G2 Research’s RIP Ammo – Ballistic Testing, Phase Two

By ShootingTheBull410

I’ve been putting G2 Research’s new R.I.P. ammo through conventional ballistic testing to see how the round performs in a flesh simulant (ballistic gelatin). In Part I of the process, I did bare gel testing. In Part II of my examination, I conducted three more tests – against four layers of denim, plywood and then 12 layers of denim.  And for comparison’s sake, I subjected Federal Premium HST to the same tests . . .

We’ve already addressed G2 Research’s claim about their supposed “hole saw effect” in a prior article. Suffice it to say that no, it doesn’t act like a hole saw. G2 Research’s bullet penetrates barriers using the same method as other bullets do – they all smash through barriers, they don’t saw through them.

That said, the question becomes – what is the residual bullet performance, once the round has gotten through that barrier? G2′s bullet is different from conventional hollowpoints, – approximately half of the bullet’s material is used to make the hollow point cavity. And even then, that material is sliced into thin strips to make what they call “trocars.”  Will that hollowpoint cavity get plugged? Will the trocar strips get smashed or fold over? How would those hold up to barriers?

TEST 1: Four Layers Of Denim

In the first test I used a ClearBallistics synthetic ballistic gel block and four layers of IWBA-standard (16 oz per square yard) heavy denim. The G2 Research R.I.P. bullet punched right through, expanded to shear off its “trocars,” and the base penetrated to 14.25”. The denim had basically zero effect on the round; the resulting damage cavity looked pretty much the same as the damage cavity from the bare gelatin test.

The trocars spread out to a 3.5” diameter, and penetrated to about 4” of depth. Again, neither of those results meet the claims on the back of the box (where they say it’ll achieve a 6” spread on the trocars, and 15 to 17” of penetration) but that’s another question that can be addressed later.

RIP1

RIP2

How did the HST do? Superbly. It penetrated 16” and expanded to an average diameter of .460”.  Both rounds performed through the denim-covered gel exactly as expected, and very comparably to how they had done in the bare gel. The HST expanded a little less than it did in bare gel, as is typical of denim-covered gel tests. The bare gel bullet expanded to .522”, the denim-covered gel bullet expanded to .460”.

RIP3

Side note: some may ask why I used ClearBallistics synthetic gel instead of professional organic gel for this test. Two reasons: First, because I can only make and transport four blocks of organic gel at a time, and I used those throughout the other tests. But second, I really wanted at least one test to use the clear synthetic gel because in all of G2′s marketing videos that I’ve seen, it looks to me like they’re not using organic gel; it appears that they’re using a clear gel, either ClearBallistics or Perma-Gel or one of the other synthetic gels on the market.

Accordingly, I wanted at least one test using the same type of gel just in case there was any significant difference in performance between the organic and synthetic gels when running the G2 R.I.P. round. There wasn’t, but hey, part of testing is asking questions and being thorough and diligent to get the answers. Plus, I really wanted a test in clear synthetic gel because I wanted to explore one of the images from their video to see how realistic it was – and it was very illuminating indeed!

Test II: Plywood

One of the FBI standard testing protocols is shooting through 3/4” of plywood. I did the same, but was not exactly the same as the FBI does it. The FBI test specifies a distance of 18” between the plywood and the gel block, with a layer of light clothing over the gel block. I didn’t bring a way to rig the plywood to be supported independently, so I just stuck the plywood right in front of the gel.  After all, the goal here wasn’t to try to conduct an FBI-specific test, it was to examine how the two rounds performed after encountering a sheet of plywood.

Also, the FBI uses a specific type of fir for their plywood test. I just grabbed a piece of whatever plywood I happened to have in my garage. I doubt it’s fir. It may be birch, I don’t really know. What I do know is, it’s 3/4” of plywood. So I’m not making claims that this is a recreation of the FBI labs plywood test. Take it for what it is – a test of a bullet penetrating a 3/4” plywood sheet and then moving into professional organic 10% ballistic gel.

G2 Research claim that their round defeats all known barriers, such as plywood. Well, it did smash through the plywood and enter the gel, so yes, it did defeat the plywood. Unlike the four-layer denim test, in my plywood test shot the performance of the R.I.P. bullet through the plywood was not the same as in bare gel: only three of the trocars broke off. The other five stayed attached. This made for a rather interesting gel block; the resulting R.I.P. bullet looked more like a conventional expanded hollowpoint, with a large expansion diameter. Because of the larger diameter, it also didn’t penetrate as deeply; it came to rest at about 9.25.” The initial expansion cavity wasn’t as large as in the bare or denim tests; I measured it at about 1.50” across.

RIP4

The trocars that did break off didn’t really “deploy” like in the previous gel tests. In the bare gel and 4LD tests, the trocars broke off and stayed straight and long, each creating its own wound channel. In the plywood test, only three broke off and they were curved, like those that stayed attached to the bullet. Only one of these detached curved trocars tried to depart on its own wound path. The others basically stayed in the central damage cavity, very similar to how Hornady’s Critical Defense will frequently shed petals that remain in the permanent crush cavity.

The HSTs didn’t do well here. My first shot smashed through the plywood and entered the gel, but didn’t expand. It over penetrated…and kept on penetrating to about 23.50.” I then tried again, and got similar results; a second HST smashed through the plywood, failed to expand, and penetrated to about 22.25”.

Neither round did well in this improvised, non-standard plywood test.

Test III: 12 Layers of Denim

For test number three, I wanted to explore a claim that G2 Research was making that said their bullet would penetrate through an absurdly thick 12 layers of denim and still perform as designed. Twelve layers isn’t a standard test, of course. The four layers of denim test was designed to present a worst-case scenario for a bullet to face, and the purpose of the four layer test is to see if a hollowpoint bullet will get clogged and fail to expand. I think most reasonable people would think four layers was “overkill.” So in that respect, 12 layers would have to be, what, “over-massacre”? But, hey, it was a claim that was made,  it’s easily testable, so…test it I did.

