2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Now this is ballistics testing....


The use of ballistics gel has been a standard in testing firearm ammunition for a while.  No, its not perfect, but it is fairly easy to provide a consistent medium to judge the overall performance (notice I did not say effectiveness) of ammunition as you would expect it to perform in a target. But real people aren't made up of gelatin are they?  Sure, some tissue and organ structures are mimicked by its consistency, but the human body is made up of both hard structures, soft tissues and yes, even hollow cavities in some areas.  All of these variables play into the "chaos theory" approach to weapon effectiveness that I have occasionally expounded on here.
 The only creature ballistic gelatin testing has proven to by 100% accurate in...


Sure some testers put a layer of demin and some t-shirt material in front of the gelatin block because we all know criminals are stuck in a 1960-70's style loop where they run around in jean jackets with black watch caps on their heads.  Anyway, this does add a layer of realism to the testing procedure but still something else could be added.   The Deadliest Warrior show has used actual animal carcases and ballistic gelatin molded over bone structures to gauge the damage caused by edged weapons and the like on their show and it seems to be quite effective. But that's a TV show with a fairly good sized budget, what is an "Average Joe" to use?  There are many recipes out there to make your own ballistic gel at home using normal Knox gelatin packets (go ahead and Google it, I'll wait...) so that is a fairly easy part of the test.  More realistic clothing can be procured other than denim such as some of the synthetic poly fleece everyone wears these days (does not seem as tough as denim but it may cause different clogging effects in the cavity of HP bullets) but there is still something lacking...hmmm...what can that be?

 A very good description of how Ballistics gel is used to determine effectiveness of  various rounds...

Well, if you are like most people you have been trained to shoot center of mass (COM) on your targets?  Why, well in the stress of defending yourself not only does it present the biggest and easiest area of the target to engage, but it just so happens that a lot of really important stuff is located there as well...heart, lungs and the like.  Well God (or natural selection, your choice, I don't judge) decided that this was an area that needed to be protected so he gave us a bit of armor to keep them safe and sound commonly called our rib cage.  The connective tissue between the ribs tends to be a bit tougher than normal tissues, hence the need to cook ribs "low and slow" in order to cook them into tender morsels dipped in BBQ sauce, and washed down with a good glass of beer.  So what we need is another layer maybe to correctly simulate this barrier that needs to be defeated before rounds can hit vitals...a slab of ribs..


And oh look, here's a video of someone who was actually smart enough to put "2 + 2 = ribs" together and test it out!


Pretty decent results.  In the video notes the guy does admit that his gel is not the proper density as true ballistics gel, but decent penetration through a down jacket, shirt and most importantly through the bone and penetration would probably been enough to do severed damage to an assailant. A little more interesting results were obtained by the video creator by using Hornady Critical Defense .380 into the same type of scenario...



Interesting not only because the results don't seem to be as fantastic as pure gelatin makes these rounds appear in other tests, but also because this is my carry ammo in my Kel-Tec P-3AT that is often on my person as my CCW, especially in hot weather.  Not that I am too worried about using it...anyone that has ever had a ribbed cracked knows how painful and distracting that can be, and that might just be enough (along with the "holy crap I've been shot" effect) to defeat an attacker mentally and allow you to escape.

Let's see one more test of .380 using Winchesters PDX bonded ammo...ammo that I use as carry ammo in some of my 9mm guns...


Wow, that's a big difference!  I may just be on my way to the store to pick that stuff up!! Great testing here, not totally scientific, but compared to a lot of the tests done and available on YouTube using pure gelatin, jugs of water and wet newsprint and just plain old barrels of water I think the "rib shot" present a best scenario of what results to expect from your ammo.

More videos like this are available on this guy's channel on YouTube: jeffr168. Do the guy a favor and subscribe, I did.  The more subscribers the more incentive he might have to do more of this type of testing...and unlike me he seems to have a great area to do it in!

Ribs...there not just for boxers anymore!!

1 comment:

Kevin Delaney said...

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