[5/22/17] We live in an era of dramatic advances in ammunition technology. Consider, for example, the 9mm, once considered an ineffective round. With the help of modern ballistic experts, the 9mm has now eclipsed 40 and 45 in popularity.
Like the sea change of acceptance with 9mm, another old, but advancing, technology is set to rock the world of self-defense and hunting: frangible ammunition.
What is frangible ammo? It’s a round that looks like any other, but the bullet is made of compressed powder. The composition of that powder usually includes copper as well as other ingredients, some of which are manufacturer-specific. Tungsten is among the substances used by one manufacturer, Allegiance Ammunition. Other companies have been less forthcoming about what’s in their secret sauce.
Historically, frangible ammo was pressed into round- or flat-nose bullets for use in “shoot houses,” structures made of concrete or railroad ties for the purpose of training, usually for advanced police and military work. These bullets are made to disintegrate on impact with any surface that’s harder than they are. For years, frangible has allowed folks to add the realism of live indoor fire to their training.
But now, “frange” is breaking out of the shoot house. New formulations and formats — think hollow point — are now available for anyone to purchase. Companies like SinterFire are showing off gel block tests that show what these rounds are capable of. In short, specialized frangible loads produce massive wound channels that spell “stopping power” for game or violent criminal actors.