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Old 08-17-2012, 05:38   #1
Raleigh Glocker
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Evaluating Glock's Maritime Spring Cups (Video)

I finally got finished my research and video evaluating Glock's maritime spring cups. Among my research for this, I interviewed three different people at Glock, the top aftermarket producer of maritime spring cups, and a well-known, highly regarded gunsmith who modifies standard spring cups for use in his competition Glock triggers.

I cover the most common reasons that shooters install maritime spring cups, and just for fun, I even tested two different rounds on Sim-Test when shot from one to seven feet underwater. I was pretty surprised by the results.

Let me know what you think.

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Old 08-17-2012, 06:09   #2
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The maritime spring cups work as stated, however do not fire underwater without hearing protection and realize range drops to inches.

A glock dropped in the water and retrieved in haste will fire. I know that from personal experience.

Glocks have been used for anti shark duty and are likely the only non military live target shot. Concussion is similar to a small stun grenade and provides a good tool. Ballistics not so much.

Where they do shine is if you pack in proximity to water and might be involved in getting wet. op made the right choice.

cool video.
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:39   #3
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Thanks!

Yeah, even with foamies and ears, it was still a pretty good "thud" in the head.

As far as range, I was still getting several inches of penetration in extremely firm test media with the 147gr subsonics from seven feet away (the farthest I tested). I think that would be enough to make it into the vitals of most things underwater.

If I were able to plan for the need of underwater protection, I'd rather have a bang stick to be farther away from both the target and the blast, but at least a Glock gives you 17+ shots before reloading.
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:18   #4
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Subscribed to your channel.

My wife wanted to know why I was watching matthew mcconaughey shooting a glock :(
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:19   #5
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Outstanding video and production. I just have to ask, did you get brass to goggles at any time under water?
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:23   #6
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Excellent video. But I don't understand why you would take them out, if they truly cause no issue and make the gun more reliable in wet conditions?

And where can you get them?
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:45   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBS View Post
Outstanding video and production. I just have to ask, did you get brass to goggles at any time under water?
I found that empty mags don't drop free as they want to float to the surface. And the bright yellow I Dot Pro front sight attracts shrimp and other small marine life...
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:14   #8
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Originally Posted by JBS View Post
Outstanding video and production. I just have to ask, did you get brass to goggles at any time under water?
I actually had another minute of video that I had to cut because I don't have YouTube big dog status. So, I'm limited to 15 minute videos max for now. I actually made a joke about the lack of BTF underwater in the part I cut.

I am actually going to flesh out the part I cut into about a 2 minute video and post it next week because that's where I describe the story about why Glock developed these parts in the first place.

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Originally Posted by G36's Rule View Post
Excellent video. But I don't understand why you would take them out, if they truly cause no issue and make the gun more reliable in wet conditions?

And where can you get them?
Great point, and I should've been more clear on this. I think I will use the follow-up video to clarify, but in short, I'm an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" kind of guy.

Every single expert I interviewed said that there really hasn't been any reports of Glocks failing to fire with standard spring cups that wasn't explained by something else (poor maintenance, etc.). The scenario at the start of the video is based upon problems experienced with pistols that Glock was competing with in the late 80's and NOT with Glocks themselves.

They do seem to aid in repeated underwater firing, but even there, most Glocks will still work just fine at least once underwater with standard spring cups.

Interestingly, every expert I spoke to had maritime spring cups in their personal weapons, yet every one of them said that they couldn't really justify it other than they have access to them. Two of them straight out said that choosing standard versus maritime spring cups comes down to perception and not reality.

So, if your perception is that they MIGHT help that one time, and that's why you have them, there isn't a reason to take them out. My perception is that the standard cups are in probably ten times the Glocks, and I'm going to go with the numbers.

Again, I would NEVER criticize someone for using maritime spring cups for whatever reason they decide. I just wanted to see what the facts were and share them while having an excuse to shoot my G17 underwater.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:20   #9
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Good video. Found the end interesting when you said they have not proven to be less reliable in a EDC used gun. I always heard they were. I have a set in my parts box.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:20   #10
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Great work! Subscribed.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:15   #11
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R/G- Nice job, smooth production.

