Frangible Bullet Wear?


#1

I got this question from a friend:

“There are some cheaper frangible bullet tips out there right now for reloading. I’ve read in a few spots that frangible bullets eat up your barrel from front to back. Rather rapidly. Can one of you guys shed any light on this topic?”

Does anyone know anything about accelerated barrel wear using frangible bullets?


#2

Bore wear rate would be largely a function of both the bullet material and the type and charge of propellant used. In any event, it seems impossible (at least to me) for the bore erosion to progress from the muzzle to the chamber. Excessive bore wear at the muzzle is most frequently due to using the cleaning rod from the muzzle. As there are numerous types of frangible bullet designs and materials, as well as propellants, it’s not possible to make generalizations.

One issue is that conventional primer compositions incorporating lead styphnate do provide some degree of lubrication in the bore. Completely lead-free ammunition typically uses DDNP as a sensitive material in the primer mixture instead of lead styphnate, and therefore does not provide any lubrication. Therefore, the propellant formulation used in such ammunition will normally incorporate small amounts of some substances (such as Bismuth) which provide a little lubrication to reduce bore wear, making up for the absence of lead in the primer.


#3

Some types of unjacketed .223/5.56mm frangible ammunition do increase barrel wear/erosion. The bullets can also (variously) tumble, fragment in flight or break during cycling.

I haven’t found any unjacketed .223/5.56mm that I would recommend. The jacketed stuff from Federal and the 2 military frang rounds (AA50 JSP and the newer stuff done by Black Hills) work well.

Some frangible bullets do incorporate tungsten and other non-lead components for ‘green’ reasons; I can only assume that an unjacketed pill with abrasive or otherwise barrel-unfriendly ingredients could be sub-bueno.

Jacketed LE handgun stuff from Federal, Winchester and Ultramax has worked OK for us. I haven’t used any frangible components for reloading (yet).


#4

This is false.

Modern frangible bullets do not in anyway wear your bore faster then jacketed bullets.

In fact bullets like SinterFire’s have HIGHER lubricity then copper and wear it less. This allows higher velocity over same wight jacketed counter part.