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Brobee
08-28-2013, 07:42 AM
Hi there folks!

So about 10 years ago (before my kids came!), some of you may remember when I had a website where I chronicled a big ballistic gelatin shooting extravaganza I'd spent a winter doing. I tested in ballistics gel pretty much everything from #9 shot all the way through the various buckshots and even a handful of different slugs. I also did a whole bunch of .223 and .308 rounds. Not only did I have a tonne of fun in the process, but I also learned a whole lot.

Then for various reasons, several years ago I took down the website where all the results were catalogued. I've allowed some of the photographs to survive over in one of the stickied forums at shotgunworld.com, and they occasionally get referenced in other forums (such as thehighroad.org) when folks ask about the performance/suitability of a paticular shot size for a paticular application.

In fact, on another forum in a similarly themed thread my old ballistics gel tests came up again and it got me a bit nostalgic as I remembered how much fun it had been to do all the testing. It also got me thinking about how much better it could be in today's world of HD cameras and YouTube!

That was pretty much it then....I knew what my next project would be and I got busy!

In addition to better video equipment and better media delivery mechanisms, there were other improvements to make. The first was in the actual preparation of the gelatin. Previously, I had been constrained to winter gelatin testing only, as I was using my unheated garage as the source of refrigeration required to make and store the gelatin blocks. I would have to wait until it was cold outside, then use a small space heater to keep my garage at 5 degrees C. I only had one gelatin mold, so it would take me a while to make enough gelatin, and then I would have to wait until the weather was 5 degrees outside so that I could move the gelatin to the range, get setup, and then shoot it while was still the proper temperature. Talk about a pain!

This time around I wanted the freedom to make/store gelatin at any time of the year, so I set out to make a poor-boy refrigerator that I could tow anywhere. It is pretty much a chest framed with 2x4s and lined with 4 inches of rigid board insulation. It sits on my utility trailer (so I can tow it anywhere), and is powered by a room air conditioner I've redneck-engineered to maintain 4 degrees celsius inside the chest.

Inbetween bouts of building the refrigerated chest, I got on the phone and ordered up 50 lbs of ballistics gelatin, some dimethylpolysiloxane (de-foamer), and propionic acid (mold & fungus inhibitor). I also had a local sheet meta fabricator make me two 8.5x10x18 gelatin molds from 18 gauge stainless. The last of the materials arrived last week, and this past weekend I set up to cast the first blocks....I was thrilled when the first block slid out of the mold!

http://www.eclecticworks.ca/pics/gelatin_testing_2013/gel_fridge_a.jpg


http://www.eclecticworks.ca/pics/gelatin_testing_2013/gel_fridge_b.jpg


http://www.eclecticworks.ca/pics/gelatin_testing_2013/gel_fridge_c.jpg


http://www.eclecticworks.ca/pics/gelatin_testing_2013/gel_fridge_d.jpg

Now a week later my refrigerated chest is pretty much full, and I'm getting organized for the long weekend to go out to the farm for the first bout of shotgun ballistics gelatin shooting! I'm starting out with a good selection of steel and lead BB, BBB, and #4 buckshot (both plated and unplaced, some with flight control wads and others with conventional wads). My second outing will focus on 00 buckshot and slugs, and I'll also do a session with a large variety of birdshot.

My plan is to do a separate video for each shell I'm testing, and to not only do the gelatin test but also some pattern testing at various ranges, and here's where I'd like feedback from all you folks....my question relates to the patterning component of the test protocol.

One option I'm considered is to take two shotguns - one a cylinder bored remington 870 and the other an 870 express with a screw in modified choke. I'd then do pattern testing at 10, 20, and 30 yards on a 3 foot by 3 foot patterning board. This would give a good visual representation of how a pattern grows over distance, and would also provide a preliminary contrast on the effects of choke for any given load.

The second option I'm considering is pretty much the same test as outlined above, however with two cylinder bored guns. One would be an 870 marine magnum, and the other would be a 590 mariner. The main learning from this test would be to see if, across a large spectrum of shotshells, two cylinder bored guns from different manufacturers produce comparable patterns.

Then the third option I was considering was to fix the patterning distance to 15 yards....close enough to have reasonably tight density but far enough away that the contrast between chokes and wad technologies is evident. I would then use 4 different guns for the pattern test - a cylinder bored 870, a cylinder bored 590, an 870 express with a modified choke, and a benelli m4 super with a modified choke. This is sort of a hybrid between the first two test outlined, and while it does not establish the maximum useful range of a choke/load combo, it gives the most amount of comparable observations across a large number of guns.

So re test protocol - which protocol did you choose and why?

Thanks for your thoughts!

Cheers,

Brobee

Satain
08-28-2013, 10:02 PM
Don't know but hell I am interested in any results that you will come to on any of your tests that you will try.