Looks like the greater momentum of the 147 gr subsonic FMJ (147 @ 1000 fps = 2.9 Ns) helped it penetrate farther than the 115 gr FMJ (115 @ 1155 fps = 2.6 Ns) at every test distance.

From your tests, it looks like the 147 gr subsonic FMJs are the ones to go with for underwater work.

Thanks. Very informative.
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Old 08-17-2012, 13:53   #12
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very neat video, I really liked it. Tagged for later video as well.
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Old 08-17-2012, 14:36   #13
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Good video. I just subscribed.
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Old 08-17-2012, 18:52   #14
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Good Job
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Old 08-18-2012, 06:07   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M 7 View Post
R/G- Nice job, smooth production.

Looks like the greater momentum of the 147 gr subsonic FMJ (147 @ 1000 fps = 2.9 Ns) helped it penetrate farther than the 115 gr FMJ (115 @ 1155 fps = 2.6 Ns) at every test distance.

From your tests, it looks like the 147 gr subsonic FMJs are the ones to go with for underwater work.

Thanks. Very informative.
Thanks!

The heavier subsonics were the clear penetration winner underwater. Plus, the recoil was much less and they were more accurate.

The 115gr was a little squirrelly, even though I was able to keep every shot in the gel.
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Old 08-18-2012, 06:59   #16
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Excellent video please keep them coming! I can tell a lot of time and effort went into producing that piece. Only thing different I would have like to seen is a comparison of you shooting the glock with and without the maritime spring cups installed as well as the performance comparison you did. I know your time was limited, so maybe a add on video?
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:05   #17
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Originally Posted by kindaclever1 View Post
Excellent video please keep them coming! I can tell a lot of time and effort went into producing that piece. Only thing different I would have like to seen is a comparison of you shooting the glock with and without the maritime spring cups installed as well as the performance comparison you did. I know your time was limited, so maybe a add on video?
That was part of my original idea. However, after talking with Glock, I realized that would not really demonstrate the difference accurately. It turns out many Glocks will function underwater with the standard spring cups. Many will not.

Based upon the real world experience shared by Glock, I would always use maritime cups if for some reason I was diving with my G17.
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Old 08-18-2012, 13:46   #18
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Great video, subscribed.
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Old 10-16-2012, 02:02   #19
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I am a couple months late to the thread, but that was really a nice production.

At one point I did buy and install maritime spring cups, not for any practical reason, but because I couldn't get scenes from this stupid movie out of my head for a week:

General Glocking

Incidentally, there are a surprising number of "underwater tests" on youtube, and you do see quite a few failures to fire.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:18   #20
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I am a couple months late to the thread, but that was really a nice production.

At one point I did buy and install maritime spring cups, not for any practical reason, but because I couldn't get scenes from this stupid movie out of my head for a week:

General Glocking

Incidentally, there are a surprising number of "underwater tests" on youtube, and you do see quite a few failures to fire.
That's hilarious!

I think the underwater performance is unit specific- many will fire just fine underwater without maritime spring cups, but some will not. I shot about 75 times with the maritime spring cups without any kind of failure. It even locked the slide back every time.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:46   #21
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Glad I installed maritime cups in my G21sf recently. Found that the firing pin spring was installed upside down from the factory (the correct way is the end with the most coils holds the cups together). It actually affected how the trigger felt just before the break.
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Old 10-16-2012, 14:10   #22
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Raleigh Glocker, you make the best photographed videos I've ever seen on Glock Talk!

I'd be curious to know whether or not your statement, 'It turns out many Glocks will function underwater with the standard spring cups. Many will not.' covers all Glock generations or only the first two?

Caveats that are usually included in these underwater Glock videos are (1) Only 9mm Glocks are safe to use underwater; (2) Only FMJ bullets should be used; and (3) NEVER fire any gun underwater without strong hearing protection.

