying to shoot open the gate lock. After lockpicking failed, they returned to use this trope, with success.
* In ''Film/Halloween4TheReturnOfMichaelMyers'', Brady tries to do this so that he, Rachel, and Jamie can escape Micheal Myers (having padlocked the doors to keep him out, they now have no time to unlock them when he gets in anyway). Unfortunately, RealityEnsues. Having been blasted with a shotgun, the lock is far too hot to touch and as such, they ''still'' can't get out.
* ''Film/TheyCallMeBruce'' (1982). After escaping police lockup, Bruce still has handcuffs attached to one wrist. Fortunately they come across a friendly cowboy.
-->'''Cowboy:''' Looks like you got yourself in a heap of trouble there, partner. Or did you just marry a cop?\\
'''Freddy:''' Excuse me, do you know a blacksmith who can get this handc-- err, bracelet off my friend?\\
'''Cowboy:''' I'll do better than that for ya. Hold your arm out straight there.\\
'''Freddy:''' [[OhCrap Ohhhsh]] -- (''flees as the cowboy shoots off the handcuffs'')
* ''Film/ShootEmUp''. Smith locks himself in the cargo hold with a hostage, then shoots him. On hearing this TheDragon shoots out the lock, but can't open the door as Smith tied the man to the hatch so his body prevents the hatch from being lifted.
* An underwater example in ''Film/KissKissBangBang'', where Harry shoots open the trunk lock of a sinking car in order to free the girl inside.
* John "Breacher" Wharthon in ''Film/{{Sabotage}}'' earns his nickname by breaching doors with his shotgun during DEA raids.
* Santa does this to a door in ''Film/ReindeerGames''.
* ''Film/DontBreathe''. When one of the robbers does this, it [[MuggingTheMonster wakes up the Blind Man]].
* In the third ''Film/PoliceAcademy'' film, one exercise for the recruits is to kick open a door and shoot the target behind it. Tackleberry's brother-in-law shoots out the doorknob, kicks open the door, and tries to shoot the target. [[ItWorksBetterWithBullets Click!]]
* ''Film/DanBrownsInferno''. Langdon is attacked in the hospital by a female assassin, and (due to a head injury) [[SteelEardrums winces in pain from the gunshots]] as she tries to shoot out the lock to his room and fails. [[spoiler:He later realises the fact that a hospital door had locks in the first place meant the whole thing was a set-up and he was meant to escape.]]
* In ''Film/BreakheartPass'', the sergeant shoots out the lock of the troop carriage to get outside and attempt to apply the brake when the carriages become decoupled from the train.

* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** Spoofed in ''Discworld/GuardsGuards'', where Captain Vimes orders Sergeant Colon to shoot the lock off a gate, despite the fact that guns don't exist, and Colon doesn't have his bow. Apparently storming the keep to arrest a corrupt official is such a key part of a police man's duty across the multiverse that Vimes was tapping into the general consciousness of coppers everywhere. Including places where they have guns to shoot locks off.
--->"I mean--" Vimes hesitated. "I mean, open these gates!"\\
"Sir!" Colon saluted. He glared at the gates for a moment. "Right!" he barked. "[[DelegationRelay Lance-constable Carrot, one stepa forwarda]], ''take!'' Lance-constable Carrot, inna youra owna timer! Open these gatesa!"\\
"Yes, sir!" Carrot stepped forward, saluted, folded an enormous hand into a fist and rapped gently on the woodwork.\\
"Open up," he said, "in the name of the Law!"
** Detritus later gets a siege crossbow called the "Piecemaker" which can shoot out the lock... and the door... and the surrounding wall... and just about anything else in a 270-degree arc.
* In the first ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'' book, Holly shoots the lock of Artemis' study with her RayGun, melting it and trapping him inside. When Butler comes to rescue him, he doesn't shoot out the lock-- he shoots out the doorframe. He notes that the door, made of reinforced steel, would have sent his bullets bouncing back at him; the doorway, made of the same porous rock as the rest of the manor, crumbles like chalk. He also notes that this is a major security risk that should be fixed as soon as possible.
