Speer Gold Dot Personal Protection Ammo


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Gun Geezer
December 28, 2011, 08:44 PM
I have never shot or owned "premium" ammo. Just usually shoot S&B FMJ ammo in all my automatics. I have recently surrendered to the philosophy that FMJ is not best for self defense. Thus, I asked for and Santa delivered 2 boxes of Speer Gold Dot ammo for my 380 ACP CCW.

In one box I found one cartridge with cracked case. The crack extends from the case mouth to about 1/4" from the case mouth. This cartridge was right out of the box. Never loaded into a mag and never chambered. The box exhibits no signs of being crushed, etc.

As I bought 2 boxes, this is 1 in 40 (2 1/2 %) failure rate. I just looked up their website. Too late today to call and the website is not accepting questions to "Ask Speer".

This ammo is pricey and I'm counting on it to function as designed. Is Speer Gold Dot ammo reliable or did I just get a very rare bad cartridge?

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btg3
December 28, 2011, 09:10 PM
For .380, there is a good argument to use FMJ rather than premium ammo.

For your 40-piece sample you have 2.5% defective product. No failures, as yet.

Good move to contact Speer. (If you must have premium ammo for your .380, try to get a refund and then consider buying Buffalo Bore... after you read their info on .380 ammo choices.)

Speer has a good name. So I'd say their ammo is reliable and you got a rare defective.

bigfatdave
December 28, 2011, 09:16 PM
extremely rare ... I've bought, inspected, and fired hundreds of rounds of Speer premium handgun ammo ... never an issue.

I do avoid the 20x boxes, though, 50x boxes are so much cheaper per round that they're worth looking for, once you figure out a reliable load for your gun, that is.

I'm curious to know what response you get from Speer, please do update us when you get something back.

hammerklavier
December 28, 2011, 09:56 PM
Speer is good ammo. Tell them about it & send the photo to them. Maybe they'll send you more ammo :)

heeler
December 28, 2011, 10:00 PM
Wonder if it was damaged in shipping or stocking??
Always a possibility.

AABEN
December 28, 2011, 10:03 PM
I only carry HP in the summer. I like the flat nose for the winter. The HP will fill up with clothing and stop short. 38 357 40.The 380 is keep close for a back up.

Gun Geezer
December 28, 2011, 10:08 PM
It did not look like the box was damaged in shipping

I'll hopefully get them on the phone tomorrow

MutinousDoug
December 28, 2011, 10:12 PM
I am sure that Speer will make your purchase good if you notify them. The defect displayed is unacceptable quality in SD ammunition.

doc2rn
December 29, 2011, 01:55 AM
It looks like the press pushed the bullet in like cross threading a nut on a bolt, and the case mouth cracked. I think this is just a rare production defect. I think speer, who has a great reputation and following, will make good on the product.

Ragnar Danneskjold
December 29, 2011, 05:55 AM
Just as an aside, statistics based on ratio-to-sample size only hold up if they can be repeated. If you bought more boxes and got the same result or close to it, then it would be a true failure percentage. If not, it's an outlier.

Buying 5 lottery tickets and winning with one of them does not mean you have a 20% chance of winning the lottery.

doc540
December 29, 2011, 09:59 AM
rare anomaly

SGD is great ammo

However, I like the Barnes family and their all-copper self defense ammo.
CorBon loads it.

slowr1der
December 29, 2011, 02:30 PM
That's really weird and I'd say you got the rare defective one. I've never had any Speer rounds be defective, nor jam, nor give me any other sort of problems at all.

As said above though, the 20 round boxes are a rip off. You can usually buy the 50 round boxes packaged for LE for not much more. Check out policehq.com as well as ammunitiontogo.com for the 50 round boxes. My three favorite hollow point rounds are Federal HST's, Speer Gold Dots, and Winchester Ranger T's in that order. Policehq.com is great to deal with and sells the first two to anyone, but they won't sell Ranger T's to the public. Ammunition to Go sells all of them to the general public if and when they have them.

Steve H
December 29, 2011, 02:38 PM
I had a bad run of cracked nickel cases from Speer in .45ACP I called them with the lot # and emailed photos. A few days later I received a thank you call and after that 2 50 round boxes.

