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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I'm looking to stock up on some personal protection ammo and have decided to go with Speer Gold Dot, but am not sure whether to go with their Short Barrel specific or regular load. GDHP or GDHP-SB? I have a 4" Service XD45.

Seems kind of odd to think of a 4" barrel as "short", but I guess due to the low pressure of the 45ACP round (accelerate a larger heavier bullet slowly and gradually) 4 inches does end up being kinda short for 45ACP. Seems like everywhere you look the standard barrel size used to chronograph and rate 45ACP loads is for a 5" barrel. For 9 and 40 it's 4 inch, so a 3 inch is "short" for those calibers.

For 45ACP, Speer has two different loads for 230gr, which is the weight I'm going to stick with, just a question of which one.

#23966, 230gr, GDHP, 5" test barrel, 890 fps, 404 ft-lbs
#23975, 230gr, GDHP-SB, 4" test bl, 820 fps, 343 ft-lbs

Speer says they intentionally make the Short Barrel stuff lighter firing to help keep kick and recoil down since you're presumably shooting with a lighter and shorter barreled gun than what would be considered "optimal" for that round, which I guess would help with accuracy and follow-up shots under stress. And they also say that the SB bullets are designed to expand at slower velocities. I'd guess the regular load at 890 fps from a 5" would still manage in the 850+ range out of a 4" and would reliably expand, but who knows? Would there be any secondary benefits like reduced muzzle flash? What are the LEOs out there carrying for 45ACP/4" guns? I know a lot of them carry Speer, but is it the regular stuff or Short Barrel? I'm guessing penetration would be a bit less with the SB stuff.

I'm leary, but leaning towards the Short Barrel loads for a few different reasons. 45ACP is a big round with a large wound channel and is going to need more energy than smaller rounds to get the optimal penetration depth. But I doubt ~350 ft-lbs of energy vs 400 is going to make any huge difference here. I doubt Speer would put their name on anything that wasn't going to perform adequately for a personal defense product, but would like to hear everyone's feedback.
 

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I would stick with normal loads also. 4" barrel isnt short enough to need those.
 

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I would get normal ammo. The main benefit of the SB loads is less recoil and less flash. Both these are greately increased when you get shorter barrels. If neither of those are an issue, stick with the regular stuff.

For Gold Dots, the SB load is a different bullet, designed to expand at a lower velocity. It's not just recoil and flash on this particular brand. Speer lists the bullets as having different part numbers.

That said, I do not believe a 4 inch pistol needs the SB load, but what's the negative?
 

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I personally shoot the SB ammo from my J-Frame at 1 7/8" barrel, and normal through my 4" .40.

But the best advise I can offer you is, try both and see which you and your gun are better with.

I wounldn't want to be on the receiving end of either round.
 

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My snub 38 has the Buffalo Bore 38+P loads with the 125gr SB Gold Dot bullet. My 4 inch XD-45 has the Double Tap 45ACP+P in 185gr Gold Dot regular bullet.

I agree with Trucker. Either or...
 

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Yeah the SB Gold Dots have a larger cavity opening. Allows expansion at lower velocities.

I don't see it hurting anything at all using them in 4 or even 5 inch barrels. If there was a huge difference in velocity then I could see it causing a problem with jacket separation or opening of the HP but there isn't that much of a difference in velocity between 3 and 5 inches.
 

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Both loads are loaded w/ a flash supressed powder. The GDSB will more likely expand form the shorter bbl. I have tried both in wetpack from my 1911OM & the SB expands a bit better but the GD pentrates a bit deeper. Recoil feels about the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all of the feedback everyone. Well I was going to go with the Short Barrel stuff because it's actually MY WIFE that's gonna be called upon to shoot my XD should the need arise. A little less recoil and better control would be a good thing for her. Except that I couldn't find a single place that had the SB load in stock so I just went with 2 boxes of the regular stuff. Will keep my eyes peeled for the SB load.

I did pickup 2 boxes each of the short barrel stuff for 38 Special +P and 357 Magnum for my new SP101 wheel gun though. Can't wait to try em out. :) Got a bunch of practice ammo in various loads for that too.
 
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