Pre-fragmented SD ammo (MagSafe, Glaser, etc)?

samzheresamzhere BannedPosts: 10,923 Senior Member
Anyone have any strong opinions, either way, regarding pre-fragmented ammo (MagSafe, Glaser, etc) for self defense handguns?

Are there any good statistics on the efficacy of this type of ammo vs a more "standard" type of hollow-point self defense ammo design?

Reason is that lately I've been concealed carrying a .357 snubbie loaded with Glaser Bluetips (100% legal in Tx). For a close distance such as might occur for a mugging or carjack attack, I'm guessing that the Glasers would be pretty effective but I've really got zero data to back it up. Worst case is that they'd be at least equal to any conventional non-frag self defense ammo (HydraShok, etc).

Thanks in advance for any actual data you can provide, or other feedback.

Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
«1

Replies

  • coolgunguycoolgunguy Senior Member Posts: 6,464 Senior Member
    Meh. Lack of penetration would concern me. I have no scientific reason to believe this, but it seems logical. Why try to build a better mousetrap? Years ago, a German (IIRC) company developed a new bullet for 9mm ammo. Called it the BAT. A little plastic cap gave the bullet a roundnose profile for more reliable feeding through magazines. The cap popped out upon firing, leaving a large hollow point cavity that supposedly would make the bullet expand more than 'normal' hollow points. Not saying it didn't work as advertised, but I don't hear anything about those super-duper rounds anymore. Sayin'
    "Bipartisan" usually means that a bigger than normal deception is happening.
    George Carlin
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,429 Senior Member
    The Glasers are probably OK at powder-burn range, especially in the area where you live. Add a couple of layers of cold-weather clothing, and the situation might call for a little more durable projectile. How about loading the first couple of chambers with Glasers, followed by some hard cast semi-wadcutters to be used as necessary for a target the first couple of rounds didn't stop? I load my 1911 with a big hollowpoint in the chamber, and full-jacket hardball in the magazine to minimize the possibility of feeding trouble for followup shots. Ideally, the first round will end the confrontation, but I want to be sure I'm able to do a double tap or more if necessary without having to clear a jam.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • North ForestNorth Forest Member Posts: 311 Member
    Recently I picked up a box of these to try out

    cartridgeshot.jpg

    At only 150 grains for a .45 I was a little skeptical, but gave them a test shoot to see how they did. I set up a cantaloupe, backed by a 1/2" piece of plywood as my test target, and shot at a distance of about 30 ft. The round did not disappoint, and appeared to do exactly as the manufacturer had claimed it would. I hit target right away, the cantaloupe received a huge (3 to 4 inch) "exit wound" which created a rather disgusting "brain splat" kind of effect against the plywood backboard, and the fragmenting round continued right through the plywood leaving a hole about 1 1/2" in diameter with very torn up edges, a good piece of the round stuck in the plywood proving it had in fact fragmented.

    All in all I was impressed, but I still have not committed to using as my #1 defense ammo.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Thanks guys for the info.

    Teach, re. potential feed problems for deeply dished hollowpoints, my "home defense" .45s are all loaded with CorBon PowrBall, which is essentially a hollowpoint, +P, with a thin candy shell, er, plastic nose, ha ha.

    I've switched 100% to the PowrBall for self defense .45 not particularly because it's a better bullet than any other modern SD design hollowpoint +P, but just because that rounded nose pretty much guarantees a smooth feed, particularly for my Glocks w. the steeper ramps.

    I've shot quite a lot of the PowerBall (much as I can afford, it's pricey!) and I've never had a single misfeed.

    Just a recommendation, something you might consider, if your principal reason for using FMJ is to have that smooth nose.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    cool, I remember those rounds, too.

    The CorBon PowrBall that I use in my .45s also has that plastic hollow nose, seems to work well. There's no "pop off" involved, the little plastic nose just disintegrating on impact. A rumor was that the hollow nose tip acted like a "shaped charge" but that's bogus and CorBon specifically said the ammo velocity wasn't high enough for that effect nor is the nose that hard, to open a cavity. It just splinters.

    I'd guess that the rounded nose adds a teeny bit to in-flight stability but not enough to matter except in a lab test.

    Its purpose seems to be exclusively to provide a smooth tip for feeding, since the actual metallic bullet is quite deeply hollow. So the German guys had the same idea, it just didn't catch on.

