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Any Info on Gold Dot Short Barrel ammo?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by mountainclmbr, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. mountainclmbr

    mountainclmbr Well-Known Member

    I know that most ammo is designed for standard barrel lengths and the powder pressure profile may not be optimum for short barrelled handguns. I also know that with everything else being equal that higher velocities can be had with longer barrelled handguns. My question is: Does the new Gold Dot Short Barrelled Handgun ammo have powder that is optimized for short barrels, or have bullets with a thinner jacket to ensure expansion at lower velocities, or it it both? I did not find any info on their website.
  2. vanilla_gorilla

    vanilla_gorilla Well-Known Member

    My testing says that velocities tend to be very similar, so I'm betting it's the bullet structure. Both types of short barrel Gold Dots that I have show very deep hollows in the noses.
  3. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Well-Known Member

    I figured it was done with faster powder but I found just the bullets for sale at midway that said this:

    So it looks like it may be both faster powder and a bullet that expands at lower velocities.
  4. Nnobby45

    Nnobby45 Well-Known Member

    DTDrew makes a good point.

    It should be pointed out that the .38 Spec. load was specifically designed for snubbies and is a short barreled load even if the box doesn't indicate it.

    I think that most SD ammo out there is devloped with shorter ccw barrels in mind these days.
  5. jfh

    jfh Well-Known Member

    here's a link with a GD-135SB / 38Spl+P test...

    shot from a 2"--S&W 642-1.


    Note that the GD 135 load did 921 FPS. The same site has more extensive tests elsewhere--fish around a bit and you will find them.

    Elsewhere, Speer has put out a pdf data sheet showing how one can reload the SB bullets to get satisfactory terminal performance. Here's the link to the 38SPL+P GD 135 sheet:


    In this information, the load data show the GD135 was shot from a 4" barrel. Read the text to see how it applies to 2" barrels. If you study the two data sets carefully, I think you'll find that the factory powder is optimized for 2", and that these "SB" Bullets have a deeper cavity as well.

    I recently got my CCL and carry a 340 (Scandium, 13.3 oz). I also bought a 640 (SS, 24 oz) for (re)load development for a practice rounds. My initial carry round is the Federal 110 gr 38SPL PD round; as I gain greater skills and proficiency, I am transitioning to the GD135 SPL+P load. After a few hundred rounds in the 640 with various lead bullets, and perhaps 80-100 rounds in the 340, I shot the GD135 load. It was stout but entirely shootable in the 640, and I found it managable enough in the 340 to say I could shoot the cylinder dry and consider a reload. Trigger bite, though....

    On the reload side, I have found a 140-gr TC bullet from two suppliers. The first one--from Chey Cast--has been successfully tested with the AA#5 Speer data. 'Successful' here means that 6.7 gr and 6.8 gr. of AA#5 shot to the same POA and felt the same as the factory load, but I haven't put it through the chrono yet--that's this week's task.

    In sum, reloading costs of about 12 cents per round trump factory round costs of .70 to 1.00 per round...even with using actual GD135 bullets, the reload cost is about 22 cents or so.

    I'm not so sure all manufacturers have optimized their SD loads for the advancements made in JHP design in the last fifteen years--that's a marketing decision, and in the shooting business 'tradition' counts for a lot. I would hope the 'premium' SD products have been, but Speer is the only one I know of that is apparently promoting it.

    Jim H.
  6. Sir Aardvark

    Sir Aardvark Well-Known Member

    Hi Jim -

    "I recently got my CCL and carry a 340 (Scandium, 13.3 oz). My initial carry round is the Federal 110 gr 38SPL PD round;"

    This is just an FYI to head off any possible safety issues, but the 340PD has printed on right side of its barrel "NO LESS THAN 120GR BULLET"
  7. jfh

    jfh Well-Known Member

    thanks for the tip, Sir Aardvark--

    I took that warning to apply to super-powered .357 rounds. IOW, the light-bullet / setback issue is limited to rounds where the type of recoil is liable to affect bullet seating. I consider the warning to be for two issues:

    the first is a CYA for S&W against possible failure to fire in a shooting situation where setback could result in a fatality to the user.

    the second is to avoid frame damage--heating/cutting associated with these high-powered, lighter-weight rounds, which is particularly damaging to the alloy frames.

    In my own usage--although I have shot 'some' of the FC 38 SPL / 110gr PD rounds, I am transitioning up, so to speak, to that Speer 38 SPL+P / 135 gr round. Yesterday I shot about forty rounds of my intermediate reload in the 340--a .357 case with a 140-gr Lead TC round over 5.0 gr. of 231. That recoil is now manageable for me at a moderate rapid-fire, point-shoot scenario. Accuracy is still not very good at 7 yards, but it will improve.

    Jim H.
  8. esq_stu

    esq_stu Well-Known Member

    There has been a lot of discussion of the GD+P 135 on stoppingpower.net, which includes a number of tests and discussions by ballisticians and at least one ammo manufacturer's rep. A search there may turn up some info.

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