How to Make Ballistic Gel at Home

A huge part of survival is identifying which tools are needed to accomplish specific tasks. Testing, re-testing all your gear and knowing exactly how your tools will function is key. Firearms are an incredibly important part of the modern survivalist’s toolbox. Proper choice of ammunition is essential when it comes to the practical applications of any firearm. Some cartridges are great for target practice while others are better suited for hunting or self-defense.

One of the best ways to test ammunition for hunting and self-defense purposes is by using ballistic gel. While a bit of internet research can yield you a chunk of ballistic gel that runs about $200 for a 11×17 block, it is far more efficient and affordable to make your own. Not sure how to do it? It’s easier than you think. Below are the step-by-step instructions.

Rifle Gel

Supply List:

Knox Unflavored Gelatin, 32-count

A box contains 128 servings, separated into 32 packets. To replicate this recipe, you will need to use two full boxes to make one rifle-sized target. A small-caliber, pistol-sized target can be accomplished by using just one box.

Plastic Tupperware Containers

To replicate our exact recipe, use the Sterilite 6 Quart Storage Box. These containers can be purchased at any general merchandise store like Walmart or Target for about 94 cents.

Large Cooking Pot

Any large cooking pot will work. This particular recipe was rendered using the pot from a 23-quart aluminum pressure canner.

Cooking Oil

Any type of cooking oil will do. Non-stick cooking sprays such as PAM work well also. Olive oil is a decent substitute in a pinch.

0° to 220°F Dial Thermometer

Nothing fancy, a small dial thermometer used for making candy, jelly or cooking meat is perfect.

Pot Gel


  1. Pour water and gelatin into pot. Water first, then gelatin. Mix with your hands, a wooden spoon or both. You want the gel and water combination to be the consistency of Grits or Cream of Wheat. No clumps. You need about 8 ounces of water for every one ounce of powder.
  1. Place your pot into the refrigerator for three hours to let the gelatin chill and hydrate. If you are working on a tighter time table and have the freezer space, put the pot in the freezer for one hour. You need the mixture to be at approximately 36°F.
  1. Pull your pot out of the fridge, place it on the stove and heat it up. Melt the gelatin back into a liquid state while stirring it with a wooden spoon. Stir consistently so as not to allow air bubbles in your ballistic gel. Heat to 130°F.
  1. Slather the inside of your Tupperware containers with cooking oil. This ensures that your ballistic gel molds will slide out of the Tupperware when you go to place them in the target area.
  1. Pour your liquid gelatin into your containers. Then place the containers into the fridge for 36 hours.


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  • […] Making homemade ballistic gel is a process that requires patience, ingenuity and a couple of days. For more information on how to do that, check out our previous article on how to make ballistic gel at home. […]

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