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By ShootingTheBull410

Ribs and chicken? Sounds like a barbecue, not an ammo showdown! But, yes, it’s an ammo test – not really one I wanted to conduct, but one that I felt I had to do to (hopefully) clear up some misconceptions among the ammo-test-watching community . . .

In my prior tests of the G2 R.I.P. ammo (Part I and Part II), I got results that were quite comparable to what other independent testers got. But my conclusions and opinions of the round are quite different from what the company claims, and it caused some confusion and disagreement. Of course, being that this is the Internet, confusion and disagreement are inevitable. Even knowing that, though, I thought I should try to clarify the situation.

What confusion am I talking about? Well, I showed in my testing that the R.I.P.’s fragments (aka “trocars”) break off and form separate wound channels, just like G2 says they will. I also demonstrated that they penetrate about 3.5” to 4” into ballistic gel – just like other tests have shown.


Apparently people think that looks really impressive.  I am underwhelmed.  So where it apparently got controversial is when I said that those fragments would result in probably only a nasty flesh wound, but not much more than that.  And I said that they wouldn’t likely penetrate deeply in the body, and almost certainly wouldn’t be shredding anyone’s internal organs, regardless of what the company claims.  But some commenters seem quite certain that I’m wrong on that, and that 3.5” to 4” of penetration should put the trocars firmly in the middle of the heart and lungs and should be a tremendously devastating wounding mechanism that would, indeed, shred internal organs.  I’d like to clear that up, because I think it’s important that people making decisions on their ammo should be working with the most complete set of information possible.

I can see the logic in how they reach this conclusion – after all, if you stick a ruler up against the side of your chest and measure 4” deep, you’ll find that yeah, your heart and vitals are easily within 4” of the front of your chest (unless you’re extremely heavy or perhaps astonishingly muscular).  I’m relatively average, and this is what a ruler along the side of my chest would look like:


But here’s the key element that some people don’t seem to be factoring in:

Four inches of penetration in ballistic gel, is not the same as four inches of penetration through a chest!

Just because a bullet or a fragment penetrates 4” in gel, doesn’t mean it’ll go that far in a body!  In fact, there’s a good chance it may not even break the skin!  Ballistic gel is not a body, and it’s not intended to simulate a body, and 4” of penetration in gel doesn’t mean 4” of penetration in a body.  To demonstrate that, I went and shot a variety of low-power projectiles to show just what kind of rounds can penetrate 3.5” to 4” through ballistic gel.

In the video you’ll see me demonstrate the following projectiles:


a BB from a BB gun…


a CCI pest-control shotshell, made to be used against rats and snakes, easily penetrates 3.5” to 4”, with some pellets even reaching 5”.


And birdshot from a Taurus Judge (Public Defender, with the 2” barrel), which well exceeds 4” of penetration (and that still doesn’t make birdshot from a handgun suitable for personal defense against a human attacker!)

If that’s not enough to convince you that 4” of penetration is No Big Deal, then this last test might put the icing on the cake – as I easily pushed my finger through 4” of ballistic gel.


Now, none of those projectiles could be classified as “manstoppers” or something that would “take out all your internal organs.”  I think anyone with any experience would agree that they’re all likely to cause flesh wounds (well, except for the finger) but not much more than that, and none of them is likely to penetrate deeply and disrupt the vital organs. At all. Especially the finger.

So what does this have to do with chickens?  I’m getting to that.  While I believe that the trocars are not likely to be any more damaging than birdshot, G2 Research (in an attempt to show how devastating their bullet design was) decided to employ it against a chicken.  A chicken.  A four-pound bird.  And, surprise surprise, it was utterly devastating on the poor chicken – just like birdshot would be.

I actually think G2 Research was clever in their choice of target (a little chicken), because it would be ideal for their R.I.P. round, because a chicken is only a few inches thick, so the trocars might actually be able to contribute to some damage.  They used an expensive slow-mo camera and got some rather dramatic footage of the bullet bursting forth from the poor chicken.  So I strung up three chickens, side by side, and shot them.  I used a G2 R.I.P. round from a 6.02” barrel, for maximum power and disruption, to make the most dramatic footage I could and to attempt to replicate the results they got (which, I think I did reasonably well).  Then, to put it in context, I shot the second chicken from the exact same gun, but this time using a conventional hollowpoint (a 124-grain +P Gold Dot).  Entertainingly, it produced nearly identical results to the G2 R.I.P. round in terms of overall destruction and exit wound!  Finally, I shot the third chicken with a round that’s made for the job – birdshot, from a Taurus Judge.  The resulting wound was horrific, it blew a quarter of the chicken away, but didn’t provide much in the way of an exit wound.

So yes, the G2 R.I.P. would be effective against a chicken.  Of course, so would a Gold Dot.  But does anyone seriously think that effectiveness against a four-pound bird, would equate to effectiveness against a 200-pound human attacker?  Really?