TV-PressPass
08-29-2013, 09:43 AM
I saw you mentioning ballistics gel in you M4 ad.

Excited to see what comes next!

Strewth
08-29-2013, 10:32 AM
Hmmm, those tests cover quite the range of possibilities...I guess I like the first one the most, showing different loads at different distances with different chokes would give me the most information?
Although I'm quite curious about the second, to see a pattern show down between two different manufacturers...I would guess off the cuff that they're the same?
The third one interests me for the same reason, always keen to see multiple guns fired:).
Very nice set up by the way, I love the rednecked A/C, with a generator that would be a great trailer to haul meat out of the bush on a warm day:).
Thanks for doing this whichever you decide.

Brobee
09-03-2013, 09:44 PM
So I've had two outings on this project so far and now have a monster volume of video to cut/slice/dice together....it's gonna take a while! In the interim, here's a couple of photo teasers:


Cross Section of inches 9 through 11 of the gel block shot with Remington T-Sized Nitro Steel:

http://www.eclecticworks.ca/pics/gelatin_testing_2013/Gelatin_ShotCloud_Steel_T_a.jpg

http://www.eclecticworks.ca/pics/gelatin_testing_2013/Gelatin_ShotCloud_Steel_T_b.jpg


And here's a patterning teaser, illustrating the magnitude of different pattern performance through the same gun at the same distance:

http://www.eclecticworks.ca/pics/gelatin_testing_2013/Pattern_BlackCLoud_BBB_a.jpg

http://www.eclecticworks.ca/pics/gelatin_testing_2013/Pattern_Upland_Lead_BB.jpg

Hope you all had a great summer!

Cheers,

Brobee

Satain
09-04-2013, 08:44 PM
Interesting...
Seems like for some reason the lower right hand side of your pattern is mostly void.
Oh ya and thanx for this Brobee.

Strewth
09-04-2013, 09:24 PM
Wow, that difference in pattern is nuts...well, if I'm reading it right? Only difference the composition of the pellets? Everything else same-same?

Brobee
09-04-2013, 10:44 PM
Wow, that difference in pattern is nuts...well, if I'm reading it right? Only difference the composition of the pellets? Everything else same-same?


While they were different materials in the pellets (steel vs lead), the I be.ieve big difference in pattern is because of their wad technology. If they had the same wad, conventional wisdom would suggest that the steel pellets should pattern tighter as they deform less on firing (harder shot). The theory goes that round pellets deflect off air resistance less than oblong and crushed pellets. The problem with to theory is that the black cloud shells also contain steel shot that is purposely deformed with a ring around it's circumference. I thing federal calls it their "flight stopper" technology.

I believe the difference is almost 100% wad related. The black cloud stuff has federal's flight control wad...essentially a wad that flares at the back end as it exits the muzzle, rather than petals that open up around the shot as most conventional wads. I also tested some lead loads that use the same wad technology....they had equally tight patterns at 25 yards (Hornady's varmint express coyote nickel plated bb).

I'll take some pictures of the various wads after I get some of the video processed.

Cheers,

Brobee

Brobee
09-08-2013, 07:59 AM
Yay! I finally got the first one edited together last night!

Federal's Premium Black Cloud BB:

http://youtu.be/CKteNMB69sU

As I have raw footage for more than a dozen more, I'd sure appreciate comments on format and content!

Cheers,

Brobee

Edenchef
09-08-2013, 09:46 AM
Very nice Brobee. Lot's of good information, moved right along. Good job.

Cheers!

Satain
09-08-2013, 03:02 PM
Yay! I finally got the first one edited together last night!

Federal's Premium Black Cloud BB:

http://youtu.be/YpPXdANtBww

As I have raw footage for more than a dozen more, I'd sure appreciate comments on format and content!

Cheers,

Brobee
By far the best informational ammunition post on this forum so far and thanx Brobee!

Tactical72
09-08-2013, 04:47 PM
One of the best edits I've seen. No fluff, on topic, and detailed info.

A corrupted individual
09-09-2013, 11:03 AM
Best ammo test I've seen, great job Brobee!

Brobee
09-15-2013, 03:49 PM
Just finished editing up Episode 1.1 on Winchester's BlindSide Elite Steel Hex BB:

http://youtu.be/CZzbHavPA8k

I've got alot left to edit: 4 more BB rounds (various steel, lead, and plated lead), a couple BBB & T rounds, 4 varieties of plated and unplated #4 buckshot, some #2 buckshot, and 4 different loads of 00 buck.

I'm back into gelatin production mode too, and in my next batch of shooting I'll start knocking off the slugs....:)

Cheers, and thanks for watching!

Brobee

Satain
09-15-2013, 04:57 PM
Sweet & Can't Wait!
Although I am kind of partial to the black cloud after watching this 1.

