Unique Frangible Ammo From Dark Horse Ammunition

Dark Horse Ammo

Well, at least as far as this gun blogger is concerned, a 242 grain .308 breaching round absolutely qualifies as “unique.” And then some. It also makes quick work of door locks and hinges with barely any spall out the far side . . .

At SHOT Show’s Industry Day at the Range, Dark Horse Ammunition, a brand owned by Ascendance International, was blowing a door to smithereens every hour. Unfortunately I missed the shows, but I did catch the aftermath. Deadbolts and door frames were torn asunder; opened easily after a single shot.

Yet, as visible on the angled support beam above, very little debris shot out the interior side of the door and into the room.

This extremely heavy-for-caliber, .308 round is made of compressed, powdered metals and returns to powder upon impact with a hard target. It’s lead-free, if I recall correctly, and contains Tungsten, tin, and who knows what else.

Providing a breaching round in .308 means the operator can forgo the use of a shotgun that’s used solely for breaching and then tossed to the side. Breach the door and enter with the same gun that’s already up at the ready already.

Due to the 242 grain bullet weight, a 1:8″ twist rate is recommended. With that taken care of, minute of angle accuracy is to be expected.

Dark Horse was also showing off their line of commercial-use Super Frangible Training Projectiles. These bullets appear to be copper dust and polymer hybrid projectiles (possibly other metal dust, too) and turn right back into powder on impact.

Steel targets can be engaged as close as six inches, and they do no damage to AR500 steel. Yet, they’re apparently just as accurate as standard ball ammo out to at least 50 meters.

Due to low friction and, I assume, a more pliable bullet, barrel life is supposed to increase dramatically versus the use of standard FMJ ammo.

Super Frangible will be available soon in 9mm, .223, .40 S&W, .45 Auto, .308 Win, and 300 BLK.


  1. avatar Smoke Jensen says:

    Can it be used on a plane safely? Has it been tested on ballistic gel yet?

    1. avatar Mark Dittell says:

      Probably NOT look at the damage to the wood and brass, NO don’t use of other soft metals such as aluminum!. Hard metals only!

  2. avatar Jason says:

    I lol’ed when I read about the 1-8 twist recommendation. Like anyone cares about their groupings on a door lock when breaching. This round would be perfect for that Franklin Armory stupid rifle. They should market that straight rifling rifle as a door breacher with this round. Hella better than making stupid football with fins ammo they are trying to make. And it give that stupid rifle a less stupid purpose… Only slightly. Because then you’re lugging around another purpose only firearm. Might as well grab that Mossberg back off the shelf. Anyway, I’m done.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Yeah I don’t think the talk of 50 meter accuracy matters either…

    2. You realize that we are getting close to 1″ groups at 100 yards with an 11.5″ barrel, right? Too many people have jumped on the hate band wagon a little early here. You can’t believe everything your buddy told you on facebook!

      1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

        It makes sense to me for home defense and trunk gun stuff and everything related to that. Inside of 150 yards, even at 4 MOA with standard ammo, you’re doing just fine. The 11.5″ barrel is handy, though for straight-up home defense use I’d just as soon go 8.5″ in 300 BLK. I don’t care if it’s 6 MOA accurate, that’s fine for HD. BUT it has to be suppressor-safe! The whole purpose of this, in my mind, is a suppressed HD “rifle” with a short barrel but without the NFA restrictions and $200 tax, etc. So commercially-available, subsonic 300 BLK ammo has to be stable enough to make it through a typical suppressor without risking baffle strikes. I don’t care if it starts tumbling two feet out of the muzzle, but it needs to be stable until it exits a suppressor. Is that the case with this gun?

  3. avatar Rabbi says:

    While the round will replace the need for a shotgun, 308 is not an entry weapon so entry teams will need to carry a 308

  4. avatar ‘liljoe says:

    Yea, so are you going to manually load one each time you get to a door? Have a separate mag that you swap out each time and then rack out an unused cartridge? I’d love to be educated as to the thought process behind this. Some days I’m slow.. and I’m just not getting it today.

    Maybe a 45 breacher pistol round? That would be cool. Carry a separate XD just for that?

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      I think the idea is that you just run it. Fight all the way to the door with it, breach the door with it, and fight beyond the door with it. With the exception of penetrating body armor I’d guess it’s pretty effective against soft targets, too. Though in the scenario where you’re breaching doors and such, I’d like something that’ll zip through armor. Of course, 242 grains at a max .308 load would ruin your day even if it didn’t penetrate your soft armor.

      1. avatar ‘liljoe says:

        That makes more sense… I’m guessing somebody soon will do a comparison run through gel and other media to see it’s effectiveness vs a “normal” round… hint hint?:)

  5. avatar Accur81 says:

    I’m curious if it actually functions in a standard AR-10 setup. Boom! Clear! Woah, stop, gotta clear this malfunction!

    Other than that, it could be cool. I’m sure 7 or 8 people in this world have an AR-10 with a 1:8 twist.

    1. avatar Jeremy S. says:

      Yes, they were shooting a bunch of it at their booth from AR-10s.

  6. avatar ironicatbest says:

    This must be for Swat teams. I can’t see many civilians using it much

    1. avatar Phil Wilson says:

      Oops, locked myself out again!

  7. avatar Phil Wilson says:

    Oops, locked myself out again!

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