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Two types of ammo…same maker…two different grain sizes

Speer Gold Dot .38 +P 135 gr hollowpoints (short barrel)

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Speer Gold Dot .38 +P 124 gr hollowpoints (it is either 124 gr or 129 gr)

I understand that this is a good CC ammo for a snub .38, but I would like to know HOW MUCH DIFFERENCE is between these two almost identical bullets? Also understand that one is for short barrel guns… but other than that and the grain size is there really any difference?
 

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The bullet size is about the same.

I think it's in the powder?
 

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The two Gold Dot cartridges are very different.

If you actually look at the diameter of the the hollow-point depression, you will see that the 135gr version is much wider. This allows for more reliable expansion at the lower velocities of snub nose revolvers.

The 135gr version has a unique powder recipe that allows for complete consumption within a 2" length barrel. This makes sure that the bullet reaches its maximum velocity in a short barrel and the muzzle flash is greatly reduced.

The Gold Dot 135gr cartridge was designed at the request of the world's largest police force (New York City). The city wanted a .38 Special cartridge that would allow the large number of officer BUG's to be as effective as a 9mm 124gr cartridge. Did the Gold Dot 135gr achieve that goal? Probably not, but it is probably the closest to that goal of any .38 Special snub nose round.
 

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I had called Speer some time ago to ask about the short barrel ammunition. The answer I was given was just about what gglass has posted. It has a different powder to give a more complete burn form the short barrel and the metallugy of the bullet is slightly different to give better expansion from the 2" bbl. I tried an unscientific test shooting into gallon water jugs just to see how much expansion it has, the recovered round measuerd .62. I used a Ruger SP101 w/2''bbl fired from about 25'. The expansion was unifom, it penetrated 2jugs and was found in the 3rd jug.
 

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I tried pretty much the same test.....results seemed good.
 
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