Are legal concerns over carrying handloads trivial?


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Clark
December 20, 2005, 08:27 PM
Some say you could be sued or convicted, others say it never happens.

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HSMITH
December 20, 2005, 08:29 PM
I don't think it is a problem to use handloads. Either you are justified in your actions or you are not. I have never seen proof that someone was punished for using handloads or that use of handloads affected the outcome of legal proceedings.

taliv
December 20, 2005, 08:30 PM
who knows?

i think the short version is that some (search forums for ayoob) claim it's a distinct liability, and others say nobody's been convicted because of it before, so why bother?

me? i carry handloads.

jerkface11
December 20, 2005, 08:57 PM
I've seen factory loads with NO FLASHOLE. Nuff said.

pax
December 20, 2005, 09:03 PM
No, I don't think such concerns are trivial.

pax

gwalchmai
December 20, 2005, 09:06 PM
You guys do understand that trivial means the concerns are <strike>unwarranted, er, unrealized, er, groundless,</strike> er, not no big deal, right?

RecoilRob
December 20, 2005, 09:44 PM
I got to watch the Bernard Getz (Subway Vigilante) Civil trial on TV and the Prosecutor tried to make a BIG deal out of him having several different kinds of ammo in the gun.

Bernie gave a contorted and IMO somewhat confused explanation of why the different rounds were there.....but it made no difference in the outcome.

I suppose if everything seemed even in a Jurors mind that using a handload might tip him/her over the wrong edge. But, I think it mostly a moot point. Carry what you want and make sure you use it properly if called upon.

massad ayoob
December 20, 2005, 09:48 PM
Some say you could be sued or convicted, others say it never happens.

Hey, folks, let me save you some time and give you a preview of where this is going.

On GlockTalk in the reloading section, this material was covered in a thread titled "Reloads for Carry" that ran from 12/12/05:rolleyes: to yesterday, 12/19/05, when it was shut down at 12:56 AM. A little less than two hours later, Clark opened another thread titled "Any One Got Any More Mas Ayoob Urban Legends," which lasted until this morning when it was locked by a moderator.

The first of those threads includes the names of cases where handloads were a problem in court.

Oh, and Clark ... put me down as one who would not use handloads in a defense gun. :rolleyes:

Best to all,
Mas

bogie
December 20, 2005, 09:53 PM
It's a matter of opinion. In some cases it's prosecutorial opinion, judicial opinion, or the jury's opinion.

Personally, if I carry a handgun, it has Federal Hydrashoks in it. Why? Cops like 'em, they show good ballistic performance, and they ain't available as reloads... If I ever have to shoot someone with a rifle, it's gonna be with a handload - loaded to competitive standards... With targets from national and world matches to back it up, thank you very much...

BTW, Mas, if that's really you, welcome to wherever we are... More than a few of us here likely know folks who you know, so if you can ignore a few of the more "interesting" goings on...

BlackWidow
December 20, 2005, 10:11 PM
Clark,
You get reprimanded on another board so you start a thread over here?
http://www.glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=474765

In case anyone is interested in what you have to say and not waste any more time that it taked to read the last thread you brought this up in see the link below.
http://www.glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=471695

I hope you don't continue with your mean spirited, nasty, opinionated drivel. Oh, and please, don't mention your balls.

Your poll does not even make sense, did you even think through what you wanted to ask?
Are legal concerns over carrying handloads trivial?
Yes, be afraid, very afraid!
We don't need no stinking factory loads!
No opinion. Where am I?

This is tired, man.

Clark
December 20, 2005, 10:27 PM
Yeah,
I put in 5 years of posting at Glocktalk, and they banned me today without warning when newcommer M.O. showed up.

So, you want to get me banned here too?

taliv
December 20, 2005, 10:32 PM
i'd really like to hear from Mas, if that's really you.

so please stop the personal attacks before this gets locked, as locking seems to be trendy these days.


btw, Mas, the quote was from me, not clark. i don't know clark. never posted or read glocktalk. i'll go read the info on the cases. as i said, i carry handloads, so it's of some interest to me.

BlackWidow
December 20, 2005, 10:36 PM
Yeah,
I put in 5 years of posting at Glocktalk, and they banned me today without warning when newcommer M.O. showed up.

So, you want to get me banned here too?

I am sorry but you got yourself banned.

BlackWidow

pax
December 20, 2005, 10:42 PM
Moderator Note

Please stay on topic for the thread.

If you have anything personal to say to another member, do it via email or PM. Don't inflict it on the rest of us!

Whatever happened on another board is between that board & you. It doesn't belong on THR.

Forum rules may be found here (http://www.thehighroad.org/code-of-conduct.html), for those who need a refresher.

pax

Third_Rail
December 20, 2005, 11:08 PM
I guess since when I'm carrying a revolver it's C&B it doesn't matter to me - they're ALL handloads! :D


Anyway, on a more serious note, whatever is most reliable in that particular firearm will be what's in it, whether that is factory or handload. Reliability is most important to me, along with accurate. Everything else can wait until I'm out of immediate bodily harm.

The Bushmaster
December 20, 2005, 11:19 PM
Oh Brother...I have read several posts of Clark's on various other forums at various other times...This is not even worth my time...No argument as I decline to argue with a unarmed man...:D

Standing Wolf
December 20, 2005, 11:33 PM
I refuse to live in fear of lawyers.

bogie
December 20, 2005, 11:43 PM
I live in fear of anyone who tries to stuff .357+P+ loads in .38 specials...

pax
December 20, 2005, 11:51 PM
Standing Wolf ~

Does shoving a gun onto your belt mean you're living in fear of criminals? Of course not; it's actually quite the opposite. If you're equipped to deal with the criminals, if & when, you don't have to be afraid of them.

Seems that's the way to handle lawyers, too. Be equipped to deal with 'em, if & when.

pax

taliv
December 21, 2005, 12:09 AM
thanks for the link, Mr Ayoob. it was a very interesting thread!

i think all the questions i was about to ask were answered there, so i won't waste your time.


your point about duplicated a factory load to practice with is not a bad idea. i'll consider that.

but the risk vs reward still heavily favors handloading for me.

thanks again for the court case references.

massad ayoob
December 21, 2005, 12:19 AM
Pax:

I will stay within your stated rules. I do owe it to anyone reading this, including both you and Clark Magnuson, to say that I did not know he had been banned from the other forum until I read his statement on this thread. I never asked that he be banned and I never asked that either thread be locked.

All:
I am curious to know who is responsible for the bar graph on the "poll." At the time I checked, only five respondents (HSmith, Taliv, Jerkface11, RecoilRob, and ThirdRail) had actually stated that they weren't worried about carrying handloads and implied that it was a trivial concern, but many more were listed under the question that appears to favor carrying reloads. Two, Pax and me, had listed ourselves as concerned with the matter and not thinking it trivial, but only one was listed.

BlackWidow:
Your comments are spot on. The wording of the "poll" reminds me of the sort of polls that the anti-gun groups use. "Question One: Are you in favor of convicted drug dealers being allowed to carry Uzis in schoolyards? Question Two: Are you in favor of REASONABLE firearms laws?" When everyone predictably says No to the first question and Yes to the second, they then call a press conference and announce, "Our poll shows that virtually 100% of the public wants to ban guns."

Taliv:
Nothing against you, bro. The reference was to comments made by the originator of this thread on the "other" forum, and made by him elsewhere many times and many places in the past. I am not attacking him here. However, if attacked I reserve the right to block and counter. :)

Standing Wolf:
+1 to your heartfelt statement, "I refuse to live in fear of lawyers." Same here. But, like Pax, I've found that when you give the opponent nothing to use against you and are fully prepared to neutralize his attacks -- because you understand his pattern of attack -- you are now truly to where you need not live in fear of him.

Best to all,
Mas

pax
December 21, 2005, 12:23 AM
Mas ~

Probably nothing sinister going on with the votes. I stated an opinion, but didn't click a vote on the poll. Didn't like the wording I guess. ;)

pax

taliv
December 21, 2005, 12:36 AM
since you're here, Mas... :)

i think part of the risk equation there that's been the subject of much internet rumor is the "OMG HE HANDAODS!!1 HE ARE A GUN NUTT!1!!" line of thinking with respect to the jury's impression of a defendant's character. The whole GSR thing was new to me.

as steve (i think) mentioned in the other thread, most of us shoot IDPA/high power/3gun etc and spend dang near all of our disposable income making things go bang. we have large collections and some of us put 10-20k or more rounds downrange each year.

my question is, has it been your experience that those things make a difference on the criminal or civil side after an event? is there any defense against being painted as an extremist? when really, it's just a hobby with a practical side effect?

thanks again

massad ayoob
December 21, 2005, 02:23 AM
taliv:

My first rule is, "Be able to predict where the attack will come, and have a proven counterattack strategy in place and ready to immediately launch."

It's what we train to do in the street. We need to do the same when we train for the now almost inevitable aftermath in court.

My first exposure to handload problems in court was NH v. Kennedy, the argument that "regular bullets weren't deadly enough for this guy, he had to make his own..." blah blah blah.

It was defeated, thanks to an able defense lawyer and excellent expert testimony by Jim Cirillo. However, it was also a battle that wouldn't have had to be fought if factory ammo had been used...and it was an ordeal for Jim Kennedy, a good man who was wrongly accused.

As time went on, I saw the GSR coming up again and again. I think it is a MUCH greater concern, and it is the primary reason why I recommend against handloads for defense as opposed to training/practice/hunting/competition, where I enthusiastically endorse the concept.

Sure, they'll bring up the fact that you DO reload, that you DO compete, that you DO shoot a lot...and we'll shoot it down. Those are ARGUMENTS and OPINIONS, and we can win in both.

GSR is hard science. It's there or it's not. The problems with admissibility of "evidence that was literally manufactured by the defendant" are almost insurmountable.

As you noted, Taliv, duplicating your factory "duty load" at the reloading bench for PRACTICE AND TRAINING makes sense. There is simply NO reload that has a track record in anti-personnel use, so the argument that a certain load will protect you better than the best factory ammo is BS. It's an argument of "what if" versus "what is," and "what is" always beats "what if." If you need a 1" group at 25 yards (??) for self-defense, and your handload delivers that but your factory round doesn't, why not just go to a new pistol or a new factory load that DOES meet your standard? You don't need a $3000 investment to do that. See my article "What Price Accuracy?" in the 2006 American Handgunner Tactical Annual, now on the newsstands.

The "...regular bullets weren't deadly enough for him..." argument is worth avoiding in and of itself, but it pales in comparison to how the relatively greater admissibility of GSR evidence in your behalf improves when you use factory instead of handloaded ammo in the actual shooting.

Just my $0.02, brother; run it past your BS detector like you would anything else and use your own common sense.

And thanks, Taliv, for being that rare person who actually checks the references and does the research before he posts his opinion.

taliv
December 21, 2005, 03:19 AM
Mas, I understand what you're saying there. My previous question, sorry for the ambiguity, was not about handloading.

What I think I heard you say is that if somebody with a motive other than justice tries to paint me as a gun nut because of my hobby, that's just an opinion and although legal defense is expensive, you've consistently, successfully convinced juries that IDPA competition and the fact taht i bought rambo on dvd from walmart doesn't have any bearing at all on the fact that "the deceased" attacked my family immediately before taking 8 rnds to the chest.

i understand you're saying handloading makes that argument more difficult. i'm just trying to understand if IDPA and my dvd collection also make that argument more difficult. and more importantly, what can i do as you say to prepare for a counterattack? btw, i'll check out your article. thanks


btw, while i'm not yet persuaded to carry factory loads, that 1" extra accuracy @ 25 yrd thing was... well... ***? if i'm still holding 5" groups at 5 yrds while somebody's attacking me, I'll be happy.

JDGray
December 21, 2005, 06:38 AM
If im pointing a gun at someone in self defense, the decision to kill is mine ,not the ammo! JDGray

EddieCoyle
December 21, 2005, 07:07 AM
I was told by a MA State Police firearms instructor (now retired) and several lawyer/aquaintances that in order to minimize any possible legal trouble, for self-defense I should "use the ammo the cops use".

Quick story (take it for what it's worth - a 2nd hand account of someone's opinion):

I was at my gun club's pistol range one Saturday shooting with two other guys: a long-time handloader, and a Suffolk County (MA) Assistant DA.

The handloader, a very serious and methodical guy, often loads ultra-hot ammo. While at the range he was taking copious notes, including comments about his latest loads. The ADA looked at his notebook and said something like, "If you ever have to shoot somebody and you use a handload, burn that book before your house is searched. A prosecutor will use it against you, and in a civil suit they'll make you look like a lunatic."


Note: Edited for clarity

griz
December 21, 2005, 07:11 AM
Mas, what is GSR? And would your opinion be the same if a handloader used a factory duplication load, same bullet and velocity, in a SD situation?

Thanks, Griz

gwalchmai
December 21, 2005, 07:25 AM
My first exposure to handload problems in court was NH v. Kennedy, the argument that "regular bullets weren't deadly enough for this guy, he had to make his own..." blah blah blah. Yep, I guess that's always a possibility. OTOH, that legal beagle could point out that the Germans in WWI considered pump shotguns too cruel for trench warfare...

btw, Mas, I enjoy reading your stuff, even when I don't agree with it.

stoky
December 21, 2005, 08:18 AM
Gun Shot Residue ?

HankB
December 21, 2005, 09:15 AM
If GSR from handloads can't be used to clear you, then it can't be used to hang you either.

IMHO (note that IANAL) a prosecutor who uses ammo type as a centerpiece of his prosecution has a weak case, and can be countered by good lawyering on the part of your attorney.

