The Pneumatic Breaching Device, often referred to colloquially as the "PBD", "Power Fist", "Doorknocker", or "Master Key", was a handheld door breaching device first marketed by Law Enforcement Technologies in 2032, intended use by military and law enforcement in breaching doors in situations where explosives were not suitable, if hostages were known to be in the building, for instance. Multiple models of the device exist, some having an armored gauntlet worn over the hand, while others only had a simple frame fitted over the wrist. The device operated using two or four (depending on model) pneumatic pistons powered by a small back-mounted compressed air tank to drive the steel plate at the end of the device forward at great speeds. Some later designs of the power fist had collapsible frames, allowing a solder or police officer to easily carry it mounted on their belt until the device was needed. The impact of the pneumatic ram could strike with enough force to break the locking mechanisms of an unfortified door with a single strikes, typically causing the door to violently slam open. The "Power Fist" could knock plywood and drywall panels of their frames, break a single cinder block, or knock down a wooden picket fence with a single well-placed strike, with multiple impacts being capable of punching through brick and cinder block walls. The PBD was highly successful, and within a few years, the device was a staple of police departments around the country, as well as the US military. When deployed operationally, the "Power Fist" operator stood at the side of the door frame and placed their hand around the corner, pressing at against the door above the handle, exposing as little of themselves as possible to any threats that may be waiting on the other side of the door, while the rest of the breaching team stood in stack on the other side of the door. The pneumatic ram was activated by pressing a trigger mounted in the frame. Immediately after the door was breached, the assault team would enter and clear the building. In addition to military and police clients, Law Enforcement Technologies also sold significant numbers of power fists to fire departments and private demolition companies, where they partially replaced, or at least supplemented more traditional demolition tools such as as fire axes and sledgehammers. By 2077, power fists were used by the armed forces of over 20 countries, and thousands of police and fire departments world wide, in addition to numerous units sold to private demolition companies.
Seeing use with over 20 different countries armed forces, the power fist saw use in close combat operations in the European-Middle Eastern War, European Wars, Third Sino-Japanese War, American Annexation of Canada, and the Sino-American War. It is believe that at some point during the Middle Eastern War that the power fist first saw a grisly new usage- as a weapon. One account of a European Commonwealth soldier describes being ambushed in house-to-house fighting by an United Arab Coalition soldier who attacked him with a bayonet-mounted AK-47. Lacking the time to draw his sidearm, the soldier struck his attacker in the side of the head with his power fist after a struggle lasting a couple seconds. While the power fist was not intended as a weapon, blow from the pneumatic ram was sufficient to cause fatal blunt force trauma. Numerous similar incidents showed that a strike to head with a power fist would typically cause a depressed fracture, which would result in skull fragments piercing the brain, often killing the unfortunate target. Strikes to the limbs and torso were often not fatal, but could break bones, and often knock the enemy off his feet, allowing them to be easily finished off with small arms fire.
With millions of units produced, the Law Enforcement Technologies PBD, as well as numerous "knock-offs" manufactured by other corporations survived the war. After the war, the power fist's primary use shifted from a breaching and demolition tool to that of a weapon. Raiders and other wastelanders would often customize their power fists to make them more effective weapons by attaching spikes, knife blades, and on rare occasions, even functioning buzzsaw blades to the front plate, effectively turning it into a pneumatic punching dagger. Some post-war modifications even included the attachment of stun guns or electric heating elements to the device, with the intent of stunning or burning the target. Whatever the modification, the power fist was often paired with an N99 10mm pistol or other handgun which could be easily fired one-handed, giving the user an effective weapon both melee and ranged (at least up to the effective range of the sidearm) combat.