Glaser Safety Slug vs. Interior wall and ballistic gelatin


Brass Fetcher
November 28, 2006, 06:50 PM
I just got done testing a Glock 19 with Glaser Silver Safety Slug against bare ballistic gelatin and an interior wall in front of ballistic gelatin. PDF required to view. Please let us know what you think.



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November 28, 2006, 07:05 PM
Nice testing.

One concern I have is that as far as I know, Glaser bills its bullets as being less prone to ricochet due to their frangible construction. Had someone asked me if I thought you could fire a Glaser safety slug through a wall I would have said yes - which your test confirms. But if someone asked me if a ricochet would go through a wall, I would guess no - since I have been led to believe (by Glaser) that their bullet would break up on impact and the fragments wouldn't penetrate the wall (or would be less dangerous if they did).

Additionally, I'm not terribly suprised by the lack of penetration in ballistic gelatin. I understand that's the point of the slug - to reduce over penetration.

I think your testing was wonderful and your photos are fantastic. I'd like to see you conduct a ricochet test through wall material. I'd be greatly interested in those results.

I have a vested interest. I keep a speed loader of .357 Glaser rounds near my house defense gun.

November 28, 2006, 08:33 PM
Interesting about the dust that went into the cavity. I once tried chronoing bullets after they were shot through wall board. The readings were all over the place because of the cloud of dust that is created by the shot. Your picture shows that effect better.

Overall the results seem to confirm that if something is worth shooting it's worth shooting with real bullets.

Brass Fetcher
November 28, 2006, 08:41 PM
+1 Griz. Congrats on your 2000th post. If I might add : "shoot often, if you have to shoot through a barrier". Bullets seem to like bare gelatin best. :)

I've actually considered doing the exact same test. Would you mind posting your results/procedure? I'm sure that many people here would like to see that too.

November 28, 2006, 09:54 PM
Overall the results seem to confirm that if something is worth shooting it's worth shooting with real bullets.

I agree with this under certain circumstances. For instance, I would never carry a pistol loaded with Glasers when out and about. A heavy (for caliber), fast bullet that retains its energy at longer ranges and can penetrate to vitals or the central nervous system is, in my opinion, the better choice. My interest in the Glaser stemmed from the manufacturer's claim that it was the safer choice indoors because it was designed to reduce the chances of over penetration. I had no illusions that a miss wouldn't penetrate a wall. My concern was that it didn't pass through the intruder's body and into the next room (since I didn't plan on missing ;) ). The manufacturer claims sufficient penetration in gelatin testing, but not over penetration.

I have no idea if the Glaser is worth its own weight in dog poo in an actual fight or not. But the manufactuer's claims seem plausible and it seems to have a good reputation. Hope I never have to find out.

November 29, 2006, 01:33 PM
I'll write it up and post it here. Might take a day or two.

November 30, 2006, 04:56 AM
Just get the BG to hold up a piece of dry wall :evil: . The performance after going through looked pretty good (11+ in penetration). Too bad that's not what the company is trying to achieve. I bet the "blue" line with much smaller shot would have had a better chance of fragmenting on the wall board. It would also penetrate less in bare gelatin, which was marginal already with the "silvers".

I see no reason to ever have Glasers if they are unlikely to fragment when hitting drywall, that was most of the point of them, along with reduced riochet hazard. I'll stick with GDs, indoors too. Nice test, thanks for posting it.

Odd Job
November 30, 2006, 05:25 AM
@ JE223

Good work as always!

December 1, 2006, 01:40 PM
A while back there was a lot of talk here about over penetration of various self defense rounds. Many opinions were advanced about the “safest” round to use if you had good guys on the other side of the wall that the gun was pointed at. One of the posters said something that struck a chord with me. He said “how do you know that the 223 penetrates more than a handgun round unless you have tried it. So I decided to find out for myself.

First I wanted to find out how many walls it would take to stop a bullet. The short answer is many. I made up a jig to space small pieces of drywall 3.5 inches apart. (The thickness of most interior walls) I found many hand gun rounds would shoot through a small house (sheathing, insulation, four walls and maybe more sheathing depending on the load) unless they hit studs, wire, plumbing, etc. Shotgun pellet penetration varied from one wall with birdshot to about the same as a normal JHP handgun bullet. Basically anything that would remotely be considered for self defense* will shoot through several walls. Even an air gun pellet will shoot through one wall, 22 shorts will shoot through several.

