Ballistic gel vs. real world

Discussion in 'Concealed Carrying & Personal Protection' started by TheDreadnought, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. TheDreadnought

    TheDreadnought New Member

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    So how closely does ballistic gel penetration actually mirror real world penetration?

    I'd hate to feel confident in a round/weapon combo that tests out to 14" + penetration, only to discover, too late, that agains a live target it goes 6" and stops before hitting anything vital.

    Also, has anybody done any gel penetration tests behind barriers, like a 2x4 or something? I feel the ability to hit targets behind soft cover is something you would need to know about in a SD situation!
     
  2. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    its not a 1-1 type thing and ballistic gel does not take clothing hard objects in pockets and bones into consideration.

    ballistic gel is used as a guideline of performance which is why 14" is used as a minimum.

    as a civilian if your shooting through cover its likely not self defense at that point...

    ammo to avoid as they are extreme under performers

    anything in .410, the caliber is totally inadequate for anything other than small birds and rabbits
    anything in 22lr
    all 380acp hollowpoints only fmj reliably penetrates 14"
    in 20ga any shot smaller than 00buck
    in 12ga any shot smaller than 00buck
    in all large and small calibers, avoid all boutique frangible ammo like glaser safety slugs, sinterfire ammo and similar gimmicky rounds

    fmj performs better on penetration than hollowpoints
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014

  3. rn-cindy

    rn-cindy Active Member

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    Depends on where your SD/HD situation takes place..."6" and stops" is a good thing if you live in an apartment, or neighborhood with houses close together.
     
  4. Defiant_one

    Defiant_one New Member

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    There is also

    The immeasurable "pucker factor". This is the factor by which the bad guy's (or gals) privates pucker in fear that they are being shot at. Any penetration be it .22lr or .44mag is going to create damage in most cases while the pucker factor is going to make 90% want to get out of dodge. Quickly.

    Very rarely will you have an assailant that is going to keep coming when you are firing at them..or if you are both firing at each other, yes, you want stopping power - Being shot by a FMJ or a JHP is really irrelevant. You are still shot.
     
  5. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    Most of the time when there is a police shootout it happens in a populated area. Still it is seldom anyone not involved with the shootout gets hit. Even FMJ bullets are severely deformed after passing through building materials. The hype of over penetration is just that, hype. After passing through a well made wooden door buckshot is deformed and not going very far. If my life is in danger I am going to have the most effective load for the gun in hand. The best way to prevent accidents is to limit the number of shots fired. If I was certain my shot would go into my neighbors bedroom I would use bear spray.

    After watching youtube videos where people shoot pork shoulders or pigs heads I don't believe there is a hollow point made that will stay together all the time. Some of the ammo that is notorious for fragmenting tumbles as it fragments doing much more damage than a bullet that stays together. Perhaps the bullet fragments because it is tumbling. A bullet that penetrates 12 or 13 inches of gelatin then tumbles and fragments is not a bad choice. A pigs head is a good test. It is a good chance in a self defense situation your bullet will have to pass through the bad guys arm before it even gets to the bad guys body.

    Some people say if you are shooting through a barrier it is no longer self defense. If someone is trying to kick in my door I am not waiting for them to breach the door before I start shooting. People use cars as a deadly weapon all the time. I am not going to keep my gun in my pocket because the attacker is in a car.

    Watch both videos and you will see the hype over very little performance advantage or quite possibly no advantage.

    Here is a gelatin test of a often maligned round, the Federal 9BPLE.
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9iiaXoRaRY[/ame]

    Here is the highly touted Hornady Critical Duty.
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJZFZFmBKa0[/ame]
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
  6. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    ballistics gel is simply a testing meduim they can use to get consistent results with. it does not necessarily simulate human tissue, bone, muscle or organs.
     
  7. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Ballistic gelatin follows a specific recipe and is used at a specific temperature to come CLOSE to duplicating the penetration effects on an animal. It is a uniform consistency.

