A simple recipe for homemade ballistic gelatin is to carefully stir food gelatin in cold water, 4 ounces of powder to 1 quart of water. Leave the mixture refrigerated for two hours, then heat the gel in water until it melts while carefully stirring it. Pour it in molds sprayed with nonstick cocking spray, and leave it in the refrigerator again for 36 hours before removing the mold.
The reason for stirring carefully is to avoid air bubbles getting trapped in the gel. Forensic laboratories use 6 1/4 x 6 1/4 x 16-inch blocks, but any available mold may be used, such as GladWare containers.
Ballistic gel closely mimics the behavior of human flesh. It was developed through tests on pig carcasses, as pig anatomy is very close to human anatomy.
Ballistic gel is commonly used to test the behavior of different kinds of ammunition, such as how fast it expands and how deep it penetrates, or to see how much force a bullet retains after passing through a protective material. Weapons such as swords may be tested with the material. Individuals can add animal bones in the mold for a more realistic simulation of a human body.
The "MythBusters" TV show, which frequently uses it in experiments, has greatly increased the interest in homemade ballistic gel.