I used the same IWBA-spec 16 oz. per square yard denim, stacked it 12 layers deep and covered a 10% organic ballistic gel block with it and fired one round of each into the block.

The G2 R.I.P. did what they said it would. It sliced through the 12 layers, the trocars broke off, made a 2” diameter cavity and the base penetrated to 14.25”.  It really looks pretty much exactly the same as it did through four layers, except that the trocars didn’t spin out and create an 8-path ring of separate wound channels, they just kind of bunched together in the initial damage cavity.

RIP5

As for the Federal HST, I kind of blew it. Foolishly I didn’t have a backer block behind the main block, so after getting through the denim, the bullet shot through the first 16” block and was lost. I know it penetrated over 16”, but I don’t know exactly how far the bullet went. Perhaps it would have stopped at less than 18”, perhaps it overpenetrated, I don’t know. So, my bad on not getting a backer block in there to try to catch the bullet.

I’ll try to re-run that test at some point in the future and update this article with the results of an HST through 12 layers of denim in organic gel. I don’t know whether the HST will pass this test or not; it’s well outside the standards so I doubt the engineers would have taken that into account so I am assuming that the HST would clog and overpenetrate.

Terminal Performance Evaluation

The G2 R.I.P. did surprisingly well through the barriers. It handled the 4-layer and 12-layer denim just fine, and it penetrated through the plywood and still manage to deploy an expanded bullet. I remain unconvinced that the “trocars” are any sort of substantial wounding element; the extremely shallow (4”) penetration of the trocars in the 4LD test, and the failure of them to create any notable separate damage paths in the 12LD and plywood test, lead me to believe that they would perhaps create a nasty, but shallow superficial wound, but not contribute much if anything to the overall terminal performance of the round.

To be fair, it’s possible that the size of that superficial wound could possibly contribute to a higher likelihood of a psychological stop…meaning, an attacker may feel the pain and see the blood and decide voluntarily to discontinue their attack. Obviously we can’t know that until there are actual cases in which the R.I.P. round has been deployed in a self defense situation. But I can see how a reasonable case could be made that the psychological effects of seeing such a large surface wound may inspire someone to call it quits. Then again, maybe not.

Since the infamous FBI Miami Shootout, the focus of law enforcement and self defense ballistic performance has been to find out what bullet performance parameters can reliably force an attacker to stop. It’s referred to as involuntary incapacitation, where the bullet damages the attacker’s body to the point where the attacker has no choice but to stop.

A psychological stop relies on the attacker choosing to stop. Which means a possibility remains that the attacker may not choose to stop (perhaps he’s excessively determined, or enraged, or passionate, or perhaps he’s not thinking logically due to the influence of drugs or alcohol, or perhaps he’s mentally unstable). But in involuntary incapacitation, none of that matters. The bullet takes away the attacker’s choice by forcing the body to shut down. And, in handgun rounds, involuntary incapacitation is caused by a bullet that penetrates deep enough (defined as 12” to 18” through ballistic gel) and expands large enough that it destroys as much tissue as possible in the region where the vital organs are located.

As determined in Part I of this review, each R.I.P. trocar penetrates less and damages less than a segment of a .22LR segmented hollowpoint. The CCI .22LR segmented hollowpoint broke into pieces and penetrated in a comparable diameter – but to deeper depths – than the R.I.P.’s individual trocars do. So for terminal performance effect, I would rate the trocars as ineffective, since their performance can be exceeded by a couple of segmented varmint rounds from a .22LR. It’s not that they could never force a stop or a kill, just that it’s pretty unlikely. The remaining base of the R.I.P., however, does penetrate deeply enough to reach vital organs, and should be evaluated for its potential in causing an involuntary incapacitation.

Given that context, let’s examine the recovered bullets and see if we can come to any conclusions.

RIP6

At the top of the picture are recovered bullets from bare organic gelatin. The G2 R.I.P. bullet measures .375” in diameter at the face of it (the shearing off of the trocars left a little bit of stubble at the front face, which increases the diameter a little above the main body of the bullet, which measures .355”). Using the formula for area of a circle (3.14 * radius * radius) we can determine that the G2 R.I.P. base presents 71 square millimeters of potential disruption, in 48.4 grains of weight.

Using the Schwartz Quantitative Ammunition Selection mathematical formulas, we can calculate that the R.I.P.’s base would destroy 19.66 grams of tissue. The HST, on the other hand, expanded to an average diameter of .522”.  That gives it a total surface area nearly twice as large as the G2 R.I.P. bullet, 137 square mm. And, combined with the HST’s deeper penetration, that gives us a total level of tissue destruction of 44.34 grams.

How much meat destruction is that? It’s about as much as a hot dog; imagine someone carving a hot dog’s worth of flesh out of your body, and that’s about what a 9mm HST will do. In comparison, the G2 R.I.P. did a little less than half that much damage. Still substantial, but more on par with a .380 ACP hollowpoint than a 9mm hollowpoint. As far as total tissue destruction, we could up the G2 R.I.P.’s total some if we added up the trocar penetration. But in terminal ballistics the quest isn’t about total overall tissue destruction, it’s about disrupting the vital organs, and the trocars don’t penetrate deeply enough to likely affect the vitals.

In the test through four layers of denim, the difference is less. The HST again exceeded the size of the G2 R.I.P., but not by as much. The HST through denim expanded to .460”, as compared to the .375” of the G2 R.I.P. That gives the HST 107.22 square mm, about 50% more than the G2 R.I.P.’s 71.25 square mm of frontal surface area. The HST penetrated to 16”, and the R.I.P. penetrated to 14.50”, so the Schwartz formula tells us the HST destroyed 37.20 grams of tissue, and the R.I.P. destroyed 22.29 grams. That leaves the HST doing about 67% more tissue destruction if disregarding the trocars’ shallow destruction.

