Ammo releases are never as popular as gun releases, but I always make sure to swing by the big ammo companies to find out what’s new. At the Speer/Federal/CCI booth, I was greeted by several new defensive loads, including the rather surprising Speer Gold Dot Carbine 9mm load. This wasn’t the first PCC defensive load, but it’s the first I’ve seen from a major manufacturer.

Inside the Speer Gold Dot Carbine Load

The popularity of pistol-caliber carbines doesn’t seem to be slowing down. These guns are everywhere, and major companies like Smith & Wesson are producing multiple pistol-caliber carbines. When it comes to defensive ammo, the pistol caliber carbine runs into some issues. Most defensive loads are designed for barrels that are anywhere from 2 to 5 inches, and 16-inch rifle barrels can create some issues.

In fact, common defensive pistol ammo, like the famed Speer Gold Dot 124-grain loads, do not perform as well through a 16-inch barrel as they do a handgun. The extra speed has them moving too fast and controlled expansion becomes not so controlled. It expands too much and doesn’t penetrate as well. Penetration rules and heavier rounds tend to work better in PCCs.

That leads us to the Speer Gold Dot Carbine. Speer utilizes a 135-grain projectile moving at 1,170 feet per second from a 16-inch barrel. According to Speer, the projectile penetrates through bare gel and heavy clothing without a disruption in expansion. The round grows greatly in size and is supposed to penetrate to an acceptable depth.

While most of Speer’s defensive pistol ammo comes in 20-round boxes, Speer is packaging these in 50-round boxes. That makes a bit more sense for guns that commonly have a standard capacity of 30 rounds. With PCCs being such a big market, it only makes sense that a major company would bring us some defensive PCC food.

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