Lucky Gunner Defensive Ammo Omnibus

My hat is off to the staff at who after the success of their 10,000 round test of 5.56 ammo could not rest on their laurels. Instead, they upped their game with what I would consider the gold-standard of ammunition testing (although ShootingTheBull410 does it via video). The staff there, in conjunction with Clear Ballistics Gel, shot over 100 types of defensive loads.


The key is not just shooting, but recording results, for that is when science begins. In this case, they have done so marvelously using graphics, text, and video to showcase the performance of lauded ammunition from a variety of platforms.

For any enthusiast this is, in my opinion, a MUST READ. Click here to be taken to the test. 


Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Beju

    So in general, stick to newer, big name designs, and stay away from older or more exotic designs, with some exceptions of course.

  • Bill

    Just as an aside, I’ve had nothing but superlative service from Lucky Gunner, and I’m stingy with the kudos.

  • USMC03Vet

    I can fap to this.

    • iksnilol





      Data :3 [Lip Bite]

  • floppyscience

    Excellent, though I wish they would have chosen something other than the Glock 42 for their .380 test gun. Most popular .380 carry pistols have much shorter barrel at around 2.8″, as opposed to the 3.25″ barrel on the G42.

    Still, great test and I love how they compiled the results.

  • Lance

    147 HST best 9mm available for carry.

    • john huscio

      Its almost all I shoot through my pistols (wow, we agree on something)

    • iksnilol

      Golden saber is pretty good too.

      Would probably go for what is cheaper/available.

  • Though I like their presentation with the chart, I have two genuine issues with their testing.

    1. They don’t mention calibration of the block, nor do you see the pellet or the damage of the calibration shot in the pictures. The calibration is important as it validates the results.

    2. They are using Clearballistics Gel, there are numerous reports of Clearballistics Gel blocks that will not achieve calibration.

    Those two factors really makes me assume that their data isn’t something that you should be basing your purchasing decisions on.

    • Ben

      Even if it isn’t calibrated perfectly, the tests should still be good for comparison. It might be a little off from true ballistics gel, but even true ballistics gel is an imperfect simulation of tissue.

      • If all you are doing is comparing, yes. But if you are making purchasing decisions it is worthless.

        A good example is the 380 critical defense, it failed, and failed badly on a recent test using actual ballistics gel. But with the Lucky Gunner test it came out fairly well. Who do you trust? Personally I think that it may be due a reshoot in true ballistics gel, but if that isn’t an option I’ll trust the test that involved calibrated ballistics gel.

        As far as being an imperfect tissue simulator. It was never meant to be perfect, but with the calibration procedures it was meant to provide scientific repeatable results. If you use the same gun, in the same conditions, with the same ammo, using a calibrated gel block the results should be similar if not the same.

        • floppyscience

          I was surprised at the .380 Critical Defense results too. That’s what got me looking at their test pistols. In every test I’ve seen of .380 CD, it’s been tested in common pocket pistols like a Ruger LCP with a 2.8″ barrel, and it’s failed horribly. The bullets didn’t expand and ended up mangled. I’m assuming the .45″ longer barrel on the Glock 42 contributed to the bullet actually expanding reliably in this test.

  • Dan

    Testing ammo? What a boring job.

  • CavScout

    No Hornady used? Excludes my interest.

    • jkmoa

      You should scroll down each caliber and you will find multiple Hornady types are tested.