The plywood tests were inconclusive. Both rounds penetrated through the plywood. The G2 R.I.P. resulted in an underpenetrating round of large size, the HSTs resulted in overpenetrating rounds of small size. If I had to choose, I’d take overpenetration over underpenetration. According to ballistics expert Dr. Martin Fackler, “overpenetration may get you sued, but underpenetration can get you killed.” But I’d rather have a proper performer in either scenario.

Could a G2 R.I.P. stop an attacker through involuntary incapacitation? I believe it definitely could. But I would put its overall likelihood of doing so on par with a .380 ACP round using an XTP hollowpoint, rather than compare it to conventional 9mm hollowpoints. In my extensive testing of .380 ACP from 2.8” barrels, I found that the best .380 rounds would penetrate to about 13.50” and destroy about 23 to 25 grams of tissue. Those results are very comparable to the G2 R.I.P.’s penetrating base, although the .380 projectile is carrying about twice the weight of the R.I.P., and that would give it more momentum and perhaps better straightline penetration through bone. That’s speculation though, as obviously I haven’t tested that to verify.

In any case, in terms of penetration and tissue destruction, I would rate the G2 R.I.P. 9mm base as about comparable to a good .380 hollowpoint. I believe that it’s capable of reaching deep enough to cause a hit to the vitals that could lead to an incapacitating hit.

However, the HST will reach deeper, with a bigger bullet, and destroy between 2/3 and twice as much tissue. It does so with a projectile that weighs two and a half times as much as the base of the R.I.P. bullet (124 grains vs. about 49 grains), so the retained momentum will be a lot higher with the HST. The advantages would be a potentially straighter path of travel, potentially better bone penetration, substantially more tissue destruction, and the potential of hitting nearby targets that the smaller R.I.P. bullet may miss (in other words, with identical shot placement, the R.I.P. could potentially just barely miss an artery or vital organ, whereas the larger size of the HST might reach out and nick or hit the artery or organ.)  In my opinion, there’s no question as to which would be the more likely round to cause involuntary incapacitation, and that’s the HST.

But What About The Shock Wave?

Finally, let’s address what is, in my opinion, one of the most absurd statements ever issued in ammunition marketing.  G2 says (and I quote): “The acoustic wave that is imparted into the intended target is sent along predictable vectors.  This action creates an ease of entry by reducing the deceleration at the point of impact, allowing potential energy to be conserved, thus transferring a devastating kinetic energy wave.”

Now, I don’t know exactly what they’re trying to get at, but I think they’re trying to imply that somehow they’re creating a larger temporary cavity which would mean the bullet can penetrate farther without having to use up its kinetic energy on penetration?  And that, as a result, they can transfer “a devastating kinetic energy wave.”

I do not, in general, use profanity. However, if I did, I would at this point describe steer manure in two simple syllables. Or, perhaps this is a case where the old adage comes into play – “if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with BS.”

First, we’ve already figured out what their actual penetration is, so whether it comes from ripping through flesh or it comes from “ease of entry by reducing the deceleration at the point of impact”, the net result is the same – the trocars barely penetrate at all, and the base penetrates okay.

Second, about that “devastating shock wave” – shock waves from handgun bullets don’t, in general, damage most tissue. Mechanical stress (ripping, crushing, tearing and cutting) is what accomplishes that. There’s a highly disputed theory about “hydrostatic shock” that perhaps they’re trying to invoke here – but if so, they’re on the wrong track.  While the concept of “hydrostatic shock” is rejected by many leading terminal ballistics experts, even its most ardent proponents (such as Courtney and Courtney) acknowledge that you’d need a bullet with at least 500 ft/lbs of energy to produce a temporary cavity large enough to even begin to produce this shock wave effect. As tested, the G2 Research R.I.P. doesn’t come anywhere close to 500 ft/lbs. My test shots averaged 1313 ft/sec, and at a 96 grain bullet weight, that calculates out to 367.41 ft/lbs of energy, far short of Courtney’s specified minimum of 500 ft/lbs.

So – horse hockey.

But What About That Gel Block Shot They Show?

Perhaps the most impressive demonstration in the entire marketing video is where G2 Research shows an R.I.P. round passing through what looks to be a block of either ClearBallistics synthetic clear ballistic gelatin, or perhaps a block of Perma Gel – it’s impossible to know, because G2 Research doesn’t identify the material.

RIP7

Now, that picture shows a tremendous temporary expansion cavity, trocars flying out of the block and the bullet easily overpenetrating out the back. But – no details are offered. What type of gel is that? What size block is it? How would a calibration BB perform in it? And why did it overpenetrate, when clearly in standardized testing it doesn’t?  Are there some shenanigans going on here?

For comparison, here’s a picture of what a G2 Research R.I.P. actually does, when fired from a Glock 19, into a 16” x 6” x 6” block of ClearBallistics synthetic gelatin, covered with four layers of denim. Note, the denim shouldn’t matter, as testing revealed the bullet performance to be comparable with and without denim in place.

RIP8

That was taken from the 1200 frame-per-second slow motion footage, at the maximum diameter of the stretch cavity.  It measures about 5.5”. Not bad, but nothing like what G2 Research showed. We can’t know for sure what G2′s image shows, so we have to assume (yes, I know all about what “assuming” means, but – without further clarification, the video leaves us with no alternatives). If we assume that they’re using a standard 6” x 6” x 16” block, then the diameter of the temporary cavity they’re showing is at least 8.5”.  That’s fully 55% larger than what it actually did from the Glock 19. That’s outrageous. That cannot possibly be true.

So, let’s explore another possibility: perhaps their stretch damage is the same as what my Glock 19 did, but they used a deceptively smaller block of gel to make it look bigger. If that’s the case, and their stretch cavity is a realistic 5.5” in diameter as my shot was, that would mean their gel block is only 4” tall and 9” long.

The standard for testing handguns in ballistic gelatin is a 6” x 6” x 16”-long block. Is there such a thing as a 4” x 4” x 9” block? Turns out there is. A quick examination of ClearBallistics’ online shop shows that they do sell an air rifle block that’s 4” x 4” x 9”. Is that what G2 Research did? Did they use a miniature block to make their round look more impressive? If so, that’d be deceptive as hell. I would find it hard to believe that a manufacturer would do such a thing. But it sure would explain the difference in size, and also the overpenetration (because in a standard block of gel, from a Glock 19, G2 R.I.P. definitely doesn’t over penetrate.)

