This is a discussion on 147gr Golden Sabers or Gold Dots? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by Eaglebeak Tarnished "new" rounds would make me a bit edgy as well since that would probably indicate someone selling off cheaply purchased ...
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Whatever performs most reliably in your specific gun. I've used both, on different pistols. In a Browning BDM 9mm, I had fantastic results with the Golden Saber 124gr and 147gr flavors. In a variety of pistols, I've used Gold Dots. So long as its performance characteristics are sufficient for you, and so long as it's reliable in your gun, either should work.
Gold Dots. Sabers are known for not expanding well....
As to why the golden sabers the OP got were tarnished...who knows? Copper tarnishes too. As to why the plastic holder inside the box was busted up...well that is due to poor shipping methods. Anyways it does not matter, tarnish is not like rust, it only forms on the surface, and will not effect performance. All it will effect is your OCD
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Negative on the golden sabres. I have done practical shot tests on everyday items using multiple different brands and found the golden sabres perform the worst. Gold dots are some of the higher performing rounds out there. I carry Corbon DPX in my 45's and I carried gold dots or the new Federal HST in my 357sig and 40.
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I managed to purchase one of the only boxes of Golden Sabres that was loaded with too great an OAL to feed in my elderly Browning Hi-Power.
This is absolutely positively the only instance of this happening I ever encountered.
As far as which is better ... there are several very good choices ... like the wise man said, "You pays-a you money and takes-a you choice."
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(Choose only one)
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Obviously those that say the Golden Sabers do not expand well are those that have never actually tested the bullets themselves. The Golden Sabers expand quite well and are a good choice in bullets. However, I do not recommend the 147 grain bullet as this heavy bullet driven at high velocity will almost certainly over penetrate the target. Meaning it can shoot through a human body and still have plenty of energy left to injure or kill an innocent. The 147 grain of any bullet would not be my choice for a self defense round for and individual not involved in law enforcement.
I have used both brands before, and when I was a cop I had several chances to talk with departments that had actual shootings with them. Both worked admirably, but the grain weights they used were not the 147's, but rather the 124 grainers. In particular the 124 grain +P Gold Dot loads were reportedly working well for those agencies in our area that still carried the 9mm. NYPD still uses this load to my knowledge and are VERY satisfied with their shooting results.
I think they are both very capable rounds.
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In all of the testing I have seen, more velocity = more expansion = less penetration. In TNoutdoors9's gel tests, the 147gr HST penetrated 13.25", the 147gr +P penetrated 11.25" and had a little more expansion.
When Golden Sabers work as they are supposed to, they're great. The issue is consistency. Compared to other duty rounds like Gold Dot, HST or Ranger-T, Golden Sabers have had higher rates of failure to expand. Compared to the other bullets, the GS also has high instances of core-jacket separation. The Bonded GS is a large improvement as it eliminates any core-jacket separation.
The Golden Saber has been around for quite a while. I like the idea of a brass jacket, but like Federal's Hydra-Shok, it needs to be redesigned or retired in my opinion.
I wouldn't hesitate to carry Gold Dot 124gr +P but my preferred load is the 147gr +P HST.
Golden Sabres are old technology. Very effective on the street though. I would run Speer 124 g +P golddots or 127+P+ Ranger T's. These rounds are state of the art and have great street records. Both highly recommended by Mas.
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A recent survey showed that after being shot during commission of crimes, over 90% of bad guys couldn't tell whether they'd been shot with HST's or Ranger T's. Several did, however, say that Golden Sabers and Gold Dots were not quite as bad.