Testing G2 R.I.P., Liberty Civil Defense, Inceptor, and Lehigh Defense Rounds – Part 2 – Bare Gel

Defense Rounds 2

Background

This is a six part series of which this is PART 2.  (you can find links to the rest of the parts at the end of this article).

Thomas Gomez and I were approached about doing a test shoot of four different defense rounds:

The company that made the request, strangely, was not a manufacturer–it was Clark Armory.  They were interested in having TFB perform an independent review (though pseudo-scientific as we will explain later) of some of the defense rounds that they sell.   Of course we accepted.

Disclosure: They did not pay for this review though they did send us two boxes of each of the four rounds, two ballistic gels from Clear Ballistics (and the necessary stuff to reset the gels for reuse).  All of the other materials we provided along with nine range trips, and the countless hours Thomas Gomez spent melting and resetting the gels.

Session 1, R.I.P. and Lehigh Defense, Bare Gel

 

 

Note how clear the gel is... It gets progressively darker with each reset.

Note how clear the gel is… It gets progressively darker with each reset.

We weren’t entirely sure what to expect once we started our first test. How was the gel going to react? Did we set the baseline up correctly? Were we missing anything? We had a ton of questions and worries about doing a review like this since neither of us had ever done a ballistic test before.

Ultimately we just went for it and decided we could redo a test if we significantly screwed anything up, since the gels were resettable.

We stacked the gels on the folding table, measured out the distance, set up a shooting platform on the other table and set up the cameras (which we found later was not without challenges for doing the video).

Observations

Bare Gel - G2 - Close Bare Gel - G2 - 1

The G2 Research R.I.P penetrated approximately 15 inches. The G2 created 9 wound channels, 8 from the trocars and one from the main body of the bullet. From the main wound channel, the trocars spread out 5.5 inches from the main projectile and penetrated 5.5 to 6 inches. The trocars did, in fact, tumble through the gel. The main body of the G2 round did not expand but it did tumble through the get. All the trocars separated from the main round.  The FBI wants at least 12 inches of penetration in ballistic gel to guarantee penetration of major organs. Penetrating 15 inches, this round would pass the FBI test.

Bare Gel - Lehigh

The Lehigh Defense Xtreme Penetrator round went straight through all 16 inches of the Ballistic Gelatin. The round did not tumble and it created a permanent wound channel of .38 inches. Lehigh states that the round will create a 1.5 inch permanent wound channel. This round did not create the stated wound channel, though it did pass completely through the gel, passing the mechanics of the FBI test.

Session 2, Liberty and Inceptor, Bare Gel

Our second shoot was not without challenges.  If you ascribe to the concept of fate/universe/otherworldly interference, you will see the humor here.  If not, well, then feel the frustration.

We decided to shoot after work on a Friday, much to the chagrin of our spouses, both who were clearly expecting more traditional “date night”.  Thomas met at my house and we loaded up his truck with all of our gear.  And by “all” I mean “most” of what we needed.  And by “most”, I mean everything except for the rounds we were going to test…  Which of course we didn’t discover until after we arrived at the range and had set everything up.

My awesome wife made a special trip out to the range to deliver the forgotten rounds.  Thomas and I didn’t want to lose the berm and twice the time to break down everything and bounce a trip.  Anyway, she brought us the rounds and we started our shoot.

First round through the chrono was the Liberty (rated at 2000 feet per second).  The chronograph measured 704 feet per second.  WTF.  Fired another round.  672 feet per second.  We checked all of the connections.  Everything was solid.  Problem was that it was too overcast out.  And I had failed to load the IR light bar accessory with the batteries it needed.  We pulled the sun shades off and I fired another round over the chronograph.  And then the front sight nearly fell off of my Glock 17.  Sigh. Clearly today was not going to happen.  Or if we did push it, we were going to have a kaboom, or some some magic bullet style ricochet would have taken out an eye or something.  In any case, we decided to call it, regroup and shoot the next day.

Session 2 Redeux, Liberty and Inceptor, Bare Gel

Bare Gel, Civil, Inceptor

This day was much better.

We got out the range, and all but one of the berms was taken.  We drove up, parked and started pulling out the gear, and a Sheriff’s SUV pulled up next to us. Actually to ask if we knew if there were any other berms available.  Turns out he wanted to get some practice in at a range closer to his house (the LE only range was 30 miles away).  We invited him to share with us which he took us up on.

After we finished our shoot, as we were breaking down, the local Ranger stopped by for a chat as well (we were shooting on BLM land).  We showed off the gel and rounds, and we had an overall good chat.  With all of the negative media around law enforcement lately, it is refreshing to be able to meet up with some (that were previously unknown to us) and reaffirm that they are just real people with a job and have the same interests as we do–not some class of statist thug intent on oppressing our rights.  So, our crappy previous day was more than made up for by getting a good test and meeting some local law enforcers.