There's a theoretical downside to every choice you may make . . .

* Use ammo the cops use, and you're "A Walter Mitty LEO-wannabe." (Police standard ammo has been made an issue in officer-involved shootings!)

* Use FMJ ammo, and you're using "military warfighting ammo, made for extreme penetration."

* Use HP ammo, and you're "using dum-dums, banned by the Hague Accords."

* Use generic ammo like WWB, and "you're for killing on the cheap."

* Use premium ammo, and "You'll spare no expense to commit murder."

* Handloads? "Factory ammo wasn't deadly enough . . ."

If it's a good shoot, it's a good shoot. Unless you've custom-made explosive bullets filled with cyanide and dipped them in rattlesnake venom, the circumstances of the shooting are going to be far more important than what you're using.

I'm not going to mention names here, but at least one very prominent gun writer and author of several books who recommends strongly against the use of handloads has (or had, at one time) a significant financial interest in a well-known boutique brand of high performance ammo. ("Don't use handloads, buy and use MY hot stuff instead!") Hmmm . . .

massad ayoob
December 21, 2005, 09:30 AM
Griz:

It's gunshot residue. Trouble with a factory dupe handload is same as any other handload: they're unlikely to take your word as to what was in the round, but they can't play that card if you used factory ammo. See the mentioned thread on "the other board" for further detail.

HankB:
Please refer to answer above. I used to be a distributor for CorBon, and made that clear in many articles. CorBon, like other manufacturers, had a production code lot number on each box, which facilitated exemplar testing for GSR.

Clark
December 21, 2005, 10:04 AM
Yes, be afraid, very afraid! ....This is a Jeff Goldblum tag line the the 1984 movie "The Fly" .
It means......No, Legal concerns are NOT trivial.


We don't need no stinking factory loads! .... This is like the tag line handed to Humphry Bogart in the 1948 movie, "The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre" 24 "Ah, we don't need no stinking badges!"
It means Yes, legal concerns ARE trivial



No opinion. Where am I?
More confusion.



If no one ever has had any court trouble from handloads, I can't calculate any risk, but if someone ever WERE to have troubel....then there would be some real risk:

If there are 3.4 million concealled carry permints in the USA, if half them carry handloads, resulting in one court case in 20 years, then the risk each day from a court's reaction to handload being carried would be
Risk = 1/[20 3,400,000/2] =.000 000 029 per year

Meanwhile the risk for any of the 100 ~ 200 Americans of of 300,000,000 Americans being killed by lightning each each year is:
Risk = 100/300,000,000 = .000 000 333


What does it all mean?
Carrying handloads has a risk of court trouble 11 times smaller than the risk you will be killed by lightning.


For me, the chance of a wimpy .380 factory load not getting the job done, is why I take the chance and carry my atomic handloads.

For me the chance of lightnihng strike is offset by my personal desire to go outside.

We get to choose the chances we take, and I have chosen mine.

jerkface11
December 21, 2005, 10:38 AM
No one else is concerned about factory ammo just plain not going off? Touch off some without a flashole sometime. It'll lock your gun up solid.

griz
December 21, 2005, 10:44 AM
Thanks for the response. I didn't know gun shot residue was that exact a science. My assumption would be the remaining reloaded rounds from the magazine or ammo box could be tested for GSR as easily as a factory round could. But anyway I will check out the other thread.

AnthonyRSS
December 21, 2005, 10:47 AM
So I take it GSR is used to determine that you did in fact handload your ammunition? How would they know that it is handloaded versus a random lot of ammo? I think I'll go read those threads now.

gwalchmai
December 21, 2005, 10:56 AM
Yes, be afraid, very afraid! ....This is a Jeff Goldblum tag line the the 1984 movie "The Fly" .
It means......No, Legal concerns are NOT trivial.
That's interesting. I interpreted that option as mocking those who preach incessantly about internet bogeymen like handload liability, tumbling loaded rounds, and allowing a Brasso molecule to come within fifty feet of a cartridge case.

halvey
December 21, 2005, 11:00 AM
I refuse to live in fear of lawyers. One of the best from SW!:D

Clark
I have read many of your posts on many forums over the years and wish you'd put all your info and data into a book and sell it. People said Ackley was nuts with his tests but we think differently today.

Double Naught Spy
December 21, 2005, 11:08 AM
The first of those threads includes the names of cases where handloads were a problem in court.

Ayoob provided 4 cases where handloads were supposedly a problem in court.
State of NH v. Sgt James Kennedy
TN v. Robert Barnes
NJ v. Leonard Bias
Iowa v. Cpl. Randy Willems

State of NH v. Sgt James Kennedy. Kennedy was criminally charged on a theory of recklessness which was based in part on the fact that his pistol was loaded with handloads according to Ayoob. The prosecutor did make negative references to the reloads, trying to cast them in a negative light, but reloads most definitely were not the only thing about that situation that the prosecutor tried to convey negatively, such as Kennedy's gun handling, and Kennedy's lawyer did a crappy job of keeping the evidence from maligning Kennedy for the ammo. Given that any facet of a prosecution can be turned and presented in a negative light, I find it hard to believe that the issues of handloads or reloads was necessarily any more salient than anything else. It is Ayoob's opinion that the use of handloads was significant, but as is discussed below, his opinions on significance unbiased. Apparently factory ammo choice attacked in court isn't a significant matter.

TN v. Robert Barnes. I find that a convicted the Defendant, Robert Sanford
Barnes, of reckless endangerment, attempted rape, robbery, aggravated
burglary, and assault. I don't know if this is the case you mean or not, but if so, I am not sure just how it was that reloads were significant in regard to a person who was committing other crimes. As this was not a self defense case, I don't see much useful correlation here as one assumes many liabilities when breaking the law. Barnes was engaged in criminal activities and didn't have the right to do what he was doing.

NJ v. Leonard Bias - still have not found

Iowa v. Cpl. Randy Willems. Not really relevant since the officer used factory ammo.

---------------------

Since we are citing cases discussed by Ayoob, I would like to warn everyone at this time that on the same basis as Ayoob has argued against handloads/reloads, you should not be carrying the factory ammo carried by your local law enforcement. It has been stated and implied that you should not carry handloads because of reliability issues and more heavily discussed, legal issues. What is the alternative? Factory ammo! Strangely, Ayoob has failed to mention the horrors of carrying factory ammo in this thread because factory ammo most definitely can be problematic and used by the prosecution to portray the good guy shooter in a negative light as Ayoob has published.

In the Sept 2004 "Combat Handguns" issue that Ayoob has published an example that pretty well shoots down the contention that factory loads are necessarily any less of a legal concern than handloads when used in a justified self defense shooting. On page 8, example number 1 is of an officer's use of a Glock loaded with Hydrashok ammo in a self defense shooting. Attacks on both the type of gun used and ammo failed in the end, but that didn't stop the prosecution from casting both in a negative light. So all you Glockers need new guns as well. :rolleyes:

In Case 9 on page 95, the lawyer was specifically arguing that Hydrashoks' purpose was to "tear great and terrible wounds," implying malice aforethought on the part of the officer for using the round. WOW!!! In the end, the maligned ammo issue wasn't a problem.

To quote from Ayoob in that article, "Things like attacking the officer's gun or ammunition are the sort of things that are predictably used by lawyers who have no[thing] substantive."

Strangely, while Ayoob has gone into some detail here and on Glock Talk, plus countless publications, about the horrors of using handloads, citing underwhelming cases supporting his point that the choice of handloads can be used against you because the prosecutor can portray the ammo in a negative manner, Ayoob does not argue against the use of factory ammo which he has documented being used in a negative manner against a good guy cop in court. Why?

How is it handloads are so darned bad to use from a legal standpoint and factory loads aren't?

Ayoob has played both sides of the fence, but not equally. He has shown where the prosecution can use ammo choice in a negative manner whether handload or factory, but Ayoob has only suggested not using handloads He hasn't even suggested not using Federal Hydrashok, the particular ammo brand and model attacked in both cases.

I do appreciate the fact that not all cases make it into case law and that not all facets of how the case was developed make it into the public domain. However, hiding behind a claim of there being all these cases out there that never make it into the public domain, but really are there is completely bogus in terms of argument construction. It is an appeal to disembodied authority. Since disembodied, nobody can argue that it is accurate or not. I am just as confident that there are many many cases where factory ammo was attacked in court, causing all sorts of problems for the good guy, but those cases didn't make it into the public domain of case law. In doing this, I would be making an appeal to disembodied authority as well and doing so in an equally [il]legitimate manner.

We know the rumors. We want to know the facts that we can verify, not the "facts" based on the opinions of others who can't present useful evidence to support the rumors.

BigSlick
December 21, 2005, 11:56 AM
Carry the most accurate, controllable, reliable ammo you can.

For me, that's currently a handload.

Great post Double Naught Spy +1 in every respect.

BigSlick

~z
December 21, 2005, 12:17 PM
Not to hijack, but maybe sidetrack...We are takling about "customizing ammo for the purpuse of killing" (in a legitamate self defense senerio), correct. Let me step out just a bit further, how about customizing the weapon? I can only imagine the fiasco of a shooting involving a full race gun, but I'm refering to the slight mods most of us have: trigger job, beaver tail, sights, amb safety...

I guess the question would be, since I put new grips (or whatever) on my pistol, is it now considered "more deadly" or "customized to kill more effictively"?

~z

Rockstar
December 21, 2005, 12:24 PM
I have problems with taking legal advice from non-lawyers, just as I have problems with taking reloading advice from somebody like Clark. While it's true that there probably are a couple of cases (In New England or **********, etc.) where some ignorant, bottom-of-the-class, inexperienced prosecutor raised the issue of using handloads for s.d., I don't believe that a consultation with real criminal defense lawyers or experienced judges or district attorneys will reveal any concerns for such use of handloads.

How you are treated in the use of a firearm for self-defense will depend, largely, on your jurisdiction. Don't expect to be treated the same in one of the Sissy States as one might be treated in one of the Real States.

In virtually all cases of self-defense, there's no question about who pulled the trigger or what weapon was used. Finding residue is a non-issue, as there's no dispute about the weapon or ammo that was used. There is no more of a problem with using handloads in a case of self-defense (but I choose not to, for other than legal reasons) than there is in using a "specialty" knife or shotgun or any other weapon (modified or otherwise) in a case of self-defense. If you happen to be attacked while you're target-shooting, the fact that you defended yourself using a highly-modifed target weapon firing your reloads won't be used against you. The issue will be whether deadly force were justifiable. Period. It's really just that simple.

If you're involved in an accidental shooting, then legitimate questions could be raised about type of ammo, whether the weapon was modified, etc. When there is no dispute as to the circumstances of a self-defense shoot, nobody except one who makes a living writing articles and conducting seminars about such matters has any interest in weapon or ammo type.

Yes, I have been in court...many, many times. Yes, I have prosecuted a bunch of cases, and yes, I have discussed these matters with real, well-known, experienced criminal defense lawyers, judges and district attorneys. No, I have no financial interest in disseminating made-up "theories" about what an "overzealous prosecutor" might attempt in any case. These aforementioned "overzealous prosecutors" might also raise an issue as to what type of "practice" shooting one does. "So, explain to us exactly what IDPA is, how it works, etc. You don't think you're lethal enough without spending thousands of dollars and firing thousands of rounds practicing to become more lethal? etc., etc., etc., blah, blah, blah?"

Mindset is paramount if one ever has to use a weapon in self defense. Understand your rights and execute them expediently, should the need arise. Choose to live in a State run by Real Americans, not pansies. If you do have to use your weapon in a case of self-defense, and you've chosen to live in a State not run by pansies, there's an infinitesimal possibility that you'll suffer any civil or criminal consequences for doing so.

If I did carry reloads for self-defense, they sure as hell wouldn't have been made using Clark's recipes! :)

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

halvey
December 21, 2005, 12:24 PM
http://www.glocktalk.com/showthread.php?threadid=471695&perpage=25&highlight=&pagenumber=4

Steve Koski: I'm not convinced. I need to see more case law.

Mas Ayoob: First, it won't be caselaw because that's determined by appelate courts. Which means, from our perspective here, that the guy has to get convicted. In the cases I'm aware of, none have yet been convicted.
---------------------------

No one has ever been convicted that Mas knows of. Not saying it has never brought up. But if you are worrying about a conviction, it hasn't happened yet. If you are worried about being the first, don't carry reloads. For those of us who carry what we want, keep carrying.

Grump
December 21, 2005, 12:27 PM
Let's follow the science and apply evidence rules...

Posted by Mas Ayoob over on GT:The forensic evidence that will show the truth is called GSR, gunshot residue, deposited on the body and/or clothing of your opponent at very close range. However, to prove that in court, your experts have to perform tests with exemplar ammo, ammo identical to that used in the gun. With factory ammo, you simply have the experts do the tests with ammo from the identical lot. You can't do that with handloads. Can you say, "Your Honor, the defendant manufactured the evidence?" In all probability, it won't be allowed.

I'd rather trust the opinion of someone who's familiar with the realities of the various evidence codes.

1. What is the likelihood of there being unexpended rounds left in the firearm? I say high.

2. What is the likelihood of there being rounds left in the shooter's chosen reload mode (speedloader or mag or dump pouch or pocket)? I say really, really, high.

3. What is the likelihood of there being rounds left in an ammo can, on the shooter's reloading bench, or in one of those neatly-stacked boxes at the house, if not in the car, etc.? I say virtually certain.