* Defied in ''Literature/{{Sharpe}}'' - someone suggests shooting open a lock, but Sharpe points out that all it does is mangle the levers and make it worse. He does play it straight once, but in a way that would work. He shoots the door in. ''[[NoKillLikeOverkill With a cannon]].'' Played straight in the TV series.
* A character in the ''Island'' series of children's books tries this to get out of a locked room after stealing a gun from the guard. It works, but the bullet goes through the door and injures the BigBad standing on the other side. He's not too happy about this.
* The first ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' novel had the hero, as in the game, looking for many keys. The important thing was, blasting open a locked door was entirely possible, given his sci-fi ammunition, it was just that he preferred to save the bullets for the horrible monsters intending to eat him.
* Defied: When faced with a padlocked gate in ''[[Literature/TheBourneSeries The Bourne Supremacy]]'', Jason Bourne noted how useless shooting the lock would be, resulting in only shrapnel and wasted bullets. Instead, he cuts through the fence a discreet distance to the side.
** On the other hand, when the BigBad is in pursuit, said villain doesn't see how Bourne got past the fence and goes for the gate. He gets one of his minions to try this trope. It fails, and the Big Bad breaks a ceremonial sword in trying to hack at the lock.
* The '''ultimate''' version of this trope is when Literature/{{Goldfinger}} in the eponymous ''Literature/JamesBond'' book plans to use a ''[[EmptyQuiver stolen tactical nuclear weapon]]'' to blast open the vault of Fort Knox. This was fortunately changed for [[Film/{{Goldfinger}} the movie]].
* From Creator/TomClancy's ''Literature/JackRyan series'':
** In ''Literature/RainbowSix'' a bad guy tries to do this, rather unsuccessfully. He then shoot-cuts the lock off the door using a Uzi.
** In ''Literature/ClearAndPresentDanger'', the character doesn't even bother aiming at the lock. Instead, he fires five rounds from his revolver to separate the lock from the door and then opens it, "just like in the movies"--an unusual way of invoking the trope, since most movies don't bother with shoot-cutting the lock.
* ''[[Literature/MonsterHunterInternational Monster Hunter Legion]]'': Owen uses [[ICallHerVera Abomination]], a fully automatic shotgun based on the AK-47, to shoot out the lock on a fire exit that blocking his path into a building. The ricochet issue is addressed by the narrative, as is that there would normally be a special breacher round to be used for the task that's unfortunately unavailable to Owen at that moment.
* Defied in the AfterTheEnd book series ''Literature/Literature/{{The Guardians|VictorMilan}}''. When asked by a teenager if he was going to shoot out the lock on a locked door, the leader of the Guardians replies that it's a "great way to collect a bullet in the nuts kid and probably wouldn't open the door." He then proceeds to use a crowbar instead.
* Played straight in the Harlan Coben book "Promise Me" where someone shoots out a door lock with a .22.
* ''Literature/PaladinOfShadows'':
** ''Choosers of the Slain'' has an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mk_12_Special_Purpose_Rifle SPR]] being placed against the door lock and shot out with a burst.
** Shotguns used by the intruders in the prologue of ''Unto the Breach'' serve as the method of destroying the locks in the building they're raiding. Later, in the extraction of [[spoiler:Katya]], Shota's shotgun is used on the lock for the door to the building they're attacking.
* In ''Literature/TheMysteriousBenedictSociety and the Prisoner's Dilemma'', the Ten Men (thuggish henchmen who work for the BigBad of the series, Ledroptha Curtain) do a high-tech version of this, using their sophisticated laser pointers to disable locking mechanisms.
* A variation is used in ''Literature/FightClub'' by Project Mayhem members; rather than using a gun, however, it involves spraying cans of refrigerant [[note]](freon is used in [[Film/FightClub the movie]])[[/note]] into a lock before breaking it open with a cold chisel or a cordless drill. Notably in the book, the gun-like appearance of a cordless drill causes a cop to open fire, as he assume a Project Mayhem member is invoking this trope.
* In ''Literature/TerminalWorld'', Quillion attempts to shoot a lock open using a pistol, but only succeeds in denting it. Meroka then shoots the lock with her [[{{BFG}} volley-gun]], which doesn't so much break the lock as cause it to cease existing.
* In ''Literature/{{Room}}'', Ma tells Jack that this is how the police broke her out of the room where they had been imprisoned for seven years.
