Does frangible ammo have penetration problems?

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by gringogigante, May 6, 2013.

  1. I trolled the archives for info and found none. I found one recent Q&A with Mas Ayoob where he referred them as "coming up short on penetration... by some standards".

    What say you, amigos?

    A gun dealer buddy of mine says they are the crap for SD ammo and even carries frangible OO buck in his HD shotgun. Back in the day, I was told that frangible was not good for SD as it was almost strictly for steel shooting.

    What's the new info?



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  3. M 7

    M 7

    My guess is that "coming up short on penetration" probably relates to the 12" - 18" penetration requirement (after barriers) as set forth in the FBI test protocols. No frangible ammo that I am aware of will meet those requirements.

    You could always go to his GATE forum and ask Mas what he meant, too. I bet he'd be happy to clarify.

    #2 M 7, May 6, 2013
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  4. While many have opinions, there really isn't much available in the way of factual data. I'm not disputing anyone's opinions, especially not Mas. Here are my contributions to the debate. Ultimately, we all make our own decisions on what works best for us.

    DRT 380
    [ame=""]DRT 380 Auto HP Clear Gel Test - YouTube[/ame]

    Liberty HP 9mm Short and Long Barrel
    [ame=""]Liberty Halo Point 9mm Clear Gel Test - YouTube[/ame]
    [ame=""]Liberty Halo Point 9mm - YouTube[/ame]

    Liberty HP 40 Short and Long Barrel
    [ame=""]Liberty Halo Point 40 S&W Clear Gel Test - YouTube[/ame]
    [ame=""]Liberty Halo Point 40 S&W - YouTube[/ame]

    Magsafe 9mm
    [ame=""]MagSafe 9mm Defender Clear Gel Test - YouTube[/ame]

    Still want to test the 45 Auto loads from Liberty and DRT. I have one, but am waiting on the other.
  5. dkf


    There are two basic types of frangibles. Those designed to substitute fmj bullets and those deigned/marketed for self defense and limited penetration.

    The fmj replacement frangibles act like an fmj until it hits a solid object like a steel plate.

    The other frangibles for defense purposes are usually light weight and have very limited penetration. Nothing I am interested in and IMO they are gimmick rounds.
  6. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member

    I hope that my CCW ammo is not frangibile. It is a 115gr 9mm bullet at 1400 FPS. I rely on penetration.
  7. Wow that magsafe 9 defender did a job on tha gel.
  8. I thought the Magsafe 9 mm offered inadequate penetration. In addition, it has poor intermediate barrier penetration capability.
  9. I think it would depend on what type of clothing a bad guy may be wearing.
    A T shirt won't even matter to a frangible round.
    A heavy leather jacket with a couple of layers underneath might make that frangible a very shallow penetrator.
    Wouldn't want to be the test subject but I prefer a round that will penetrate more than what they say a frangible will.
    They may be a good idea in a home where there are family members present but I would only load a couple of rounds and then have the heavy stuff coming out next.
    On the streets there are so many variables and possibilities that I prefer something that can shoot through a garbage can or something light like that and not turn into a dust cloud.
  10. plp


    I realize many of you are dismissive of the .380 ACP round in general, but dayum that was impressive compared to most clear gel ballistics tests I've seen of both FMJ and HP in that caliber.
  11. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member

    I'd carry a .380 if I had to, but my 9mm is my top choice. G17.
  12. The Boston swat team used that on the boat the kid was hiding in. Shot more rounds into that thing than a a-team rerun.
  13. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member

    Is that kid on trial yet?
  14. Yes, if one is using frangible for self-defense.

    I'd use FMJ before I'd use frangible ammo for self-defense.
  15. no show trial yet. the writers are still working on that script and several more are in:whistling: the pipe.
  16. one hole in and one out are better than a nasty looking sallow hole.
  17. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member

    Thanks! :cool:
  18. If I lived in an apartment building, frangible ammo would probably be my first choice for a HD gun. I have kids and a few neighbors, but most of my likely lines of fire are clear.

    It's all about compromising and finding the compromises that best meet your needs and concerns.
  19. Frangible ammunition is made for specific purposes.

    Now, if someone has unrealistic expectations for it, using it in a role for which it wasn't designed, that might become a "problem" regarding how they intend to use it.
  20. frangablo ammo sucks...

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