I was going through my ammo the other day and found two boxes of gold dot 200g +P. I never intentionally bought it and must have confused it for the standard 230g.
Are there any benefits to the +P to have me switch out the rounds in my Glock 21.
When I tested the Gold Dot 200 grain +P load I found it to be significantly more powerful than the typical 230 grain standard pressure round in terms of bullet velocity and energy.
If one believes (as I do) that greater projectile energy produces greater wounding and other physiological effects and the loading is therefore better for defensive purposes, then that’s the reason to rely upon it for those purposes.
If, however, and for whatever reason, one believes that differences in projectile power have no effect on how they can neutralize a deadly threat, then of course there is no advantage to greater power, and in fact greater power is believed to be an actual disadvantage and should be avoided.
“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.”
I'm sure there will be an expert or two come along any time and share the benefits of their knowledge with us.
In the meantime, maybe my recollections of actual use in armed combat will be of interest.
When I was in Vietnam the standard pistol was US M1911A-1 .45, every single one of which were manufactured prior to June 1945. We usually had two types of ammunition: 230-grain Ball and 230-grain Tracer-Ball. Both performed equally on human targets, the difference being a bright red burning element in the base of the tracer slugs; actually pretty handy for adjusting fire at close quarters. A bit disconcerting when seen bouncing around inside a dark place, looks a lot like the fuse burning down in a hand grenade about to detonate.
I have seen the .45 used in very close quarters, inside bunkers, trenches, and houses. I've seen wounds to the torso, arms, legs, a foot, and head. I've never seen a single shot knock anyone off his feet or out of his shoes. I have seen major bones broken, exit wounds large enough to hold a baseball, and chunks blown out of skulls. I once saw a .45 pistol shot strike an AK rifle, glance off upward striking a man in the face, breaking both lower jaw and cheekbone, knocking the man out cold (also completely disabled the AK, receiver dented in and binding the bolt firmly).
While in training I remember a hazy, overcast day when it was possible to actually see .45 pistol bullets in flight. They really are big and slow.
One guy I knew decided he had had enough of Vietnam and wanted to go home so badly that he shot himself in the foot with a .45. Our boots had steel mesh in the soles for protection against punji traps (sharpened bamboo spikes in concealed holes in the ground), which caused the .45 bullet to bounce back and making a huge mess of the bones in that foot. The boy made it home, eventually, minus about half his foot and carrying a Bad Conduct Discharge with no VA benefits for life.
I don't recall a single incident of customer complaints.
Mr. Browning and the Army Ordnance Board knew what they were doing, and I think they got it done pretty well. The 230-grain ball load is a great big blunt instrument that hits hard and transmits energy very effectively.
Hollow points? Lighter bullets at higher velocities? I just don't see much gain to be had. But I never felt the need for Jello-tests and I've only seen chronographs a couple of times, so I am clearly not an expert on the subject.
Retired holster maker.
Retired police chief.
Formerly Sergeant, US Army Airborne Infantry, Pathfinders
Interesting stories Lobo, thanks for sharing !
I think in general gold dot bullets get good reviews, maybe great reviews.
The 1st thing I want is proper cycling, then hitting where you aim.
Interesting anecdotes posted above, thanks. To my next point, if one has FMJ or ‘military ball’ loaded in the gun, that’s what you use, range or carry.
I’m collecting a few things for a Son visit later April, one thing he asked about is some ammo. I don’t mind bringing some, usually factory for him. This is mostly plinking, range, then some carry use. With the prices of stuff now, it’s not a biggie to me if FMJ ammo is in the carry gun at times.
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