.44 Mag or .357 Mag Glaser Safety Slug for HD


July 8, 2010, 06:47 PM
I will be moving to Killeen, TX, and if you are familiar with the area, it is a hotbed of crime, mainly break-ins and armed robberies with the occasional drive-by. I'm 18, and while it is illegal to purchase a handgun at this age, it will be given to me by my father, which is legal in Texas. We own at least 30 firearms all together, and a shotgun would be my first choice, but the only shotty we have is a 12 ga Browning Auto-5, which is somewhat valued by my dad. I want a gun with a big boy status along with stopping power, so I've decided on one of these. Both are 6 1/2" barrel, and as of now, I'm leaning toward the .44 mag. I'll live in a small rent house with my girlfriend, and I figure with the Glasers over-penetration shouldn't be much of an issue. Is this true? How would the .44 perform in the safety slug? What about the .357? What would you choose if you had to choose one of these? Keep in mind, although I'm not expecting any PCP junkies to enter my house, it wouldn't be far fetched in this area. Also, I am pretty experienced with firearms and have been shooting since I was about 8 or 9 years old.

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July 8, 2010, 07:11 PM
Bullets do funny things. Just because they are designed to open up doesn't mean they will. I've seen glasers not open at all and just zip through like a FMJ. Since you are going live with a girl she needs something she can handle too. Nothing beats a good hollow point like a Gold Dot or Golden Saber.

July 8, 2010, 07:17 PM
I don't think she'd ever want to use it, and may downright refuse to learn how. I'll always be there anyway.

July 8, 2010, 07:46 PM
My advice; take the .357 and load it with .38+P. :eek:
(Or go .44 special in your .44)

There is too much chatter about how nothing less than a magnum will do for personal defense. Magnums have their roles but home defense is not their niche. Magnums inside the house add excessive penetration, noise and flash, and can decrease controllability, none of which help you actually stop an intruder.

As someone has stated around these forums: "The only place a .38 special is not a man-stopper, is on the Internet." 38s have been stopping crime for over 100 years. Using Glassers to "tame" a .44 mag looks like seeking a solution to a problem you are creating for yourself.

(Take my advice for what it's worth. And expect several others to chime in about how wrong I am. :neener: )

July 8, 2010, 08:39 PM
Glasers have become hotly contested re one stop man stoppers these days. Not everybody agrees that they are worth the money.

Personally, I think they cost so much that people aren't going to practice enough to become proficient. And you definitely need to practice extensively with the round you intend to use.

I'd buy 1000 or so rounds of 38+P and practice, practice, practice.

Art Eatman
July 8, 2010, 10:59 PM
I was on a jury for a manslaughter case. Snubby .38 with HydraShoks. The coroner's report said that any of the five hits would have been fatal.

So I see nothing wrong with +P .38 Special in a medium frame revolver. Easier to control than the uber-lightweight carry critters or than with full-house maggie loads.

July 8, 2010, 11:06 PM
Glasers are poor choices for self defense. But hey, snake oil and snuggies still sell....

July 9, 2010, 12:53 AM
.357/38spl Less costly to practice with. I own both 44 Mag and 38/357. and have no qualms with my various K and J frames around the home chambered in 38 or .357.
Hitting is all about practice.

July 9, 2010, 01:47 AM
My advice is to spend $140 and get a Maverick 88 12 gauge pump shotgun from Academy Sports. I love mine, and it will work better than either. For another $88 you can get a 18.5" barrel. Load it with #6 to #4 shot (high brass), and you will be good to go.

For a small appt.or rental .357 would be a good choice loaded with 38 +P. My wife took our night stand gun with her to my mother's house (road trip). So I loaded the 44 Mag SA Ruger SBH with 240 grain and 7.0 grains Trail Boss. Pretty tough load for house defense, but I also had the Maverick 88 in a side pillow case parallel to the bed.

Good luck with your choice. Stay safe.

July 9, 2010, 08:21 AM
as the noise and flash of the larger magnums would be detrimental to you , especially at night.

July 9, 2010, 08:45 AM
For a .357M, I'd go with any - including Georgia Arm's excellent loading - .38 Spcl +P 158gr LHPSWC. I chrono-ed the Rem & GA Arms load - 997 fps from my 6" 66 - pretty potent. It's a well tried and proven round from a snubby - also known as the 'old FBI load'.

