Speer Gold Dot Carry Gun
Courtesy Speer
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Speer has taken its law-enforcement proven Gold Dot G2 hollow-point bullet and modified it to create a new product line called Gold Dot Carry Gun. This specialized ammunition is designed to provide superior feeding, ballistics and terminal performance through compact handguns. Speer’s new Carry Gun lineup includes 9mm 135-grain, .40 S&W 165-grain, and.45 Auto +P 200-grain loads. Shipments of this new product have begun to arrive at dealers.

“Most shooters believe that a defensive bullet—any defensive bullet—will perform well in typical self-defense situations. But a duty bullet that is designed and optimized for a full-sized duty handgun may not perform to the same standard when shot from a short-barreled carry or backup gun,” said Federal Handgun Ammunition Product Manager Chris Laack. “By taking the Gold Dot G2 bullet and customizing it to function in short-barreled defense pistols Speer has created a self-defense load truly optimized for the guns in which it will be carried.”

Speer Gold Dot Carry Gun
Courtesy Speer

Gold Dot Carry Gun features the original G2’s exclusive bullet nose design. Instead of a large hollow-point cavity, it has a shallow dish filled with a high-performance elastomer. On impact, the material is forced into engineered internal fissures to start the expansion process. The result is extremely uniform expansion, better separation of the petals, and more consistent penetration across barrier types. Speer Gold Dot Carry Gun also utilizes the use of quality nickel-plated cases that feed dependably, advanced powders that perform consistently, and a sealed CCI primer that is sensitive and reliable.


  • Gold Dot G2 bullet design optimized for compact carry pistols
  • Shallow dish nose cavity filled with elastomer and structural-plated, pressure-formed core improve performance through barriers
  • Extremely uniform expansion and penetration when fired through short barrels
  • Exclusive Gold Dot construction virtually eliminates core/jacket separation
  • Quality, reliable components and consistent accuracy and performance


Speer ammunition can be found at dealers nationwide or purchased online direct from Speer. For more information on all products from Speer or to shop online, visit www.speer-ammo.com

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  1. I just had a major brain fart while in Utah. I was looking for .357 magnum ammo and all I was finding was 158 grain loads. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted Speer gold dot .357 125 grain loads.

    Wasn’t til I unloaded my vehicle back in CA that I realized I had bought .357 Sig. Now I’m going to have to buy a .357 sig pistol or feel real foolish.

    • Or a conversion barrel for a .40 S&A. The same magazines usually work.

      And then you need to get the .40 S&W pistol to go with the conversion barrel….

      But, um, I’m sure this happened before the laws regarding ammo imports to CA went into effect, right?

      • Yep. Some years back I saw some .500 nitro express on sale. Briefly thought about buying it for shits and giggles.

        Then I remembered the Rule.

    • I did something similar when Walmart was getting out of the Handgun ammo business. I bought several boxes of what I thought was 357 magnum but it was actually 357 Sig. I had left the store but not left the property so I ran back in real quick with my bags and manage to wheel and deal with the sporting-goods manager and exchanged it for some for a several boxes of .40. I lucked out big time. When I saw a deal of 50 count at $15 a box it was hard to pass up, I should’ve done a better job of reading the label.

      • I got caught buying steel or aluminum cased stuff for that reason: “ooo look at that price!!! I’ll buy a bunch. whoops aluminum cased. No thanks”.

        Most ranges (all mine are commercial) won’t allow steel or aluminum cased ammo and it can be problematic in some firearms.

        that and reloading .

        • They don’t allow you to use it because they don’t want the hassle of separating it from the recyclable brass cases that they either reload or sell as credits against purchases.

        • The ranges I go to don’t care what kind of casings you use steel, aluminum, whatever, but I just refuse to use aluminum cases. It just seems to be cheaper, dirtier, and often when ejected theyre disfigured in some way. I just don’t trust them in my guns. I’d rather pay a little bit more for brass casings.

        • No steel allowed at the indoor range where we shoot. The manager says their insurance company won’t allow it because of the potential for sparks igniting paper and rubber dust on the floor and in the air. Yeah, right. Some of the guns shot there have a fire ball the size of a 5 gallon bucket, never heard any complaints about that. I think Mark N. has them pegged.

        • Only aluminum I’ve used was years ago .380. If more than 3 rounds were loaded in the mag, they would not feed. Shot them up at the range, never bought more in any caliber, an answer to a question nobody asked.

    • That is how I ended up needing a 6.5 Grendel ammo expending tool. Now that gun is one of my favorites and it gets shot more than that “other” 6.5!

    • I’ve actually had two instances of people at my range complaining about having bought the wrong ammo. They both only noticed it when they finally got to the range and tried to load it in their .357s.

      Interesting situation….

      I think you have the right idea jwm.

    • I’ve done that, too. Cleaning out the shop last weekend, remembered the mistake when i came upon four boxes of .357 SIG. No interest in that caliber, or .40, either, for that matter. .357 MAG, now, that’s a caliber for the ages. Thinking of buying a Marlin lever to pair with the S&W 686, and add to my 30-30, .44 and 45-70 Marlins. Yeah, that’s the logic.

  2. Speer: The AMSoil of the ammo world 😉

    How short is short? Snub nose? Sub 3.5″? The website says their single chart of muzzle velocity stats was used in a 4″ barrel… Not really anything a lighter grain ammo won’t fix. I don’t usually go for the heavy loads anyways. .40 I carry 165, and 9’s I carry 124. Mostly from a 3.6″ barrel or shorter. Even for my full sized I stick with the same ammo. So correct me if I am wrong, but this just seems like a new label and nothing exciting. I’d like to see if someone like Lucky Gunner can compare ballistics and map it out, but I already have some Speer Gold Dot spare I have been hoarding for a while now. Considering it’s about the same price as most 20 round boxes of solid EDC ammo, maybe I’ll get a couple boxes if/when it hits the shelves.

    • I’m wondering whether or not they’ll be loading for revolvers like in 38 special or 357 magnum. That would be where it counts more in my opinion they are in semi automatic rounds.

      • Speer already makes a .38 Special round for short barrels. “SPEER AMMUNITION 38 Special +P 135 gr GDHP Gold Dot Short Barrel 20/Box”

  3. Still have some Speer Lawman 9mm JHP bought in the 1980’s. Enough for several magazines, plus a box at least.

    Probably should just target shoot it up and replace with newer stuff.

    • The ammo is no doubt still good. But the bullet tech has changed quite a bit from the 80s.

      I would use it as range ammo.

      • My uncle gave my 100’s of rounds of 9mm (was sitting in a shed) that he said would jam his Uzi he aquired during the 70’s. I shot all that stuff up with my XD-9 without any probs. I hope to inherit that Uzi.

        • The year before the registry became law I could have bought a NIB Uzi for 350 plus stamp.

          Naturally I didn’t do it.

        • Jack, I’ve heard the surplus ‘black tip’ 9mm ammo is the stuff to use for Uzis. Considerably hotter than standard 9mm, but cycles the action more reliably…

  4. I wonder how many years the nose elastomer stays elastic. A cavity in a hollow point bullet will stay a cavity forever. All rubbery stuff has a shelf life. Not a problem if you like to shoot up expensive ammo.

  5. Doesn’t anyone open the box and inspect the ammo anymore? I was buying two boxes of Remington 7mm Magnum Premere loaded with 150 grain Swift Sorocco bullets. Someone had swapped them out for 150 grain core-lokt soft points. The clerk didn’t know the difference. I might as well have been Chinese. Buyer, beware.

  6. Now how about supplying some new ammo for the 380. A caliber that is real need of some improvement as to stopping power?

