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Speer Gold Dot "Short Barrel"?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Glockafella, Aug 26, 2007.

  1. Glockafella

    Glockafella member

    Aug 20, 2007
    So I'm at the range with my New SP101...I see a box of ammo that catches my eye...the box reads...

    357 Mag Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel 135gr. HP Ammo

    I DO have a "Short Barrel" so of course I'm interested...but before I buy a box and try it for 25 bucks...is this stuff a gimmic or what?

    Anyones experience and comments on the ammo would be appreciated...
  2. mballai

    mballai Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    No it's designed for optimum performance from a short barrel, in other words to expand fully even if fired from a short barreled gun. I'm not sure how limiting 357 is from a short barrel gun might be. This is usually something that is more problematic in slower moving calibers.

    There might be a bit of marketese in the package label, but Gold Dots are proven performers.

    TOADMAN Active Member

    Aug 5, 2005
    Daytona Beach
    The Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel Ammo is Top Shelf. I highly recommend it for self defense...
  4. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Senior Member

    May 21, 2004
    "Land of (dis)Enchantment"
    It's the real deal, and in .38 Special it makes a S&W 642 an excellent self-defense choice.
  5. DAdams

    DAdams Senior Member

    Feb 28, 2007
    East Tennessee
    Gold Dot Short Barrel Personal Protection - 357 Magnum

    Part Number Cartridge
    Bullet Wt. Bullet Type Box Count Bullet Coefficient
    23917 357 Magnum 135 GDHP-SB 20 0.141

    Velocity(in feet per second) Energy (in foot pounds)
    Muzzle 50 yards 100 yards Muzzle 50 yards 100 yards
    990 928 877 294 258 231

    Here's the link. I bought some but have not lit any up yet.


    Here is the "hype" or unique sell proposition if you will.
    True, bonded-core bullet velocity-tuned for optimum terminal performance
    • Nickel-plated case
    • Low-flash propellant
    • Famous CCI® primers

    Uni-Cor Bonded Gold-Dot Construction
    We take hours to make a Gold Dot bullet for the split-second you need it. Our exclusive manufacturing processes give us flexibility to match bullet design to cartridge performance. Below is a brief overview of a few of the many operations making every Gold Dot bullet—Best in Class.
    1 The Speer Gold Dot bullet begins with an alloyed lead core.
    2 Uni-Cor technology bonds an incredibly uniform jacket to the core—one molecule at a time.

    3 First stage of patented* two-stage hollow point process creates memory lines that expansion can follow.
    4 Second forming stage finishes the cavity to match bullet weight and velocity, produces a smooth leading edge for reliable feeding, and a uniform heel for superb accuracy.

    5 Bullet and case are assembled using top-quality nickel-plated brass cases, clean-burning, low-flash propellants, and famous and reliable CCI® primers.

    I have standardized on SGD in my .357 M&P 340, either .38 spl plus P or Buffalo Bores snub rounds with low flash which are slightly heavier.

    I also like the COR BON DPX +P 110 gr for my wife's 642, a bit less snappy.

    Lifes to short and too valuable to shoot cheap ammunition for CC. Is it the best? I don't know it's right up there according to FBI tests.

    Here is a synopsis of some testing at Speer's facility in 1999.

    2-inch .38 snubs
    There seems to be no JHP bullet cartridge that is capable of providing a reasonable balance of adequate penetration and reliable expansion. A bullet that expands will not penetrate deeply enough, whereas a bullet that does not expand will probably overpenetrate.

    As a result, we feel the best cartridge for .38 snubbies is the 148 grain wadcutter target load. (MacPherson, Duncan: Bullet Penetration, Ballistic Publications, El Segundo, California, 1994. p. 247, Figure 10-2 Cylinder Bullet Penetration Depth.) The sharp-edged shoulder of the full wadcutter design provides the best penetration and wounding efficiency for this gun/cartridge combination.