So ;et’s explore an alternative potential explanation: did they, perhaps, “water down” their gel or heat it up to make it softer? Would that make it more pliable and exaggerate the penetration? Possibly, but that would be so sketchy as to perhaps qualify as fraud, so I’d say that I would find it highly doubtful that they did such a thing. We know for a fact that they understand the concepts behind gel testing and FBI standards, because they reference them in their FAQs and even on their ammo’s box, so I can’t believe they would use a fake or watered down gel.

Yet another possible explanation would be that that was a super-hopped-up, massively over-pressure round, that traveled at higher velocity. I doubt it, though, as that would be profoundly dishonest – presumably they’re showing us the ammo that we can buy, after all.

I can’t say exactly what they did, but I can say from my experience what they didn’t do: that isn’t a case of a standard-size handgun shooting a standard-pressure round into a standard-sized clear gelatin block of standard density. It just doesn’t match up with the real testing I did.

I’d like to believe they used standardized clear gel. And I’d like to believe that they used it in a standard block size.  And that they shot it at normal temperatures.  Because to believe otherwise would be to believe that they’re trying to be intentionally misleading or even fraudulent — and I wouldn’t want to believe that.  So there’s one other possible explanation I can offer. It’s possible that what we have here is a case of them firing the 9mm bullet from a rifle or carbine, instead of from a handgun.

If they used something like, say, a Kel-Tec SUB-2000 with a 16” barrel, maybe it’s possible that the longer barrel would deliver 200 or 300 extra feet per second, and that may be enough additional velocity to make a larger temporary cavity and cause the base to overpenetrate. That’s a total guess on my part, but I’m trying to give them the benefit of the doubt here.

In any case, I can conceive of no possible way that what they showed is a representative shot of a normal handgun firing an over-the-counter G2 R.I.P. round into a standard-size block of gel that’s calibrated to deliver performance comparable to 10% ballistic gel. No way.

It seems obvious to me that there’s something nonstandard going on here. Either they used a smaller block to exaggerate the viewer’s impression of the round’s potency (such as using an “air rifle” block meant for testing air rifles), or they used an extended length barrel and are showing a rifle’s results. That would be okay, if they would just label it as such. Without any labelling, the impression given (or, well, at least the impression I got) was that we were looking at a handgun round impacting standard synthetic gel.

A 9mm bullet is, after all, a handgun round, so it would be logical and reasonable to think that we were seeing the impact of a handgun round fired from a handgun. And what they’re showing is absolutely not a handgun round being fired from a handgun into a block of gel meant to be used for testing handguns, so … something’s out of whack here and clarification from the company would be appreciated.

Final Summary

In my opinion, there’s no advantage to the R.I.P. in terms of penetration or vital organ tissue disruption, so the only real area of discussion would be in terms of the initial “trocar” damage cavity. If you’re choosing between a conventional hollowpoint and the G2 R.I.P., the only thing the R.I.P. adds over a conventional hollowpoint is that initial, shallow “trocar” damage cavity.

It’s my opinion that the “trocar” cavity is not going to provide some mythical “devastating shock wave”, certainly none beyond that provided by a conventional handgun round. So we have to look at the actual damage done by the “trocars”, which amounts to six grains of copper each, penetrating about 4” deep. In general, that’s a lot less damage (per trocar) than you’d see from a segmented 22LR hollowpoint (which, in my testing, each segment penetrated between 5” to 9”) so I simply don’t see a little sliver of metal penetrating 4” to be that overwhelming a threat.

If you were talking about a “belly gun” where you were actually pushing the pistol upwards into someone’s abdomen right below the ribcage, then yes, the trocars might penetrate deep enough to destroy vitals, and boy would that be a nasty wound. But for conventional engagements where it’s likely that the bullet is going to have to penetrate through the ribcage to reach the vitals to cause an incapacitating hit, I just don’t see the trocars adding much if anything to the round’s overall damage potential. That leaves us with only the solid base of the G2 R.I.P. as our potential incapacitator. And while it could get the job done, a conventional HST (damaging 67% to twice as much tissue) would be more effective in getting that job done.

R.I.P. Ammo generously provided by Texas’ own Ammo To Go (ammunitiontogo.com)

61 Responses to G2 Research’s RIP Ammo – Ballistic Testing, Phase Two

  1. avatarGbo says:

    Science and comparison to 14-16 inches of penetration aside, I would still hate for that round to be doing its thing 6-9 inches inside MY body cavity.

    Kind of like buying a new computer so Word will run faster…

    • avatarRandallOfLegend says:

      “I wouldn’t want to be shot by it” can apply to most projectiles, including hand thrown darts. The wound from these would be quite nasty, probably require amputation if hit in the arm or leg. Which is not usually the goal.

      • avatarSnJohnson says:

        My problem with this ammunition is the marketing and the fallout that could occur if using this in a DGU. For reference, google the story behind the “Winchester Black Talon” JHP rounds (standard defensive ammunition by all means). All a jury knows it that you used scary ripping exploding ammo to kill an innocent and defenseless person (who only wanted your wallet).

        To an unknowledgeable jury, you’re a murdering monster. Don’t think that G2 is going to come by your side if you end up in hot water for using their ammo.

        • avatarTroutbum5 says:

          I’ll stick with my Black Talons. I fired a couple into wet newspaper about 20 years ago, and they expanded beautifully. Not ballistic gel I know, but its a halfway decent poor man’s substitute.

        • avatarint19h says:

          Yup, which is why the old advice of “use what your local PD is using” is still good. Better now, actually, since they have mostly upgraded to top-of-the-line conventional JHP rounds, like HST or Ranger, rather than classic but not quite as efficient designs like Hydro-Shok that were more common back in the day.

