As you can read from the caveat to the 380 series, there’s now ample acceptance of the idea that the Clear Ballistics gel just doesn’t mirror proper organic gel in its results.

Approaching this from a data science perspective, I’m concerned by:

  • Reliance solely on anecdotal and/or expert testimony — not that I doubt the experts, but data speaks loudly.
  • As with the ammo tests, ‘studies’ that have just a few rounds. If collecting the 352 (and still growing) samples taught me anything, it’s that the variance in pistol results is very large.
More than 30 XTP rounds from various studies in clear gel show wide variance in results.

Inspired by some commentary on ‘my’ tests — and just to reiterate, none of these are ‘my’ tests, just data from others’ tests — I set out to revisit all the sites (pages or videos) for each test and mark the test as being done in clear gel or organic. The below-cited Police One article implied no comparison was possible between the two. I wanted to know.

Turns out, out of 352 samples I’d collected, 292 were done in clear gel, 26 in organic, and 34 were chrono readings only and not any gel. Of the O-samples, there’s only any significant numbers in XTP and Critical Defense, and 3 of my CD samples don’t track the expansion.

This is not the sample size I’m looking for — so everything that follows is at best preliminary.

Critical Defense Samples – Clear vs. Organic

Visually, there looks like what the anecdotal stories say — less penetration and more expansion in organic. What about XTP?

XTP samples vary widely!

(I’ve dropped any attempt at drawing 12″ and 18″ lines here — I both a) trust the experts that much and b) the point of this exercise is to suss out how much clear varies from the benchmark!)

If we take a median result for these two rounds, again, it supports the “more penetration in clear” hypothesis:

Not “lots” of difference but some

Again, very preliminary. I can’t stand on a sample size of a couple dozen. Further, all these samples are .380. The behavior may be different with 9mm or .40 or .45 or 10mm or… but I think I’m comfortable extending these thoughts:

  1. The evidence so far wholly supports the expert opinions. If one clicked in with doubts about their statements, those doubts should be lessened.
  2. Unlike some others’ posts, I think it would be possible to compose a correlation between clear and organic gel (something like clear will show N% more penetration and M% less expansion than the same round in organic) but it will take quite a few more organic samples to get there.

(Any bored people with tons of organic gel and spare ammo, please send both to …. but seriously, go run some tests and post them so they can be added to the data).

By Wererat

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