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Old 10-24-2012, 15:17   #1
Andrew Wiggin
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10mm gel tests (updated 11/10 w/ 10mm CORBON 180 gr BCSP)

Go to the end of the thread for the most recent tests.


I've been working on testing 10mm and other ammo in ballistic gelatin and I've been posting the results in the reloading section but it occurred to me that some of you might not get over there so I'll post links here. A disclaimer first: this is not technically real ballistic gelatin in the sense that I've used grocery store gelatin rather than 250A bloom photographer's gelatin. I have taken care to ensure that it calibrates correctly and to post the BB calibration results along with each test. Theoretically, it might not be exactly perfect but it's a whole lot better than water or wet pack and probably better than the commercial mediums such as Simtest and Cleargel.

I know this is the factory ammo forum but some of my hand loads are similar to available factory loads. Hopefully this will give you an idea of what performance to expect from factory ammo.

180 gr Buffalo Bore (Montana Gold bullet):


Penetration: 14.5"
Retained weight: 167.8 gr
Max expansion: 0.734"
Min expansion: 0.670"

BB calibration was 602 fps and 3.75".



200 gr XTP hand load:


(forgot denim)

Penetration @ 1,134 fps: 15.75"
Penetration @ 1,142 fps: 15.5"

Bullet #1
Retained weight: 182.3 gr
Max expansion: 0.683"
Min expansion: 0.622"

Bullet #2
Retained weight: 187.8 gr
Max expansion: 0.690"
Min expansion: 0.601"

BB calibration was 597 fps and 3.25"


165 gr Gold Dot hand load:


Penetration: 12"
Retained weight: 165.0gr
Max expansion: 0.837"
Min expansion: 0.779"

BB cal was 586.4 fps and 3.5".


180 gr XTP hand load:


Penetration: 13.25"
Retained weight 174.8 gr
Max expansion: 0.898"
Min expansion: 0.636"

BB cal was 586.4 fps and 3.5".
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Old 10-24-2012, 21:38   #2
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Nice. Thanks for bringing them over. I guess I should supply the chips and beer.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:26   #3
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I really appreciate the videos, but what were the measurements? Penetration depth and avg recovered diameter?
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:35   #4
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Originally Posted by arushus View Post
I really appreciate the videos, but what were the measurements? Penetration depth and avg recovered diameter?
Sorry. If you watch the video on YouTube, the measurements are in the description. I'll copy paste them into my OP.
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Old 10-25-2012, 13:31   #5
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Thanks for doing them...

I don't think you'll be winning any academy awards

But interesting nevertheless.
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Old 10-25-2012, 14:47   #6
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Originally Posted by RYT 2BER View Post
Thanks for doing them...

I don't think you'll be winning any academy awards

But interesting nevertheless.
No, of course not. I'm not a film maker. Frankly, I don't think that video is very useful unless you have a Phantom or similar high speed and can actually capture the bullet passing through the gelatin. Video is even less useful when shot by a knuckle dragging Neanderthal like me.

I do hope the data is useful. There isn't a lot available on 10mm.
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Old 10-25-2012, 15:37   #7
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Originally Posted by Andrew Wiggin View Post
No, of course not. I'm not a film maker. Frankly, I don't think that video is very useful unless you have a Phantom or similar high speed and can actually capture the bullet passing through the gelatin. Video is even less useful when shot by a knuckle dragging Neanderthal like me.

I do hope the data is useful. There isn't a lot available on 10mm.
I think they are very interesting, and I think it would be great if you could do an "over penetration" test. Put a block that is the average thickness of a torso in front of another block at varying distances and see what the penetration is on the second block. Or maybe shoot through a couple of pieces of drywall with insulation in between and into the second block at varying distances. I think that would be pretty great. That could go a long way to proving or disproving a lot of "information" out there.

I figure a guy that can make ballistic gel could also accomplish this stuff.
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Old 10-25-2012, 18:11   #8
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Maybe some day. I want to test the performance characteristics of a lot of different cartridges first.

