How far have we come since the Civil War in terms of the ballistic performance of handguns? To find out MAC takes a black powder 1860 Colt Army cap & ball .44 caliber revolver from the Civil War era and pits it against the modern Beretta M9 which was adopted in 1985.
While the results might surprise you penetration-wise, it’s important to remember that heavier projectiles tend to really blow through media even if they have less energy in terms of foot-pounds.
Putting things into perspective, the Model 1860 generates about 175 foot-pounds at the muzzle, compared to the Beretta’s 330. So even though both types of ball ammo had similar (over) penetration, the 9mm dumps a lot more of that energy into the gel.
As always, gel tests serve as a reminder to me that I never, ever want to get shot by anything. For more, check out The Bang Switch.