I'm currently carrying Federal 124 grain plus P in my defensive carry - Glock 19 with OEM threaded barrel. They advertise 396 ft.lbs. of energy. I get a box of 50 for about $25.00 from an ammo store here in town - Ventura Munitions. The box says law enforcement on it, but it is not bonded ammo as I originally thought. I'm having trouble finding Speer Gold Dot 124 grain in the Plus P variety. I may just have to order online for them. I've done the usual research and find myself wondering if the Gold Dots are actually better. It seems to be a law enforcement favorite - and I do prefer a bonded bullet - and it is a slightly hotter round - which I think every little bit helps. But from my perspective, it seems the HST's expand a little better, and I haven't heard of any problems with jacket separation from them. Has HST done something I don't know about to prevent jacket separation - kind of like Hornady did with the band around their critical duty line of ammunition ? Barrier penetration matters to me because of an incident about 5 years ago - another topic, another thread, another time... There are other brands out there I know, but I'm going with one of these two brands, and switching carry loads is a big deal to me. All things considered, with ability to defeat barriers, am I making a sound decision to choose the Gold Dots over the HST's ? Ask before I buy type thing ya know...
|Fighting the good fight|
HST's jacket is not electrochemically bonded to the core like on Gold Dots, but they are mechanically bonded. Different method of ensuring weight retention and preventing jacket separation, but no less effective in testing.
Both Gold Dots and HST consistently performs extremely well in testing. In some tests, HST marginally outperforms Gold Dots. In other tests, Gold Dots come out on top.
So with their performance being so close, it wouldn't be worthwhile to ditch your HSTs and replace them all with Gold Dots.
I wouldn't hesitate to carry either one (and have carried both).
It's my preference that my pistol is always loaded with standard pressure HST, but I carry a second magazine with standard pressure Gold Dot. Both are proven to perform well and function reliably.
There's no rules in a street fight.
I know a little about a lot of things, but I don't know everything. I'm in the minority these days.
|Fighting the good fight|
To expand on my earlier post, here are some photos.
HST bullets have a deep cannelure crimped into the bullet, which combined with the skiving at the nose to guide expansion and prevent the jacket from fully peeling away, serves to physically lock the jacket onto the core, even when travelling through intermediate barriers.
Newer HST has even added a secondary backup cannelure below the first one, to further ensure performance through tougher intermediate barriers like auto glass.
In addition to my Gold Dot 124gr +P rounds, I’ve got three varieties of Federal Premium HP / JHPs.
HST 147gr HP w/ no cannelure, lot 23x720
HST 147gr HP w/ no cannelure, lot 323v693
Hydra Shok 147gr JHP w/ very light single cannelure, lot 3 22r690 (notes indicate they’re at least 10yrs old)
Tactical Bonded 124gr HP w/ cannelure
I’m surprised to not see a single or double cannelure crimping on my HST. They don’t match the pic above in that regard, but definitely have the unique skiving. Maybe they’re old?
I’m not planning on using either the Fed Hydra Shok or Fed Tactical Bonded for defensive purposes. That’s where the Gold Dots and HST come in, unless my HST are somehow inferior...
Several years ago, the LE rep from ATK came to my department and conducted a range test. He brought the ballistic gel and the FBI protocol for ammo testing. I was looking at the HST to become our new duty ammo. We tested the HST head to head against Hydra Shok(old one) Winchester Ranger SXT and the Gold Dot. The Gold Dot excelled in the auto glass, but only by a little bit. HST cleaned up the rest. One of the surprises was the 9mm 147 grain. It penetrated deep, expanded well and retained weight exceptionally well.
That was 10 years or so ago, and I still use HST. The rep cataloged each bullet, recorded weight and expansion etc.... He even mounted them on a piece of plexiglass and brought it back for me to display.
If you carry 45acp, I used my 3 inch Defender and the HST still expanded to nearly an inch.
If you want photos AR any of the data, get ahold of me and I will send them to you.
Browning Buckmark Target, Colt Junior, Colt .22 Target Model, Colt .22 New Frontier, Colt Cowboy .45 LC, Colt Trooper, Colt Cobra, Colt Gov't Model, Colt Combat Elite, Colt Competition Model, CZ Scorpion EVO, CZ-75 TSO, H&k P30L, S&W 625(.45 LC), S&W 642, P290RS, Beretta 96, Glock 21, Ruger Blackhawk 45 LC
The HST and Gold Dot are close enough in performance that it really doesn't matter which one you carry.
|Working for Water|
This, but prefer and currently carry the 124 Gold Dot plus Ps.
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