Speer Gold Dot 38 Cal 125gr

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by vaalpens, Nov 17, 2020.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. vaalpens

    vaalpens Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    Messages:
    2,461
    When I go to my local Sportsman's Warehouse I always look for something special I can load. A few months ago they had a sale on the 125gr Speer GDHP. I would have preferred the 135gr bullet, but I never see them in the store. I bought a box of 100 of them at the time.

    So finally I decided it is time to work up a few loads with the GDHP bullets. After doing some research it seems that these will not expand when loading them in 38spl, and even in 357mag, it seems they do not expand much. I looked at the Lucky Gunner test results, and at 1245fps (2" barrel) they did not expand, but at 1403fps (4" barrel), it expanded to .52".

    My Ruger SP101 has a 3" barrel, so it seems I will have to push it very hard to get it to expand and maybe use them as Zombie loads.

    Is it even worth it to try and get these to a decent velocity, or should I just have fun and see what accuracy I can get out of them?

    Anybody has any experience with these bullets in 38spl or 357mag?
     
  2. Crosshair

    Crosshair Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Messages:
    2,376
    Location:
    Grand Forks, North Dakota
    You could always save them to use in a 357 rifle if the chance arises. Could be a nice short range varmint load

    Gold dots aren't exactly plinking priced bullets, so I'm hesitant to just tell you to go blast them.
     
    Bfh_auto likes this.
  3. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2017
    Messages:
    6,582
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    Speer GoldDot bullets are right on the heels of Hornady XTP's as far as accuracy. I load them (when I could find them...) for both the .45ACP and .41MAG where they were exceptional. I never tested them for expansion, because I don't really care... it's out of my control once I've sent it on it's way.

    I'm kind of surprised they did not expand at ~1200fps, but it's a very light bullet and they probably designed it to not blow up at higher velocities.
     
  4. vaalpens

    vaalpens Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    Messages:
    2,461
    I normally document the price I pay for all components, but for some reason I never documented the GD price. They are definitely not plinking priced bullets, but seemed cheap at the time. I will probably just have some fun with water bottles etc., but will also get some chrono and accuracy data.

    There is no 357 rifle in my plans at this time, but a nice Henry will be a nice addition at some time in the future.
     
  5. vaalpens

    vaalpens Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    Messages:
    2,461
    I was surprised to, but maybe that explains why the 125gr bullets were on sale. It seems the 135gr works well in 38spl, and very well in 357mag. They are probably the way to go.

    I will be testing these for accuracy and also have some fun with them. Testing them against water jugs should be fun. If they don't expand in water jugs, then maybe the design is not that good. Lucky gunner tested them using 4 layers of denim, so that maybe explains the lack of expansion.
     
    Charlie98 likes this.
  6. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2017
    Messages:
    6,582
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    That could be... it's a pretty big cavity. The good news is, whatever was behind that 4 layers of denim had at least a .358" hole in it... just saying.
     
  7. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    7,790
    Location:
    Southwestern Ohio
    Here’s a good starting point for Gold Dot JHP 4133EAD6-D1A5-4DB1-9BCD-D65E77805E82.jpeg
     
  8. vaalpens

    vaalpens Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    Messages:
    2,461
    You are correct, but the aim is to get the bullet to expand. This is a backup gun, so my preference will be to get just get some factory 38spl +P SD ammo. The 38spl +P should be good enough.
     
    Charlie98 likes this.
  9. vaalpens

    vaalpens Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    Messages:
    2,461
    Thanks for sharing. The one you have listed is the 135gr, but I have the 125gr bullet. Speer does not list the short barrel data for the 357mag 125gr GDHP bullet.

    Capture.PNG
     
    Lennyjoe and Charlie98 like this.
  10. Steve C

    Steve C Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    4,861
    I have loaded 125gr .357/.38 Gold dots for years along with other Speer 125gr bullets with a 3/4 jacket. Looking at various You Tube expansion tests these bullets have good reliable expansion from the .357 mag and fair expansion out of the .38 spl though shooting them from a 4" barrel proves much better in .38's than the typical 1-7/8" or 2" many testers use which provides reduced velocity that hinders the JHP expansion.

    The old "rule of thumb" is that a JHP needs 1,000 fps at the muzzle to ensure expansion. Current bullets have been improved so that most will provide expansion with a MV of 900 fps though not as good as 1.000 fps +. For ammo that may be used for defense I load 125gr JHP .38 specials to +P level using 6.0grs of Unique and Winchester or Federal Primers. This load is good for around 1,050 fps plus from 4" revolvers. I haven't chrono graphed these loads from a snub but would expect around 900+ fps.

    For .357 mag 125gr JHP loads you can duplicate the factory full power .357 mag load at 1,450 fps MV with 125gr bullets from a 4" barrel revolver. If you look up 125gr Gold Dot test by Tnoutdoor9 on Youtube he got over 70 cal expansion with a 3" revolver through denim and gelatin.
     
  11. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    7,790
    Location:
    Southwestern Ohio
    Ok maybe drop by 10% powder load then?
     
  12. vaalpens

    vaalpens Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    Messages:
    2,461
    Probably depends on the powder:
    135gr AA#9 14.5-15.5gr
    125gr AA#9 12.6-14.6gr

    135gr Power Pistol 8.6-9.6gr
    125gr Power Pistol 9.5-10.5gr

    I like Power Pistol, but I am probably just going to go with the 125gr GDHP Unique Load. I always weight the SD charges on the beam scale, so using Unique won't be an issue.
     
  13. vaalpens

    vaalpens Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    Messages:
    2,461
    Thanks for the information. I am going to go with the Speer 125gr 357mag load data, and for now use Unique. I don't have N110 or 2400, so Power Pistol and Unique are the next best. Probably a good time to try Unique in 357mag.
     
  14. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    7,790
    Location:
    Southwestern Ohio
    Of all the listed powders on that page, Unique worked the best with 135’s out of my 2” Taurus 617
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice