Federal Hydrashock vs. Speer Gold Dot


December 10, 2006, 01:24 AM
1) Federal Hydrashock vs. Speer Gold Dot...Any thought on which is the better self defense round? :confused:

2) Second part of the question is which is the better performing weight: 147g or 124g? :confused:

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December 10, 2006, 01:27 AM
Which feeds better through your gun?

December 10, 2006, 01:38 AM
As stated, whichever feeds perfectly in your pistol.

The FBI has used both, as either is as effective as the other.


December 10, 2006, 01:48 AM
As far as performance, I don't think it makes much difference.
Perhaps some might argue some tangible advantages of the Gold Dot's bonded jacket, or Hydra Shok's "debris resistant post". I honestly don't know if these features make a bit of difference on the streets though.

I use 127gr +P+ Rangers simply because I like the "talons". I find I have a bit more confidence in the 9x19 when I think of the Ranger's sharp petals and the "spiral lacerations" they're claimed by some to cause. Whether they actually increase bloodloss and decrease time of incapacitation, I haven't a clue.

December 10, 2006, 01:57 AM
Hydra shoks are older...maybe try the new HST'S.


December 10, 2006, 03:50 AM
When engaging those dastardly 1 gallon plastic milk jugs, my HSTs expand to look very similar to the ones described in the picture above (with the exception of mine being slightly larger, as they're 230gr .45 ACP)

The only difference I've found with HSTs vs. Gold Dots is that the HST has a more "defined" petal, for lack of a better word. The copper jacket folds back out of the way, and the lead core opens up into really well-defined petals with smooth, even expansion. I've been really impressed with them, and I switched out the Gold Dots for HSTs.

Now, if only I can find a local shop that sells them for reasonable prices. A local police supply shop had a few boxes left over that they wanted to sell, but I don't think they stock them regularly. Prices aren't too unreasonable either.

It'd be nice to see better testing of the HST.

December 10, 2006, 09:18 AM
I like the look of the HST in your pic. "Fingers" without meat I don't believe do any real damage. Of course, I don't know, but I like large exspansion with "webbing" between the "fingers" to get a larger "permanent" wound channel which I believe is most important.
Purely hypothetical as I don't have a clue. Don't want to be shot with any of the new high tech defense ammo! I bet it all does fairly well.

Odd Job
December 10, 2006, 09:40 AM
@ M&P9C

Nice picture there, thanks for the info.
Can you provide any side views of those HSTs? I am curious to see the differences between those and the Gold Dots.

December 10, 2006, 09:04 PM
Both loads are great for self defense. I prefer the 124 grain load myself.

December 10, 2006, 09:15 PM
I have been sold on the Hydrashok for many years....all my guns have a couple boxes ready just in case :)

December 10, 2006, 10:54 PM
Max, you don't say what kind of gun you're using.

The most important factor is that it will shoot when you need it to, and the only way to know that is to shoot a couple hundred of your chosen round through it, and with the defensive rounds, that's quite pricey.

The best-suited weight, too, will probably be determined by a range trip, but you can probably do your testing with roundnose.

December 11, 2006, 04:30 PM
Both are excellent choices. I personally use Speer Gold Dot 124 gr GDHP.

December 11, 2006, 04:46 PM

My HK USp45 is stocked with Hydra-Shock, and my 229 (9mm) is loaded with the Gold Dots. I just feed each gun what it likes. Other than that, having fired both in low light, I prefer the HS. The muzzle flash is much less than the GD.

December 12, 2006, 10:04 AM
Both - adequate...

Better - CorBon DPX or Federal HST...


December 12, 2006, 04:25 PM
I recently did some water expansion tests on 40's in Gold Dot and Hydra Shock. Two Hydra Shocks came completley apart in the water,one was a classic mushroom. The gold Dots held together and a good mushroom. I have tested the Gold Dot i 9MM ,124 grain. It too held together perfectly. Of interest, I tested Remington UMC 9Mm in 115 grain HP and it too held up without jacket core separation. Byron

.357 magnum
December 12, 2006, 05:11 PM
If you are using +P+ ammo then the Federal 115gr JHP is the best stopper on the street in the 9mm. Followed by the Winchester 127gr Black Talon and the Winchester 115gr JHP and then the Federal 124gr Hydrashok. If you are shooting the +P rounds the Remington 124gr Golden Saber followed by the Speer 124gr Gold Dot take the prize as the best stoppers on the street. Take Care Buddy!

The Best to You and Yours!


December 12, 2006, 05:27 PM
I've gone with 165 grain GDHPs, but I must confess, I'd never even heard of the DPX

I used to shoot Fed HS, but I like the Gold Dots better.