    Speer offers a total metal jacket (FMJ) 148 grain wadcutter in its Lawman line of ammunition. As opposed to a lead wadcutter, the shoulder of the Speer copper-jacketed bullet is more likely to retain its sharp shoulder on impact. The downside of the Speer bullet is the less sensitive "Cleanfire primer" which may not provide reliable cartridge ignition in guns that have had trigger work, a lighter mainspring installed, or bobbed hammer.

    There a many who swear by this formula.
  6. mec

    mec Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    we've tried the 38 special 135 gold dot from a chief's special.
    Velocity was in the high 800s and the bullet got the usual gold dot expansion in water.
  7. DawgFvr

    DawgFvr Participating Member

    Jan 16, 2006
    Olympia, WA
    The Corbon DPX 125 Grain is a contender in that SP101.
  8. MikeJ

    MikeJ Active Member

    Jan 1, 2003
    As an added bonus with the .357 135 grain short barrel Gold Dot is that there is very minimal muzzle flash. I've shot it through my 3" S&W 65 and it was very accurate as well.
  9. jfh

    jfh Senior Member

    Aug 28, 2003
    Maple Plain, MN
    It's the one I am carrying in my M&P340,

    in the 38Spl+P 135-gr. version. Stout recoil, but entirely managable in the 340, and a fast shooter in a steel J-frame as well.

    To save money on practice costs, I've bought the bullets (about $17.00/100) and, using the Speer Data sheet, can replicate feel and POA with about 6.8 gr. of AA#5. That means practice ammo is about $11.00 or 12.00 / 50, not $1.00 per round.

    Further, it looks like one can lead bullets (140 TC) to feel the same way--thereby lowering the practice costs to about perhaps $6.00.

    Jim H.
  10. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Senior Elder

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    I was impressed with the Gold Dot Short Barrel rounds in both .357 Magnum and .38 Special +P. I have the .357 Magnum Short Barrel rounds loaded in my 4" revolver for HD since they are low flash and have no more recoil than normal .38 Special +P rounds.
  11. DawgFvr

    DawgFvr Participating Member

    Jan 16, 2006
    Olympia, WA
  12. TEX

    TEX New Member

    Jun 3, 2003
    This ammunition is not a gimmick as far as I can tell. I did some tests on it out of a 4” revolver, figuring that it if it was designed for a 2” barrel, it would be moving even faster out of a 4” and probably have less muzzle flash. I compared Speers 125gr+P to this “short barrel” 135gr+P, and what I found was that, on average, the 135gr was moving only 2fps slower than the 125gr. The 135gr average was 948.6 fps and the 125gr was 950.8fps. They were both designated as +P loads, so if they can essential get a 10gr heavier bullet moving out at the same speed at the 125gr in a 4” barrel, then I have no doubt that this “short barrel” load attains a good velocity out of a 2” barrel. I did not have a 2” available at the time so I don’t know how much extra velocity the extra 2” on the 4” barrel provided, but I am guessing that it should move out of a 2” barrel at about 900fps and possible a little more. The Speer Gold Dot bullet itself has a good reputation for expansion. This load also showed very good accuracy. The only other ammo that I might suggest is Corbon’s DPX or Magtech’s solid copper. So far, even at lower velocities, these have shown good expansion and good penetration.

    Speer Gold Dot 135g +P (3/4”) Average speed 948.6 fps (max deviation 27 fps) 10-rounds
    Speer Gold Dot 125g +P (3/4”) Average speed 950.8 fps (max deviation 34 fps) 10-rounds

    The 3/4" measurement is the average distance 10 rounds were from the group's center at 15 yards.

  13. RyanM

    RyanM Senior Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    It's excellent stuff. Controlled recoil, low flash, etc. Excellent performance.

    I'd recommend picking up one box each of the .357 magnum and .38 SPL, for concealed carry. Keep the cylinder loaded with .357s, and have a speedloader of .38s. Shorter .38 rounds are much easier to reload with.

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