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SlapShot ammo vs cow head testing

SlapShots testing team decided to serve the curiosity of our customers and followers. Our Precision Home Defense (PHD) ammunition is designed for controlled penetration home defense. While our ammunition is designed for the purpose of self defense we have gotten several inquiries about the performance in relation to animals.  It is time to see exactly how the results from our ballistics gel compare to that of a multi-medium target. WARNING ⚠️ Some of the follow images/videos are not for the queasy and weak of heart! 

Our PHD performance in gelatin testing shows a liquid based reaction which can expand to as big as a 23in. The collapsing pressure bubble leaving permanent crush cavity 4 to 5 inches in diameter without over penetrating. See video and images below:


PHD ballistics gel, impact pointPoint of impact.Cavity expansion

Spherical cavity at max expansion.

Rapidly collapsing pressure bubble causes hydraulic reaction and substantial crush cavity. 

Gel tests show extensive cavity expansion, but animals (like cows 🐮) consist of more than just flesh and fat. Animals have bone, fur, muscle, and organs all of which react differently when impacted by the slug. We have been asked how the slug will react to bone. When our slug strikes a target such as bone, will that disrupt how the slug dumps its energy?

After a lot of testing involving different mediums, we have learned the slug reacts predictably when impacting mediums with a range of specific gravity. We wanted to see how the PHD performs when impacting real flesh and bone. We purchased a cow from a local farm and most of it went into the freezer, but we decided to use the head because a cow’s head has a robust frontal bone in the skull. Utilizing our 186 grain slug (which contains our insert, see product photo below) we wanted to see:

  1. Will it release the insert as designed for extended penetration?
  2. What will the pressure wave look like if the slug impacts the hide and skull before striking the more water based material inside the skull?
  3. Will there be evidence of the collapsing pressure bubble we have experienced in the ballistic gel tests?


If we shoot a ballistic gel block, the specific gravity is closer to that of water which allows for efficient propagation of energy, creating a large cavity. Once peak expansion of the cavity is reached it will begin to collapse on itself, causing more internal damage and hydraulic reaction. Below is a video of a cow liver being impacted with a PHD 250 slug (no insert). The liver is believed to most efficiently propagate pressure waves and as such the most vulnerable to hydraulic reaction. Notice how the pressure wave within the cow liver caused a hole in the plywood back stop the same size as the cow liver.


Taking into account the combination of the two mediums, bone and flesh, the cows head when shot at approx. 25-30 yards had a clean round entry wound. THE CORE PROJECTILE MODULE REACTS SLOWER TO BONE, SIMILAR TO HOW IT WOULD REACT TO WOOD, SO IT PASSED STRAIGHT THROUGH THE BONE. 


In this application the Mechanically Adaptable Projectile (MAP) is altered to increase penetration. It will enable the slug to pass through intermediate barriers. After penetrating the skull the the Core Projectile Module dumps energy and releases the added insert. The insert continues to penetrate creating a secondary wound channel and exits out the back of the head. This combines hydraulic reaction caused by the rapid energy dump and additional penetrating wound.

The images show the entry wound size as well as the exit wound (below) of the released Interchangeable Component (insert) and holy COW did it perform!

Part of the experiment is knowing about the internal damages and ballistics of the cow head. Follow us on part-two of the cow head blog and we will be opening the entry locations to get a better look!

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