BullfrogKen
December 29, 2011, 02:49 PM
Speer has been pushing production hard to meet demand, but I'd have expected quality control to catch that before it left production.

rodregier
December 29, 2011, 04:22 PM
John Farnum recommends inspecting any ammunition intended for "serious" usage. Volume production methods will produce a small (but non-zero) level of defects. The post-production inspection phase(s) is/are supposed to catch the defects, but it's not perfect. All of this is made for a price by people operating machinery.

I've read stories about factory production ammunition with:

Upside down projectiles
torn cases from projectile seating
cracked cases
sideways primers
upside down primers
cartridges without power
cartridges with wrong powder
cartridges with too much powder
cases without flash holes (!). - Good luck inspecting for that on a finished cartridge.

etc

Production defects or the possibility thereof is why factory ammunition
packaging has lot numbers to identify it's brothers and sisters.
This simplifies recalls (in the worse case). It happens on occasion.

Gun Geezer
December 29, 2011, 05:18 PM
John Farnum recommends inspecting any ammunition intended for "serious" usage. Volume production methods will produce a small (but non-zero) level of defects. The post-production inspection phase(s) is/are supposed to catch the defects, but it's not perfect. All of this is made for a price by people operating machinery.

I've read stories about factory production ammunition with:

Upside down projectiles
torn cases from projectile seating
cracked cases
sideways primers
upside down primers
cartridges without power
cartridges with wrong powder
cartridges with too much powder
cases without flash holes (!). - Good luck inspecting for that on a finished cartridge.

etc

Production defects or the possibility thereof is why factory ammunition
packaging has lot numbers to identify it's brothers and sisters.
This simplifies recalls (in the worse case). It happens on occasion.
I never thought about inspecting the primers. Great idea, though! Might also want to drop them into a reloading go/no-go gauge to make sure it is sized right and not too long per SAMI specs.

Gun Geezer
December 29, 2011, 05:21 PM
Speer's "Ask Speer" email form is not up and running at all. I cannot even find the link for it on their "Contact Us" web page. No idea why.

I called the Speer 800 number and got security. It seems Speer has no one working until after the new year. What a great place to work!

I'll try to get feedback next week when I can talk to someone.

Willfully Armed
December 29, 2011, 05:35 PM
Wonder if it was damaged in shipping or stocking??
Always a possibility.
No. This happened in the loading process

RevolvingGarbage
December 29, 2011, 06:54 PM
Cases with no flash holes??

Has anyone ever seen this happen on quality SD ammo? Not that you are likely to, unless you are lucky enough to get a chance to inspect the dud round which caused "the loudest click you will ever hear."

A friend once found a round of Blazer aluminum cased .40S&W where the extractor groove was missing.

Its enough to make a guy want to load up all his own SD ammo, by hand, one at a time, under a bright light, with a magnifying glass.

weemsf
December 29, 2011, 07:35 PM
The department I am chaplain with uses Speer GD because it is what the FBI use. It is excellent ammo. I am sure they will replace your damaged round and it's entire box. I would never carry my own loads for self-defense. Too many liability issues in an already liability laden situation. JMO

hardluk1
December 30, 2011, 07:03 AM
Since you order ammo get the same bullet from Geogia Arms. Cheaper too. They use starline brass on the new ammo and the Speer GD bullet but because they are a competeing company they have to now use the "speers bonded unicore" name instead of the gold dot label. Way better ptice . There +p 124gr runs fron my glock 17 1200 to 1235 fps and from my kahr cw9 1993 to 1212fps. http://georgia-arms.com/9mmluger-4.aspx

Shawn Dodson
December 30, 2011, 11:44 AM
You can buy .380 Gold Dot in 50 round boxes for $37.00 here - http://www.policehq.com/Products/CCI-380GD1

If I owned a .380 pistol my first choice of defense ammo would be Winchester USA 95gr FMJ (product # Q4206). It has a flat nose that crushes more tissue (greater wound trauma) than a round nose FMJ. Cost is about $20.00 for 50 rounds at MidwayUSA.
http://media.midwayusa.com/productimages/large/965/743821.jpg

gym
December 30, 2011, 11:51 AM
Try some Golden sabre 102 grain. Also Corbon powerball makes a fast little sucker over 1000fps from a 2" barrel. Look at their website, I spent a few hours reading up on new 380 ammo, it's not like the stuff we used 20 years ago. This 380 generation is on par with 9mm at close ranges. I know someone is going to say it's noware as good, but I carry both, and the 380 will drop you just as well as the 9mm at gunfight ranges of 7yds or less. It's just having a pistol that you can shoot well.

rcmodel
December 30, 2011, 11:52 AM
The flat point bullet would be great if Winchester loaded it to full power.
But they don't.