December 12, 2006, 05:27 PM
I think that there really isn't a fantastic amount of difference between the asked about rounds, but I like to leave as few things to chance as possible. That said, I like how every Gold Dot I have ever recovered maintained its integrity. I don't believe fragmentation or separation is a desireable feature in handgun rounds as there is not enough velocity behind any of them to make such separation a "feature" rather than a "failure."

Then again, my preferred GD runs at 230 grains. :D

I can't speak for the 9mm in the weights you prefer because I run 147 HSTs out of mine. The San Diego PD has been putting down perps with 147 HSTs for years now.

December 12, 2006, 05:41 PM
Is Federal HST available to the general public? If so, from who?

December 12, 2006, 06:31 PM
Although this is from another forum the information supports a previous post regarding the "talon" (Ranger SXT)

Exp.tests: 9mm 127gr +p+ Ranger SXT (RA9SXTP)

(check out the pics of these bad boys) Solid performance: OUTSTANDING Penetration (13-15 inches), very nice velocity (1250FPS), and EXCELLENT expansion.....

- As George from Seinfeld once said, "another contender arises"

December 12, 2006, 06:45 PM
The only thing I would tell you is test them both with your gun. I have found that my p226 takes any 9 ammo just fine. My cz PCR likes the gold dot 124 +p over the hydrashocks. The hornaday SD ammo is pretty good as well in the PCR. Try and test as many as you can afford and load up on the best one.

December 12, 2006, 11:45 PM
With the right hit I don't think there would be any difference. I've used both with confidence.

Odd Job
December 13, 2006, 05:50 AM
@ Byron

I noticed the same thing when water-testing Hydra-Shoks. I got core-jacket separations. I didn't think much of it because that was back in 2004 and the ammo was probably from 2001. I assumed that the design had been improved.
I wonder if this is the case.

December 13, 2006, 06:36 AM
Is Federal HST available to the general public? If so, from who?


Cheap too. :)

December 13, 2006, 07:52 AM
Max, I'll go with the Gold Dot any day. The HS is an antiquated design and has more than enough examples where it failed to expand.

As for weight, you're gun will have to choose that. I once loaded 147g 9mm ball into my BHP and had one magazine failure after another. Seems the bullets were just too heavy and they were tilting down (nosediving) in the mag. I stronger magazine spring could have fixed this, but there's more.

At an indoor range, I shot 100 round of WWB 147g 9mm through my BHP as part of the break-in phase. I couldn't believe how far off the sights were for this brand new pistol. Ever round was in the upper left corner of the target, and each shot was well-spaced from the others. I don't mean to brag, but I don't shoot like that, especially from a bench!

I then fired 100 rounds of 115g 9mm ball, again WWB, and the difference was night and day. Every single round went dead through the center of the target, POI being exactly on top of POA.

Turns out that the sights weren't off. The barrel wasn't bent. It was just the ammo's weight. This was an indoor range, with a bench and no wind, so there wasn't anything to impact the pistol or the bullet's trajectory. Nothing else could possible explain that, and that's why I don't shoot anything heavier than 124g out of my BHP or CZ75B.

Hope that helps.

December 14, 2006, 08:38 AM
I like both, my favorite for accuracy out of my HK is the 147 gr remington golden saber. Great load

December 14, 2006, 10:34 AM
ODD JOB, I think this must be indicative to new ammo also. At the range where I shoot,I am given ammo to test. The Hydo Shocks were from a new box. Byron

December 22, 2006, 09:45 PM
Anyone have any experience or knowledge they can share regardng the Glaser Safety Slug and CORBON' Deep Penetrating X Bullet?

They look very interesting but haven't heard a lot about them expcept from the manufacturer (which would be no surprise).

December 22, 2006, 10:07 PM

1. feeds better
2. is more accurate in your gun

I like the 147s in S&W, Beretta, and Taurus it seems to be more accurate and gives less muzzle flash in Glock 26.

I am not a fan of +P or +P+. You are gaining at most 100 fps in round that's already going 1200 fps (with lighter bullets).

December 22, 2006, 11:12 PM
You need to fire both and see which one is more accurate and impact at point of aim. Example: I had a Taurus that shot low with 115 grain ammo, moved up to 124 grain and accuracy improved, but moved to 147 grain and POA and POI were same. The heavier bullet got to ride the recoil a fraction of a second longer and impacted higher.
Fire both your choices and see which one works for you.
As far as brand goes...both are considered premium self defense rounds, you really can't go wrong with either.

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