Frangible ammunition is picking up momentum in the industry as an effective round for law enforcement for close-quarters situations and civilians for home defense or even concealed carry.

There are a number of reasons you might consider training with frangible ammo and a few disadvantages that you want to take into account as well.

Let’s take a closer look and answer a few of the common questions about frangible ammo.

What is Frangible Ammo

Simply put, frangible ammo uses a projectile that’s designed to shatter or disintegrate on impact with hard surfaces such as steel targets, wood, drywall, and brick.

What Is The Purpose of Frangible Ammo

Most traditional bullets, like jacketed hollow points or full metal jackets, are constructed from solid metals.

These loads are manufactured to stay in one piece upon impact. This helps drive proper energy when the bullet impacts a target.

However, there are a few specific situations where frangible ammunition gets most of its use: close-quarters training, home defense, and security/law enforcement or military personnel in situations where a stray bullet impact can create safety concerns.

Examples of these situations are oil platforms, hazardous materials facilities, chemical plants, and even nuclear power plants. School resource officers are another perfect situation for frangible ammo.

Maxim Defense

Is Frangible Ammo Lethal

Make no mistake. Frangible ammo IS lethal.

Just because this ammo is designed not to over-penetrate does not mean that it’s not lethal or that it does not cause serious damage. It actually does. A frangible bullet is very lethal to any threat not wearing body armor.

If you are defending yourself or your home, frangible ammo can deliver the punch required to take down the threat while reducing the risk of collateral damage.

Need more convincing? Check out the effects of a frangible bullet impacting ballistics gel in the following video.

Can You Use Frangible Ammo for Self Defense

Over-penetration is mentioned frequently when discussing which ammunition to use for home defense. The concern of bullets blowing holes through doors and walls to then critically injure or kill a loved one are understandable.

All projectiles have the potential for over-penetration. There is no magic bullet for self-defense. However, if you’d like to reduce the risk, use frangible ammo.

If a traditional hollow-point or FMJ bullet strikes a stud, it either passes through or ricochets, depending on the angle, design, and caliber being used. If a frangible bullet strikes the stud in a wall, it effectively disintegrates into a cloud of dust (see the above video).

If you are defending yourself or your home, frangible ammo can deliver the punch required to take down your target while reducing the risk of injuring others.

Advantages of Frangible Ammo

  • Safety is the top advantage of frangible ammunition for training and real-life situations. No ricochet’s or over penetration.
  • There are long-term safety and health advantages because frangible rounds aren’t made with lead
  • Another advantage of frangible ammo is that it allows you to use steel targets over paper targets at close range

Disadvantages of Frangible Ammo

  • Some argue that consistent reliability and barrel fouling are a concern being that it is a softer bullet.
  • Range clean-up can be a mess after shooting frangible ammo due to the dust created by the bullet impacting a steel target
  • Cost. Frangible ammo is not for high-volume training classes.

Maxim Defense 5.56 Frangible Ammo

Maxim Defense has previously released a frangible version of 300 Blackout, and we’re now eager to see their new line of frangible ammo hit the shelf; specifically the 5.56 frangible ammo.

Maxim Defense Releases New Line of Frangible Ammo

Maxim Defense, the company behind the super compact yet effective PDX personal defense weapon, is releasing a new line of frangible ammo.

A military protocol has long dictated that the minimum safe distance for shooting steel targets with a 5.56mm carbine is 25 meters.

With Maxim Defense’s newest 5.56 frangible ammo, that distance has been reduced to effectively 0 feet.

According to Maxim Defense, this new ammo is expected to be available in the 3rd quarter of 2022. Our law enforcement and military are taking priority before it becomes commercially available.

Related Article – Best AK-47 [7.62×39] Ammo: Available Now


When it comes to home defense or self-defense, the buck stops with you. No one is coming to save you, so expect to self-rescue.  You are also responsible for every single bullet fired from your gun. Know your target and what is beyond.

If you’re forced to engage a threat, wouldn’t you prefer doing so with reliable ammunition that creates incapacitating wound cavities but disintegrates when impacting solid objects?

My goal is to stop the threat, and frangible bullets do so while also significantly reducing the risk of injury to innocent bystanders.

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