Black Hills No Longer Using Gold Dots


July 11, 2006, 06:00 PM
I placed a call to Black Hills ammo today to ask a question. During the course of our conversation they told me that as of about 2 weeks ago they are no longer using Gold Dots in their loads but are now using Hornady. They said the reason is that Speer is no longer selling their Gold Dots to anyone and will only be available through their own (Speer's) loadings. Just wanted to let everyone know what was told to me in case they are partial to Black Hills Gold Dot loadings.......might want to stock up.

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El Tejon
July 11, 2006, 06:05 PM

July 11, 2006, 06:36 PM
Don'tcha love it when companies make blindingly stupid marketing decisions? :)

Gold Dots are good, but when it comes down to it, Hornady XTP/ Remington Golden Saber/ Cor-Bon/ Federal Hydrashok or EFMJ/ Winchester Ranger/ MagTech Guardian Gold/ reverse .38 LWCs all pretty much do the same thing just about. Not like Speer has a corner on the market.

July 11, 2006, 06:51 PM
Gold Dot's are nice, but XTP's are just fine.

July 11, 2006, 06:59 PM
But still available to handloaders?

July 11, 2006, 07:01 PM
Well according to the folks at Black Hills.......No. They said they (Speer) will not be selling the Gold Dots to anyone. Maybe someone can make a phone call to Speer to confirm.

July 11, 2006, 07:05 PM
I wonder if Buffalo Bore and georgia arms will
be affected by this.Both use Gold dots in most
of their loads.:cuss:

July 11, 2006, 08:39 PM
Well like I said, Black Hills did not say it was just them. They said it was across the board.

July 11, 2006, 08:46 PM
The only Gold Dots I load are the 270 grain GDSP in .44 Mag. If Speer is no longer selling these as components, I need to stock up. This is my bread and butter load for my Marlin 1894S, my main deer rifle.

July 11, 2006, 08:49 PM
Just please keep in mind that my info came from Black Hills so a call to Speer is definitely in order to confirm the information. Perhaps if someone calls them later they can do a follow up post for us.:D

July 11, 2006, 09:37 PM
Don't forget, too, that Speer has been losing ammo sales big-time to Black Hills, Georgia Arms, and other ammo loaders who use their bullets. I suspect they may have restricted bulk sales to such loading businesses, on the grounds that they want to sell loaded ammo themselves. I'd find it hard to believe that they'd restrict bullet sales to reloaders, who typically buy a few hundred at a time - not enough to threaten Speer's own ammo sales.

Jim March
July 11, 2006, 09:59 PM
I don't find this surprising.

So far some of Speer's best and newest projectiles have been Speer-only parts, particularly the 135gr slug in the 38 and light-load 357, the 250gr 45LC and others.

Supplies on these have at times been tight even in Speer boxes, esp. the 135s.

I would bet they're switching some production facilities of the 125gr 38/357 slugs to 135, and in doing so reducing the amount of 125s available to outside loaders (home or commercial). Similar things may be happening across several calibers but those 125 slugs for the 38/357 are a pretty big percentage of the total at Black Hills, Proload, DoubleTap, Georgia Arms, Buffalo Bore and lord knows who else.

Fortunately for BuffBore the nature of their product lines will support switching away from Gold Dots...they're into very high velocity, big power and (mostly) slugs bigger than 125gr, and that's where the XTP can more than pick up the slack. It's the low-to-mid-velocity range where Gold Dots dominate and wow, do they ever.

We also don't know if some production lines have been diverted to military ammo. They're going through a LOT of ammo of every description overseas these days.

<scratches head>

The only projectiles I've seen in the same ballpark are the Cor-Bon DPX all-copper slugs...they're made by Barnes but there was enough load development/R&D put in by Cor-Bon that I'm quite sure Barnes is now tied to Cor-Bon on these for at least the near term, maybe longer depending on their contract.

