Take a look at our test of Speer’s .45 Auto 230 Gold Dot. The Gold Dot is not technically a bonded bullet, but rather a plated one. Nevertheless, it tends to perform like bonded bullets and the plated construction is essentially the same as a bonded bullet in that core and “jacket” are chemically bonded to each other, resulting in high weight retention. This bullet lives up to its reputation as one of the very best defense loads by expanding well and penetrating perfectly in both bare gel and when fired through heavy clothing. The moderate velocity of approximately 830 fps proved adequate to initiate expansion and the bullet was able to perform properly even when fired through four layers of denim. The IWBA standard of four layers of denim is a more difficult protocol to pass than the more realistic FBI heavy clothing standard. The IWBA heavy clothing test is not intended to simulate real world clothing, but rather to present a worst case scenario of many, closely packed, dense fibers which can clog the cavity of some hollow point ammunition, preventing expansion. Having performed well even in this worst case scenario, the Gold Dot proves to be an outstanding choice for personal defense and the more rounded nose tends to feed better in unmodified 1911A1 pistols than some other hollow point designs. Not only was the bullet able to expand adequately in adverse conditions, it was also able to penetrate to an appropriate depth. The variation in penetration depth was also extremely consistent, with only a small difference between bare gel and heavy clothing. Retained weight was also 100% for every bullet and expansion measurements varied little from bullet to bullet. This highly consistent performance indicates excellent quality and speaks to superior performance across a range of other conditions not evaluated in this test.
Avg velocity: 834 fps
Avg penetration: 14.6″
Avg retained weight: 229.6 gr
Avg max expansion: 0.695″
Avg min expansion: 0.601″
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