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Old April 16, 2019, 02:02 PM   #1
dahermit
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Speer Hot Core Bullets, the early days.

Having read a post recently about Speer bullets, I just want to pass along my experience with them back when the "Hot Core" bullets first came out.

Having an interest in all things metal (have degrees in Machine Tool Technology, Welding, and Metal Processing), when Speer advertised that they "injected a hot core" into a cleaned jacket to prevent core-jacket separation, I drew the inference that they were implying that the core would, in effect adhere (soldered in?) to the jacket, So, being the experimental sort, I placed one of their Hot Core Rifle Bullets upright on a flat surface, placed a knife on the tip of the bullet and proceeded to hammer the knife blade down through the bullet lengthwise. When the bullet was cut in half and core was released from the mechanical hold of the jacket, much to my disappointment the core fell from both halves under their own weight.

In effect, the core seemed to be no more "adhered" to the jacket than any other standard bullet of the day.

Admittedly, that experiment was performed many years ago...Speer may or may not have improved on their methods and the cores of today may very well be adhering to the jackets in their current processes.

I would be very interested if someone would repeat my experiment with today's current run of Speer Hot Core rifle bullets. I don't have any, so I cannot do it...I shoot very little rifle these days, mostly cast bullets in handguns. Anyone up to the task of cutting one of the bullets in half and seeing (and reporting back), if the cores are just held in mechanically as they were back then?
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Old April 16, 2019, 02:16 PM   #2
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I used Hot Cor for many years. I switched to them because my 7 mag after rebarreling wouldn't hit the broad side of a barn with 140 GameKing. It drove tacks with 148 Hot Cor. I never recovered one, so I can't tell you how they looked. They all exited, so they must have held together.
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Old April 16, 2019, 04:01 PM   #3
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I don't think they're any different now. methinks your method of splitting the bullet may have caused the core to loosen but what do I know. I have on occasion place a bullet in a vice and file them so I could see a cross section and one the Speer Hot Core the lead portion did not fall out easily although they were easy to pry out.
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Old April 16, 2019, 05:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Paul B. View Post
I don't think they're any different now. methinks your method of splitting the bullet may have caused the core to loosen but what do I know. I have on occasion place a bullet in a vice and file them so I could see a cross section and one the Speer Hot Core the lead portion did not fall out easily although they were easy to pry out.
Paul B.
Do you think splitting one lengthwise with a knife and hammer would put more stress on the core/jacket juncture than firing them in a rifle and having them impact on game?
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Old April 17, 2019, 04:34 AM   #5
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I don't know if Speer currently makes/markets the "Hot Core" bullets anymore. The injection of the molten lead into the preformed jacket was still a mechanical bond, not a soldering or any form of fusing the two, and thus they were suspect to the same type of separation as any other traditional cup and core jacketed bullet.
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Old April 17, 2019, 06:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by buck460XVR View Post
I don't know if Speer currently makes/markets the "Hot Core" bullets anymore. The injection of the molten lead into the preformed jacket was still a mechanical bond, not a soldering or any form of fusing the two, and thus they were suspect to the same type of separation as any other traditional cup and core jacketed bullet.
That was my take on it also. Although one could flux the inside of the jacket and tin it with solder to fuse the core in, it would likely add more variables to the process and make it difficult to maintain consistency.

In all, at the time I considered Speer's advertising to just be "puffery" as Judge Judy would say.
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Old April 17, 2019, 03:00 PM   #7
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"Do you think splitting one lengthwise with a knife and hammer would put more stress on the core/jacket juncture than firing them in a rifle and having them impact on game?"

I think it just might do that. It could be that the stresses involved hitting and animal and the stress by the knife blade are concentrated in a different manner. I do know that the 165 gr. Speer Hot Core from a .308 Win. has killed deer for me from 35 feet to 250 yards so I have no complaints. I cannot say the same thing for the Sierra 165 gr. game King HP which they say is a tougher bullet that the non-HP bullet of the same weight.
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Old April 17, 2019, 03:29 PM   #8
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From the beginning, although many took the inference that the "Hot Core" method implied a bonded bullet, Speer denied the claim, but said the process produced a more uniform core & thus a more accurate bullet. My experience is that the bullets (my experience is mostly with 130 gr .277) is that they are no better or worse than other cut-n-core bullet in weight retention. My perception is that if you recover one, it will be about 60% of original weight. Even then the core will usually be loose.

