Saturday, October 13, 2012

Clear Gel Terminal Ballistics Testing Speer Gold Dot 9mm 115 Grain GDHP

I'm still getting my arms around the new clear gel ballistics testing media that I started using last month.  My first day out with the gel I did some head to head tests that were previously published on the blog.  I also ran two tests with a full size pistol and what I consider to be standard ammo choices.  I've been paying attention to reader/viewer feedback from the first two tests and I think the blog and video formats, used on this test, are going to be the standards as I continue forward with my clear gel testing.  The biggest breakthrough with this test was learning how to properly illuminate the test block so I could capture what I see with my eyes on video so viewers/readers can also see it. 

For this test, I used a standard service length pistol and one of the most common defense loads.  There is nothing exotic about a Glock 17 and Speer Gold Dot 115 Grain GDHP combination. 
Pistol Specs:
Glock 17 with 4.5" barrel

Testing Protocol:
My testing process is pretty simple.  I take one shot at the end of a Clear Ballistics Gel block.  I take the shot from 8 feet away and impact velocity is measured 2 inches away from the block.  Clear Ballistics Gel is calibrated to 10% ballistics gel density.  I shoot the block at the range and then bring it home to analyze the block and recover the bullets.  Immediately prior to the terminal test, I shoot a five shot velocity test string from 8 feet over a Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital chronograph. 
I'm not sure if everyone knows this, but Speer's Law Enforcement website allows you to create a poster of their test results from the various testing protocols used by LE agencies.  I created a terminal performance poster for this load and it came up without any copyright information on the poster so I assume it's ok to post their bare gel test results along with my test results.  I like the similarities between the test results. 

This test was about as close to perfect as we could hope for.  The 5 round velocity test average and the terminal test shot were all in close range to the 1210 fps velocity published by Speer.  The bare gelatin results from Speer are very similar to the test results we captured in the Clear Ballistics Gel.  This test is a huge confidence booster for me that this new terminal testing media is indeed similar to 10% ballistics gel.  The video below documents my entire test from range testing to bullet recovery.

My Thoughts
The combination of the Glock 17 and Speer Gold Dot 115 Grain hit all the expected performance benchmarks.  Velocity was on target to published spec, expansion was complete, weight retention was perfect, and penetration exceeded the 12" minimum that so many consider to be an absolute requirement for any defensive ammunition choice.  I hope the addition of the analysis of the clear block added a new dimension to the performance results by giving us visibility of what happens inside the block at moment of impact and also the luxury of reviewing the wound channel many days after the test was initially conducted.

Your Thoughts?   
I'm very interested in your feedback on this testing and test recap format.  Initially, I started terminal testing for me, but quickly learned that many other folks wanted to see my test results.  I'm happy to share them with you and I'd like to hear any comments you have that would make them a better resource for you.  I can't promise to include everything, but I'll do my best to implement as many suggestions as I can.  I appreciate your help.

Disclaimer....This test should not be considered an endorsement or recommendation for the product(s) tested.  All tests represent actual performance in ballistics testing media.  Terminal performance in all other media will show different results.  It is up to each individual to make their own personal decision on which specific ammunition to use for their needs.  It's also critically important to test any ammo in YOUR SPECIFIC FIREARM before relying on it for any purpose.

Ammunition labeled as +P or +P+ should only be used in firearms that have been certified by the manufacturer as safe for the additional pressures generated by these ammunition types.

1 comment:

  1. I've used 124g +P HST for a while and think it's one of the best, but when the ammo shortage hit all I could find was 115g ball. This seems to be some of the best 115g defensive ammo out there.