First Look: Speer Gold Dot Carry Gun Ammo Line

posted on February 12, 2020

Speer has redesigned its well-known Gold Dot line of defensive ammunition to optimize it for compact and subcompact handguns, featuring an optimized G2 bullet design. The full lineup is called Carry Gun and will be offered in 9 mm Luger 135-grain, .40 S&W 165-grain and .45 ACP +P 200-grain versions.

“Speer’s Gold Dot family of ammunition has been the leading choice of law enforcement professionals for almost three decades because it offers exceptional terminal performance and unfailing reliability,” said Federal Handgun Ammunition Product Manager Chris Laack. “Last year, we began offering the enhanced Gold Dot G2 ammunition—which had previously only been available to law enforcement—to the public.” 

The Gold Dot G2 bullet is a recent evolution from original Gold Dot, and was developed to achieve better FBI-protocol test scores than the preceding Gold Dot round. Both the standard Gold Dot and the new Gold Dot G2 bullets use Speer’s UNICOR construction, but the G2’s unique design is an evolutionary step forward in bullet performance. Rather than the traditional hollow-point design of the Gold Dot, the G2 bullet features a shallow cavity in the nose of the bullet that is filled with durable elastomer which prevents barrier materials from filling the nose cavity of the bullet that would inhibit expansion.

Duty bullets are designed and optimized for a full-sized duty pistol. As such, they struggle to perform as well with the lower velocities of a short-barreled carry or backup gun. By taking the Gold Dot G2 bullet and customizing it to function in short-barreled defense pistols, Speer has created a self-defense load that is optimized for the guns in which it will actually be carried everyday. 

Speer is rolling out the new Gold Dot Carry Gun ammunition in three initial offerings: 9 mm 135-grain, .40 S&W 165-grain and .45 ACP +P 200-grain. All three will be sold in 20-round boxes, and MSRPs range from $28.99 to $33.99. More information on this new round is available at


Thompson sub-machine gun in WWII field
Thompson sub-machine gun in WWII field

Fightin' Iron: The Appeal of the Thompson

More than just a Hollywood prop for gangster movies, the Thompson was a legitimate game-changer.

First Look: Smith & Wesson Performance Center M&P10 M2.0 10mm Pistol

A tuned-up version of the original M&P10 M2.0 10mm pistol.

Review: Ruger Security-380

Moving to a lighter-shooting chambering while keeping the handgun the same size can be a boon to new shooters, and Ruger’s newest handgun is just that.

First Look: Sightmark Wraith Mini Thermal Riflescope

An improved and more-compact version of the Wraith thermal vision optic.

First Look: Sauer 100 Rifles With H-S Precision Stocks

A composite stock makes one of the top-shelf, bolt-action rifles even better.

Glock Aftermarket Barrel Roundup

Take your accuracy to the next level.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.