What is Frangible Ammunition? – Foundry Outdoors
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What is Frangible Ammunition?

Frangible ammunition is like any other bullet except for a few unique characteristics not completely recognizable to the naked eye. However, if you were to take a frangible bullet and cut it open you would find a much different picture. Basically instead of a lead core with a copper jacket, you will find compressed copper powder. Frangible ammo is comprised of extremely sintered powdered metal, which essentially explodes when it hits a hard object. You can think of a frangible bullet as a graham cracker; when you begin to eat it, the cracker breaks into a bunch of pieces and you are left with a lot of crumbs. The same happens to a frangible bullet when it hits something hard.


Purpose of Frangible Ammo

Frangible ammunition is ideal for target practicing. The reason being, it is safer and more cost effective when it comes to targets. Safety is critical when on the range, and though frangible ammo can be dangerous it is safer then using a standard bullet for a couple of reasons. The first reason is when frangible ammo comes in contact with a hard surface it basically disintegrates into a powder like form eliminating the impact and danger of ricochets happening. When practicing at close distances using frangible ammunition is the best choice. If you’ve ever spent some time on the range you know to keep a safe distance when shooting full metal jackets simply because the ricochets can be dangerous. People have been impaled with metal before.  Using frangible ammo essentially eliminates this risk tenfold making it safe to fire within just a few feet of a steel target. The second benefit to using frangible ammunition is the omitted lead. You might not think of lead as being a danger on the range, but it can actually be the most dangerous encounter shooters face. High amounts of lead exposure can have many harmful affects, so avoid the lead and try frangible ammunition.


Ammunition is expensive, so are steel targets. Using a standard bullet with a copper jacket and lead core can really do some damage and in a hurry. The benefit to using frangible ammunition is the limited damage it has on steel targets. When it comes in contact with the target it becomes powder making the target last for many more rounds to come. 


In the Field

Frangible ammunition is perfect for target shooting, but is it as effective in the field? A lot of this depends on what you are hunting. Using frangible ammo on smaller game such as coyotes and rodents can be very effective. Frangible ammo is effective on these animals because the bullet is not required to enter through such a thick hide, and when it explodes it does significant damage on the main organs.

Now imagine using frangible ammo on big game like an elk or whitetail deer and you might not have the same luck. Of course if you place the perfect shot it can certainly make a kill shot, but if you miss a little high or low you may end up not getting a big enough impact that you would with a big game bullet. Frangible ammunition may be the perfect option for you on the range, but not so much in the field. The next time you’re thinking about doing some practice shooting pickup a box of frangible ammo and give it a whirl. Happy Shooting!

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