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Old 12-24-2012, 19:28   #1
unit1069
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Federal Tactical Bonded - Speer Gold Dot

Three questions:

Is there any practical difference between these two rounds that anyone knows?

I understand the bullet shape and design differ but if one is superior to the other how good is the lesser one?

I realize Gold Dot has more documented successful stops but is the Tactical Bonded just as viable a round?
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Old 12-24-2012, 20:01   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unit1069 View Post
Three questions:

Is there any practical difference between these two rounds that anyone knows?

I understand the bullet shape and design differ but if one is superior to the other how good is the lesser one?

I realize Gold Dot has more documented successful stops but is the Tactical Bonded just as viable a round?
You may want to ask Mas.

Have shot, and would personally be happy running;
Federal Tactical Bonded, Winchester Ranger Bonded or Speer Duty GDHP.

Normally think of most bonded ammo for light barrier penetration.
It's my understanding that
generally non bonded ammo expands better than bonded.
Don't think Federal HST or Winchester Ranger T-Series are bonded.
And both produce outstanding expansion.

Not being LE, I'm thinking car doors and windshields aren't so much an issue.

Really think you're splitting hairs with these high tech, high performance, rounds.
They will all pass FBI Protocol.
Any of them will kick ars.
What works in your gun and groups the best is my greatest concern.

Last edited by barth; 12-25-2012 at 03:31..
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:40   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barth View Post
You may want to ask Mas.

Have shot, and would personally be happy running;
Federal Tactical Bonded, Winchester Ranger Bonded or Speer Duty GDHP.

Normally think of most bonded ammo for light barrier penetration.
It's my understanding that
generally non bonded ammo expands better than bonded.
Don't think Federal HST or Winchester Ranger T-Series are bonded.
And both produce outstanding expansion.

Not being LE, I'm thinking car doors and windshields aren't so much an issue.

Really think you're splitting hairs with these high tech, high performance, rounds.
They will all pass FBI Protocol.
Any of them will kick ars.
What works in your gun and groups the best is my greatest concern.
I checked Speer's head-to-head comparisons of their premium rounds and in the standard pressure variety the Tactical Bonded and Gold Dot were roughly equal in penetration and expansion.

What has me wondering is I've read that Gold Dot was the first bonded self-defense bullet, so if Tactical Bonded came later I'd think ATK would have believed there is some advantage to the newer design, if even only a slight one.
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:44   #4
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Dunno the difference, but were issued gold dots for our pistols and the T3 bonded for our rifles. Must be a reason they don't issue the gold dot straight across.

We have had quite a few shootings with the T3 and continue to use it, no problems that I've heard of. FWIW we use the 62g bullet.
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:27   #5
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Dunno the difference, but were issued gold dots for our pistols and the T3 bonded for our rifles. Must be a reason they don't issue the gold dot straight across.

We have had quite a few shootings with the T3 and continue to use it, no problems that I've heard of. FWIW we use the 62g bullet.
I assume T3 refers to a .223 bullet. I'm wondering specifically about the handgun rounds.
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Last edited by unit1069; 12-25-2012 at 10:29..
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:04   #6
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tactical bonded

The jacket of the Tactical bonded is soldered to the core as opposed to electroplated like the Gold Dot. I havent heard of any bonded losing jackets but it is possible. I can say that the 165 in 40 is mild and shoots to the sights in my Glock 23. Remember at the time Gold dot bullets started ATK did not own Speer.

Last edited by xcop; 12-25-2012 at 11:06..
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:28   #7
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Originally Posted by SCSU74 View Post
Dunno the difference, but were issued gold dots for our pistols and the T3 bonded for our rifles. Must be a reason they don't issue the gold dot straight across.

We have had quite a few shootings with the T3 and continue to use it, no problems that I've heard of. FWIW we use the 62g bullet.
The T3 is pretty much the best. The speer Gold Dot in .223 or 5.56 is a top contender as well.
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Old 12-25-2012, 13:03   #8
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Originally Posted by unit1069 View Post
...I realize Gold Dot has more documented successful stops but is the Tactical Bonded just as viable a round?

That's only because anyone issued a .357 SIG pistol is also issued the Gold Dot round. I know of no agency that uses any other bullet in this round. That said, I have some .357 SIG HST and it is superbly accurate in my p229 and in my OEM .357 SIG barrel in my G23. Either round should take care of business.

To be frank, I can think of no other handgun cartridge where I would be less concerned about which HP to use than the .357 SIG.

Last edited by Tiro Fijo; 12-25-2012 at 13:04..
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Old 12-25-2012, 14:19   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unit1069 View Post
I checked Speer's head-to-head comparisons of their premium rounds and in the standard pressure variety the Tactical Bonded and Gold Dot were roughly equal in penetration and expansion.

What has me wondering is I've read that Gold Dot was the first bonded self-defense bullet, so if Tactical Bonded came later I'd think ATK would have believed there is some advantage to the newer design, if even only a slight one.


