Ballistic gelatin test results : .177 and .22 airguns


Brass Fetcher
April 1, 2007, 09:46 PM
I lucked up over the weekend and got my hands on an adult airgun and two pellet samplers from Straight Shooters and decided to test the pellets in ballistic gelatin.

Attached is the write-up of the testing and the pictures of the gelatin blocks and recovered pellets. The test consisted of some 24 different pellet types/brands of each of the two calibers. Please let me know what you think!

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April 2, 2007, 11:00 AM
Cool! I'm amazed at how deep some of them are going, we're for talking lethal with correct shot placement. All of that out of a fraction of 8 grains.

C. Rabbit
April 2, 2007, 03:28 PM
That's scary, primarily because I had a friend who got shot by a .177 pellet from an airgun when we were 11 years old or thereabouts. Luckily, it was winter and he was wearing a heavy coat that stopped it.

Thanks for the interesting report.


April 2, 2007, 09:12 PM
Do you have a recipe for balistic gell? If it works for knives it could be a valuble training aid.

Brass Fetcher
April 2, 2007, 11:16 PM
Yeah, the penetration depths on some of those pellets are sufficient to consider them a nasty little number. I was very disappointed by all hollowpoints except for the Crow Magnum in both calibers (I shot the .177" into a block today just to check for expansion - it did, on par with the .22" version).

@steeltiger - the recipe is not that hard and can be found on Google... making it is were the expense comes in - a good triple beam and thermometer is needed to get the mixture to the right temperature and gelatin powder/water ratio. Not a big deal, but it pays to do it right... the results are worth it.

Who would like to see knives/bayonets in gelatin?

On the same note - any archers here who live in N. Florida and want to shoot some gelatin?

April 3, 2007, 01:01 AM
I was very disappointed by all hollowpoints except for the Crow Magnum in both calibers...Yup, IMO HP pellets (with only few exceptions) are a scam.

April 3, 2007, 01:38 AM
I don't know if arrows would be particularly illuminating. Pretty much any respectable bow would shoot any arrow clean through all the gelatin in China. A field point would make a teeny hole, and a broadhead would make a bunch of slowly rotating slashes. I'd be more interested in seeing what one of those cheap $20 pistol crossbows can do, since that'd be a little more iffy.

Also, those pellet figures are very interesting. Especially the velocities. Just goes to show that you can't assume what a pellet's velocity will be based on weight alone.

Brass Fetcher
April 4, 2007, 12:01 AM
Yeah, the velocities of most of the pellets struck me as being inconsistent. Not being an airgun shooter, I have just recently heard about 'dieseling'. This seems to have been the case, to a lessor or greater extent for many of the shots. Some shots were a simple springing sound - others made my ears ring for a second. Hard to say. What I will say is this - Rodent Problem? Give me a .17HMR! :)

April 8, 2007, 10:02 PM
thanks, I'll have to look for the recipe, or maybe I'm better off looking for a supplier, I'll look for both.

April 8, 2007, 10:50 PM
My guess is that a 14.9gr 5mm pellet with a good power plant will better the .177 and the .22 cal. I think Beeman has resurrected the 5mm/.20 cal. And that reminds me "He has Risen" Happy Easter all.

April 9, 2007, 12:24 AM

Thank you for another very nice report!
The PDF is classy!

Request: Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun please.

Reason : Safety for kids learning to shoot.

I do shoot a egg from 5-7 yards to "impress" the point that just because this is a simple spring powered BB gun, it is a serious tool, and not a toy.

Granted the gelatin will not be "reactive" - still be a good a teaching tool.


Brass Fetcher
April 9, 2007, 10:51 AM
Hey Steve.

I will fit that in to the tests that I am about to do today. I broke mine (through pure usage) some years back - the Daisy site says that the maximum speed is 280 ft/sec for the Red Ryder. I will just reduce the number of pumps on my calibration BB gun - I have it here that I once fired a BB at 320 ft/sec and got 2.3cm penetration... just to let you know what to expect.


April 9, 2007, 11:29 AM

It is I that thanks you.

Listen, I know this gelatin costs money and all, so I was thinking perhaps the "scraps" or areas not shot/affected by the other testing, might be useful for the Daisy BB gun.

Safety and Awareness reasons as I shared earlier.

Primer only center-fire ctgs :
As we do to allow folks to "shoot" a gun and get accustomed to the gun going "bang" with a primer only case. Even a kid can shoot a Model 29 with assistance (heavy gun) and fire a primer only case.
"I shot a .44 magnum all by myself, and it did not hurt one bit" :p

I will fire a round at a pc of paper to demonstrate "just because there is no bullet, one has to remember The Four Rules of Safety."

I do this with primer only shotgun hulls too.
Rat Shot from .22 rim -fire, .38spl, 9mm, .45ACP, .44 mag...I also demonstrate for new shooters , especially kids.

There was a video many years ago used in Hunter Education showing a Center-fire Rifle round being fired and contrasted with a Hunting Arrow.
The Arrow was very destructive and did a lot of damage.
Very impressive visual demonstration to instill Safety always, no matter what one hunts with.


Brass Fetcher
April 9, 2007, 08:56 PM

Here are two BBs that I shot into a block this afternoon -

BB 1 - (topmost), impacted at 258 ft/sec and penetrated to 1.7".
BB 2 - impacted at 315 ft/sec and penetrated to 2.3".

The Daisy site gave the muzzle velocity of the Red Ryder as 280 ft/sec, so I feel these two shots give an idea of what to expect.

Please let me know if you would like the depths corrected - the block it was shot into was slightly less resistive than the 'perfect' block - also I have a high res copy of this photo if you would like it.


April 9, 2007, 09:28 PM
I had an RWS model 36 that chrono'd at 995 fps with a .177 pellet. It killed literally hundreds (we kept track) of various sized vermin from chipmunks to a racoon and coyote. It's all about shot placement! I took a few crows at a measured 50 yards, all with one shot.

The .177 is for serious pellet gunners, the .22 and .20 are for those who don't know any better and think that it's all about size. The bigger pellets don't have the velocity or sectional density to penetrate to hit the vitals on bigger critters, while the .177 will poke a nice little hole through just about anything. I used to have a bunch of links to great articles on the topic, but I lost them....

April 10, 2007, 12:15 AM

Thanks for shooting the BBs from a Red Ryder, I really appreciate it!

This will do just fine. I will forward a link to some folks to this thread , for that picture.

Safety Lessons and instilling these lessons if you will.


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