Ballistic gelatin test results : .357 Magnum 158gr Speer Gold Dot JHP


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Brass Fetcher
April 13, 2007, 11:29 PM
Special thanks to SB for supplying the firearm and ammunition used in this test.

Cartridge : .357 Magnum 158gr Speer Gold Dot JHP

Firearm : .357 Magnum revolver with 2.5" barrel length

Block calibration : All depths corrected (From 12.4cm @ 601 ft/sec)

Shot 1 - Impacted at unknown velocity (chronograph malfunction). Expanded to 0.510" average diameter. Penetrated to 13.2"+. The 'plus' is because the bullet exited the back of the block and penetrated ~ 4" into the polyester bullet arresting box.

Shot 2 - Impacted at 1041 ft/sec. Expanded to 0.506" average diameter. Penetrated to 13.2"+. The 'plus' is because the bullet exited the back of the block and penetrated ~ 4" into the polyester bullet arresting box.

Shot 3 - Impacted at 1052 ft/sec. Expanded to 0.497" average diameter. Penetrated to 13.2"+. The 'plus' is because the bullet exited the back of the block and penetrated ~ 4" into the polyester bullet arresting box.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=56562&stc=1&d=1176517633
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=56563&stc=1&d=1176517633

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Jim March
April 13, 2007, 11:39 PM
Huh.

Great data. The results...are kinda mixed.

First, the stuff is expanding a LOT for the velocity achieved. That's good.

It's not going very fat though. On a good 357, we expect to see at least .6" and usually a bit over that. The stuff is also punching very deep.

Looks like expansion is going to be very reliable at least.

John, in this particular case, would you mind posting pics of the projectiles or at least loaded ammo BEFORE it was shot? Showing the cavity size, shape and depth?

THANKS!

Brass Fetcher
April 14, 2007, 12:13 AM
Hmmm.... I will have to let someone else fill in on that ... the ammo was purchased by the owner of the gun and he has the box of unfired ammo... I'll ask next time I see him.

Perhaps the ammunition was not maximum pressure? I remember being kicked very hard by .357s, but this one recoiled on the order of a full-size .44 Special revolver - not much.

gomer
April 14, 2007, 01:01 AM
My wife used this load this past year to kill a nice whitetail doe with her Rossi '92 in .357. It was a pass thru shot into one shoulder and out right behind the offside shoulder. The deer only ran about 10 yards before piling up. From what I've seen in her practice and my shooting in my 4in S&W M13, this is a pretty deep penetrating round that won't fragment or fail when penetration is needed.

Feanaro
April 14, 2007, 01:24 AM
Disappointing. I hoped for better from the Gold Dot. Perhaps it would have expanded better out of a 4 or 6 inch barrel.

loplop
April 14, 2007, 01:27 AM
Dunno, Feanaro, it looks fully expanded in the photos.

ChristopherG
April 14, 2007, 01:37 AM
Speer does market this bullet as a hunting bullet, right? They might just be telling the truth; if deep penetration is the goal, you can't have it expanding TOO much. May be it's performing exactly as designed.

Which would be pretty impressive at just over a thousand fps.

ArchAngelCD
April 14, 2007, 02:02 AM
Thanks for the post and info....

I think I would rather have seen a test with Speer's Gold Dot 135 gr .357 Magnum Short Barrel rounds out of a 2.5" barrel.

ChristopherG,
No, Speer isn't marketing their 158 gr GDHP round as a hunting round. They have a 170 gr GDSP round they market for hunting. http://www.speer-ammo.com/ballistics/ammo.aspx

ChristopherG
April 14, 2007, 02:06 AM
Ah--I stand corrected, and thank you for the link.

denfoote
April 14, 2007, 03:51 AM
That's what I'm using in my snub.
Looks like I made a good choice!!! :cool:
Thanks for the data. ;)

loplop
April 14, 2007, 10:57 AM
I think I would rather have seen a test with Speer's Gold Dot 135 gr .357 Magnum Short Barrel rounds out of a 2.5" barrel.

I would like to see that out of a 1 7/8" barrel, which is what the load was designed for. The Scandium snubbies of the world.

old4x4
April 14, 2007, 02:24 PM
Disappointing. I hoped for better from the Gold Dot. Perhaps it would have expanded better out of a 4 or 6 inch barrel.