    • avatarPhoenixNFA says:

      Ballistic gelatin is an analogue, not a direct representation.

  2. avatarpeirsonb says:

    I hadn’t previously heard the “saw tooth” claim. I’d have called shenanigans right there. At bullet velocities you would need a twist rate so high the projectile would fly like a freaking curve ball….

  3. avatarGregolas says:

    Outstanding! Thank you!

  4. avatartdiinva says:

    The “acoustic shock wave” nonsense reminds me of the original devastating hydrostatic shock claims made for the 5.56 round when the M-16 was introduced. Like a 308 or 30-06 round wouldn’t produce an even bigger shockwave. I would like to point out that no round is supersonic once it enters the body. Tissue is mostly water and the speed of sound in water is approximately 5000fps. That is why the shockwave in gel is behind the projectile.

  5. avatarPulatso says:

    Long but interesting read. I had no plans of getting any of these anyway, but it’s good to know I’m not missing anything but hype.

  6. avatarsagebrushracer says:

    Still going to get a box, and set the right next to the Zombie Max ammo, because collectors. Now if the MSM gets a hold of it, we might have a black talon 2. :)

    • avatarYoel Grauberg says:

      You can still buy Winchester Black Talon, its called Ranger T series. Its supposed to be LE only but you can get it easily enough, the bullets are the same just natural copper colour instead of black coated. Its definitely better than this RIP crap.

  7. avatarSchnips says:

    So, it’s basically a varmint round in a handgun caliber.

  8. avatarWyfaggro says:

    TL;DR version: It turns a 9mm into a .380
    That is some talented engineering right there. Underperforming compared to an HST that is usually much cheaper is just icing on the fail cake.

    • avatarAccur81 says:

      Don’t forget that the ammunition is also significantly more expensive. So my TL;DR version: it turns a 9mm into an overpriced .380 round.

  9. avatarRalph says:

    Bravo, ShootingTheBull410, for yet another no-bull test article.

    FWIW, since I live in MA, I don’t use ammo with over the top names like “RIP.” Hornady Critical Defense is good ammo and even our local ADA would be hard pressed to make me out to be a psycho for using an ammo brand named after self defense.

    Now, if anyone made good SD ammo named “Fluffy Bunny,” I’d buy 10,000 rounds.

  10. avatarTJ says:

    Someone needs to invent a 9mm-45acp round that when fired through a service pistol performs like the Lehigh defense 45 colt round through a judge pistol.

    That is the future of pistol rounds.

    • avatarLC Judas says:

      They tried it. The rounds expand to a case quarter in diameter but only in water testing. Actual results indicate surface area slowing the bullet down for its weight.

      It’s a Grizzly all copper hollowpoint 185 grain if I recall correctly.

    • avatarIng says:

      I’m guessing that’s what they wanted to do, but their bullet kept falling apart, so they came up with a bunch of marketing hype to make their failure look like something cool.

      The gel block shenanigans are probably just that: shenanigans. All their other claims are overblown and sketchy, so it only makes sense that their gel-block photo would be too.

      I think they’re flirting with legal disaster here. Bet you a buck they go down the toilet with false advertising claims coloring the water and bricks shat by shrieking hoplophobes swirling the bowl alongside them.

    • avatarint19h says:

      Isn’t the whole point of Lehigh .45 LC that it uses the extra length offered by the Taurus chamber that it needs to fire .410 shells? i.e. it wouldn’t fit any other .45 LC handgun… and so you’d need something along the same lines designed for 9mm or .45 ACP, except that in a semi-auto handgun it would preclude it from firing regular ammo.

  11. avatarFrank Masotti says:

    Well the RIP ammo is nice in theory, but that’s all it is, a theory.

  12. avatarTheSleeperHasAwakened says:

    Like I thought, the test would reveal it to be good defensive ammo.

    But with other good defensive ammo at less than half the price per round, you’re paying extra for hype!

  13. avatarIng says:

    What I really want to see is this type of bullet construction in a .30-30 round. I’d pay good money to see one of those hit a block of ballistics gel.

    • avatarWyfaggro says:

      heh I’d enjoy seeing a regular 30-30 soft point hit a gel block but I have a feeling you would need about 3 of them ;p

      • avatarIng says:

        There’s this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xm-QM1nxjPk. It’s a Leverevolution round, but I imagine the lead-nosed soft points wouldn’t be much different.

        I’d like to see what might happen if those RIP style flechettes (aka trocars) were significantly longer and broke off while traveling at 2200 fps.

      • avatarme says:

        Dr. Fackler tested the .30-30 and this was his conclusion:

        http://www.frfrogspad.com/3030.jpg

        The specific round used was apparently the no-longer-manufactured 170gr “Silvertip” softnose from Winchester. It expanded to about .67″ in diameter, shedding some fragments within a few inches of impact, and causing temporary cavitation sufficient to increase significantly the diameter of the permanent cavity within the first 8″ of penetration, and penetrating a total of about 18″. It destroys quite a bit more tissue than any handgun round.

  14. avatarRenegade Dave says:

    Other than SGammo, does anyone have a good online site for Federal HST?

  15. avatarDavid says:

    Let me be Mr. Morbid & throw this out there: I like to see more cadavers used in this type of testing. I got a practical reason for it too – a sternum getting hit w/ 300+ ft.lb of kinetic energy will turn into a grenade . . . or that’s the theory.

    • avatarRockOnHellChild says:

      No, it won’t…

    • avatarPiet Padkos says:

      Agree with the cadaver idea. Ballistics does count as a part of science, I suppose. If you donate your body they should let STB410 have at you.

      Gel isn’t juicy like a real human body. It doesn’t have the bits that may be hit by the trocars for instance. Most people don’t exactly have a perfect block of uniform density muscle for a torso. Maybe the trocars would be carried by the arteries into the heart, where they proceed to shred it.
      Unrealistic maybe, but I prefer not to believe that someone made such crap and actually got people to fund not just the development, but the manufacturing

    • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Indeed, this is what I’d like to see as well.

