New “Bolo” Connected Projectiles From Advanced Ballistic Concepts

The new Advanced Ballistic Concepts 12 gauge load

The new Advanced Ballistic Concepts 12 gauge load

On the more radical news front, I was able to see the new connected projectiles cartridge from Advanced Ballistic Concepts. Think of these as bullet bolos. You know, those primitive weapons where you connect three rocks or other heavy objects with string. As you spin and throw the bolo, the rocks on the end spread out to help ensure a hit on target. With real bolos, there is also the ensnarement factor as the whole mess wraps around whatever it hits.

Like a bolo, these projectiles leave the barrel as three distinct projectiles. BUT, they’re attached to each other with thin cord strong enough to hold the projectiles in a 24 inch pattern. With a rifled shotgun barrel, the whole bolo-contraption actually spins as it flies.

The intended use is interior home defense as effective range is dramatically reduced by wind resistance of the corded projectiles. The manufacturer claims this is a design feature to limit over-penetration risk in home defense scenarios.

One of the key selling points, as stated by the manufacturer, is the ability to hit your target with less than perfect shots. The other benefit claimed by Advanced Ballistic Concepts is multiple hits per shot. The center .45 caliber slug hits center to point of aim while one or more bolo “stones” hit elsewhere.

Before separating into a flying windmill of doom, the 12 gauge projectiles look like this.

Before separating into a flying windmill of doom, the 12 gauge projectiles look like this.

The company indicates penetration in the 5 inch territory when fired into ballistic gel. What’s less clear is performance after passing through heavy clothing. We’ll need to test that out more thoroughly to see what really happens when this load hits things.

Whatever the outcome, I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of one of these. That would be messy for sure.

We’ll get it into our testing schedule and see what happens.


  1. says

    That’s an interesting home defense “thingie” lol. I don’t think I’d want to be on the receiving end either, HOWEVER, I have to ask what happens when the home invader can still use their firing hand after being hit with one of these, and then proceed to shoot back?
    Personally, I keep “Zombie” rounds (by Hornady) in my .40 S&W to prevent over-penetration in either home-defense or Concealed Carry situations. Have to wonder how THEY do in ballistic gel. Given the design I see from the outside of the rounds, ballistic tip, segmented/jacketed hollow point, it seems to me that they would penetrate enough, and proceed to fragment within a few inches of flesh penetration.

    Anyway, the “bolo” thing looks pretty smooth, and it’s something I would consider if I had a semi-auto 12 gauge with a rifled slug barrel on it,

    How do they claim the bolo performs from a smooth bore shotgun? And what “gauges” are they available in?

    Thx, and cool post!

    • says

      This is an interesting one that I want to withhold too much comment on until I actually test it against a variety of targets. Sounds interesting, but I tend to worry about the wide shot pattern at short range, although the connected projectiles probably minimize risk related to that, ie if one hits something, the whole mess will slow down.

      Great point on the smooth bore shotgun, I’ll be sure to work that as well.

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