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The Mini-Sentry Trip Alarm Goes BOOM

Avatar for Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: April 15, 2021
The Mini-Sentry Trip Alarm Goes BOOM

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ammunitionA while back my friend Dennis Evers sent me a Mini-Sentry trip alarm for testing and review purposes.

This little device is designed to deter intruders by setting off a charge when someone steps through the wire. I decided that this was a good job for the Survival Husband so I set him on a mission of getting the right type of charges and for testing the unit itself.

Before we get into his comments, here is short little video that will give you a sense of what it sounds like when the mini-sentry wire is tripped.


The Mini-Sentry is a unique device that uses a 22 caliber blank charge to set off a loud “boom” when the wire is tripped.  The goal is to let intruders know that you are serious about security and to give you some warning that someone or something has encroached upon your space.

mini-sentry_00     mini-sentry size

The device is small and can easily be mounted with a zip tie, wire or screws. The recommended charge is the Ramset 22 blank – the type that comes in a green box.  These are available at your local Home Depot for about $5.00 for a box of 100.  The lower powered Ramset brown (in the brown box) is not recommended.


Here are the results of Shelly’s (aka the Survival Husband) test.

I tested the Mini-Sentry by mounting it across the back entrance to my home.  I then triggered the device by walking through it.  The report is a very high decibel which I believe comes from its “bell” design.  I really do think it is loud enough to send a burglar running, especially if it is dark and he or she can’t determine where the noise came from.

mini-sentry_05     mini-sentry_02

There are many uses for this device such as across entries, attached to tools, and as security for a bicycle.

I would rate the Mini-Sentry at A+ for ease of use and affordability as well as for the loud boom that it makes.  Furthermore, I suggest purchasing multiple units so that you can surround yourself and maintain a complete, secure environment.

You will need a few supplies in addition to the Ramset charges.  I used a metal fishing leader 9” long, steel wire, and an eye hook.

Note:  After firing the device, the spent casing needs to be removed.  To do so, unscrew the cap on the bottom of the bell shaped section of the device.  You will need to insert something with a blunt end (such as the rear end of a drill bit) and force the shell casing out.  A rubber mallet works well, too.


The premise of the Mini-Sentry is to fire off the blank charge and scare away any would-be burglars or other bad guys.  It does indeed make a lot of noise and if nothing else, will let you know that you need to get out your pepper spray or shotgun and go out to investigate.

You can purchase Mini-Sentry alarm mines on Amazon here or you can check out this Mini-Sentry system available here.

UPDATE: You might also be interested in getting a robust driveway perimeter security system, in which case you can read our BDS review of Guardline Security here.

If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Backdoor Survival on Facebook to be updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon.

In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

How-To-Hide-Your-Gun-200The Absolute Rights e-book, How to Hide Your Guns, is full of ideas for keeping your firearms hidden in plain sight. The suggestions are practical and with a few tools and materials available from your local hardware store, you will be on your way to hiding your guns in fully accessible manner with no one being the wiser.

Not only that, you can use the same tips for hiding other valuables and items you want to keep away from prying eyes within your home.

Bargain Bin:  Below are some additional ideas for securing yourself and your home.

Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart: This is the book you need if you care about defending your homestead.

Sabre Family Home & Property Protection Pepper Spray: This small fire extinguisher-style pepper spray delivers a strong blast covering an entire doorway. Offering extremely practical protection, SABRE provides distance from your threat with its 30 foot range. I like that it includes a wall mount.

Dorcy LED Wireless Motion Sensor Flood Lite: This light is awesome. I use mine downstairs and when I get up in the middle of the night, it comes on automatically. It is quite unobtrusive (I own two in black) and gives off a ton of light. Runs for a year on 3 D size batteries.

Uniden Bearcat 200-Channel Portable Scanner: A hand scanner with ham band that is very portable.

Two-Way Radios and Scanners For Dummies: I will say it again. Yes, I love these books for “dummies” even though I actually think I am quite smart.

Midland 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios: These are the handheld radios that I own. There are lots of good uses for the these radios. Handy while hiking, traveling, or simply keeping in touch with your partner while out shopping.

FD TomatoesShop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.  They are currently selling their Freeze Dried Tomatoes for $25.99, a discount of over 40% off the normal price of $43.95 for a #10 tin.

Tomatoes are good to have on-hand in your food storage for your favorite recipes. They are easy to store and rehydrate anytime you need them and are great for adding versatility to your home food supply.

Something else that is featured this month is the Volcano Collapsible Grill with Propane Attachment.  You can read about the Volcano stove in my review SurvivalWoman Review: Volcano Collapsible II Stove but note that I did not purchase the propane attached and wish I had,  It costs a lot more to add it later.

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12 Responses to “The Mini-Sentry Trip Alarm Goes BOOM”

  1. 24 bucks??? I’ll pound these out all day for half that! a bunch of cheap pipe fittings? Too redneck for me!

  2. These are great. If you watch Dennis’s video, they can be attached to tools, gates, doors, trailer hitches, and any unsuspected objects….. not just trip wires. Use your imagination. Also, this cartridge is used all the time in new construction, renovating old houses, concrete work and etc. You may not have recognized the tools, or the sound, but they been around a long time.

  3. Interesting idea. I can definitely see how the Mini Sentry would be useful and scare away intruders. I do wonder about using something like this in a more urban or suburban setting though.

    I suppose it is much better to set off the blank than to have to use a live round, but trying to explain what just happened to the authorities seems like it would be kind of difficult.

    I can see how the legality could be questioned in some questions. To be clear, I have no clue if discharging a blank round is illegal in many areas, but definitely something worth considering.

    Maybe I’m just a little too cautious.

    • It was pretty easy to trip. We walked through it and it went off – it was as simple as that. I am not sure if I am answering your question, though. You might send an email to Dennis via his website for some additional assistance.

    • I don’t know about using it for a coop. Predators don’t seem to enter the same way everytime and even if they did set it off I’m afraid the sudden noise would not do the chickens any good either.

  4. Gale, enjoy your website. I see your friend George Ure mentions you a lot. After I seen the mini-sentry, I just went to the hardware store and purchased the materials to make my own. Works well & loud. I forgot that I had set the trip wire and set it off Sunday morning, hell, I scared myself. I want to make several more for perimeter sentries when I go primitive camping. You have a good day.

    • Would you mind sharing your design/method? The company apparently is no longer available online and I would like to be able to make a few of these myself.

  5. I got four of them (cannot pass up a good deal). Still working on just the right placements, but pleased with how easy they work and I really like the concept. Might want to stock up a few replacement cotter pins — those little things have a way of getting lost. I have childhood memories of a whole wheat harvest being held up while someone went to town to get a missing cotter pin!

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