      Here’s an idea: We now know that Texas has lots of feral pigs that need to be dealt with.

      Get a few that have been put down with a head shot, leaving the body intact. Haul them out and use them for a cadaver analog, just as the War Department did with the Goat Board and the Pig Board back so many years ago.

    • avatarEric says:

      The reason this doesn’t get done is it’s too hard to compare results between shots. Small changes result in large differences in what the bullet actually passes through and that’s not even getting into different physical conditions of separate animals.

      What you *can* do though, is get anecdotal information from county coroners. They get to look at the wound cavities from large numbers of lethal gunshots over time. If they tell you the same things I’ve heard, it will be that “heavy and slow” is better than “small and fast” in a handgun, and the more mass the projectile has the greater its propensity to keep going in a straight line from where you “placed” the shot rather than deflecting along the way due to bone impact or tissue irregularity.

    • avatarWyfaggro says:

      how do you compare different rounds? shoot the same carcass?
      how do you control for hitting in different places? hitting bones at slightly different angles with even a few fps difference can create large differences in wound profiles.
      like it or not, the only truly consistent method we have to compare ammunition is ballistic gel that is calibrated as closely as possible to the test data we already have from the FBI (why ignore the data someone else collected it means you don’t have to test it)

  16. avatarArdent says:

    Gimmicks, why can’t everyone focus their creative talents on making a heavier, bullet that goes faster and expands more since that is what brings about incapacitation? I back Ing, they were trying for a semi auto friendly bullet that mimicked as much as possible the performance of the crazy scary .45 round for the judge and it kept falling apart. That they ended up with neither the performance nor apparently a round that is semi auto friendly just multiplies the failure.

    Faster, heavier, broader, or more accurate please, these are slower, lighter and smaller, not good.

  17. avatarAccur81 says:

    The search for the perfect bullet continues. Both the HST and RIP had problems expanding in the plywood tests. When a bullet fails to expand, as happened here with the plywood tests, it pays to start off with more diameter in the first place. That’s one of the reasons I like the .40 cal and .45.

  18. avatarJames says:

    I’m not sure why the company adopted the word “trocar.” It’s a type of surgical device. The bullet could more accurately be described as a “semi-flechette round.” And as nasty as they look, flechettes fired from handguns generally aren’t as effective against human targets as conventional ammunition is. They only come into their own when a 105 mm howitzer has to be cranked down into direct fire mode against a horde of fanatical attackers. Then load one beehive round and repeat until the threat ceases to be threatening.

    • avatarIng says:

      The modern equivalent of canister loads. Nasty, nasty stuff.

    • avatarAccur81 says:

      Because flechettes are illegal and scary. The only thing worse than a flechettes is a black flechette. Goodness gracious, think of the children. We just can’t have those shenanigans.

  19. avatarValleyForge77 says:

    Wow, another very thorough ammo review. Lovin it, STB410. Thank you!

  20. avatarLurker_of_lurkiness says:

    “The acoustic wave that is imparted into the intended target is sent along predictable vectors. This action creates an ease of entry by reducing the deceleration at the point of impact, allowing potential energy to be conserved, thus transferring a devastating kinetic energy wave.”
    As a physics major, I will say there is soooo much wrong in this quote.

  21. avatarvioshi says:

    I want to see a comparison with real meat and guts. I’m curious how far the trocars would really go.

    As for the saw claim, yes it’s 1:10″ but at 1700 fps that’s 2000 rev per sec. I don’t know how fast it decelerates, or how it relates to its rotational deceleration, but it could complete a few turns before exiting the wood.

    • avatarscoutino says:

      Sorry, but it can’t. The bullet makes one revolution on 10″ no matter how fast it moves forward. If it decelerated enough to make couple of revolutions in 3/4″ it would have no inertia left to keep moving past the plywood.

  22. avatarBob in AmherstNH says:

    I’m no ballistics expert, but the tester’s claims that the HST is better because it’s base penetrates further seems wrong to me. How is penetrating 19″ good unless you are shooting someone laying down and facing you?!? For a standing target, it would seem to me that maximum expansion at 3-4 inches is PERFECT because that’s how deep the vital organs are. Anything past 5″ (maybe a foot in a really fatty) and you are already outside the body. A through and through like the HST seems like it would do MUCH less real flesh damage then the seperate wound trails from the trocars (which seem more like flechettes) from the RIP round.

    • avatarAnonymous says:

      I totally agree. Instead of allowing us to come to our own conclusions, shootingthebull shoots some bull at us with unsubstantiated assertion little more than mere speculation.

      • “Instead of allowing us to come to our own conclusions, shootingthebull shoots some bull at us with unsubstantiated assertion little more than mere speculation.”

        Hey, come to your own conclusions. Just base it on evidence and expert opinion, not on deliberately misleading marketing. What you call my “unsubstantiated assertion little more than speculation” is basically also known as the collected conclusions of the best experts in the field of terminal ballistics. On the other hand, G2 Research’s marketing is using deliberately deceptive shots of miniature gel blocks to deceptively enhance the impression of their bullet’s performance. And that’s easily provable by anyone, the evidence is right there in their test shot.

        So, by all means, come to your own conclusions. Choose which evidence you want to believe.

    • “I’m no ballistics expert, but the tester’s claims that the HST is better because it’s base penetrates further seems wrong to me. How is penetrating 19″ good unless you are shooting someone laying down and facing you?!?”

      Hi Bob,

      Please understand — it’s not my claim. The requirement for 12-18″ is the consensus result from the best experts in the world: combat surgeons, trauma surgeons, forensic pathologists, coroners. People who deal with gunshots every day. They held conferences to determine exactly what was necessary for a bullet to be effective in stopping a human attacker, and the consensus result was that it needs to penetrate between 12″ and 18″ of ballistic gel. Not 18″ of a BODY, of course, but 12″ to 18″ of soft tissue simulant. They’re not the same scale. And ballistic gel isn’t a body. But if a bullet can penetrate 12″ to 18″ of gel, then it will also have enough power to penetrate into a body, smash through bones and other tissue, and reach and disrupt the vital organs.

