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Ballistic gelatin test results : .38 Special Glaser Safety Slug 'silver'

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Brass Fetcher, May 4, 2007.

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  1. Brass Fetcher

    Brass Fetcher Member

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    Special thanks to 351 WINCHESTER for sponsoring this test in full.

    Cartridge : 80gr +P Glaser Safety Slug 'silver' pre-fragmented bullet (Part # 02400)

    Firearm : Smith and Wesson .38 Special with 4" barrel length

    Block calibration : 10.3cm @ 605 ft/sec (No attempt at correction was made, due to the fragmenting/irregular shaped nature of the penetrating projectiles)

    Shot 1 - Impacted the block at 1154 ft/sec. Shot was (inadvertently) placed low on the block... likely causing projectile/sub-projectile interaction with the wooden surface of the test bench. Partial fragmentation took place, with the retainment of ~ one-half the sub-projectiles within the jacket shell. The average penetration of the shot balls that did separate from the bullet was 9.0". Deepest penetration of the main body of the Safety Slug was 10.8". Track is outlined in blue in photograph. Please note that the blue outlining is meant, in this case, to highlight the paths of the sub-projectiles - past 6.0" depth the tissue damage done by these projectiles is minimal due to the distance that separates them and their small diameters.

    Shot 2 - Impacted at unknown velocity. The ball that plugged the shot-filled cavity was recovered at 1.6" depth. Except for two shot balls that fragmented from the main body of the bullet, the projectile stayed intact and penetrated 16.5" of ballistic gelatin and ~ 1" of polyester bullet arresting box. Track is outlined in green.

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  2. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    Iiiiiinteresting.

    Not what I'd call "consistent performance" here. In the "green outline shot" a weird hit to the wood caused the core to "lock up" and not spread it's load. At which point you've got a weak, super-light FMJ ball effect.

    The track in blue is better. About 10" and a good internal spread. That round would have hurt.

    Upshot: I'd like to see the Silver in 357. With just a bit more speed we might have something worth talking about here. All frangibles tend to work better the faster they go; in 38spl we're clearly right on the ragged lower edge of the necessary speed, and arguably haven't hit it yet.

    THANKS!
     
  3. Brass Fetcher

    Brass Fetcher Member

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    Actually, the green impact hit nothing but gelatin... it was the round that fragmented that -may- have hit the wood. I am not sure what happened though... the path of the bullet did not indicate that the bullet physically touched the bench... but the reaction of the bench onto the gelatin might have been what initiated the fragmentation...
     
  4. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    Ah. Yeah...OK, so...they stink :(. That may be blunt but...I wouldn't use this load on a dare.

    <scratches head>

    *Maybe* some medium-grade clothes would actually help it blow up?

    It would still be useful to see if some extra velocity would help - as in "357".
     
  5. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    I shot an 80 pound dog in the chest with 2 from a .357, the first from about 50 feet, the next from about 10 feet. It howled and snapped at the wounds!:( until I walked up to 4 feet and put 2 more in the brain. After that I knew they were hoaxes.:rolleyes:
     
  6. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    Ah. Was that the silver, or blue?

    The blue we're pretty sure is junk. Pellets are too small. Silver has "potential" - bigger shot size. But it ain't enough in 38, obviously.
     
  7. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    I too wouldn't use glasers on a dare. I bought these some time back with the intention of testing them on some dillas. Many years ago I bought some blue glasers for testing also. I was checking the crimp and was able to push the bullet into the case! No thanks!

    There are so many good loads for the .38 today, I wouldn't consider any frangible as being adequate.
     
  8. SeanSw

    SeanSw Member

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    I had a somewhat heated debate regarding frangible handgun bullets and shotshells in a .22 or .38 revolver, and you might be surprised how many people believe that they are the premium choice for home and personal defense.

    First they believe that the shot will spread out like a shotgun (which already won't scatter as much as they think) so you don't need to aim the weapon, and then because the assailant has been struck by so many pellets they will immediately be deterred from further aggression :rolleyes:

    The .38 special is not lacking in penetration. The worst we can do to neuter the .38 is reduce the weight and allow the projectile to fragment at a shallow depth. I wouldn't use these unless I had a rat problem.
     
  9. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    Amen to that!
     
  10. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    SeanSw,
    You would be better off with CCI ShotShells for rats. At least they are cheaper!! LOL
     
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