GD vs. HST: 9mm, 40 & 45

GD vs. HST: 9mm, 40 & 45

This is a discussion on GD vs. HST: 9mm, 40 & 45 within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Once again I did some testing on 2 of the most popular labels for pistol amunition: Speer and Federal, in the Gold Dot and HST ...

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Thread: GD vs. HST: 9mm, 40 & 45

  1. #1
    New Member Array CSI's Avatar
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    GD vs. HST: 9mm, 40 & 45

    Once again I did some testing on 2 of the most popular labels for pistol amunition: Speer and Federal, in the Gold Dot and HST rounds respectively. I do have some pictures available this time, and will get them posted asap.

    The testing protocol this time did not use a windshield, but I did stick to the previous warm weather clothing test:

    Warm weather = 1 layer of t-shirt material.

    I also fired 3 rounds instead of the previous 1 round. The individual shots details will be listed instead of an "average" from all 3. As before, the pistols used were all S&W M&P 9mm, 40 and 45, with 4" barrels. Distance was 10 feet shooting into ballistic gel covered with the clothing.

    Legend: fps = velocity, pen = penetration, exp = expansion, ret = weight retention measured in grains (may have some debris).

    Warm Weather testing

    Gold Dot 124g +P 9mm:
    Shot 1: 1210 fps, 12.75" pen, .64" exp, 99% ret
    Shot 2: 1203 fps, 13.5" pen, .66" exp, 98.5% ret
    Shot 3: 1199 fps, 13" pen, .66 exp, 98.5% ret

    Federal HST 124g +P 9mm:
    Shot 1: 1256 fps, 14.10" pen, .70" exp, 100% ret
    Shot 2: 1255 fps, 13.9" pen, .72" exp, 100.5% ret
    Shot 3: 1256 fps, 13.75" pen, .71 exp, 99% ret

    Gold Dot 165g .40:
    Shot 1: 1090 fps, 14.25" pen, .75" exp, 100.75% ret
    Shot 2: 1105 fps, 13.7" pen, .73" exp, 99.9% ret
    Shot 3: 1101 fps, 13.5" pen, .77" exp, 99.75% ret

    Federal HST 165g .40:
    Shot 1: 1145 fps, 14" pen, .80" exp, 100% ret
    Shot 2: 1140 fps, 14.5" pen, .78" exp, 99% ret
    Shot 3: 1148 fps, 14.10" pen, .81" exp, 100% ret

    Gold Dot 230g .45 ACP:
    Shot 1: 851 fps, 13.75" pen, .83" exp, 97.5% ret
    Shot 2: 855 fps, 13.25" pen, .77" exp, 99% ret
    Shot 3: 849 fps, 14" pen, .81" exp, 100.25% ret

    Federal HST 230g .45 ACP:
    Shot 1: 901 fps, 14.5" pen, .90" exp, 100% ret
    Shot 2: 896 fps, 14" pen, .92" exp, 99.9% ret
    Shot 3: 899 fps, 13.75" pen, .95" exp, 100.5% ret

    Later in the year, as the weather gets cooler, I'll conduct the same test using cold weather clothing.

    Conclusion: HST rocks!

    Ok, with that out of the way, these test results are typical for the listed rounds. Once again the .45 comes out on top (no surprise), especially in the HST. The greatest difference in expansion was Shot 1 from the GD 9mm vs. the last shot from the HST .45, with a .31" difference.

    Translated that = 5/16 of 1 inch, or 1/8 tic beyond 1/4 of 1 inch. For an visual image, that is about the width of a regular Sharpie permanent marker. I have always been part of the "9 is fine" crowd and shoot what you can hit with, but if these results are typical and you can hit with a .45 ACP, go with a .45 because that is quite a bit of difference in diameter. Bigger hole does = faster bleedout and more damage done. Laws of physics tell us that, and there is no argument against it.

    Let's play the "what if" game...

    1. What if I can shoot 2 rounds of 9mm faster and as accurately as I can shoot 1 round of .45?
    - Then shoot 9mm.

    2. What if my pistol has reduced recoil in the .40 and I shoot the best with that?
    - Then shoot .40 and be happy.

    3. What if I like the .45 because I think bigger is better, but when I try to shoot 1 handed weak hand, I can't control my shots as well?
    - Then the .45 is too much gun for you and you need to step down.

