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Old February 16, 2018, 05:39 PM   #1
5pins
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Federal .40S&W 180gr HST in Clear Ballistics Gel.



Test Gun: Sig P229, S&W Shield.
Barrel length: 3.9 inches, 3.1 inches.
Ammunition: Federal .40S&W 180gr HST ()
Test media: 10% Clear Ballistics Gel.
Distance: 10 feet.
Chronograph: PACT 1 XP with inferred sky screens.
Gel Temperature 72 degrees.

Finally, a few days of warm weather and some spare time gave me a chance for another test. I contacted Clear Ballistics asking about block temperature. Even though the gel blocks are stored and shot inside, the cold weather made me wonder how the cooler than normal temperature would affect the blocks. Clear Ballistics informed me that the blocks should be shot at a temperature between 70 to 85 degrees. I purchased a food thermometer so I could monitor the block temps before shooting.

The first round from the Sig P229 into bare gel had a velocity of 964fps, penetrate to 15.25 inches, and expanded to .74 inches. The next shot hit at 986fps then penetrated to 14.5 inches and expanded to .76 inches.



Round one in through the heavy clothing had a velocity of 965fps, penetrated to 19.5 inches and expanded to .71 inches. Round two’s velocity was 967fps. It penetrated to 17 inches and expanded to .70 inches.



In the S&W Shield, the first round in bare gel had a velocity of 907fps, expanded to .72 inches with a penetration of 14.25 inches. The last round hit at 876fps with a penetration of 13.5 inches and an explanation of .77 inches.

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Old February 16, 2018, 06:12 PM   #2
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HST is a beast. Pretty much any of it.

I, being the walking anachronism that I am, very much like the 180 grain HST stuff.
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Old February 16, 2018, 06:27 PM   #3
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Cool. I'll consider it the next time we're being attacked by Jello
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Old February 17, 2018, 09:32 AM   #4
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Thank you for performing the test and posting your results.
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Old February 17, 2018, 12:58 PM   #5
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No surprise here, HST is the best there is with Gold Dot right behind it.
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Old February 18, 2018, 10:26 AM   #6
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Thanks. I enjoy, and appreciate your research and reviews on ammunition.
The FBI protocol for ballistic comparison that you use may not be the perfect match to human flesh and bone, but it is as close as possible, and an excellent, and consistent method.
Seems some don't understand that.

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Cool. I'll consider it the next time we're being attacked by Jello
Your point? Or just a childish comment?
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Old February 18, 2018, 11:36 AM   #7
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Thanks, Cheapshooter,
Another one of my favorites is, "no one wears four layers of denim". People who make this kind of statements typically don't understand or don't want to understand, why testing is conducted this way. They also don't offer a viable alternative.
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Old February 18, 2018, 12:49 PM   #8
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They also don't offer a viable alternative.
Ahhh but “the meat target”

Seriously though, love the testing you do. Always amazed at how good all the HST rounds do.
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Old February 18, 2018, 01:14 PM   #9
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Cheapshooter - No. Not a childish comment. But, the comment has as much relevance as shooting a bullet into a block of gelatin to determine the ability to stop a human target. Of all the things that can be said about the human body - that it is a homogenous block of gelatin it not one of them. Sorry, but a block of homogeneous gel cannot duplicate the hardness of bone, the viscosity of liquid, the tissue of muscle, of fat and of air - all at the same time. The "gel-tests" will go down as the dumbest tests to determine the effectiveness of a pistol bullet to stop a human target from it's intended desire.

Yes, and the "4- layers of denim is as pointless."

Do yourself a "legal" favor. Go to your local sheriff's dept. or police department and ask what kind of ammunition they use. That way, God forbid, you ever have to use it, you have a plausible reason why you choose that bullet with opposing counsel questions you about it. It is far better than, "there was a guy on YouTube that did a gel test...."