      “For a standing target, it would seem to me that maximum expansion at 3-4 inches is PERFECT because that’s how deep the vital organs are. Anything past 5″ (maybe a foot in a really fatty) and you are already outside the body.”

      It may seem that way, but again, that’s confusing gel penetration with body penetration. It simply doesn’t work that way. As an example — to calibrate gel, we shoot a standard steel BB into it at 590 fps. It penetrates to about 3.5″. Now, consider how much damage a BB would do to a human body — it wouldn’t even break the skin in most cases! So when you think about those trocars penetrating 4″ of ballistic gel, that means they’re hitting with about the force of a BB. They’re not going to shred internal organs, but they might make a nasty surface flesh wound.

      “A through and through like the HST seems like it would do MUCH less real flesh damage then the seperate wound trails from the trocars (which seem more like flechettes) from the RIP round.”

      Decades of ballistic research have shown what it takes to cause a handgun bullet to stop an attacker — 12 to 18″ of ballistic gel. The HST is just about state of the art in anti-personnel handgun bullet design.

      People have tried the shallow-penetrating, big-expanding rounds many times before — LeMas, Extreme Shock, RBCD, Glaser Safety Slugs, all sorts of frangible rounds, and the results are always the same — lots of hype, very little terminal performance, and extreme over-the-top marketing. This general idea is not new, and it’s been discredited many times before.

      I wanted to test the G2R because I thought it looked like it might have a novel approach, since the “trocars” weren’t just shrapnel, but the end results are basically the same as the other, previous “wonder bullets.”

  23. avatarfreezercharlie says:

    check his blog for good info on ammo testing methodology. latest post is on why the standard is 12″-18″

    http://shootingthebull.net/blog/if-a-chests-only-10-thick/

  24. avatarJD says:

    like the cookie cutter bullet from the 80s (this is a ‘disintegrating cookie cutter with solid base’): a hollow solid cylinder with a discarding base that falls away after barrel departure.
    He says core might sneak between “heart and an artery”, but doesn’t mention the shotgun petals..
    And he claims underpenetration while the core was 2 inches shy of the federal hst…he wants CNS spine shots from the front, but this round is a hybrid that sacrifices penetrative characteristics.
    I want delayed fuse exploding federal hst, because those 2 examples didn’t mushroom anyway, they might as well blow up..

  25. avatarAnonymous says:

    I grow tired of shooting the bulls hate toward the RIP2. He totally discredits the expanding shrapnel of the rip and plays it off like 4 inches is nothing. Personally, I think it’s a great combination of tremendous surface damage with a penetrating core easily noticeable in the four layer denim test. Is it everything its cracked up to be? No. But he should give credit where it is due instead of simply comparing the diameter of the core of the rip against that of the hollow point while completely ignoring the massive surface damage of the rip.

    • ” He totally discredits the expanding shrapnel of the rip and plays it off like 4 inches is nothing.”

      You are correct — I do discredit the expanding shrapnel as if it’s nothing. Because, in terminal ballistics, penetrating to 4″ *is* basically nothing. A steel BB from a BB gun will penetrate 3.5″. Now, as far as pain and blood, it’s not nothing — I said it might create a very nasty flesh wound, and I’m sure it would. I’m sure it’d be painful and leave a horrible scar and might even scare the recipient into dropping their knife or gun and running away.

      But that’s not what bullet effectiveness is all about. Bullet effectiveness is about FORCING an attacker to stop. And a shallow wound won’t force anyone or anything. It might INSPIRE them to stop, but it won’t FORCE them to.

      “Personally, I think it’s a great combination of tremendous surface damage with a penetrating core easily noticeable in the four layer denim test.”

      That’s what it is. It will do surface damage, perhaps significant surface damage, and it has a penetrating core. You’re right. As I said repeatedly — it does penetrate deep enough to potentially cause an incapacitating hit.

      So now you have a choice — you can choose a round that does some damage on the surface, and does some damage deep, or you can choose a round that does pretty much minimal damage on the surface, and does more than twice as much damage deeply. One of those has been scientifically proven, over and over, to be capable of causing incapacitating wounds and stopping attackers. The other hasn’t.

      I’m not saying the RIP is “junk”. I’m saying that it sacrifices what you need, in exchange for something that won’t necessarily help you. But if you see it differently, then go ahead and get it. Just know what it is you’re getting into, based on actual performance and actual facts, instead of misleading and over-the-top hype and marketing.

    • avatarCharles says:

      STB410 is correct in his test and assessment of the RIP bullet’s performance. The 96 grain G2 RIP loses half of its mass in the form of little copper slivers that penetrate no deeper than a BB and the little 48 grain disc-shaped base that is left behind after those little copper slivers peel off leaves nothing more than a miniscule, almost invisible, permanent wound cavity behind in its wake. Those eight little slivers are no more effective than 8 BBs and the tiny permanent wound cavity left by the bullet’s base is much, much smaller than that of an expanded conventional JHP.

      The G2 RIP is nothing more than a fragile varmint round that fails to produce enough trauma deep enough to reach the CNS and/or vascular structures that must be damaged in order to produce the immediate incapacitation of an armed two-legged threat.

      If the G2 RIP is such a great round, why does G2 Research need to test their RIP ammunition in very small (4x4x9) test blocks and overstate their KE numbers on their website? The answer is clear to anyone who looks at these tests. In an industry-standard 6x6x16 block, the G2 RIP produces a small temporary cavity and the little copper slivers penetrate no farther than four inches. By using those little 4x4x9 blocks, G2 RIP creates the (false and misleading) perspective that the RIP bullet produces a much larger temporary cavity than it actually does. Ever notice that none of G2 Research’s videos do not have ruler or scale reference in them? That’s is because a ruler would give G2 Research’s potential customers a reference against which to judge the terminal performance of their product. It seems by their omission of a measurement standard in their videos that that is exactly what G2 Research wishes to avoid -an informed customer. And that speaks volumes itself.

