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Replicating the factory 124-gr Speer Gold Dot load

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by BHPshooter, Sep 30, 2007.

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  1. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    I'm a fan of the 124-gr Gold Dots. The factory std-pressure load is my carry ammo. I'm trying to find out the factory powder type and charge to make some "clone" loads to practice with.

    I know it's not exactly science, but having pulled one of the bullets, the factory powder looks to be Hodgdon HS6 or HS7. Anybody know?

    Any help appreciated.
  2. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

    Mar 20, 2003
    At The Range
    The Rainier plated bullets are made the same way as Gold Dots, except the hollow point cavity is different They are way cheaper to buy for loading practice ammo.

    Find a buddy with a chronograph, get the velocity for the factory Gold Dot load from your gun, consult loading manuals for the powder that will give you equal velocity without excess pressure, then chronograph again to confirm velocity of your practice ammo.

    Now you have a "clone" load :).

    Please exercise safe reloading practices (my disclaimer).

    Just my .02,
  3. alucard0822

    alucard0822 Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    Westminster, MD
    124gr gold dot (obviously) 6.7gr hs-6, CCI SPP, 1.125 OAL nickel plated brass (starline).
    chronos about 1175 +or- out of my Beretta M9. If it isn't an exact clone, it is about as close in function, ballistics and appearance as you can get of one of the most controllable and effective loads ever devised for 9X19. Gold dots do use a type of plating in their construction to keep the core and jacket bonded(they are loaded as jacketed), but can be pushed a little harder than rainier or berrys plated bullets that have a very thin copper covering, that gives them the terminal ballistics of lead, and internal ballistics somewhere between lead and jacketed. The rainiers are one of my favorite practice loads, shoots clean, and very consistent dimentions, and I know of a couple folks that swear by the flat nose for hunting with handguns, where expansion plays second fiddle to deep penetration.
  4. PC40

    PC40 Member

    Jul 14, 2007
    I would assume that it is an Alliant powder as ATK owns Alliant and Speer.
  5. jfh

    jfh Member

    Aug 28, 2003
    Maple Plain, MN
    I would suggest a different approach--

    and it is one I have used this summer to build a good 'replica load' for the Speer 38+P / GDSB135-gr. PD round. Don't break out the chrono--simply try some reloads will feel the same way the factory round shoots. The point is, you are trying to clone the shooting experience. It won't even matter if the POA is off a bit; this is for practice. So, concentrate on getting the same subjective feel (type of recoil: 'sharp', 'hard,' 'full,' and duration ('quick,' 'extended,' etc.) of the shot.

    So, start with checking the Speer site to get the ballistics (fps) of the round you prefer to shoot.

    Now, dig out the recipes--from the Speer manual, particularly. Try a development load with, for example, the HS-6 / HS-7 recipe. This needn't be an extensive workup--double-check the velocity ratings and the barrel lengths, and choose a range within the recipe. If your gear allows it, I would definitely use one-tenth-grain increments for the development ammo--so, say you load fifty rounds, ten each with .1 gr. jumps.

    Shoot five of each on separate targets--and what you are concentrating on is how it feels, not how accurate you or the load is. "Think" about the recoil. I started out by shooting five of the factory round to begin with, then shot the reloads. Usually I would "remember" the recoil so I could check it again later.

    On the component side of things, I would definitely get some new brass--it's the only way to really have consistent shooting, and since the factory round is probably near max pressure, there's a safety consideration. And, to start with, I would buy a couple hundred (or more) of the Speer bullets. Don't try to jump to lead or to "something cheaper" right away; you want to clone the factory load.

    My guess is that you can home in on a powder and powder charge fairly quickly. If you need to try a different powder to fine-tune that feel, look at the powder burn charts and select a faster / slower one. repeat the drill. With the 38+P / GDSB135 work I did, I found the first clone load fairly quickly: It was Power Pistol--and after the lead-bullet testing, I had sorted out "version 0.9" of the clone load, for Power Pistol's recoil was not really similar in impulse to the factory load; it was harder and sharper. As it turned out, AA#5 is the powder for that particular load of the powders I have tested so far.

    Once you get the clone load for ANY powder sorted out for the Gold Dot bullet, then you can find the cast bullet load you want to shoot. Back up a few tenths and do a development set, repeat as needed. Once I got the feel sorted out, I could shoot "clone loads" for about 12 cents a round (which includes brass amortization spread over ten loads).

    Obviously, I was dealing with a revolver load, and the clone load recoil for a semi-auto has a different component for operation of the pistol.

    Good luck; any questions, feel free to ask.

    Jim H.
  6. evan price

    evan price Member

    Dec 7, 2005
    http://www.ohioccw.org/ Ohio's best CCW resour
    IMHO the Rainier 124-gr plated 9mm HP is as close as you will get to actually shooting Gold Dots without buying Gold Dots. Price is good, $72 per thousand I paid for mine.
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