    This is a gun that is carried by the REAL people who NEED that small a caliber due to handling deficiencies and accordingly are at more risk of needing some protection due to their infirmities or lack of muscle power or mass.

    I don’t believe that even 9mm is in desperate need of improvement as much as the 380 does. And certainly a .45 should stop most folks even the drug crazed nut case.

    • “Now how about supplying some new ammo for the 380. A caliber that is real need of some improvement as to stopping power?”

      TTAG’s resident ammo tester, ‘Shootingthebull410’ has a series of short-barrel ammo reviews, including .380 :

      • Shootingthebull410 provided a great service but I don’t think the Underwood Xtreme Defender or Xtreme Penetrator were available at the time he did these tests. Additionally, I don’t think he tested any hard cast flat nose loads. These would be what I would use if I had a .380. I use 9mm and .45 acp with Underwood loads. MAC and IV8888 have done tests with 9mm and .45 acp in the Underwood Xtreme Defender and Penetrator loads and they outperformed all standard HPs. MAC switched his carry load because of his tests.

        • The problem with STB is that he only tested the ammo in pocket pistols. Lucky Gunner used a G42 with a 3.25″ barrel but there are few tests with longer barrels. I have a 380 EZ with 3.7″ barrel. I have no idea what works because nobody tests .380 in a long barrel. You see some tests with a 3.5″ Bersa Thunder but that’s about it.

        • STB’s .380 tests were from a 3.1″ barrel, not sure how much 0.6″ difference is going to make, gunfights aren’t won or lost on a calculator.

          Anybody see the American Rifleman comparisons of New 4″ and 6″ Pythons with old 4″ and 6″ Pythons? Shooting all with 3 different ammos? Fascinating, the difference between velocities for old vs new, or between 4″ vs 6″, was too small to be significant. Really, like 20 fps difference between 4″ and 6″. I was stunned.

    • I have Hornady Critical Defense for my LC380. But I believe this stuff over penetrates compared to other. But then again it feeds and shots fine so its had to switch to another brand.

  7. I looked through their website and saw some “short barrel .357 magnum” gold dots. 135 grain bullet @ 990 FPS for 294 ft-lbs. what the hell is this!? That’s barely better than .38+p.

    • Their .38 Special +p short barrel load is supposed to get 222 ft lbs from a 2 inch barrel. Having fired both from a Magnum stubby, I can say the difference is noticeable. But the Magnum won’t beat the shit out of your hand like a snubby fired full power Magnum load.

      • If you have to water down your .357 to 990fps then a .357 is not for you. (Not you specially, I’m just generalizing). I am a big .357 fan and find a losing that anemic to be offensive to the .357 name.

        • You don’t really get the full benefit of standard Magnum loads unless you have at least a 4 inch barrel. I think the Speer Gold Dot short barrel Magnum load makes perfect sense for what it’s intended to do.

    • Dont get me wrong I love the Gold Dot +P short barrel ammo in my G26 but it seems silly to see another line and as you see in Paul Harrels videos the velocity isn’t changing

  8. No ballistic information in an advertisement?!? I’ll keep my Sig VCrown…oh speaking of 380 Jeff Quinn supposedly got 1200(!)FPS out of the discontinued Pow’rBall ammo. I shot it out of a Taurus TCP some 8 years ago with zero problem.

  9. This is why I’ve pretty much stuck with Federal HSTs for 9 and 45. They seem to maintain good performance across a wide range of barrel lengths so you don’t have to keep trying to match carry load to each firearm.

  10. Speer’s G2 Bullet and “Proven” don’t belong in the same article, much less the same sentence.

    The Gold Dot is a well designed and functioning bullet. All the testing I have seen on the G2 says it is problematic at best.

  11. who is willing to bet that when Paul Harrell tests this “EXTRA SPECIAL” (extra priced!) round against the standard Gold Dot, they have identical penetration, identical expansion, and identical velocity?


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