Testing G2 R.I.P., Liberty Civil Defense, Inceptor, and Lehigh Defense Rounds – Part 4 – Auto Glass

Defense Rounds 1

Background

This is a six part series of which this is PART 4.  (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 5, G2 Research and Civil Defense, Automotive Glass
Autoglass - Frame

So, all of our previous tests were pretty easy.  We set up two tables, ten feet apart, gel on one, shooting platform on the other.  Easy, peasy.  Then Thomas brought out his “Automotive Glass Angling Platform for The Accuracy Testing of Defense Rounds Against Gel” (he is going to be patenting this construction and probably selling it in the near future).  One of the FBI test descriptions we found (http://clearballistics.com/about-ballistic-gelatin/) called for the glass to be angled at 45 degrees from vertical and at a 15 degree offset from horizontal, with the gel being eighteen inches behind the glass.  You know, to simulate popping someone’s grape from an off angle.  Thomas built a contraption to do just that, but it was big. Too big for one table to hold.  Which we didn’t figure out until we were setting up, miles away from home with only the two tables in the Jeep.  Remember me mentioning “pseudo-scientific”…?

Shooting through the Jeep.

Shooting through the Jeep.

So, what did we do?  We improvised.  Both tables were devoted to holding the glass and gels, and, as it turns out, the lift on my Jeep put it at the right height to use as a shooting platform.  Assuming I opened both doors and shot through the interior, using the passenger seat as a platform for the bench rest.  Part of the problem shooting gel is that you need to shoot level, or you risk introducing an angle as the round transverses through the gel.  Later on we figured we probably could have shot from flat on the ground, but it seemed much cooler (and obviously much more photogenic) to shoot through the vehicle.

Observations

Autoglass - G2 - 2

Autoglass - G2

Note the yellowing of the gel. This happens after a number of resets due to contamination and heat.

When shot through automotive glass, the R.I.P round from G2 Research did not expand and shed its trocars. The hollow void at the tip of the round filled with glass and penetrated 12.2 inches. This round would pass the F.B.I test. The round slightly mushroomed and went from .357 inches to .535 inches.

Autoglass - G2, Civil

The R.I.P. and the Civil Defense behaved almost identically here; the R.I.P. penetrated further.

When shot through automotive glass, the Civil Defense round from Liberty Ammunition did not expand. The hollow void filled with glass and the round traveled 9.8 inches. The round mushroomed upon stopping in the gel. The round went from .357 inches to .530 inches.  This round would not pass the FBI test.

Session 6, Lehigh and Inceptor, Automotive Glass

Autoglass - 3

As expected the Lehigh defense cut right through the glass.  And gel.  And an endangered hippo in the backstop.  There was almost no deflection of the round, and we, again, were unable to recover any of the bullet (no fragments were left in the gel; the hippo exited stage right).

As I mentioned before, some of our video was crappy. Yep, this was one. The video was surprisingly sharp. So sharp that the glare from the sun obscured the path of the round.

Observations

Autoglass - LeHigh

When shot through automotive glass the Xtreme penetrator from Lehigh Defense completely penetrated the ballistic gel. There was a slight increase in the permanent wound cavity starting at 3 inches and ending at 9 inches. The permanent wound cavity reached its apex at 7 inches gouging out a permanent wound cavity of .5 inches. This round would pass the F.B.I test.

Autoglass - Inceptor 2 Autoglass - Inceptor 1

When shot through automotive glass, the Inceptor round from Polycase, broke into multiple pieces upon hitting automotive glass. The round fragmented into dozens of small fragments as well as 3 larger fragments. The largest of the fragments penetrated 6.8 inches. The spread of the fragmentation was 2.5 inches. Please note the gel was 18 inches from the automotive glass. This round would not have passed 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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  • TheSmellofNapalm

    So…. I’m not a ballistician…. Which of these four rounds has performed the best in these tests so far? The Lehigh seems to be pretty consistent. I really wish your retailer had given you Lehigh Xtreme Defenders instead of Penetrators….

    • Doc Rader

      Tom G. and I both had different opinions on that. My top two were the Inceptor and then Lehigh. Hey, maybe with enough noise, we can get more sponsorship for more gels and other rounds…

      I’d love to be able to do an ongoing series that did a bunch of rounds and had some standardized rating.

      • BattleshipGrey

        That would be cool to continue this into a monthly or quarterly series.

      • Thomas Gomez

        We would love to test more.

  • dhdoyle

    Thanks for the info. All data is good data, so thanks for the hard work.

    I’d like to offer a couple opinions:
    First, I’m not sure that ammunition that over-penetrates actually meets the FBI criteria. A round that is routinely capable of striking a second person on a “thru & thru” is not something that law enforcement is going to endorse. Remember that there is a maximum on the other side of the penetration criteria for a reason.

    My takeway on all of these new rounds is that they’re new and different, but not better. I haven’t seen anything anywhere that would persuade me to buy any of these instead of Federal HST or Speer Gold Dot ammo. In fact, I kind of resent that a lot of premium ammo has been taken off local shelves to make room for this stuff.

  • I really wish you used a widely accepted duty round as a base line for these tests.

    I can’t make fun of Liberty Civil Defense crap if I can’t show that in the same test that a traditional modern bonded JHP passed it. I know it passes it from the fact that it is an accepted duty round by major agencies, but the people that believe in these gimmick won’t take my word.

    • TechnoTriticale

      re: I really wish you used a widely accepted duty round as a base line for these tests.

      Then get someone to underwrite such a test. I find the results informative, and one can make informed choices based on these results vs. what’s available from other independent testers on the web.

      But yes, “compared to what?” is often a huge confounder in trials, especially in medicine and nutrition.

      Sometimes you get only the results the sponsor paid for.

    • Thomas Gomez

      Tom R and I would love to conduct further testing on common self defense rounds. Thank you for your comment. I hope this finds you well.