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Gelatin test: .38 spl Speer Gold Dot +P 125 & 135 gr

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by chopinbloc, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. chopinbloc

    chopinbloc Well-Known Member

    Surprisingly, both Gold Dots failed to expand at all. Also surprising, the lighter bullet penetrated deeper. Now I need to find a better .38 spl load for a short barrel revolver. Maybe the "FBI load"? Anybody have any recommendations?


  2. DeMilled

    DeMilled Well-Known Member

    This is second hand info and you should talk to Speer before considering it gospel...

    There was a member of this forum, or maybe another forum, that talked to Speer's Tech. Dept. and was told that the 135 grain Gold Dot has a velocity window where it performs properly.
    The Gold Dot in question works between 800 and 1100 fps, too slow and it won't expand, too fast it comes apart.

    The guy in the video just was not getting the velocity needed.

    I recommend you run a box of Gold Dots through your gun and see where they're at.

    From the video in your post:
    Speer Gold Dot 125 gr +P and 135 gr +P are fired from a S&W 638 into gelatin with four layers of denim.

    BB calibration: 607 fps, 3.4"

    135 gr
    Impact velocity: 783 fps
    Penetration: 13.8"
    Retained weight: 133.8 gr

    125 gr
    Impact velocity: 752 fps
    Penetration: 16.5"
    Retained weight: 124.4 gr
  3. radiotom

    radiotom Well-Known Member

    I've tested 9mm 124g +p Gold Dots in a Glock 19 Gen 4 and they were perfect.
  4. chopinbloc

    chopinbloc Well-Known Member

    It is my video. Temperature was about 40 degrees or so and I'm sure that contributed to the low velocity but it still seems way low. I'll probably repeat this test to see if this is an anomaly, but it doesn't inspire confidence. This is supposed to be great stuff for a short barrel.
  5. chris in va

    chris in va Well-Known Member

    The G19's barrel is twice the length if the 638 snubnose revolver.
  6. radiotom

    radiotom Well-Known Member

    Ya just an FYI before people start freaking about Gold Dots. The one to freak about is Winchester Ranger T.

  7. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    Not really, if you appropriately factor in the length of the cylinder.
  8. 336A

    336A Well-Known Member

    The cylinder of a revolver has nothing to do with it's barrel length, never has and never will. The barrel has and always will be measured from just ahead of the cylinder where the forcing cone is, to the muzzle.
  9. 336A

    336A Well-Known Member

  10. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    Absolutely correct, and I never stated otherwise. My point was that a semiauto barrel length comparison relative to a revo needs to address the cylinder length, since semiauto barrel measurements include the chamber in the OAL.
  11. F-111 John

    F-111 John Well-Known Member

  12. Hapworth

    Hapworth Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't the barrel/cylinder gap of a revolver negate this? A semiauto doesn't lose pressure from the chamber to the muzzle the way a revolver does due to the gap, no?

    If correct, it seems a more accurate comparison would be barrel to barrel.
  13. Hapworth

    Hapworth Well-Known Member

    Agreed, the results are interesting, but opposite a lengthy history of controlled tests and street use.
  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    Every other test I've seen with the short barrel 135gr Speer load has shown good penetration and expansion. Is there a reason why the velocities you recorded and shot are so low?
  15. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    The revolver gap is parasitic to some degree but does not 'negate' the additive nature of the relationship between chamber and barrel. If it did, all bullet acceleration would occur in the chamber and the barrel would be parasitic to velocity (when we can clearly demonstrate in revolvers that it is not).
  16. chopinbloc

    chopinbloc Well-Known Member

    The only explanation I have for the low velocity is the fairly low temperature. It might have just been a slightly undercharged round, too. I don't know. Ironic if this stuff can only develop sufficient velocity for heavy clothing when it's warm enough for people to not wear heavy clothing.

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