Holy Mackerel! What more could you want??

Ben Shepherd
April 14, 2007, 03:02 PM
JE223, Jim, and any others interested:

I run that slug in front of enough 2400 to hit 1250 out of my 2 1/4" sp101.(happens to be my carry load). Accuracy is outstanding. 1250 seems to be about perfect in "non-calibrated" mediums, at least IME. Same load goes just shy of 1500 out of the 7.5" redhawk.

At 1250ish, expansion seems to max out. Faster, and it just folds back. But I've never had one come apart, even running around 2000 f.p.s. out of a win 94 carbine.

The Amigo
April 14, 2007, 03:59 PM
Just out of curiosity how far away (ft) from the gel was the gun fired?

Brass Fetcher
April 14, 2007, 04:00 PM
10 feet distance.

Plink
April 14, 2007, 04:23 PM
As folded back as the petals appears in the photos, it looks like the bullets actually overexpanded and doubled back, reducing the final diameter. That's odd from a Gold Dot, expecially at such low velocities. I've never had them fold completely back like that unless they were overdriven.

Iggy
April 14, 2007, 04:37 PM
posted in the wrong place.

Iggy
April 14, 2007, 04:45 PM
Others have said it, but I want to repeat how much those of us on this forum appreciate your tests and informative posts.

Thanks, and keep up the good work.

sansone
April 14, 2007, 04:49 PM
I'm a ho for these tests;)

ArchAngelCD
April 15, 2007, 03:56 AM
Cartridge : .357 Magnum 158gr Speer Gold Dot JHP

Firearm : .357 Magnum revolver with 2.5" barrel length
I would like to see that out of a 1 7/8" barrel, which is what the load was designed for. The Scandium snubbies of the world.
loplop,
I think you missed my point. He did the test with a standard Magnum round out of a short barrel revolver and I was commenting that it would have been nice to see the "Short Barrel Round" tested in that short barrel revolver when I said: I think I would rather have seen a test with Speer's Gold Dot 135 gr .357 Magnum Short Barrel rounds out of a 2.5" barrel.

I mentioned a 2.5" barrel instead of a 1.875" barrel because it's obvious he has a 2.5" barrel revolver but I didn't know if he had a 1.875" barrel Magnum available for testing.

Brass Fetcher
April 15, 2007, 11:50 AM
I don't know if I can get a revolver like that - I'm thinking that that 12-ounce S&W is the only .357 revolver with a 1 7/8" barrel that I have seen.

If that is the case, the owner will have to be shooting that gun... not me!

Dr.Rob
April 16, 2007, 02:25 AM
Another great looking load for snubbies. Thanks again!

loplop
April 16, 2007, 11:00 AM
oplop,
I think you missed my point. He did the test with a standard Magnum round out of a short barrel revolver and I was commenting that it would have been nice to see the "Short Barrel Round" tested in that short barrel revolver when I said:
Quote:
I think I would rather have seen a test with Speer's Gold Dot 135 gr .357 Magnum Short Barrel rounds out of a 2.5" barrel.
I mentioned a 2.5" barrel instead of a 1.875" barrel because it's obvious he has a 2.5" barrel revolver but I didn't know if he had a 1.875" barrel Magnum available for testing.

ArchAngel, I didn't miss your point. The GDHP 135gr 357 load was designed for the Scandium snubs, with 1 7/8" barrels. Speer publishes the test figures for the 1 7/8" snubs on their website. As I stated in my post, I'd like to see that round tested out of a 1 7/8" revolver, to see if it beats the same bullet thrown out of a J-frame 38 (the Speer 38 +P Short Barrel load).

John, the internet hype is unfounded, IMO, about the scandium snubs. Your hand won't fly off shooting them, you won't experience immediate nerve damage, and they don't kick so hard you hit yourself in the face with the barrel. They may not be my first choice for a range session, but it's not the ridiculous event some folks make it out to be. Especially in a "light" magnum like the Speer.

2ndamd
April 19, 2007, 09:24 AM
Thanks Jeff for the great info and testing!
Much appreciated!

Marshall
April 19, 2007, 10:11 AM
JE, thanks a ton!

