Safety bullets?


#1

I just received a tri-fold brochure in the mail from a Florida based company that manufactures something called, “SAFETY BULLETS”, in multiple calipers. At 1st, I had a hard time figuring our exactly what they were, but in the end they are pretty ingenious. I am thinking they are only functional with automatic guns and would not make much sense with revolvers. Anyhow, just in case they may be of interest to others here, I scanned the brochure to share with the forum. They are even selling a “Collectors Sample Pack”.

I am not trying to sell or promote these in any way so I am not putting this thread in the BST section. My intent is only to share the info and marvel at the design features :-)

I am assuming that they were designed to be either the 1st round in a clip with a empty chamber or as a round already in the chamber and a live round to follow in the clip? If already chambered, the slide needs to be pulled back to remove the Safety Bullet and then chamber the live round? It appears that if a gun is fired with this bullet chambered it will not eject so a live round can not be chambered? Just guessing.

Jason


#2

Jason - I wrote a short piece on this ammunition that should apear soon in an IAA Journal. In some ways, it is an opinion piece which I am sure will generate some disagreement (don’t mind stating here that I think this type of round has its place in gun safety, though not in all circumstances. The manufacturers seem to agree with me on tat point. I already have a gun in my safe, that I keep loaded, loaded with a couple of these.) There are a lot of silly loads and cartridges out there on the market, but I don’t count these among them. Just my opinion, but based on a lot of years as a shooter, pistol-carrying citizen, etc.


#3

John’s piece on the “Safety Bullets” is in issue 460 which was printed in the last couple of days and should soon be in the mail.
Chris P.


#4

Thanks so much John.

I am thinking of buying a set in 9MM for my Berretta. Was I correct in the way they are intended to be used and function? I look forward to reading your piece in the upcoming Journal. I was just fascinated by their design.

Jason


#5

Jason - you surmised pretty much correctly. The way I keep mine is with one in the chamber and the second as the top round in the magazine. that way, if someone gets access to my gun and doesn’t realize there is one in the chamber, cycles the slide and tries to shoot it, it still is a “safety bullet” cartridge that will jame the gun. If I have time to get it out of my safe, I certainly will have time to cycle out the two rounds quickly and put a real one up the spout. My Browning holds 13 rounds, so there are plenty left. I no longer keep a pistol in the house upstairs (the one in my safe in my gun room is there because I spend much time in that room, and if I hear a ruckus in the house I will have no idea what I am walking into) because of the liability of California law, but also because I have a ten year old grandson who likes guns. If he asks to see a gun, when at the house, he is more than welcome to see, handle, etc. any gun I have that he wants to see, under my supervision, or that of his father (my son - who is a career California Highway Patrolman fully competent to handle firearms). But, I don’t want a tragedy if temptation gets the best of him and he wants to look at Grandpa’s gun in the drawer. Kids are kids. Education is the best prevention of an accident, but I will not put my grandson in harm’s way just so I can have a gun handy for my own protection. I do not criticize those that do keep a loaded gun in their house - I always did, and carried one as well, for 35 years. Now, I simply choose not to. At my age, my own life is not so dear to me that I will choose the possibility of financial ruin for my family if I should take a life defending my own, and lose in court, nor to risk tragedy in my own family. Again, a personal choice. We each make our own, rightfully so.


#6

Thanks John! Lots of great advice and information. My Berretta is also high capacity 15 +1, so I may do the same and use 2 Safety Bullets. I totally understand your views and personal opinions concerning court issues. I am no expert on each State’s laws. I know Florida is on the side of the Home Owner in most cases if the use of deadly force takes place inside the home. I think it is called the “Castle Doctrine”, not 100% sure. Of course that has nothing to do with child safety. In my personnel set-up, I think using 2 Safety Bullets like you would be a great idea.

Regardless of its practicality in all circumstances, the inventor of this was pretty ingenious and creative.

I, like your Grandson, was also highly educated in gun use and safety at a young age. My dad took me shooting almost every weekend as a kid, even if I did not want to go. Then we spent hours together at the kitchen table cleaning each gun. He made it so I was so overwhelmingly familiar with gun use and safety procedures as a little kid. He wanted me that way as he always had a fear I would go to a friends house were the parents were lax in gun safety/security, so I would immediately recognize a threat and know how to react. I’ve always been grateful for those early days of gun exposure with my father. I’ll never forget him telling me to treat all guns at all times as if they were loaded.

Thanks again for your great advice and feedback. Much appreciated!!!

Jason


#7

The basic California law is you can only use deadly force to meet deadly force. But then, who is to define “deadly force?” I am 68 years old and out of shape. If a young guy 6’5" and buffed wants to beat the hell out of me, is that deadly force? Jury trials, especially in law-suits (when the family of someone loat in a deadly confrontation sues for damages), are often whimsical, and one can be found totally free from criminal liability and still lose in civil court, probably in any state, but likely in California. Ever heard of O. J. Simpson?

Regarding defense in the home, California is one of those states that basically expects you to retreat to the point of even leaving your domicile in the face of intrusion. It does grant the victim the assumption of fear of death if the intrusion “forcibly enters your home.” This is normally thought of as if he break down a door to get in, or breaks a window, or something like that. there is no clear definition, in my mind. What if you simply forget to lock your door at night, and he opens it? What if it is a hot summer day and you have your patio door open and he simply walks in? I would not want to have to test that in a civil court trial, or a criminal one either. The cards are stacked in favor of the felon, as usual.


#8

OJ lives down the road. I see him all the time at the local stores :-)

Anyhow, Florida is the opposite I think and sides more on the home owner as long as the shooting is inside the home. Outside the home, it is only justified if you or another life is in grave and otherwise unavoidable risk of severe bodily damage or death. There is also strong consideration of like forces, such as a old lady vs a gang of punks, small armed person against a big non-armed, ect. I am just happy I have never had to use my weapon in a life or death situation. I just try to stay proficient with it and hope to never have to use it.

