When looking around for ammunition to carry for duty or person carry, the Speer Gold Dot is a standard by which other hollow points have based their performance. It got its name from the very recognizable gold dot in the middle of the fully expanded hollow point. Gold Dots are among the most popular in a line of bonded hollow point bullets. By my accounts and knowledge, backed with evidence of performance, it is the best hollow point to use as the base for your research and standards by which you will hold other hollow points to. In my opinion, the writing on the side of the Law Enforcement box says it all.
When you are looking for a hollow point to carry and defend yourself with, the Gold Dot may be one of the only hollow point designs that reliably expands under a variety of velocities. Not only that, but it tends to have a record of penetrating a sufficient amount to reach vital organs from almost any angle you may engage from. Let us take the 165 grain .40 caliber Gold Dot for example. This round has proven to be quite effective in many shooting across the board in reaching vital organs reliably and expanding, even through a multitude of barriers. The average penetration through bare FBI ballistics gel is 13″. In heavy clothing, it has been found to go up to 18″. This is the kind of round you want to have when you are carrying. The 9mm variant is very similar in terms of penetration. Of course, with me, I recommend going as heavy as you can so that your penetration is at the maximum potential.
I am not going to discuss expansion in this discussion as a positive factor of terminal performance for a number of reasons. The largest reason is the fact that penetration rules out over all the other factors. Heck, even if the round didn’t expand, all we need to know is if it penetrated sufficiently without over-penetrating. Expansion, despite what some people would like to believe, has little to do with terminal effect. Think about it for a second. If the vitals are not reached, what good does expansion do for you? Some plead the case that the size of the hole allows blood to leave the body, but if you cause sufficient damage to the vital organs, there is plenty of room in the body for the blood to leave. That being said, you will notice a very consistent pattern of 1.5x expansion, if not more with the Gold Dot.
When it comes to shooting these rounds, you will notice that the recoil on these rounds is only slightly more than practice ammo of the same weight. My personal favorites, as far as weight goes, is the heavier rounds due to the fact that the heavier rounds penetrate deeper. In my search for hollow points that I can trust, I look to the reliable performance of the Speer Gold Dot as the standard at which I hold other designs to. And I think you should use this round for your standard as well.