To address that question, I went to the next level.  How can you test how effective it would be against a human?  There is no way to actually accurately simulate shooting a human body, and there’s no facility where you can go test ammo on convicted pedophiles or anything like that, so I did the best I could at coming up with a simulation that might bear some vague semblance of accuracy.  I attempted to create an analogue of a human body, for bullet penetration purposes.  I took some pork ribs (bones only, removed the meat from them) and embedded them in the front of a couple of gel blocks, a couple of inches from the front.  I then covered the block with a layer of pig skin, and then covered the whole thing with four layers of denim.  This was to simulate a torso: initially the bullet will encounter the denim, then punch through the skin, then 2” of gel that simulate a couple of inches of fat & muscle on the chest, then it will hit a wall of ribs, and finally burst through them into a block of soft tissue inside the “ribcage”.


The gun for this test was a Springfield XD in 9mm, mounted on a machine rest so I could precisely aim it and guarantee a hit on the ribs.  I know that sometimes people put a whole rack of ribs in gel, but to me that makes no sense – leaving the meat attached means that there’s a good chance that the bullet will hit between the ribs, and – what’s the point of that?  If you want to test how the bullet performs against ribs, you should make certain that your bullet hits a rib.  I took every effort to ensure that in these tests, the bullets would definitely hit a bone square on.

I then shot a G2 R.I.P. round into the “simulated torso”, and I had a duplicate “simulated torso” gel block that I shot a Gold Dot 9mm 124gr +P round into.

The results were that the trocars sheared off and largely impacted on the surface of the ribs, although a couple of them did slip past and ended up just inside the ribs.  The base of the R.I.P. bullet smashed through a rib and penetrated to 12.25”, which is quite respectable.  But the “trocar” petals really contributed pretty much nothing to the overall wound, other than making a bigger superficial flesh wound in front of the ribs.


At the point of impact, the ribs were 2” deep in the gel.  They’re about 1.5” deep at the top, but they “floated” a little inwards as the gel cooled so they became slightly angled.  Even so, they were no more than 2” deep, which is within the window established as suitable by the Canadian Police Research Centre in their studies of ribs in gel.


As for the Gold Dot, it also punched right through the ribs, expanded, and continued penetrating to 17”.


The ribs were a little further in; at the point of impact for the Gold Dot the ribs were 2.5” from the front of the block.  It expanded as designed, created a six-inch long expansion cavity from 1” to 7”, and came to rest at 17”.

I examined the bones thoroughly from the G2 R.I.P. shot.  I recovered five trocars, and I observed absolutely no damage to the ribs from any trocar.  The rib that was hit by the bullet was shattered, of course, but there was no additional damage to any of the other ribs.

My conclusions at this point are that the “trocars” stand little chance of doing any real damage to a person’s vital organs.  The vital organs are, largely, all encased within the ribcage, and the trocars show little ability to actually damage, break, or penetrate ribs.  They may possibly slip between ribs, but in this test even the trocars that were found on the inside of the ribs, were found extremely close to the ribcage.  They wouldn’t have gone far and they wouldn’t have done much in the way of damage.

Which leads me to conclude that the deep-penetrating base is really the only real, substantial wounding factor that you can reliably count on, with the G2 R.I.P. round.  And it does penetrate well, and, with proper shot placement, it could indeed cause an incapacitating hit even after hitting ribs.  But – so would a Gold Dot, and the Gold Dot weighs two and a half times as much as the R.I.P. base does, and it expands to a much larger diameter, and it penetrates deeper.


Above is a photo of the two bullets that I recovered from this test.  Wouldn’t you want the bigger, heavier, deeper-penetrating bullet?  The FBI specifies an acceptable range of 12” to 18” of penetration, with a preference for as close to 18” as they can get.  (remember, that’s penetration through gel, not penetration through a body – we all know that no humans are 18” thick!  Well, a few are, but not in general…)

And, as long as we’re considering different types of ammo, and comparing the G2 R.I.P.’s base against other bullets, how would it compare against a Federal Premium 147-grain HST in 9mm?


Now, to be clear, this isn’t a ribs-to-ribs comparison.  This HST in this photo did not penetrate ribs; it was recovered from a conventional 4-layer-denim test.  So it’s possible that it might not expand quite that large if it’d encountered a rib first, although I doubt it would have made much of a difference – the Gold Dot is 95% the same size as Gold Dots taken from a rib-less denim-covered gel test.  And the G2 R.I.P. base is always going to be the same size, since it’s a solid slug and it doesn’t expand regardless of what barriers it encounters.  So I think the above comparison is a reasonably accurate example of what you can expect to get.