Observations

Bare Gel - Civil - Top Bare Gel - Civil - Top - Close Bare Gel - Civil - 1

When shot into bare ballistic gel, Liberty Ammunition’s Civil Defense penetrated 10.4 inches. The hollow point section split off into 8 “trocars” and penetrated 5 inches deep. The spread on the trocars was 3 inches, or 1.5 inches out from the primary wound channel. Since the round only penetrated 10.4 inches, this round would not pass the FBI test in regards to penetration.

 

Unfortunately the video for the Polycase Inceptor was corrupted.  When shot into bare gel, the Polycase Inceptor hit, penetrated and tumbled from 4.5 inch mark to the 7 inch mark.  It penetrated 15.8 inches. The round did not break apart. Maximum permanent wound channel was .5 inches where the round tumbled. The Inceptor round penetrated more than 12 inches, passing the FBI test.

Articles in Series

Note:  The below links are not immediately live.  Each part will be released a day apart (by Dec 7th all should be available).

Introduction
Session 1 – Bare Gel
Session 2 – Heavy Clothing
Session 3 – Automotive Glass
Session 4 – Drywall
Observations and Conclusion



Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he has embraced his inner “Warrior Hippie” and assaults 14er in his sandals and beard, or engages in rucking adventure challenges while consuming craft beer. To fund these adventures, he writes medical software and builds websites and mobile apps. His latest venture is as one of the founders of IronSights.com; a search engine for all things gun related. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.


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  • CommonSense23

    Really wish for the day live tissue testing becomes the standard versus ballistic gels.

    • Thomas Gomez

      Like we shoot live pigs?

      • CommonSense23

        Well they should be sedated. Its the nice thing to do. Ballistics Gel is nice cause you can easily see what’s going on, it’s mess free, and easy to have a scientific test. And cheap. But bullets behave differently in flesh. Especially rounds that depend on speed.

        • Thomas Gomez

          Perhaps in the near future we can wrap some pig bones in heavy clothes and put it in front of the gels. Simulate a ribcage, though human skin is 4 times as dense as muscle tissue. We could get creative.

          • Sianmink

            denim+gel is a decent enough approximation of light clothing+skin+flesh in my book.

        • Edeco

          On one hand *gasp* On the other, it happens for food, sport and eradication…

          I volunteer to serve on the TFB institutional review board if you establish one for live testing.

          • Thomas Gomez

            Edeco! First on the list for the “TFB goat lab”! Have a good one!

  • Anon123

    The results from this test seem somewhat inconsistent with results I’ve seen elsewhere from these rounds. Was the gel tested with the calibration steel BB @ 600fps?

    • Thomas Gomez

      It was calibrated in accordance with the FBI stranded for 10% Ballistic gelatin. What round looks inconsistent to you?

      • Rog Uinta

        You calibrated it? Or did someone else? Did anybody? Do you know what “calibration” means?

        You keep comparing your results to FBI standards for 10% Ballistic gelatin. The stuff you are using is not 10% Ballistic gelatin.

        • Thomas Gomez

          It came from Clear Ballistics “Calibrated”, which means the density was checked by firing a .177 Caliber BB into the block. For 10% gel a BB fired at 590 fps should penetrate between 2.95 to 3.74 inches into the bare gel. After I remelted/reformed each gel I did the exact same test. The .177 Caliber steel BB I fired into the gels penetrated 3 to 3.25 inches into the gel.

          The particular block we used mimics 10% FBI Ballistic gelatin. It is synthetic and non organic but the density is the same.

          You are a being a tad rude.

          I hope this finds you well.

          • Slvrwrx

            Whether or not they used 240 bloom, SIMTEST, or Clear Gel doesn’t matter. What matters is the same test media was used for the entirety of the test. The media is used for consistency. Results may not be comparable to another test using other media, but results comparing penetration and expansion of each round to each other in this test is completely valid.

      • Felipe

        Not sure which round Anon123 is referring to, but I wasn’t surprised by the results of the Liberty Civil defense test (the only round that didn’t “pass” based on the FBI’s penetration metric). One thing that might throw people off is a video posted by Tim from the Military arms channel. He tested the same ammo (I believe it’s the same) and it zipped right through level IIIA body armor! I wouldn’t think a gel block would be much of an obstacle considering body armor rated to stop a .44 magnum didn’t stop it in the above mentioned video. I’m curious about what kind of velocity you were getting. When you first mentioned the chrono results, they were very low and you determined it was likely lighting that was skewing the results. I didn’t notice if you tested the ammo again and saw the advertised velocity. Based on what I’ve seen elsewhere, there may be something unique about the way that particular round behaves in a gel medium. Other videos posted about this ammo demonstrated about 10-11 inches of penetration in a calibrated block of gel. This may have been your first rodeo for testing like this but your results appeared to be consistent with other videos that I’ve seen. I’m also not sure where the condescending comments are coming from because all your information appeared to be purely objective and thoughtfully arranged to my eyes.