I'm a tad disappointed though after seeing the results of the Gold Dot 124gr +P 9mm out of a Glock 26. I carry a 2" Model 60 in 357 with 158gr Gold Dots and although I have no question whether they will get the deed done, those 9mm's look very impressive. I was hoping the 357 would look similar. Something doesn't seem right but I don't know what it is?

Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P 9mm results (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=270504)

Brass Fetcher
April 19, 2007, 11:36 AM
I imagine that Speer designed the 158gr bullets to be limited expansion and the 9x19mm bullet to expand a good deal more. Possibly, one bullet is used for hunting and the other for SD...

In any event, we are planning on testing the same gun/round against heavy denim. I'm interested in the expansion characteristics of this bullet, as tested. It appears as though slightly greater velocity would have bent the jacket segments back further, giving much better penetration. This test provides an example of the importance of testing a load in the gun that you are intending to fire it in... I recall reading the Speer results of this cartridge out of a 4" Glock 19... 12" of penetration depth in bare gelatin and the jacket looked like it was folded back like a normal Gold Dot...

Look for more testing of this round in the near future.

roscoe
April 19, 2007, 03:41 PM
Those rounds are moving right to left through the block, right? If so, that looks like a pretty good performer.

If they are moving left to right, it looks like it took 11" or so for the expansion to occur?

DMK
April 19, 2007, 03:52 PM
Wow, I'm using these in my 6" barreled Model 28. Probably not the best round for home defense.

RyanM
April 19, 2007, 10:02 PM
Definitely looks like a hunting load to me. .5" of expansion is pretty underwhelming, but it's a real penetrator. Interesting how some GDs tend to fold back, while others (like the 9mm 124gr +P) tend to "starfish."

Think you'd ever have access to some really good high-speed photography equipment? I'd be really interested in seeing how long the jacket petals of Remington Golden Saber remain extended. It seems like really good stuff, and the two-part expansion (jacket and core) is a very interesting way of controlling expansion vs. penetration.

Feanaro
April 19, 2007, 10:11 PM
Holy Mackerel! What more could you want??

Well, I'd like a bullet that causes instant death when it nicks a pinky. :p More realistically, expansion in the .6-.7 range and penetration over 12 inches. JE223 tested a 170 grain Black Talon for the .357 and it meets that.

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=269429

LeonCarr
April 27, 2008, 01:20 AM
To all the folks who are disappointed, read post #4.

It killed a deer :).

Meets my criteria.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

CZF
April 27, 2008, 03:02 AM
I just shot some Double Tap 158 Gr. Gold Dots today.
Awesome!

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb26/czrami/CZ%20SP-01%20PHANTOM/kev357.jpg

So i do wonder what actual velocity one would get with a 2 inch barrel with a load rated @ 1,400 from a four incher.

The 158 Gold Dots seemed to shoot better than 125 gr loads
iin regards to accuracy.

I wanted a Powerful load for my SP101 in rural areas..hiking and fishing. The Double Tap is it!
http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb26/czrami/CZ%20SP-01%20PHANTOM/dt357.jpg

19-3Ben
April 27, 2008, 10:47 AM
JE223-

Thank you for posting this.
In my SP101 I actually carry DoubleTap's 158gr. GDHP load. Based on their website, I expect it's hitting about 1300-1350 fps from my 3"bbl.
I trusted it before, but now that I've seen this test...well...hoooaaaahhhh.

Oops, didn't read the second page.
a huge +1 to what CZF just said. I carry what he carries! But I carry that load all the time, not just hiking and fishing. Only time I take it out is when the SP101 does HD duty in which case it gets the 135grSBGDHP's.

GTSteve03
April 27, 2008, 06:54 PM
So i do wonder what actual velocity one would get with a 2 inch barrel with a load rated @ 1,400 from a four incher.
The DoubleTap website lists these chrono results for the 158gr:

Velocity: 1400fps / 4" Ruger GP-100
1245fps / 1 7/8" S&W
1540fps / 6"bbl S&W 686
So, your 2.25" SP101 (same one I have, great choice) is probably hitting around 1275, maybe even 1300fps as Rugers tend to shoot a little faster than S&Ws. 19-3Ben's 3" barrel might actually hit close to 1350fps.

19-3Ben
April 27, 2008, 08:42 PM
Too bad I don't have a chrono or know someone who does, or I'd go try it out tomorrow morning!!!

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