Saturday, November 3, 2012

Clear Gel Terminal Testing Winchester Ranger 45 Auto +P 230 Grain T-Series

This was a follow up test of this load in the Clear Ballistics Gel test media.  Two weeks ago I published test results for this load that was shot into the SIM-TEST media.  You can see that report HERE.  I was really disappointed that the SIM-TEST was too soft for the test and penetration values were not accurate.  Since it tested well in the SIM-TEST, I wanted to try it again in the clear gel.
Pistol Specs:
Springfield XDs 45 3.3" 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.

The video below documents my entire test from range testing to bullet recovery.

My Thoughts:
I was a bit disappointed that our test shot was a bit slower than the previous test and also the 5 shot velocity average.  Even with the lower velocity, the bullet expanded fully and achieved a good penetration depth from the short 3.3" barrel.  Weight retention was also good for a non-bonded bullet.  The maximum expanded diameter of nearly 1" was really quite impressive.  Those "talons" sticking out perpendicular to the bullet shank really extend the footprint of the expanded bullet.

One thing that stuck with me as I reviewed the wound channel in the clear gel block was how deeply the bullet penetrated before expansion started.  I'm not sure if a delayed expansion is an asset or a liability at this point, but it was unique enough that it was worth noting in the video.

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. Wow - the petals on the bullet really look nasty! If it works in bad guys like it works in gel that is one deadly bullet!

  2. How did you find the recoil of this +P round in the XDs? Compared to standard pressure 230gr? Compared to lower weight bullets? thanks

  3. IMO there are few if any brands better than this round for self defense.