Ideally you shouldn't put any part of your body FROM THE WAIST UP into the water while you are firing the gun. There ARE validated reports of, at least, one person who gave himself a heart attack from the underwater percussion of the gun going off. (I don't make this stuff up; I read it, all, right here!)
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Old 10-16-2012, 16:12   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arc Angel View Post
Raleigh Glocker, you make the best photographed videos I've ever seen on Glock Talk!

I'd be curious to know whether or not your statement, 'It turns out many Glocks will function underwater with the standard spring cups. Many will not.' covers all Glock generations or only the first two?

Caveats that are usually included in these underwater Glock videos are (1) Only 9mm Glocks are safe to use underwater; (2) Only FMJ bullets should be used; and (3) NEVER fire any gun underwater without strong hearing protection.

Ideally you shouldn't put any part of your body FROM THE WAIST UP into the water while you are firing the gun. There ARE validated reports of, at least, one person who gave himself a heart attack from the underwater percussion of the gun going off. (I don't make this stuff up; I read it, all, right here!)
Thanks! I spent weeks preparing for that video because of the technical issues involved. My statement you highlight is based upon the information given to me by Glock and other sources, and there are plenty of videos of Glocks cycling underwater just fine with standard spring cups to back that up. I didn't waste time trying because I had so invested just using the maritime spring cups. It took two days to get 2 minutes of underwater ballistics gel testing footage.

Nobody I spoke to specified which generations this applied to, but as I mention, this isn't something that really matters to anyone but a small number of people who are probably using Gen 3 and/or Gen 4 guns at this point. They were developed around the introduction of the Gen 2 pistols, FWIW.

I didn't include your "caveats" because they read more like an incomplete list of "instructions" and not all of those you mention are accurate, at that. I clearly state in the video that it is inherently dangerous and to receive proper instruction before attempting. As you suggest, reading GT posts or watching YouTube videos doesn't count as "proper instruction."

I spent a few hours interviewing several real deal experts before doing this, and I do believe that someone worked up about it on the verge of having a heart attack/cardiac arrest for other reasons could have one when the trigger is pulled the first time. My adrenaline was certainly going that first trigger pull, and the concussion is quite a thump. However, I remain sceptical that such an event would be caused by the actual concussion itself or in an otherwise healthy person.

Did I take many careful steps preparing to fire underwater? Yes. Am I afraid of doing it again? Nope.
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Old 10-16-2012, 19:02   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raleigh Glocker View Post
....... I didn't include your "caveats" because they read more like an incomplete list of "instructions" and not all of those you mention are accurate, at that. I clearly state in the video that it is inherently dangerous and to receive proper instruction before attempting. As you suggest, reading GT posts or watching YouTube videos doesn't count as "proper instruction."

I spent a few hours interviewing several real deal experts before doing this, and I do believe that someone worked up about it on the verge of having a heart attack/cardiac arrest for other reasons could have one when the trigger is pulled the first time. My adrenaline was certainly going that first trigger pull, and the concussion is quite a thump. However, I remain sceptical (sic) that such an event would be caused by the actual concussion itself or in an otherwise healthy person.

Did I take many careful steps preparing to fire underwater? Yes. Am I afraid of doing it again? Nope.
Wrong? What me wrong! Listen, I've been wrong plenty of times before this on Glock Talk; BUT, this time around, I don't think I'm incorrect in the (informed) opinions that I hold. Frankly, I think you're, 'skating along the edge' with this underwater video and the adjacent commentary you're making.

Should I, however, prove to be wrong, well, I'm not too proud to admit it. I've been following this topic for a number of years now; and I've got a lot of information about it on my hard drive.

Caveats, my friend, are just that - Caveats! I think it unwise to trivialize well known warnings.

The only Glock I know of that is authorized for use underwater is the factory-titled, 'Glock Model 17M'; and only full metal jacket subsonic 9mm ammunition should be used.

