Man vs. machine: New shotgun shell being marketed for shooting down drones

© Charles Platiau
Hobby drone usage is on the rise, with its privacy implications causing some discomfort. However, an ammunition company has apparently devised a solution: a shotgun shell marketed specifically to shoot down nosy camera drones right out of the sky.

The shells are given the name “Dronemunition” by their seller, Snake River Shooting Products. The packaging encourages buyers to “prepare for the drone apocalypse” with a subheading clarifying that they are referring to “the invasion of privacy” apocalypse that camera drones will bring.

The shells are 3-inches long and are full of #2 steel shot -- about .15 inches in diameter. The ammunition is relatively large, so firing it at a drone will smash it into a pile of useless metal and plastic. 


What seems to make Dronemunition special is its “ferromagnetic payload” that would presumably go a step further in disabling the electronic components of a drone. On the other hand, it could just be an elaborate way of saying that the pellets are steel instead of lead.

“The product also generates a discussion on the growing drone market in general,” the website states. “Self defense applies whether it is a person based or machine based threat and is just as important as protecting your family!”

Those using the Dronemunition for its intended purpose may end up having their privacy invaded by a much more menacing foe: the legal system. Shooting down drones that aren’t yours is a federal crime.

Some have had to learn this the hard way, such as a California man who was ordered to pay $850 in May for blasting a neighbor’s drone to bits with his shotgun. His presumably run-of-the-mill ammunition seemed to do the trick, begging that question about whether Dronemunition is worth buying at all.

READ MORE: City drone vs. country shotgun: Court case breaks out over downed hexacopter

Snake River seems to have already covered this with a seemingly paradoxical message: “DISCLAIMER: Federal, State, and Local laws dictate when, where, and in what situations a firearm can be legally discharged.  We are in no way condoning the use of this product for illegal activity!  Be sure to follow ALL firearm laws at all times!”