I really like the Safety Bullet idea for my home defense weapon from what I know of them. I am excited to read your upcoming article on them in the Journal.


#9

John, do those safety cartridges feed from the magazine? They look too blunt to do so. I can see where an unauthorised user racking the slide and jamming the pistol would be a good thing, but not for someone who needs the pistol to be functional. Speaking from experience, having thwarted a home invasion a little over a year ago, you have precious few seconds to react. Trying to clear a jam to get your pistol operational, especially under high stress, may take more time than you have.

That being said, I think this device is very interesting and just might consider purchasing a few. Does anyone know if there are plans to make these in shotgun and rifle calibers?

AKMS


#10

AKMS - they feed from my Browning GP, but it will feed anything, it seems. Never a jam in well over 5,000 rounds fired thru it. I have not tried the .45 yet. Maybe I will later, in my Colt Commander. I bought those primarily for my collection.

I agree with you in principle about what you said in responding to an emergency. Unfortunately, weighing all the possibilities, I unloaded my .45 and put it in my safe about the time I retired, seven years ago. My grandson was getting bigger (not yet big enough to rack the slide) but also, California law criminalized what everywhere else is a civil matter. In California, if you should be burglarized by a juvenile (under 21 years of age!) and he finds an unsecured, loaded gun, and hurts himself or someone else with it, you as the owner are subject to criminal penalties. Weighing that against the fact that we have not had a home invasion on our street in the 35 years I have lived here, and playing the odds, I chose to only keep a loaded gun in my safe. Although licensed to do so, I seldom carry a gun anymore, because I am not forced by the circumstances of my job to be in situations where I am likely to need it (downtown San Francisco, parked in an alley parking lot and sometimes working as late as 10 PM). I simply avoid being in high-crime areas. Of course, one could need it anytime, but again, I choose to play the odds, Simply a personal choice.
Most who have done it on a full-time basis will agree, I think, that carrying a gun is a pain in the you know what.


#11

Just wanted to say that I read John’s Journal piece in the recent Issue and thought it was awesome! Thanks so much John!

Jason


#12

Excuse me, I don’t understand very well.
What is doing this NEW ctge ?
Stay in the chamber and not acting the slide if somebody shoots it ?
Is is that ?
JP


#13

This cartridge has a primer but no powder charge. If it is fired, the primer forces a nail-like rod forward which expands the plastic end of the cartridge, jamming the gun. To unjam the gun you have to push a tool down the barrel to “unlock” the cartridge.

I hope this helps!


#14

Ok, it is what I thought.
Now, another question please.
Why all the people are so enthousiast about such a NEW CONCEPT ctge??
They look like to discover such a ctge.
Except the price , which is very very expansive, such ctges exist in the US from a long time.
Perhaps I have not understood the difference between this one and the others ?
JP


#15

J-P - it is quite true that the “Safety Bullet” round is not entirely new in concept, as the dwsigner thought it was. I have a couple of others that do approximatelty the same thing. However, they were very expensive too, and not nearly so well-designed in my estimation. They were more fragile in feeding from the magazines - that is, more likely to get beat up or cracked and not be serviceable for the same length of time. This is the best one I have seen. Just my opinion. Many think the whole concept is silly - it would be if they were meant to be in a gun carried on your person. However, in a house gun, that may be found by a burglar when you are not home, or might be grabbed away from you as you are just getting to it, or found by the burglar before you wake up to get it, it is a good safety tool to keep you from being shot with your own gun. It is also a good safety tool if a child gets hold of someones unsecured house gun (a secured house gun is, under most circumstances, not of much use in a real-world situation). If he simply cockes the hammer on an auto, or pulls the trigger on a revolver, if the safety cartridges are properly place, nothing will happen and the gun is then useless. If two are kept in an auto - on in the chamber and one in the magazine, even if someone things to rack open the slide and feed the next round, the gun will still be useless, yet by the owner who knows what “condition” the gun is in, the gun can be readied for firing live ammunition in about a second. I tried it in my Browning, racking the slide twoice immediately after picking it up, to expell the two unfired safetey cartridges. In most situations, self-defense arms are always a two-edged sword. There are sometimes unintended consequences even if the gun is fired at a known assailant. Don’t take that as a statement that I don’t believe in self-defense weapons - simply, rather, as a statement of fact.


#16

Hi John,
Ok, I prefer that.
Nothing new and funny the people didn’t know this concept.

I bought one 9 para set three years ago in an US gun show. Each set had 4 bullets (if I remeber well) and one rod . Price was 5 dollars.

The bottom part of the case is brass.
The top part of the case and the bullet are one piece of black plastic.
The hstp is Win 9 mm Luger.
I can put a picture if you need.
JP


#17

Hi John,
Thanks for the news.And hello to your wife.

  1. Here is the picture of the safety ctge


2) Is it this one you found (22 Velo dog Auto) ?

JP


#18

J-P: Thanks for the photo. Your “safety” cartridge is the same as mine excvept that the plastic part of mine is red. I have not seen the black one before.

I do not recall every detail of the Velo Dog cartridge I acquired and do not have it here. It has to be shipped to me by GK along with all my other stuff from St. Louis. However, the bullet on yours is identical to the one I got. I do not recall the rim on the one I got being so thick in relation to the rest of the case, but it could be. As I said, I don’t have it here yet for comparison. When it comes, I will compare them. I purchased mine from a well-known Spanish collector.


#19

Hi John
I put aside the 9 para for you as you asked.
You have now to find me a shotshell !! lol!

regarding the 22 velodog, the rim has to be as thick as on the picture.
jp