    Anybody looking for a top quality hollowpoint +P ammo for self defense might consider the PowrBall. Its performance stats are equivalent to other top brands (HydraShok, etc) and the round nose should definitely help the feeding.

    Of course neither the German stuff you mentioned or the PowrBall is pre-frag.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Teach does bring up a good point re. penetration of pre-frag ammo, particularly in climates where someone's likely to be wearing an insulated or padded coat. Seems very logical.

    Thing is, I've never seen any penetration-through-clothing data on prefrag ammo and I was hoping someone might have a link to such. In the meantime I'll keep looking.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,548 Senior Member
    I've had good luck with Glaser Blues in my 686.

    For HD, this one stays loaded with 3 Blues up front, and 3 125 grain JHPs behind them. Just in case.

    Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Recently I picked up a box of these to try out

    At only 150 grains for a .45 I was a little skeptical etc

    Thanks for the test info.

    Another thing, a small item, not worth much consideration unless you're figuring in all the possibles, is that the CorBon PowrBalls (not frangible, understand) are physically lighter than good ol' FMJ.

    Load a full mag of high-velocity JHPs vs a full mag of FMJs, and the FMJ is noticeably bulkier. As I say, not a huge issue, just a small point to consider...

    And, cool, re. the building a better mousetrap, yes, a genuine "meh" if the new design is just BS or not really worth the effort. But if it IS an improvement, then, yeah, I'll listen for that newer "snap" of the trap. Which is why most folks use JHPs for self defense rather than FMJ. So new stuff has to be evaluated, the good ideas retained, the bad ones given the "meh" treatment.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,429 Senior Member
    Several years ago, Massad Ayoob promoted using HP ammo in areas where heavy clothing was not an issue, and switching to FMJ when several layers of winter garb might become a problem. His reasoning was that a HP clogged with cloth would perform like hardball anyway, so why bother with it if it was not likely to expand? That sounds like good reasoning to me, and the velocity loss while penetrating several layers of clothing might also be a factor to consider. A heavy 40-something caliber projectile that gets to center mass is probably going to get the job done, regardless of whether or not it expands in the process.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,112 Senior Member
    My understanding is that the only ones using pre-frag rounds are those in instances where overpenetration of walls would be very, very, very bad. Otherwise, they all go with JHPs.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,045 Senior Member
    Not really a fan of the concept. I've talked a lot about ammo developed Pre- and Post-1986 Miami shooting. The pre-frag stuff is kind of the extreme version of the Pre-'86 theory of high velocity and rapid expansion, forcing penetration to sit in the back seat. The genesis of the modern hollowpoint stems from a high-speed, lightweight bullet fired in Miami that was well-shot, but failed to penetrate adequately. One of the FBI papers that accompanies all the research that went on after that event stated that there was never a recorded incident of a cop being killed because his ammo overpenetrated, but numerous occurrences of this happening because the ammo underpenetrated.

    More and more, of late, my brain is leaning away from even the sexy modern hollowpoints and more in the direction of old school large diameter flat points, with no provision for expansion at all. The old Keith semi-wadcutter; the LBT Large Flat Nose or Wide Flat Nose; and truncated cone FMJ's with the widest possible nose that still feeds reliable in autos - - all of these will give a decent crush cavity, will penetrate along the line you launch them with minimal deviation, and stand a decent chance of getting through intermediate barriers intact and relatively unaffected. Best of all for our purposes, you usually get two holes for blood to move out and air to move into.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,072 Senior Member
    There is a lot of ammo out there that falls into the "trick" category....I've seen the ballistics testing of a lot of it and fail to be impressed. A heavy JHP has been working efficiently for a log time...as have FMJs....no need to test the theoretical approach when my life is on the line...I'll stay with stuff I KNOW will work.

    Sam, in my .38 snubby, I'm carrying hard cast 158 grain SWCs, (though I'm experimenting with some of the old original Hydra-Shocks...) and don't feel particularly under-gunned
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Not a fan of pre-frag stuff. Not saying it won't work, but I want my bullet to be in one piece. Thick clothing or other barrier issues aside, my theory is one projectile all together will go further to the gooey center than three lighter pieces(or however many pieces) will. I would guess that a good deal of energy would be expelled separating the pieces, energy that could be used getting to the tootsie roll center of the tootsie pop.
    A solid bullet will ALWAYS penetrate. A hollow point bullet will penetrate and expand in the best case. In the worst case, it will act like a solid bullet.
    A pre-frag round? The world may never know.

