Hello, I talked to Black HIlls ammo, they said their new 9MM +p rounds are loaded with Hornady XTPs, but until this spring, they were loaded with Speer Gold dots. I have heard good thing about the Bonded Speers, and the guy at Black Hills said that the XTP was a very tough bullet. I saw a couple tests were it looked like the Speer retained bullet weight better, as it wouldn't shed the jacket like the Hornady did on occasion.
Shooting into some wood last weekend, I recovered 3 bullets, a 115 gr. FMJ, a 115 gr. Speer, and a 124 gr. Speer, the 124 looked nearly perfect, the FMJ had it's tip pushed over at an angle, and the 115 had a dented head, but the tip was full of wood, so they didn't expand.
Shooting through an old pickup box (car tests!), both the 115 and 124 +ps went through all 4 layers, and out the other side, while the 115 FMJ went through 3 and made a good dent in the 4th, I recovered the FMJ and the 115, the FMJ was in pieces, while the Speer Gold Dot 115 was a textbook mushroom, and looked complete. I couldn't find the 124, but judging by the exit hole, it expanded as well.
In any case, I like the Black Hills Ammo, it feels quite hot, rated at 1300 fps in the 115, and 1250 in the 124 +ps, but if I don't hear good things about the XTPs, I'll probably look for Speer Bullets.
One last thing, one local shop has about 15 boxes of 50 rounds each, of teh Black Hills 115 +p, with Speer bullets, but the rounds are shorter, by about an 1/8" of an inch than the 124s I had used. Is there anything I should be aware of with the shorter cartridge? They seem to shoot well, and feed fine, no failures, but is there any reason why I should have a longer load? Or should I slowly buy all those boxes of 115 Speers? I don't think shelf life should be a factor, as long as they don't sit around in a humid environment for 10 years, correct? Thanks for your opinions, Crexrun