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There are some names in the shooting industry that are recognized by virtually everyone. Even if you are not a gun owner; even if you’ve never touched a firearm in your life, you likely recognize the names “Winchester,” “Remington,” and “Glock.”

But some names, while not as famous among the general public, are just as important to the history of firearms and ammunition.

Speer is one of those names.

Starting out as a bullet manufacturer during the second World War, Speer has become a trusted brand for high-quality reloading supplies, including some of the most consistent bullets on the market. They also provide ammunition that is trusted by both private citizens and law enforcement personnel.

Speer may not be a household name, but among the firearms community, they are known for quality, consistency, and performance.

Speer: Bullets and Loaded Ammo for Law Enforcement and Civilians

When Vernon Speer began crafting bullets for private use, he (probably) had no idea that he was creating one of the most trusted and innovative companies in the ammunition industry.

The year was 1943, and America was in the grip of World War II, fighting both the Germans and Italians in Europe and the Japanese in the Pacific. Everything the American economy could spare was sent to the frontlines; clothing, food, and raw materials were all systematically organized and used to support the war effort. Every scrape of metal, roll of cloth, and bushel of grain was needed to maintain the fight.

Also needed, of course, was bullets.

This made it extremely difficult for citizens to get bullets for hunting and personal protection. Recognizing that he could fill a need, Vernon Speer began manufacturing bullets, helping reloaders get the components they need without drawing from the inventory of war supplies.

Initially, Speer focused entirely on hunting ammunition, creating bullets for cartridges that would be used in hunting rifles. As time went on, and the war came to an end, Speer began creating jacketed handgun bullets that were ideal for both hunting and law enforcement.

Speer Ammo logo
1943; Lewiston, Idaho
Vernon Speer
Lewiston, Idaho
Ammo Made
Rimfire, Handgun
Popular Lines
Lawman, Gold Dot, Bullets

At the time, Speer and his company were focused specifically on creating bullets. They did not manufacture loaded ammunition, but merely provided a top-quality bullet that could deliver outstanding performance at the target. The loading part was up to the consumer.

Seeing the high demand for Speer bullets, the company started loading their projectiles into whole cartridges, starting with the popular Lawman brand of handgun ammunition. These jacketed rounds were made for training purposes, delivering a clean fire in a fully-jacketed bullet while delivering a recoil and trajectory extremely close to self-defense rounds.

Eventually Speer was able to ride the success of their jacketed rounds, made for training, into a lead-core hollow-point product that can be used for self-defense and law enforcement. Called the Gold Dot series, this product line has been credited as the first handgun ammo with true bonded-core bullets. Gold Dot ammo, according to Speer, “is the most trusted duty ammunition for law enforcement.”

Civilians can also enjoy the reliability, affordability, and consistency of Speer ammunition, as this company offers many of the same products for personal use. They are constantly developing new products and expanding on their already-impressive product line.

Highlights of the Speer Product Line

Their product line ranges from loaded ammo for law enforcement to jacketed bullets for reloading enthusiasts. Here are a few of the most popular options from Speer:


The first loaded cartridge created by Speer, Lawman was launched in the 1960’s in an effort to provide training rounds that mimicked the feel and performance of duty ammunition. These rounds are affordable while offering excellent consistency and clean firing. Ranging from .32 Auto to .45 Auto rounds, Lawman offers the most realistic practice you can have with your carry firearm, making you a more effective and responsible gun owner.

Speer Lawman ammunition is loaded with TMJ rounds, which have a complete jacket that totally encapsulates the lead core, including the seat. By enveloping the core, hot powder gases are not able to burn off the lead base, which means less toxic residue is allowed to escape. This makes the ammunition safer for indoor facilities, and helps protect the barrel interior of your firearm.

Because Speer is rooted in reloading, all of their cases are reloadable and manufactured to tight tolerances, bringing better quality. The rounds use clean-burning propellants, and non-corrosive primers from CCI. Thanks to clean-burning primers with no lead, barium, and antimony, there are no heavy metals at the firing point. This creates a cleaner fire, which is especially important for indoor training.

Gold Dot

As the first handgun cartridge loaded with bonded-core bullets, Speer Gold Dot set a high standard for personal-protection ammunition. Using the “Uni-Cor” method, which is exclusive to the company, Speer bonds the jacket and core together at the molecular level. This practically eliminates separation between the core and the jacket, creating better mushrooming and penetration.

Smooth functionality is crucial in a critical situation, and Gold Dot delivers consistent feeding with nickel-plated cases. This product family also uses clean-burning propellants and CCI primers for reliable performance.

TNT Bullets

A brand of bullets made for hunting varmints and predators, the TNT line of bullets gives long-range precision and outstanding performance at the target. It uses a thin precision jacket, which helps with bullet expansion, and thanks to a meticulous design, it has a high ballistic coefficient, resulting in flat trajectories. This bullet is available in a variety of calibers, including .224, .264, and .308. If you are not into reloading, you can also find ammunition loaded with TNT bullets, including products from Federal Premium and CCI.

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