This move may help DPX sales, maybe considerably.

P. Plainsman
November 11, 2006, 05:40 PM
Reviving this thread by way of confirming it:

I purchased a box of Black Hills 124 gr 9mm+P JHPs the other day -- a preferred defense load for my CZ 75B. It's clear on visual inspection that, for the first time, the rounds are tipped with Hornady XTPs rather than Speer Gold Dot bullets.

In a 9mm+P moving at about 1200 fps muzzle velocity, I don't have a problem with the XTP. It should deliver good penetration and reliable, if controlled, expansion at that speed.

XTPs also tend to be accurate. I already got fine accuracy with Black Hills's Gold Dot-tipped 9mm+P loadings, so I expect equal or better from the new Hornady-tipped version.

But for slower rounds, such as Black Hills's previously excellent 125 gr .38 Special+P JHP, the loss of the Gold Dot bullets may seriously decrease the attractiveness of the Black Hills ammo for defense. The XTP is a fine bullet but only at sufficient velocity.

Let's be blunt: Black Hills was making better ammo than Speer, using CCI/Speer's own components to create smarter, higher performing defense loads (the Black Hills 115 gr JHP+P, a 1320+ fps round, tops anything offered by Speer), with equal or superior quality of manufacture, for less money. I think for ammo at medium to high price points, Black Hills offers perhaps the most consistent quality line anywhere.

Business is business, but if I'm right about Speer's motives, it's a pity they couldn't deal with the situation in a different way: by stepping up their own (already strong) product line to Black Hills's level of consistent quality.

If I'm wrong, and the decision to restrict the availability of Gold Dot components to commercial customers was instead a matter of simple scarcity forced on CCI/Speer by the war effort, then I retract my criticisms above. Can't blame 'em for that.

Byron Quick
November 11, 2006, 05:52 PM
Georgia Arms must not have gotten the news from Speer, then. Just last week I placed an order with Georgia Arms for several different types of ammunitions. Among these was a .357 JHP. I was told it had been discontinued and all Georgia Arms was carrying was a Gold Dot loading in .357 JHP. So I got 500 of them.

P. Plainsman
November 11, 2006, 06:58 PM
Interesting. Wonder what the story is here.

Note that I ordered some Black Hills 9mm+P as recently as, I think, August that arrived with Gold Dots. This is the first box I've bought to have XTPs. So maybe your experience shows that GA still hasn't cleared out their inventory of Gold Dots.

Or maybe it's just Black Hills who can't get GDs.

Or something else.

November 11, 2006, 07:43 PM
Does Speer sell +P loadings to we peons, or are they sold to military/LEO only?

I had been thinking about switching from my current load of choice (Cor-Bon 115gr +P) to a Black Hills Gold Dot +P load. Guess I won't be.

P. Plainsman
November 11, 2006, 08:17 PM
Yes, you can buy Gold Dot 9mm ammo from Speer in the 124 gr 9mm+P format (nickel-plated cases), and it's a well regarded round. I believe NYPD uses it in their nines. However, Black Hills was the only major source for a +P loading with the 115 gr Gold Dot -- CCI/Speer doesn't sell one. Lame.

Moreover, the Black Hills 124 gr +P load is just as good quality as Speer's and is way cheaper ($22/50 vs. $15.25/20 !!) -- Black Hills was really demolishing Speer's pricing scheme for its defense ammo, which probably embarrassed Speer quite a bit.

Speer also sells the 135 gr .38 Spl. +P Gold Dot round, which is a very promising load specially engineered for snubnose revolvers.

There's also a downloaded "Short Barrel .357" Gold Dot (basically a .38 +P+) and a new 200 gr "Short Barrel .44 Magnum" Gold Dot round offering 200gr @ 1075 fps -- great idea. All are available to private citizens. So is their 200 gr .45 ACP+P.