    Of course, we need to considered what the cops are using. How many agency's use pre-frag rounds? And why, or why not?

    A few points here, and I'm likely incorrect on all of them, so y'all feel free to help with stats or surveys or any reports. As I said, I'm interested in seeing any actual studies on penetration of pre-frag ammo vs FMJ or JHP, besides a "general feeling" that the "flying ashtray" concept is better.

    I realize there's an ongoing debate for SD rounds between the older, heavier and slower ammo and the newer, faster and lighter. Impact energy is mass times velocity squared, as you know. So the ft-pound energy of a "hot" +P load is usually higher than the older ammo types. But that's just math and physics, not a feeling. Again, I don't know, which is WHY I asked if anybody's got stats or a report to link, or some data or article or whatever.

    Now, and I'm probably totally wrong on this, but I understood that the problem about overpenetration is not a safety thing (I'll let liberals worry about that) but the "waste" of muzzle energy if the bullet exits. That (and I'm probably wrong here too), the effectiveness of a round is usually due to "energy dump" -- that is, expending the bullet's ft-pounds of energy inside the target mass. If the bullet goes out the back, there's excess energy that's "wasted" on the perp. That ideally, the whole of the bullet's energy gets "dumped" inside the target mass (the bad guy).

    And from that (and I'm probably wrong here, too) that the REAL purpose of a hollow point bullet isn't to make a bigger hole (which it of course does and that also helps) but that the expansion after impact is intended to better allow for the energy dump, expending all the bullet's force inside the target mass rather than "wasting" some of it by letting the bullet go out the other side.

    And soooo, the best thing a hollow point bullet does is that its expansion allows the maximum energy dump.

    As far as LEOs using FMJ or JHP or prefrag? As I understand (and I'm probably wrong) the way most major police agencies operate, especially up East and in Cali, LEOs aren't allowed to carry anything but FMJ because of "social justice" feelgoods who think that hollow point ammo is "killer" ammo (just look at the evil teeth the bullet has, eeek!) and therefore ban them.

    In sensible jurisdictions (Texas and elsewhere), JHP are the rule. And that pre-frag ammo is also used by, say, SWATs or other special teams. I know for a fact that Houston cops can carry JHP but I'm unsure whether they can carry prefrag.

    But overall, LEOs are mandated various ammo types by their admin, and that's usually based on "touchyfeely social justice" reasons, not tactical reasons.

    Regardless, the type of ammo a LEO carries isn't really a big factor for a civilian self defense choice, unless there are clear "functional" reasons, not "social" reasons.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • olesniperolesniper Senior Member Posts: 3,762 Senior Member
    Only thing I could find.

    http://www.brassfetcher.com/Brassfetcher_evaluates_9mm_Glaser_Safety_Slug.pdf

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology did some testing for the National Institute of Justice, but their websites are done til further notice.
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil: For I carry a .308 and not a .270
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    I also know that many here are firmly committed to the "old school" things, which can either be good or questionable. Just because it's older doesn't make it better (Teach and me of course excepted, ha ha)...

    But we can say, "Oh, golly, I'll stay with those big keen and older weapons like a 54-caliber cap and ball and no way I'd use one of those newfangled cartridge things, the primer already put there, and that newfangled smokeless? No way!" and it would be silly.

    So old technology isn't necessarily better. We can instead choose between old or new based on the values and studies and data. We can make educated choices.

    I understand, lots of folks prefer the heavier, slower bullet. "It worked in Normandy!" but of course they didn't have high velocity .45 ammo in 1944 for general use, either. I do know that if you take the math to it, and calculate muzzle energy and compare a conventional 230gr .45 round vs a lighter and faster round, the hotter round gives you higher muzzle energy. Which translates to higher impact energy.

    Of course, how that lighter bullet behaves (expands or fragments) and whether it's better, I honestly don't know. It's easy to say "I want a solid single mass and no fragmentation" but unless that "feeling" is matched with data or stats or actual shooting results, then it's just like preferring a blue shirt to a green shirt. I really don't have any findings from range tests in gel or in real shooting stats which is why I posted in the first place.

    Teach said the Glasers were okay at powder-burn range. Thinking about that, I guess I should ask "why?" I mean, the bullets don't act like cartoon bullets and are flying along, and think "Hey, we're pre-frag! We need to stop in midair!"

