First Look: Speer Gold Dot G2 Ammo

*As of 3/21/2015, our ballistic testing results for this round can be found HERE!


G2.r2By now you’ve probably heard that the FBI is switching back to 9mm. There’s a good chance you’ve even heard that they’ve been doing some in-depth testing to find their next duty round. And although largely conjecture (not really), there’s a good chance this could be that round.

Although I can’t say that for sure (it probably is), I can tell you what we know about this new round that seems to have piqued everyone’s curiosity:

  • It’s a 147-grain, standard-pressure, bonded 9mm round that has an elastomer insert in the cavity of the projectile.
  • The new Gold Dot bullet features cuts in the jacket that extend about halfway down the bullet, reminiscent of Federal HST.
  • The elastomer insert doesn’t extend beyond the cavity in the nose, which has been reported as a reliability hangup in some guns with the Hornady Critical Defense/Duty rounds that made the polymer insert approach more mainstream. Since it’s still going to be the edge of the jacket hitting the gun’s feed ramp with this bullet design, feeding should be just as smooth as anything out there.
  • Head stamp includes the year (13) on the new round, which means these rounds have been finished up for a while now. (*Although the year on the head stamp shows the year of case manufacture and not necessarily assembly, for a product not yet released this late in 2014 (and considering the length of time some people have had their hands on this), it’s unlikely that the ammo just came off the press.*)
  • They’re difficult to photograph, so bear with us on that one.


G2.r5These rounds look superbly interesting, but what might be the most interesting thing about them is the move to a shallow JHP cavity with an elastomer insert. Hornady must have REALLY had a good idea with the Critical Duty line if Speer decided they’re going to take a similar approach with their newest iteration of the Gold Dot. Because let’s be honest: the original Gold Dots have gone years without any design changes and they STILL manage to keep up with more modern designs in most tests. That’s no small feat considering the advances of the past decade, so if this design change was worth making to Speer, we can’t WAIT to see how it performs.

The combination of higher magazine capacity, less felt recoil, and (as a result) more rounds on target has a lot going for it, so it shouldn’t come as a shock to us that a lot of agencies might be reconsidering their larger-caliber duty weapons in favor of 9mm. (I know firsthand of one local-to-me agency that switched from the .45 ACP to the 9mm in the past couple of years.) One thing is for certain, though: if the Gold Dot G2 is in fact the round that the FBI decides on, you’ll be seeing a lot more of it in the near future.

G2.r7The Gold Dot G2 has somehow managed to stay under the radar until now, but in the next couple of months, we’ll be putting these rounds through their paces and reporting back with chronograph and ballistic gel results as soon as practicable along the way. We’ll also be reporting back with better pictures and any other new info we find. 147 grain is my favorite weight in 9mm anyway because of the feel of the recoil from the heavier projectile and less muzzle snap as compared to 115 or 124 grain variants, so for other people who share that sentiment, it shouldn’t be much of a stretch to see a lot of people switching their carry rounds when this stuff becomes more mainstream if it performs as advertised. And let’s face it: Speer wouldn’t be selling the G2 if it didn’t outperform the original Gold Dot JHP, so there’s a very good chance this ammo is the real deal. HP

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7 Thoughts on “First Look: Speer Gold Dot G2 Ammo

  1. Jim Morris on October 20, 2014 at 12:09 am said:

    Interesting Colt. It will take a lot to convince me to change from HST 147s.

    • Handgun Planet on October 20, 2014 at 8:13 am said:

      A lot indeed, Jim. I’m a big fan of HST and Winchester Defender 147 too, so I’m anxious to see how the new G2 compares.

  2. Very curious to see what the story is with this new round. You’re already dealing with pretty close to ideal performance in today’s offerings like HST and current generation Gold Dots, neither of which are anywhere near long in the tooth as far as bullet technology goes. If it does offer a marked improvement over HST, Gold Dots, and Winchester PDX, that will be most impressive. I’m looking forward to hearing more about this one!

    • Handgun Planet on October 21, 2014 at 2:40 pm said:

      Exactly, Jason. Current gen offerings like HST (especially the 147 grain variant) and PDX1 Defender (Ranger Bonded) 147 grain are outstanding. I might even toss a Buffalo Bore (Barnes) Tac-XP load into the gel mix for kicks. It’s another one of my favorites in 9mm. Thanks for reading!

  3. Pingback: 9mm and the Short Barrel | The Desert's Edge

  4. Thanks for the pingback. I eagerly await this ammo. Not only in factory form but the bullets for reloading purposes. As you saw in my 9mm for the short barrel article, the reason I chose the 147gr for the short barrel is the fact that it has less recoil that comes with small light pocket nines allowing for much faster and more accurate followup shots than the +P ammo as well as still penetrates 13-16″ and expands reliably even out of the short barrels. I know it has been kept under wraps but from what I have heard, new G2 expand even more consistently while giving the same penetration. The test results have been concealed by request. I assume this is why the FBI is going to the bonded 147gr ammo. It is a consistent expander, lighter on recoil, has great barrier penetration to include windshields, and penetrates well above the 12″ and works well in both duty length barrels and concealable length barrels. I look forward to it’s release. Maybe I will get to handle some or even shoot some at SHOT.

    • Handgun Planet on November 4, 2014 at 7:04 pm said:

      Hey man, no problem. I’m sure the bullets and 20-round boxes are a way off, but I agree that they should be excellent for reloading when Speer allows them to hit the component market.

      Although I have heard that some VERY early testers were asked to sign NDA’s, we weren’t. So we’re hoping to get out to the range with a Clear Ballistics FBI 10% block to compare these to some other rounds and see what they do. Bare gel will only show so much, but for an initial baseline it’ll be something until we can get out there with some more blocks and possibly do something with 4LD or drywall.

      Thanks for the link in your post, and thanks for reading. SHOT should be a good show this year!