Speer's newest marvel is their "Gold Dot" rifle bullets that are actually plated via a proprietary process. As you can imagine, they should penetrate well being indisputably bonded. The good thing is, their process can produce a bonded bullet that cost the same or less than a cup-n-core. This is half the price of competitor's bonded bullets. The field performance validation will be interesting!
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Old April 17, 2019, 04:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BumbleBug View Post

Speer's newest marvel is their "Gold Dot" rifle bullets that are actually plated via a proprietary process. As you can imagine, they should penetrate well being indisputably bonded. The good thing is, their process can produce a bonded bullet that cost the same or less than a cup-n-core. This is half the price of competitor's bonded bullets. The field performance validation will be interesting!
I am under the impression that the "Gold Dot" line of rifle bullets are intended for personal protection and law enforcement use, so I doubt if extreme penetration is the main design purpose. The old Deep Curl was their Bonded/Plated rifle hunting bullet, which is now also discontinued I believe.
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Old April 17, 2019, 08:50 PM   #10
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The bullets are "Hot-Cor."
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Old April 17, 2019, 11:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by buck460XVR
I am under the impression that the "Gold Dot" line of rifle bullets are intended for personal protection and law enforcement use, so I doubt if extreme penetration is the main design purpose. The old Deep Curl was their Bonded/Plated rifle hunting bullet, which is now also discontinued I believe.
Speer does emphasize these bullets for law enforcement & as a replacement for their defunct Deep-Curl. I suggest that anyone interested go to Midway's website & search for "Speer Gold Dot Rifle Bullets". This will show .224, 6.5mm, .277 & .308 cal offerings. Read the reviews as many hunters are starting to use these. My results are only with the .277 bullets, but in deer & hogs they expand & penetrate well with 100% weight retention. Hopefully Speer will produce these in more calibers, especially 6mm & .257.
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Old April 18, 2019, 06:53 AM   #12
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I love Speer Hot-Cor bullets and have had nothing but positive results with both accuracy and on game performance using Hot-Cors over the years in various calibers.

Lots of positive reviews coming out on the Gold Dot rifle bullets on game especially the 120gr 6.5 bullets.
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Old April 18, 2019, 06:18 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by BumbleBug View Post
Speer does emphasize these bullets for law enforcement & as a replacement for their defunct Deep-Curl. I suggest that anyone interested go to Midway's website & search for "Speer Gold Dot Rifle Bullets". This will show .224, 6.5mm, .277 & .308 cal offerings. Read the reviews as many hunters are starting to use these. My results are only with the .277 bullets, but in deer & hogs they expand & penetrate well with 100% weight retention. Hopefully Speer will produce these in more calibers, especially 6mm & .257.
I didn't see .277 caliber listed. But I did look at the other rifle calibers that had Gold Dot bullets and none of them had Speer saying anything at all about them being for hunting and/or a replacement for the deep Curls. Just "Reliable performance to eliminate any threat" and "Consistent penetration and expansion through common barriers". This says SD/LEO to me. Speer still makes Deep Curls and Gold Dots for handguns. They used to all be called Gold Dots at one time, but because of the confusion between which Gold Dots were for hunting and which ones were for SD, they made the change to Deep Curls for the hunting grade. Big difference in expansion and penetration between Gold Dots and Deep Curls in all the magnum calibers I use them in. This is how I believe it is with their rifle bullets too. The bullet weights and expansion in the Gold Dot line are directed more towards SD usage, with Deeps curls having a harder core and thicker plating to control expansion allowing for more penetration(at least this is how Speer explained it to me). Will the Gold Dots work on game? Of course......but not as ideally as the old Deep Curls I'd suspect. I'd also suspect Speer is either trying to direct folks to another one of their line of hunting bullets or is upgrading their Deep Curl process and will re-release them at some point.......maybe with yet another name on them.
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Old April 18, 2019, 06:42 PM   #14
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6.8mm is .277 caliber.
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Old April 18, 2019, 08:24 PM   #15
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The 270 Gold Dot rifle bullets are only 90gr and 115gr.