    However, with the POSSIBLE exception of jellyfish, animals (and people ARE animals) are not of a uniform consistency. They are not blocks of tofu, but contain bone, cartilage, ligaments, fluids, air and organs of different consistency. They are also not 360 degree symetrical.

    IMHO, ballstic gel provides a handy means of comparing 2 different projectiles in a uniform manner. One that can be accurately reproduced by other people or at later times.
     
  8. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    IMO the gelatin doesn't tell the whole story.

    I've tested the 45ACP round, and it's tested

    poorly in many penetration tests. But it's performance against

    the living is almost legendary. The 9mm has much better

    "penetration", but is passed over for calibers with lesser

    depth ratings, by many, for SD and CC.
     
  9. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Hey now- ya never know- if you are ever attacked by a large slab of orange colored gelatin, that information could be critical! :p

    Me- I'm looking for the test that says "We were unable to measure penetration- the gelatin was stuck to the ceiling in the test room."
     
  10. TheDreadnought

    TheDreadnought New Member

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    This is completely false. If I am defending myself in my home and attempt to make use of whatever cover I can get... There's no reason to assume the criminal wont do the same if he sees me with a gun, or if I miss the first shots.

    So I want to know, if I have to fire through a wall, door, couch, kitchen island, what have you... Are JHP going to be able to incapacitate the intruder? It's a fair question, and one I think anybody interested in HD should know the answer to when selecting a firearm.

    Not everybody lives in crowded spaces where every closet and room is packed with crying children. Some of us are less concerned with "over penetration" hysteria... And more worried about maximum ability to incapacitate, even under adverse conditions.
     
  11. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    My take on it is like this.

    Since BGs don't like to work in front of crowds,

    there is generally not a lot of innocent bystanders to shoot into,

    when defending yourself from BGs. So why not just use FMJs?
     
  12. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    When ammo was hard to find I bought some federal hi shok ammo. I paid $17 for the hollow points at a time when $15 for a box FMJ ammo was average. My gun was much more accurate with the HP ammo. I still shoot FMJ ammo for practice. But in a match I would spend the extra couple dollars for HP ammo. In SD I want the hottest HP ammo I can find. All of my guns are rated for +P+ ammo. They shoot +P+ accurately, so that is what I use.
     
  13. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    6" of penetration puts every vital organ you might want to hit in range on anyone but a 400Lb Thug, a Moose or a Bear (USA Threats in the wild). Honestly, unless your big game hunting, anything bigger than a 22 (and even a 22) has been proven lethal 1000 times in real world testing with living organisms.

    When your talking Humans, unless they have armor plating, a small round is very capable of delivering the knockdown punch if your capable of putting it on target. If your trying to shoot through cover on someone concealed, your likely better off retrograding instead of shooting blind.

    Bigger is great when bigger is with you but bigger often doesnt conceal well and unless your a well practiced shooter, not the SD weapon of choice for most people.
     
  14. TheDreadnought

    TheDreadnought New Member

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    I live in a renovated loft in a historical building. Once an intruder has entered the loft, he is standing between me and the one way in and out of the space. My wife is in the bedroom behind me. The only person downrange is the bad guy. The building owners do live across the hall, but the arrangement of their place is such that they will 99% likely be out of the line of fire, (or not home at all).

    So I'm considering .45 ACP FMJ as my home defense round, for maximum penetration with an already large sized bullet. Or a good 9mm JHP. I just was wondering if the BG takes cover, can I nail him through the cover he takes. There's not much that would serve as hard cover. Mostly just soft cover/concealment.

    Best he could do is a 12" x 12" 100 year old maple post. . . but doubt he could completely hide behind that.

    [​IMG]

    My bedroom is the door to the right with the sign over it.

    If you look closely you can just see the entrance next to the small black table lamp at the far end. It's kinda hidden behind the corner/post.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014