117 Handgun Self-Defense Rounds Tested in Ballistic Gel

Lucky Gunner has just released the results of the most comprehensive test of 117 handgun self-defense rounds that I’ve ever seen.

Federal HST Ballistic Data
Federal HST Ballistic Data

While the data is absolutely fantastic, what really puts this on the next-level for me is the top notch structure of the data. All the results are listed, broken up by caliber, in a table format as you’d expect. What I’ve never seen before is that each entry in the table can be clicked, taking you to the results page of that individual ammo. There, you’ll see a video of the tests, how it compares to the average in that caliber, images of the ballistics gel, ammo expansion, and all raw data numbers.
Everyone has a favorite ammo brand, type and weight in handgun self-defense rounds. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Federal HST in both 9mm and .40 S&W. With some amount of trepidation, I searched through Lucky Gunners results to see if my preference in carry ammo is founded in real world performance. From their results, I’m extremely happy. Federal HST 124gr 9mm rounds had excellent expansion, weight retention and averaged 18.3″ in penetration, exceeding FBI testing criteria. In 40 S&W, the results were similar at 180 grains, with slightly more penetration and bullet expansion. Both loads are absolutely excellent and I’ll continue to shoot and recommend them to others.

They’ve actually taken that raw data for each of the 117 tests and built it directly into the product page for each one of the types of ammos that they sell. Obviously that makes great business sense to push people towards your online store, however, it’s more than that. They’ve gained a customer in me as not only did they spend the time and money to do this work, the data attached to the actual products is great customer service and can really help people make informed decisions.

For a quick primer on the testing metholodgy they used, check out the below video:


Jesse is a long time adventurer, entrepreneur, shooter and general technologist. Drawing knowledge for GS Kinetics through a long history in the private sector tech industry and as a Fire Fighter / EMT for more than 15 years.