I am personally aware of 3 shootings of bad guys with frangible ammo. All three were unsatisfactory as the bullet was stopped by heavy clothing and did not have enough penetration to get the job done. One of them was a .44 mag ! I subscribe to the old big and slow theory and prefer to see two holes in any "varmint" I have to shoot. That's why I carry a .45 ACP with 200 or 230 gr. bullets. I do fudge and go with hollowpoints and +p however. At that , a .45 ACP is still not a "fast" round.
Frangible ammo, depending on brand and claims, is supposed to dissipate all energy within the body cavity of the intended target, through fragmentation. That means, no over penetration and danger to bystanders beyond the target (assuming you hit the target). And depending on claims, either frangible ammo is safer in apartments or in homes because it does not do well after passing through walls, or the stuff is great for shooting through car doors and glass and won't fragment until hitting a hydra-based medium such as a human body. This last claim comes from the ammo sold at the Gun shows (out of San Antonio as I recall) that supposedly is the wonder miracle ammo that shatters on concrete (so no richochets), but will go through sheet metal and windows.
Most frangible ammos also seem to be higher velocity ammos as well. The higher velocities produce more foot/pounds of impact and hence would have a better 'punch' on the target.
Is is just me or has anyone noticed the lack of frangible buckshot? If shotguns are great home guns and frangible ammo is safer to use inside, then you would think someone would make frangible shotgun ammo...and then you could be really safe.
According to the manufactures claims the advantages are twofold:
One, the projectile is supposed to basically breakup into many fragments on impact and cause ”DEVISTATING” wounds that are said to be immediately effective. Two, if the projectile misses and strikes a surface it is supposed to again break up and greatly reduce the likelihood of ricochet and/or over penetration.
I have never seen any after action reports on this kind of ammo. I do have experience with a product called, “Shot Lok,” which is a frangible 12 Ga. Slug used for taking out dead bolts on doors for forcible entry. It takes out the bolt but turns into powder in doing so and thus posses a significantly reduced risk to anyone or thing on the other side of the door. I also know of one case where a SWAT officer took out an armed suspect with a Shot Lok and it was instantly fatal. Of course if I were hit with any 12 Ga. Slug at under 5 feet I am pretty sure I would be an instant Coroners case also.
I have a friend who wanted to know about frangible ammunition because she was considering it for home defense and wanted my opinion. I didn’t have any info so I thought I would come here and ask.
I think I am going to start a thread on recommended 9mm home defense ammo and see what opinions I get on that subject. I have found that the folks here seem to be pretty up on things.