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Talk To Me About Glasser Safety Slugs, Please!

woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior MemberPosts: 2,725 Senior Member
This may be a well discussed topic here. I don't know since I very rarely check on the Self Defense Board, but the discussion on the .380cal vs 9mm etc rounds on the Firearms Board got me to thinking. The Glasser Safety Slug was mentioned in the Topic there, but only in passing. This whole topic is out of my league....I can talk to you about flintlocks, but not handguns and ammo. But I am familiar with one incident where the Glasser round was used, and it was highly,highly effective.

My last duty station was at CENTCOM at McDill back in the '80's during Stormin' Norman's time. I had nothing to do with this "Incident"...not helping to formulate it, or debriefing after the fact, but I did work closely with a Marine Major who had been 2nd in command IIRC, and he told me what happened. A small "enemy" country of about "dog-pecker gnat" catagory was using one of our POL storage facilities in another small "friendly" country as a special ops training facility courtesy of the "friendly" country. Security of the POL facility was under control of our Army, but the Army boys couldn't control the situation so a Marine Special Group was called in. Long story short, the Marines set a trap, allowed the infiltrators to sneak in, right into a horseshoe shaped trap where the Marines opened fire and killed the entire group...31 or 32 of 'them, forget which. The point that I'm making is that the Glasser Safety Slug was used due to the potential danger of FMJ's hitting the POL tanks and possibly starting fires.

The Major described the physical damage to the bodies caused by the Glasser rounds as being almost beyond belief. I remember his saying that the least damaged body was hit with one round in the lower leg which virtually evaporated causing instant bleed-out.

My simple question is this: If the Glasser Safety Slug can cause this type of intense damage, why not use it in CCW situations? Seems to me that a .380 GSS would definately be powerful enough with significant overkill! Yes? No? Why?

Replies

  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,871 Senior Member
    What the poet said. With rising obesity rates, I'd rather use a slug that'll barrel through to the center than one that might cause a nasty flesh wound.
    I'm just here for snark.
  • sarg1csarg1c Senior Member Posts: 1,707 Senior Member
    This may be a well discussed topic here. I don't know since I very rarely check on the Self Defense Board, but the discussion on the .380cal vs 9mm etc rounds on the Firearms Board got me to thinking. The Glasser Safety Slug was mentioned in the Topic there, but only in passing. This whole topic is out of my league....I can talk to you about flintlocks, but not handguns and ammo. But I am familiar with one incident where the Glasser round was used, and it was highly,highly effective.

    My last duty station was at CENTCOM at McDill back in the '80's during Stormin' Norman's time. I had nothing to do with this "Incident"...not helping to formulate it, or debriefing after the fact, but I did work closely with a Marine Major who had been 2nd in command IIRC, and he told me what happened. A small "enemy" country of about "dog-pecker gnat" catagory was using one of our POL storage facilities in another small "friendly" country as a special ops training facility courtesy of the "friendly" country. Security of the POL facility was under control of our Army, but the Army boys couldn't control the situation so a Marine Special Group was called in. Long story short, the Marines set a trap, allowed the infiltrators to sneak in, right into a horseshoe shaped trap where the Marines opened fire and killed the entire group...31 or 32 of 'them, forget which. The point that I'm making is that the Glasser Safety Slug was used due to the potential danger of FMJ's hitting the POL tanks and possibly starting fires.

    The Major described the physical damage to the bodies caused by the Glasser rounds as being almost beyond belief. I remember his saying that the least damaged body was hit with one round in the lower leg which virtually evaporated causing instant bleed-out.

    My simple question is this: If the Glasser Safety Slug can cause this type of intense damage, why not use it in CCW situations? Seems to me that a .380 GSS would definately be powerful enough with significant overkill! Yes? No? Why?
    Was this about 1963-64 in a central American island?
  • Jack BurtonJack Burton Member Posts: 386 Member
    Under penetration maybe the only thing NOT to worry about with Glazer. See here
    Came for the fishing, stayed for the guns.
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    sarg1c, yes as to general location, but a little later in the time frame.
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    I've never been a fan of frag rounds like the Glaser. Give me a good hollow point at a decent caliber and velocity.
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • Fat BillyFat Billy Senior Member Posts: 1,813 Senior Member
    The Glaser Safety Slugs were made for Air Marshals to carry because they weren't supposed to be able to pass through the skin of an aircraft but put some serious hurt on the reciepent of the projectile. They made blue tipped shells. The blue were only a jacket of the bullet with #12 shot suspended in some kind of semi liguid stuff to hold the shot together till it hit the target. I had some at the store but my buddy with the King Air would not let me shoot the plane to see if it would penetrate. Wasn't that selfish? The shells were high dollar and only came 6 to a box and I only saw 38s. If your round penetrated the walls like that it must have been the silver tipped one but I only saw the blue ones. They did look cool in a snubbie. I don't think they are being made any more. Man I had to go back in the memory banks for this one guys. Whew, time for a beer. :cool2: Later,
    Fat Billy

    Recoil is how you know primer ignition is complete.
  • Jack BurtonJack Burton Member Posts: 386 Member
    I used to load them because I worked late night in a store with a lot of cash on hand and the front was all glass. If the BG's came in I wanted my outgoing rounds doing as little damage beyond the glass as possible. That, and I bought into that whole Strasbourg Test stuff from the early 90's.
    Came for the fishing, stayed for the guns.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Okay, first, it's "Glaser". The Bluetip model has small shot and some say it may underpenetrate if a heavier clothing is involved. The Silvertip model has larger shot size to compensate, and is recommended for colder climates.