      Caveat Emptor.

  26. avatarint19h says:

    Thank you for settling all the hype surrounding this particular round.

    Did you ever get a chance to do a similar review of Liberty “Civil Defense” 50gr 9x19mm round? That’s the one that they claim does 2000 FPS out of a handgun. There was a lot of talk around it back when it appeared, and a lot of people similarly dismissed it as BS, but I’m still curious – especially since nothing in the construction of their bullet indicates anything out of the ordinary, it’s just a simple mass-for-velocity trade-off. Although they also claim fragmentation due to the aforementioned velocity causing a much wider permanent wound cavity…

    I tried to find some actual info on it, especially tests – I don’t care much for speculation – but I’ve only seen one so far, which seems to be more supportive of their claims than not. It would be nice to have an independent verification (or debunking, as it may be).

    One other thing that I’m really curious about is how it would fare out of a 9mm carbine. It’s a well-established fact that lighter bullets get more velocity gain out of the longer carbine barrels than heavier ones, and so in theory, going for a lighter bullet would maximize the kinetic energy gain. One guy chrono’d it out of his Sterling, and claims a muzzle velocity of 2500 FPS… this is actually pretty close to 5.56 fired out of a 10″ SBR!

    I’ve had a chance to shoot it out of my Sub-2000 (no measurements, just plinking), and it has two other side benefits out of it – minimal recoil compared to heavier rounds (you get more recoil out of 9mm in those carbines because they’re usually straight blowback), and much flatter trajectory that permits “battle zero” out to almost 200 yards. All in all, this makes it a good choice for a carbine… provided that its terminal ballistics are actually good.

    • Hi int19h,

      Yes, I have shot and tested Liberty 9mm. The video review isn’t posted yet.

      “That’s the one that they claim does 2000 FPS out of a handgun”.
      I’d say it definitely could, if the barrel is long enough. From the short 3″ barrel I was testing it from, it clocked in at about 1915 fps. If I’d used a 4″ barrel, I have little doubt it would have hit 2000. I don’t think they’re exaggerating the velocity.

      ” it’s just a simple mass-for-velocity trade-off.”

      That does pretty much sum it up. They trade mass for velocity, and that makes their kinetic energy figures look really good… remember, when calculating KE, you use 1/2 times the mass times the velocity squared. So for 25% increase in mass, you’d get a 25% increase in KE. But if you increased the velocity by 25%, you’d get a 56% increase in kinetic energy! So if your selling point is “higher kinetic energy”, then you can raise it more by going with a lighter and faster bullet than you ever could by going with a heavier bullet.

      ” Although they also claim fragmentation due to the aforementioned velocity causing a much wider permanent wound cavity…”

      It does fragment, and that does create a wider permanent cavity in the really shallow area. It fragments and sends those shards throughout the temporary cavity, which maximizes the damage in the temporary cavity. Normally handguns don’t really produce much if any permanent damage through the temporary cavity, but fragmentation can lead to damage there. There’s definitely a bigger cavity in the shallow region of the block with a Liberty, as opposed to a conventional bullet.

      The tradeoff is in deep penetration. The Liberty in my tests sent about a 26-grain “base” to about 10″ to 11″. That’s not bad penetration; it’s below the FBI minimum but it’s still respectable. But it’s a pretty small piece of metal, about 1/5 the mass of a conventional bullet, and having such low mass means low momentum, which mean it may be deflected by bones and may not hit where intended. And with it being so small, it’ll be doing a lot less damage deep in the body, where you really need the bullet to be doing its maximum damage at that point.

      It makes a big temporary cavity, and the fragmentation leaves more damage in that temporary cavity than a conventional bullet does, but the depth of it is really shallow. It only extends to maybe 5″. So, in many ways, the damage profile of a Liberty looks very very similar to the damage profile from a R.I.P. If I put the two gel blocks side by side, you may not be able to tell the difference (unless you can make out the shape of the trocars).

      ” One guy chrono’d it out of his Sterling, and claims a muzzle velocity of 2500 FPS… this is actually pretty close to 5.56 fired out of a 10″ SBR!”

      That may be possible. I don’t know what the ultimate speed of the Liberty might be. Wish I had a Sub-2000 to test it from to see what the ultimate velocity and terminal performance would be like. If it got up to .223 rifle velocities, it’d be an interesting side-by-side comparison to try Liberty 50-grain against a .223 in about 50-grains. At that point, velocity to velocity, the differentiating factor is likely going to be bullet shape. That’s a test I’d like to run actually. Curses to Kel-Tec for not actually MAKING any Sub-2000′s that I can buy! :)

      • avatarint19h says:

        I think the result of the test would be substantially the same from any 9mm carbine, whether it is Sub2K or CX4 or Hi-Point or that new Taurus thingy; but the latter three are probably much easier to obtain for testing, especially the Hi-Point. It’s the 16″ barrel that makes all the difference in all of them.

        I’d be happy to provide my Sub2K for testing, but I’m in WA…

        As a side note, Sub2K can be easily had on GunBroker, it’s just that the price there is above MSRP (it usually starts at $400, but ends up closer to $500 by the end of the auction). From my own perspective, MSRP on Kel-Tec guns is basically pure fiction anyway, so when I got mine there, I was willing to ignore it and just go with the market price. Whether it is worth the $500 or not is a tough question that probably doesn’t have a single good answer. Personally I feel that it’s worth it for the light weight, compactness when folded (can stash it away in a 15″ laptop bag with a bunch of mags), and the ability to interchange mags with a handgun. It is actually my trunk gun at the moment. But it certainly has its downsides, like crappy sights and trigger, and hard to rack charging handle.

  27. avatarChris says:

    4 inches into a human body is vitals.. Hell 2 inches is.. Maybe try these tests on some sort of animals breast in gelatin to see actual vital puncture results. I don’t know who you may be defending against but I don’t need the initial spread going deeper than 4-6 inches…

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