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Ballistic Gel Testing with Winchester Ammunition

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Ballistic gelatin testing with four different Winchester rounds illustrates the type of ammunition we want for personal defense — rounds that will reliably stop a threat.

Rounds Tested

The four Winchester Ammunition rounds test fired out of a full-size Springfield Armory XD-M handgun and into a 16-inch 10% FBI-style ballistic gelatin block are:

  • Winchester ARX Inceptor solid point in 9mm. For more on this round, watch this dedicated ARX Inceptor video.
  • Winchester Defender 124-grain bonded jacketed hollow point +P in 9mm
  • Winchester W Train and Defend 147-grain bonded hollow point, standard pressure and subsonic
  • Winchester Silver Tip, an older type of hollow point design

The Results

The ARX Inceptor went straight through and exited the gelatin block. No surprise, as it is not frangible and not designed to expand. The other three rounds all remained within the block.

The 16-inch block is designed to mimic the width of a human torso, and the goal when shooting is for the rounds to penetrate deeply but remain within the block, where they will cause the most damage. Ideal penetration is 12 to 15 inches. The gelatin block shows what bullets will do to human tissue and organs, not taking into account ribs or spinal column. Our gel block is wrapped in light clothing to further approximate what happens when a bullet hits a human body.

The Defender +P round penetrated 14.5 inches and the W Train and Defend round 13.5 inches, in other words, ideal penetration for both of these rounds, and that is why bonded hollow points are recommended for personal defense and as part of your self-defense tools.

The Silver Tip round only penetrated about 9.5 inches. Some fragmentation of this round is also visible within the gel block. The two bonded hollow points hold and retain their weight and expand uniformly.

Shoot rounds regularly in training and practice to make sure that any bonded hollow point ammunition you choose is reliable in your carry gun.