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Old 12-15-2009, 7:17 PM
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Default Question for LEOs About Frangibles

Ok, so me and my friend were having a conversation about frangibles and whether or not the police could determine what firearm fired it. I believe that after it has been fired, if it hits someone and then is recovered there would be no way to determine what weapon fired it, i guess they could determine caliber but is there a definitive way to link frangible bullets to the gun that fired it?
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Old 12-15-2009, 7:19 PM
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who are you plannin on whackin man
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Old 12-15-2009, 8:08 PM
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Haha, good one, we got into some like 30 min argument about it today, im just tryin to see if anyone really knows or if its ever happened before
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Old 12-15-2009, 8:18 PM
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We often joke that our Homicide Bureau doesn't have a budget. If they wanna pay someone to put a frangible back together like a pile of confetti (which they've also put back together)...They will.

I don't know if it ever happened, but I wouldn't wanna try it...
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Old 12-15-2009, 8:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phireglass View Post
Ok, so me and my friend were having a conversation about frangibles and whether or not the police could determine what firearm fired it. I believe that after it has been fired, if it hits someone and then is recovered there would be no way to determine what weapon fired it, i guess they could determine caliber but is there a definitive way to link frangible bullets to the gun that fired it?
if you are talking about what we commonly refer to as frangible... which is a copper matrix round that will break up into dust if it hits something harder than itself at sufficient velocity....then when it hits a carbon based life form, it remains intact and becomes a "solid" which punches straight through whatever it hits... I have seen this ammo punch a hole in quarter inch steel target legs on my Action target stands... the wife and I have fired between 5-6 thousand rounds of the stuff both at Thunder Ranch and in classes we do at Tejon....so since it acts like a solid in soft stuff... it would be easy to ID rifling marks...

Some people refer to regular hollow points as frangible... which they are and they also deform only better in soft tissue...

now ... Breaching rounds out of a 12 ga... that's a different story...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breaching_round

last shotgun class I taught one client used some ... they shot similar to slugs out to about 35 yards and disintegrated upon impact with anything... would think they would devastating on soft targets....only the plastic wad remains pretty intact...
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Old 12-15-2009, 8:41 PM
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Interesting, i have some winchester .223 frangibles and i have had a few break while going into battery, the thing is they are like maybe 30-35% copper jacket then the rest resembles chalk pressed into a conical shape. When i took em apart i found there was only a thin shell of copper and the inside was all chalky material. It was my understanding that they would break up no matter what they hit but i guess not.
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Old 12-15-2009, 8:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phireglass View Post
Interesting, i have some winchester .223 frangibles and i have had a few break while going into battery, the thing is they are like maybe 30-35% copper jacket then the rest resembles chalk pressed into a conical shape. When i took em apart i found there was only a thin shell of copper and the inside was all chalky material. It was my understanding that they would break up no matter what they hit but i guess not.
they break when they hit something hard... like the feed ramp in an ar 15... or a steel plate... I've seen them go clear through a soft steel angle iron used for a plate stand...like a hot knife through butter...hit something soft and the are a solid... interesting tech though...and the future...
now take the barnes bullets coming out...

http://www.barnesbullets.com/product...-rrlp-bullets/

these are probably more in line with what you were thinking of...a bullet that disintegrates upon impact...
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:24 PM
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How about this stuff?

http://www.drtammo.com/technology.html
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:45 PM
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Wow, that DRT stuff is pretty cool, il have to try some out, i like that they have beefed em up enough to be used in autoloading rifles, i have had many frangibles bust while going into battery
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:26 AM
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Got this from http://tacticalforums.com about DRT

Dr. Gary Roberts, a ballistics expert posted this back in 2008.

Quote:
Now that everyone has had some fun and ignoring the advertising hype, let's look at the reality of the DRT ammo. DRT is basically producing the JAG approved PRL rifle projectiles BH loaded and that were in U.S. SOF use in the late 1990's. The PRL 5.56 mm and 7.62x51 mm rounds offered superb accuracy and terminal performance, however PRL had some production and QC difficulties. Dr. Fackler presented a paper in the IWBA Journal discussing the 5.56 mm 76 gr PRL rifle projectiles: Fackler, ML: "Tungsten Frangible Bullet Wounds in Pig: Exam by Autopsy and X-Ray". Wound Ballistic Review (4)3:33-34 Spring 2000. We independently tested the 61 and 87 gr versions of the PRL bullet at the CHP Academy in late 1999 and had similar results.

On the other hand, the 9 mm PRL handgun bullets did NOT offer increased terminal performance and behaved just like ball.

----------------------

DRT just sent some of their current production ammo and I'll post results in the near future, as we are in the midst of extensive testing right now.
I couldn't find the results of the testing tho.
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Old 12-16-2009, 1:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gato View Post
if you are talking about what we commonly refer to as frangible... which is a copper matrix round that will break up into dust if it hits something harder than itself at sufficient velocity....then when it hits a carbon based life form, it remains intact and becomes a "solid" which punches straight through whatever it hits...
I think there might be another type frangible bullet made of shot held together in a matrix such as brands like Glaser or MagSafe. Forgive me if I am confusing this with a fragmenting bullet.