    I mean, FMJ or JHP or prefrag, the bullet travels to its destination and how it behaves on impact is what matters, assuming that the velocity is adequate. So why wouldn't a prefrag bullet be effective (assuming its design allows it to do that) at 50 feet or 100 feet too?

    Unless of course Teach was referring to the fact that I was carrying a 2" .357 snubbie, and that I won't be able to bring down a sniper at 250yards like that old time TV cop (Cannon?) could do? ha ha. And yeah, although a decent modern snubbie is surprisingly accurate for "normal" self defense distances, it does suffer a lot beyond 40-50 feet.

    But the bullet itself? Even with a reduced muzzle velocity due to a short barrel, ANY type of bullet will retain the velocity exactly the same as another, independent on whether it's FMJ, JHP, or prefrag.

    I think the key point here is whether the prefrag will properly penetrate the clothing. If it does, then I'm of the opinion that fragmentation inside the target mass is a positive thing, that the fragmentation is desirable for stopping power. Except that I don't have ANY data or studies to show that, so I'm hoping that some of you guys who have lots more connections and info data can find us some data. And yeah, a pic of a gelatin block that shows a fragmented round vs a single solid round shows me that, guess what, the fragmented round did fragment and the solid flatnose did not. No surprise there. The real question is, "Does that stop the perp faster?" which is all that really matters in self defense.

    Again, thanks for the feedback, good opinions, I'm still hoping for some factual data or stats or whatever.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Teach wrote: »
    Several years ago, Massad Ayoob promoted using HP ammo in areas where heavy clothing was not an issue, and switching to FMJ when several layers of winter garb might become a problem. His reasoning was that a HP clogged with cloth would perform like hardball anyway, so why bother with it if it was not likely to expand? That sounds like good reasoning to me, and the velocity loss while penetrating several layers of clothing might also be a factor to consider. A heavy 40-something caliber projectile that gets to center mass is probably going to get the job done, regardless of whether or not it expands in the process.
    Jerry

    Now that you mention it, Teach, I remembered (duh) the advertised purpose of the CorBon PowrBall hollow tip is that it temporarily prevents the hollow point from getting clogged with clothing fiber for that very brief sub-second as it first hits, starts its penetration, then the little tip splinters but it's done its job and allows the hollow point to properly expand inside the target mass. This got misunderstood as providing a "shaped charge" effect but that was wrong.

    Frankly, I don't care about that. a good hollow point bullet will properly penetrate and will do its job, plastic tip or not. But what I really like about the PowrBall is that the rounded smooth nose pretty much ensures good feeding.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,072 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Now that you mention it, Teach, I remembered (duh) the advertised purpose of the CorBon PowrBall hollow tip is that it temporarily prevents the hollow point from getting clogged with clothing fiber for that very brief sub-second as it first hits, starts its penetration, then the little tip splinters but it's done its job and allows the hollow point to properly expand inside the target mass. This got misunderstood as providing a "shaped charge" effect but that was wrong.

    Actually the "ball" in that ammo is designed to "set back" in to cavity of the bullet and aid in expansion....same concept as all ballistic tip bullets.
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,072 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    I think it would be easier for all involved if you would preface any and every question you ask with "IF YOU DONT HAVE ACTUAL DATA ON THE EXACT QUESTION I AM ASKING, THEN DON'T ANSWER! I HAVE NEITHER THE TIME OR PATIENCE FOR YOUR OPINIONS."
    samzhere wrote: »
    Anyone have any strong opinions,
    samzhere wrote: »
    Thanks in advance for any actual data you can provide, or other feedback.

    He asked for opinions twice....Perhaps they weren't what he wanted to hear...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • coolgunguycoolgunguy Senior Member Posts: 6,464 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    I think it would be easier for all involved if you would preface any and every question you ask with "IF YOU DONT HAVE ACTUAL DATA ON THE EXACT QUESTION I AM ASKING, THEN DON'T ANSWER! I HAVE NEITHER THE TIME OR PATIENCE FOR YOUR OPINIONS."


