From: gmk@falstaff.MAE.CWRU.EDU (Geoff Kotzar)
Subject: Re: Glaser Safety Slugs
Nice guy Eddie:
### Ok, thanx to everyone who recommended .40 ammo to me. My
###question is: simply put, does anyone have anything bad to say about
###their experiences with the Glaser Safety Slugs? Thanx in advance.
##Insufficient penetration. They're Ok for a Tee shirt clad assailant
##offering you a target range full frontal profile, but if you need
##to shoot an assailant who has turned sideways to you, the round will
##probably stop in his upper arm and not penetrate to a vital area.
#That would entirely (and probably permanently) disable that arm. I
#carry half glaser and half hydrashok in my PPK/s. I haven't fired
#many glasers, but they've never jammed when I did and they will
#do some SERIOUS damage to melons.
With all of this interest in the performance of Glasers I thought you might
like a summary of the first 14 cases that Ed Sanow (Edwin J. Sanow now that
he has co-authored the "definitive" study of handgun effectiveness) reported
in Combat Handguns (April '89, pp28-33).
He broke the performances down into three catagories:
1) Average = the glaser performed as well as any conventional bullet would;
2) Failure = a conventional bullet would have provided superior results; and,
3) Success = the glaser accomplished what would not have been possible for a
1) Texas, office setting, range 5-6 yards. 9mm Glaser flatpoint. Impacted upper
right torso near nipple at a slight quartering angle, perforating and
shredding the pectoral muscle and shattering two ribs. The Glaser had
disintegrated by this point. Shot pellets and bone fragments continued
penetrating creating a 5 inch dia. wound in lung. The clinically lethal
wounds were inflicted by the balance of the rounds fired. Some of these
were Rem 115 JHP which failed to expand at this off-the-muzzle range and
perforated the victim.
2) San Diego, CA. .38 SPL +P Glaser. The bullet impacted the upper torso on
a nearly frontal shot; this is supposed to be the best possible condition
for a Glaser to work. The bullet penetrated between the ribs on the right
side saturating the top of the liver. The victim collapsed after 10 seconds
from a profusely bleeding wound.
3) Indianapolis, 9mm flatnose Glaser. The shot was pulled low and impacted the
knee cap destroying both the knee cap and the distal femur and proximal
tibia. The individual dropped to the ground but was still able to discharge
his shotgun. He was taken out by torso hits from a standard .38 SPL. Any
load with an expanding bullet or a non-expanding bullet would have had the
same results on the knee joint. The big claim to fame for the Glaser in this
case was a non-perforating wound.
4) San Diego, .45 ACP flatnose Glaser. The victim was first shot in the liver
by a .22 LR and fled the house. Her attacker followed after rearming with
the .45 Auto and fired the first Glaser at a distance of 2 feet. The angle
of impact was "directly accross the chest", I don't know what direction
this refers to exactly. Penetration was 4 inches from the right side.
Sanow claims that whatever direction he was refering to above, the bullet
path was "totally insignificant in terms of stopping power". Go figure.
Anyway, she stopped running after being hit and then started again. The
second Glaser also entered the right side from about 45 degrees from the
front on a line that would have gone between the lungs and ended at the
left shoulder blade. This shot was a little lower than the first which I
think means the first must have impacted somewhere around the armpit. Again
this second shot never entered the body cavity but rather curved around the
rib cage and came to rest in a fat layer. The victim slowed down and
collapsed, Sanow says because of blood loss due to the .22LR in the liver.
She was excuted by a third Glaser behind the ear.
5) Texas, .38 SPL +P. The bullet impacted the upper arm either hitting a heavy
bicep or the bicep and humerous. It disintegrated in the arm causing massive
soft tissue damage but no pellets entered the thorax.
6) .38 SPL fired from a 2 inch Colt. The woman is on the floor firing up at a
steep angle. Distance less than 4 feet. The Glaser impacted just above the
right hip on a line passing through the liver and the heart. Penetration
was 3 inches and the pellets never even made it to the liver. The robber
ran 22 blocks and checked himself into the hospital there.
7) .38 SPL +P Glaser from a 4 inch revolver at a distance of 8-9 feet. The
bullet impacted the sternum at an angle of 30-45 degrees but first hit
a large heavy zipper. The bullet disintgrated carrying part of the zipper
below the skin. All of the metal stayed between the skin and the rib cage.
