Hevi-Shot Frangible

Quite a few years ago I had found some information on-line about a new brand of frangible pistol ammo and made a copy of the article. It stayed in my binder, forgotten, until a few weeks ago. I was supprised to find the information still available on the Guns & Ammo website. That brand of ammo is Hevi-Shot.

gunsandammomag.com/cs/Satell … 8098376868

I had sent an email to Hevi-Shot to try and get some more info about this ammo and got an immediate email response advising that the company had never made bullets or ammo for pistols. I forwarded the link to the article from above and so far have not heard back from Hevi-Shot.

Does anyone have any more information about this ammo? Does anyone have any samples of this ammo (9mm or 40S&W)? The copy of the article that I copied years ago shows that the article was posted by G&A on Jan 23, 2003, so this ammo was pobably designed and made for introduction at the '03 SHOT show.

Leon - the first couple of years after they announced the frangible ammo, they show a blurb about it at the SHOT Show. I talked to them about it, but they had no samples, even of the bullet. After a couple of years, they didn’t show it in their booth anymore and I was told the project was on hold. Last year, at LV, the fellow I talked to simply said “We don’t make pistol ammunition.”

I wonder how old that web entry you posted is. I couldn’t find a date on it. My impression was that Hevi-Shot had abandoned the project. Maybe they have resurrected it. Am not sure if I am going to the SHOT or not this year, but probably not. If I do go, I will look them up.

John Moss

I don’t know anything about the ammunition but I would call into question the wisdom of the view stated in the article that it would be good for use on indoor ranges. I don’t know about indoor ranges in the States but here in Britain indoor pistol ranges use a 45 degree steel plate to catch the bullets. If the bullets contain frangible material thats magnetic it means steel, steel is going to be bouncing all around the place, and very fast.
Lead or lead/copper jacketed bullets flatten out against the plate and use their energy up in the process. Steel will bounce back because its springy. Drop a steel ball bearing on a hard surface and see what I mean. Also in time steel will damage the plate.

Perhaps thats the reason why they dropped the idea, and now they don’t really want to talk about it.

Hevi-Shot’s proposed pistol rounds were frangible bullets. Frangible bullets of proper construction disintegrate against steel targets. I have fired some Canadian 9mm Frangibles against our steel Cowboy Action Shooting targets. They go to copper colored “maxi-dust.” There’s a new term I invented. The pieces are larger than fine dust, but still quite tiny and do not seem to ricochet. Fired at some pretty close ranges, there was no back-spatter of the Canadian ones, or at least none felt.

I would think that properly designed and installed steel back plates on indoor ranges should direct the bullets downward into a sand (or other absorbant material) trap and not offer much of a ricochet problem anyway. Our local indoor range used to have slanted steel plates. I think they changed them, though, to a synthetic material. For my own interest, I will ask them next time I go there. I don’t get there very often anymore, unfortunately. Might abe awhile.

I think the ricochet problem would be minimal. That is one of the selling points of frangible pistol bullets, or at least that is my impression. We don’t allow copper-jacket projectiles in SASS shooting. I know some IPSC clubs shoot steel with them, but ricochets are a big hazard with them in my opinion. Lead bullets loaded to too low a velocity are also a bounce-back problem, and if loaded too high in velocity, tend to break up and the fragments bounce back. Between about 600 and 800 fps, they simply flatten on the steel targets and drop straight down to the ground.

That is why CAS loads are kept to a minimum and maximum velocity. For awhile, some guys were loading very light bullets to very low velocities, but some of that has stopped due to bounce backs.

John Moss


I have never heard of this. My only recommendation would be to contact Aaron J Decker who wrote the posting and see if he has half a box still laying around. Stranger things have happened. That is basically how I found the half box of Sinterfire headstamped 45 ACP!

Cheers and thanks for the info.


Lew - the Hevi-Shot pistol loads first appeared in Bismuth Cartridge Company’s literature of 2001, as far as my files reveal. It was repeared in their on-line catalog of 2003. Their 2004 dealer price sheet, obtained at SHOT 2004, no longer mentions the pistol loads at all.

I just tried to google this. While you can still find information - thousands of hits - on this company as far back as when they still were in Dallas Texas (later moved to Van Nuys, California), their actual web site, when search by address on previous material I printed out, comes back as “broken” which probably means it doesn’t exist anymore. I don’t know if they are still in business or not. They were not listed in the 2008 SHOT Show guide as being in attendance, a show they attended for years.

John Moss

If this is Bismuth, then I started talking to them in 2002 through their national sales rep who lived not far from San Antonio. In 2002, maybe early 2003 he said they had made a small quantity and were going into production. He thought there may be one or two bullets still laying around. He never could find any and by 2004 when I left Texas, the pistol ammo was a dead subject. My impression is that there were never more than 50-100 bullets made and all were fired. It could have been far fewer than 50.



Lew - It is Bismuth, and they left Texas before you did - they went to California, God knows why? Your personal contact with them agrees completely with my personal contacts at various SHOT Shows - same basic information. Zero serial production, only a tiny amount of experimental projectiles, no cases ever with their own headstamp.

John Moss

I am fairly certain that Bismuth Cartridge Company went under about 2007 or so. During most of last year, 2008-2009, bismuth shotshells and shot were very difficult to find because they were not in production. A new company, under new ownership, was formed called Pennacle Ammunition Co and some of the BSC officers are in this new company. Their shotgun shell brand is now called Bis-Maxx. You surprised me with the idea that they even thought of making pistol bullets/ammo.