Don't get me wrong. I think CCI/Speer is the best of the "Big Four" ammo makers. (Their rimfire ammo is so much better than, say, Federal's that it isn't funny.) I just wish their defensive handgun offerings were fully competitive with the cheaper, yet equal or superior, Black Hills +P loadings using the Gold Dot bullets.

(I suppose Speer could reply that its price scheme per loaded round somehow includes the amortized cost of the research and development that gives us all these cool new bullet designs like the special "short barrel" Gold Dots. BH is a smaller company that isn't engaged in bullet design.)

Jim March
November 12, 2006, 12:23 AM
I wonder if the Gold Dot design is harder to manufacture than more conventional JHPs? The Gold Dot "jacket" is really a heavy plating on the lead. It's bonded more closely to the lead than pretty much any other design. You can "overdrive" a Gold Dot past it's designed speed spec and have some hope it won't come unglued...people with leverguns in pistol calibers or long-barreled revolvers have learned this.

That said, you CAN blow them up...Gold Dots meant for 32ACP have cracked up in 32Mag and 32NAA cases.

The XTP is the only round that is better in any way for any reason, in my opinion. The XTP is excellent for accuracy and also holds up well at speed, plus offers a slight delay in expansion and heavier jacket for a "deeper punch". The XTP 158 loaded to max in 357 is a better boar load than any other JHP in that caliber, while 44Mag XTPs have a good rep for use against black bear.

The XTP sucks in 38Spl, and should only be used in +P flavor in 9mm.

November 12, 2006, 12:25 AM
The last time i ordered 10mm ammo from Georgia Arms there GDs were on backorder. Said they were waiting on the bullets. They came shortly after but now im wondering if this is why.

November 12, 2006, 01:17 AM
Gold Dot reloads have been my defence round of choice for my 9-mm Makarovs...guess I'll have to see if I can get XTPs in the proper size...:cuss:

November 12, 2006, 10:58 AM
Great marketing plan! Lets be the only guys who can make the thing and everyone will love it so much they will pay the extra price, and since we are the sole maker we can set the market price how we like!

Hey becoming the sole supplier for the beta max worked great for sony.....right? :scrutiny:

November 12, 2006, 06:10 PM
Hey becoming the sole supplier for the beta max worked great for sony.....right?

For those High Roaders not alive in the late 70's... :evil:

November 12, 2006, 07:02 PM
So now Speer looses all the sales to them . Stupid marketing ploy it seems.

November 12, 2006, 07:07 PM
Oh well I switched to Hornady a short while ago anyhow.

November 12, 2006, 10:31 PM
I was born in 85 carebear ;)

November 12, 2006, 11:11 PM
Well you've obviously wasted your young life learning facts and things... :D

Jim March
November 12, 2006, 11:36 PM
In case anybody reads otherwise into my words: I'm not going to boycott Speer over this. Far from it. It's their stuff, they can sell to whoever they want.

I question the business sense of this but not the moral sense.

Crazy John
November 13, 2006, 04:01 PM
Speer only has so much plating capacity and does not have room in their present facility to expand that capacity. They stopped using many of their TMJ bullets long ago when ATK bought them and Federal. The FMJ bullets that you see in blazer ammo are manufactured by Federal. Speer now makes the Gold Dot, Federals law enforcement bullet for their bonded loads and also makes the new fusion bullet for Federals rifle ammo line. All of these new lines are much more profitable than selling bullets to OEM loaders. I doubt that Speer will discontinue selling boxed bullets to home reloaders because they are profitable. Another possible reason is the cost of truck freight going to the loaders, Speer's policy was to always pay the freight on pallet size or orders over 50,000 bullets. I would guess Federal takes delivery of their bullets by railroad car so the freight cost per unit is much less. Sure glad we got out of the ammo business when we did.

November 15, 2006, 08:59 PM
Has anyone emailed speer to ask? I see doubletap is still selling gold dot loads even since this thread was started 6 months ago.

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