Fear & Loading: HE Shotshell

by
posted on August 3, 2016
guyimg_lede1_8735-for-ann-possible-lead.jpg

It’s not often you get a chance for an up-close-and-personal inspection of gear designed for the military or silver screen, so when Frag12 asked me to take catalog photos of its shotshell—that explodes on contact with its target—I jumped at the chance, even though BATFE rules required I’d be working with an inert version.

Before you ask, I know even jokingly putting a single match head in the thing would break so many laws that they wouldn’t bother making a key for my jail cell. In fact, anyone from SOCOM who wants to take a close look is welcome to give it a new research home. I’d need official ID, and expect a signed receipt we can get notarized, though.  

Call me paranoid, but there’s good reason. Here’s the company’s look at what a live version does and a snippet of Discovery Channel’s coverage earlier this year.  

I received the guts—the most interesting part, anyway—of the company’s 3-inch, 12 gauge shotshell, which sheds its chamber-friendly polymer skin upon firing. The manufacturer, Frag12, has tested the load extensively in Benelli shotguns and it’s been in at least one movie.

Spring-loaded fins deploy once it ditches the hull to stabilize flight. Effective at up to 200 meters (video), it should help those who go in harm’s way maintain a safer distance when breaching doors, disabling vehicles or temporarily stunning their adversary. The explosive arms 3 meters from the muzzle.

Payload is 3.4 grams of RDX, European nomenclature for the active ingredient in C4. Ignition starts with a standard 209 primer and muzzle velocity is 900 fps. In-flight weight is 42 grams, although mine weighs less (did I mention this thing on my desk is inert?). Here’s the complete Frag12HE shotshell specs.

The warhead—their term, not mine, please no 2 a.m. raids—is thin and light, so there’s not much shrapnel produced, making it obvious it isn’t designed to replace the M203 grenade launcher. It’s a breaching tool and makes cool explosions, at distance, safely.

I’d love to test working versions, but there’s that BATFE thing. Of course, if someone from Delta picks this up—not that the unit really exists, although I am close enough to Fort Mackall that grenades and automatic fire lull me to sleep most nights, hint, hint—and decides real testing is needed, I’d love to be there. In fact, I’m going to include a clause in that receipt, notarized, with witnesses, by the way.  

Latest

Henry Repeating Arms New Original lever-action rifle right-side view silver engraving gun rifle carbine
Henry Repeating Arms New Original lever-action rifle right-side view silver engraving gun rifle carbine

Hand-Engraved, Silver-Plated New Original Henry Rifle Heads To Auction

There are few places in the country more impressive than The Cody Firearms Museum for history buffs and firearms enthusiasts, and Henry Repeating Arms, Baron Engraving and Davidson’s have created something special to support the facility.

Rifleman Report: Shall Not Be Infringed

As of this writing, the people of Ukraine are locked in a life-and-death struggle with the invading Russian military in the most significant warfare seen in Europe since World War II.

This Old Gun: U.S. Model Of 1842 Musket

By the latter part of the 1830s, most of the major powers finally let practicality overcome economy, realizing that it was time to switch their small arms over from flintlock to percussion. Britain and France were among the earliest, with the United States following suit in short order—the Americans fielding the handsome Model of 1842.

Preview: Brügger & Thomet Unigrip QD With Bipod Foldable

Externally configured as a standard vertical fore-grip, the B&T Unigrip QD With Bipod Foldable, as its name suggests, also features a throw-lever Picatinny-rail attachment clamp and more.

The Armed Citizen® May 23, 2022

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

2022 Rifle Of The Year: Ruger 10/22 Competition Rifle Left-Handed Model

Now in their 20th year, the Golden Bullseye Awards are chosen annually to recognize the firearm industry’s best new offerings. Here is this year’s winners as selected by the editors of “The World’s Oldest And Largest Firearm Authority.”

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.