  • Derp

    You should be testing the Lehigh Defense Xtreme Defense round, not the Xtreme Penetrator. Of course the Penetrator will sail through the block, since it was designed to do so.

    • Thomas Gomez

      Hello Derp.

      We tested what were sent.

      • Jeff Bridges

        Respectfully, that’s a dumb answer. What if you were sent a 12 gauge slug?

        • Thomas Gomez

          I don’t know if you read the first article. We were asked to test 4 different 9mm pistol rounds. We did not choose the rounds. They showed up one day in a box with two ballistic gels. We tested them. Not sure there is much more to say.

          Respectfully, you are being rude. At least try to be funny. Like “NotoriousIUD” funny.

  • Jeff Bridges

    Your testing is one hand great, on the other hand retarded. First, the good. Your documentation and photography, etc is top-notch, so kudos. But your knowledge of the products and their intended use is elementary at best. Projectiles these days are technically designed to do different things. Some expand, and like DERP mentioned, the Lehigh Xtreme Penetrator” WAS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED to penetrate like nothing else on the market. You shouldn’t compare to another product designed to fragment, and you surely should not be critical when it over-achieves its intended use.

    • Thomas Gomez

      I don’t know where you are drawing conclusions from. In my magazines I carry rounds that expand and penetrate. The first 5 rounds out of my Glock are going to be rounds that expand. The last 10 are aimed more at penetration. The rounds were fired at the gels and the only thing we were really interested in is whether they passed the FBI protocols in regards to penetration.

      In the first article we clearly stated what the rounds were designed to do.

  • Matel Onely

    Is it just me or are none of the other links working? I cant see the results of the heavy clothing, glass, drywall, or conclusions.

    • Doc Rader

      Message right above the links: “Note: The below links are not immediately live. Each part will be released a day apart (by Dec 7th all should be available).”

      They are being released one per day.

    • Thomas Gomez

      No worries! Have a good one!

  • ozzallos .

    Curious, what “corrupted” the polycase test? The fact that it tumbled? Some other factor? If corrupted, wouldn’t this warrant a retest based on invalidity of the first? likewise, it can’t be said to pass anything if the results are now called into question. Or do you mean something else by using the word?

    Granted, the bullet should not have tumbled, which is kind of the point of the round… And has in every other youtube vid I’ve watched.

    • Doc Rader

      The video was corrupted. Not the test. The file itself was damaged. And like an idiot I had set the download process to wipe the camera when it was done. FWIW I stopped using the GoPro utility after this and just went to native file transfer–no problems after that.

      We had good pics though so decided not to retest just for video (since that would have thrown the whole timeline back at least a week).

      • ozzallos .

        Thanks for that clarification. Can’t always get to or have time for the videos at work, so it’s not usually my first click… Thus the confusion over what got corrupted.

    • Thomas Gomez

      Hello ozzallos. The round started to tumble about 4 inches in. It tumbled, cut a nice wound channel, then contined its normal path.

      Hope this finds you well.

  • Y K

    These rounds STINK, and I’ll keep my Golden Saber, XTP and Gold Dots, which work just fine

    • Thomas Gomez

      Ha ha! Cheers Y K! Have a good one!

  • Vitor Roma

    The lehigh ammo that should be tested is the Xtreme Defense, not the Xtreme Penetrator.

    • Doc Rader

      Hi Vitor. We were tested what we were sent and how they were presented to us.

  • Felipe

    Peeps, TFB was sent ammo and asked to test it. They were happy to oblige and they have been gracious enough to share the results with us. That’s all this series of articles is about. You might sound silly if you commented on a truck blog that they tested a truck with the wrong engine in it. They test what they get. If they have the opportunity, I’m sure they will test the Xtreme defense round since there is apparently interest in that topic. Until then, they have documented the performance of the penetrator round. If that information isn’t useful for you, simply ignore those results. There isn’t even a comparison being drawn here! They’re just showing results. Nothing more, nothing less. There is nothing misguided here. Where is this coming from?

    • A.WChuck

      ^This exactly. Thank you TFB for testing and posting the results.

      • Thomas Gomez

        Thank you gentlemen.

  • sliversimpson

    Interesting results with the the Extreme Penetrator rounds… Some other video reviews that detailed the same ammunition showed some impressive wound channels. I guess this serves to remind us that no bullet performs 100% predictably in all conditions.

    I want to express how much I appreciate TFB for the valuable information and the professional representation of the gun-owner/enthusiast community.