To be frank, I'm not particularly concerned with the whole over penetration thing. My reasons are more practical than technical. Let's say you shoot someone with your .487 Super T-Rex Mega Dirtbag Blaster, which we all know will shoot through like an aircraft carrier or something. What are the odds that there is actually an innocent person in the line of fire? Do you know of a single instance where a justified shooting occurred and a round that hit the attacker continued on to strike an innocent person?

I would like to know how bullets behave in those circumstances for purely academic reasons but it's not going to have much impact on my choices of defense ammo. What is important to me is that:

The projectile reaches a minimum of 12" (preferably not more than 16")
It causes significant tissue disruption. The more the better.
It has manageable recoil.
It is accurate enough to hit an attacker at 50 yards.

There really aren't a lot of choices that DON'T accomplish all those. If you take care of those factors and train, you should be able to stop an attack with a minimum of rounds fired and THAT is the key to avoid hurting innocent people. Less rounds fired = lower probability that a third party gets hit.
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Old 10-25-2012, 18:54   #9
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That 165gr Gold Dot looks like a good load. I currently carry that bullet with 15.2gr of AA#9. I haven't chrono'd it, but I'd guess it would be between 1300 and 1350fps in my G29 or G20.
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Old 10-25-2012, 19:11   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Wiggin View Post
Maybe some day. I want to test the performance characteristics of a lot of different cartridges first.

To be frank, I'm not particularly concerned with the whole over penetration thing. My reasons are more practical than technical. Let's say you shoot someone with your .487 Super T-Rex Mega Dirtbag Blaster, which we all know will shoot through like an aircraft carrier or something. What are the odds that there is actually an innocent person in the line of fire? Do you know of a single instance where a justified shooting occurred and a round that hit the attacker continued on to strike an innocent person?

I would like to know how bullets behave in those circumstances for purely academic reasons but it's not going to have much impact on my choices of defense ammo. What is important to me is that:

The projectile reaches a minimum of 12" (preferably not more than 16")
It causes significant tissue disruption. The more the better.
It has manageable recoil.
It is accurate enough to hit an attacker at 50 yards.

There really aren't a lot of choices that DON'T accomplish all those. If you take care of those factors and train, you should be able to stop an attack with a minimum of rounds fired and THAT is the key to avoid hurting innocent people. Less rounds fired = lower probability that a third party gets hit.
I agree. Over penetration doesn't enter into my mind when choosing a defense round, just thought it could be cool to see what the actual results look like. I think it's cool what you are doing, either way.
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Old 10-25-2012, 19:13   #11
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Sounds about right. Speer says that 15.5 gr of AA#9 will push a 165 gr Gold Dot at 1,344 fps out of their S&W 1006.

Bear in mind that that test was only one shot. 12" may be at the upper or lower end of the penetration range of that load. A little less velocity should also mean a bit more penetration. Later, I'd like to revisit the loads that show the most potential and get five shot averages so we have a little more reliable data.
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Old 10-25-2012, 19:14   #12
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I agree. Over penetration doesn't enter into my mind when choosing a defense round, just thought it could be cool to see what the actual results look like. I think it's cool what you are doing, either way.
Please don't take my post as blowing you off. I think it would be fun, I just have a lot of other stuff I want to do first.
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Old 10-25-2012, 19:55   #13
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Originally Posted by attrapereves View Post
That 165gr Gold Dot looks like a good load. I currently carry that bullet with 15.2gr of AA#9. I haven't chrono'd it, but I'd guess it would be between 1300 and 1350fps in my G29 or G20.
That is the exact load that I carried for a few years. Mag primer for mine. It chronies 1335 in my g20 depending upon ambient temps.
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Old 10-25-2012, 21:12   #14
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Please don't take my post as blowing you off. I think it would be fun, I just have a lot of other stuff I want to do first.
***** no! I don't take it as anymore than you have other things to work on, and that's what you said. Don't worry about me, I'm not soft on the inside like a woman....lol.

