Ten-X ammunition has introduced a line of frangible ammunition under the PolyFrang product name. Ten-X is most famous for their Cowboy Action loads, but in recent years they have been aggressively expanding into more “specialty” lines of ammunition as well. Frangible ammunition typically consists of high-pressure bonded polymer or metallic powders formed into a bullet.
During SHOT Show I was able to talk to Dave Wong who walked me through the specifics of the PolyFrang ammunition. The PolyFrang line offers both .308 Win. and .223 Rem./5.56mm frangible cartridges currently, with anticipation of expanding the brand should market interest dictate. An interesting claims about PolyFrang ammunition is that it is able to be safely fired through suppressed firearms.
The PolyFrang cartridges use lead-free bullets and primers to comply with U.S. Government requests, and are made with “Metal Impregnated Polymer.” When asked, Wong said copper is used in combination with polymer to complete the bullet. By using this composition, the PolyFrang bullets ensure fairly consistent ballistic performance in flight, while providing the desired bullet disintegration upon impact with hard surfaces. Wong told me PolyFrang ammunition has been test fired on steel targets at 10-feet with no damage to steel targets. The picture below (from Ten-X) appears to support that claim.
The Ten-X PolyFrang ammunition should reduce barrel wear due to the bullet composition, and has been proven to prevent unnecessary damage to steel targets. Though typically marketed for training purposes on steel targets, the PolyFrang ammunition presents an interesting option for duty or self-defense applications. When a PolyFrang bullet impacts soft tissue the bullet will actually penetrate a short distance before disintegration. Since the bullet still disintegrates shortly after impact, the PolyFrang ammunition can provide significant protection from over-penetration sometimes suffered from metal bullets.
- Lead-free projectile and primer, environmentally friendly
- Reduced ricochet and splash-back allowing close target engagement
- Reduced damage to steel targets
- Reduced barrel wear to rifles
- Comparable accuracy with standard ammunition out to 100 yards
- No weapon modifications required for use.
- .308 bullet weight: 125 grain
- .308 bullet velocity: 2650 fps
- .223/5.56mm bullet weight: 45 grain
- .223/5.56mm bullet velocity: Comparable to standard ammo
- MSRP (.308): $42.00 per 20-round box
- MSRP (.223/5.56mm): $19.40 per 20-round box.
- Options: 20-round box or 500-round case.
- AR500 steel plate – bullets disintegrate with no spall on target
- Ballistic gelatin – disintegration begins 0.5″ in and finishes at 12.0″
- No jacket or plating to create shrapnel
- Rapid energy transfer – produces increased lethality on soft targets.
Frangible Ammunition Benefits
Perhaps the biggest push for frangible ammunition has come from the desire to engage steel targets at close range. Traditional jacketed and metal bullets cannot be shot at close range steel targets without serious risk from ricochet, spalling, and permanent damage to the steel targets.
To solve this problem, a few ammunition manufacturers have developed frangible ammunition that is designed to maintain flight trajectory but disintegrate upon impact. These bullets are typically powdered metal, polymer or a combination. The Ten-X frangible ammunition does provide a serious thought about home defense considering its near-immediate disintegration upon impact and lower overall penetration in soft tissue resulting in less liability concerns. Though the Ten-X PolyFrang ammunition is not cheap, it appears to be a viable option when close range metal targets, or live targets, must be engaged.