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Old 01-10-2010, 07:43 PM   #1
Josh Smith's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Wabash IN
Posts: 2,951
Gold Dot Short Barrel .45acp Test


I ran across some short barrel 230gn Gold Dot loads. Knowing that Speer tests these .45acp short barrel loads in a 4" barrel, I figured I had nothing to lose, so I bought a couple boxes.

Firing for function from my 5" 1911 at dusk revealed that, from the longer tube, these rounds have no muzzle flash.

Additionally, these feed about like a hardball round. The performance seems to come from more scores on the jacket, not a huge hollowpoint as is the case with the revolver rounds.

Expansion testing was problematic. Twice I shot at milk jugs, and both times the front jug was shredded, the rear jug was penetrated, and the bullet was lost in the snow. I will have to rig up something when it gets warmer - 10 degrees is not a good time to be playing in water!


The above round was recovered from a tree. I will draw no conclusions from this other than it doesn't seem to have a problem expanding.

During function testing, a big problem arose: The last round of the first magazine failed to go completely into battery. A slap on the back of the slide put it in, but the second box got measured with calipers, and dropped into the chamber after I had cleaned it to ensure the remaining rounds were not loose. I then decided to run them through a Lee Factory Crimp Die to bring them all to the same spec.

The older Hydra-Shoks that this is replacing don't show this sort of deviation. If they hadn't been in the gun longer than I'm comfortable with, I'd retain them pending more testing.

As it is, I have had zero failures with reloads, and I believe I'm going to reload the next batch of carry ammunition so I can be sure of quality control - this is not anything against Speer, but something several people seem to have noticed of late from many manufacturers.


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