Magsafe or Glaser in a snubnose

Magsafe or Glaser in a snubnose

This is a discussion on Magsafe or Glaser in a snubnose within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I regularly carry a S&W 642. One of the problems with the pistol is getting follow-up shots quickly on target. Though it only shoots .38 ...

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Thread: Magsafe or Glaser in a snubnose

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    Member Array whitestone's Avatar
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    Magsafe or Glaser in a snubnose

    I regularly carry a S&W 642. One of the problems with the pistol is getting follow-up shots quickly on target. Though it only shoots .38 it still is my most difficult carry gun to control in that sense. The combo of a reliable, easy to carry pistol with easy follow-up has raised my interest.

    Has anyone shot Magsafe or Glaser in a snubnose revolver? I'm interested in hearing about your experience with perceived recoil with these types of ammo in the snubbie and the ability to place good follow-up shots. I've read the good and bad on the ammo and that has been discussed in other threads. I'm more interested in whether it is significantly more controllable with the smaller pistols.


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    Don't guess it matters what you shoot in it, the problem is the 15 oz weight.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whitestone View Post
    I regularly carry a S&W 642. One of the problems with the pistol is getting follow-up shots quickly on target. Though it only shoots .38 it still is my most difficult carry gun to control in that sense.
    I think you'll find that it will continue to be, regardless of ammo. BTDT.

    A lightweight snub-nosed revolver is tough. If it doesn't match your body's (and mind's) conception of a controllable package, it might not ever be accurate for you. With a monster grip and lighter rounds, I was able to do satisfactorily at 10yds, but in carry format (with the standard boot grips or any flavor near that size) in a mid-power .38, I never could get comfortable with the difficulty of maintaining aim on the second and subsequent shots.

    Magsafe and Glaser bullets won't help much, they you might find they'll help a bit. Try them and see. The recoil has a different character. It's not such a wallop on the hands, and (to me) it doesn't feel as sharp or snappy. But is still has a good kick. Will you find it different? Dunno.

    I'm more interested in whether it is significantly more controllable with the smaller pistols.
    Not significantly, for me.
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    Member Array Erich's Avatar
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    I've shot both +P .38 MagSafes and Glasers from J-frame 1 7/8" barreled guns. I don't consider that either had particularly bad recoil, but I am in no way troubled by the FBI Load from Airweight guns.

    I've worked on over 150 handgun killings, and I would personally never rely on either MagSafes or Glasers in .38 Special. My J-frames are carried with either the FBI Load, my own handrolled defensive wadcutters, or my handloaded "clone" of the FBI Load - I would be profoundly concerned that a frangible round would not penetrate adequately to effect a stop.

    I would propose that it's might be cheaper and more effective merely to practice with conventional carry rounds in your Airweight until you are able to effect fast follow-up shots. Best of luck, regardless of what you decide.
    Anthony and bmcgilvray like this.

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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    I'm with Erich...

    MagSafes & Glasers have GREAT Marketing. By the reports in their slick literature you'd be turning your .380 into a .45. But before you go betting your life on "claims by the manufacturer" please take note...the opinions generated by real shootings from first-person observers are NOT so convincing.

    Forgive my bluntness...but if an ultra-light handgun has too much recoil for you to quickly recover & follow-up when using less-exotic, industry standard, full-power personal defense ammo? The BEST solution isn't to look for a magic bullet, but rather for a heavier handgun.
    There are only TWO kinds of people in this world; those who describe the world as filled with two kinds of people...and those who don't.

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    Member Array Alien Nation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erich View Post
    I've shot both +P .38 MagSafes and Glasers from J-frame 1 7/8" barreled guns. I don't consider that either had particularly bad recoil, but I am in no way troubled by the FBI Load from Airweight guns.

    I've worked on over 150 handgun killings, and I would personally never rely on either MagSafes or Glasers in .38 Special. My J-frames are carried with either the FBI Load, my own handrolled defensive wadcutters, or my handloaded "clone" of the FBI Load - I would be profoundly concerned that a frangible round would not penetrate adequately to effect a stop.