    You're wrong. Sayin'
    "Bipartisan" usually means that a bigger than normal deception is happening.
    George Carlin
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,045 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Now, and I'm probably totally wrong on this, but I understood that the problem about overpenetration is not a safety thing (I'll let liberals worry about that) but the "waste" of muzzle energy if the bullet exits. That (and I'm probably wrong here too), the effectiveness of a round is usually due to "energy dump" -- that is, expending the bullet's ft-pounds of energy inside the target mass. If the bullet goes out the back, there's excess energy that's "wasted" on the perp. That ideally, the whole of the bullet's energy gets "dumped" inside the target mass (the bad guy). yadda yadda yadda

    Sam (or Sams - plural). Just how many people are using your screen name? I've covered this - a lot - over the years. Have you missed this? Once again, the timeline:

    Pre-1986: Many different concepts exist as to what makes an effective SD round. Whole lotta theory - not a lotta science. 9mm gets a bad rep as a non-performer.

    1986: FBI Miami shootout: once again, the 9mm seems to be a non-performer, but as it happened to their agents, the Bureau throws a buttload of money at the problem and heavily researches what is working and what isn't.

    1987 and 1993: First and revised publishings of the FBI's findings and listing of a standardized set of specs for gelatin testing. Ammo starts showing up that works.

    The main conclusions were:

    That lack of penetration of the lightweight, high velocity, rapid expansion duty rounds was getting cops killed. The "ideal" penetrates at least a foot in bare, mixed to spec gelatin and opens up to at least 1.5x original diameter.

    The order of importance is placement, then penetration, and then, ONLY after the first two requirements have been met, diameter.

    "Energy dump" is a non-issue with handgun rounds. Basically, for an impact of less than 2000 fps, most human tissues (liver and brain being the exceptions) merely stretch out of the way and snap back. Over 2000 fps, you start displacing things fast enough to tear.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Actually the "ball" in that ammo is designed to "set back" in to cavity of the bullet and aid in expansion....same concept as all ballistic tip bullets.

    Thanks. I know it's a complex thing.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    I think it would be easier for all involved if you would preface any and every question you ask with "IF YOU DONT HAVE ACTUAL DATA ON THE EXACT QUESTION I AM ASKING, THEN DON'T ANSWER! I HAVE NEITHER THE TIME OR PATIENCE FOR YOUR OPINIONS."

    No, not really. But I would prefer if we could have some data. I asked for that, plus "strong opinions" which is also fine, and I've debated some of them, as is how we do things here.

    And your caps lock is stuck.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    He asked for opinions twice....Perhaps they weren't what he wanted to hear...

    I, unlike others here, NEVER said "You are wrong" to anyone. If I did, please let me know.

    If however we've got an opinion that is apparently based on "I feel that..." then this is an opinion and it's open for debate. If we can present test data or some other actual info that goes to prove a certain opinion, then the data will help bolster that opinion.

    I said up front that I didn't have any data on the value (or not) of prefrag ammo vs other types. I understand all the various opinions, and just wanted some data accordingly, or maybe disprove.

    Everyone else in this forum is free to state an opinion about things such as deer calibers, scopes, reloading, whatever. And usually this sparks a nice debate. Which is all I ask.

    That, and to expect the SAME right to disagree or state opinions on such. And to ask questions about someone else's opinion. I'm not a member of the Power Elite but I promise to behave.

    And I'll try to not tell somone flatly, "You are wrong." Okay?

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    Sam (or Sams - plural). Just how many people are using your screen name? I've covered this - a lot - over the years. Have you missed this? Once again, the timeline:
    etc etc

    I don't know what the question is regarding several people using my login. I kinda doubt it.

    I do have this thing called "memory" that isn't eidetic (photographic). So I'm likely to forget things.

    Thanks lots for the info. It's good data and the opinions are well stated. And thanks for the correction about "energy dump" Although I do think that you've possibly mixed up my term of "energy dump" vs "hydrostatic shock" (which I already know really only occurs at rifle velocities).

    But ANY bullet has "energy dump" even if it's small. When I said "energy dump" I meant that the energy of the projectile, mass times velocity squared, is expended upon impact (or perhaps retained if the bullet overpenetrates and exits the target mass. I wasn't trying to imply hydrostatic shock. Sorry if I was unclear on that.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • SlanteyedshootistSlanteyedshootist Senior Member Posts: 3,947 Senior Member
    Maybe we need a thread on the "Power Elite" and who belongs and doesn't belong to it. Just the facts and all scientific data only please.:roll:

    If I'm wong, I'd be Chinese.
    The answer to 1984 is 1776
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,106 Senior Member
    An easy and quick way to test the Glasers would be a bunch of wet newspapers stacked upright with a couple pairs of blue jeans folded and placed in front. Shoot that and see how far the Glasers penetrate the newspaper. Run the same test with HP and ball of your choice, and choose the one(s) that do the most damage and penetrate the most. Not exactly scientific, but worthwhile empirical data.