While you might not think so, I have often read repeated warnings about internal organ damage that can be caused by shooting a pistol underwater. (Look at the damage that was done to your own camera lens!)

Doing this sort of underwater Glock video without a full and accurate description of exactly how to do it, what equipment to use, and the physical precautions that MUST be taken is (I don't know how to say this nicely.) foolhardy.

The very first thing I noticed about your video is that at the very beginning you couldn't (really) be seen wearing ear protection - That only became genuinely evident later on. I did notice, though, that you managed to stay very close to the factory's recommendations without really explaining, 'Why'.

The reality is that when you chose to make a video about shooting a Glock underwater you picked a really, 'hot potato' (or is it, 'potatoe'?) of a topic. One that we, all, need to be extra careful about. Here's a variety of Internet posts on this topic. Hopefully they will add to, and more thoroughly round out the information you provide.

From D&L Sports - Who, against standing factory advice, decided to shoot 40 and 45 caliber Glocks underwater:

Quote:
‘Warning: Do not shoot your firearms in or underwater. Death, injury, and or property damage may occur.

‘Danger: Do not attempt to duplicate these tests, or do similar tests.’
http://www.dlsports.com/underwater_h..._shooting.html

From, ‘The High Road’ (Typical of the early internet warnings that were circulating when underwater Glock shooting, first, became popular)

Quote:
‘The Glock 17 is the ONLY model rated for underwater fire. That is with the installation of maritime spring cups, waterproofed ammo, and proper training in handling the firearm for underwater firing. A word to the wise, don't be in the water when someone does this - the concussion can cause internal injuries. Also, don't do it if you haven't been trained in the proper techniques.’
http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/i...hp/t-1564.html

Finally, there’s this from Yahoo - (handsome heckler’s Post)

Quote:
You can only safely shoot the 9mm's under water (sic) and in order to do so you need to install a set of maritime spring cups

(The video clips have been omitted from this GT reply.)

It's not advised to shoot any firearm underwater but theoretically you can here are some clips of people doing it.

Now chose me as best answerer! Just about any handgun will fire underwater - at least once. However, firing underwater is NOT recommended because it can have devastating effects on the pistol and the shooter - a potentially dangerous activity that should only be utilized by trained personnel wearing proper equipment for protection against potential pressure wave effects of underwater detonation.

The shock/pressure waves in water can really damage internal organs (ever heard of lithotripsy?). Shooting a pistol underwater can lead to property damage, serious bodily injury or even death.

NOTE: Glock, Inc. specifically disclaims any and all liability from anyone performing or attempting to perform underwater firing with a Glock pistol - You do so at your own risk.

The Glock 17 may be equipped with an optional set of maritime spring cups for use in water environments. Maritime spring cups are not intended for submerged firing, but for surface use by special ops teams who operate in and around water.

The maritime spring cups are two small parts within the firing pin assembly and are not included on any Model 17 sold by Glock (Civilians can only get them through 3rd parties). They insure that water can pass by the firing pin within the firing pin channel, thus preventing the creation of hydraulic force within the firing pin channel - Which would slow the firing pin down, causing light primer strikes.

With the special cups, the action will cycle reliably while submersed, if a little bit slower. NATO specification ammunition (such as Winchester's Ranger RA9124N) with waterproof sealed primers and case mouths is recommended.

Although you may install the maritime spring cups on any Glock model, **only** the Glock 17 was designed and intended to use the modified spring cups for aquatic firing - And only then using 9mm ball ammunition to remain within acceptable pressure limits.

The foolhardy who insist on living dangerously must keep several things in mind:

(1) The Glock 17 must be fully submersed underwater.
(2) There must not be any air left within the pistol as the muzzle is pointed towards the surface of the water after submersion to allow the air in the barrel to escape.
(3) Use only full metal jacket, ball-type ammunition because the water within the barrel can spread a hollow point out within the barrel upon firing.

