What are Frangible Bullets?
Frangible bullets are intended to disintegrate into tiny particles upon target impact to minimize their penetration of other objects. Small particles are slowed more rapidly by non-target environments like air resistance, and are less likely to cause injury or damage to persons and objects distant from the point of bullet impact.
There are two main situations where frangible bullets are used to reduce the chance of collateral damage:
1. Shooting at steel or hard targets.
2. Eliminating threats in urban environments.
Shooting steel targets, especially at close distances can be very dangerous. There are several factors that come into play such as the grade of steel, angle it is being struck, and target/range design. A frangible bullet hitting a hard target will basically turn into dust. A standard bullet normally breaks down into larger chunks that can ricochet, injuring the shooter, bystanders or other objects.
A violent threat encounter in an environment such as an apartment complex presents a serious problem when using a standard FMJ or defense round. You want to eliminate the threat without injuring innocent people. In this situation utilizing a frangible round increases the likelihood of the round staying in the target or disintegrating in a wall.