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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can find dozens of ballistic tests online for just about any type of ammo and specific gun for that ammo. Sometimes things work out like advertised and other times the ammunition does not do what it is supposed to. There seems to be no standard or definitive test...very confusing imo
 

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I think most of them do their own testing, or hire a lab to do it. Every year an ammo manufacturer claims to have discovered the ultimate design for self defense ammo and most of the time they disappear within a year or so. I'm old fashion, so I won't switch to something until it has a proven track record.
 

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Ammo designed for law enforcement use generally goes through the FBI protocol, I believe.

FBI Ammunition Protocol

If ammo is being marketed only for civilian self-defense, the manufacturer may perform the full battery of tests, only some of them, or none at all.

When it comes to online tests, you never know for sure if the tester is doing it right; and there's always the factor of manufacturing variability. If ten rounds perform exactly the same way, it's no guarantee that the next ten will do the same.
 

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There seems to be no standard or definitive test...very confusing imo
Exactly! There IS no standard whatsoever. Some use guns of various makes,models, barrel lengths, while others may use test barrels, although even a set length standard fails there. And then there is the recovery medium used that varies.
 

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Back in the day when I lived in Ct....there was a fella who would come out in a wheel chair with his lab to waterfowl hunt. He would wheel himself up to the marsh line, camo himself and the chair and call'em in. One day during the course of a conversation I asked this young fella about his injury. He told me he was down cleaning out the test range at a well known Mfg. and took a .22 in the back / spine.....I just shook my head......and yes they did their own testing then.
 

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As with all products manufactures/advertisers lie. Or st least bend the truth with statements like 99% of all people surveyed prefer blah blah blah. What they don't tell you is they pad the survey group and only survey 10 people. And those people are biased towards the product in the first place. That way if 9 people pick their product there statement is true. Just an example. It might not totally fit the topic but you get the idea. Let's face it no matter what the product is manufacturers are in the business to sell their product and they will do whatever it takes to sell that product . It's up to us as consumers to weed through the BS and try to make an intelligent decision about said product. It don't make a difference whether the products bullets or donut holes the concept is the same. As far as self-defense bullets go I find it immensely hard to believe that one particular manufacturer has come up some magic ingredient/design that makes their self-defense ammo so much better than the other major manufacturers of self-defense ammo . Don't get me wrong I'm not trying to say that 30-year-old sir plus hard ball ammo has the same potential stopping power as say Hornaday's critical defense. That's kind a like comparing apples and oranges. You can't make an apple pie with an orange and I certainly wouldn't choose sir plus ball ammo for myself defense needs when there's better ammunition out there. All I'm saying is when you take all the major brands of self-defense ammunition and group them together I don't base my decisions on manufacturing or advertising slogan's or promises. I tend to choose what works best in my weapon and what I can shoot the most accurately.
 

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Reputable ammo manufacturers use every test they can think of to assure they'll meet any published LE/military protocol. The contracts are worth toooooo much not to.

Fly-by-night, Internet, uber-effective, "Zombie-Zapper" manufacturers use, of course,...zombies. :image035:
 

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There is a gel testing that is widely considered to be the "standard" but it's not official. One needs to look no further than the G2 RIP ammo to see exactly how easy it is for a manufacturer to produce anmo that is only slightly more effective than blanks while making the testing look like it's one step behind dropping a JDAM on the bad guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think most of them do their own testing, or hire a lab to do it. Every year an ammo manufacturer claims to have discovered the ultimate design for self defense ammo and most of the time they disappear within a year or so. I'm old fashion, so I won't switch to something until it has a proven track record.
This is exactly what I'm talking about. Recently I "discovered" Liberty civil defense ammo. It is extremely light weight hp frag type ammo. I bought some 9mm and .380 for my semi and .38 special for my revolvers. The ammo worked flawless in my guns and reduced their carry weight especially in my LCR which helps in pocket carry. One day I'm thumbing thru you tube and come across gel tests for the liberty ammo. The 9mm satisfied all of the things required for SD ammo, no problem there. The .380 had very low penetration and did not frag completely.The .38sp snubbie penetrated fine but the bullet basically acted like ball ammo, it could have been reloaded and used again. I emailed Liberty and asked them if they tested the .38sp in a snubbie...no reply. So...are there different types of gel?? how many layers of denim should there be...if any?? how far away should the shots be fired?? Is a water jug a good test? how about a watermelon?? phone book, tire rim, wooden door, sheet rock, soda pop bottle ugh...
 

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This is exactly what I'm talking about. Recently I "discovered" Liberty civil defense ammo. It is extremely light weight hp frag type ammo. I bought some 9mm and .380 for my semi and .38 special for my revolvers. The ammo worked flawless in my guns and reduced their carry weight especially in my LCR which helps in pocket carry. One day I'm thumbing thru you tube and come across gel tests for the liberty ammo. The 9mm satisfied all of the things required for SD ammo, no problem there. The .380 had very low penetration and did not frag completely.The .38sp snubbie penetrated fine but the bullet basically acted like ball ammo, it could have been reloaded and used again. I emailed Liberty and asked them if they tested the .38sp in a snubbie...no reply. So...are there different types of gel?? how many layers of denim should there be...if any?? how far away should the shots be fired?? Is a water jug a good test? how about a watermelon?? phone book, tire rim, wooden door, sheet rock, soda pop bottle ugh...
Didn't need to read past the bolded. I use heavy for caliber factory loadings in all but the g26 which gets a +p mid weight bullet.

Never mind the latest and supposedly greatest. Suggest one stays with proven loads from street results like the GD, HST and Ranger T loads.
 

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I currently carry PDX-1s because I understand that is what the FBI uses. I tested them for accuracy and had good results. I don't have the medium, time, money and patience to prove them wrong. Gold Dots are also proven, as is Golden Saber.
 

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Liberty only looks good because MAC got it through some outdated body armor. You've got to watch out for advertising in ammo just as you do for any product. If anyone made any real "breakthrough" in technology it would sell well within the serious gun community and not just to people latching on to the newest shiny toy on the market. Besides, there's only so much you can do to change a bullet and there's only so much a bullet can do to a body. You can't really kill someone more dead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Didn't need to read past the bolded. I use heavy for caliber factory loadings in all but the g26 which gets a +p mid weight bullet.

Never mind the latest and supposedly greatest. Suggest one stays with proven loads from street results like the GD, HST and Ranger T loads.
Ya I fired off the liberty ammo at the range last week and reloaded my 9 with federal hst and my 38 with hornady critical defense.
 

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Most ammo companies will test their product in a way that makes it look good. Often times, this means firing a round into a bare gel block and looking at the temporary stretch cavity, as this can make a round look more lethal than it really is, which sells the product. No matter what, the company will find a silver lining to sell their product; even if the product is complete gerbage, they will make it appealing. However, the major SD ammo companies (Federal, Speer, Winchester, Remington) use the FBI ballistic test to gauge the effectiveness of their ammo. Bullets must pass through bare gelatin, denim, plywood, wall board, auto glass, and sheet metal. They must pass through each barrier, penetrate 12-18", expand at least 1.5x, and retain a certain percentage of its original weight (I don't remember the exact percentage) in order to pass. It is important to remember that just because ammunition may be labelled for self defense, it is not guaranteed to have passed the FBI test. I recommend sticking to proven loads such as Federal HST, Speer Gold Dot, Winchester PDX1, or Remington HTP as these loads have not only prooven themselves in the lab but on the streets as well.
 
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