    Both the Bluetip and Silvertip are legal for civilian use in most locales (some states or locales may not allow them, so check your local laws). There's also a Blacktip which is law enforcement only. It may be armor piercing or something.

    Okay... regarding efficacy, there are a gazillion brands of self defense ammo out there with good performance stats, some of it regular hollow point, some of it specialty pre-fragmented like Glaser. I'm pretty sure that Glasers work just fine, but so do other brands. In my opinion, so long as you've got a major brand of self defense-type ammo, you're okay, because shot placement counts a lot. If the round hits "just right", prefrag can be bad news for the target, but so will other self defense brands.

    That being said, I think that maybe pre-frag high velocity ammo like Glaser might be a pretty good choice for smaller caliber guns, like .380, but this is just a hunch. Actual performance (real life shooting incidents) show that most any top brand of self defense ammo works fine.
  • mkk41mkk41 Banned Posts: 1,932 Senior Member
    I keep my carry guns loaded with them and recommend them for several reasons.

    The way they stopped charging dogs. (.380)

    The testimony of an ER/trauma surgeon who saw the wounds left by them. Ragged , though not deep wound cavity, massive tissue damage , severe blood loss. (.38 +P)

    The cop that shot the guy. "He went down like a ton of bricks!"

    The old Marshall/Sanow reports. Some people call them 'flawed'. (I find flaws in the bible yet people believe).
  • 44 Special44 Special New Member Posts: 9 New Member
    I think ,point blank,3 feet or less,using Silver Glaser #6 shot,on a frontal shot ,multiple shots,it may be successful ? Maybe ? Why take the chance? Use one of the many ,great premium hollow points. Being retired LEO,and military,I have only seen four Glaser shooting results.Three survived with heavy ,but shallow tissue damage. The one fatality I responded to, was a drug deal gone bad,where one BG pressed his .38 snub against the chest of the other BG,and squeezed off one Blue Glaser,killing the other BG instantly.The deceased was very thin,about 135 lbs.So, yes,I suppose sometimes there are instances where they work,but so do .22's sometimes ? I will stick with hollow points in a larger caliber !
    A successful law suit,is the one worn by a policeman . "Robert Frost"
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,321 Senior Member
    Glasers have a place, I suppose, with Air Marshals, security at NBC facilites, things of that nature. The problem is that while such pre-fragmented rounds can indeed create some spectacular wounds, they can also fail spectacularly in situations where penetration is needed.

    The "drill" effect of an FMJ is one extreme of how to apply a pistol bullet's energy. The "bomb" effect of Glasers and Mag Safes is the other. The modern, heavy-for-caliber duty round as typified by SXT, HST, Golden Sabers, Gold Dots, etc... represent the "happy medium" between the two, and all things considered, they do the job pretty well. Unlike a Glaser, you can count on them to retain enough momentum going through an upper arm on a side shot to make it to center torso. Unlike FMJ, they are frequently stopped by skin and/or clothing on the opposite side of the bad guy, or, even if they do penetrate through, they have very little gas left in the tank.

    What you choose ultimately comes down to what you are most worried about. A lot of folks seem worried to the point of paranoia about over-penetration, apparently in near-total disregard of basic firearm safety rule #4 - be sure of your target and what lies beyond. I, OTOH, am very much more worried about UNDER-penetration, and am interested in a round's ability to perform AFTER penetrating light forms of cover, therefore Glasers do not thrill me - ESPECIALLY in smaller calibers like the .380 that have low-penetration issues with anything BUT FMJ. In recent years, my thinking has gone towards being OK with truncated cone FMJ or even the good old sharp-shouldered semi-wadcutters of Elmer Keith.

    At the risk of being overly gruesome, I tend to think of defensive shooting as being somewhat like drilling for oil, except what you're drilling for is arterial blood. Using a Glaser for that task seems to me a little like attempting to strike oil by setting off explosive charges on the Earth's surface - you'll make an impressive hole, but it may not always be deep enough to get what you're after.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    sarg1c wrote: »
    Was this about 1963-64 in a central American island?

    Huh ?? island Country, Central America ??? 63 - 64 ???
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    The Dominican Republic was not involved in any way, Dr. Who, so don't worry!
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »

    At the risk of being overly gruesome, I tend to think of defensive shooting as being somewhat like drilling for oil, except what you're drilling for is arterial blood. Using a Glaser for that task seems to me a little like attempting to strike oil by setting off explosive charges on the Earth's surface - you'll make an impressive hole, but it may not always be deep enough to get what you're after.


