I've long wondered what effect, if any, smilies had on hollow point performance; i.e., depth of penetration and expansion. To satisfy my curiosity, I decided to shoot my FG with non-modified barrel into a 10" wet newsaper pack, supersaturated with water for 24 hours. My theory was that the first round, which was void of smilies, would show better performance than the next few rounds in the mag, which typically develop moderate to severe smilies in my gun due to recoil battering of the round. My intention was to test several brands, including Speer Gold Dot, Hydra Shok, and Golden Sabers. Unfortunately, I had to terminate my test after only completing the Gold Dots; hopefully I will test the other rounds later. However, the results with the Gold Dots were most surprising. There was NO significant difference in penetration or expansion between the "smilied" and "non-smilied" rounds. Of the four rounds I shot, all penetrated the newspaper within a quarter inch of 6" (according to a formula used by Stephen Camp and others, this would translate to 8" in ballistic gelatin). In fact, the first, "non-smilied" round penetrated slightly less, at 5.75." What surprised me most was the expansion. Each bullet was PERFECTlY mushroomed--each of the six petals was fully expanded, and completely symmetrical. None of the petals were deformed or mishapen in the "smilied" rounds. I expected bent or broken or twisted petals in the "smilied" rounds, but they were exactly the same as the first round. (If I can figure out how to get close-ups from my wife's digital camera, I will try to post these pictures). What does this mean? Perhaps since the Gold Dot is a truly bonded round, it is more forgiving and less effected by smilies. Or perhaps, it means, as some have felt all along, that smilies are primarily cosmetic. I will, as time permits, test the other hollowpoints in a similar way and see what happens. For now, I'm pleasantly surprised, and quite impressed, if nothing else, by the uniformity of the Speer Gold Dot.