    4. What if I have a 9mm and love it but also have a 1911 .45 and love it as well? I only want to pick one to carry but not sure which one? If I carry the 9mm, I can get ammo anywhere, even overseas!
    - Unless you are allowed to travel overseas with the 9mm as a civilian, or you are expecting a "Red Dawn" invasion and can use their 9mm ammo in your gun, this is a ridiculous point in an argument if you live in the US, and are not in law enforcement or the military (who get deployed overseas).

    5. What if I want to go with a 9mm because I can get ammo for $10 per box vs. $20 per box for the .45 ammo?
    - Then go with 9mm. Honestly though, if $10 is going to break you, you probably should not own a gun anyway because you can't properly take care of it, and practice with it as you should.

    Pics to come soon...



    And to answer a question, yes I am a real CSI for a large police department. We have been around a LOT longer than some TV show. We have been known as Evidence Technicians, Crime Scene Unit, Crime Scene Investigators, and Forensics Officers. It's all the same thing.


  2. #2
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Let's play the "what if" game...
    1,2,3,4,5.
    Now...you see? It's all relative and irrelevant at the same time. The caliber/best bullet design is a myth in our own minds.
    What if..........we all just forgot about statistics, manufacturer's claims, redesigns of previous designs, caliber, and everything else...and just focus on our objective? Would we become more confident in what we are already doing and how we do it with what we have?
    What if?
    Nice research IMO, and more numbers to prove we may seldom choose the best thing to have in a collective way of thinking. Thing is, we're a lot of individuals who pretty much do what we choose due to previous experience, funds, availability, and a lot of other variables that might not be considered in 'what's best' in the tests. Our own government likes to tell us 'what's best'...by the numbers as well. See how that's turned out for the best of the individual or the collective and run some stats on that. All in all, I respect what research you've done and given the results. I took way more math in high school than some because I thought it was fun and interesting and it worked my mind. I took some advanced courses as well so much as to get a rather small scholarship offer from a college in the mid-west. Thing is, how much do the given numbers relate to the outcomes under constantly changing variables? The real world could be considered a laboratory by some....maybe it is, and that may be why the aliens visit us now and then to see how their project is going. I honestly don't know. What I do know is that I think it's cool having a true CSI investigator here on the forum. I'd like to think I'd have what it takes to do the job personally, and therefore I envy you in a way. My mind has to be in constant motion or I don't exist. Nothing personal in my reply, it's just the way I'm thinking at the time. Keep up the good work. Me? I'll keep thinking there's a lot more than just numbers in this world to be analyzed, and I've never seen an alien, but I have seen a few UFOs.
    Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    What if a FROG HAD WINGS? J/K I like the Gold Dots, Because their easier to get plus they shoot fine in my gun ; ) Great research CSI!!
    H/D
    A Native Floridian = RARE


    IT'S OUR RIGHTS>THEY WANT TO WRONG
    H/D

  4. #4
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    First off... Some good testing!

    I think any of those rounds would do the job as well as any of the other rounds in that line up, in the grand scheme of things. Those rounds have always been some of my "Go To" rounds in all of the tested calibers.

    Each of the rounds performed about as I expected they would have. They are top notch defensive rounds with a good reputation. I appreciate giving me the confirmation.

    In the grand scheme of things... I don't split hairs much on minute details trying to find that "perfect" round. I tried that before. Damn near went buggy trying to find the one round I needed. The amount of data on bullet performance, terminal ballistics, drag coefficients and the like can literally fill a library. If I were a professional LE or Military sniper, that would be a different story, but for practical applications, I tend to stick to proven rounds with a good reputation and call it good.

    In 9mm, I prefer 124 gr. +P, but I have no problem using 147 gr. either. My accuracy between shooting the two loads is negligible.

    Likewise, in .40 cal I recently been shooting 165 gr. but again no problem with 185 gr. either.

    I haven't shot my .45's in a few years because of ammo price, but I tend to favor the 230 gr. JHP.

    As far as brands go, I like Speer Gold Dots, Hornady TAP, Federal HST and Winchester Ranger for my defensive ammo. But I'm not opposed to other brands either. So far, I'm undecided on Hornady Critical Defense. I like the results I've had so far, but has only been in .380 and 9mm. The plastic/rubbery FXT(?) tip seems to be good in theory. Squishes down on impact which helps spread the leafs/petals apart to ensure full expansion yet also prevents plugging of the hollow point. So far all my recovered bullets have expanded to the max in various medium.

    I'm just not a Ballistic nerd anymore and to be quite honest, I've forgotten a lot of what I used to know about it say 10 or 15 years ago when I was anal about it.

