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affordable/reliable frangible ammo?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by CZ52GUY, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. CZ52GUY

    CZ52GUY Well-Known Member


    I recently joined a private club with a restricted 50ft range (less than 1000 fps lead only OR frangible ammo').

    I was curious if anyone found an affordable/reliable source of frangible ammo' for use in their autoloaders?

    All suggestions and opinions are welcome.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    No idea about cost of ammo, but frangible stuff can be finicky in autoloaders. I fired a box of frangible ammo through my P7 at a training class, and found that if I didn't maintain a straight arm that the pistol would stove pipe.
  3. cratz2

    cratz2 Well-Known Member

    Affordable and frangible have never gone together in my experience.

    There a reason you can't shoot lead? If it's something like a Glock, you'd probably save money pretty quickly by buying a lead-approved barrel and loads of cheap ammo vs shooting frangibles in the factory barrel.
  4. CZ52GUY

    CZ52GUY Well-Known Member



    Good to know about the reliability concerns you've had.

    Not thrilled about the idea of shooting lead based on feeding issues I've heard some have had shooting LRN or SWC out of an autoloader.

    I have several 9mm's where the velocity may be an issue, and frankly...other than .45ACP, I've not seen much availalbe for lead to be used in an autoloader.

    I suppose I could pick up a .22LR (I need to anyway)...I was just hoping that the frangible ammo' might expand my choices that I could use.

    Yeah, I could put a Barsto in my Glocks...I may be inclined to do that anyway. Hoping some folks along the way have found themselves in similar circumstances and I can learn from their solutions.

    Thanks again,

  5. cratz2

    cratz2 Well-Known Member

    Also, if you're just looking for the ability to shoot lead in your Glock(s), there are cheaper routes than BarSto... Though they make fine barrels, if you're just looking for a cost effective route to shoot lead, there are much cheaper alternatives that should serve you just as well if you aren't looking for competitve accuracy.

    Actually, my local Glock armorer has several barrels available to shoot lead in pretty much any Glock model.
  6. fastbolt

    fastbolt Well-Known Member

    I didn't know you could put those 3 words together in the same sentence. :scrutiny:

    At least, not with a straight face ...
  7. CZ52GUY

    CZ52GUY Well-Known Member

    re: Barsto

    Thanks for the heads up.

    For my G35, I'd probably go with the Barsto...I'm going to try my hand at GSSF this summer...need all the help I can get :D...assuming a Barsto barrel is within the rules for the Competition class (I'll have to look that up).

    For my G22 & G23...I'd be interested in the brand name of the more affordable alternative if you have time to provide.

    Thanks again,

  8. CZ52GUY

    CZ52GUY Well-Known Member

    ...well I didn't know, which is why I came to THR with the question...cause y'all usually have the answers.

    I know up my way...SigAcademy uses nothing but frangible...I figured to get through the classes they might have found something that works that is less costly than $30 a box of 50 (e.g. Ballisticlean or Disintegrator).

    If frangible has yet to progress that far, than it hasn't and I'll have to pursue the lead route.

    Thanks again,

  9. fastbolt

    fastbolt Well-Known Member

    Hey, my tongue-in-cheek answer was just that ...

    During a couple of my armorer's courses we were advised to use care in adopting some types of frangible ammunition, because depending on how the bullet & "jacket" are made, some frangibles may offer the potential to accelerate barrel wear. No recommendations were made, just a disclaimer & precaution to look into it in some further detail if we were called upon to make any recommendations for our various agencies.

    The other issue you often hear about is how some frangibles may also use lead-free primers ... or supposedly use cases which have primer pocket flash holes which may not allow for consistently "sufficient" ignition of the propellent.

    Something you might look into is one of Winchester's alternative handguns ammunition lines, such as the Super Clean NT Non-Toxic or Ranger Frangible ammunition lines.

    I haven't used either of these ... and a Winchester rep didn't send us enough rounds of their Winclean ammunition to make any determinations (3 rounds in a baggie??? A promotional mailing, it seems ...) if we wanted to try it, the price notwithstanding.