Now, how easy is it to get a reasonable inference that the shooter's remaining ammo is precisely the same as the rounds found elsewhere? The shooter will testify that it was all the same batch, the cases might be different but powder, primer and bullet will all be the same. THAT lays evidenciary foundation, folks!

Scientific evidence from the GSR from the shooting will include clues about primer type, based on various trace metals that some primer makers use and other primer makers DON'T. On-scene GSR matches GSR from the "exemplar" ammo....and what can the finder of fact infer from that fact?

From what I've read in an actual crime lab report on ammo used in a mere harassment incident, the PDs and the DAs have no trouble at all matching the ammo on-scene with what was found in the gun and at the shooter's house. The fact that the shooter "manufactured" or whatever'd the "evidence" would be irrelevant, and it all goes back to the touchstone standard of whether the evidence is probative of a material fact. If yes, it's admissible!

FYI, the completely unreported case I worked on involved an angry ex-husband in Las Vegas shooting some 9mm rounds out of his Glock over the roof of the ex-wife's house. He was pegged as the shooter, in part, by matching the fired cases found at the scene with what he had in his gun, the fact that the gun had recently been fired, the number of recovered cases matched how many "rounds down" his magazine was, and the fact that the Russian ammo he possessed had not at that time been widely distributed--it was a bit rare in that market at the time...and he was DENYING it was his ammo found at the scene.

Apply the same reasoning to a shooter who WANTS to prove that the ammo found at home was the same as that used at the scene.

Comes a time when you realize that, as I tell my clients, any idiot with $200.00 can file a lawsuit and force you to defend yourself. We can anticipate all kinds of arguments ranging from laughable to problematic to (depending on the facts we cannot change--how BAD the case is!!!) impossible. We cannot prevent every argument, and WILL be forced to defend ourselves. Thus I focus more on the merits and don't worry about the laughable or inevitable attacks. See HankB above--he's pegged many of them.

Some may choose to prefer the Walter Mitty argument over the "more deadly ammo" argument, but neither of them is likely to be as much of a problem as the "gun nut" argument. That one could come up regardless of how you try to present yourself, 'cause the lowlife trying to escape accountability for criminal actions (or the dead/injured relative's bad acts) will be highly motivated to portray you as badly as they possibly can.

The more important arguments are
1. were you in a reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury for yourself or another person (second half may depend jurisdiction where the incident happens), and
2. was the force applied reasonable for the threat faced (again, there are some local variations). Once the justification for the shoot is established, ammo choice evidence *can* be excluded as irrelevant, because there is no "nice" way to apply lethal force.

Arguing for "nicer" bullets can easily be proven to be silly.

Carefully consider HankB's listing of arguments. He's spot-on, and I believe grasps the total situation better than Mr. Ayoob.

taliv
December 21, 2005, 12:31 PM
Finding residue is a non-issue, as there's no dispute about the weapon or ammo that was used.

rockstar, i think you've missed the point here. the thread on glocktalk explains that GSR is used to support the defense's explanation that the attacker was within arms reach, or on top of the defendant, when the attacker claims he was 10 feet away and just talking.

GSR from factory ammo would say conclusively that you were 1 foot away or 10 feet away. seems hard to dispute the value of that evidence.

again, given risk/reward, i'm still carrying handloads.

bakert
December 21, 2005, 12:35 PM
Although I'm very particular wih my handloads and trust them to go boom I'll stick with factory loads for concealed carry myself especially in light of the actions of lawyers and juries in civil courts.

~z
December 21, 2005, 02:39 PM
Seems like a "justified shoot" would be a justified shoot (please don’t let me ever find myself in that situation). Mr. Ayoob and others (namely; 00Spy, Grump, Halvey, HankB, Rockstar, taliv and others, and you know how you are) all make good points as to the pros and cons. But when if comes right down to it, it is a personal choice and a personal responsibility to protect yourself and those in your care. If you make the conscious choice to carry in a public setting, you assume a certain amount of responsibility for those around you. In the end it is YOUR CHOICE. Do I honestly feel that this situation I now find myself in demands the use of deadly force? Do I want to live the rest of my life knowing that my actions directly caused the death of another human being? Do I want to spend the rest of my life knowing that had I acted I could have saved the life of another human being? The weapon and ammunition are all secondary to the conscious choice you must make in the morning when getting dressed. I believe, and I speak for no one but me, if you feel the need to carry, be confident in your equipment. Take that for what it is worth, carry stock or modified, your recipe or factory. But you owe it to yourself and those around you to know your limitations and that of your equipment. Push those limits in practice and practice those limits in your daily life. If you are not confident with factory ammo, carry your own.

soap box now put back in its original location.

~z

massad ayoob
December 21, 2005, 09:39 PM
Ayoob provided 4 cases where handloads were supposedly a problem in court.
State of NH v. Sgt James Kennedy
TN v. Robert Barnes
NJ v. Leonard Bias
Iowa v. Cpl. Randy Willems

State of NH v. Sgt James Kennedy. Kennedy was criminally charged on a theory of recklessness which was based in part on the fact that his pistol was loaded with handloads according to Ayoob. The prosecutor did make negative references to the reloads, trying to cast them in a negative light, but reloads most definitely were not the only thing about that situation that the prosecutor tried to convey negatively, such as Kennedy's gun handling, and Kennedy's lawyer did a crappy job of keeping the evidence from maligning Kennedy for the ammo. Given that any facet of a prosecution can be turned and presented in a negative light, I find it hard to believe that the issues of handloads or reloads was necessarily any more salient than anything else. It is Ayoob's opinion that the use of handloads was significant, but as is discussed below, his opinions on significance unbiased. Apparently factory ammo choice attacked in court isn't a significant matter.

TN v. Robert Barnes. I find that a convicted the Defendant, Robert Sanford
Barnes, of reckless endangerment, attempted rape, robbery, aggravated
burglary, and assault. I don't know if this is the case you mean or not, but if so, I am not sure just how it was that reloads were significant in regard to a person who was committing other crimes. As this was not a self defense case, I don't see much useful correlation here as one assumes many liabilities when breaking the law. Barnes was engaged in criminal activities and didn't have the right to do what he was doing.

NJ v. Leonard Bias - still have not found

Iowa v. Cpl. Randy Willems. Not really relevant since the officer used factory ammo.

---------------------

Since we are citing cases discussed by Ayoob, I would like to warn everyone at this time that on the same basis as Ayoob has argued against handloads/reloads, you should not be carrying the factory ammo carried by your local law enforcement. It has been stated and implied that you should not carry handloads because of reliability issues and more heavily discussed, legal issues. What is the alternative? Factory ammo! Strangely, Ayoob has failed to mention the horrors of carrying factory ammo in this thread because factory ammo most definitely can be problematic and used by the prosecution to portray the good guy shooter in a negative light as Ayoob has published.

In the Sept 2004 "Combat Handguns" issue that Ayoob has published an example that pretty well shoots down the contention that factory loads are necessarily any less of a legal concern than handloads when used in a justified self defense shooting. On page 8, example number 1 is of an officer's use of a Glock loaded with Hydrashok ammo in a self defense shooting. Attacks on both the type of gun used and ammo failed in the end, but that didn't stop the prosecution from casting both in a negative light. So all you Glockers need new guns as well. :rolleyes:

In Case 9 on page 95, the lawyer was specifically arguing that Hydrashoks' purpose was to "tear great and terrible wounds," implying malice aforethought on the part of the officer for using the round. WOW!!! In the end, the maligned ammo issue wasn't a problem.

To quote from Ayoob in that article, "Things like attacking the officer's gun or ammunition are the sort of things that are predictably used by lawyers who have no[thing] substantive."

Strangely, while Ayoob has gone into some detail here and on Glock Talk, plus countless publications, about the horrors of using handloads, citing underwhelming cases supporting his point that the choice of handloads can be used against you because the prosecutor can portray the ammo in a negative manner, Ayoob does not argue against the use of factory ammo which he has documented being used in a negative manner against a good guy cop in court. Why?

How is it handloads are so darned bad to use from a legal standpoint and factory loads aren't?

Ayoob has played both sides of the fence, but not equally. He has shown where the prosecution can use ammo choice in a negative manner whether handload or factory, but Ayoob has only suggested not using handloads He hasn't even suggested not using Federal Hydrashok, the particular ammo brand and model attacked in both cases.

I do appreciate the fact that not all cases make it into case law and that not all facets of how the case was developed make it into the public domain. However, hiding behind a claim of there being all these cases out there that never make it into the public domain, but really are there is completely bogus in terms of argument construction. It is an appeal to disembodied authority. Since disembodied, nobody can argue that it is accurate or not. I am just as confident that there are many many cases where factory ammo was attacked in court, causing all sorts of problems for the good guy, but those cases didn't make it into the public domain of case law. In doing this, I would be making an appeal to disembodied authority as well and doing so in an equally [il]legitimate manner.

We know the rumors. We want to know the facts that we can verify, not the "facts" based on the opinions of others who can't present useful evidence to support the rumors.


Since I was able to post last, a lot of interesting comments have been made. Many questions have been asked, and many ably answered by other posters, so I won't waste anyone's time going over material that others have well explained. I would, however, like to respond to a few points, starting with the message above.

Double Naught Spy:
In some of your postings elsewhere, the nature of your criticism tells me that you were excruciatingly honest when you chose your Internet nickname. Please keep that same level of honesty here. Since you quote from that article and must have it right in front of you, I find it rather disingenuous of you not to mention that I explained how easy it is for a properly prepared attorney to defuse arguments against factory hollowpoints.

(One example, since most reading this won't have that magazine in front of them. I referenced one of appellate lawyer Lisa Steele's cases, in which the clueless lawyer who defended in the original trial just sat there while a state police investigator went on and on about how Hydra-Shoks were designed to do all sorts of horrible things. All the attorney had to do was ask one question on cross-examination: "Trooper, what ammunition does the state police issue to you to carry on duty?" The answer would have been, in that state...Federal Hydra-Shok.)

Note that this tactic would NOT have worked for a defendant with handloads.

Let's see, Double Naught, on your assessment of the four cases I mentioned:

Thank you for admitting that handloads were indeed an issue in NH v. Kennedy. However, it's ridiculous for you to say that "Kennedy's lawyer did a crappy job of keeping the evidence from maligning Kennedy for the ammo." Au contraire, he brought in Jim Cirillo, whose testimony killed that element of the state's case and some others, and under this lawyer's able direct examination, Sgt Kennedy himself was able to articulate his reason for using handloads, to the satisfaction of the jury. It was an ordeal for Jim, but he did win acquittal.

Yes, you do INDEED have the wrong Tennessee v. Barnes case.

Let me apologize to all for an error on my part. Working from memory of the 16 year old case, I had listed it as NJ v. Len Bias. I just dug the file out of storage yesterday, and it was NJ v. DANIEL Bias. Try your search again.

I always use IA v. Willems when discussing this matter, because his was a classic case of how easy it is to get the forensic GSR evidence across to the jury, IF you use factory ammo. Police department records showed the lot number of the 9mm 115 grain +P+ he had been issued; exemplar testing showed the attacker to have been some 18" off the muzzle of the Beretta 92 when he was shot; and this disproved the alleged "victim's" testimony that he had been far out of reach of the officer and no danger to him when he was injured. We won acquittal for Randy at the criminal trial, and we won a total defense verdict for him and his department in the civil lawsuit trial which followed.

Note that this would almost certainly not have been possible with reloads, for reasons explained exhaustively on the threads linked earlier, and which I'll explain from another perspective more briefly in a few moments.

Clark:
BlackWidow in Post #10, and I in Post #21, warned how the disingenuous wording of your poll questions would be twisted to skew the results. Thank you for proving us correct in your Post #33.

In that, you say that "Be afraid, be very afraid" now means "No, legal concerns are NOT trivial." (Caps yours.)

In that, you say that "We don't need no stinking factory loads...means Yes, Legal concerns ARE trivial." (Again, your caps.)

I would like to ask those who voted in the poll two questions. If you had known that the cowardly-sounding "Be afraid" really meant "Legal concerns are NOT trivial," would you have voted for it? If you had known that the independent-sounding "We don't need no stinking factory loads" would be interpreted by Clark as "Legal concerns ARE trivial," would you have still voted for it?

In his lightning analogy, already debunked on "the other board," Clark now asks you to assume that fully half of America's concealed carry permit holders use handloads for carry. My experience and input tells me that's unbelievably high. It would be interesting to hear from other experienced CCW instructors on this.

But, Clark, your big fallacy is this: you know perfectly well that what I'm talking about is the aftermath of a shooting. That presumes that the shooting has in fact taken place. Everyone knows that a huge number of armed citizen shootings happen at very close range, often literally "powder-burning distance." Now, GSR issues are very likely to come into play...and now, the likelihood of your handloads being an issue are comparable to your chances of being struck by lightning while standing atop Mount Washington in the middle of a thunderstorm and holding a lightning rod.

But Clark, my favorite part of your post #33 was when you wrote, "For me, the chance of a wimpy .380 factory load not getting the job done, is why I take the chance and carry my atomic handloads."

Ya know, Clark, if I was really in this for the money, as you and some others have falsely and cluelessly suggested, I would be on this thread taking advanced orders for T-shirts and bumper stickers that said in huge, fiery letters: CLARK MAGNUSON CARRIES A .380!

Jerkface11:

You ask if any of us have seen a factory round with no flash hole. In my case, yes. Twice that I can remember in more than 50 years of shooting, which has included many weeks of teaching where 10,000 rounds a week went downrange, and many tournaments with many more than that. On the other hand, I have seen countless handload failures and malfunctions. Again, let's ask the experienced competition shooters and firearms instructors and rangemasters about THAT.