    All of the above listed has to date, performed flawlessly in all the weapons I've used it in, and to me, that is probably the more important issue. Does it work in your guns all the time. If so, I'm good to go!
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array P7fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSI View Post

    Conclusion: HST rocks!

    Pics to come soon...



    Yeah, I know. It's my favorite! Look forward to the pics.

    "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." -Thomas Jefferson

    "Liberalism is a Mental Disorder." -Michael Savage

    GOOD Gun Control is being able to hit your target! -Myself

  6. #6
    Member Array 45tek's Avatar
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    HST's are the only thing I rock in my 45acp. I have sat around for nearly a year reading, asking and looking for any bad news on them. I finally decided to buy several boxes after careful thought. They ran very well through my XD and they are accurate. So I got another box. Im not switching.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    Cool tests. ATK website has the results of their wound ballistics workshops. GD beat out HST's only in the auto glass category. HST's had slightly better expansion/penetration in other categories.

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    Member Array Sleipnir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45tek View Post
    HST's are the only thing I rock in my 45acp. I have sat around for nearly a year reading, asking and looking for any bad news on them. I finally decided to buy several boxes after careful thought. They ran very well through my XD and they are accurate. So I got another box. Im not switching.
    I cannot find them anywhere, I'm using PMC Starfires until I can find a box or two of HST for my 1911. Most websites are either backlogged for a year or only sell to Police Officers/Departments.

  9. #9
    Member Array 45tek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleipnir View Post
    I cannot find them anywhere, I'm using PMC Starfires until I can find a box or two of HST for my 1911. Most websites are either backlogged for a year or only sell to Police Officers/Departments.
    LOL, I got them about a year ago. Think I paid $30/box from ammo2go. I refuse to shoot the last 50, unless of course Im using them to save my life. IIRC, around the same time I got them, I seen a post on another forum. Someone posting that ATK was not dealing with Ammo2go (after a certain date) due to a violation of some sort or another. I havent seen anymore HST's since on their site, soooo...I think we all have maybe seen the last of them,as far as civilian sales go. I dunno. Im just glad I got in on these before they shut the door to civi's.

  10. #10
    Member Array Sleipnir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45tek View Post
    LOL, I got them about a year ago. Think I paid $30/box from ammo2go. I refuse to shoot the last 50, unless of course Im using them to save my life. IIRC, around the same time I got them, I seen a post on another forum. Someone posting that ATK was not dealing with Ammo2go (after a certain date) due to a violation of some sort or another. I havent seen anymore HST's since on their site, soooo...I think we all have maybe seen the last of them,as far as civilian sales go. I dunno. Im just glad I got in on these before they shut the door to civi's.
    I guess I'll pay my brother-in-law to pick me up a few boxes then (he's a LEO and was/is a Marine.)

  11. #11
    Member Array Ronny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sleipnir View Post
    I cannot find them anywhere, I'm using PMC Starfires until I can find a box or two of HST for my 1911. Most websites are either backlogged for a year or only sell to Police Officers/Departments.
    If you're in a pinch and need 45 hst then you can always buy on gunbroker or a similar auction site. Then when you see them available at a decent price buy 500 or 1000 rounds.

  12. #12
    Member Array mustang00066's Avatar
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    I have a few boxes of HST 185 gr 40 from a while back still but just for reference I checked gunbroker and they're quite a bit more expensive than I remember paying for mine.

    I saw one post above say $30 for a box of 50. I'm assuming that's for the 45? Gun broker wants $54 plus shipping of $15 according to my search results for "45 HST".

    What are you guys, who are currently buying the HST's, paying/box of 50?
    "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
    -Alexander Hamilton

  13. #13
    Member Array mustang00066's Avatar
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    I have a few extra boxes of 40 HST if anyone is interested in buying any send me a PM. If you're stuck paying $54 for a box plus shipping that's pretty freaking outrageous.
    "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
    -Alexander Hamilton

  14. #14
    Member Array Alchemist77's Avatar
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    I have purchased HST and Gold Dot rounds from these guys a couple of times for pretty reasonable prices, and with good turn around. They may or may not have what you want in stock, but their prices seem pretty reasonable, and sometimes have some good deals. They seem to get .40 most often.

    Tactical Defense Solutions LLC - Federal Tactical LEO

  15. #15
    Member Array Savior Sound's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P7fanatic View Post
    Look forward to the pics.

    Yeah. You got any to support the data provided?

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