It was obvious that a piece of drywall didn’t slow down a bullet much. I wondered how much velocity remained to endanger the person behind the wall. So I set up the chronograph behind sheets of drywall to try and measure that. The problem is dust. A piece of sheetrock maybe a cubic inch in size is turned to dust at the shot, and this goes everywhere, including behind the bullet, and screws up the chrono reading. The velocity varied from a little higher than muzzle speed to losing about 800 FPS. So no numbers are to be relied upon. I tried using FMJ bullets and rigging up a cardboard shield to keep the dust back, but none of that worked.

So my simple conclusion is to never depend on a wall for a backstop.
The pictures are the setup for the chrono, and the differences between entrance and exit on the boards.

*The one possible exception to this is if you consider birdshot suitable. I no longer do, but some have faith in it.

After typing this, I thought of something that now seems obvious. When you shoot drywall, a cloud appears behind it that is the source of the chrono problems. So why don’t I move the chrono way back so the bullet has a chance to shed the dust? If I get the time I will try this.

Hope you found this useful or at least mildly interesting, Griz

Brass Fetcher
December 4, 2006, 12:57 PM
Griz, thanks for the post. Regarding placing the skyscreens further back - I place the gelatin blocks that I shoot during the 'interior wall' test the called-for 18" behind the back of the second piece of wallboard. So far, all I have tested this way is a 12 guage - and the block is still well powdered with wallboard after the shot. I'm thinking at least 2 feet offset for starters.

Did you get the results of the .45ACP SWC that I tested? It will go to 35" depth in ballistic gelatin.

December 4, 2006, 01:54 PM
Great work.

December 4, 2006, 03:12 PM
Did you get the results of the .45ACP SWC that I tested?

Nope, didn't even try it. I started with typical JHP defensive ammo and saw no need for more penetration.

Bartholomew Roberts
December 5, 2006, 10:44 AM
Great work and very interesting reading as well. I had stopped carrying Glasers years ago because I had come to the realization that I didn't want to be shooting at an imminent threat of death or serious injury with something that wouldn't penetrate drywall.

So it is kind of funny to see that the performance of the Glaser is actually improved after penetrating drywall.

December 5, 2006, 11:51 AM
Thank you sir.

For several years prior to 'net chat rooms and such, I had a Walther PPK that logged a bunch of miles. After the Glasers became available, the first round was a Blue Glaser.

Thanks again,


Jim March
December 5, 2006, 12:58 PM
Wow. That stuff is junk.

OK, here's what gets me the most: the tested velocity was just a hair under 1,600fps. Glocks tend to "shoot fast" for their barrel length so...we're probably seeing speeds similar to a 2" or even 3" 357 (which in a Glaser is basically the same slug).

In theory Glasers get better the faster they go. Breakup in walls is more likely, punch in the target is better.

I would have thought that these speeds would have been enough to get fragmentation going after hitting the wall. I had concerns over this not happening with 38spl (esp. from a snubby) but to see a failure this bad at 1,600fps is a major indictment of this whole concept.

I wouldn't even trust this crap in 44Mag. THANK YOU for this very revealing test. thing though: the 357 or 44Mag versions might be hot stuff out of a carbine. A lot of JHPs fired out of leverguns or the like come completely unglued. It would only be safe to use them first and last though as the round nose *might* trigger a primer in the next one up under recoil. 9mm should get a decent speed boost in a 16" barrel but the 357 and 44mag even moreso. A 357 Glaser from an 18" tube should get...huh...hard to say, but I'd guesstimate somewhere past 2,200?

Brass Fetcher
December 5, 2006, 03:32 PM
Thank you for the great feedback on the test.

BR, isn't that ironic? I wasn't sure that I expected that prior to the test, but I was definately surprised when it happened - IE, the round has a respectable chance at incapacitating a subject only after passing through a barrier that was supposed to stop it. Almost cosmic irony, right?

The Glaser was a round that I wanted to test in gelatin since 1996 (waaay before I started actually testing) - this was during the ultra hyping of the light-fast bullets IIRC and downplaying of the actually effective pistol bullets - the slow-heavy type. Now I am thankful to have the resources to have done such a test and am glad that it has evidently helped someone out.

As far as the velocity window and the Glock used to launch the bullets, I have heard the same thing for polygonal rifling, but have never seen it in the particular G-19 used in this test. It was the same firearm used to test the 124gr Golden Sabers on my website. I believe those were a tad slow for the cartridge. Don't know why or even like that fact, but somehow things have worked out in regards to getting ammo to work in this 'slow' barrel. Ammunition should also be 'robust', ideally, in that it can perform respectably out of a 2.75" barrel, while still holding together and penetrating out of a SMG or similar, while being effective with all barrel lengths in-between. I do believe that Winchesters Ranger line is designed with this in mind, and I would imagine that all of the police lines of the other quality ammo manufacturers would fit into this category as well.