Brobee
09-15-2013, 05:44 PM
Sweet & Can't Wait!
Although I am kind of partial to the black cloud after watching this 1.

Federal also does their black cloud in a 3 inch load of BBB....I've got a future episode waiting to edit on this BBB load where I'll show how, in both my cylinder bore guns, it patterned significantly tighter and had awesome penetration. I'm pretty sure it's what I'm taking coyote hunting this coming winter!

Brobee

Satain
09-16-2013, 11:43 AM
Federal also does their black cloud in a 3 inch load of BBB....I've got a future episode waiting to edit on this BBB load where I'll show how, in both my cylinder bore guns, it patterned significantly tighter and had awesome penetration. I'm pretty sure it's what I'm taking coyote hunting this coming winter!

Brobee
Try the 3.5 magnum turkey load. With a turkey choke drops them in the dead in there tracks.

Brobee
09-21-2013, 10:19 AM
Just finished editing another...

Hornady's Heavy Magnum Nickel Plated Lead BB:

http://youtu.be/oOySzex190o

Have a couple more BB episodes left to edit, then I'll move on to some #4 buck and 00 buck!

Cheers,

Brobee

Brobee
09-21-2013, 10:20 AM
Try the 3.5 magnum turkey load. With a turkey choke drops them in the dead in there tracks.

Gasp...I've only got 870s with 3 inch chambers....time to go shopping!

Brobee
09-25-2013, 07:30 AM
And another

Remington Hypersonic Steel BB:

http://youtu.be/xs1SzUzhN2Q

Was thinking about changing the format for tightly patterning buckshot episodes: gelatin tests at 5 yards, 20 yards, and 40 yards, but only with a cylinder bored gun. Thoughts?

Cheers,

Brobee

Brobee
10-01-2013, 06:54 AM
Just finished cutting and uploading another:

Remington Express Long Range Lead BB:


http://youtu.be/KnyJ9t8yO_Y

Will be leaving the BB world for now, next up is Federal's Premium 00 buckshot into gelatin at 5 yards, 20 yards, and 40 yards.

Cheers!

Brobee

Brobee
10-06-2013, 10:47 AM
Hi there folks!

I just finished editing my first episode of series 2 which will look at long range testing of shotgun ammo in ballistics gel.

Federal Premium Copper Plated Lead 00 Buckshot with FliteControl Wad:


http://youtu.be/S546W_L0tFo

Thoughts about the test format?

Cheers,

Brobee

Brobee
10-13-2013, 07:23 AM
Got another one edited up this weekend:

Hornady's Varmint Express Lead #4 Buckshot:


http://youtu.be/3VTk_7884r8

I got out this past weekend and filmed a bunch of different slug reviews...will get to editing them pronto!

No criticism of the new format?

Cheers, and thanks for watching.

Brobee

JustBen
10-13-2013, 11:09 AM
This is just plain awesome. I like the no nonsense approach to testing ammo.

Strewth
10-13-2013, 11:54 PM
I second JustBen, I'd love to criticize someone's hard work;), but that was very concise, with good audio and video quality, and you spoke at what to me was the right pace for comprehension. I don't know much about gel block composition, but I like seeing pellets inside them:). Very well done videos! Sorry you had problems with your 870, that's always a let down right out of the box:(. Good sales pitch for Hornady too:p, those Varmit Express look impressive in a #4 shot! That FliteControl pattern is impressively tight as well!
Subscribed

Satain
10-15-2013, 06:44 PM
Hey Brobbe can we see what the Hornady 12g STX is like?

Brobee
10-27-2013, 09:48 AM
Got another long range test edited and uploaded yesterday; Hornady's Heavy Magnum Coyote Nickel Plated Lead BB:


http://youtu.be/smJRQHss26w

I have a long range steel BBB test to edit and upload, then I'll get started on episodes for all the slugs I've tested....:)

Cheers,

Brobee

Brobee
01-01-2014, 08:41 AM
Got a bit distracted with this fall's hunting season....brought the camera with me though!


http://youtu.be/41wBr7-QQlI

Performance test of Federal's Vital-Shok Copper Plated 00 Buckshot - 55 yard deer kill. The episode's a little longer than my usual efforts, but I'm still somewhat searching for the right amount of balance.

Cheers,

Brobee

Foxer
02-24-2014, 06:44 PM
Lovin' your work. Fun to watch and puts a real sharp point on things.

mavrik9
02-24-2014, 09:18 PM
Another great job Brobee, always enjoy watching and learning from your videos.

webster
02-24-2014, 10:16 PM
Great videos, Brobee. You've got yourself one more subscriber. :) I really enjoyed the 00 buckshot and deer hunting videos in particular. That Federal load will likely be coming with me next fall, thanks to your testing.