* This is {{discussed|Trope}} in the novelizations of ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'', as a means of justifying why it couldn't be done in the game. The S.T.A.R.S. members only want to do it as an absolute last-ditch resort (Like Jill about to be squashed in a trap) because they are afraid of ricocheting bullets.
* ''Literature/MarkDelewenAndTheSpacePirates'' has Officer Tirt lampshading this: 'Didn't expect ''that'' to work...', after he shoots a door panel, making the locked door open.
* A cop doing this at the beginning of ''Literature/FinalDestination: Dead Reckoning'' sparks a chain reaction that causes a nightclub to collapse.
* Subverted in ''[[Literature/TheGreatMerlini Death from a Top Hat]]'': when a police officer tries shooting out a lock all he does is jam it solid, they eventually have to remove the door hinges in order to send the latest corpse off to autopsy. Which really annoyed the murderer, for the record -- that murder wasn't ''supposed'' to look like a LockedRoomMystery, but the police bullets turned it into one.
* In the Literature/{{Boojumverse}} story "Boojum", SpacePirate Black Alice uses a RayGun to shoot out the lock of sealed cargo hold. It's actually the only time in the story she uses her gun, since she admittedly has absolutely terrible aim.
* In the ''Literature/PrinceRoger'' series the titular Prince develops a fondness for using heavy weapons for shooting the lock off (and the door, and part of the wall). In the last book during the climatic assault on the palace the assault team repeatedly uses plasma cannons to destroy the doors in their way. This is justified due to the fact that the doors in question are constructed from star ship armor and plasma cannons are the only thing they have that can destroy them and even they requires Explosive Overclocking to do so.
* Lampshaded in ''Unofficial History'' by Sir William Slim. While a platoon commander in India, he has to search a building and decides to shoot the lock with his revolver just like Literature/BulldogDrummond. The bullet ricochets off the lock without effect.
* ''Literature/ShadowPolice'': Costain does this at the squat that is Mora Losley's final hideout in ''London Falling''.
* ''Literature/TheThinkingMachine'': In "The Mystery of a Studio", after Hutch and Mallory fail to break down a closet door, Van Dusen takes Mallory's revolver and shoots the lock.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The above-mentioned ''Series/MythBusters'' episode, where they determined that the average handgun would not destroy a lock, and that doing so with higher-powered guns was not particularly safe.
* Called out by ''Series/MacGyver'' in "The Wish Child", where Mac, being a TechnicalPacifist, explains that shooting a lock won't work. Instead, he empties powder from six revolver cartridges into a lock, stuffs in a shell casing, and hits its primer with the gun butt to set off the powder and destroy the lock.
** The MythBusters tested this scenario and found it wouldn't work either. They needed over 100 cartridges' worth of powder and an electric igniter to blow the lock open. At the beginning of the test, they tried simply shooting at the lock and were surprised to find that one shot did enough damage to let them open the door.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "Sacrifice of Angels," when Quark had to shoot the [[{{Mooks}} Jem'Hadar]], leaving no one to let Kira and company out of their cell. Ziyal then shot the control panel, and down came the force fields.
* Shooting the control crystals actually works to take down a futuristic door on ''Series/StargateSG1''.
** And one in ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' by use of Ronon's many hidden throwing knives, but this is something of a subversion as their escape was engineered. It isn't an option in their other appearances.
** In another episode, Ronon shoots a Wraith door panel with his energy revolver to open it. In the same episode, [=McKay=] tries the same thing with a [=P90=] and is annoyed that it doesn't work like it did for Ronon.
*** Or maybe Fridge Brilliance: doors would be designed to open automatically in a fire, which a burst of hot plasma would simulate. And an armor-piercing bullet wouldn't.
** An earlier SG-1 episode manages to avert this, when an NID agent uses a machine pistol on full auto to shoot ''around'' a lock, completely separating it from the rest of the door (and he actually reloads afterward, for bonus verisimilitude).
* Both subverted and used (almost) correctly in the ''{{Series/Firefly}}'' episode "Ariel." Jayne attempts to shoot out a lock with a futuristic stun gun, resulting in total indifference on the part of the door (stun rifles aren't really designed to blow out locks anyway). However, [[spoiler:Mal's shotgun does a much better job at shooting out the lock, doing substantial damage to the door itself]].