The point is – the base of the G2 R.I.P. is a good penetrator, but if you’re carrying a 9mm round, you can get much more from a conventional bullet than from the R.I.P.’s base.  So the only thing the G2 R.I.P. is bringing to the party is the “trocars,” and – frankly, I don’t see where they bring much value.

Now, one further point of discussion that isn’t brought up much, but really should be: what about having to shoot through an arm?  I don’t think a lot of people understand this; they seem to think that when we discuss “shooting through an intervening arm” we’re talking about someone holding their hand up in front of them (maybe in a defensive posture?)  But that’s not it at all.  Look at this picture for an example of what I’m talking about:


In that shot, I stuck a target on my chest to show where the vital organs are.  You can see that as I “point a gun at you”, the arms obscure and block the target.  If someone’s pointing a gun at you, you may very well have to shoot through their arms to reach the chest (and, hopefully, the vital organs).  This is a common scenario, and law enforcement ammo specifications take this into account (which is why the FBI specifies a bare minimum of 12” of penetration capability, and why they prefer up to 18”).  The question then becomes: what will happen if you have to make that shot with an R.I.P. round?  The trocars will split off in the forearm, doing little more than making a flesh wound, and the base will probably break through and may hit the chest.  In this scenario, the trocars will almost certainly be of little use.  And, in this scenario, I think you can clearly see how you’d be much better off with that big giant HST or that big Gold Dot that penetrates 17”, instead of the little R.I.P. base.

Now, I can give you an alternate scenario where the G2 R.I.P. trocars might be superbly effective – if you had to shoot someone in the throat, for example.  In that case, they might split off and hit the arteries or windpipe and cause substantial damage.  But, as demonstrated in the chicken shots, the Gold Dot will likely create a similar amount of damage, so … to me, it comes down to whether you have a round that can perform in all scenarios, or only in a few.  And to me, the choice is clear.

I hope that I have adequately explained how I came to those conclusions, and cleared up some of the confusion in the process.  I don’t care what decision you come to, it’s your life and your gun and your choice.  I just hope that I’ve clarified things enough that you can make that choice based on facts and on observed performance, rather than on over-the-top marketing.

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  1. look, I have tested my Crossman 357 CO2 pellet gun, listed about 425 fps, in ballistics gel for $hi!s and giggles, and it penetrates 5 inches. It won’t even kill a raccoon, let alone a human, even if I put it right up between the 3rd and 4th intracostal space between the ribs and pulled the trigger. If someone does not believe this, save yourself a ton of money and aggravation, buy a pellet gun, and test it yourself. On an actual raccoon or groundhog, with the proper permits of course. Good luck with that.

    • by the way, I will be very sad to see this debate settled, because I really enjoy this series, not least of which is the extreme overreaction and comments – OMG facts!

  2. Yep, the new phaser doesn’t live up to its hype. But the cutting edge fanbois need to believe. It’s their money, and their lives. You did your public service by showing why trocars are a gimmick.

    If they choose to ignore your efforts. Their money, their lives.

  3. Well apparently G2’s marketing department needs to start paying you off sponsoring you (as they apparently are some of the other reviewers). Then you’d understand the genius of their design.
    I can’t wait for the video showing the G2 round penetrating a Russian tank, with the trocars splitting off and killing everyone inside.

  4. The company is too invested now to back out and say, “yeah, its just scary looking. Just stick to established, tested, proven self-defense loads. Unless of course you are accosted by a gang of watermelons and chickens while touring the rib locker of a meat processing plant.” I’ll carry my Hornady and Barnes until they finally pass a gun ban that works so I don’t have to carry anymore. (sarcasm)

  5. The damage is done. Guys at my job are already high-fiving about the new “super ammo.” I was skeptical of the claims even before STB410 got ahold of it due to the Le Mas “blended metal” ammunition debacle of the early 2000’s. However, no matter how many times I tell people that they’re falling victim to marketing hype they won’t listen.

    Slow-motion photography of trocars coming out of a water balloon = marketing win.

    • Please continue to preach the “blended metal”, LeMas, RBCD, gospel brother. The more who are informed, the harder it will be for charlatans like Bulmer to successfully offload their snake oil through slick marketing.

      That debacle is THE primary reason all newfangled whiz bang better-way-to-slice-bread ammos are an extremely hard (read: impossible) sell for me.

      Hell… I own a few boxes of Lehigh Defense ME (174gr .45 and 100gr .38+P, for the record). I’ve read every test result I can get my hands on… I’ve even seen the massive petal expansion first-hand. I’m _still_ not convinced enough to carry them over DPX or HST. Seven/eight inches penetration… just not enough for comfort sake.

      Perhaps STB410 will take Lehigh on as a test subject at some point as well.

  6. Thank you, ShootingTheBull410, for telling it like it is. Our lives and the lives of our families may depend on it. It’s kinda sad to see everyone at the LGS scrambling to get their hands on the R.I.P. rounds, spending boo-koo bucks over some over hyped bloatware. But I just smile as I grab a box of Rangers and FedHSTs knowing that I have a dependable round that should put down anything breaking down my door/tent.

