This paper presents direct experimental verifications of the active shear planes in bolted connections, previously identified by the first author for determining the block shear capacity. The laboratory test results were obtained by independent researchers for specimens where the applied loads were resisted by the "block" in shear only. The first set consists of five bolted connection specimens in the webs of wide flange sections where the tensile resistance planes had been sawn off. The second set consists of ten bolted connection specimens each in one leg of an angle section that had fractured completely along the net tensile plane through a block shear failure. Comparisons among the gross, net, and active shear planes against the independent laboratory test results showed that the critical shear planes of bolted connections were best represented by the active shear planes rather than either the gross or the net shear planes. It is also pointed out that full or almost full shear strain hardening was generally achieved at the ultimate limit state of block shear failure of bolted connections in hot-rolled steel plates or sections, irrespective of the connection length. Verification against independent laboratory test results of tee sections bolted at the web reinforces this point.