5pins - there is NO viable alternative, as each person is different and marksmanship is infinitely more effective than the bullet or the caliber. The only thing you can draw from your test is that "a" particular bullet will perform "a" particular way if shot into gel. Apart from that, there is little value. Tell me - where on the human body will you find 4 layers of denim and 14" of homogenous tissue? Unless you're shooting someone obese, wearing a denim undershirt, over-shirt, top-shirt and jacket - you won't. It is a ridiculous test and will go down in history as such.
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Old February 18, 2018, 02:33 PM   #10
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So Northof50, how do you choose your carry ammo?
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Old February 18, 2018, 02:51 PM   #11
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5pins - read the post. The question has already been answered.
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Old February 18, 2018, 03:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Northof50 View Post
5pins - read the post. The question has already been answered.
You asked the local police?
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Old February 18, 2018, 03:37 PM   #13
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Running similar ammo to the local PD isn’t a bad thing but chances are that local PD is basing their choice on ballistics gel testing as well as real world findings.

Point if, for example, your local PD goes to 9mm G2 or whatever the FBI recently went to doesn’t that technically mean you are giving some credence to gel testing.

Of course it’s not perfect but it’s repeatable and can yield real world insights.

You cannot gather up a bunch of animals or convicts to shoot to test and making a full representation of a human torso would be far too costly.

Perfect, no, but valuable yes. IMO.
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Old February 18, 2018, 03:50 PM   #14
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I'm with Cheapshooter, nice work and a childish comment.
I have bought this ammo for some very good prices.
Functions great in my 96 Beretta.
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Old February 18, 2018, 04:07 PM   #15
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Yes. I have, both, a State Trooper and a police officer from our locality in my neighborhood. Before this area, I asked a relative who was on the job. Also owned a pub for 10 years. We had a lot of the patrol guys and detectives as customers. Provided you don't look like a "cop-wanna-be" they are more than helpful. Most have seen time in court and understand the question.

The more you understand about firearms, defensive shooting and handguns [in particular] you realize how little caliber or specific bullet design play in the greater scheme of things. It is ALL about your ability to deliver a round to the vital area while under more stress than most of us will ever have to be in. It is about the determination of the aggressor. It has been proven - shooting after shooting - 80% of people shot with handguns survive. Of the other 20%, lack of medical attention to stop the bleeding causes most of those.

If you feel better performing gel test to determine your carry load - fine. To me, if examined logically, its value becomes extremely limited. The difference between carrying an HST, Golden Saber, Gold Dot, XTP, Critical Defense, and on, and on, and on - is merely a question of which piece of promotional material hit home with you the most. The difference between those bullets, if striking someone in a vital area, will be negligible. The differences between them if you miss the vital area, indistinguishable.
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Old February 18, 2018, 04:10 PM   #16
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Guv - Tell Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch. His opinion is the same. But hell, you got yours at a good price.
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Old February 18, 2018, 04:39 PM   #17
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I'll look for some random ammo (since it doesn't really matter) higher price, thanks.
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Old February 18, 2018, 05:56 PM   #18
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Sorry guys, but some of the opinions based here are pretty childish. A person could find many things to shoot different rounds into and compare the results....with none of the media equal to a body. Doing tests like the ones here are mere comparisons against similar tests in similar mediums.
Some folks can find negativity in just about anything.
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Old February 18, 2018, 07:02 PM   #19
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No one wears four layers of denim?
My vintage Levi denim jacket, which I’ve had since about 1980, has the normal chest pockets...in the area of the pocket flap, there are five layers (and a metal snap).
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Old February 19, 2018, 10:57 AM   #20
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Quote:
No. Not a childish comment. But, the comment has as much relevance as shooting a bullet into a block of gelatin to determine the ability to stop a human target
More childish drivel.
Ask the FBI why they use this method. By the way, from your uninformed comments you probably don't even know it is called "the FBI protocol".