    I've always been a bit more biological in my analogies. The whole "impressive wound" from frag rounds make me think...... Run a belt sander across somebody's chest, then stab somebody else in the heart with an ice pick. Which wound "looks" damaging, and which actually is?
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    Good point Eli. When I googled "glaser safety slug" I got everything that you would ever want to know about them including some pictures of wounds by them. Granted they come in numerous calibers and the sites didn't list the calibers that caused the wounds but most of the wounds looked gruesome but superficial.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Tiny, gel-encapsulated pieces of lead shot at handgun velocities can't help but inflict some impressive, but pretty superficial wounds. If the wounds involved in the above-described scenario were as devastating as the after-action analysis indicated, they must have been inflicted at virtually muzzle-contact range, execution-style. That might have been necessary, given the proximity of POL storage, but I don't think the ammo used was as important as the techniques employed. The goblins got really dead, really fast. Exactly how it happened is probably best left somewhat of a mystery!
    Jerry
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    Eli...you sick puppy! Why would you want to clog up a belt sander like that!?
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,748 Senior Member
    I second Mkk's opinion. I have a bit of experience with them.

    While they may not penetrate as far as a HP, the term "superficial wound" doesn't really apply if it occurs two inches inside you....I don't care how big you are.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • mkk41mkk41 Banned Posts: 1,932 Senior Member
    Heard it described like a contact wound from a .410.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Never used them, terribly expensive, not approved for LE use that I remember, large entry wound.
    I always heard it touted as a fast way to stop an attack, and some folks I spoke to loaded a few rounds of GSS and the rest conventional ammo of some type.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,123 Senior Member
    mkk41 wrote: »
    Heard it described like a contact wound from a .270.
    Fixed it
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    At this point I think it comes down to about this: Maybe the first 2-3 rounds could/should be GSS's followed by the better self defence rounds in the rest of the "clip" (Note that I said CLIP, and not magazine :wink:). If, in a hostile situation you could keep your cool and then if you scored a hit with a GSS maybe your opponent would instantly go into a "survival" mode distracted by a severe but shallow wound giving you adequate time to calmly (?) place another couple of better quality, deep penetrating self defence rounds into the body mass.

    But, to tell the truth about the way I look at it overall, I don't think unless you have had intense and FREQUENT training about how to react in a shoot-out situation that it much matters what you are armed with and what rounds your weapon is loaded with. It's going to be a "cluster-f..." from the very start. I can't imigine me-myself-ever being in a situation where I had to pull down on someone with a handgun. The way my brain works I would have to examine every segment of what was happening, weigh alternatives, say "hey wait a second I have to think..." etc, etc. Dan and our other LEO members would be able to handle a confrontation with handguns because they are TRAINED to do so. The rest of us would not and you're not going to convence me otherwise. The way I cover my own safety situation is to stay out of the dangerous parts of town...yea, I know, you can never be sure and you're right saying this, but still... My thoughts, anyway :guns:
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    Couldn't let the opportunity get past you, could you Ned? :roll2:
  • mkk41mkk41 Banned Posts: 1,932 Senior Member
    At this point I think it comes down to about this: Maybe the first 2-3 rounds could/should be GSS's followed by the better self defence rounds in the rest of the "clip" (Note that I said CLIP, and not magazine :wink:). If, in a hostile situation you could keep your cool and then if you scored a hit with a GSS maybe your opponent would instantly go into a "survival" mode distracted by a severe but shallow wound giving you adequate time to calmly (?) place another couple of better quality, deep penetrating self defence rounds into the body mass.

    But, to tell the truth about the way I look at it overall, I don't think unless you have had intense and FREQUENT training about how to react in a shoot-out situation that it much matters what you are armed with and what rounds your weapon is loaded with. It's going to be a "cluster-f..." from the very start. I can't imigine me-myself-ever being in a situation where I had to pull down on someone with a handgun. The way my brain works I would have to examine every segment of what was happening, weigh alternatives, say "hey wait a second I have to think..." etc, etc. Dan and our other LEO members would be able to handle a confrontation with handguns because they are TRAINED to do so. The rest of us would not and you're not going to convence me otherwise. The way I cover my own safety situation is to stay out of the dangerous parts of town...yea, I know, you can never be sure and you're right saying this, but still... My thoughts, anyway :guns:

    That's how I see it.

    I see standing gunfights with multiple well-armed well-trained ninjas at 7-21 yards as a dangerous fantasy. Most 'social encounters' around here lately are at arms-length with you getting jumped by 2-3 ' sweet , innocent looking kids' who ya let get too close. The current trend is for them to just wild you , grab and start punching and kicking , sticking you with whatever , and taking your wallet , cell , GUN , etc. And they could just as likely be skinny ,scrawny , boney , slightly built youths as 300lb barbell boys. Ya want something to DUMP it's energy NOW.


    . Of the guns I carry the most , my S&W M37 Airweight gets all 5 chambers filled with Glasers. Extra speedloader currently has 135gr +P Silvertips. In autos , usually just the chambered round and first two in the mag. My bedside CZ-75 in .40 S&W has 6 up because thats how many are in the pack. Not quite sure what rounds out the 12 shot mag.

    I'd bet 2-3 hits from Glasers would take the starch outta most thugs.
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