This from an American Rifleman Kel-Tec P3AT test.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/100_3696.jpg

rc

RevolvingGarbage
December 30, 2011, 11:55 AM
In general, flat nosed solid or FMJ rounds are not a terrible choice for defense. However if those rounds are intended for target shooting or practice, you may be buying rounds that are downloaded to cut costs, reduce recoil, etc.

If you want to use a non-expanding bullet for self defense, avoid Winchester/Remington/Federal/CCI target ammo, and instead opt for foreign produced rounds as they are usually loaded to higher pressures than our domestic ammo.

Another option is Buffalo Bore. Its pricey, but if you want a flat nosed bullet with some serious steam behind it for defense, then its about the best you can get.

solvability
December 30, 2011, 11:58 AM
I had a box of Federal 30-30 that cracked every neck when fired - I mailed them the box and some samples and they sent me a note and 3 boxes of their best grade ammo. They tend to make things right, but the 30-30 was not dangerous just disconcerting.

Shawn Dodson
December 30, 2011, 12:21 PM
The flat point bullet would be great if Winchester loaded it to full power.
But they don't. It doesn't need to be loaded to a higher velocity than it is. Increased velocity is not going to increase wounding effect - it will simply increase penetration. The flat nose bullet in the Winchester load reliably penetrates more than 12" and crushes a permanent wound cavity the diameter of the flat nose.

gamestalker
December 31, 2011, 04:06 AM
AABEN, I did a penetration test using Gold Dot and XTP HP's using a 16" card board box lined with a trach bag, filled with water with tightly rolled denim stuffed into it. I tested 6 XTP's and 6 Gold Dots all 158 gr.. Every round fully expanded perfectly, and went completely through and stopped in the soft silt back stop. This is only 1 test of many over the years and the results were no different on earlier tests.

Yes, a FMJ will typically penetrate deeper, but it isn't going to expand and doesn't provide stopping power from hydrostatic shock created by HP's. HP's and LSWC are about 99% more effective for self defense than a FMJ.

btg3
December 31, 2011, 07:14 AM
^^^ What caliber was tested? Over the years what other calibersa and what other other data collected -- such as velocity and bullet weight?

FWIW...
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=625228

SharpsDressedMan
December 31, 2011, 08:45 AM
I bought some Remington .38 Super virgin, unfired cases several years back. I loaded Remington Goden Sabre bullets into them, left them on a shelf, and several months later, found that about 20% of them had cracked just sitting there. I feel it was the result of poor brass alloy, making them too brittle. The tension of the case mouth around the bullet was enough to crack them. That is what you have there, but from another maker. I contacted Remington, sent them back for examination (at my expense), and they refused to replace them in any way. I will never buy Remington brass again. I have loaded for over 40 years, and I did not contribute to the failure of those cartridges; there is nothing that I could have done to cause those cases to fail. Remington just did not want to get into an issue where they had to admit a failure and maybe recall thousands of cases or batches of bad brass.

Batty67
December 31, 2011, 09:39 AM
This ammunition in .30 carbine is the only ammunition my "picky" AO M1 carbine always likes and shoots very well. So I keep a magazine loaded with it for SD/HD, but obviously, too expensive to shoot paper.

AABEN
December 31, 2011, 04:19 PM
I have been loading for 30+ years and have some that are around 20 years old that was once shot brass in REM WIN FED in 38 357 and all is still good They are loaded to the MAX. The only cases that has split are some that has been reloaded 10+ times the brass is wore out. I some 38SP that has large primers.

jwash3rd
December 31, 2011, 04:48 PM
Speer has great customer service. When I had a problem with some of their 9mm GDHP, they had me send it back for testing and replaced it with more than enough extra thrown in to cover my shipping. If you do ship ammo back, make sure you take it to a UPS hub (not a storefront) and mark it ORM-D cartidges, small arms.

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