This increases the bearing surface of the bullet to the barrel and could catastrophically increase pressures. Even if the barrel doesn't burst, the expanded bullet would get even bigger upon exiting into the water and would slow down very quickly while tumbling. Accuracy would be terrible.

The Marinized Glock 17 is primarily for use by various Special Warfare units operating in aquatic environments. At least one specialized Scuba diving group regularly uses G17's to dispatch sharks where they dive. The Glock 17 using NATO specification ball ammunition will completely penetrate a minimum of one 1/2" pine board at a distance of ten feet from the muzzle when fired underwater.

Trained personnel who use Glocks underwater know they must obey several rules:

1) Use only a Glock Model 17 with amphibious spring cups (reliability issue).
2) Use only 9mm FMJ subsonic, sealed primer ammo.
3) Completely immerse the pistol and get **all** the air out of the barrel.
4) Wear protective ear plugs, gloves, wet suit, face mask, etc.
5) Do not fire near solid objects or in enclosed spaces to prevent return concussion.

However, ANY Glock -- even those not equipped with maritime spring cups -- will normally fire while submersed underwater; but doing so may generate excessive internal pressure and may cause the pistol to literally blow up. This is especially true with the use of high-pressure rounds (such as the .40 S&W/357 SIG) or hollow-point bullets.

I recall a reported incident where a Glockster on a boating holiday decided to show some friends how his Glock would fire underwater (because Tommy Lee Jones said so in the movies). He stuck his hand overboard, pulled the trigger and came back with a bunch of shredded plastic and a badly injured hand.

Another reported case was the Glockster who decided to try out his Glock 23 .40 S&W in the swimming pool after seeing pictures of Glocks being fired underwater on the web. He was totally submerged, with the gun, as he fired at a piece of wood on the bottom of his pool.

The Glock did fire, the .40 S&W FMJ round left the barrel and went into the wood. The chamber also exploded and implanted shrapnel into his leg. Thinking that the water would muffle the blast, he did not wear hearing protection (The blast is actually about 4 times louder underwater). He is now mostly deaf in one ear and hears high-pitched tones most of his waking life.

As you can see, firing a pistol underwater is a **very** dangerous endeavor. Several (undesirable)(Ed.) things could happen:

1) The firing pin may be slowed enough to not detonate the primer (without the maritime spring cups).
2) The pistol could blow up in your hand.
3) The concussion could damage ears, eyes or internal organs.
4) The bullet may not go where you intend it to.

Even if you have the right equipment, know what you're doing and follow the rules: The risks for underwater firing are minimized - but not eliminated.

Your pistol's barrel could be affected by water obstruction and your body by damaging concussion.

By using hollow point bullets (water may cause the bullet to expand in the barrel), high pressure ammo, etc. - You're asking for an underwater kaBoom! If you fire near solid or hard objects, the bouncing concussion can cause extensive, perhaps even fatal external/internal tissue injury."

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http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...4200629AAgZOGM

The above information should give you a better idea of, ‘Why’ I believe my opinions to be correct.


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Old 10-16-2012, 19:57   #25
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Arc, I appreciate your concern for the safety of viewers of my channel and readers of GT. The passages you quote are certainly sources of information you can find on the internet (I read all those and more before performing my interviews, BTW), and that's all I can say about that.

We have different philosophies on what is prudent, but I think I fall into industry convention. I think it is prudent to inform viewers that what they see is dangerous and should not be done without training. You think that if you show something dangerous, then it is prudent to give the entire tutorial on how to do it safely.

Speaking of which, look more closely for the ear pro- I wore foamies AND muffs the whole time. I'm not sure how you didn't see that. Heck, you can see me take off the muffs before taking off my mask less than one minute into the video, and you can even see the orange foamy in my right ear when I look to my left once or twice. If you can't see that, get a better monitor.

Also, that camera was positioned all over the place to get that footage, including 6" to the rear of the pistol going off, without any problems. Neither it nor my mask shattered at the "good guy end" of the pistol. The shock along the path of the bullet is definitely many, many times stronger than anywhere else (duh...).
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