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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    IMO, the best way to determine optimal rounds for ballistic impact on individuals is a combination of excellent performance in properly calibrated ballistic gelatin in combination with multiple reports of performance in real-world shootings. It's pretty easy to do this with ammunition that has been around for a number of years and in widespread use by LEO's, as well as testing data from multiple sources. Speer Gold Dot, Federal Tactical HST, Remington Golden Saber and others come to mind. For me, as long as there is good data from legitimate testing that shows repeatable results, I'm good with it.
    **Mike Ronin on FaceBook**

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  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    NW Washington
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    2,939
    Quote Originally Posted by apamburn View Post
    I think you are missing the point of gel.

    Engineering requires repeatable results, and that requires consistent, repeatable testing.

    You don't get consistent, repeatable testing from using fruit and pork as your test medium because of natural, inherent variations in the medium itself.

    Ballistic gel is a controlled and standardized medium that minimizes (doesn't eliminate) result variance due to test medium, which lays bare projectile performance.

    It's also industry standard.

    It may not really simulate shooting a body perfectly. But that's not what it's meant to do.

    So ballistic gel tests are perfectly adequate for their intended purpose when viewed in that light.

    Don't get me wrong: "real world" testing in actual meat has much value too; what performs well in a lab may not perform well in real life.

    But in R&D consistent, isolated testing is needed. And manufactured gel provides just that.

    **I'm an engineer but not involved in bullet production, but I'm confident that principles are the same. Maybe someone in industry can correct me.
    You're completely right. Also, those performing R&D on bullets using gel (whether amateur or professional) generally understand the shortcomings of gel pretty well, but also understand why it's used and what information can be gained by it. Of course there are exceptions and plenty of them like to post on Youtube.

    I've used meat and bone targets as well, along with a lot of other different test media, and IMO if someone insists on really needing realistic results, nothing is as good as live meat. For anything else, you have to understand the limitations of your test media.


    Also, a comment on Barnes copper pistol bullets, since I've done enough of my own testing on them to form some impressions - the "+P" loads (which technically means higher pressure, not higher velocity) for the same weight are significantly slower for solid copper Barnes hollow points than jacketed lead bullets, because of the lower density of copper making the bullet longer. Also, in my experience the Barnes pistol hollow points can't tolerate the higher velocities that jacketed lead hollow points can; they have a tendency to shed their petals and become just a solid wadcutter.

    For example the 115gr Barnes 9mm bullet in a +P load can be run to approximately the same speed as a standard pressure 125gr bullets from other brands. The factory load does about 1125 fps, and pushing the velocity much faster, up to about 1200 fps in a hotter load, results in shedding the petals and losing hollow point function.

    They aren't bad bullets, but no offense to anyone affiliated with Barnes, I just prefer other options for pistol ammo.

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