The Box O’ Truth #38 – RBCD Ammo Vs. The Box O’ Truth

My friend Aim4myhead sent me a note saying, “Have you ever tested RBCD Platinum Plus Ammunition? I have some and think it is great stuff. If I sent you some, would you test it?”

I said, “Sure. But I will only report what I observe. If it doesn’t do so well, that’s what I will say.”

He replied, “No problem. Just tell the truth about what you see. I believe it will be impressive. You will also notice very little recoil with this ammo.”

He graciously sent me some rounds to test.

They were:
.32 APC – 37 grains, rated at 1815 fps velocity
9mm – 60 grains, rated at 2010 fps
.40 S&W – 77 grains, rated at 2100 fps
.45 ACP – 90 grains, rated at 2036 fps

This ammo is said to be “Ultra High Performance Center Fire Pistol Ammo, Blended Metal Technology, Ultra High Velocity/Energy, Low Recoil, Superior Stopping Power, Nonricochetting”

That’s a mouth full!

These folks obviously believe in the “light weight, high velocity” school of thought regarding ammo effectiveness. Let’s see what we can find out.

We will be shooting the rounds into the Waterbox O’ Truth. Previous tests have shown that the most effective ammo must penetrate at least 4 water jugs to reach the 12 inches of penetration into ballistic gelatin that is required by the FBI tests for effective ammunition. 24 inches of water will equal approximately 12 inches of penetration into ballistic gelatin or human flesh.

First, we will try the .32 ACP in my P-32 Keltec.

The water jugs will have a layer of blue jean material in the front to simulate clothing.


It made an impressive spray of water!

The bullet penetrated through one jog and stopped in the second, for around 9 inches into water, or 4.5 inches into BG.

Notice that the second jug had the jacket, the small plastic nose plug, and some BBs in it.


The round left a “smokestack” in my P-32, so we decided to try another round to test feeding.

It fired just fine, but the next one in the magazine jammed due to “rim lock”, a problem common with short cartridges in the .32 ACP.

A lot of testing would be required to establish “confidence” in feeding.

With the high cost of this ammo, that would not be likely with most shooters.

38-3Let’s try a 9mm out of my Springfield XD-9.


Again, the water spray was very impressive.

Not only did I and the gun get wet, but Tman and the camera also got drenched.


It penetrated 2 jugs for a BG penetration of 6 inches.

Only half the penetration recommended by the FBI.

The jacket and other pieces were in the second jug.

38-6How about the .40 S&W out of my Glock 22.

38-7It penetrated into the second jug and broke into pieces.

38-8Then a round of the .45 ACP out of a 1911.

38-9It penetrated 2 jugs with a piece of lead making it into the third jug.


Lessons learned:
  1. 1. As is usual with light/fast bullets, these rounds made spectacular explosions on the first water jug. But then they fail to penetrate much farther.
    Might these rounds work? Sure, they might.
    But why trust “might”, when bullets are available that will meet the 12 inch minimum penetration standard?
  2. Recoil was indeed light, due to light bullets.
  3. All rounds, except for the .32 ACP, functioned just fine.
  4. If I didn’t know much about bullet performance, the violent explosive effects on the first water jug would be very impressive. But I know that penetration is also required and these rounds do not meet the 12 inch minimum penetration standard.
  5. It’s hot on a July morning down in southeast Texas. But it’s still fun to shoot stuff.

Thanks to my friend Aim4myhead for the ammo to test, and thanks to Tman for the water-hauling help.

5 Comments on The Box O’ Truth #38 – RBCD Ammo Vs. The Box O’ Truth

  1. no, what is needed is enough savvy to use a lathe, or case trimmer to turn off the semi-rim of the .32 aCP ammo, letting it headspace on the case mouth. then you dont get any more of the rim-locking bs. I don’t go with such fragging bullets, but what you should be testing on is animals and you’ll find that the FBI standard in jello is nothing but bs. If a bullet will penetrate 2 jugs of water, that’s Plenty enough to kill people. In fact, your bullet will probably exit a man’s chest, wasting some of its power.

  2. Years ago, I had the unfortunate experience of shooting a man at ~11 yards with the RBCD TCP 40 cal.(70 grain I think)
    Male in his late 20’s, looked like he did a little bodybuilding. Hit him with one shot in the south tip of his xiphoid process. He went down very hard. In the short time it took to walk over to him, he was dead. The round also broke his back a little bit. But I know absolutely nothing of the effectiveness of stopping attacking water jugs or jello…

  3. The above comment alone seems to negate all the abstract, theoretical opining I’ve seen negating the effectiveness of this round.

  4. I take some small issue with the specifics of this test.

    While you can generally approximate the ability of ammo to penetrate based on different substances, this technical analogy falls apart quite rapidly at higher velocities.

    While the Gel used by the FBI is compressible, water is an incompressible fluid. As has been demonstrated many times, very high velocity impacts with water will shred projectiles. Even .50 BMG projectiles, high velocity 5.56 projectiles, and .308 projectiles will be consistently and effectively destroyed by impact with water.

    Give this ammo a fair shake and shoot it through some real gel.

  5. Is RBCD still in business?

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