Go ahead and look down at your waist. Now, ask yourself why you have that specific brand of ammo in your gun. Was it because the advertising was convincing? Was it because a friend who knows a cop that knows a special forces guy told you that IT was the BEST? Hell, maybe it was all that you could find during a shortage and you are hoping that it will perform as intended. The truth is you don’t know unless you test it out.
For the longest time, there was only one way to see if a bullet expanded and stopped as prescribed. To do so you would fire up the ol’ Google machine, search for a recipe for home-brew ballistics gel, stink up your kitchen, and then rush to the range before it melted. If you did it perfectly (and who has) then you have a block of goop to pass a round into, but you’ll immediately need to take your photos and measurements because that puppy is gonna melt.
Clear Ballistics is different. As the name suggests this gel is colorless and has the added bonus of being 100% synthetic. No longer is mixing and molding required to see what your ammo does; simply click buy and the shape of your choice will show up at your door. Best of all, it is shelf-stable, so you have all the time you need to make your evaluation of the results. After you are finished with it the block is completely reusable, letting your investment quickly eclipse the cost of organic gelatin when you consider the long haul.
I’m no stranger to this stuff, as I’ve been using it for years; however, I too am guilty of carrying unconfirmed ammunition. In my line of work, I’m always left with odd amounts of 9mm so I do what is only logical, stuff them in my magazine. Sure I confirm that they function well, but I’ve never done a side-by-side comparison of any two rounds that I stake my life on. So with that, I requested a fresh block of Clear Ballistics 10% FBI gel and decided to hit the range for science. I set the block out at 10 yards and wrapped it with a layer of denim followed by a layer of leather to replicate the standardized testing protocol. After stepping back I fired one round of each type of ammo into it. The results were pretty shocking, I have to admit. Round “A” showed better signs of expansion than round “B” but neither one opened up completely, not stopped in the 16” of gel that I afforded them! Sadly, these are the only two rounds that I have to my name so this will have to do until I can source some more, and the minute that I do these are both getting sent downrange at some paper.
After taking the photos in this article I went about the process of reforming it. The misses and I have a little routine that involves shameful stand-up comedy and a night of ripping up the fleshy material. We’ve learned that using an electric knife, like the one you use on Thanksgiving, makes short work of the gel. It’s much tougher to tear apart than you would imagine, as it has a consistency better likened to steak than Jell-O. After a few short hours in the oven at less than 200 degrees, you have yourself a brand new test sample that is ballistically identical to the original.
Ammo isn’t honest, and neither is the internet. If you carry a gun you owe it to yourself and those around you to have a full understanding of what your round will do once it contacts flesh. Clear Ballistics gel is available in simple block form as well as a variety of humanoid targets. A form is available for just about every shape and size that they make, so your investment can live on shot after shot.
For more information visit clearballistics.com.