Speer Short Barrel Gold Dots


March 4, 2005, 01:29 AM
Has anyone tested these new bullets from Speer? I am particularly interested in the 230 gr for .45ACP. The following is from the new products area of Speer's website.

New SPEER® Component Bullets for 2005

Gold Dot® Component Bullets for Short-Barrel Firearms

Reloaders seeking top performance from compact handguns find what they need with Speer's new Gold Dot Short Barrel components. These great bullets are designed to mushroom at velocities common to short-barrel semiautomatic pistols. Special care is given to the cavity design—we've made the cavity volume larger to facilitate expansion at velocities that normally challenge bullets of conventional design.
These new semi-auto pistol bullets join our excellent short-barrel revolver components introduced last year (.357 diameter 110, 135, and 147 gr). The new components are intended for 9mm Luger, 40 S&W, and 45 Auto. These combine all the great Gold Dot attributes you've enjoyed, like true bonded-core construction, with design features that make short-barrel handguns perform like full-size models.

• Exclusive UNI-COR® construction
— Virtually eliminates core-jacket separations, the leading cause of handgun bullet failures
• Patented* Gold Dot cavity forming process
— The cavity is formed in two stages—not one—for superb control of terminal effects and
high retained weights
• Core and jacket simultaneously notched
— Provides very symmetrical expansion
• Large-volume cavities
— Increases surface area within the cavity for low-velocity expansion

4000 Gold Dot SB 355-124 gr GDHP - 100 per box
4401 Gold Dot SB 400-180 gr GDHP - 100 per box
4482 Gold Dot SB 451-230 gr GDHP - 100 per box

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March 4, 2005, 06:37 PM

March 4, 2005, 06:51 PM
I plan to get some and see how they do are higher velocities. I'll let you know what I come up with.


March 5, 2005, 05:04 AM
I'm looking forward to trying some in .45.
I also hope they offer it in a factoy load.

Now if they'll only make some 250 grainers for .44 special.
I am still waiting for the Black Hills 250 gr LSWC .44 Special load that's supposed to go with the S&W Thunder Ranch .44.

March 5, 2005, 10:15 AM
It looks like they ae offering it in factory ammo:

2005 New Products

Gold Dot® SB Ammunition Line for Short-Barrel Handguns

The proliferation of short-barrel, compact firearms for concealed carry has placed new demands on today’s ammunition. Bullets must expand at lower velocities yet have adequate penetration. With new firearms built of high-tech lightweight materials like scandium and titanium, conventional Magnum ammunition produces unpleasant levels of recoil.
To meet this new challenge, Speer introduces Gold Dot SB, a special class of cartridges that is perfect for compact firearms. We started in 2004 with the superb 38 Special +P 135-grain HP load that has been hailed as the best load for 38 “snubbies.” We do this with special bullet designs that allow proper expansion at reduced velocities without sacrificing tactical penetration. Cartridges like the 357 and 44 Magnum feature reduced recoil allowing better control.
Like all Gold Dot ammo, the new Gold Dot SB features bullets with true, bonded-core construction for high retained weights and excellent penetration. We increase the surface area of the cavity, and mate velocity to the job at hand.

• True bonded-core bullets
— High retained weights to increase penetration when fired from short barrels
• Patented* two-stage cavity formation with enhanced surface area
— Allows excellent design control to ensure proper performance in short-barrel firearms
• Reduced recoil in Magnum cartridges
— Permits much better control during rapid fire
• Nickel-plated cartridge cases
— Resists environmental effects and aids in extraction
• World-famous CCI® primers
— Non-corrosive and non-mercuric
— Reliable ignition under “real-world” conditions

23917 Gold Dot SB 357 Magnum 135 gr GDHP - 20 per box; 500 per case
23611 Gold Dot SB 9mm +P 124 gr GDHP - 20 per box; 500 per case
23974 Gold Dot SB 40 S&W 180 gr GDHP - 20 per box; 500 per case
23971 Gold Dot SB 44 Magnum 200 gr GDHP - 20 per box; 500 per case
23975 Gold Dot SB 45 Auto 230 gr GDHP - 20 per box; 500 per case

April 19, 2005, 10:59 PM
Found this thread while searching on the new Speer 38 Special 135 gr. GDHP. Was looking to see if anybody is hand-loading 'em as I've just picked up a box of 100 to try out some loads in the 2" S&W 642. As a side issue, here's Speer's handloading info for these new bullets on their web site:

Speer 38 Special +P with 135 gr Gold Dot HP (http://www.speer-bullets.com/pdf/ReloadingSupplementalDATA/38s135GD.pdf)

Thought you might like to see a scan of these new bullets as compared to other 38 special offerings:


A - Remington 125 gr SJHP
B - Hornady 125 gr HP/XTP
C - Speer 135 gr GDHP
D - Hornady 158 gr HP/XTP

The obvious thing I saw on opening the box was the mouth on these HP's - they're huge, and pretty easy to see the difference compared to the other traditional HP styles. Hope to work up multiple loads using these guys in the near future, complete with some chrony info...

