5.56x45mm Frangible?


Last weekend I found a few fired .22 caliber projectiles that appear to be frangible type. They look very much the same size and shape as a .22 LR round nose lead projectile, but are very light and brittle. These were found on an Army National Guard range, so I presume them to have come from a 5.56 cartridge. Is this a standard issue item?




The Canadians experimented with a couple of Frangible loads several years ago but I’m not sure anything became of them.

Got photos?



I could take a photo, but there is not much to see. Imagine a .22lr slug, oxidized green, but when you break it in half it looks like solid copper/bronze powder pressed into a solid shape. No apparent rifling marks, but these could have worn off when the projectile hit the dirt. Seemed very fragile, as I was able to break one in half with my fingers. I honestly thought they were plastic at first. I have found recent IVI production 5.56 brass as this range before, and we are near Canada, so maybe they came from there? Police also use this range from time to time…




One of the Canadian cartridges used a bronze-like material for the bullet. I’ve never seen one but recall reading that somwhere. That sounds like it.

There must be some 5.56mm experts here who would know.

If those were experimentals and never developed beyond that stage it would be a crime to shoot them.



The “Greenshield” frangibles by SNC (I’ve seen them in 9mm and 5.56mm) fit the general description you’ve given, with a brittle bullet material that resembles copper powder mixed with wax and compressed into a slug.



I just found my note saying ICC (International Cartridge Corporation). Evidently a US company specializing in non-toxic frangible ammunition for military and law enforcement.

SDC identified another one evidently (SNC).

So, it’s neither an experimental nor Canadian, but modern stuff.



If this headstamp is anything like the Canadian cases you’ve been picking up I’d suggest that this is your round. This is the Canadian FX01 Frangible.



Interesting cartridge.

So, I must have been correct about the Canadian experimentals. I’ll have to edit my notes. What does the designation, FX01, mean, if anything? Since it is headstamped as a NATO standard I assume it is no longer an experimental?



Conjay’s Collectors Ltd have these listed at about $4 each which would suggest they are neither unusual nor experimental. There is a note in the list stating the cartridge is actually loaded by Simunition. As regards ‘FX01’ I really don’t know but would very much like to…!


That leads me to think that these are, in fact, simply a renamed “Greenshield”; SNC was the Montreal-based Canadian manufacturer/supplier of Simunitions, but they were also part of the IVI ammunition conglomerate (now owned by General Dynamics, I believe); as a result, a large portion of their production was loaded into cases with the NATO acceptance mark. These are “frangible”, but still require a hardened backstop in order to pulverize the bullet; I fired one round into a mild steel backstop out of a Mini-14, and it left a substantial divot.


The cases I have found were “+ IVI 04” with crimped-in brass primers.

The projectiles do appear very similar to the pictured cartridge.

I can only wonder why these frangible rounds were fired at this particular range, since there are nothing but dirt berms and paper targets in wood frames. Maybe just accuracy testing?



AKMS–Maybe they were just fired by someone who did not know they were Frangible.