* In the ''Series/{{Chuck}}'' episode "Chuck Versus the Marlin," Casey shoots open the lock to free Sarah who had been locked in a freezer by an enemy spy.
* Kate successfully shoots a padlock in the ''Series/{{Lost}}'' episode "Eggtown."
* Zigzagged on one episode of ''Series/InPlainSight'', all within about a minute. The lead, Mary, and another cop are trapped in a burning building. The second cop wants to shoot the lock, but Mary informs him that it won't work; the shrapnel would just bounce back. She tries to find the key for the door on the huge bunch of janitor's keys she used to get into the building, gets impatient, and shoots the lock. No shrapnel, but the dents damage the lock enough for them to get outside. She's surprised that it actually works.
* Played straight in several episodes of the 60s spy series ''Series/TheManFromUncle''.
* In an episode of ''Series/TheGreenGreenGrass'', the Driscoll brothers use a pair of AK-47s and destroy every part of the door ''except the lock''.
* Subverted in an episode of ''Series/{{Monk}}'' - When the gang are trapped in a bank vault with a limited air supply, Stottlemeyer wraps his hand in his suit jacket and attempts to shoot the padlock off a utility box that might contain a phone line so that they can get help. Multiple shots don't faze the lock.
* ''Series/TheGoodies''. In "UF-Friend or UFO" Bill is being chased by what he thinks is an alien, but Tim won't let him in the door, so he orders Graham's robot to open it. The robot promptly disintegrates the door, so Bill can't lock it after him.
* Jack Bauer does it in the premiere of the eighth season of ''Series/TwentyFour''.
* Used in the ''Series/FlashForward2009'' series - to be fair, it was a padlock, and it was shot from point blank range, so it was quite realistic.
* Done somewhat ridiculously in the ''Series/DoctorWho'' new series episode "Partners in Crime". A couple of guards try to chase Donna through a locked door. It should be noted she's well out of the way at this point, so it's definitely the door they're shooting. Armed with high-powered assault rifles, they just unload randomly on the door, perforating the entire middle section. They succeed in managing to shoot the handle off... then the door just falls off like they blasted the hinges.
** In Classic Who, the Doctor uses a laser pistol to shoot the lock off the Hydromel case at the end of "[[DoctorWhoS20E4Terminus Terminus]]".
* ''Series/{{Kojak}}'' used a shotgun to blow off the hinges.
* An early episode of the classic run of ''Series/HawaiiFiveO'' uses this trope. Danno shoots out the lock of a cheap apartment, only to accidentally kill a robbery suspect he was pursuing. The rest of the episode deals with the aftermath.
* In the first episode of ''Series/WildBoys'', Jack shoots the lock off the strongbox they steal from the stagecoach.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' plays this straight and averts it, depending on the episode. When played straight, it is typically done by shooting all round the edge of the ([[ScriptReadingDoors standard sci-fi sliding]]) door to make it fall in. {{Averted}} and [[DiscussedTrope discussed]] at once in an episode where Sheridan warns a group of opponents trapped in an adjoining room that the doors are made from an alloy that will deflect [=PPG=] blasts.
-->'''Sheridan:''' ''Ricochet's a killer.''
* Subverted in ''Series/{{Bones}}''. Bones tries to shoot a lock with a revolver, and the bullet ricochets off the lock hitting Booth in the leg. He even knew it was coming. However, played straight a few minutes earlier when Booth shot out a padlock. Booth has shot out a few locks.
* Discussed in a Season 4 episode of ''Series/TopShot''. For one elimination challenge, the players had to breach three locked doors using a specially modified pump shotgun. Their trainer, a former Navy SEAL, took great care to show them how to do the job right: by tilting the barrel down at a 45-degree angle and putting the muzzle between the lock and the doorframe.
* Linda does this in "The Fourth Hand" on ''Series/UnderTheDome'' to gain access to the warehouse where the propane is being stored.
* Played with on ''Series/ChicagoPD''. The cops shoot out a lock using a proper breaching shotgun but the door still will not open since the suspect barricaded it from the other side. They then shoot out the hinges and shift the door to the side enough that they can push through the obstruction.
