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A while ago I was having a conversation with some fellow officers, and the topic of home defense ammo came up.

One guy was mentioning that he uses frangible 9mm in his HD pistol so as to prevent over penetration in an instance where he has to fire inside his home. He also was convinced that frangible rounds at close range are absolutely devastating against soft tissue.

It makes sense to me, but I felt the need to run it by you guys to get your opinions.

Thanks,
--Brian
 

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Big debate on this issue on many gun forums. Most opine that the frangible stuff is NOT going to penetrate the bad gun sufficiently to be effective.

Search YouTube for frangible ammo tests and see what you get.

Practice hitting your target consistently and use good quality and reliable ammo and hope you never have to use it for real.

Ask your officer friend why his/her employer doesn't issue frangible ammo for duty use.
 

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http://www.ballistics101.com/personal_defense.php

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/09/daniel-zimmerman/shootingthebull410-2/


Basically the frangible tends to break up sooner in gelatin, at like 4-6 inches with the ones tested in the first article, but ends up acting like fmj through drywall.

I was under the impression the entire point of frangible ammo was to shoot steel targets at close ranges during live-fire training exercises and not get hit by any fragments.

I'm sure the frangible round is amazingly devastating against tissue at close range, but only for the initial entry. If it doesn't penetrate enough to reach the vitals and incapacitate the invader/assailant what good is it?
 

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on another note, how many rounds of the frangible has he actually fired from his home defense handgun? With much of it costing $2 or more dollars a round vs $0.20 for fmj it's a bit spendy to be blowing through several full mags in order to guarantee that it will be reliable for him when he needs it. Many of the frangible use a lighter bullet that may have issues cycling the slide, or at least that was a common complaint with the older glasers and such.

Read up a little more, on some other forums (yeah, i'm not in a monogamous relationship with glocktalk, for shame!) that the glaser safety slug (not sure what caliber they were talking, sounded like 12ga) basically left a hole in the abdomen about 5" across and 4" deep. On a thinner person that devastates your guts and really messes with your internal organs, on a fat guy it just kind of leaves a crater and knocks the wind out.
Another part showed an x-ray of a shot from a glaser slug to an arm. Arm was seriously messed up, but it didn't penetrate into the torso from there.
 

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I agree with what seems the consensus opinion.
Frangible is a no go.
Way to shallow wound channel.
I'm thinking no felony warrants are served with weapons loaded with that stuff.
There are plenty of low penetration tactical rounds for urban use available.
As for 9mm? Any basic service round should work fine.
I'm running Federal HST 147 gr in my home defense gun.
 

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My professional advice is to avoid the frangibles. A cold hard fact of life is that a bullet that won't penetrate interior house walls won't penetrate a big bad guy enough to stop him. Things already have gone very wrong as you have to shoot an intruder. Your number one priority at that instant is to stop his actions. Failure to do so could cost the lives of you and your family. Use LE proven ammo at all times.

Bill
 
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Yep, avoid them. There's no free lunch. bonus: you'll save money because those exotic rounds are expensive.
 

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One reason to not take advice from the avg leo on guns or ammo, they just dont know their stuff. Any round that will break up in common interior bldg matl wont do well on animate targets either. Dont miss, know your background before you shoot, your home, that should be a given, then use the best jhp your gun will function with.
 

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I would also expect an assailant to use corners as cover/concealment. That means you might need to blow through a pair of studs.....easy for most defensive rounds but no go for frang.
 

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I fail to see the difference in stopping a home intruder in the middle of the night and a felon darting from an alley, both with presumed intent to inflict grave bodily harm.

So whatever handgun I have at the bedside is loaded with the same ammunition I CCW when outside the home, and it's never an ammo advertised as "frangible". There are some JHP self-defense rounds that shed petals and whatnot with credible records of stopping bad guys. As far as I know these are definitely NOT considered "frangible" loads.
 

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I have JHP in all my defense pistols and Buck Shot in my HD shotgun.

I know where people will be at night in my house. I also believe that the chances of hitting an occupant with a stray shot is a lot less likely than them being hurt/killed by a criminal I have failed to immobilize.


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While it may seem like a good idea, many of the experts I have read on the subject specifically say do not use birdshot. If you don't expect it to penetrate the wall of your house how do you expect it to penetrate an intruder?

There are many stories about how someone was hit with a load of birdshot and continued on like nothing happened. I can not confirm if any of those stories are true or not.

I just saw on yootube someone saying that birdshot was the best home defense ammo and then to prove it shot a small watermelon in front of a door to show that none of the birdshot was able to penetrate the watermelon and so whoever was on the other side of the door would be safe.

My advice on the birdshot is save it for the birds.
 
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About 10 years ago I took the Armorer & Instructor class at a medium sized PD, we had to use unleaded/frangible ammunition for everything in their range.

While there, I was told that one of their officers had left the range while loaded with the frangible instead of JHP. Later that day, he had to shoot a guy. Story was that the penetration was less than a normal JHP but not extremely shallow, and the BG went down immediately.

I carry JHP.
 

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Some "experts" will tell you to use birdshot in A hd shotgun. Problem is few of them have ever shot anything with birdshot but a clay target. #6 shot can fail to cleanly take a wet pheasant at 20yds with improved choke. My own backyard test failed to penetrate a side of beef ribs at a mere 24-25ft, open choke. A riot/open choke spreads about 1" per step or 5-6" across a decent size room. So toss a leather jacket on a big guy, riot choke, i would want #4 buck as my minimum.
 

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For my pistol, I have JHP. For my shottie, I have #4 buck. I have frangible for the AR for home defense, and that's the only place I'd use it. If I didn't live in a suburb with the next house ten feet away, I'd change to 00 buck and JHP for the AR for home use.
 

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Penetration is vital with mere handgun bullets. That's why I carry Hornady 9mm 115gr XTPHP +p+ in my G17.
 

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Frangible is great to give a doctor more work to do.But if i have to shoot someone in my house i want them dead.A lot less legal baggage that way.And most likely Ranger T or HST will go deep but not threw them anyway
 

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Penetration is vital with mere handgun bullets. That's why I carry Hornady 9mm 115gr XTPHP +p+ in my G17.
I like the xtp but if you want more penetration, go 124gr +p or 147.
 
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