Z:
The short answer to your question is yes, but most such issues can be dealt with much easier than the problems that come with handloads. Except for "hair triggers" and deactivated safety devices, any practical enhancement to a defensive firearm is court-defensible. However, the topic is sufficiently involved to warrant a separate thread of its own. This one is getting pretty windy as it is, and I'm already culpable enough in that.:(

Rockstar:
You wrote in your Post #42, "The issue will be whether deadly force were(sic) justifiable. Period. It's really just that simple."

No, it's nowhere NEAR that simple, and if you believe it is, watch out for people trying to sell you oceanfront property in Kansas City.

TO ALL:
One critical point that many seem to have missed on this thread is that the very fact that you're the defendant means you're facing skilled, experienced, professional character assassins whose job it is to constantly impugn your credibility in front of the jury. Just how much of what powder was in those rounds may be as critical to your case as it was to Randy Willems'. The jury knows that you have a stake in the outcome and therefore motivation to put forth false evidence, and will be vulnerable to the argument that you submitted different loads for testing and shot the "poor, innocent victim" with something else, to make it look as if he was closer than he was, and that you were in more danger than you were. (Remember, ammo remaining in the gun is evidentiary property of the court, and will very rarely be released for GSR testing, since you are literally asking for permission to destroy the evidence.)

That won't happen with factory, because no lawyer is a sufficiently silver-tongued devil to convince a jury that Olin Corporation conspired with you to alter the evidence after you committed murder or perpetrated a wrongful death.

Finally, a number of folks who've weighed in seem to think that so long as your trial ends in an acquittal, there's no problem. They have not taken into account the months or years between shooting and trial with devastating legal bills, severe income impairment (most indicted criminal suspects don't have much in the way of career advancement opportunity in the legitimate world), and the emotional suffering that your friends and family will go through with you.

I'll be off line for most of tomorrow, at a correctional institution visiting a "convicted murderer." I was just very recently brought in to assist with the appeal. The facts in evidence indicate that he drew and fired in self-defense, but he did not anticipate the aftermath of a shooting and handled that aftermath badly, and in my opinion was very poorly defended. Out of a job at the moment of his indictment, he was quickly rendered penniless. His family has spent some $200,000 defending him, most of it in the original trial, and is now stretched to the breaking point.

That's not something I'd care to inflict on my loved ones for the very limited advantages that accrue from carrying handloads instead of quality factory ammunition.

Thanks to all for your patience.Take care,
Mas

Clark
December 21, 2005, 09:55 PM
One of the best from SW!:D

Clark
I have read many of your posts on many forums over the years and wish you'd put all your info and data into a book and sell it. People said Ackley was nuts with his tests but we think differently today.

Thanks Harvey,
I know How to write a mediocre load book:
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.guns/browse_frm/thread/1f090932775caa11/

But to write a good one it would take lots of research per page, unless I wanted to just make up stuff as fast as I can type, it would be $200,000 worth of engineering to get 2,000 book sales at $10 each if I'm lucky.

Highly technical books do not sell as well as "Fantasies about confrontations when carrying a gun" books.

Carpe Cerevisi
December 21, 2005, 11:00 PM
i dont think someone would be sued for using handloads as long as they are legal rounds (not incindiary, ap or anything of that type). I think its stupid to even suggest its not trivial. To be honest if people are handloading, i think they do it to cut back on a budget not everyone wants to pay 50 bucks for 10 rounds of self defense ammo. Im more concerned about gun control rights and criminals getting guns using factory ammo than a legal gun owner using handloads. As long as its a legal gun, legal owner, and legal bullet type i wouldnt even think twice about it. If i see someone with a weapon i dont think about the ammo, i think about the person.

Rockstar
December 21, 2005, 11:17 PM
taliv: Nope, didn't "miss" the point; just ignored the case cites, assuming quite correctly they they'd not be germane to this discussion.

Ayoob: Don't waste a lot of of your valuable beer-drinking, chain-smoking, gunrag-writing, seminar-giving time worrying about my well-being in the real estate market. I'm better educated, smarter, taller and have a great deal more real legal experience than you. (and am much better connected in the legal profession than you could ever hope to be) BTW, get somebody who's actually attended college to explain "subjunctive" to you. I'd find further "discussions" of civil and criminal legal matters with a phony like you about as entertaining as I find observing Clark's idiotic posts on reloading. ;)

Choosing to use redundancy for effect, I'd repeat that I have a problem with taking legal advice from a non-lawyer. Hopefully, I'll never need to use a weapon in self-defense. Should I, however, find myself in a situation where I do have to use a weapon in self-defense, rest assured that I won't depend on phony lawyers or pretend cops/gunrag writers for my legal advice and/or representation.:cool:

massad ayoob
December 22, 2005, 12:11 AM
What I like most about you, Rockstar, is your mature, well-educated civility...

With all you say you know about the law, did no law professor or seasoned trial tactician ever tell you to actually CHECK OUT the resume of the guy you were going to bad-mouth? Apparently not...must have been the same law school where they taught you not to bother checking case cites...:uhoh:

Please explain to us where your position in the real estate market is germane to the discussion. BTW, how much of that is inherited real estate...?

Since I just finished my last seminar of the season and don't have to write a gun magazine article until the day after tomorrow, I think I'll crack open a Rolling Rock, light up a smoke, and welcome midnight by responding to your BS.

I would almost stipulate that you are indeed taller than me (SO many people are, dammit...) but for the fact that I've been around enough not to make assumptions and pretend them to be fact. Unlike you...

Do you have more "real legal experience" than me? Can't stipulate to that, either, since I and anyone reading this can only access one side of the comparison. I post under my own name, and anyone can Google that and get an idea who I am. Clark Magnuson too, for that matter. You, on the other hand, are hiding from that.

What it is, Rockstar, is that us poor, uneducated dumbasses only know how to check out people who use their real names. For so long as you continue to hide behind the yellow curtain of your Net Ninja Nickname as you send your cowardly poison pen letters, no one can determine who or what you really are.

Well, let me clarify that. You've gone a long way in your postings here and elsewhere to clarify WHAT you are. Now, the rest of us are just working on the "who" part.

If you'd ever done the homework you should have made second nature in that advanced education of yours, you would have learned that I don't give legal advice. Like a driving instructor, I teach "the rules of the road," and the lessons that have accumulated on that long and unforgiving road.

Hey, dude, it's after midnight, and I'm gonna go to bed. Gotta get up tomorrow morning and help a human being who's in some serious trouble. Will be off line for most of the day, but will be back later...wouldn't miss the followup for the world.

The Rolling Rock was good, and the smoke was satisfying, and I'll go to bed musing on the irony of a man throwing the words "phony" and "pretend" at me when he doesn't have the guts to sign his own name.

Get a good night's sleep, "Rockstar.":cool:

strambo
December 22, 2005, 12:27 AM
Welcome to the board Mas, I always enjoy hearing anyone's real world experience on a topic. Kinda hard to make informed decisions without some evidence. Please disregard the name callers, it's not typical THR behavior (certaily not in the handloading section!).

I don't get why Mr. Ayoob's (or anyone's) personal reputation even matters. He cited several cases and the problems and arguments presented in them for consideration. Perhaps instead of attacking him, those folks should cite cases and experiences of their own so we can all make informed decisions. Rockstar, I enjoyed reading about your conversations and experience with judges and other attorneys...that is useful. The personal atttacks are not and only cause me to question your credibility and motives. Why is this personal? Roll your own and take your chances or buy factory and take different chances.

Larryect
December 22, 2005, 12:48 AM
Pax:

All:
I am curious to know who is responsible for the bar graph on the "poll." At the time I checked, only five respondents (HSmith, Taliv, Jerkface11, RecoilRob, and ThirdRail) had actually stated that they weren't worried about carrying handloads and implied that it was a trivial concern, but many more were listed under the question that appears to favor carrying reloads. Two, Pax and me, had listed ourselves as concerned with the matter and not thinking it trivial, but only one was listed.



I added to the "We don't need factory loads" by mistake. I'm tired and mis-read it.

I will tell you I have a friend that served on the jury of a "self Defense" case. An off-duty cop (I think) had some trouble with an ex's new boy friend and ended up shooting him (DRT). There was much to-do on both sides of the argument made of the fact the cop had taken his regular hollow-points out and put in FMJ's before going to a requested meeting. And, this was discussed by the jury. Any more, most jury members are not neccesarily familiar with guns. He was found inocent, but it was close.

I was recently on a jury in a case of "brandishing" One member of the jury pool stated ONLY cops and military need to use or brandish weapons. I was glad he was excused.

Do I believe ammo type or manufacture could be an issue? - ABSOLUTELY.

I carry factory "self-defense" ammo.

Larryect
December 22, 2005, 01:00 AM
No one else is concerned about factory ammo just plain not going off? Touch off some without a flashole sometime. It'll lock your gun up solid.

I'm sure it CAN happen. However, I have never had a factory round fail to fire. I probably have not shot as much as others here. What are the odds???

taliv
December 22, 2005, 01:13 AM
strambo +1

I'm sure it CAN happen. However, I have never had a factory round fail to fire. I probably have not shot as much as others here. What are the odds???


i'll answer first by asking another question: why would so many people recommend 100-200 rounds of THAT ammunition in THOSE magazines, etc. if factory ammo (and magazines) were so perfect? obviously, they don't work as often as you'd like.

i've had plenty of factory ammo failures. i'll admit though, i've never seen a case with no flash hole :what:

Larryect
December 22, 2005, 01:15 AM
Not to hijack, but maybe sidetrack...We are takling about "customizing ammo for the purpuse of killing" (in a legitamate self defense senerio), correct. Let me step out just a bit further, how about customizing the weapon? I can only imagine the fiasco of a shooting involving a full race gun, but I'm refering to the slight mods most of us have: trigger job, beaver tail, sights, amb safety...

I guess the question would be, since I put new grips (or whatever) on my pistol, is it now considered "more deadly" or "customized to kill more effictively"?

~z

I can tell you where I am (CA) the firearm has to be listed - by make, model and SN on the CCW permit. The county I am in does not allow <.32, >.45, no 44Mag. NO modifications of the gun (including lasers) and no single actions (revolver or auto). Grips and new finish are probably okay. Trigger Smoothing or "carry tuning" probably okay, but NOT too light.

These rules bleed over from the rules imposed on the county police for off-duty carry by the department.

Oh yea, while I am at it, we were also told CCW badges are a BAD idea - Don't do it.

Larryect
December 22, 2005, 01:41 AM
strambo +1
i'll answer first by asking another question: why would so many people recommend 100-200 rounds of THAT ammunition in THOSE magazines, etc. if factory ammo (and magazines) were so perfect? obviously, they don't work as often as you'd like.

i've had plenty of factory ammo failures. i'll admit though, i've never seen a case with no flash hole :what:



Well, I thought it was to make sure the ammo feeds correctly. I would also think the same advice would hold for hand-loads.

Adventurer_96
December 22, 2005, 01:53 AM
Excellent discussion, although I have to admit the earlier posts on this page seemed to walk a fine line. I hope the thread continues with the subject matter which has proven enlightening.

I've never been part of any incident that involved a shooting, nor do I have any friends who have been through anything similar while not on duty. What I can say is that with my limited knowledge of the legal system I have come to regard a potential court case (criminal or civil) with a little bit of a different perspective than I did even a few years ago. I used to carry in Utah off and on, but now that I've moved to CA I'm in the process of getting my permit. I think that the earlier comments about jurisdictions and states are really important considerations for those who do carry, I feel like I'm more likely to have to defend myself here but I'm more apprehensive of the repercussions.

I believe that it would be in your best interest to portray yourself in every regard as an everyman, not a Bernie Goetz vigilante or off-your-rocker gun nut. Factory loads, stock weapons, caliber selection, all of these things factor in. In a recent CCW class the instructor held up a .50 S&W revolver and asked what we would think of that if we saw it as jurors. True, it might do a great job defending you against anyone or anything that might try to hurt you, but what perception would it give to juror #6? He did say, and I do agree, that being alive to go through the court case process is better than being dead and not having to be bothered, but nevertheless it's an interesting perspective.

I think the factory ammunition issue is just part of a larger picture, but I do agree that while you may be opening yourself up to the Mitty attack you may be doing more good to your cause by carrying factory defense loads. I personally think that carrying what your local LEOs carry is a rational choice, and interestingly enough I've asked a number of non-shooters this question recently and they all thought it was a very good choice. Why do I mention this? Consider it potential jury selection research, I'd like to know what non-shooters think about these topics.

If you're so worried about a round not firing, shoot a revolver. I watched Massad Ayoob shoot one in the NH State IDPA championships last August and it was a real treat.

Clark
December 22, 2005, 02:40 AM
But Clark, my favorite part of your post #33 was when you wrote, "For me, the chance of a wimpy .380 factory load not getting the job done, is why I take the chance and carry my atomic handloads."

Ya know, Clark, if I was really in this for the money, as you and some others have falsely and cluelessly suggested, I would be on this thread taking advanced orders for T-shirts and bumper stickers that said in huge, fiery letters: CLARK MAGNUSON CARRIES A .380!



You should wear a head band that says, "I am ignorant of Clark's handloads"


1) My Browning 1903 .380:
a) Winchester factory ammo is power factor 76
b) my handload is PF 186.