* Subverted in the ''Series/{{Scorpion}}'' pilot, where a Homeland Security agent tries to do that only to be stopped by Happy (a so-called "mechanical prodigy") to point out that a lock like that will not be affected by the bullet from his sidearm, but the bullet is likely to ricochet and hit one of them. She finds another way in.
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'': In "The 12 Step Job", Nate shoots out the lock on the window in the rehab facility when attempting to escape from the gangsters.
* In the ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' episode [[Recap/SupernaturalS02E22AllHellBreaksLoosePartTwo "All Hells Breaks Loose, Part Two" (S02, E22)]], this [[PlayingWithATrope trope is played with]] by making the key to the lock actually be a gun.
* ''Series/GetSmart''. The Chief gets his head stuck inside a portable version of the Cone of Silence, and gets rather alarmed when Max intends this trope. He tells Max to use the butt of his gun to break the lock.
* ''Series/PersonOfInterest''.
** In "Dead Reckoning" the villain shoots the lock on an electronic door to seal Reese and Snow in a room with a bomb. They cut the power, shoot the back-up battery, then push the door open.
** Subverted in "If-Then-Else", where the Machine is running computer simulations to get them out of their latest crisis. Whenever Team Machine shoots out the lock it alerts the guards inside, causing a shoot-out that draws other Samaritan soldiers. However when Shaw comes up with the keypad combination, they're able to take the guards by surprise, giving Team Machine a chance of survival.
* At the conclusion of the ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' episode "Red Cell", Tony does this to break into a room where the killer has barricaded himself and Gibbs, hearing the sounds of a knock-down, drag-out fight. Despite the fact that he was doing this to aid Gibbs (and possibly save his life), it still seems highly dangerous, as he had no way of knowing that those bullets wouldn't hit Gibbs.
* ''Series/TheEqualizer'' does this from across the room in the middle of a gunfight in "Torn".
* ''Series/DarkMatter'' Three does this to lock One in his room when the crew is trying to find out who the traitor is in the season 1 finale.
* ''Series/BlakesSeven''.
** Avon does this for a DynamicEntry in "Animals", even though the underground base he's entering had earlier been stated to be impregnable. It doesn't help that the actor nearly has a PratFall as he charges inside and the main door is shown to be wide open, which makes you wonder why they didn't just enter that way.
** In "Gold", Avon shoots out the locks on a crate of gold bullion, having been warned that it might be booby-trapped. He stands well back and shields his face from potential shrapnel.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Generally averted in ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}''. Because locks, like most machines, have the "Injury Tolerance (Unliving)" trait, all Piercing damage is divided by three after factoring in Damage Reduction. This means that a typical 9x19mm handgun deals a whopping 1 damage per shot to a standard lock. So, you're typically looking at a minimum expenditure of ''six'' bullets before a lock potentially fails. Shotgun slugs usually destroy a standard lock in one shot, but that is to be expected: they deal more damage and are of a different damage type (Huge Piercing) altogether.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Done realistically in ''VideoGame/SWAT4'', you need to use a special breaching shotgun to do this, normal guns won't do the trick. Or you could just use the breaching charge, an explosive made for that exact purpose. ''VideoGame/SWAT3'' does it less realistically, probably due to limits of what could be done in the engine - you can still open locked doors with breaching shells from a shotgun, but it will work no matter where you shoot.
* The ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' series plays with this concept - even though doors can only be opened by other characters or in scripted scenes, they are performed realistically. These involve others blasting both the lock ''and the hinges'' of a door with a shotgun, or your character placing a breaching charge that reduces the door to splinters.
* In an example of GameplayAndStorySegregation, the original ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'' only lets Barry do this in a cutscene to save Jill (which only applies to the remake. The original version has him kicking the door in). At any other time you absolutely need to have a key or lock pick.
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' actually has several variations on shooting the lock. Blasting the padlock with a gun works. As does kicking the door itself, although that will generally take several attempts (Leon's strong, but he's not ''that'' strong). It's also possible to ''knife'' the lock open. In each case, shooting the lock is not strictly necessary; you ''can'' shoot the chain instead, if it's visible. And for doors that aren't locked at all, but that you don't want to open, you can blow large holes in them. Even with 9mm handgun rounds.
