Speer Gold Dot was selected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as its duty and training round for up to five years.
Announced recently, the winning contract will total about 120 million rounds. This order is a massive endorsement to an ammunition manufacturer very familiar to American law enforcement.
The Department of Homeland Security is the largest federal law enforcement agency including Customs and Border Enforcement (CBE), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Secret Service (USSS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), though the Coast Guard acquires ammunition through the Defense Department. Winning this huge ammunition contract is a major boost for Speer and one that will very likely see an expanding effect as other federal agencies, state police, and local law enforcement join as well.
Gold Dot Ammunition
Speer is an ammunition and bullet manufacturer well-known and popular with the law enforcement community. According to Speer, Gold Dot ammunition was the first ammunition to offer truly bonded-core bullets.
Bonded-core bullets are highly favored over traditional jacketed bullets because they use chemical or soldered processes to bond the jacket to the lead-core bullet. This bonding provides better accuracy, and greater penetration and expansion of bullets upon impact as the jacket stays with the bullet during expansion to retain more mass.
Speer uses their proprietary Uni-Cor process bonding the jacket to the core “one molecule at a time” at the very beginning of the bullet manufacturing process. Using this process, Speer claims nearly no jacket and core separation giving the Gold Dot ammunition superior penetration and expansion qualities.
Each Speer Gold Dot hollow point is specifically tuned and designed by caliber and bullet weight to provide optimal performance. Speer uses a patented 2-stage process in the development of each hollow point cavity, effecting the following characteristics of each bullet:
- How far the bullet can expand
- The rate of expansion.
The final process is the smoothing of the bullet to provide dependable feeding in a variety of handgun options. Once the bullet is finished it is combined with a nickel-plated brass casing, CCI primers, and a unique blend of quality powders.
Speer tests each Gold Dot product to the most stringent F.B.I. standards at the time of production. These standards evaluate penetration, expansion, mass retention, and the general characteristics of the bullet upon impact with a soft target. These tests use a ballistic gelatin block, and various intermediate materials such as denim, plywood, and drywall.
- Alloyed lead core bullets
- Uni-Cor electrochemical process virtually eliminates core/jacket separation
- Nickel-plated brass cases for smooth functioning and durability
- Select, clean-burning propellants for optimum velocity and consistent pressures
- CCI primers for highly sensitive and reliable performance
Speer is part of the large conglomerate Vista Outdoors group that includes the following highly popular brands:
- Federal Premium Ammunition
- Blazer Ammunition
- American Eagle Ammunition
- Independence Ammunition
- Savage Arms
- Stevens Arms
- Force on Force.
Speer has been a well-respected ammunition maker for decades, and their Gold Dot ammunition has been highly touted by law enforcement and civilians alike. My police department used Speer ammunition (both hollowpoint and FMJ) for training ammunition for many years, though has selected to go with another manufacturer for duty ammunition. BlueSheepdog founder Richard has worked for police agencies fielding Speer ammunition and has been a big fan of it for both law enforcement and civilian applications for years.
The selection of Speer Gold Dot ammunition for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a very good selection in our opinion. There are a lot of very good ammunition options on the market today, and the technology behind superior cartridge manufacturing continues to expand at rates perhaps never seen in the firearms industry. Speer has remained a serious contender and this selection only solidifies their mark on America’s law enforcement.
The purchase of 120 million rounds by a Federal agency is sure to spark the ire of some conscientious observers, but in reality, the number of rounds is actually quite reasonable for an agency encompassing so many federal law enforcement agencies. As of 2017 DHS has 96,776 employees. Over half of these employees are special agents and/or have arrest powers. Simply using the number of 50,000 law enforcement officers in DHS, you find that comes down to only 2400 rounds per officer.
It appears this contract is a one-year contract with the potential of four additional extensions before a new RFP has to be submitted. Using these numbers means each officer gets about 200 rounds per month for training and duty uses. If the 120 million round count is for 5-years that means a pretty pathetic 480 rounds/year or only 40 rounds per month. Either way, it is at best a minimal amount of ammunition to ensure agents can qualify with their sidearms and get a very modest amount of additional training.