    The Super Clean NT uses a ductile tin core bullet that's advertised to reduce the possibility of splash back towards the shooter, uses their lead/heavy metal free primers, and clean buring propellant.

    The Ranger Frangible uses a nylon, tungsten and copper composite bullet that's lead free, and their lead/heavy metal free primers.

    I'd imagine the SIGArms Academy wouldn't be using anything that would be "disadvantageous" in their weapons, or the weapons brought to the classes by the students. They have a good reputation, you know.

    After all the years we've incorporated metal targets into our training, and some outside in-service training I'd attended, I'd think that anything offering the potential for reduced bullet material splash back at many "closer range" distances would be worth it, "prevention-wise". "Safety" & "Prevention" are a couple of terms that CAN be combined ... and should be ...

    I remember once attending an instructor's course where I was shooting an MP-5, using the provided 115gr STHP ammunition, and discovered my jeans were being peppered by bright silver colored fragments as jacket (& bullet core material) was being splattered back at me. Hmmm ...

    Now ... "affordable" and "frangible" used in the same sentence, setting aside any supposed "reliability" issues aside? I'm not sure if those 2 ideas have yet been consolidated into a single product ... ;)


    Privately owned ranges can sometimes offer some differing "restrictions", which may not always seem "user friendly" ... but when it comes right down to it, it's their range ... and their range equipment ... and their insurance carrier.

    I haven't used a public range for shooting in several years, although I'll occasionally buy ammunition if I want something we don't stock at our agency range. The gross safety violations I sometimes observed at some of our local ranges just scared the daylights out of me ... :what:

    I DO realize, however, that once I retire I'll probably not be able to use the agency range anymore ... as I plan to move ... so I'll have to find a public, or "private" club-type, range in order to continue my personal training. I may, or may not, decide to remain actively involved on training other folks ... but I hope to find at least one public range where I can meet agreeable, pleasant folks who enjoy all aspects of shooting activities & related recreational pastimes ... and where I feel safe walking in the front door. :uhoh:

    I'm not imlying that I necessarily feel "safe" standing on the range with other cops, either. :scrutiny: :banghead:

    Some of the nicest and most interesting folks I've met during my activities as an agency firearms instructor & armorer have been the folks attending the CCW classes. I've often found an opportunity to fit in some "extra range time" with a few folks from these classes, from time to time, and would enjoy the opportunity to work with some of them a bit more on some private range ...

    Sorry ... I didn't mean to side-track your thread ...

    I'd be interested in hearing if you discover some frangible ammunition which fits your needs ... as we just haven't decided to get involved with any of it at this time ... but I'm always interested to learn something new.
  10. CZ52GUY

    CZ52GUY Well-Known Member

    I knew...hence the big grin in front of my reply...no problem. I was aware of the ~$30 a box standard...I just didn't know if any alternatives were out there I hadn't heard about...I don't get to read and research as much as I'd like to...most of my "hobby time" these days is dedicated to practice, cleaning, and acquiring necessary consummables (although I did find time to pick up a 1911 and range test it this weekend :D).

    I appreciate your insights. As I stated at the beginning...all opinions welcomed.

    To briefly endorse your "tangent".

    I've spent most of my time the last 2 years practicing at a public access range. You do get all kinds...part of participating in this sport involves taking on some risk. I don't take on any more than I have to. I follow the 4 rules OBSESSIVELY (I was in front of a video store and the poster for Rundown has The Rock with his finger in the trigger guard on the trigger of a 12GA pump...the muzzle pointing backward over his shoulder in the general direction of his "co-star"...even that gives me the willies) and work to firmly but respectfully insist that others do as well FOR THEIR BENEFIT AS WELL AS MINE!

    Bottom line, you can't find a perfect community of shooters. The human element and statistical probability make that impossible. All you can do is your best, and take on only as much risk as you can tolerate. A good public access range will have responsible people behind the counter who will "help you insist" on safety. Their business depends on it...liability waivers signed on entry notwithstanding, they have as much at stake from a fiscal standpoint as you do from a physical one (your physical safety certainly exceeding their fiscal viability in order of precidence).

    Best wishes and safe shooting,

  11. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Try FMJ's made from sintered metal designed to turn to dust on impact.

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