2) Kel-Tec P3AT:
a) my hand load is power factor 99.

gwalchmai
December 22, 2005, 07:00 AM
I can tell you where I am (CA) the firearm has to be listed - by make, model and SN on the CCW permit. The county I am in does not allow <.32, >.45, no 44Mag. So a bullet with a diameter of .429 inches would be OK, but one with a diameter of .451 wouldn't? The best thing about bureaucrats is their tendency to hoist themselves upon their own petards. ;)

griz
December 22, 2005, 08:24 AM
will be vulnerable to the argument that you submitted different loads for testing and shot the "poor, innocent victim" with something else,

Please don't take this as a criticism Mas, I am just a layman trying to learn a little about our legal system from someone who knows more than I do. But knowing I am a reloader, why wouldn’t a lawyer make the same argument if I carried factory rounds? IE: “He used a deadly homemade round to shoot my client but submitted factory rounds for testing”.

And again, I am not even trying to take sides here, I just don’t know the answer.

Thanks again, Griz

HankB
December 22, 2005, 09:03 AM
Reading through this continuing thread, I see that:

1. The use of HydraShok factory ammo was an issue in at least one case.

2. The use of handloads was an issue in at least one case.

3. The use of FMJ ammo was an issue in at least one case.

This tends to support my earlier post, the gist of which was that ANY ammo may be made an issue.

And far as GSR evidence not being allowed if a handload was used . . . consider this: if the State is working the GSR angle are they more likely to be doing so to clear you or to hang you? What if - instead of keeping your mouth shut - under the effects of the adrenaline dump you made some statement to the effect that "For crying out loud, the guy was rushing me with a knife, he was only a couple of feet away when I had to shoot him!"

If GSR shows the BG was at nearly muzzle-contact distance, well and good.

Trouble is, what if, with the stress of the situation, you made a mistake? GSR shows he was 6, 7, or more feet away? Uh oh . . . there are a LOT of ways the State can spin this, none of them good for you.

A final thought . . . let's say you handload "Brand A" bullets in the same brand new cases, use the same brand primers, and the same brand powder. Yes, they can tell it's not factory ammo . . . but if they actually go to all that trouble to do a full-fledged forensic analysis on every little detail of your ammo, isn't that probably because someone in the DA's office is not your friend? (In which case, even exculpatory evidence may just end up being labeled "inconclusive" and it won't help you anyway.)

Walt Rauch
December 22, 2005, 10:29 AM
Mas is ahead on points!

pcf
December 22, 2005, 10:37 AM
And far as GSR evidence not being allowed if a handload was used . . . consider this: if the State is working the GSR angle are they more likely to be doing so to clear you or to hang you? What if - instead of keeping your mouth shut - under the effects of the adrenaline dump you made some statement to the effect that "For crying out loud, the guy was rushing me with a knife, he was only a couple of feet away when I had to shoot him!"

If GSR shows the BG was at nearly muzzle-contact distance, well and good.

Trouble is, what if, with the stress of the situation, you made a mistake? GSR shows he was 6, 7, or more feet away? Uh oh . . . there are a LOT of ways the State can spin this, none of them good for you.

What your making case for is documented training and expert testimony. The Tueller drill and documented training showing you are aware of the dangers of a knife attack will help you here. An expert can demonstrate that shooting a knife wielding attacker at 15' away can be entirely justified. You're right the state can spin it many ways, but if you're prepared, you can kill the issue before it gets out of hand. But this is what Mr Ayoob alluded to eralier, you're going to have spend serious money to defeat the state's case.

Expert witnesses get paid well for their testimony. While I disagree with many things Mr. Ayoob has printed, I won't look down my nose at a man that offers advice that may prevent him from making money off of me.

Larryect
December 22, 2005, 11:19 AM
So a bullet with a diameter of .429 inches would be OK, but one with a diameter of .451 wouldn't? The best thing about bureaucrats is their tendency to hoist themselves upon their own petards. ;)


.44 special is okay - just not the magnum load. It is seen as excessive. I'm not saying I agree with the rules, just that those are the rules. I would like to have laser sights. But when the department swat team experimented with them, they found on a 10 man entry they could not tell which dot belonged to which officer - so no lasers for anyone. It doesn't seem to matter I won't have 10 guys backing me up :banghead: - that's just the rules. Bureaucracy, don't you know...

Larryect
December 22, 2005, 11:30 AM
3. The use of FMJ ammo was an issue in at least one case.



In the case that I mentioned. I believe the prosecution argued that the change of ammo indicated premeditation while the defense argued the cop was concerned about the situation and changed his more lethal hollowpoint ammo for less lethal FMJ :banghead:

I think in the end it was seen as a justified shoot due to actions on the part of the boyfriend.

.

BigG
December 22, 2005, 12:17 PM
Welcome to The High Road, Mr. Mas Ayoob! Note that many are interested in the thread and appreciate your input immensely. Disregard the noise, as necessary!

I have been a fan of yours since, oh, the late 1960s. I believe you had a 'fro in your magazine photo. ;)

GrantCunningham
December 22, 2005, 12:48 PM
In his lightning analogy, already debunked on "the other board," Clark now asks you to assume that fully half of America's concealed carry permit holders use handloads for carry. My experience and input tells me that's unbelievably high. It would be interesting to hear from other experienced CCW instructors on this.

In my admittedly limited experience, I'd be very surprised if even 5% of the gun-toting population is carrying handloads. When working on carry guns, I ask each of my clients what load they're carrying (so that I can check/regulate the sights properly.) In zero cases has the answer ever been a handload. Given the types of guns I work on, and the nature of what I do, I believe that my clients are more "involved" in shooting and thus far more likely to handload than the average duffer. Yet, none of them has ever said he/she carries handloads.

Another data point: If the thousand-or-so members of my local gun club are any indication, it would not surprise me to find that less than 25% of all shooters reload. In fact, in this state - a shall-issue, fairly gun-friendly environment - I see surprisingly few gun club members who carry at all, let alone reload, let alone carry what they reload!

Again, this is only anecdotal, but based on what I know from the above I doubt you'll find all that many handloads being carried on the street. Heck, *I* reload more than most and I carry factory loads on the street!

You ask if any of us have seen a factory round with no flash hole. In my case, yes. Twice that I can remember in more than 50 years of shooting, which has included many weeks of teaching where 10,000 rounds a week went downrange, and many tournaments with many more than that. On the other hand, I have seen countless handload failures and malfunctions. Again, let's ask the experienced competition shooters and firearms instructors and rangemasters about THAT.

Well, I'm neither but I do know a couple instructors of my acquaintance now forbid handloads in their classes - they feel that the inevitable "downtime" is unfair to the other students.

Brian Williams
December 22, 2005, 01:02 PM
I also welcome Mas
New Guy buys the Ammo
I need some 158gr Nyclads for my S&W 13, so I can put away my reloads
I carry a Reload of 357 cases with 158grLSWC going about 1100fps, for everything.

kimbernut
December 22, 2005, 03:09 PM
Welcome Mas, I look forward to your input here.The one time I needed my .357 Mag. with factory HP they let me down with a misfire. The second round took the snake out no problem. I know the quality of my handloads and have made the choice to carry them exclusively.

Grump
December 22, 2005, 07:05 PM
In virtually all cases of self-defense, there's no question about who pulled the trigger or what weapon was used. Finding residue is a non-issue,
Methinks it's been fairly well established that the distance from muzzle to attacker can be disputed AND VERY relevant.

I still disagree heartily with the proposition that the remaining rounds in the gun would never be fired because that's "destroying" evidence. Chain of custody and competent testimony will very nicely establish the characteristics of the ammo before it is consumed in a GSR test. Furthermore, disassembling, weighing components and examining them and all that will fairly well establish its identical nature to the other 200 rounds remaining in the ammo can.

Just because exhaustive recordkeeping by an LEO agency made the proof in one case a lock, doesn't mean that a measly extra 10 minutes of trial testimony and exhibits couldn't do the same thing for your handloads.

There will almost always be pretrial motions in Limine and trial objections to admissibility of evidence and relevance of arguments. Given the total costs and expenses of the entire criminal and/or civil proceedings, it appears to me that "evil handloads" defenses are not much more likely than would be the "evil designed-to-kill extra-lethal factory cop specialty SWAT ammo thatnomereciviianhasarighttoown" defenses.

At the bottom line, I would anticipate ammo choice problems to amount to less than five percent, if that much, of the total legal defense bill. Now 5% of a $40,000.00 (low side?) bill is a lot, and it's a lot more if you're into it $100K. To me, that high estimate still qualifies as. . .

TRIVIAL

Put that in your pipe and smoke it, fellas & fellettes.

The Bushmaster
December 22, 2005, 07:11 PM
Grump...I see your are still grumpy....:D

gwalchmai
December 22, 2005, 07:28 PM
.44 special is okay - just not the magnum load. It is seen as excessive. I'm not saying I agree with the rules, just that those are the rules. I would like to have laser sights. But when the department swat team experimented with them, they found on a 10 man entry they could not tell which dot belonged to which officer - so no lasers for anyone. It doesn't seem to matter I won't have 10 guys backing me up :banghead: - that's just the rules. Bureaucracy, don't you know...
I know you aren't making the rules. I'm just pointing out their flaws. Let's assume that .45 Colt is OK, since the bureaurocrat considers it, like .45ACP, a "45" (even though both are "> .45"). All THR'ers know that .45 Colt can be loaded as hot, or hotter, as .44MAG. :)

Clark
December 22, 2005, 07:35 PM
In my admittedly limited experience, I'd be very surprised if even 5% of the gun-toting population is carrying handloads.


That would make being killed by lightning nearly the same risk as court trouble from handloads, if MO ever produced a court case.

Also about the same risk as being killed by a deer each day.

Let us summarize the chances of being killed for any American, next to 5% of the concealed carry American having court trouble per year:

1) If 50% carry handloads, their annual risk of court trouble .000 000 333
2) If 5% carry handloads, their annual risk of court trouble or death by lightning .000 003 333
3) All American's annual risk of being killed by a deer .000 003 333
4) All American's annual risk of being killed in an auto accident .000 143 330
5) All American's annual risk of gun homicide .000 039 430
6) All American's anual risk of drowning .000 015 000

gwalchmai
December 22, 2005, 07:39 PM
1) If 50% carry handloads, their annual risk of court trouble .000 000 333
2) If 5% carry handloads, their annual risk of court trouble .000 003 333
3) All American's annual risk of being killed by a deer .000 003 333
4) All American's annual risk of being killed in an auto accident .000 143 33
5) All American's annual risk of gun homicide .000 039 43 Seen in that perspective, Clark, handload liability is about as worthy a topic for internet angst as most of the other things we post about. ;)

jerkface11
December 22, 2005, 08:08 PM
I'll take my handloads in a revolver over any factory ammo in any auto. I'll also take them over clarks handloads in any gun.

armoredman
December 22, 2005, 08:16 PM
I carry factory. I prefer to avoid any argument in court I can avoid. Actually, I prefer to avoid court!:p
Glad to see you here. Mas!

BruceB
December 22, 2005, 08:18 PM
Gentlemen;

I've tilted at this windmill in discussion for many years, and I'm not going to enter this particular furball very deeply. For my purposes, even after thirty-nine years of very active handloading, I carry factory loads for my permitted CCW guns. Mas Ayoob was highly instrumental in that decision many years back, and I have seen no reason to alter my choice.

That said, may I refer you to a very pithy and accurate saying from our own Jeff Cooper, especially in light of all the numbers/statistics/forecasting going on here?

"THE LAW OF AVERAGES IS FAINT COMFORT, IF -YOU- ARE THE EXCEPTION."

To me, this means that it doesn't matter one thin damn what ANYBODY says about "the odds", because I am going to reduce every single possible source of after-shooting trouble as much as I can, before the event occurs. As stated above, it means that I carry factory loads, but that's just MY opinion for MY circumstances. BTW, when I carry a handgun outside of "civilization", it is almost always a heavy-caliber revolver, and it is always loaded with good cast-bullet handloads. I don't lose sleep over the possibility of having to scrag some scumbag with the handload, either.

massad ayoob
December 22, 2005, 08:23 PM
You should wear a head band that says, "I am ignorant of Clark's handloads"


1) My Browning 1903 .380:
a) Winchester factory ammo is power factor 76
b) my handload is PF 186.

2) Kel-Tec P3AT:
a) my hand load is power factor 99.

Clark, perhaps we can compromise on something that expresses both our feelings. How about:

"I DON'T KNOW ABOUT CLARK MAGNUSON'S HANDLOADS...":eek:

Could you put your engineering skills to work one more time and, using the same Power Factor formula you used above, tell the good people on this thread where a factory .45 ACP 230 grain JHP at 880 feet per second would rate, just for purposes of comparison and perspective? Or a factory 125 grain .357 at, say, 1400 fps?

Seriously, it's sad to see that overworn "struck by lightning" thing brought out again.

In your post just before this one, you write, "That would make being killed by lightning nearly the same risk as court trouble from handloads if MO ever produces a court case."

First, please tell us all what "MO" stands for.

But second, and much more important, you're lying again.

Your statement clearly implies that there have been such cases. But you KNOW there have been. I have named them on "the other forum," and I have named them here on this very thread, and even people on your side of this argument have looked them up and acknowledged they exist.

In short, Clark, you're lying to these people...AGAIN!

For the sake of winning your argument, you are overlooking their best interests and completely ignoring the fact that once the defensive handgun actually has to be fired to fulfill its intended purpose, the likelihood of a hostile legal action of one kind or another now becomes huge. Ask any police instructor or administrator on this thread about that likelihood.

Now, take a look at the last few issues of American Rifleman, or any other NRA publication that carries their Armed Citizen column, that you might have lying around. Read each one, and calculate how many shootings occur within "powder burning distance" where GSR might be deposited.