    I would propose that it's might be cheaper and more effective merely to practice with conventional carry rounds in your Airweight until you are able to effect fast follow-up shots. Best of luck, regardless of what you decide.
    AMEN!
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    Brian

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    Member Array Randy's Avatar
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    Low recoil or not - they probably shouldn't even be a consideration for use.

    Safety Slugs

    Randy

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    Member Array Erich's Avatar
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    A colleague of mine sent me those X-ray shots, Randy - they pretty much confirmed everything that Fackler's been saying about the GSS since the '80s.

    And, FWIW, I frequently see cases in which an arm was penetrated before the round found "the good stuff" to bring about the stop.

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    I ONLY carry MagSafe in my M642. I like the ultra wide "mouth" of the round as it is easy to see the small "shot" embedded there. My feeling is that the ultra short barrel is going to tend to lend itself to missed shots especially under the extreme stress of a hostile confrontation. I have no trouble emptying the cylinder of all five shots in about 2.5 seconds. That doesn't matter if it's MagSafe, Glaser, Gold Dot or ANY hot +P factory load. (yes it is uncomfortable but training and experience are a telling factor) However...missed shots are still a real possibility and I like the MagSafe & Glaser specifications to not richochet and to simply powder when striking a solid surface. I have actually seen this first hand.

    Years ago I was summoned to my father-in-law's aircraft hangar where he suddenly had a slithery problem. Yup, nice sized water moccasin had slipped inside. I ran upstairs got the trusty 1911 45 stoked with a mag full of glasers (blue).

    Began the stalk in a large hangar crammed with airplane parts, tools, and crap. I found the reptile and as I closed the range to make sure of the shot...I suddenly remembered this was a POISONOUS snake. Duh. Took the shot from about six feet away and I blew it's head clean off...called it a "punk," too (in my best Dirty Harry imitation). No richochet and no lead splash. The max range isn't as far as with a standard round, either. Not much report (I wasn't wearing plugs or muffs) and not much recoil for a 45.

    MagSafes are definitely hotter in every caliber. I still keep my primary CCW gun stoked with MagSafe. Whether it's a 45, 38, or a 9mm. It's the concern over that "missed shot" that drives me. I'll risk a lackluster stopping power (as many folks seem to assert) in favor of not having to grieve the death of an innocent on a miss or bounce. My backup loads are always standard police fodder.

    MagSafe are expensive, but they can be had for less at Sportsmansguide.com, especially if you're a member of the "Buyers Club."
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

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    Member Array whitestone's Avatar
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    I will definitely try these at the range if only to see if they are any easier for getting shots 3 through 5 into a tighter group with the first two. In my circumstances, the snubbie is a close quarters, urban environment piece. I spend a lot of time indoors or near others. I can see circumstances where because of ricochet or overpenetration concerns with conventional ammo, I would hesitate to fire my weapon. Reloads can always be ready with conventional ammo if the fight continues beyond the first cylinder.

    Suggesting a heavier gun misses the point of this thread. Many of us have larger, more controllable carry pieces in which conventional ammo is carried. The idea behind this discussion is how to make the snubnose revolver or other small pistol a better weapon.

    Erich, anyone with working experience in 150 handgun killings has some wisdom to impart. Have any of these shootings involved frangible ammo? How many have involved (to any extent) innocent bystanders or those that were not targeted?

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    Member Array Randy's Avatar
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    Erich, anyone with working experience in 150 handgun killings has some wisdom to impart.
    I couldn't agree more.

    Have any of these shootings involved frangible ammo? How many have involved (to any extent) innocent bystanders or those that were not targeted?
    In the instances where a bystander was injured, how many times was "over penetration" the cause?

    Randy

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    Member Array Erich's Avatar
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    Have any of these shootings involved frangible ammo? None.

    How many have involved (to any extent) innocent bystanders or those that were not targeted? Several involved misses that hit noncombatants. At least two involved overpenetration.