Quote:
Do yourself a "legal" favor. Go to your local sheriff's dept. or police department and ask what kind of ammunition they use. That way, God forbid, you ever have to use it, you have a plausible reason why you choose that bullet with opposing counsel questions you about it. It is far better than, "there was a guy on YouTube that did a gel test...."
That's even more hilarious than your other comment. Even if the type of ammo would come in question, which unless it is some kind of exotic bullet with an onerous name, you think you would be better of saying "I want to be just like the cops!

These gel test, done to FBI protocol are only a consistent means of comparison of bullet performance. As developed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory. In your mom nd I'm sure some insunificant amateurs complaint d with owning a bar!
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Old February 19, 2018, 11:03 AM   #21
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5pins, keep up the excellent work with the ammo tests. Those who have been here on TFL for a long time get it, and appreciate your efforts.
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Old February 19, 2018, 11:37 AM   #22
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Cheapshooter - written like a real internet warrior. Have fun with your jello. I'm sure you've found the magic bullet.

For the record, the FBI does a lot of testing, using various methods. The "jello" test is one of many. They don't look at a bullet pulled from a jello mold and tell themselves, "ha, there's are magic bullet." Even they realize it has very little to do with the objective of the fired round.

It's like going to the Dr. The first thing they do is take your body temp. But, I wouldn't call taking your body temperature a good method of determining malaria.
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Old February 19, 2018, 11:57 AM   #23
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No. Not a childish comment. But, the comment has as much relevance as shooting a bullet into a block of gelatin to determine the ability to stop a human target. Of all the things that can be said about the human body - that it is a homogenous block of gelatin it not one of them
Sorry Brother, but you clearly need to get educated in this subject.

Gel has NEVER been intended to simulate a human target. It simply gives us a duplicatable way to compare one bullet against another. So the gel is made to a specific recipe, shot at a certain temp and the results are compared to other bullets shot into the same recipe at the same temp.

The “FBI protocol” has a number of intervening barriers place in the bullets path before impacting the get. Light clothing, heavy clothing, plywood, sheet metal, auto glass...

Again, This just gives us a way to see how those barriers effect the bullets ability to still expand after passing thru them.

Only designed to give us an apples to apples comparison of performance. NOT show what will happen when a bulet passes through all the varies structures of the human body
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Old February 19, 2018, 12:04 PM   #24
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Sorry Brother, but you clearly need to get educated in this subject.

Gel has NEVER been intended to simulate a human target. It simply gives us a duplicatable way to compare one bullet against another. So the gel is made to a specific recipe, shot at a certain temp and the results are compared to other bullets shot into the same recipe at the same temp.

The “FBI protocol” has a number of intervening barriers place in the bullets path before impacting the get. Light clothing, heavy clothing, plywood, sheet metal, auto glass...

Again, This just gives us a way to see how those barriers effect the bullets ability to still expand after passing thru them.

Only designed to give us an apples to apples comparison of performance. NOT show what will happen when a bulet passes through all the varies structures of the human body
I've always read, for quite some time now, that it's the CLOSEST we have, in getting a good idea, on how a bullet will perform in the human body.
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Old February 19, 2018, 12:29 PM   #25
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I've always read, for quite some time now, that it's the CLOSEST we have, in getting a good idea, on how a bullet will perform in the human body.
Unfortunately, although that is commonly expoused on the interweb, the fact is tissue varies SO MUCH between different areas of the body and between individuals ( think about the difference in composition of the thigh of a olympic speed skater and a 300lb couch potato) there is no realistic tissue simulator.

So. We do the best we can and make a scientific medium to compare results. Its interesting to note the FBI test is mainly concerned with DEPTH OF PENETRATION after passing through barriers.

BTW... 3 layers of denim is what would need to be passed through if a side shot was taken. Outside arm, inside arm, torso...all need to be punched through tonget into the chest cavity. Remember the Miami/Dade shooting these tests were a result of. Platt took that 9mm round thrught the arm and into the chest...hence the FBI’s minimum penetration standard AFTER passing through barriers.
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