Anyway, has anyone ever heard of this new bullet or ever tried one?
http://www.extremeshockusa.com/cgist...d=6850280.4856

Last edited by ALSystems; 12-16-2009 at 1:19 AM..
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:20 AM
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Even with the powdering frangible rounds, they can take the projectile's remains (even in powder form) and then do trace analysis of the barrel, action and the powdered projectile. This would lead towards determining if any of the three had been in contact. There could be trace material in the barrel from the projectile, there could be matching powder residue in the action from the cartridge, there could be trace residue from the cartridge (brass, etc.) in the action, etc.

Even if they could not analyze traditional lands and grooves on the projectile, there are other ways.
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:16 AM
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ALSystems, here is a quote taken from the same forum and Dr. Roberts I quoted earlier. Tho it is from the early 2000s, I would believe it is still valid. BTW, I did see a vendor selling Extreme Shock at the recent Del Mar show.

Quote:
Far from being, “the world’s most advanced ammunition”, Extreme Shock might be better described as advertising trash and a complete waste of your money.
From a Glock 17 the 9 mm 85 gr “Air Freedom” load offered:
Bare Gelatin: vel=1598 f/s, pen=3.9” to 5.5”, small fragments
Denim: vel=1596 f/s, pen=14.6”, rd=0.42”, rl=0.48”, rw=56.6 gr
Wall: vel=1587 f/s, pen=6.7”, small fragments

From a 1911 the .45 ACP 185 gr “Nytrillium Fragmentable JHP" gave:
Bare Gelatin: vel=1117 f/s, pen=5.5” to 9.0”, small fragments
Denim: vel=1120 f/s, pen=9.3” to 12.2”, small fragments
Wall: vel=1110 f/s, pen=20+”, rd=0.42”, rl=0.57, rw=181.1 gr
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:48 AM
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Many years ago, I had the honor of meeting Lt.Col. Martin Fackler who ran the Letterman Army Institute at the Presidio. For those of you that are not familiar with him, he is an M.D. as well as an expert when it comes to various types of ammunition and its effectiveness. When I met him, he had written several papers in a Geneva journal on soft tissue injuries as well as being an expert witness for the FBI. According Martin Fackler, if a bullet doesn't penetrate 12" to 18", the bullet is substandard. I asked him about frangible ammunition, and his response was that anybody who sells it should be arrested for selling junk.

Here is a copy of one of his papers on the subject of effective ammunition. http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Fackler...small_arms.pdf

Last edited by Roadrunner; 12-16-2009 at 11:56 AM..
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Old 12-16-2009, 1:08 PM
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Whoa, tons of info, i need to do some research on frangibles i tend to get whatever is cheap, anyone hear anything bad about the winchester frangibles? Only problem i had with em is a couple (2) of them broke while going into battery ive shot about 400-600 so thats not too bad i guess, what are you guys using?
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Old 12-16-2009, 4:50 PM
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I had a case involving frangible bullets. The bullets hit some hard surfaces. One bullet went through the rear window and completely shattered/ broken into powder. But, some bullets had enough pieces left, and I was able to work with microscope to determine caliber and possible firearm that fired them.

Ususlly, frangible bullets do not completely shatter unless they hit very hard surfaces.
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Old 12-16-2009, 9:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retired View Post
ALSystems, here is a quote taken from the same forum and Dr. Roberts I quoted earlier. Tho it is from the early 2000s, I would believe it is still valid. BTW, I did see a vendor selling Extreme Shock at the recent Del Mar show.
Far from being, “the world’s most advanced ammunition”, Extreme Shock might be better described as advertising trash and a complete waste of your money.
From a Glock 17 the 9 mm 85 gr “Air Freedom” load offered:
Bare Gelatin: vel=1598 f/s, pen=3.9” to 5.5”, small fragments
Denim: vel=1596 f/s, pen=14.6”, rd=0.42”, rl=0.48”, rw=56.6 gr
Wall: vel=1587 f/s, pen=6.7”, small fragments

From a 1911 the .45 ACP 185 gr “Nytrillium Fragmentable JHP" gave:
Bare Gelatin: vel=1117 f/s, pen=5.5” to 9.0”, small fragments
Denim: vel=1120 f/s, pen=9.3” to 12.2”, small fragments
Wall: vel=1110 f/s, pen=20+”, rd=0.42”, rl=0.57, rw=181.1 gr
Thanks Retired
This stuff is extremely expensive. I've seen it for sale at Cabela's

I agree that the "Air Freedom" load which is an extremely light and fast bullet is junk. The point of aim would probably be way off too.

However, the stats for the heavier "Fang Face Round" (Tungsten-Nytrillium Fragmentable) and the Enhanced Pentration Round in 9mm don't look so bad to me compared to various HP 9mm.

Fang Face Round 9mm, 124gr, 1182 f/s, 385 lbs
Enhanced Petration Round 9mm 115gr, 1182 f/s, 385 lbs

All frangible bullets are designed to break apart upon impact and therefore have minimal penetration. For the FBI or anyone shooting through glass, steel, walls, etc. this is not going to work. Use a 308 rifle instead.

However against unshielded targets, how much penetration is really enough for HD? I tend to favor the "energy theory" myself, but please don't hold that against me.

Last edited by ALSystems; 12-16-2009 at 10:09 PM..
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