Rancorous debate often accompanies the topic of selecting a self-defense cartridge. Everyone has an opinion and cites various authorities to bolster their positions. Perhaps the most frequently used standard in the best caliber for self defense debate is the FBI ammunition test protocol. But, is the FBI testing method good for predicting effectiveness of ammunition? If so, does this ammo test hold the same relevancy to the general shooting public that it does for the federal law enforcement agency?
Counter Tech: Why FBI Ammo Tests Should Matter to You
Understanding the Why and How Behind FBI Ammo Testing Standards
FBI Ammunition Testing includes a variety of scenarios and mediums such as ballistic gel, heavy clothing and auto safety glass to see how ammunition responds. This can be a good selling point to customers if you understand the testing methods and can articulate them during a sale. Photo: Tom McHale. Customers often want to know your opinions on the performance of the products you sell. Law enforcement agencies have the same problem. When deciding what ammo to choose, they need a standardized way to evaluate the performance of different brands and loads objectively. The Feeb Ballistic Gurus Lab Team developed a series of tests that attempted to replicate the performance of bullets when fired into human tissue after passing through common barriers that agents might encounter in the field.
FBI Ammunition Test Protocol & Relevancy to Self Defense
A lot of factors go into winning a gunfight. One of the most important and least understood is the ammunition that is fired. The number of anecdotes and myths about what bullets will and will not do could fill a book that would make the Bible look pretty short in comparison. Everyone wants a round that will stop a bad guy with one shot, function reliably and cost next to nothing—all without overpenetrating.
The testing of defensive ammunition became a well-established science following the infamous Miami shootout in which involved a number of federal agents who attempted to apprehend two heavily armed and dangerous bank robbers. That shootout proved one of the most significant in the history of law enforcement and the dismal performance of some of the ammunition was scrutinized as a contributor to the outcome of the terrible incident in which two FBI agents were killed, and several others were severely wounded. The advent of the. Most of us are familiar with using gelatin to test bullet expansion and penetration. This test also involves testing the performance of rounds going through several layers of denim cloth before entering the gel block.