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Mr. Awesome
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This is something I recently noticed and thought I would bring in, for discussion.

Gold Dot is a very well respected self-defense, duty-rated round.

I will start with the 45 ACP 230 grain Gold Dot Hollow Point (GDHP) factory ammunition, from Speer LE, part number 53966. I have some of this ammunition, from two different packages. One is older, one is newer. In my images, the newer is on the top, older on the bottom.





The newer ammo has brass colored small pistol primers, the older ammo has silver colored large pistol primers.



Other than the different primers, there is a very large difference, in the hollow point, itself:



You can see the newer ammo, on the left, has more lead exposed between the petals, moving into the cavity.

In the following picture, you can see the cuts and exposed lead, from the side of the bullet, are also different. It is hard to tell this, from the picture.



______________________________________________________________________
I'm not sure what sort of performance differences there may be or exactly, how old the ammunition is. I bought all of this, from retail stores, over the last couple of years.

_______________________________________________________________________
On to the 125 grain 357 Sig GDHP.

I have at least three different part numbers, for this spec ammunition. The Speer Personal Protection 23918 has five petals and is the "cleaner" looking ammo. The Speer LE 53972 and more common 54234 have six petals and the "cleaner" look. By "cleaner" I mean more jacket covering the lead and a more well defined lead to jacket transition. The pictures should help explain this. Then, there is the fourth kind of GDHP, which has six petals and the lead is much more robust, through the petals, like we saw in the newer 45 ACP GDHP.
The stamping on the base of the case has a two digit number, in addition to the caliber and brand. Between the different boxes, in my possession, I have 15, 16, 17, 18, 19. I presume this is year of manufacturer, but oddly, I have boxes that look the same, that I bought at the same time, with different numbers on them.

Here are the pictures. I tried to have them in the same order, each time.



You can tell the Personal Defense, it has five petals.



This is the two LE rounds:



It's hard to see, but in my hand, they cuts seem to be slightly different. Shortest cuts on the Personal Protection, larger cuts on the older LE, even larger cuts on the newer LE. It was very hard to get a decent picture and the amount of difference was too small to measure. It may just be my eyes.

 

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I think I mentioned this before, bullet & ammo manuf change bullet designs with little fanfare, seems every few years. Whether its a cost savings or performance issue, who knows. I would bet cost cutting.
 
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This is something I recently noticed and thought I would bring in, for discussion.

Gold Dot is a very well respected self-defense, duty-rated round.

I will start with the 45 ACP 230 grain Gold Dot Hollow Point (GDHP) factory ammunition, from Speer LE, part number 53966. I have some of this ammunition, from two different packages. One is older, one is newer. In my images, the newer is on the top, older on the bottom.





The newer ammo has brass colored small pistol primers, the older ammo has silver colored large pistol primers.



Other than the different primers, there is a very large difference, in the hollow point, itself:



You can see the newer ammo, on the left, has more lead exposed between the petals, moving into the cavity.

In the following picture, you can see the cuts and exposed lead, from the side of the bullet, are also different. It is hard to tell this, from the picture.



______________________________________________________________________
I'm not sure what sort of performance differences there may be or exactly, how old the ammunition is. I bought all of this, from retail stores, over the last couple of years.

_______________________________________________________________________
On to the 125 grain 357 Sig GDHP.

I have at least three different part numbers, for this spec ammunition. The Speer Personal Protection 23918 has five petals and is the "cleaner" looking ammo. The Speer LE 53972 and more common 54234 have six petals and the "cleaner" look. By "cleaner" I mean more jacket covering the lead and a more well defined lead to jacket transition. The pictures should help explain this. Then, there is the fourth kind of GDHP, which has six petals and the lead is much more robust, through the petals, like we saw in the newer 45 ACP GDHP.
The stamping on the base of the case has a two digit number, in addition to the caliber and brand. Between the different boxes, in my possession, I have 15, 16, 17, 18, 19. I presume this is year of manufacturer, but oddly, I have boxes that look the same, that I bought at the same time, with different numbers on them.

Here are the pictures. I tried to have them in the same order, each time.



