Introduction: Ballistic Gel

Picture of Ballistic Gel

How do you accurately test the affect that ballistics have on a flesh like substance?

One answer to the problem is to create ballistic gel, which mimics human flesh. Another solution is to use a dead pig as their bodies are similar to humans for testing purposes. Ballistic gel is the more practical solution.

Process for original ballistics gel came from:
We then altered as we saw fit and used our finished product in our own way.

Step 1: Ingredients & Setup

Picture of Ingredients & Setup

Start making ballistics gel by getting some knox gelatin mix as shown in the first image. You will need an 8 oz. of water per 1 oz. of powder. For any kind of practical purposes and a good starting batch I would recommend mixing 8 oz. of powder with 2 quarts of water (64 oz.). The second image shows the powder in plastic bowl. I recommend that you put the water in the container of your choice before the powder. If you do not put the water in first you will get many more lumps of powder in it.

Step 2: Mix It Up & Chill It Out!

Picture of Mix It Up & Chill It Out!

Once the gelatin has been added to the water you must mix it with one of your hands. Break up some of the clumps of gelatin with your fingers to make sure you get a good mixture. You then put your new concoction in the refrigerator to chill and hydrate.

Step 3: Melt It Down

Picture of Melt It Down

Once chilled and hydrated, the gelatin needs to be melted down. Setting the gelatin over a pan of water will suffice. While the gelatin is melting it should also be stirred properly to reduce the amount of air getting trapped in the gelatin.

Step 4: Mold & Chill

Picture of Mold & Chill

A mold of any kind can be used. Simply spray your container cooking spray or other non-stick solution. After setting the gelatin in a mold simply chill for thirty-six hours.

Step 5: Completion!

Picture of Completion!

After chilling you have officially completed making ballistics gel. Our purpose was to use the gel for a bullet test but I am sure there are many uses others can think of!


hcowgill (author)2017-12-12

I am planning to make this for a school project(7th grade)... I don't get what it means and do you need a microwave to make this. Please respond. Thx

Gio penguin (author)2017-11-01

I make ballistic gel often as I work with lots of sharp tools (knives, axes, machetes, etc.) and I like to test them. When I make mine I still use the 1 cup of water to 1 oz of powder ratio, but I put the pot in the fridge when it is all mixed together and heated. Once this has solidified, I put the pot back on the stove and melt it again. Once this second melting is done, I then pour it into my mold (sprayed with non stick already). This then goes in the fridge until it is ready to use. Once you’re done using it, you can rinse it with cold water (so it doesn’t melt) and then remelt, and remold until next time. This second heat (in my opinion) produces a more realistic representation of flesh in that it holds together better and is less like jello.

Michael3679 (author)2017-10-26

Joes it jiggle like jello? and if it falls on the ground will it shatter or just bounce around?

This is a serious question. Im working as a Prop Master for a Theatre Production.

rgraham3 (author)2017-05-07

if you are so inclined, you can find other molds to shape your gel. I found a human head mold as well as a giant gummy bear one.

creepy0000 (author)2016-12-27

Put over a pan of water?

rgraham3 (author)creepy00002017-05-07

pan of heated water.

zapatamiranda.joseph (author)2016-12-30


cd41 (author)2009-05-30

lol, when i see this stuff, i think, bad breast implants.... maybe thats me, but I don't know what I would use mine for, maybe a punching bag..

creepy0000 (author)cd412016-12-27

I have little lego person ice cube trays. :)

spooky1300 (author)cd412009-06-04

thinking about sex, the RealDoll uses silicon, maybe ballistic gel can do the work.

Phoghat (author)spooky13002009-06-04

It will melt at body or even room temperature. When used in a ballistics test it is always used cold, as per Myth Busters.

cwebsterlusk (author)Phoghat2009-06-04

LOL ahh mythbusters. you just gotta love that show

danilo-dude (author)cwebsterlusk2009-07-04

I'm crazy bout them! XD

Saturn V (author)danilo-dude2010-06-29

When in doubt, C4.

d-phy (author)Saturn V2012-10-15

"I reject your reality and substitute my own."

Phoghat (author)d-phy2012-11-12

whatever f;oats ya boat

lil jon168 (author)Phoghat2009-08-17

mine didnt melt i shot it like 5 times at like 100 degrees

heathbar64 (author)spooky13002009-06-04

Well, since you mentioned sex, Don't keep it around for too long. I had some gelatin made thick like this which I made a mold out of ( for casting) after it sat around for a couple months in a plastic container, it went back to liquid and smelled exactly like a used rubber that got lost under the bed for a couple weeks. Yummy!!!

An Villain (author)heathbar642009-07-02




murderme13 (author)heathbar642009-07-08


cwebsterlusk (author)cd412009-05-30

it does melt by the way

spooky1300 (author)cwebsterlusk2009-06-04

melt as in using double broiler? or adding water?

cwebsterlusk (author)spooky13002009-06-04

double boiler. as i commented somewhere before if you add water it wont be thick enough and if you dont use a double boiler you will scorch the gelatin.

StuartNiccals (author)2015-08-13

what is the over all cost of this recipe?

cjbruzan (author)StuartNiccals2016-05-19

just about $5

creepy0000 (author)cjbruzan2016-12-27

the gelatin I found was 2.5$

ThomasB20 (author)2015-04-02

To save those too lazy to read, Knox gelatin is edible ( used to make jigglers when a kid 2 packs reg jello 1 pack know, pour in tray and you have very very jiggly jello you can cut and eat) ...anyway this is a good way to test loads but pretty wasteful as targets since it will only last a few rounds

NilsR5 (author)ThomasB202016-05-31

Just make them bigger :D

jake.richard.92 (author)2015-01-30

Is there any way to melt/reuse this ballistic gel? Or is it a one shot thing?

Yes, just put it back in the mold, microwave it, and chill it and its good as new

1tri2god (author)2013-04-12

Nice pics! how long will the gel retain its shape outside of the fridge? If left overnight or for a couple days after setup, will it still be functional?

tigerbomb8 (author)2010-05-02

does it go off...

 what? its made for ballistic testing, you know like shooting at it.


mkarvonen (author)tigerbomb82013-02-13


beehard44 (author)tigerbomb82010-08-27

yeah, depends where you live and where you place it.

Ghost Wolf (author)2012-12-09

Will it melt once it's finished?

walgrimph (author)2012-01-14

can you use flavord jello

walgrimph (author)walgrimph2012-01-19

pleez answer

It doesn't work as well if you do, Knox is the best to use. You can add a little food coloring if you wish.


pingirl9 (author)2012-05-11

I wonder if this would work in a waterbed. This stuff is very useful!!

domdanial (author)2012-03-27

I know this is an old instructable, but i think if you add something like tea tree oil, which is an antibacterial, it should make it last longer.

tiaka (author)2012-02-06

Nice job with ballistic gel. I found a crystal clear pre-made ballistic gel block from The stuff is great, I shot it multiple times and I could still have kept shooting it if I wanted. Didn't fall apart like the knox gelatine. It was a little more but I didn't have my wife made at me for making a mess in the kitchen. Just thought I would pass it on.

JR.Mythbuster (author)2009-06-08

how long should i put it in the frige for?

neodymium (author)JR.Mythbuster2011-07-05

put it in the fridge for about 4-5 hours. sorry for being late.

oldanvilyoungsmith (author)2009-05-29

Does this mean adding water or using a double boiler?

adding water

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