ATK owns Speer and Federal Cartridge, which are still two different companies producing two different product lines.
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Old 12-25-2012, 19:40   #10
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Originally Posted by barth View Post
Really think you're splitting hairs with these high tech, high performance, rounds.
They will all pass FBI Protocol.
Any of them will kick ars.
What works in your gun and groups the best is my greatest concern.
What he ^ said.
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Old 12-25-2012, 22:07   #11
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The jacket of the Tactical bonded is soldered to the core as opposed to electroplated like the Gold Dot.
That's interesting. Is one process better, or are they equivalent?

And thanks for the info about Speer being acquired by ATK after the Gold Dot was already created. I suppose ATK either had a bonded bullet design in the works or in production when the acquisition took place.
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Old 12-25-2012, 22:15   #12
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Originally Posted by Tiro Fijo View Post
That's only because anyone issued a .357 SIG pistol is also issued the Gold Dot round. I know of no agency that uses any other bullet in this round. That said, I have some .357 SIG HST and it is superbly accurate in my p229 and in my OEM .357 SIG barrel in my G23. Either round should take care of business.
I should have been more specific in my post. I should have mentioned "9mm" when I wrote "standard pressure" in checking ATK's head-to-head comparisons.

Quote:
To be frank, I can think of no other handgun cartridge where I would be less concerned about which HP to use than the .357 SIG.
I couldn't agree more. I have Speer 125-grain Gold Dot, Remington 125-grain Golden Saber Bonded, and 125-grain Federal HST in .357sig (among others) and all are superb rounds. I can't say I really have a favorite other than to mention I have lately been leaning towards bonded rounds, although this lean is more pronounced with 9mm than with .357sig.
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Old 12-25-2012, 23:44   #13
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Originally Posted by unit1069 View Post
"... I have Speer 125-grain Gold Dot, Remington 125-grain Golden Saber Bonded, and 125-grain Federal HST in .357sig (among others) and all are superb rounds. I can't say I really have a favorite other than to mention I have lately been leaning towards bonded rounds, although this lean is more pronounced with 9mm than with .357sig.
Just curious. What are you basing this on? I'm guessing (hoping?) you haven't shot any BGs recently, so I wonder what leads you to this conclusion? Reviews? Gel block reviews or LEO reviews?

All this fussing over ammo is new to me, so I'm naturally curious wassup with this. FWIW, I carry whatever 230gr. JHP (G-30) is on sale. Beyond that, I never paid much attention. Is there a "real" difference, as far as a SD shooter is concerned?
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:23   #14
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Just curious. What are you basing this on? I'm guessing (hoping?) you haven't shot any BGs recently, so I wonder what leads you to this conclusion? Reviews? Gel block reviews or LEO reviews?
I base it primarily on calibrated gel/barrier tests conducted by the ammo companies, such as ATK. You can go to Speer's web site and view head-to-head lab tests comparing their own various self-defense JHP rounds. I also like the backyard tests by individuals, such as tnoutdoors9, that seek to confirm (or question) the published stats the ammo companies publish.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:17   #15
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The Indianapolis Police Department used .40 S&W 165 gr. Tactical Bonded for years with good results. They changed to 155 gr. some time back but I am currently out of the loop as far as street results.

Regards,
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:29   #16
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In my limited comparison testing of the Federal Bonded and Speer lines, there wasn't much difference.

My limited tests with the Federal weren't as in depth nor nearly as scientific as my testing with the GD ammo.

From what I've seen, the Federal bonded is at least as good as the GD ammo.

I haven't done enough testing with the Ranger bonded to have a opinion on it one way or another yet.
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Old 12-26-2012, 22:46   #17
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In my limited comparison testing of the Federal Bonded and Speer lines, there wasn't much difference.

My limited tests with the Federal weren't as in depth nor nearly as scientific as my testing with the GD ammo.

From what I've seen, the Federal bonded is at least as good as the GD ammo.

I haven't done enough testing with the Ranger bonded to have a opinion on it one way or another yet.
Thanks for that information. I'm happy to get some feedback that Tactical Bonded and Gold Dot yield approximately the same results, which is what Speer's in-house testing indicates.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:01   #18
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That's only because anyone issued a .357 SIG pistol is also issued the Gold Dot round. I know of no agency that uses any other bullet in this round. That said, I have some .357 SIG HST and it is superbly accurate in my p229 and in my OEM .357 SIG barrel in my G23. Either round should take care of business.

To be frank, I can think of no other handgun cartridge where I would be less concerned about which HP to use than the .357 SIG.
My Dept. Switched from the gold dot to the hst about 2years ago. Carried gold dot for about 13 years. We did some testing with those two and the ranger t. The hst fit our needs the best and seemed to function slightly better than the gold dot. Gold dot will penetrate thru windshield slightly better than the other two.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:03   #19
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I assume T3 refers to a .223 bullet. I'm wondering specifically about the handgun rounds.
My mistake, thought you were talking AR rounds


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Old 12-29-2012, 15:43   #20
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The Indianapolis Police Department used .40 S&W 165 gr. Tactical Bonded for years with good results. They changed to 155 gr. some time back but I am currently out of the loop as far as street results.

Regards,
Comrade Happyguy
ISP is very likely having good results with the 155gr .40 load.
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