Keep on doing it. More 10mm stuff the better. Ever thought about putting a few blocks together and testing hardcast?
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:05   #15
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As a matter of fact, I'm looking to do that really soon. I want to test some JSP first, which may penetrate farther than 24" so that will require at least one more block. After that I'd like to do 200 and 220 gr hard cast, which will probably require at least four 12" blocks. I can't imagine it will tell us much more than we already know: yes heavy solid 10mm bullets go stupid deep. I'd still like to see.
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Old 10-29-2012, 14:45   #16
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I retested the 200 gr XTP at a lower velocity and with the addition of denim. Good news: it goes plenty deep at this velocity when fired through denim. Bad news: it REALLY doesn't want to expand. All three shots failed to expand and only one came to a rest inside the gelatin. Unfortunately, because of this and because one of the Gold Dots left the side of the block, both blocks had been shot up pretty badly and really didn't give the opportunity to take any good pictures.

200 gr XTP @ 1,037 fps:



Penetration: 22.5"
No notable expansion
Retained weight: 199.4 gr



The 10 Ring

The 10 Ring



180 gr Gold Dot @ 1,317 fps (essentially the same as the Underwood load):


Penetration 11.25"
Max expansion: 0.937"
Min expansion: 0.546"
Retained weight: 179.1 gr



The 10 Ring

The 10 Ring



Next up: 65 gr Sierra Game King hand load and 75 gr Prvi Partisan BTHP. Both from 11.5" AR. Unless I get distracted by something shiny.
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Old 10-30-2012, 20:50   #17
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probably should re-do the high velocity XTP test with denim. that would answer some nagging questions about the XTP
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:25   #18
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Do you know of a single instance where a justified shooting occurred and a round that hit the attacker continued on to strike an innocent person?
Yes, there are plenty of such documented cases out there. Ayoob has talked about such cases on occasion (usually LE related).
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:24   #19
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Yes, there are plenty of such documented cases out there. Ayoob has talked about such cases on occasion (usually LE related).
In that case, it should be pretty easy for you to provide a link to the article.

In any case it's statistically far more probable that a missed round would strike a bystander than a round that passed through its target. The best way to reduce the likelihood of hitting a bystander is not to shoot in the first place. The second best way is to use ammunition (combined with quality training) that will give you the best chance of stopping the threat with the fewest rounds fired. That reduces the number of misses and even reduces the number of rounds on target. Less rounds fired means less chances that a bystander gets hit.
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Old 10-31-2012, 19:17   #20
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Wow, that 180gr Gold Dot looks sweet.
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:11   #21
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Wow, that 180gr Gold Dot looks sweet.
Gold Dots are certainly tough. I had forgotten to copy/paste the performance data into my post, though. I've corrected that. The penetration is a bit lacking.

Once I get through most of the loads that I'm really interested in, I'll go back and retest the most promising ones with multiple shots to see what the statistical variation is.
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Old 11-02-2012, 23:56   #22
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Nice. Thanks for bringing them over. I guess I should supply the chips and beer.
That would be very nice of you.
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:54   #23
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It looks to me like the 200gr xtp is better suited to full power 10mm velocity than the 180gr XTP
That is interesting because hornady would lead you to believe it would be vise-versa
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:35   #24
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It's not really very conclusive because I forgot the denim in the first, higher velocity test. I'll have to do it again to see if the 200gr XTP functions right through denim at that velocity.
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Old 11-08-2012, 19:39   #25
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Gel is obviously a different medium than water, but all three XTPs open to the classic XTP expansion when I have shot it through denim into water. These were at various speeds from 1100 to 1400 fps. Same expansion. Same mushroom. 4 layers of denim. After a bunch of different tests, I can say that I have not seen one not expand.

I am a bit surprised by the non-expanding XTP in your test. Did that rotate/tumble by chance? Or did it bore straight through?
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