Does ballistic gel give an accurate depiction of bullet penetration?

I've been watching videos of guys firing different types of ammo at ballistic gel etc.

And penetration tests seem impressive on video and hard to believe in real life.

Is ballistic gel supposed to mimic human body's density ?

Side Question:

The difference between a 9mm round and a 9mm Mak is rather miniscule but the effect on the same target is obvious, the 9mm is more powerful. Why is that ?

9 Answers

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  • 1 year ago
    Favorite Answer

    The gel is intended to closely simulate the destructive nature of a projectile passing through biologic tissues.

    It is more a comparative examination because of so many variables in human bodies.

    Comparing one sort of ammo to another, it is much a standard.

    As to why a 9MM has more energy is the Makarov is a lighter load for smaller handguns than Luger.

    Compare the ballistics of each, the Mak closer matches the .380 ACP.

  • Mr.357
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    It can be. There are bones and such in human bodies. Besides kinetic energy, which most people get hung up on, there is also momentum. A high velocity helps kinetic energy while a heavier bullet helps momentum.

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  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    a good 'average' ................................

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  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    Somewhat.

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  • 1 year ago

    Yes and no. It gives a pretty good idea of how one round compares to another round as it is a standardized medium. But as far as a human body, no. The human body is not 12 inches of the same consistency. You have skin, fat, muscle, bone, organs, air spaces, fluid filled spaces, etc. Each have a different effect on the bullet. A shot to the abdomen on a person who is very fat may not even get thru the fat layer. On the other hand a shot to the chest can blow right thru because the chest is full of air. There is one gun expert (Massad Ayood) who went thru tens of thousand of records to see what round had the best one shot stop. It was the 125 grain 357 magnum semi-jacketed hollow point. However the most important factor is bullet placement. Unfortunately due to the large magazines in most semi-autos these days, people do not focus on that and just fire as many rounds at the target as possible and hope they get lucky. As a result people will be shot multiple times before they go down and along with that, there are multiple misses that endanger others.

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  • Rick
    Lv 5
    1 year ago

    For a different take on terminal ballistic performance type "Paul Harrell Meat Target" into You Tube's search bar. His targets give an almost comically zany approach to terminal ballistics in the real world.

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  • 1 year ago

    The gel will closely mimic flesh alone but that doesn't mean much for showing terminal ballistics. Bones, arteries organs etc all will have an effect, infact empirical evidence shows the variances in effectiveness from one instance to another can be night and day when most factors remain unchanged. You actually don't want too much penetration or clean pass through in a defensive situation. 9mm is faster and heavier than 9mm mak so it is more "powerful."

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  • 1 year ago

    It can get pretty close to the effects of projectiles through muscles and tissue. It will not mimic how bones are effected by a projectile. There are different kinds of ballistic gel some types are reusable some are not. Then you have different density gel such as 10% or 20%. NATO recommends 20% ballistic gel but most use 10% simply because it costs less to make. I used to make my own ballistic gel and also used animal carcuses to test my hand loaded ammo. Its easy to make the gel and easy to find out how on the web. What is nice about it is if your working up custom ammo you can see the different effects of the bullet with different bullets and powder charges.

    As for the 9mm compared to 9×18mm Makarov, the bullets have a different diameter and the 9mm parabellum has a more powerful powder charge than 9×18mm Makarov.

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  • Andy C
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    Through soft tissues like skin, perhaps, but not bones and organs.

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