Speer Flying Ashtray in Clear Ballistics Gel.

I did some gel shooting today and after I was finished I decided to shoot a round off that I had laying around. A Speer .45 ACP 200gr JHP. Yes, the legendary Flying Ashtray. I only had one, unfortunately, so I could not do a proper test.

One round in Clear Ballistics gel out of a Sig 1911. Impact velocity of 984fps and it expanded to .75 inches! Just look at that big flat bullet. However, that large expansion had a cost of only allowing it to penetrate to 11 inches.

I wish I had more so I could test it properly. I’m going to look around and see if I have more laying around.


A member from the Beretta forum was kind enough to donate his last six bullets so I could give it a proper testing. Not having enough to do a proper load development I decided to go with 7.8gr of LongShot. The manual said I should get a little over 1000fps. I ended up just a little short of that with an average of 926fps. In this test, I used an HK USP .45 compact with a 3.78 inch barrel. I probably should have used my 1911 but I just wanted to use something different.

I didn’t get velocity on the first round fired into bare gel but it penetrated to 9.75 inches and expanded to .78 inches. The second round had a velocity of 954fps and penetrated to 11 inches with an expansion of .72 inches.

Only one of the bullets fired through the heavy clothing registered on the chrony and it had a velocity of 898fps. Unfortunately, both of the bullets passed completely through two 16 inch blocks of Clear gel. One of them bounced off the backstop was found on the floor. The hollow point was completely clogged with clothing and no expansion.

I decided to fire the last two rounds in bare gel instead of trying it in the four layer of denim. So number three in bare gel had a velocity of 910fps and penetrated 10.25 inches with an expansion of .76 inches. The last round penetrated 12 inches, expanded to .73 with a velocity of 944fps.


One comment

  1. I’ve been loading the Speer Gold Dot 200 grain load using that Hodgdon Longshot powder data up to 7.8 MAX grains. I figured surely that Hodgdon was talking about the modern Gold Dot 200 grain HP projectile and not the old JHP ashtray projectile. Either way I started out seating them at 1.200″ OAL and the velocity was very slow from 4″ inch barrels I have on had with 7.1 to 7.3 grains I was only in the 750 FPS margin of velocity. I tried the MAX 7.6 to 7.8 grains Longshot seated again 1.200″ inches and got 850 to 870 FPS from 4″ inch barrels. I was not really that happy with the slower speeds as it was under the manuals listing and I had plenty of seating distance until the MIN OAL was reached so I pushed them down to 1.175″ inches and I did get increased velocity from that into the 920-940 FPS range. Also noticed that at MAX 7.8 grains I was getting some powder residue not burned off. The loads were not making enough pressure to burn the powder off seated at 1.200″ inches the best I could tell.
    Speer Gold Dot HP is plated but they are so thick plated it’s common to load them as a jacketed HP or JHP rather then using plated data. The way I figure it the jacket plating is so thick it’s almost as if they are a thicker jacket then some JHP designs like Silvertip or Federal’s PBLE 9mm projectiles……………..those had a thin copper jacket on them.


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