Bartholomew Roberts
December 6, 2006, 04:48 PM
Yes, definitely ironic. If you search TFL you can even find several posts of me defending Glasers. In the last post, I decide I will prove this point once and for all by doing some Google research of instances where Glasers worked just fine.

Instead I end up discovering a bunch of examples of Glasers not penetrating deeply enough to end the threat. Guess they should have been behind a barrier eh?

Odd Job
December 6, 2006, 07:45 PM
How many versions of this sort of ammunition are there? I know the Glaser and the Magsafe, but are there any more?

Car Knocker
December 6, 2006, 11:04 PM
A suggestion: two sheets of Visqueen plastic sheeting a couple of feet behind the sheetrock wall should serve to eliminate the dust problem (think another wall section using the plastic sheeting instead of sheetrock).

December 7, 2006, 07:52 AM
Car Knocker, thanks for the suggestion, I might try that. The cardboard barrier might be creating it's own debris, so that could be the problem. If it does work it would allow me to keep the bullet travel to a minumim, and reduce the possiblity of punching a hole in my poor little Chrony.:uhoh:

December 7, 2006, 09:08 AM
JE223...thanks for the test. I started some threads about the same subject. I felt that glaser would still be lethal if it went thru 2 to 4 layers of drywall, even though a friend of mine swears by the stuff. I noticed you did a few test on the bare gel, but how many did you do on the drywall test. If it is just one, It could have been a dud, if it was multiple I would say Glasers are junk.

You guys(JE223 & Griz) are lucky, I which I had a lot of land to do my own test.

Just get the BG to hold up a piece of dry wall . The performance after going through looked pretty good (11+ in penetration). Too bad that's not what the company is trying to achieve. I bet the "blue" line with much smaller shot would have had a better chance of fragmenting on the wall board. It would also penetrate less in bare gelatin, which was marginal already with the "silvers".

Box o' Truth used blue tips in their test, went thru 6 layers of sheetrock. More than a regular .22 HV solid.

Like Griz mentioned, birdshot its the only thing that might work, however its not a great manstopper.

Brass Fetcher
December 7, 2006, 12:12 PM
If anything, the lack of ability to do multiple blocks of the same cartridge would be the 'thing' that I would like to change. Because I hear what you're saying about the possibility of a 'dud' bullet. Problem is, in order to be considered a 'statistically' valid test, we would have to shoot many many blocks with the same lot of ammo and same gun. When I say many, I mean at least 10 blocks!

Thanks for the link to the box-of-truth. In this case, I would say that their test of Glaser blue, and the experiences of others on this thread, illustrates that the encountered failure is more of a characteristic of the round than a workmanship or material failure.

June 13, 2009, 09:20 PM
You probably just saved me a lot of headache, if not heartache. This (overpen through interior/exterior walls) was exactly what I was trying to avoid by getting this type of bullet. I think we can assume that the increased penetration due to the malformed 2nd bullet is an aberration, but when children's lives are at risk (mine or others in the neighborhood) failure is not acceptable.

If some one could direct me to a similar gypsum board testing with #6, and #4 shot I would be most appreciative. This is currently what I keep near my shotgun. Not optimal maybe, but at 5'-8' can still cause massive trauma without over penetration.

June 13, 2009, 10:05 PM
Has the real-world use of Glasers ever been tested?

Brass Fetcher
June 13, 2009, 11:25 PM

Stay tuned - I've got a test of .40S&W Glaser blue coming up in the next month.

It should involve a three-shot set into bare gelatin and a three-shot set into wallboard + gelatin, among many others. But I won't wait to finish the report before I post the Glaser results to THR.


June 13, 2009, 11:53 PM
Another Zombie-thread

June 14, 2009, 06:48 AM
november 28th, 2006, 03:50 pm

op duac

Brass Fetcher
June 14, 2009, 11:52 PM
Does the age of the original post make the new questions invalid?

June 15, 2009, 07:42 AM

Does the age of the original post make the new questions invalid?

No I guess not, but more than likely the person asking the question has long moved on from the topic.

I personally use Glasers when having guest's at my home.

June 25, 2009, 11:43 AM
Any update on the Glaser Blue testing in .40 S&W?

June 25, 2009, 11:56 AM
We should always assume that all shots are going to overpenetrate, regardless of bullet construction. Rule #4 still applies, no matter what you are shooting with.

Nothing here is going to make me want to trust my life to frangible ammo.

Brass Fetcher
June 25, 2009, 08:34 PM
The .40S&W Glaser test should happen within 2 months.

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