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I don't have a .50 cal rifle, but I do have a pile of old HDs that I need to dispose of and I want to be sure no one can read them. I am sure my rifle can handle the job but not 18 at a clip.
I don't have that many I don't think that need "reformatting" anyway, maybe a dozen give or take a couple.
"When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)
A buddy at my work used to be in the Air Force and worked at the DOD, when he was ordered to dispose of hard drives, they used wiping software, extremely strong magnets, then drilled through them multiple times to break all the platters.
The .50 cal solution is more fun, but I guess the govt. is saving on the cost of ammo