** [=RE4=] is all over the place with this trope. Some locks can easily be broken while some require considerable firepower, such as the cage fight with the second Garrador and numerous zealots.
* Though not quite the same, several ''Franchise/StarWars'' games allow you to pop open a door simply by using your lightsaber to slice open ''an electronic lock''. Seriously, just one swing and the doors open on their own. Of course, the movies subvert this, showing not only can you ''not'' do this, but it actually takes a while to cut through your standard ship door.
* ''VideoGame/HitmanBloodMoney'' finally introduced this feature to the series as an alternative to opening locked (or even unlocked) doors quickly, noisily, and with a gun aimed into the room beyond.
* In ''VideoGame/GoldenEye1997'' for the N64, you must shoot off a lock to open a gate. You can even do this with your hands.
* Considering your signature weapon is a crowbar, this is almost {{justified|Trope}} in ''VideoGame/HalfLife''. Though a bullet will still work, and regardless you just hit it with the crowbar once rather than actually using it.
** The gamemod ''VideoGame/TheyHunger'' has a padlock in an early level. Since the weapons are re-skins of the ones of ''Half-Life'', you can conserve ammunition by breaking it open with an ''umbrella''.
** Don't bother shooting the Combine door locks though. Those can only be opened by people other than you. Or the Combine, who like to make them explode.
** The achievement "The One Free Bullet" is unlocked if you complete the entirety of ''VideoGame/HalfLife2: Episode 1'', firing exactly one bullet. You don't get your crowbar until near the end of the game; take a guess at what you have to use that one bullet for.
** The first game does this a bit differently for a few locked doors, though. If it's locked, you either aren't supposed to go that way, or you ''are'', and you just need to either get someone to unlock it/cut it down, or [[DoorToBefore unlock it yourself on the other side]] after getting past it through an air vent or something.
* Similarly, padlocks in ''VideoGame/{{Bioshock|1}}'' can be broken by bullets, or even the wrench.
* In ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' series, shooting is the ''only'' way to open a door, as your energy blasts somehow open doors. Architects must've been insane to build doors like this. ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime2'' explains this if you scan a door: It's a low powered force field, meant to keep the native (and not-so-native) critters out/in.
* Lampshaded in ''VideoGame/PerfectDark Zero'': "The keyhole looks about bullet sized".
* In ''VideoGame/DeadlyPremonition'', York does this in a cutscene to free Forrest Kaysen, who is locked in the basement of the art gallery. You can also do it to padlocks in regular gameplay, though hitting them with any other weapon will work just as well.
* In the ''VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon'' series, padlocks can be shot off or bashed off with a melee attack. Unlocked doors can also be [[DynamicEntry opened with a rifle butt or grenade]] in the first game's expansions and later, though those expansions in particular are very mysterious about it, since not only will doors magically close themselves after a few seconds, but there are also some padlocked doors that you ''can't'' shoot open, because the padlocks are part of the door texture rather than an actual physical (and destructible) object.
* ''Franchise/DeadSpace'': Despite Isaac's engineering skills several doors are opened by shooting out the exposed and highly visible fuses next to them.
* ''VideoGame/{{Mindjack}}'' uses both versions of this in cutscenes. The protagonists find that shooting panels works for either opening or closing doors.
* The only way to open a padlocked door in ''VideoGame/{{Uncharted}}'' is to shoot the lock.
* [[VideoGame/CallOfCthulhuDarkCornersOfTheEarth Jack Walters]] does it occasionally.
* In the first act in ''VideoGame/SyphonFilterDarkMirror'', you have to open a lock to a gate by shooting it.
** The first couple games had a few spots where you had to shoot the padlock off a gate or vent grating.
* ''VideoGame/{{Postal}} 2'' allows you to kick open doors if you're in a hurry, though like ''FEAR'' above they mysteriously close on their own after a while. The "Apocalypse Weekend" expansion adds a sledgehammer that can just break them down entirely, even at a distance if you throw it, except when the plot dictates that it's an indestructible door.
* In ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheSecondStory'', Claude uses his Phase Gun to bust open the door to Allen's mansion in Salva in order to rescue Rena from him.
