Speer 9mm 124 gr Short Barrel Gold Dot Gel Test Review

    We fired Speer 124 gr Short Barrel Gold Dot from a S&W Shield through heavy clothing and bare gel to assess penetration, expansion, and retained weight. The Speer Gold Dot is one of the most highly regarded handgun projectiles for defense, but we find some surprising results with this load.

    Buy it at Ventura Munitions.

    Guns in this video:
    S&W Shield 9mm

    Bare gel:
    Avg penetration: 15.4″
    Avg retained weight: 124.4 gr
    Avg max expansion: 0.577″
    Avg min expansion: 0.419″

    Avg penetration: 22.3″
    Avg Retained weight: 123.6 gr
    Avg max expansion: 0.494″
    Avg min expansion: 0.358″

    Average velocity (6 shots): 1,082 fps

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    Transcript ….

    – Hi, Andrew here.

    So continuing our series on defensive pistol ammunition ballistic testing, today we’re testing the gold standard.

    That is, we’re gonna test some Gold Dot.

    A Speer 124-grain short barrel plus P, graciously provided by Ventura Munitions.

    Of course, pocket pistols like the Smith and Wessson Shield, the KelTec PF-11 and whatnot, have gotten really popular lately.

    So short barrel loads are in high demand.

    And, of course, the Gold Dot is one of the most highly regarded bullets for defensive pistols.

    We’re gonna shoot it from a Smith and Wesson Shield at bare gel and four layers of denim to simulate heavy clothing.

    Let’s take a look.

    (gun firing) (gun bangs) (gun bangs) (gun bangs) (gun bangs) (gun bangs) (rock music) Okay, 16.2.




    Let’s see how it does against denim.

    (gun bangs) (gun bangs) (gun bangs (gun bangs) (gun bangs) (gun bangs) Okay, so at first I was kinda shocked that this seemed to go way deeper than it ought to.

    This one went to 24-and-a-half inches.

    These are Gold Dots.

    Gold Dots are badass. Why would it do that? That’s because it didn’t expand.

    Okay, I have to admit that was very surprising to me.

    Of course, it did well in bare gel.

    Everything was perfect. The penetration was ideal.

    Expansion, the weight retention, everything was exactly what we want to see.

    But what was surprising was that it didn’t expand at all when fired through heavy clothing.

    Now to be fair, it is the IWBA standard of four layers of denim, not the FBI heavy clothing standard, which is easier to pass.

    So theoretically, it’s possible that this bullet may have passed the FBI heavy clothing standard, but it’s not as though there aren’t any bullets that can pass both the bare gel and the IWBA heavy clothing standard.

    Now, doing it from a short barrel is a difficult task, but I’m very surprised that the Speer Gold Dot, especially the short barrel version, didn’t actually get it done.

    Now does that make this totally useless for defence? No, of course not.

    It pokes holes in things and that’s the point, isn’t it? Poking holes in the right bits in the right places at the right times is what defensive pistol shooting’s all about.

    And of course, it does poke holes in things.

    Just not as big of a hole as we’d like to see if it encounters heavy clothing first.

    It should still do well against light clothing like a Tshirt or naked tweakers.

    But it may not be the very best choice for defensive pistol use with a short barrel.

    We’re gonna keep looking for some loads that work well in a 9-mm short barrel because of how popular they are.

    And if you have some suggestions, make sure you let us know.

    Head on over to Ventura Munitions website, see what they have in stock, and let us know what you’d like to see us test.

    If you have any questions or if you think I got something wrong, as always, leave a comment below.

    And of course, like and share and subscribe.

    That really helps support our channel.

    I hope you enjoyed the video and found it entertaining and informative.

    You have a great day.

    (heavy rock music)



    Andrew is a combat veteran of OEF and has performed hundreds of ballistic tests for his YouTube channel, The Chopping Block (https://www.youtube.com/user/chopinbloc). He is an avid firearm collector and competitor and lives with his family in Arizona. If you have any questions, you may email him at [email protected]