A Frangible Dream?
DRT Takes a Decades-old Concept and Makes It Work
The theory of frangible ammunition has intrigued researchers and manufacturers for decades. Discovering a bullet that would penetrate to vital organs, disintegrate into a shower of secondary missiles, inflict massive organic damage and create maximum stopping power—all without exiting from the target—is akin to finding the Holy Grail.
But despite astronomical effort and no small amount of financial expenditure, no one has ever been able to make it work, at least not to any level of tactical satisfaction.
To produce a bullet that is frangible—in the sense that it doesn’t utilize a lead core—is nothing new. Many projectiles of this type have been constructed of 1) a liquid core surrounded by a gilding jacket, 2) a liquid core in which shot particles are suspended, surrounded by a gilding jacket, or 3) a solid projectile consisting of some kind of compressed substance.
Sadly, a compressed solid projectile tends not to upset at all unless heavy bone is struck. And though they do reliably upset, liquid core bullets (and bullets with a liquid core in which shot pellets are suspended) have a well-documented history of poor or marginal penetration, so that even when they do function properly, their mission-capability is highly specialized at best.
And so it has gone, until Dynamic Research Technologies (DRT) unveiled a revolutionary new bullet, their version of the Holy Grail.
But Does it Work?
Constructed of a compressed powdered metal core—in which a specially designed metal cup is inserted—and an exceptionally fragile gilding jacket, DRT bullets are not only accurate and functionally reliable in self-operating actions, but they’re devastatingly effective in both artificial mediums and living organisms alike.
As such, they boost the stopping power of handgun cartridges exponentially (due to the lightweight bullets that result from the powdered metal core) with exceptionally low recoil. Yet, they’ll penetrate intermediary obstacles like automobile windshields with ease.
Rifle cartridges, too, benefit from the DRT concept. The .223 REM, for example, has always been considered a poor to marginal man stopper, so much so, that it’s illegal for big game hunting in most states. However, not only are DRT .223 bullets accurate, but exceptionally destructive on internal organs without the loss of penetration. Available in 55, 60 and 70-grain weights, DRT bullets turn the .223 REM into a remarkable tactical and sporting cartridge and makes diminutive weapons like the M4 carbine into something more like an FN-FAL or Remington M700 Tactical Precision rifle.
When DRT owners John and Dustin Worrell first told me how effective they were, I was admittedly skeptical. Two subsequent trips to John and Dustin’s East Fork Ranch (near DRT headquarters in Albany, Missouri) for trophy whitetail deer gave me the opportunity to not only personally utilize DRT ammo but watch others use it on game as well. In every case, the 250-pound Missouri whitetails hit with the .223 REM went down with the same regularity as when they were hit with a much larger caliber cartridge.
Interestingly enough, DRT bullets perform exactly the same on game as they do in artificial mediums such as PermaGel. Even the more potent cartridges like the .30-06 and .300 WIN MAG exhibited minimal penetration, with only a few fragments exiting. The 60 and 79-grain DRT .223 REM loads didn’t exit at all, but in all cases penetrated perfectly to vital organs and then disintegrated with spectacular results.
Impressed with what I’d seen at East Fork, I returned to my native Arizona and tried DRT handgun ammo on both small and large game. Utilizing my 6½-inch barreled Smith & Wesson M 25-2 .45 ACP revolver and 150-grain DRT frangible .45 ACP JHP ammo, I took down a nice mule deer buck quartering away from a full 30 meters, with a single shot.
Doing the Math
The bullet showed textbook performance, penetrating a full 12 inches (exactly like it did in PermaGel) through part of the abdominal cavity, through the diaphragm and into the middle of the thoracic cavity. It then disintegrated, creating terrific organ damage and generating dozens of secondary missiles, but did not exit. This kind of performance is absolutely impossible with any other .45 ACP load now in existence. The 85-grain DRT 9mm, too, showed its mettle on coyotes and small game, where even from ranges beyond 25 meters, it literally destroyed all internal organs and put down the animal with remarkable consistency.
So why are DRT bullets so effective? Velocity is one factor, just like it is with any other kind of frangible bullet, including traditional JHPs. However, with DRTs, there is more to the story. By design, they’re also intended to react to the centrifugal force generated by the rapid rpm rate of the bullet as it turns. Thus, regardless of the distance involved, it will react the same when it impacts and begins to penetrate.
This means (in contrast to conventionally-designed handgun JHPs or rifle JSPs) they’ll reliably upset at a certain point in passage through the target, causing massive internal damage. Yet, until that point is reached, they will penetrate fully as well as any other type of bullet.
Amazing? You bet. Now we can indeed have it all: accuracy, functional reliability, low recoil, penetration to vital organs, excellent stopping power and virtually no ricochet or over-penetration concerns. No other conventional or so-called frangible ammo can legitimately make this claim.
I’m genuinely impressed with DRT frangible ammo. It reflects savvy conceptual thinking and extensive long-term field testing on not only artificial substances like PermalGel, but on living animals as well. As such, it represents a new state-of-the-art in bullet technology and one whose time has indeed come.
Story & Photos by Chuck Taylor