As was explained to folks on the "other" thread, and needs to be explained here again after your most recent post, your argument is akin to Clark Magnuson saying "You don't need seat belts, becaust most auto accidents don't end up with someone flying through the windshield." Logical-minded readers of the thread would answer, "Clark, one reason they don't fly through windshields is that they ARE wearing seat belts!"

In your postulation, you are conveniently and deliberately ignoring the fact that the reason there aren't more handload-related fights is that almost nobody gets shot with handloads! Virtually ALL the cops and the overwhelming majority of armed citizens load factory ammo. You're telling them to leave a place of safety on this issue and go to a place of danger. Bad advice, IMHO.

And, while you're doing your statistical prestidigitation, why don't you explain how these folks can, without duplicating a factory load and creating a mere cheap imitation, come up with a handload has a proven track record on the street, given the fact that the overwhelming majority of shootings DO involve factory loads instead of reloads?


Finally, for anyone who came in late, you won't get the whole deal on this until you read the whole thread, AND go back to the Glock Talk postings where Clark began this flame war. The links were posted by BlackWidow, if my memory serves, on the first page of this thread.

jerkface11
December 22, 2005, 08:35 PM
Mr. Ayoob i wouldn't get too worked up over clark. I doubt that anyone who's seen his handloads would take his advice. Which cartridge was it he was using a DOUBLE .357 magnum charge in? 9x21? or 9x23?

SpookyPistolero
December 22, 2005, 08:51 PM
First, I just wanted to thank Mr. Ayood for showing up and sharing his data and experience with us.

Secondly, I voted according to my belief for the use of factory loads for defensive purposes. Primarily, they are well tested, both in the lab and on the street, in ways that I cannot reproduce. I can't test a load I come up with in the same way.

The main reason, however, that I would insist on factory loads is that there is no reason to tempt fate. We carry our defensive weapons in preparation for the very rare, off chance that we might be attacked. We don't leave it all at home, and give the gods of irony or bad karma or whatever the chance to inflict some unstoppable woes on us.

I might trust my handload very much, but if I put 500 rnds of my defense factory load through my gun without a hitch, I'll trust it too. There's just not a good enough reason to ditch the factory stuff, when there is a real and documented possibility of legal backlash from using reloads.

Why not hedge your bets and play it safe? Mr. Murphy hardly needs an invitation. Use factory.

walking arsenal
December 22, 2005, 09:27 PM
Wow

This IS interesting.

Since i voted i guess i'll post my reasoning.

I carry factory loads only.

Heres why.

(1) I've been hit by lightning, twice. It was quite a shock. Sorry had to say that.

(2) I dont reload, but im going to start soon. I have space constraints that keep me from getting into it much. That and 9mm is stupid cheap, almost too cheap to warrant reloading it.

(2) Ayoob makes good sense with the court room stuff. Not only do i carry factory HP ammo. It's the same stuff our local PD carries. It just so happens it works well in my XD sub comp too.

(4) I Like to have as much of an edge as possible in a fight. A court room is an ugly battle field.

I figure why push my luck.

I've got nothing against reloading. If i were going to carry my reloads, i wouldn't carry them until i had reloaded for a few years or thousands of rounds.

Thats my .02

Clark
December 22, 2005, 09:51 PM
Clark, perhaps we can compromise on something that expresses both our feelings. How about:

"I DON'T KNOW ABOUT CLARK MAGNUSON'S HANDLOADS...":eek:

Could you put your engineering skills to work one more time and, using the same Power Factor formula you used above, tell the good people on this thread where a factory .45 ACP 230 grain JHP at 880 feet per second would rate, just for purposes of comparison and perspective? Or a factory 125 grain .357 at, say, 1400 fps?



The 45 would be 202.4 and the 357 mag 175.

You have written many words and not done your research on my handloads.
I know you like to just make everything up, but try the high road seach function with my name. You will find years of my posts on my handloads.


When I say "the probablilty of court trouble from carrying handloads", I am not saying "the probablilty of court trouble from shooting someone with handloads"

I don't appricate your calling me a liar.
I don't appriciate your referring me to glocktalk where my IP address is banned.



I would appriciate the court cases, so we could read the proceedings.
I am NOT convinced that you have presented any.

massad ayoob
December 22, 2005, 10:43 PM
Thanks for doing the math. It still comes out to, "Clark Magnuson Carries a .380."

You still haven't explained "MO." Please do...

If you don't appreciate being called a liar, stop lying.

You are the only one reading this thread who doesn't NEED to go to GlockTalk to read what was said there. YOU opened the flame war, YOU know the BS you posted, and YOU already saw it all before you pressed the "send" button.

And, if your .380 loads in a 1903 Browning come out to 186 power factor on your formula and a .357 125 grain at 1400 foot-seconds comes out to only 175 by the same standard, you've given us all the research we need to make common sense judgments on your approach to handloads.


And dammit, Clark, you're STILL lying, because you HAVE to know by now that I haven't made any of this up.

Clark
December 22, 2005, 11:16 PM
Where are the court cases?
Where is the link to the transcripts?

I want to read what happened in those trials, if they exist.

Double Naught Spy
December 23, 2005, 12:13 AM
Mas, I appreciate your honesty and affection. It has been enlightening. I have learned here, as in your articles, that your presentation of information is often biased and wrong.

Ayoob said, The first of those threads includes the names of cases where handloads were a problem in court.

Four cases. Of those, nobody is convicted. I know, I read your rationalization. So of the four, the first one fit. The next two were garbage because you were unable to provide the correct citations. You told me I had the wrong Barnes case. I don't think so. Prove me wrong and provide the case and citation.

The third case, you provided the wrong information. You claim to now have the right case cited. Present the correct case and citation. After all, I looked up your four cases and in 50% the correct cases could not be found because you were either too vague in the citation or too lazy to bother looking up the information to start with that you posted we all needed to review.

And contrary to how you think the fourth case applies, it is NOT a handload case. It is a case where you have showed there was a problem ferreted out for factory ammo and you claim it could not be done with handloads, which is interesting, but just because you claim it would not work with handloads does not make it a handload case, does it? How can it be a case of handloads being a problem in court when there were not handloads in the case? So 25% of the cases you presented were definitely not an actual handload case.

I can tell by your response to my points that you are a person that does not like being taken to task. It is interesting where others said they looked at the cases when in reality they could not have looked at them, not all of them, because the information you provided wasn't sufficient. So all this time, you have been arguing from those 4 cases and half were screwed and one didn't actually apply as you claimed.

This is the kind of work I have come to expect from you. I find that you often have similar problems in your published articles where you claim X number of cases support your point, only not all do.

For example, the article in 2004 Combat Handguns where you present 6 shooting cases where flight equals guilt, only there were just 3 cases that involved shooting. How is it a shooting when no guns are fired? Of the 3 shooting cases, flight didn't equal guilt in one. What did equal guilt was the fact that it was murder!

Ayoob said, I find it rather disingenuous of you not to mention that I explained how easy it is for a properly prepared attorney to defuse arguments against factory hollowpoints.

You are amazing. You say that there are problems with using handloads because they will create trouble for you in court. Your were critical of us for not understanding that even being acquitted means that a person has gone through an expensive trial, even if acquitted. When I pointed out two of your own cases where factory ammo caused problems in court, you blow off the contrary cases by saying it is easy for a properly prepared lawyer to diffuse arguments against factory hollowpoints (which apparently would then result in an acquittal maybe?). You play both sides, don't you? As with handloads, factory ammo can cause trouble in court. You gave examples where factory ammo caused problems. So, if using handloads can cause problems in court and still be very costly to the shooter even if acquitted, won't using factory ammo cause problems and be very expensive even if acquitted? Obviously if you have to hire a lawyer to defend you in court and part of the case against you involves ammo type, then it is going to cost you money, acquitted or not.

Then again, playing both sides isn't uncommon for you when it suits your purposes. I really liked how you played both sides of the fence in summer of 2003. In Guns and Weapons for Law Enforcement, you had an article on mastering the 1911. At the same time, you had an article in Combat Handguns that dealt with potential legal issues and you cited your lawyer quite a bit in saying that 1911s are hard to defend in court and that the lawyer, a previous 1911 owner, would never carry one for self defense. Why would you be giving tips on handling a platform is so hard to defend in court?

And finally, it has been very enlightening to read your opening insult comments to those who don't share your opinions, both here and on Glock Talk. As a highly respected gun expert, this is surprising. Your insult to Clark reflects the same trait in yourself. You said, Clark, let me reply in terms you can understand, based on the emotional age you've indicated in your posts.

By opening with personal attacks, just what emotional age are you projecting about yourself? Is it that easy to unseat your emotional control so much that you feel the need to insult others?

No doubt you are as guilty as you claimed Clark to be on Glock Talk where you said, "u projecting

BlackWidow
December 23, 2005, 12:35 AM
If there are 3.4 million concealled carry permints in the USA, if half them carry handloads, resulting in one court case in 20 years, then the risk each day from a court's reaction to handload being carried would be
Risk = 1/[20 3,400,000/2] =.000 000 029 per year.


Clark,
It has been said that there are three types of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. You have revealed a fourth: Made up statistics. You state "If there are 3.4 million concealled carry permints in the USA" and "if half them carry handloads" are the variables that you used to reach your numbers, in order to make your point. You must know better than this, you can not just make up numbers to arrive at your desired answer. Your statement "if half them carry handloads" calls all of you other numbers into question too, where did you obtain all these numbers you are throwing around? The burden of proof is on you.


Meanwhile the risk for any of the 100 ~ 200 Americans of of 300,000,000 Americans being killed by lightning each each year is:
Risk = 100/300,000,000 = .000 000 333


The risk may be small but if it happens to me it is 100%, wnich is why I do not go out in a storm with a metal bat, golf club or firearm in my hand. I choose to diminish my risk of becoming a human lightning rod. It does not mean that I am afraid to go outside at all, it just diminishes the risk.


For me, the chance of a wimpy .380 factory load not getting the job done, is why I take the chance and carry my atomic handloads.


Why don't you just carry a larger caliber gun?

BlackWidow

R.W.Dale
December 23, 2005, 12:40 AM
http://stud.ntnu.no/~terjehoa/pics/pics_forum/ga-boredcert.gif

Clark
December 23, 2005, 12:52 AM
Originally Posted by Clark
1) If 50% carry handloads, their annual risk of court trouble .000 000 333
2) If 5% carry handloads, their annual risk of court trouble .000 003 333
3) All American's annual risk of being killed by a deer .000 003 333
4) All American's annual risk of being killed in an auto accident .000 143 33
5) All American's annual risk of gun homicide .000 039 43


I am going to have to change this due to Double Naught Spy's last post.

There seems to be no court cases.



If 5% carry handloads, thier annual risk of court trouble is .000 000 000


This could change if one of these years there is a court case.
It could happen

halvey
December 23, 2005, 08:18 AM
Again, this needs to be stated LOUD AND CLEAR. from my previous post...

-----------------------------------
http://www.glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=471695

Steve Koski: I'm not convinced. I need to see more case law.

Mas Ayoob: First, it won't be caselaw because that's determined by appelate courts. Which means, from our perspective here, that the guy has to get convicted. In the cases I'm aware of, none have yet been convicted.---------------------------

Again, Mas Ayoob says none have yet been convicted.-------------------------------

taliv
December 23, 2005, 10:20 AM
i think the truth is somewhere in between these two sides. just because nobody's been convicted yet doesn't mean we can't reasonably speculate on what would happen based on similar cases.

e.g. i doubt most of us would CCW certain class III weapons for a variety of reasons, but one of those would surely be that we would not be treated favorably by police or juries, as they would no doubt consider it excessive. i don't have to be a lawyer or have an extensive precident to exercise common sense.

otoh, i dont' buy the anti-lightning or terminal ballistics arguments. plenty of factory loads use Gold dots and XTPs. heck, there's nothing wrong with ball ammo's terminal ballistics. i think hydra shoks are one of the few bullets unavailable to handloaders.

AnthonyRSS
December 23, 2005, 11:05 AM
I am still trying to figure out how they are going to figure out that I am carrying handloads, if I were. 230gr ball all looks the same, doesn't it? I don't even remeber what kind I put in the gun. Remington, I think. I figure, if anything were to really happen, they would assume you shot the guy with handloads because you handload, regardless of whether or not you had handloads in your gun at the time.

Still trying to figure out that .380 load, though. I am glad I don't shoot with you...

BigSlick
December 23, 2005, 12:02 PM
I guess the only resolution to this dilemma is buy gunshow reloads :D

The Bushmaster
December 23, 2005, 12:07 PM
Halvey...Your link doesn't work...

Clark...A .380 with a power factor better then a .357 magnum??? Hotrodding a .380 seems like an oxymoron not to mention very dangerous. To begin with, I wouldn't even carry a .380. I concider 9mm X 19 to be the minimum for carry.

Massad...Although I have enjoyed many of your magazine articles. I believe that the number of cases that you have mention are not enough to convince very many that loading "carry weapon" with handloads is a bad idea.

Massad and Clark...Please continue. I'm not bored yet...:D

halvey
December 23, 2005, 12:15 PM
I fixed the link, but Mas said it here:
http://www.glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=471695

Why not hotrod a .380 if you can? I can get 1000 fps out of my P3At with a 100 gr RN bullet. Besides, I have 3 reloading manuals that list 3 different max charges for the combo I use. I worked it up safely, and can shoot it.