You can tell the Personal Defense, it has five petals.



This is the two LE rounds:



It's hard to see, but in my hand, they cuts seem to be slightly different. Shortest cuts on the Personal Protection, larger cuts on the older LE, even larger cuts on the newer LE. It was very hard to get a decent picture and the amount of difference was too small to measure. It may just be my eyes.



The 23918 is the 5 pedal "civilian" use version it offers a velocity of 1350 fps, the 54234 is the 6 pedal LE version it is designed to be a little more rugged for better barrier penetration, it penetrates an inch or two deeper in gel and has a velocity of 1375 fps. The 54234 bullet is what Underwood loads in their 125gr 357 Sig bonded round and it performs very well at their 1475 fps velocity.

The 53972 is a federal government special order lot # most likely intended for use by the Secret Service but was sold to the public as a result of their caliber change over. The performance difference if any between it and the 54234 is not known.


As far as the new box style goes I suspect that Speer has tweaked the GD rounds to expand less and get a little more penetration. I do not purchase the new box variety of GDs for this reason.
 

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dpast32
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Just happened to notice this Thread while searching for the recent Thread on Hornandy's 9mm 135 gr. Critical Duty / Critical Defence. RailSplitter's Post is indeed correct, as the Speer .357 Sig # 23918 [ '2' Prefix indicating 20 Rd Box / 5 = 50 Rd Box ] was produced as an 'Limited Penetration' Loading, intended for either civilian consumption, & or specialized Law Enforcement use where somewhat limited penetration was desired. I've even noted an 'LP' suffix added on some packages, & or in Catalog SKU information. I grabbed a 500 Rd case of it when I swapped my SIG P226 & P229 from 40 to .357 Sig. My final issue handgun was the P226R/DAK in .40, & although it was accurate 'enough' & functioned without fail, I felt the the .357 offered increased feed reliability, along with faster shot to shot recovery times. Our Troopers have used the P226 /.357 Sig combo for a great many years now, & have always been quite satisfied with it. I regularly mentioned that we too should be using the same, but at the time, I was not a member of the 'in crowd' if you know what I mean. [ Plus I wasn't a member of our Golf League !! ] Oh well, now I use what I like !!

Best, dpast32
 

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I've seen similar variances in Winchester SXT LE ammo. Your pics seem to show slightly excess lead that covers the edges of the petals. No big deal. Other times it seems the actual design/cut of the lip/petals is different. Just shoot them.
 

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... I regularly mentioned that we too should be using the same, but at the time, I was not a member of the 'in crowd' if you know what I mean. [ Plus I wasn't a member of our Golf League !! ] ...
Well, you just revealed a couple of the secret fraternities who operate behind the scenes in LE. ;)
 
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To make it even more confusing the 53918 which is the 50 round boxes of the 23918 personnel protection round.... has 6 petals according to some that they are not 5 petal anymore but still penetrate less than the tougher 54234


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I bought a box of .357", 130 grain Gold Dot reloading bullets that had 2 slightly different styles mixed together.
Didn't discover the problem unil I started loading them. The cannalures were in 2 different locations and the hollow points were slightly different as well.
I've never seen anything like that with any other bullet.
 

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To make it even more confusing the 53918 which is the 50 round boxes of the 23918 personnel protection round.... has 6 petals according to some that they are not 5 petal anymore but still penetrate less than the tougher 54234
Who can you trust anymore ... (sigh)

I recall stopping at a heavily advertised gun shop when I went through a city of two hundred thousand population. I stopped and saw they had the 50-round boxes of the 53918 Gold Dot. I opened the box to inspect the bullet and it was indeed the 6-petal bullet.

I'd sure like to add the 5-petal LP Gold Dot to my inventory. If I come upon the 23918 boxes I'll certainly look at the bullet before buying. You can't trust anybody ... anymore ... (sigh)
 

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To my understanding if it’s new production it is the 6 petal 53918 there’s probably no more older production pre 2018 left in circulation. If you want the 5 petal softer projectile you have to get it in the 20 round personal defense boxes I’m pretty sure


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