April 19, 2005, 11:05 PM
These could prove very interesting to try in my R9 for the 9mm's ... assuming std pressure. And the .357's also would be worth a look.

April 20, 2005, 01:10 AM
I load Gold Dots in 9mm, 45GAP, 38, 38+Ps, 357, 44 Mag and 50 Beowulf. From the test results I've seen I think their hard to beat.

April 20, 2005, 08:26 PM
Sounds like 9mm is +P...

No R9.. :cuss:


April 21, 2005, 01:27 PM
I think I have a new poster of Speer's testing.

Sam Adams
July 5, 2005, 06:01 PM
I just picked up a S&W 642, and I'd like to handload the 135 GDs. I got the data from the Speer sheet that Nortronics posted (thanks VERY much), but the pistol powder that I have (W231) is conspicuous by its absence.

Has anyone here loaded the 135s using W231? If so, what kind of accuracy & consistency did you get, and what were your starting and best loads?

Dave R
July 6, 2005, 04:53 PM
After chono-ing some loads from my PT-145, I'm seeing some significant drop from the velocities seen in 5" 1911's. Don't have the numbers with me, but I remember thinking 'wow, that's low'.

So I can see the need for something like this...

July 7, 2005, 05:10 PM
Sam Adams

My Lyman Pistol & Revolver Handbook lists 231 for 140gr. Jacketed HP at Starting grains 3.9 and a MAX at 4.7gr.

The listed MAX load is for 38 Specials (not 38+Ps) but this should give you somewhere to start.

I've found that Speers data (fps) seems real close to what I get in my guns. You might want to use a powder listed in Speers data.

July 8, 2005, 09:35 PM
I do, I do, I have the Speer poster with FBI-style test results. :D

However, it appears to be the regular Gold Dots, except the 135 grain .38 Special is included. :(

Anyway, FWIW, For the 230 gr. .45 ACP fired from an S&W 4506 @ 851 fps, the penetration (in)/expanded dia. (in)/retained weight are:

1. Bare gelatin 13.00/.711/229.3
2. Heavy clothing 13.60/.692/230.2
3. 20 ga. steel 19.45/.512/229.9
4. 1/2" wallboard 16.80/.620/230.4
5. 3/4" AA Fir plywood 21.95/.451/232.4
6. 1/4" A.S.I. laminated safety glass 13.10/.609/217.5
7. *IWBA heavy clothing 14.55/.675/230.0

*non-FBI test

Sam Adams
July 13, 2005, 10:08 AM
You might want to use a powder listed in Speers data.

That's what I'm going to do. I already got some Unique, which according to Sierra is the most accurate powder various .38 loads. Speer did the testing with the GDs, and if they say that W231 is too fast, then I won't use it. I never had an accident with guns or reloads, and I don't intend to start now because I'm too cheap to get yet another powder. Anyway, the powder won't go to waste, not when I already load 9mm and .45.

Matt G
July 13, 2005, 10:47 AM
I kinda like 231 with Gold Dots. While I've shot probably 10X more pistol rounds with Unique than any other powder, it is a bit smoky. But with jacketed it's not too bad. Funny, I've always put 231 and Unique in a similar corner, with regard to burn rate...

Master Blaster
July 13, 2005, 03:58 PM
One problem I have with this data posted by Speer is that its for the short barrel bullets but they used a 6" barrelled gun to test it. :rolleyes:

It would have been nice if they used a 2" barreled gun as well.

The Bushmaster
July 13, 2005, 10:04 PM
Oh really...That was nice of them to adveritize as short barrel bullet loads and test them in a 6 inch barrel. What were they thinking? That we aren't smart enough to know? Kinda wrecks that data... :mad:

January 30, 2006, 05:17 PM
Curious whether anybody has loaded any of these Speer 38 Special short barrel bullets yet? After almost a year away from reloading (and this thread) I'm again at the stage of getting ready to run some of these over the chrono.

My intention is to duplicate the velocity of Speer's commercial ammo that uses this bullet (around 860 fps for the 38 Special +P) using a fast burning powder (Alliant Bullseye) as shot from a 2" Smith 642.

I'm thinking of running 5 loads each of 4.5, 4.6 and 4.7 grains and measure them accordingly. On finding the 860fps area proceeding to run further tests on accuracy, kick, flash, and powder burning consistency, all with complete external ballistics.

Sure would love to hear of anybody's findings or observations on these Speer short barrel offerings...

Brass Fetcher
January 30, 2006, 07:54 PM

Click on link for 135 grain Speer Short Barrel.


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