https://www.speer-ammo.com/products/.../rifle-bullets
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Old April 19, 2019, 08:26 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by BumbleBug View Post
6.8mm is .277 caliber.
Yes and so is .270. My foo-pah, as I am not really a rifle guy. But I do know Speer bullets very well. I went to the .277 Gold Dot bullet pages and saw the same claims from Speer as in the others.....comments directed towards the intended use for SD/LEOs. While some reloaders claimed they couldn't wait to use them on game, very few had actually did it. I have not doubt about their accuracy, but with the limited availability of weights and the designed intended more for SD than big game.......I'd go go to something else for hunting deer and elk. Others are certainly free to feel differently. IMHO, Lots of other and better, excellent options out there.....including the old, discontinued Deep Curls. I'm curious as to why Speer discontinued them for rifle? I see the Federal line of "Fusion" bullets are still available, they are just Speer Deep Curls in a Federal Box. Could it be Speer's and Federal's parent company wanted to reduce competition between the two? Deep Curls are my go to bullet in my .460 and .357 revolvers and for deer. Gold Dots are what sits in my .357 bedside table gun for SD. No legitimate reason to change that.
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Old April 19, 2019, 09:07 AM   #17
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For several years now, 6.8mm SPC aficionados have been using "Gold Dot" rifle bullets pulled from Federal Fusion ammo or from factory over-run outlets. These has proven exceptional deer & hog bullets. I can only speak to the 6.8mm bullets, but the Fusion 90gr & 115gr & Speer rifle GD component bullets are identical in side by side comparison. Performance testing in media has also yielded identical results. My understanding is that the new Speer GD rifle bullets sold to reloaders differ only from the Fusion loaded bullets is by an additional coating. It seems odd that Speer would offer a reloading component rifle bullet designed for SD & LE & not sell it in loaded ammo.
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Old April 19, 2019, 09:41 AM   #18
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For several years now, 6.8mm SPC aficionados have been using "Gold Dot" rifle bullets pulled from Federal Fusion ammo or from factory over-run outlets. These has proven exceptional deer & hog bullets. I can only speak to the 6.8mm bullets, but the Fusion 90gr & 115gr & Speer rifle GD component bullets are identical in side by side comparison. Performance testing in media has also yielded identical results. My understanding is that the new Speer GD rifle bullets sold to reloaders differ only from the Fusion loaded bullets is by an additional coating. It seems odd that Speer would offer a reloading component rifle bullet designed for SD & LE & not sell it in loaded ammo.
As you, yourself said, there is a difference of a different coating between the GDs and the Fusions. The Fusions are really the exact duplicate of the old Deep Curls. IOWs, 6.8mm SPC aficionados have been using "Deep Curl" rifle bullets pulled from Federal Fusion ammo or from factory over-run outlets. Outward appearances, side by side, of the GDs and the DCs I use for my Magnum revolvers is identical......but according to Speer, they are designed to expand differently and at different velocities. I believe it is the thickness of the coating and the hardness of the core that determines this. Both hard to determine from just outward appearances. Things is, I still have GD bullets that have the same product number on the box as the newer Deep Curls. Thus, there is no difference in the construction, just the name. Speer also has stopped production of another plated/bonded bullet from it line, the Uni-Cor. Bullets manufacturers have gone to making bullets much more specialized as in the past, when one bullet was used for everything. Do they differ that much in construction and terminal performance? I dunno, but I have seen what bullets that expand too much and too quickly on big game do, and it's not what I want out of them. Varmints yes. So I go with what the manufacturer tells me, as opposed to what strangers on the internet tell me. Works for me.

But this is sidetracking from the topic of the OP.
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