Homemade ballistic gel

Discussion in '10mm Reloading Forum' started by Andrew Wiggin, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. I'm going to shoot this stuff again Saturday, if we can get a sitter. I've had some comments on the other board that grocery store gelatin doesn't yield the same results so I plan to fire at least one shot of .40 S&W 180 gr factory Gold Dot into it from my Glock 22 to help establish a baseline that we can compare to professional tests. On the one hand I'd like to get on with testing lots of other loads but on the other hand I think I need to address the concern that my gel may not yield accurate results. To that end I was thinking that I could probably get two shots into each block, for a total of 4 shots. So what do you think? Should I shoot the block four times with .40 or is one shot sufficient to tell us whether the gelatin is close? If I only shoot it once with the .40, what other load do you want to see tested? The two I'm most interested in seeing are Buffalo Bore 10mm 180 gr JHP and my hand loaded 65 gr Game King over 24.0 gr of TAC at about 2,950.

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
  2. I'd like to see the 135gr Nosler at 1500+fps... and I'd like to see a 200gr WFNGC at 1300+. :) The 180gr GD is also something I'm interested in.

  3. RWBlue

    RWBlue Mr. CISSP, CISA

    Sorry for jumping in late, but you might also want to look at Corbin gel.

    I bought some.
    Used it.
    Loved it.
    Remelted it multiple times.
    Stored it in ziplock containers.
  4. tnoutdoors9 is already doing 10mm tests on YouTube using that stuff. I believe it is probably pretty close to ballistic gelatin but some folks have been critical of the fact that it is NOT actually gelatin and therefore may yield dramatically different results.

    Besides, this batch cost me $40. SimTest is a lot more expensive.
  5. RWBlue

    RWBlue Mr. CISSP, CISA

    Simtest is reusable. Again and Again and Again and .... Just set it up on a clean surface. The jacket and lead will fall to the bottom when remelting.

    BTW, If you like what you are doing, continue. If you don't..... I just wanted to post another option.
    #25 RWBlue, Oct 12, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  6. Gelatin can be reused several times too. Just remelt in a double boiler.

    Sorry if I came off as snarky. Text doesn't really allow for the subtleties of tone.
  7. RWBlue

    RWBlue Mr. CISSP, CISA

    Understood. :wavey:

    I have the same problem at times. Then there are times I read something into someone's post which is not written.
    #27 RWBlue, Oct 13, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2012
  8. Otay, I got a chance to go out again today and play with my jelly. the results are below. Sorry but my video camera died. I have crappy video from my digital still camera I might post later.

    BB calibration was 603.4 fps and 3.5"


    I fired two rounds of factory .40 S&W 180gr Speer Gold Dot from a Glock 22 into one block. In the photo, the top round had an impact velocity of 1,027 fps and the bottom round had an impact velocity of 988.0 fps. They penetrated 11.25" and 15" respectively. Both were fired through four layers of denim. One bullet literally stopped between the two blocks. I'll post pics and measurements of recovered bullets after I melt the blocks down.



    I couldn't find any data on a .40 Gold Dot at 1,027 fps (not sure why that one was so fast, either) but I did find a page that showed an FBI test of the Gold Dot at 982 fps and that penetrated 14.5". That's close enough to my results to make me happy. Six feet per second and half an inch isn't much difference.

    #28 Andrew Wiggin, Oct 13, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  9. (removed at request of moderator to stay on topic)
    #29 Andrew Wiggin, Oct 13, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  10. 3 packets of jello in a Tupperware container
  11. Jello has other ingredients that might effect the consistency but besides that if you mix Jello according to its instructions, it will be WAY too soft to represent tissue. If you mix it up dense enough to approximate tissue three packets would be a very small amount.

    Unflavored gelatin is far more cost effective.
    #31 Andrew Wiggin, Oct 14, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  12. I just finished remelting the gelatin so here are a few more numbers.

    The .40S&W shots from above:

    The bullet that impacted at 988.0 fps and penetrated 15":

    Min expansion: 0.705"
    Max expansion: 0.805"
    Retained weight: 178.0 gr

    The bullet that impacted at 1,027 fps and penetrated 11.75":

    Min expansion: 0.622"
    Max expansion: 0.650"
    Retained weight: 178.5 gr
    #32 Andrew Wiggin, Oct 16, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  13. Paul53

    Paul53 Geezer Boomer

    Very impressive work. Your wife got a sister?
  14. Do you know how many times I hear that? ;^)

    Sorry, no.

    But in accordance with the rules of a certain *other* forum:


  15. RWBlue

    RWBlue Mr. CISSP, CISA

    That is a lot of food for a sister. I think she will need more to drink.
  16. RWBlue

    RWBlue Mr. CISSP, CISA

    You lost me.
    What was the original bullet weight and was this 10mm or 40S&W?

    As far as 75 gr Prvi Partisan BTHP, I think the results are going to very drastically with barrel twist and velocity. I want to say that the 77gr SMK hand loads fragmented when shooting at my gel at short ranges. 55gr handload would smoosh the lead out of the jacket. 62gr military ammo would fragment as expected. 70gr Speer handloads expanded nicely.
  17. Sorry. The first two shots my post that you quoted are referring to the .40 S&W shots I fired above. I'll edit to make it more clear. The original bullet weight was 180 gr.

    Both the 65 gr and the 75 gr bullets did fragment significantly, as evidenced by the fact that they only retained about half their respective weights. The Game King was expected to expand but BTHP or OTM bullets typically don't expand so this was surprising. I'll need to shoot a few more of these to verify the results.

    Twist rate has virtually no effect on terminal bullet performance. It will determine whether a bullet is stable enough to reach the target, of course, but no twist is fast enough to stabilize a bullet through tissue. Barrel length will affect velocity, which will determine the degree to which a bullet expands and/or fragments.

    55 gr bullets with a cannelure often fragment well if they are pushed fast enough. M193 tends to fragment more reliably than M855. M855 has somewhat unpredictable characteristics in that area.

    I hope to be able to get out again this weekend. Next on the docket is 180gr Buffalo Bore 10mm and probably Yugo M67 ball. I'd like to test some 200gr XTP 10mm hand loads eventually but I haven't gotten around to buying the bullets yet and I haven't decided whether I'd rather trickle and weigh each charge with the 800X I already have on hand or buy some AA#9.

  18. Actually, you just reminded me! I'd like to see the difference in penetration and expansion between a 200gr XTP @ 1300+ vs the same bullet at 1150fps .... doesn't seem that big of a difference but think about it this way. Doubletap's 200gr load goes about 1125-1150. Underwood's goes 1250. My handloads go up to 1325. I'd like to see the difference in wounding, if any.
  19. I'd like to see that too. I suspect that the slower load will penetrate more.
  20. BB calibration was 597 fps and 3.25" for one block and 602 fps and 3.75" for the other block.


    First up: 200 gr XTP over 8.1 gr of 800-X. I forgot to place the denim over the block for this test. At first I was pretty disappointed but I had intended for this load to be my woods load and critters don't usually wear clothes. From other tests I know that the XTP still performs through denim and generally JHPs seem to penetrate a bit less in bare gelatin. Anyway, it is what it is. Sorry I forgot. I'll definitely retest with the denim. The first shot had an impact velocity of 1,134 fps and penetrated 15.75". The second shot had an impact velocity of 1,142 fps and penetrated 15.5".



    Next is 180 gr Buffalo Bore. The first shot impacted at 1,335 fps and penetrated 14.5". The second shot impacted at 1,330 and I got distracted by something shiny and neglected to measure penetration.

    #40 Andrew Wiggin, Oct 21, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012

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