Unless you’ve been in a sensory-deprivation tank for the last 72 hours, you’ve probably heard of G2 Research’s new G2 RIP 9mm bullet. Thanks to a dramatic video and some compelling performance claims, word of G2 Research’s new “wonder bullet” has spread through the blogosphere like gonorrhea at an 18th-century naval port. We at TTAG have been inundated with requests about it. On my ShootingTheBull410 YouTube channel and blog, I’ve been flooded with requests. People are obviously impressed by what the video is showing them, and they want to know — is it for real? Is this really and truly the last bullet you’ll ever need? . . .
Well, that’s what their marketing says anyway. Those are big words, certainly. And there’s plenty of skepticism out there too. After all, in the ammo world it seems like a new “wonder bullet” comes along every year or two. Was it really that long ago that LeMas, RBCD, ExtremeShock, DRT, and Liberty first burst on the scene? How many “wonder bullets” are there, and — will wonders never cease? Probably not. Not as long as the gun community has such a rabid appetite for them.
We’ve tried to get G2 Research to send us some to review. So far, no response. I’ve tried to buy some myself and haven’t gotten through to them. Their authorized retailer, Dixie Ammo Dump has no mention of it and their phone recording says something on the order of, “If you’re calling about G2RIP ammo, hang up, go to armthepopulace.com and look for it there. If you don’t see it, we’re out of stock. When we get some, you’ll see it there.” I called their regional distributor and was told that it will be sold nationally through firequest.com, sgammo.com, ammunitiondepot.com, and ammotogo.com. None of them have it in stock yet.
So no, we can’t test it for you… yet. But we will.
Until then, are there any observations we can make? Sure — a couple. First, I am quite optimistic about one aspect of it — it’s a fully CNC-machined bullet, and that means that it’s using an advanced technology over the traditional “melt some lead and pour it in a mold” technique of bullet manufacturing. I believe that newer technology can lead to new performance and, possibly, to better performance.
I also believe that machining bullets can potentially result in new types of performance that we never could have gotten from pouring lead. As an example, let’s look at TTAG’s 2013 Ammo Of The Year, Lehigh Defense’s Maximum Expansion in .45 Colt. This is a bullet that expands to nearly 2″ in diameter, and the petals fold flat. It’s a terrifying round, and it exists because it’s 100% CNC-machined. It’s computer-designed and manufactured to strict tolerances by being machined completely out of copper. The designers can engineer it to do things that would simply be impossible from poured lead. They changed what we can expect from bullet performance, through design and technology.
So — is it possible that G2 Research has done the same thing? Have they created a bullet that can outperform traditional ammo, by using technology and machining? Possibly.
I’m not one of the naysayers or skeptics who instantly dismiss new offerings. Instead, I’m an analyst who likes to put claims to the test. Someone who likes to actually discover what the true performance is, and publish those results. I am very interested in putting this stuff to the test using standard testing protocols as developed by the International Wound Ballistic Association, using standardized flesh simulants. And I’d really like to see what happens when one of these bullets impacts an organic flesh simulant. It’s that — and only that — which will tell us whether we’re looking at something really “new” here.
In the meantime, is there anything else we can determine from what the G2 Research team has shared with us? Sure — at least one of their claims is 100% balderdash. They say in their video that their ammo acts like “a hole saw” when ripping through barriers. That’s utterly absurd.
It looks like a hole saw, yes, but act like one? Consider this — a normal 9mm handgun barrel’s rifling delivers one rotation in about 10″ of travel. G2 says that their ammo travels at 1,265 feet per second. That means that when it hits a barrier, it’s not going to sit there spinning and sawing through that barrier — it’s going to have traveled about a foot past the barrier before it’s even completed one rotation! That ain’t a hole saw.
They say it’s great at “effectively ripping through obstacles.” Nonsense — it will smash through obstacles, just like every other bullet does. Note: I’m not saying it won’t go through obstacles and still perform; it may very well do that. What I’m saying is that the claim or representation that it’s “like a hole saw” and that it will “rip through obstacles” is over-hyped marketingspeak, and it’s unfortunate that they’re stretching to make such claims.
I have to say, it’s this type of over-the-top promotion that makes me cautious or, yes, even skeptical about the product. I’m not even getting into the claims about the “acoustic wave” and other such questionable statements. And why do they show their bullets being fired from full-auto pistols? Is it to have the viewer somehow believe that this ammo makes their gun full-auto? That’s some dramatic imagery, yes, but it makes no sense. None of us are using full-auto pistols, so why show it with no explanation?
Their claims about energy don’t make sense either. They list a weight of 96 grains, and a velocity of 1265 feet per second with “muzzle energy” at “490”. They don’t say 490 what. We’re left to assume that they’re talking about foot-pounds. of energy, like every other ammo manufacturer quotes. However, using the standard formula for kinetic energy, 96 grains at 1265 fps yields just 341 ft/lbs, nowhere near the 490 they claim. So — is it a mistake? Or are they perhaps trying to quote their energy figures in, say, joules? I don’t know.
[ed: G2 has since updated their site, claiming muzzle energy of 370]
They say “it is a projectile like no other in history.” Forgive me, but poppycock. I will say that it certainly doesn’t look like any other projectile, that’s for sure. But to say it’s like no other? Er, might want to fact-check that one… The G2 RIP cartridge is a CNC machined projectile that has a solid base with machined petals that break off, causing multiple wound paths in the temporary cavity. The solid base continues forward to cause deep penetration. Sounds just like the Lehigh Defense Controlled Fracturing bullet. Or the Cutting Edge Personal Home Defense. In fact, except for the detaching base, it’s not even really all that different from the Winchester PDX1 12-gauge segmenting slug, is it?
So why aren’t we all using Lehigh or Cutting Edge ammo as “the last round we ever needed?” Perhaps it’s because neither of those companies launched their ammo with such an over-the-top campaign. And there’s no denying that video has been very effective in ginning up interest in the G2 Research product. As of the time of writing this, it’s gotten nearly a million views on YouTube.
So, yeah…their marketing turns me off. But it’s also what’s (apparently) selling every round they can make, so I don’t know that I can fault them for that. But what I can say is this — we here at The Truth About Guns like to get down to the truth about guns. And ammo. And we plan on doing so.
We will get ahold of some of this G2RIP ammo and we will test it professionally. Then we’ll report back truthfully and honestly about what it really, truly does. It may turn out that we end up verifying each and every one of the claims in their video. Or we may end up disproving their claims. Or somewhere in between. In the end, the only thing that matters is how the ammo actually performs. Is it better than what we’ve had? Is it an advancement in personal defense or law enforcement ammo? Or is it, yet again, another “wonder bullet” in a long line of wonder bullets?
We’ll find out. And we’ll let you know. Just as soon as we can get some.