The result was a very bloody surface wound and the stopping power was "from
victim compliance and nothing else". Remember this phrase bacause we will
need it again for one of the "successes".
8) Two police officers firing .357 Mag flatnose and 9mm flatnose Glasers. The
distance was short as it took place in a basement. The .357 bounced off of
the top of the forehead having no effect. The 9mm struck the lower abdomen
off-center well to one side resulting in a large amount of abdominal damage
and the ultimate loss of a significant amount of intestines. The felon
9) El Salvador, paramilitary instructor firing a 9mm Glaser at an ambusher.
Impacted from a quartering angle about mid-torso producing a large
shallow entrance wound just under the diaphram and saturated the spleen.
The soldier rolled head over heels in mid-stride and was found dead a few
10)Kentucky, 9mm Glaser and a 9mm Silvertip of unknown generation. The Silver-
tip was first and the nose collapsed inwards. The Glaser struck the groin
area, eviscerating the felon dropping him. Pelletes were found in the chest
cavity and down in the thighs.
11)Florida, 9mm Glaser, distance 4 feet. A knife wielder was hit in the right
shoulder under the collar bone dropping the knife. He took two steps,
doubled over, going down to one knee; picked up the knife and then walked
61 yards to his residence. He was relatively mobile and dangerous for 3
minutes after being shot. The entrance hole was nickel sized, the bullet
disintgrating after 2 inches shattering the clavical and ruptureing the
sub-clavical artery. If stopping power "from victim compliance and no other
reason" is the criterion of a failure, this sure sounds like one to me.
12)Texas, .357 Mag. The victim was struck from behind and a slight angle with
the bullet path on a line from the spine to the heart. The slug missed the
spinal column and disintegrated instantly. Very few pellets reached the
heart but they saturated the pulmonary arteries and veins. The felon dropped
immediately but not due these wounds. A chip of one vertebral body was blown
off and into the spinal cord. The bullet did not appear to impact the spinal
column and the fragment was attributed to the "large and early stretch
cavity, a stretch cavity typical of Glasers".
13).38 SPL +P Glaser from a snubby. Range was under 10 feet. This was the
"classic scenario for the Glaser". The slug struck the lower part of the
sternum from a fully frontal shot, saturating the heart and perforating
14)Chicago, .44 SPL flatnose Glasers, 3 inch barrel. Five rounds fired, only
two impacted. One struck an extremity, the other struck the upper torso
in the area of the left nipple at a slight angle from the front shredding
the left lung and the left side of the heart. "As is typical of the Glaser
no part of the projectile overpenetrated to endanger others"; that job was
left to the three rounds that missed their intended target totally.
There you have it. By my count only 6 successes, 5 failures and 3 average
performances. If your assailants are so co-operative that they are willing
to present the "classic scenario for the Glaser" why not just have them lie
down spreadeagled and then you could just put one in the back of their skulls
if you really felt the need to shoot.
Seriously, while the data above are limited in number the picture they present
is not very promising especially for a super slug. Wharever you may think of
Evan Marshall's work, by his criteria some of Sanow's "successes" are really
"failures". Furthermore, the "classic scenario for the Glaser" just happens to
be the classic scenario for any round and if a .357 Mag 125 JHP is going to
work you would certainly expect it to work with the absolutely perfect shot
placements of "successes" #13 & 14. Some of these so-called successes would
have been successful with most any high perf. conventional defense round and
I would classify them as just average performance. If you make the adjustment
to the classifications that common sense dictates you wind up with a cartridge
that does not perform any better that our better self-defense rounds and that
can produce some abominal failures that would not occur with a bullet of
conventional hollow-point construction.
For the record, if you have read the Marshall/Sanow "Definitive Study" book
you will recognize these 14 cases. In spite of "Handgun Stopping Power"
having been published several years after the combat Handgun article refer-
enced above, they did not list any additional field reports for the Glasers.
The reasons for this were not stated in the book, so I guess the above reports
can be considered as representative of Glaser performance as any more recent
I hope this will help of some of you newcomers to the group to deal with
the Glaser myths.
geoff kotzar email@example.com