You know what can ruin a fantastic range day? Getting struck with a piece of shrapnel. For those who shoot and/or train in great volumes, this very thing has probably occurred more than we’d like, but there are ways to mitigate and stop pulling pieces of jacket from your arms, legs, and face. Shoot frangible.

Frangible ammunition is designed to disintegrate into tiny particles upon striking a target to reduce the chance of ricochets and backsplash. Now frangible ammunition isn’t new science; it was originally created in the mid-20th century for shooting galleries. Frangible is used in a myriad of diverse ways from competition, recreational, hunting to law enforcement and military training in close quarters.  This is where Commonwealth ammunition comes in supplying ammunition for over five hundred different police departments across the United States as well as civilians who need both frangible and ball ammunition. Specializing in frangible, I was curious to get my hands on some, and luckily for me, I didn’t have to go much further than my own backyard.

Commonwealth ammunition is located in Miami, Florida, I was fortunate enough to visit and speak to the CEO, Adam Oliver and the Head of Law Enforcement sales, Bobby Dolan Jr. Mr. Dolan gave me a tour around their facility and educated me on the process and the lengths Commonwealth goes to produce the highest quality ammunition (frangible and ball ammunition) for law enforcement and civilians alike. Commonwealth offers ammunition from .380 ACP all the way to 7.62 x 51mm in frangible or full metal jacket. Yes, they even manufacture some superb shotgun shells. To put their frangible ammunition to the test, they sent samples to some of the leading suppressor manufactures. After extensive full auto suppressed pews, both companies sent back letters of approval for their frangible .223 ammunition, so for all those questioning the reliability of shooting frangible through your suppressed AR-15, no worries.

One awesome service that Commonwealth provides is tailored ammunition for their customers nationwide. Whether it’s a law enforcement department needing a specifically loaded cartridge to run efficiently and quietly through department issued suppressed carbines, hunters looking for the most accurate effective round for their next hunt, or competition shooters who need custom loaded ammunition for a regional match, Commonwealth has got you covered.

I started my review process at a local USPSA practice match running a stock Glock 17 and slightly modified Glock 34 and put their 115gr remanufactured and new ball ammunition to the test. Most would visit their local range first to test the ammunition first, but I thought I’d follow Bill O Reilly’s lead and do it live. As I traversed through each stage and fired each round, one thing I noticed with great relief was how consistent the recoil impulse was. Both the remanufactured and new full metal jacket cartridges pressure was consistent.  Accuracy was on par with your standard manufactured ammunition; shooting at 25 yards supported and non-supported, I could achieve under five-inch groupings.

After a couple of matches, I moved on to testing their frangible ammunition on steel targets (when I say testing, I mean shooting from retention at a piece of C zone steel at two feet). Instead of plucking bits of jacket out of my face and appendages, the result was just some moon dust which felt like a small amount of warm sand brushing up against me. The frangible ran absolutely flawless and made shooting steel way more enjoyable and, of course, much safer. To make things interesting, I also ran the remaining ball and frangible ammunition through a different platforms from a Smith and Wesson Shield, Sig Sauer MPX SBR, Sig Sauer P226, and even throwing it back to Miami Vice with a Intratec AB-10, Tec-9. No malfunctions or pressure inconsistencies throughout the platforms… yes, even the Tec-9.

Overall, Commonwealth was extremely pleasant to deal with, which makes their services way more appealing than dealing with some less than ideal gun shop or shady gentleman at a gun show counter claiming his garage loaded ammunition is faaaaar superior than anything produced by an actual ammunition manufacturer. If you’re like me who loves to train in more than one way with different targets; I would highly recommend Commonwealth Ammunition for any of your frangible needs.

Material Disclosure

I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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About The Author

Currently enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, stationed at 4th CAG in Hialeah Florida as an 0352, Anti-Tank Missile Man, 0532, Civil Affairs Specialist, and a 0933 Combat Marksmanship Coach. He shoots competitively on the side; usually USPSA. Currently working at Nexus Shooting Davie Florida as a firearms instructor and salesman. Wanting to branch out and help educate and train others in all matters of firearm self-defense.

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