  7. I do not see why ballistic gel is being used for every test when you should buy a pig and see how much damage occurs and if it is fatal or not. After the test is complete you can dig out the fragments and roast the pig.

    • Riiiiiiight. And just how much do you think a whole hog would cost every time he felt the need to test a new ammunition type?

      I recently bought a whole cow, but the farm sells whole hogs, too. $525 before processing.

    • If you are interested, there were the Strasbourg goat tests done many years ago. Different rounds were fired into live goats to measure effectiveness. A quick search should get you the parameters, and results; not sure if the goats were BBQ’ed afterward.

    • A friend on mine got shot in the face with a b.b. gun, and the b.b. got stuck in his cheek just right below his eye, he was real lucky.

  8. Thanks allot for the test blog. It is clear the G2 RIP round is not as effective as it appears from the over-hype. That federal round looks much more effective and the last thing I’d want to get hit with of the three rounds tested here.
    Thank you.

  9. I use to enjoy testing ammo when I lived out in the sticks. But since moving to SWF I no longer can do it in my yard. I usually avoid watching others gel testing. And just follow the Docs testing and LE catalogs. ATK/Federal/Speer ,Win,Rem.
    Your the only guy who I can tolerate!! That sounded harsh . But I`m so thankful you don’t spend time going over the wound track /cavity when handgun ammo is being tested.

    I use standard pressure 124gr HST in my P30S because of the mild recoil it has. Plus it penetrates more in bare gel than the 124gr+P HST and expands more in Bare Gel than the 147gr and 124gr+P
    And that and I live in HOT SWF and not worried about heavy clothing . I do believe in heavy bullets and use 180gr HST in my soft shooting P229.

  10. What the hell is up with the “standard 4 layers of denim”? Apparently, I’ve been getting dressed *completely* wrong all my life. I mean seriously……Jay effing Leno doesn’t wear that many layers of denim. How about this: shoot through a layer of leather and a layer of t-shirt cotton if you want to simulate the kind of clothes a target would be likely to wear.

  11. A bb or a .22 bullet will kill. However, if you want to walk away alive, you want to drop your vic quick & expired. You never know how your target is dressed or trained; penitration, punch, & a large mag is going to win most of the time. Best advise is learn where to hit & practice, practice, practice. Take NRA approved training classes for offence n defence. And practice, practice, practice

  12. Great article and it answered a lot of my questions on this RIP stuff.
    I’ll stick to a 230 grain .45 fmj and we can forget about 4 layers of denim stopping it.
    Too many variables with “specialized” ammo and if a round won’t reliably penetrate to at least 14 inches of gel how will it perform on a big ‘roid monkey on crystal meth ?
    Human muscle is a heck of a lot tougher than jello.

  13. Great article! I’m honestly a little disappointed since the videos made it look so “devastating”… but I’m glad I did a little more research before dropping $47+ dollars on 20 rounds…. I’ll stick to Hornady for my personal security.
    I figured it was too good to be true…

  14. Seems to me that the RIP does well in the test.
    Okay, so the Trocars don’t penetrate bone…..who wants a bunch of fragments ripping up their insides?
    I think this is a grand case of a blogger that has not come up with anything himself….he tears others down.

  15. I bought .40 cal g2 ammo big mistake it almost cost me my life low recoil jammed my fn fnx 40 after first shot. I should have shoot it first or reaserch it instead relying on untested ammo my mistake DO NOT CARRY THIS AMMO IN FN fnx .40 it will jam after every round.

  16. Yes, Mr. Zimmerman, who promised to do his own test, did it……wait. This is a replay of the YT videos. Not sure how this differs from the “bait and switch” we see so often from the gun glam gang. Guess the cost of a box of these things and actually delivering a test is beyond “The Truth about Guns”.

  17. Wow. Slaughtered the scientific method and multiple errors in the conclusion.
    First birdshot is an effective defense round. Like Glaser. Massive damage, total energy transfer.
    Second, I was sceptical about RIP but I found it to be a very effective round in every environment except when it comes to penetration and even there, it performed better than expected (not sure how that happened unless the clothes/glass/dirt clogged it up and kept it together.
    Bottem line. What an idiot. If you can’t figure it out by reading the author, Google some of his “hypotheses” and see how wrong the author is about everything

  18. This ammo is garbage don’t waste your money. I have a SR9C I had in a 10 shot clip 3 stove pipes and 4 misloads there is not enough powder to make the slide work properly . In a LCP 380 the bullet comes loose from the shell after a couple of times rechambering. I’ve had the bullet separate by 1-32 to 1/64th of an inch. Very dangerous situation. Save your money go with a better known brand


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