This is a quicky review of Longbow's frangible ammo. I shopped for frangible at the SHOT show, lots of different brands out there, and some different claims. Almost all is horribly expensive. After the show, I had a hard time getting most of them to take an order, let alone answer a few questions. Longbow wanted the business, and seems to have the lowest price, so I got some in .223 and .45. One outfit wanted $.50/bullet just for component bullets... I got 100 .223 and 100 .45. loaded, from Longbow for under $70.
The .45 has a recoil impulse about equal to my major IPSC loads; no feeding or cycling probs. In .223 I have fired too few to say yet. The big claim here of course is that you can train on steel targets at contact distance without and danger from splatter-- they all claim that and I don't think there's any question there so I didn't really go to town on that. The bullets are made from a copper powder-filled plastic. They have a dull, abrasive look to them, but presumably they are not bad for a barrel (better not be!). Some companies are using the ever-popular term "tactical" in ref. to their frangible, so I shot some water jugs (not making any claims as to what that is an indication of; neither this review nor my existance are ISO 9001 compliant). The .223 does a classic blow-up of a gallon milk jug, leaving little chunks of copper material in the bottom. A pinch of it will get through the jug with enough oomph to pepper a piece of plywood-- not much more.
The .45 apparently does not go fast enough to give this effect. It blows right through a water jug and keeps on truckin'. Same with wet phonebook. Recovered .45's are in one piece and almost good as new.
Although the .45 does not feel hot, the primer gets pretty flat, and both it and the WW case head get all the breechface marks transferred to them. Cases are new WW but with the big flash-hole. I'd heard these were coming but it's the first I've seen of them and it just looks scary. Comments on that, please?
Special bonus feature-- ran across these the other day and couldn't resist-- whoever can give the best explanation of how the 9mm Makarov bullet and .223 case came to be the way they are in the picture (no relationship to this dumb little review), and whether or not it was a smart thing to do, gets.... I haven't figured out what yet, but something. In the lower pic, the bullet to the right is a recovered Longbow, next to the left is a Rainier 200 gr, HP just for size comparison. The Longbow bullet is rather long as the bullet material is lighter.
I didn't expect the Longbow to group well, but got 3" at 25 yards. I'm sure it will do better-- to be honest, I did not give it my best effort having pre-concluded that it would not be accurate. POI was exactly the same as my 200 Rainier HP IPSC load.
[This message has been edited by Ned Christiansen (edited 06-25-2001).]
[This message has been edited by Ned Christiansen (edited 06-26-2001).]