The Speer #4429 200gr .429" Gold Dot JHP is optimized to open by 800 fps - while other bullets outperform it at 1k fps or higher. GA Arms loads it in .44 Special brass at ~805 fps from my 2.5" 296 .44 Special to 885+ fps from my 6" 629 .44 Magnum. It's also in CCI Blazer Al cases - usually more expensive than the GA Arms brass load.

I keep moonclips and speedloaders loaded with the above two loads for all of my .38/.357M and .44 revolvers.


July 9, 2010, 09:04 AM
Double check your laws to make sure it's not also illegal for someone under 18 to possess a handgun.

July 9, 2010, 01:43 PM
I'd go with the .357 loaded with .38+P. Easy to shoot well, fun to practice with, cheaper ammo, and a well proven round. I like my 44 Mag, but I use 44 special ammo for SD - and 44 special ammo is EXPENSIVE - maybe more so than mag ammo.

Why pay twice as much to practice when both rounds do a great job for SD?

July 9, 2010, 01:54 PM
As you won't be carrying this for self-defense outside the home, I'd also probably vote for a pump 12-ga (you know how CHEAP those are these days?) loaded with 000 or 00 buckshot. Easier for those not highly trained with a handgun to make hits with, and plenty of power for the job.

If you are set on a handgun, I'd get a .38 Spc./.357 revolver (probably a security company trade-in Model 64 Smith from J&G for about $239 right now) and load it with a decent .38 Spc. +P JHP. (Ditch the "magical frangible" junk.)

For close-range self-defense against humans massive penetration and energy is unneccessary. .44 Mag is overkill for that task. Some .357 Mag loads probably are, too. You will be more efficient (faster & smoother with the follow-up shots) with a gun that is both lighter and recoils less.

July 9, 2010, 02:44 PM
I've read reports of inconsistent performance with Glasers - if they plug on hitting a timber stud, apparently they can penetrate like FMJ. On the other hand, penetration in the BG may not be enough. For me, the decisive reason to reject them was the price -- I would not be able to afford to practise much with them.

I have a range of handgun calibers to choose from in my house including 38 Spl +P, 357 mag, 9mm and 45 ACP. I would be equally happy to use any of them in terms of caliber. The one I would probably go to first would be my J-frame 357 mag simply because it has a laser on it. For a home defense gun, you don't need a J-frame, you could go full size, but I think you should consider a laser if your funds will run to it.

July 9, 2010, 08:28 PM
as with Sam1911. See post #9..

Like I was saying if in an appt. Use regular shot not buckshot. #4 or #6 High Brass shotshell at 7 to 15 yards will be very effective, and you can back those up with buckshot if needed. First two regular shot, 3rd and 4th buckshot with slug in the end. This is just thoughtful thinking, and not really coax you to go with my opinion of a home defense weapon. Do as you wish, but a shotgun is 20 fold better than any handgun for defense of oneself in close quarters.
I might also choose a 20 gauge over a 12 gauge. Actually I have a 20 ga in the corner cabinet, a 12 in the bedside shotgun hammock. Shotgun, shotgun, shotgun.

July 9, 2010, 10:36 PM
In an apartment Glaser Blue is perfect. Go with either .44 Special, or .38 Special, depending on the gun. Not the mags. If you can, go with a shorter barrel. The ~6" barrel is a bit unwieldy in close quarters. A 3" or 4" barrel makes more sense, if you have that choice. In either .38 or .44 caliber, if you are unsure, you can always hedge your bets by loading the first 2-3 chambers with Glaser and the rest with good hollowpoints.

July 10, 2010, 10:19 AM
For home defense, the choice of a handgun or long gun is simply not a choice.

Never, ever, ever, will I take a handgun when I have the option of a long gun. I've seen enough wounds over the last few months to know that the human body can withstand a lot. If I'm looking to stop an attacker, it's because I'm in imminent danger of death or severe bodily harm. That means I'm looking for whatever will stop the attack soonest. Also, had enough oh-crap moments to be standing there either glad I had my rifle or cursing myself that I went with just the M9 that day.

Furthest down the list would be a handgun loaded with shot shells. I'd rather take a baseball bat, expandable baton, or a broom stick.

If the 12g shotgun I keep at home doesn't have enough "big boy" status for you, I care not. My firearms are not intended to impress others.

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