Lucky Gunner just posted a huge collection of ballistics gel testing of handgun self-defense ammo. (h/t Greg Ellifritz)
As of this writing, 117 different types of handgun self defense ammo in .380, 9mm, .40, and .45. They plan to keep adding to these tests.
They tested in ballistics gel, through clothing, and using “common” self-defense handguns. While they modeled after the traditional FBI ballistics test, this deviation is pretty cool to see because it addresses what most people actually care about. I mean, when you read the data on some ammo box or manufacturer website, it’s often standardized in a way that makes the product look good, can be difficult to compare across products, and is more useful in a lab than the real world. I mean, coming out of a “standard” 4″ or 5″ barrel is one thing, but many of the popular carry guns have 3″-ish barrels, which means some velocity will be lost. So how will your ammo actually perform?
Are there conclusions to draw from this? Sure. I’m sure everyone can use this to justify their choices and deride their not-choices. But it’s better to look beyond that at the totality of the data. It’s not just about depth or expansion, but also consistency and velocity. You have to look at ALL of the data in total, not just cherry picking numbers that suit you.
That all said, I remain satisfied with my choice of Speer Gold Dot 9mm 124 gr. +P.
And while I continue to consider the G2 Research R.I.P. ammo to be crap, it sure looks awesome entering the gel in slow-motion.