* This is possible in ''VideoGame/JaggedAlliance 2 [[GameMod v1.13]]'', but really not recommended with regular weapons; you'll see the result "lock hit" if the bullet damages the mechanism, but it generally requires a lot of 5.56 or 7.62x39 to reliably work. On the other hand, specialized "lockbuster" rounds for shotguns are available for the purpose and will generally destroy the lock in a single hit; it is standard practice among ''[=JA2=]'' vets to have one merc carry around a short-barreled shotgun of some variety in a leg holster, loaded up with lockbuster shells for that express purpose.
* Parodied in the ''VideoGame/Borderlands2'' DLC "Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty", where you end one main quest by shooting the lock off a chest containing [[PlotCoupon part of a compass that leads to a buried treasure]]. Unfortunately, the compass part ends up getting destroyed in the process, and the next quest involves having to scrounge up parts to build a replacement.
* ''VideoGame/RainbowSix'' lets the player blow up doors wholesale to surprise any tangos that happen to be on the other side - breaching charges to disorient them are most common, but at least in the ''Vegas'' games a block of C4 or a pair of shotgun blasts will do the trick just as well, generally killing whoever's on the other side (sometimes before the door is destroyed, if you use a shotgun). ''[[VideoGame/RainbowSixSiege Siege]]'' makes this a more expansive element to the game by allowing just about anything to be shot through or blown out for quick creation of sightlines and doorways.
* Played straight in ''VideoGame/{{Cryostasis}}'' in the last flashbacks -- the locked door to the bridge is shot around the lock. Immediately backfires as the bullets lethally wound the captain and other officers [[OhCrap can't prevent more damage to the ship]].
* ''VideoGame/PAYDAY2'' has wooden doors and standard metal and glass doors whose locks can be shot out with any weapon. Shooting out the lock can help bypass the time needed to pick the lock and if you want to go for the more flashy route, using explosive weapons or a shotgun with explosive ammo can completely blow the door to pieces. However, reinforced steel doors or doors attached to a security system can't have their locks shot out at all and explosive weapons won't work either. You'll have to either use a saw, a drill, or C4 to pop the lock. You can also use an ECM jammer to hack the door open if applicable and using a key card also works.
* In a few missions of ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', you shoot the lock off of control panel door to get to the controls inside. Hilariously subverted in the Citadel DLC, however. At one point, Shepard prepares to shoot the lock out of a door, only to be stopped by their partner, [[MundaneSolution who politely knocks on the door and asks the merchant inside to open it]].
* The Sega Genesis version of ''VideoGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' had three ways to open a Mag-Lock security door - use an expensive and illegal Mag-Lock key, attempt to re-wire the door (which may set off an alarm if your electronics skill isn't up to par), or blow the door open with a Frag Grenade (which [[CaptainObvious trips the alarm for some reason]].)
* ''VideoGame/HopkinsFBI'' requires the title character to shoot out a door lock with his revolver to progress the plot. For some reason, it's the lock to his fiancée's bathroom door.
* ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'' has one member of your trio, Adams, open locked doors using his shotgun.
* ''VideoGame/UntilDawn'' has one of the characters run around and shoot at padlocks, first with a pistol, then a sawed off shotgun. It always works on first try, with relative distance to the lock and with the character wearing nothing even closely protective.
* It's possible to shoot locked chests to open them in ''Videogame/EnterTheGungeon'', though doing this means that you're more likely to get either a consumable or just junk rather than the item itself. That is, unless you're using the [=AKEY-47=], a gun that shoots keys; the description states that this is what it is made to do.
* In ''VideoGame/FTLFasterThanLight'', player and enemy characters alike will shoot at any door that blocks their way. The better the doors system, the longer it takes to open them.
* ''VideoGame/IAmAlive'' allows you to shoot out padlocks with a single bullet. These usually guard areas with decent loot.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Parodied in [[http://www.biggercheese.com/index.php?comic=760 this Bigger Than Cheeses strip]].
* ''Webcomic/ProblemSleuth'' - a constant RunningGag is that the game you're playing keeps confusing guns with keys anyway.
* Played with by ''Webcomic/{{Spacetrawler}}''. Dmitri shoots the control panel; when this fails to open the door, he comments, "This always works in movies."