The Bushmaster
December 23, 2005, 12:24 PM
Halvey...How do you say, without starting a side war on this string, that popguns just don't get it with me. Winter carry is a mod 19 2 1/2" and summer carry is a well tested Wonder nine Firestar. I'm one of those arcaic old farts that believes that bigger is better when it comes to self defence. I would carry my slightly modified .45 ACP if I could hide it on my 155 lbs 5' 7" body...;)

atblis
December 23, 2005, 12:43 PM
,but the reason that I don't carry factory ammo is because it's too expensive. Plus I have more faith in my handloads than factory ammo.

I think people who worry about carrying handloads need to get on some anti-anxiety meds.

I have to agree on the CZ52 thing. I really don't think there that strong a pistol. Actually I think they're a total piece of crap (but they are fun).

Kurac
December 23, 2005, 12:49 PM
um, maybe we should start a new poll


1.) Do you want to be the fist person convicted for using handloads?

2.) Would you rather wait for someone else to be convicted for using handloads?

3.) Would you rather carry factory loads and not worry about it?

halvey
December 23, 2005, 01:02 PM
You need to read the entire thread. Your chances of conviction are almost nil. The more honest question should be "Of those who handload, do you carry your own handloaded ammo."

Maybe you shouldn't worry so much about what you carry, but that you are carrying.

How do you say, without starting a side war on this string, that popguns just don't get it with me. Well, I agree with you to a point. The P3AT is a 7 oz gun. To have a .380 that can shoot at what a standard 9mm will shoot and still fit in my shirt pocket is a nice convienance. ;)

The Bushmaster
December 23, 2005, 01:02 PM
Kurac... 1. At least I'll be alive to go to court.

2. At my age I'm runnin' out of time waiting for that to happen.

3. If you carry handloads or if you carry factory you will still worry
or you wouldn't be carrying in the first place. But you will be a
kinder and gentler person...
As I read and re-read many of the posts and links pertaining to this string I get the feeling that this whole thing is rather mote, but entertaining.:D

And a Merry Christmas to you and yours...:)

Kurac
December 23, 2005, 01:31 PM
I find this tread very entertaining. I don't carry too much except when I am fishing or hunting and in such cases it is my 629 at my side, with some nice handloads. Here in the PRK getting a carry permit is like winning the lotto so I just try to avoid harms way, plus I live in a safe area.

Now what about using handloads if you are attacked in your house? will that make a big difference in court?

halvey
December 23, 2005, 01:35 PM
Kurac
Well, in a situation like yours, I see your concern. I'd do the same in Cali probably. Let me guess; if you'd actually use your gun, they probably yank the permit right?

Kurac
December 23, 2005, 02:09 PM
You can get permits in CA but they make you jump through so many hoops its nuts. On one of the forums someone posted a link that showed the number of permits issued by county here in CA and it was very eye opening. It seems the counties with the largest populations, LA, Santa Clara, Alameda, San Diego, have the least amount of permits issued. Now if you live out in the sticks then it is much easier to get a permit. The moral of my story, it is better to live out in the country if you like packin.

5.56
December 23, 2005, 04:10 PM
It depends on your role. As a citizen I think you will not have any problem. Speaking from a law enforcement position it is EXTREMLY tabu to carry your own loads. You made speacial bullets to kill with. Such nonsense is what we live with. From a legal point of view as long as your not a law enforcement officer, you should be pretty much ok as long as it was a justified shoot.

5.56

Johnny Guest
December 23, 2005, 05:11 PM
All - -
I've been remiss in allowing this one to go on as long as it has. I should have cut it off when it degenerated into a continuation of a rather acrimonious exchange from another board. Now, this is NOT a flame at Glock Talk - - It is simply well known that each board has it's own style and permissible limits.

Now, I really don't care if two or nine valued members of THR got crossways with one another on another board. What matters is what happens HERE. I'll not bother recapitulating who said what about whomever in this thread - - Anyone who is interested can go back and read all of it. None of it has (thus far) been edited or redacted, appropriate as it would be to have done so. I am guilty of letting it go so far, just wondering what would happen next. The error was mine, mea culpa, my bad.

Okay, we'll leave this open for a while longer. I really kinda hope everyone's had their say and it will die out, but, we'll see. Please understand, though - - Any additional references to what anyone said on ANY thread at Glock Talk will be removed. Either the relevant words, phrases, or sentences, or the post may be removed. Don't spend a lot of time on a post which includes such a reference, if it'll be a loss to you when it disappears. That's what will happen if someone casually messes up. If you feel really strongly that there's something additional in that regard that MUST be said, take it to e-mail. Write it there, and not in the public thread.

Also - - Attack statements, positions, ideas, or arguments. Do not attack the individual. I wasn't watching closely enough and there has been some name calling in this thread. That will stop. If you believe someone has gotten out of line, if you can point it out, gently, that's fine. Otherwise, please click on the red triangle at the bottom left of each reply. This is the "Report Bad Post" function. Let a moderator or administrator handle the matter. We're on staff to try to keep things running smoothly, and so that members don't need to do battle with one another.

People have called each other liars. Now, if you believe someone has misstated facts, please take into account that it might be an honest error. Even a certain amount of exaggeration may be excused in the process of making a point. Clear and intentional untruths should be avoided. If need be, report misbehavior to a staff member.

Again, I apologize for letting matters go so far out of bounds.

Best to all,
Johnny Guest
Moderator
THR Handloading & Reloading Forum

The Bushmaster
December 23, 2005, 06:40 PM
And the Score???:D

BuddyOne
December 23, 2005, 06:43 PM
[QUOTE=massad ayoob]taliv:

My first rule is, "Be able to predict where the attack will come, and have a proven counterattack strategy in place and ready to immediately launch."

Mas Ayoob makes a point worth remembering with his first rule.

I remember years ago reading one of Mas' magazine articles advocating the exclusive use of factory ammo. I was skeptical at the time and I remain skeptical today, but not because of any published legal opinions or lack of them, but because I often find that my most accurate loads are less than the max suggested in the manuals. I have some confidence that my .44 S&W Special loads over 200 grains will do the job nicely, if the situation presents itself.

In the years since I originally read Mas' advice it seems to me, as an attorney, that the willingness of state prosecutors to "reach" for evidence of criminal intent (i.e. handloads) has grown considerably, so I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see a clear-cut effort made to prosecute an otherwise innocent person on the basis that his intent was to cause excess harm or that he was a "gun nut."

I also wouldn't be surprised to see a prosecution that the use of factory ammo identical to the type used by the local police was intended to cause greater harm than other types of ammo.

I have a lot of respect for Mas Ayoob. He goes into court as an expert and probably gets pretty roughed up by opposing counsel, so my instinct is to side with him on this one. The gift of his posting, though is to remind me that (even in the courtroom) I need to predict the offense and have a realistic strategy that is immediately responsive.

Thanks Mas

Buddy

massad ayoob
December 23, 2005, 08:15 PM
To Johnnie Guest, per your Post #106:

Thank you.

To Clark:

You ask for links and transcripts. But you called me a liar about this for years, yet finally admitted that you had never read any of my work. How does anyone know that you'll even read them?

To Double Naught Spy:

In your Post #87 you tell me, "playing both sides isn't uncommon for you." It's called "showing both sides." That's the way honest people are supposed to portray controversial topics: knowing both sides and showing both sides. In my almost 35 years of writing with that in mind, you are the first to call it "playing both sides."

In the same post, sir, you write, "It is interesting where others said they looked at the cases when in reality they could not have looked at them..."
Did it occur to you that perhaps they were professionals whose research skills may have exceeded your own?

BuddyOne:

Thanks for the insightful commentary. I don't get roughed up much. Cross-examination by opposiing counsel is rather like this flame war, which in turn has something in common with a boxing match: the number of punches thrown counts for much less than the number, and the power, of the ones that land.

To All:

I think a review on this board alone of previous postings by both Double Naught and Clark will show that they'll do little with legal reference sources, and I would not waste my time digging up the resource citations for them.

However, others here have also asked for them. I respect people like Steve Koski, who can disagree without being disagreeable, and others who are genuinely interested in the information.

Like everyone else here, I have time commitments on the schedule over the long holiday weekend, but should be able to post the research sources this coming Tuesday or Wednesday on this thread.

As I have mentioned elsewhere, I had been away from the Bias case for many years, leaving it some 15 or more years ago. Heck, I had even forgotten the poor kid's first name. Motivated by Clark's flame war, I recently dug out the file and started updating. Roy Huntington, the editor at American Handgunner, has asked me to do an article on it.

When I had lost track of the case, I was aware that he had been tried twice, both times resulting in hung juries. I have learned in the last two days that his long ordeal lasted through FOUR trials. He left the last convicted of Manslaughter.

For those who seem to feel that none of this matters since no one was convicted, we now have a case where someone was: Daniel Bias, Jr. He apparently served three years in prison and has been free for two years now.

The first trial alone went into six figures of legal fees, bankrupting him. It would have done the same had he been acquitted. The attorney who defended him the first time is still convinced of his innocence, and also convinced that if Danny's home defense revolver had been loaded with factory ammo, which could have been replicated for critical GSR testing without argument, he would probably have been spared all or at least much of his and his family's ordeal. The GSR element was a cornerstone of the prosecution's case against him.

Best to all for the coming holidays,
Mas

AnthonyRSS
December 23, 2005, 09:00 PM
Merry Christmas, Mas.

I think its the pits that using handloads would matter one way or the other.

massad ayoob
December 23, 2005, 10:12 PM
I think it's the pits, too. Unfortunately, we have to address things as they are, not how we'd like them to be. Have a good holiday and stay safe.

To the new member who just sent me a PM: I tried to respond, but the computer says your user name is invalid. Please try again.

Stay safe,
mas

Clark
December 24, 2005, 01:04 AM
I would like to thank Double Naught Spy, Johnny Guest, THR, and everyone else, including Mas Ayoob, that helped get to the bottom of this issue.

I don't believe I have ever seen such a thorough airing of the topic anywhere.

jerkface11
December 24, 2005, 08:42 AM
I've never had a handload lock up my gun. I have had factory ammo do it. If it comes down to being in court for using a handload or beind dead for using factory ammo i'll pick court.

Cosmoline
December 24, 2005, 09:28 AM
[LAWYER HAT ON] Here's the lowdown.

In a pure self-defense shooting case, the type of ammunition used is irrelevant. Any effort by a plaintiff attorney or DA to attack the shooter by claiming the ammunition was made "extra deadly" would be subject to exclusion on the grounds of relevance, confusion, and unfair prejudice for a start. If the individual is dead, then lethal force was used.

The issue would only become relevant if the SHOOTER HIMSELF argued that he really didn't intend to kill the victim. In that case he could be cross examined regarding evidence that he actually handloaded the ammunition with very lethal HP or SP projectiles, as opposed to less-than-lethal rubber or rock salt.

You can see the difference without a law degree, I think. In the first case of pure self defense, NOBODY IS CONTESTING whether lethal force has been used. The argument is that the shooter was justified in using lethal force, and the issue will be whether or not lethal force was justified in the circumstances. The argument will NOT be over whether the projectiles were lethal. If the fellow is dead, obviously they were. From the point of view of the justification of self defense, lethal force is lethal force is lethal force. A .22 that kills a man is no different in the eyes of the law than a .50 BMG that kills a man.

I have also heard arguments that handloads should not be used because it is too difficult to recreate the facts and circumstances of the shooting using forensic ballistic evidence. However, there are two problems with this concern. First of all, whether in civil or criminal court it is the burden of the other side to build a case against you. If your handloads are too variable to generate reliable data regarding such matters as how far away the victim was, what direction he had turned when shoot, etc., then THEY CANNOT BUILD A CASE IN THE FIRST PLACE. However, if you keep good records of you handloads I can see no reason why basic forensic evidence could not be obtained and reproduced with them. They are no different from factory loads.

In addition, if a DA or plaintiff attorney is allowed to attack you for loading "extra deadly" ammunition, they would ALSO BE ALLOWED TO ATTACK YOUR CHOICE OF FACTORY AMMUNITION! So they could grill you for choosing to BUY "extra deadly" ammuntion, and having bought factory ammo would provide you with absolutely no protection. You will look in vain in the legal codes, caselaw or rules of evidence for ANY distinction between handloads and factory ammo. The only official distinction between the types actually comes from the internal rules of police agencies, which for PR and other reasons known only to themselves forbidden officers from using magnum rounds or handloads. But these rules do not apply outside the departments, and are pretty screwy to begin with as we all know.

LETHAL FORCE IS LETHAL FORCE. There is no such thing as "extra deadly" lethal force. The concept makes no sense at all. And of course under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you EVER shoot someone and expect anything less than their death. If you use lethal force, whether a .45 or a spear, you will be under the same rules regarding whether such force was justified.

As has been pointed out many times in these threads over the years here and on TFL, there are no reported opinions even considering an effort to smear a civil or criminal defendant by citing his handloads. It simply never comes up. Which is a pretty good indication that this is a gun magazine myth, not a real legal concern. If you are faced with the need to defend yourself with lethal force, whether you use handloads or factory ammunition should be the LEAST of your concerns.

I am eager to see the long-awaited details from Mas on this issue.

Cosmoline
December 24, 2005, 09:41 AM
I always use IA v. Willems when discussing this matter, because his was a classic case of how easy it is to get the forensic GSR evidence across to the jury, IF you use factory ammo. Police department records showed the lot number of the 9mm 115 grain +P+ he had been issued; exemplar testing showed the attacker to have been some 18" off the muzzle of the Beretta 92 when he was shot; and this disproved the alleged "victim's" testimony that he had been far out of reach of the officer and no danger to him when he was injured. We won acquittal for Randy at the criminal trial, and we won a total defense verdict for him and his department in the civil lawsuit trial which followed.