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    New Member Array Danny331911's Avatar
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    MagSafes and Glasers in J-frames

    I have both a 642 Lady Smith and a 642 Pro. I load the Lady smith with standard pressure Glaser silvers (wife's gun) and the Pro with Magsafe 65gr MAX. I use these loads after researching real world reports on shootings with these rounds. So far the idea that they would be ineffective due to limited penetration just does not pan out. Glasers have a very long track record and have recorded one shot stops over 90% even with 38spc. The standard Glaser Silvers go out of my wife's 642 at well over 1200fps. The MagSafes scream out at over 1600fps out of my 642 Pro. The Pro has a tiny bit more barrel at 2 1/8" but the additional length is all power port.

    I've owned the 642 Lady Smith since it came out new. I think it was 1996 or so when I bought it for my wife but I ended up carrying it most of the time primarily as a back-up when I was a reserve deputy. I've fired more than a thousand rounds out of both. Most being the cheapest 158gr I could find when not reloading. My reloads were a 158gr semi-wadcutter that clocked out at about 850fps.

    The standard 158grs certainly kick far greater than either the Glasers (including +P silvers) or even the scream'n MagSafes. The Glasers and MagSafes are certainly louder! But the Glasers and MagSafes shoot to point of aim with the 158gr-ers shooting about 5" high at 15yds. That is about as far as I shoot these at the range except for an occasional showing off at the 100yrd line shooting the clay skeet laying on the backstop. I can "usually" bust one with a cylinder full of 158grs. Being able to see were they hit on the back stop greatly helps to walk them in. I do that when I hear someone say a J-Frame is only good to about 10'.

    Shooting fast a 10yrds I can easily keep them in the "A" zone. Farther than that I can keep them on the paper somewhere in the middle. But it does start looking much more like a pattern than a group.

    I heard someone say that they had concerns if the shot hit the arm first. Well, with these rounds it may not go too far into the torso after hitting an arm but you won't have to worry about him using that arm again... ever! I've shot Armadillos here in Florida with these. That tough leather they have literally explodes on the back side of a chest shot from about 10'. These critters are fairly big here being about 8" thick at the chest. The MagSafe 38spc Max leaves a fist side hole on the back side so the fragments did go all the way through. I hit an Armadillo with my car and dispatched it with my Kahr MK40 using the MagSafe Mini Glock Load. It completely blew out the critter's chest from belly to front leg to front leg. The far side of the Armadillo's leather armor ripped open.

    Bottom line is that the limited penetration of these rounds along with the long proven track record of consistent one shot stops makes them the perfect round for civilian conceal carry. Everyone should be concerned about over penetration, not to mention ricochets. These rounds don't do away with such concerns but they certainly lessen them.

    During my 25 years in the Army, small arms round penetration was and should be a primary attribute. But for Police Officers or CCW civilian use... not so much.

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    Member Array Randy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny331911 View Post
    Bottom line is that the limited penetration of these rounds along with the long proven track record of consistent one shot stops makes them the perfect round for civilian conceal carry. Everyone should be concerned about over penetration, not to mention ricochets. These rounds don't do away with such concerns but they certainly lessen them.

    During my 25 years in the Army, small arms round penetration was and should be a primary attribute. But for Police Officers or CCW civilian use... not so much.
    Wow, this is an old thread. Just wanted to add a couple of things to the quoted paragraphs.

    Citizens with a guns have a proven track record for repelling attacks without having to fire shots at all. The citizen self defense model is simple, the majority of the time, when the criminal learns there's a gun present and it doesn't belong to him (or her), the encounter is over. In other words, it doesn't matter what ammo you had loaded for the majority of circumstances when you would have to draw your handgun, you're not going to have to use it. The criminal didn't approach the citizen looking for a fight, much less the possibility of being shot.

    The model where the bullet must be relied upon to cause incapacitation is different, think about someone firing at the police for example. If given the choice, I wouldn't want to shoot back with something that would only be capable of causing flesh wounds.

    People who carry guns should be more concerned about the misses hitting others than the shoot-throughs and ricochets. They are much more likely to happen and far more dangerous.

    Randy

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    Member Array CountShotula's Avatar
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    I carry Glaser Silvers in my 38 Special derringer.
    I figure that I only have two SAO shots, I want something that will cause large amounts of damage to the circulatory system rather than try to hit a critical nerve structure.

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