* Reynardine takes a [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archive_page.php?comicID=218 direct approach]] in ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt''.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Played with in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', when Peter rescues Lois from Mel Gibson. Mel proceeds to brandish a gun, which he uses to blast open the lock of a safe, inside which a slightly bigger gun lay.
* ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeResolute'': Duke shoots the electronic lock on Cobra Commander's emergency bunker. Cobra taunts him for thinking that would get him in. Duke replies that he didn't think it would get him in, just prevent Cobra from getting out, as it's revealed he activated the SelfDestructMechanism.
* Used often in ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}''... and subverted just as much, as Archer tries shooting out steel locks on bulletproof doors, often resulting in painful ricochets.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* There was an interview with an Israeli sniper instructor in ''Soldier of Fortune'' magazine, where he mentioned a building. The fact that it took three simultaneous shots demonstrates how improbable this trope is with modern lock design.
* Breaching, or [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatton_round Hatton]] shotgun rounds are designed specifically to do this relatively safely to the firer and anyone in the room behind the door. Though they're fired at the hinges equally, if not more often.
** This is also the primary purpose for the development of shotguns mounted under the barrel of an assault rifle, most famously the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KAC_Masterkey Masterkey]].
* Real life example of the SF version: In a video shown on [=TruTV=], an armed robber herded the employees of a store into the back room and attempted to cut telephone lines to prevent the victims from calling for help. Instead, he cut a wire controlling the door to the back room, preventing it from opening and trapping him until police arrived. [[EpicFail Oops.]]
* Like the ''Kojak'' example above, the Special Air Service found it was more effective to use a shotgun to destroy the door's hinges, rather than the lock. Though these tactics may have been superceded by the invention of Hatton rounds.
** If 'SAS Survival Secrets' is accurate, allegedly they use Hatton rounds exactly the same way.
* TruthInTelevision, as far as control panels are concerned: At least in Germany, safety regulations require doors to open when their controls are damaged.
* This trope is apparently fairly old, with the result that one careless commando in a raid on St. Nazaire in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII tried to shoot out a lock without thinking about ricochets and shrapnel and ended up wounding himself rather badly.
* In dealing with older buildings, especially buildings in a state of disrepair, law enforcement personnel will sometimes opt to breach a ''wall,'' rather than a door, especially if they have solid information that places a criminal near said wall. This can be very effective, and much safer than breaching at a standard entry point, especially in older, poorly maintained buildings.
** This method is incredibly effective in Afghanistan, where most rural buildings are "mud huts" - think adobe. A pattern of detcord could blow through a typical wall, and when Rangers discovered that this created a massive dust cloud inside, meaning they couldn't see during the breach, negating the element of surprise, they just taped IV bags to the wall under the detcord. This also had the effect of focusing the shock, making wall breaches even more effective. Or they stood off and shot a [[{{BFG}} Carl Gustav]] at it.
** This was a major reason why the Panzerfaust was as popular among the Soviets as it was the Germans who made it during urban combat in World War II. Going outside to move between buildings could put you in the sights of snipers, tanks, aircraft and various other nasty things - blowing a hole in the wall between buildings to move between them without ever actually going outside was simpler and safer.
* Of course, modern, more [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nm2j0zsQ92M&feature=related effective]] means are sometimes used.
* During the liberation of the Cabanatuan POW Camp in [=WW2=], S/Sgt Theodore Robinson shot the lock off the main gate using a Colt 1911. He actually did this after it was shot out of his hand without injuring him, making this an example of both this trope and BlastingItOutOfTheirHands.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOoUVeyaY_8 Skip to 1:30]] for seeing a shotgun really effective at doorbreaching.
* David Bellavia, who fought as a Squad Leader in the Battle of Fallujah, describes one incident where he and his squad tried to blow open the front gate of a mosque, each unsuccessful until they finally used an [[AwesomePersonnelCarrier Bradley]] as a [[{{Car Fu}} battering]] [[{{ramming always works}} ram]]. One of the attempts had a soldier shoot an [=AT4=] (an 84mm antitank rocket) at the locking mechanism. The rocket scored a direct hit on the lock, but ''actually went straight through the keyhole (leaving a rocket sized hole, of course) without damaging the actual lock.''