Try to use gelatin powder made specifically for ballistics use, which is manufactured by Kind & Knox. However, the powder has to be special ordered in bulk and is expensive.
Consider using plain Knox gelatin off the supermarket shelf. It costs approximately $10.00 USD and will suffice for home usage and all practical purposes.
Mix a basic formula of one pound of gelatin powder to one gallon of water.
Consider mixing smaller batches one batch at a time unless you have extra large double boilers and spoons. By starting with smaller batches you can avoid wasting money should the larger batch burn, scorch or not set up. The gelatin can also be mixed in two batches using 8 oz. of powder and 2 quarts of water.
Measure out the cold water.
Add the gelatin powder all at once stirring it in carefully instead of dumping the powder in all at once.
Try to moisten all of the granules without adding too much air.
Look for a mixture with the consistency of thick grits.
Set the gel mixture in the refrigerator to chill and hydrate (a process known as “blooming”) for two hours.
Set the gelatin over a pan of water (double boiler) and heat it until all is melted.
Use a candy thermometer to make sure the gelatin mixture doesn’t get hotter than 130 degrees.
Stir carefully to minimize air getting trapped in the gelatin and to disperse the heat.
Use a mold sprayed with silicone spray to avoid sticking. The professionals use specially constructed 6″ x 6″ x 16″ molds coated inside with silicone spray for easy release.
Amateurs can use 32 oz. Glad Ware containers and non-stick cooking spray.
Set the gel in the pan(s) to chill in a refrigerator for 36 hours before use.
Carry it to the testing site in insulated containers
Unmold it carefully and immediately before testing.
#Cut each block in half if you need smaller sections. You can cut each half block in half, or as needed for a total of four blocks measuring about 7.5cm x 12 cm x 13.5 cm.
Recycle. Used in a clean setting, like a lab, blocks of ballistics gel can be recycled by melting them down and remolding them.
Outside use may leave you with gel too full of dirt and wood splinters to be reclaimed.
When stirring the gel, stir it slowly to reduce the air bubbles.
Try to keep the mixture flat in the refrigerator, so when it gels over, it will be a flat surface.
When melting the gel, just leave it on the stove long enough to melt. Letting it sit too long will boil away some water.
When melting the gel, do not turn the stove up high, because boiling it will make it turn out bad. The highest the stove should be on, is medium low, or 2-3.
The above steps are for recreational creation of ballistics gel and not for scientific use.
Never fire a weapon unless you are trained to do so and you’re in an environment appropriately designated for weapons use.
Use extreme caution when using ballistics gel to test penetration of foreign objects. If it can damage the gel, it can kill.