    If you do a little Googling, you'll find that Glaser started producing that ammunition for Air Marshals back in 1974 when it was erroneously assumed that a bullet hole in a high altitude airliner would decompress the aircraft. They were made to expand rapidly to incapacitate the person and cause minimum damage to the aircraft from a miss.
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,045 Senior Member
    More elaboration on energy dump: I believe Sir Isaac Newton had some opinions on the matter. Feel the recoil of your gun? That's all the energy your target gets. We tend to fall into the trap of thinking that if a round generates 500 foot-pounds, the effect is that of dropping a 500 pound anvil on the target's head. Mass and momentum play a part as well, and in the grand scheme of things, bullets don't have much of either. The effect - or more accurately, lack of effect - has been tested by the shooting of hanging slabs of meat (even cadavers). You are going to move that suspended side of beef farther by punching it with your fist than you will with a 12 gauge slug.

    The non-elastic tissues of brain and liver aside, low-velocity bullet impacts tend to damage only the tissues they come into immediate physical contact with. The permanent wound channel with such rounds is what concerns us - the temporary "stretch cavity" is nothing more than meat being gently massaged out of the way. Since the permanent channel is what is going to play in stopping the threat, we can improve effectiveness only by going deeper and wider.

    The grain of salt you have to take is that there are many people out there who wet themselves at the notion of a bullet that exits out the back (failing to consider the other 75% of the rounds that statistically missed the target entirely, becoming strays). A lot of design and marketing has gone into allaying these illogical fears. I tend to consider the term "energy dump" as synonymous with "keeps ill-informed city administrators happy". What some would consider "wasted energy", I regard as an extra hole for a perp to bleed out from. The modern duty round is a pretty impressive bit of engineering as far as this goes. There have been many recorded instances of these rounds being stopped by the very elastic skin and clothing on the far side of the body, which on the one hand is cool because the slug has destroyed all that it needs to destroy and no more. On the other hand, you don't get the second "drain". Also, these bullets have their structural integrity compromised before they even leave the barrel by the mechanisms put in place to get them to expand, and their performance often suffers when they have to defeat some kind of intermediate barrier prior to getting on with their primary job.

    So after weighing all this, I would favor generating wound channel volume through DEPTH in favor of WIDTH. While wider is better, we're really only talking about a difference of a few tenths of an inch from one handgun caliber to the next (making shot placement the deciding factor there). Depth gets you volume AND a greatly increased likelihood of hitting something important.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    An easy and quick way to test the Glasers would be a bunch of wet newspapers stacked upright with a couple pairs of blue jeans folded and placed in front. Shoot that and see how far the Glasers penetrate the newspaper. Run the same test with HP and ball of your choice, and choose the one(s) that do the most damage and penetrate the most. Not exactly scientific, but worthwhile empirical data.

    If you do a little Googling, you'll find that Glaser started producing that ammunition for Air Marshals back in 1974 when it was erroneously assumed that a bullet hole in a high altitude airliner would decompress the aircraft. They were made to expand rapidly to incapacitate the person and cause minimum damage to the aircraft from a miss.

    Excellent test method. I've seen photos and so on similar to that, I guess I need to go more googling or youtube-ing.

    And yes I do remember the original Glaser idea, for Air Marshals.

    Regarding overpenetration (that is, the bullet exiting the target mass), I really don't think that handgun ammo is likely to ever be dangerous enough to be a real hazard there. We see that on TV cop shows all the time but in real life it's probably so rare that it's essentially nonexistent. (approaches zero as a limit, in math terms) Rifle bullets, another matter.

    But as I see it, and maybe wrongly, if a bullet exits then it's "wasting energy" since any remaining energy upon exit is useless against the perp. If however the bullet "uses up" all its energy within the target mass, that's preferable. Am I incorrect there? How could a bullet that exits the target mass be helping things?

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Bigslug, thanks again for that excellent analysis! You obviously know a lot more about this than I do and I really appreciate the feedback.

    Bottom line is that most any large caliber slug will be effective, I suppose, assuming it hits vital areas. And whether it's JHP or FMJ or prefrag is not the major operative factor.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,072 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    And I'll try to not tell somone flatly, "You are wrong." Okay?

    If they're wrong, don't hold back...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.