There is no reason I can see why the same expert who uses exemplars from a factory batch cannot also use exemplar handloads with the same equipment and measurements the defendant used, if GSR is an issue. The burn rates and properties of storebought powder are also well established, and the rest of the rounds in the firearm or in the case can be pulled apart and analyzed to verify the shooter's account in the unlikely event it becomes an issue.

It's gunshot residue. Trouble with a factory dupe handload is same as any other handload: they're unlikely to take your word as to what was in the round, but they can't play that card if you used factory ammo.

If they don't believe you about that, then you have bigger problems since that same jury is going to decide whether your self defense justification is legit. You could also be lying to them about using a factory slug. Maybe you pulled the bullet, changed the charge, and pushed the bullet back in. If you keep good records of your handloads, these would certainly be admissible in court. Or are you claiming that the DA would then argue that you were somehow clever enough to run home after the shooting, cacluate the precise powder charge and type needed to create favorable GSA analysis in your favor, and then FORGE THE DATA in your handloading journal. Oh and quickly handload twenty or so UNFIRED rounds using this data, and replace the rest of the bullets in your piece with these legally favorable handloads? All before the cops arrive? Give me a break.

It was defeated, thanks to an able defense lawyer and excellent expert testimony by Jim Cirillo. However, it was also a battle that wouldn't have had to be fought if factory ammo had been used...

How so? If the attorney can argue handloads are extra deadly lethal force, then he'd be able to argue you INTENTIONALLY PURCHASED extra deadly lethal bullets. He could, for example, have loads of fun mocking your decision to buy so-called "safety slugs" that actually blew up in the victim.

Mas, I appreciate your comments but it really seems to me that you are viewing this as a lay person, not as an attorney. HOWEVER, I think you make an excellent point regarding the ACTUAL NEED for handloading ammunition, esp. for handguns. A few decades ago the choices and options for HP and SP handgun ammo were dismal. Now there is a huge selection for all major cartridges and even for more obscure rounds. It's really not worth the shooter's time to labor over a custom self defense load when one can be purchased so much more easily off the shelf that will proabably work better anyway.

The only firearms I load self defense rounds for are my rifles, simply because no factory makes self defense ammunition for Mosin-Nagants. I am confident my rounds can pass muster in the unlikely event I actually have to use them in self defense. The data is not only in my load books, it's on line and in the many other rounds from the same batches. If my expert can't figure out the burn rate of 45 grains of 3031--one of the oldest smokeless powders on the planet--out of a known cartridge with a known bullet and a known rifle, then I need a new expert!

The Bushmaster
December 24, 2005, 11:24 AM
What happened here...I hate it when I do this....:cuss: :banghead:

The Bushmaster
December 24, 2005, 11:28 AM
Thanks Cosmoline...I am almost ready to vote on this subject...:) I haven't voted yet because of decisions, decisions........:D

My two .38 Specials used for house defence are loaded with handloads of maximum +P 140 grain HP...I believe I'll keep-em that way. I, too, have had problems with factory ammunition going bang and one that went BOOM...

RecoilRob
December 24, 2005, 01:24 PM
Thanks to everyone for the input. And, I must admit to having been ignorant of the GSR issue in court.

But, after mulling it over, is it only that GSR would not be admissable AT ALL that handloads are frowned upon? Or, are they trying to say that if a real 'flame thrower' load was used it would create the same GSR patterns as a milder load at reduced distance? So, in effect, you could shoot someone much farther away and yet claim he/she was closer and posing additional threat? But, if that is the case, aren't we talking about a few feet of difference? If the BG is armed with a firearm, that should have NO influence on the situation. A knife would maybe be another story.....

Seems to me that all this discussion really points out the need for Quality Legal Council if you are subjected to trial as the methods of prosecution are all debunkable if properly defended.....and....you are actually innocent.

But, the point of using Factory loads removing one of the potential arguments of the prosecution is well taken and appreciated.

Not trying to be stubborn here, but my handloads are staying in the pistol as they have proven to be reliable in it and, in the infinitessimal chance I ever need to use them against someone, I'll just have to deal with the possible additional legal complications.

The Bushmaster
December 24, 2005, 01:33 PM
RecoilRob...Just my (notsohumble) opinion. If a person is headed in my direction with a knife and I have determined that he intends to use said knife on me. I REALLY don't care how far away he is...I'll shoot to kill. I'd rather have him down at 25 yards then 1 or 2 feet away...Knives hurt!!:fire: By the way. Your thoughts look good to me.

Merry Christmas to you and yours....:)

Cosmoline
December 24, 2005, 03:21 PM
It's also worth remembering that where you live is a vastly more important issue in self defense shootings than what you shoot. Some parts of the US are essentially foreign territory. You can expected to get arrested and put on trial if you have to shoot someone in NYC or Chicago, for example. You can also expect the police and court system to be deeply corrupt and unfair to you. The answer is to simply avoid those places because nothing you do or don't do will make any difference in your case. In their view, no "civilian" has any right to defend himself.

massad ayoob
December 24, 2005, 04:10 PM
There is no reason I can see why the same expert who uses exemplars from a factory batch cannot also use exemplar handloads with the same equipment and measurements the defendant used, if GSR is an issue. The burn rates and properties of storebought powder are also well established, and the rest of the rounds in the firearm or in the case can be pulled apart and analyzed to verify the shooter's account in the unlikely event it becomes an issue.



If they don't believe you about that, then you have bigger problems since that same jury is going to decide whether your self defense justification is legit. You could also be lying to them about using a factory slug. Maybe you pulled the bullet, changed the charge, and pushed the bullet back in. If you keep good records of your handloads, these would certainly be admissible in court. Or are you claiming that the DA would then argue that you were somehow clever enough to run home after the shooting, cacluate the precise powder charge and type needed to create favorable GSA analysis in your favor, and then FORGE THE DATA in your handloading journal. Oh and quickly handload twenty or so UNFIRED rounds using this data, and replace the rest of the bullets in your piece with these legally favorable handloads? All before the cops arrive? Give me a break.



How so? If the attorney can argue handloads are extra deadly lethal force, then he'd be able to argue you INTENTIONALLY PURCHASED extra deadly lethal bullets. He could, for example, have loads of fun mocking your decision to buy so-called "safety slugs" that actually blew up in the victim.

Mas, I appreciate your comments but it really seems to me that you are viewing this as a lay person, not as an attorney. HOWEVER, I think you make an excellent point regarding the ACTUAL NEED for handloading ammunition, esp. for handguns. A few decades ago the choices and options for HP and SP handgun ammo were dismal. Now there is a huge selection for all major cartridges and even for more obscure rounds. It's really not worth the shooter's time to labor over a custom self defense load when one can be purchased so much more easily off the shelf that will proabably work better anyway.

The only firearms I load self defense rounds for are my rifles, simply because no factory makes self defense ammunition for Mosin-Nagants. I am confident my rounds can pass muster in the unlikely event I actually have to use them in self defense. The data is not only in my load books, it's on line and in the many other rounds from the same batches. If my expert can't figure out the burn rate of 45 grains of 3031--one of the oldest smokeless powders on the planet--out of a known cartridge with a known bullet and a known rifle, then I need a new expert!

Thanks for your many good points, Cosmoline. However, I'd like to respectfully debate a few of them.

First, I don't take the viewpoint of layman OR attorney. My viewpoint comes from experience as the witness brought in to explain things like why certain ammunition does not constitute malicious intent.

The overwhelming majority of attorneys advise us not to speak in great detail to investigators in the immediate aftermath of shooting a criminal suspect. I would give the same advice. Discussion of the handload would probably come from client to defense lawyer and thence to prosecutor and investigators. There is a good chance that it would be some time after the fact before this information was submitted. By contrast, the medical examiner's office, crime lab, and investigators may well have determined GSR in a matter of hours.

By that time, there will indeed be time enough for a defendant to either put loads together after the fact to submit, or to steer officers to a box he already knew would produce more or less GSR to suit his purposes. The fact that it was a clean shoot, as you and I both know, will be irrelevant if it's a political prosecution or a money-hungry lawsuit.

If there's a chance of this happening and muddying the waters, obscuring a truth that favors the shooter, why should we take the risk at all?

Counselor, is it safe to say that the fewer battles your client needs you to fight for him, the less chance there is of him losing one?

As you pointed out, there is no actual NEED for a handload over a factory load in a modern defense gun in a common caliber. Why trade something for nothing, in this case, taking on the risk of opposing counsel casting doubt upon the evidence without getting any tactical advantage (street OR court) in return?

Thanks for your contribution, sir.

Cosmoline
December 24, 2005, 04:28 PM
Thanks for the feedback Mas.

If they are really coming after you, you can expect the police in most jurisdictions (even here) to search your home and take all firearms and ammunition as evidence. So they'll have your handloads. In addition, they will have any additional magazines or speedloaders from that batch which you had on you at the time of the shooting.

I can see some rare cases where the issue comes up and in hindsight factory loads would have made things easier. But there are dozens of other issues far more significant. For example, were you facing imminent death or great bodily harm? Did your bullets hit the front and go out the back, or hit the back and go out the front? Did you draw first and fire first? Was their a deadly weapon on the person you shot?

It seems like this issue started with some concerns Mas raised, and then took on a life of its own online. It got to a point a few years ago where avoidance of handloads seemed to be looming as a major factor in the self defense analysis.

What I would say is you're probably better off buying high-quality factory loads for your self defense handgun because of the risk that you may squish a primer or load a squib. Maybe it's only one in one thousand, but that's still too high. I'd also agree that if you *DO* need to use handloads, make your choices with care, record them carefully, weigh your powder for each round and be prepared to defend your choices. Don't just throw something together and forget what it was or why you decided to create it. That's a bad idea all around.

For example, I came up with my self defense Mosin handloads because the existing SP rounds for that cartridge are moose or bear rounds that may not expand reliably against a man at close range and pose an undue overpenetration risk. I have selected 123 grain SP AK bullets backed by 45 grains of IMR 3031 because that load is exceptionally accurate and is cooking along so fast it stands a much better chance of expanding reliably and losing its energy in the intended target than the big bear rounds. I would not have a problem defending that in an Alaska court in the unlikely event it came up.

massad ayoob
December 24, 2005, 06:46 PM
[QUOTE=Cosmoline

I can see some rare cases where the issue comes up and in hindsight factory loads would have made things easier. But there are dozens of other issues far more significant. For example, were you facing imminent death or great bodily harm? Did your bullets hit the front and go out the back, or hit the back and go out the front? Did you draw first and fire first? Was their a deadly weapon on the person you shot?

It seems like this issue started with some concerns Mas raised, and then took on a life of its own online. It got to a point a few years ago where avoidance of handloads seemed to be looming as a major factor in the self defense analysis.

What I would say is you're probably better off buying high-quality factory loads for your self defense handgun because of the risk that you may squish a primer or load a squib. Maybe it's only one in one thousand, but that's still too high. I'd also agree that if you *DO* need to use handloads, make your choices with care, record them carefully, weigh your powder for each round and be prepared to defend your choices. Don't just throw something together and forget what it was or why you decided to create it. That's a bad idea all around.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Many thanks, Cosmoline.

I agree with you that it's not the major concern. I tell my students that equipment selection is about fourth down on the list of priorities of survival -- below awareness and preparedness, tactics, and skill at arms -- but definitely on the list, and one of the few things we can get squared away BEFORE the fight, so it makes sense to address the matter.

I agree with you that ammunition selection is well down in importance below the core justifiability elements, the fine points of retreat requirements in the given jurisdiction, and a host of other factors that impact the aftermath of the decision to use deadly force. The point I tried to make was that it IS a factor that can and HAS come up, and it IS a factor we can control before the fight (in this case, the one in court as opposed to the one in the street) and that we're foolish if we don't address it now, beforehand, while we have time.

I also agree with you that it took on a life of its own. I suspect it had as much to do with personalities as issues, but that may just be human nature.

Thanks again for your input, some of the most cogent of this long debate. A safe and happy holiday season to you, and to all reading this.

-- Mas

grendelbane
December 24, 2005, 07:46 PM
First, Merry Christmas to everyone. Second, while every one has commented on their feelings about carrying hand loaded ammunition, no one has commented on home assembled or modified handguns.

I like to tinker, and as we all know, Gov't model clones are tinker traps.

SIGs, in my experience, are the best stock out of the box pistols ever.

Last night, I was carrying a SIG P245, loaded with Federal HS.

I would feel as confident with my home assembled Doublestar .45. Possibly, just a little bit more confident. (I can actually hit a little better with it, but of course it is noticeably larger and heavier, so this is not surprizing.)

Have there been any cases involving modified or home assembled handguns, or for that matter, long guns? I bet that Mech-Tech owners would really like to know, among others.:)

grendelbane
December 24, 2005, 08:50 PM
I forgot to add this one little bit. Many people, gurus and otherwise, suggest carrying what the local police issue.

Some times this cartridge is going to be LEO only. Now, I realize that this is a marketing and tax distinction.

However, will jurors look at it this way? It seems like it would be very easy for a zealous prosecutor to say "This man chose ammunition which the manufacturer had prohibited to sale for any but LEO!.

Then again, what is my local police? I live in a small town of a 1000 population. Not sure what the chief of police carries, but when I go to work I am in another town. Not sure what they carry either. Then there are the State Police, and the sheriff's deputies. Not sure what they carry either. Which one do I choose?

I have always been leary of lawyers making statements about a person's intentions anyway. I have seen this occur in several cases, and it always seemed to be wrong to me. I guess that is why we have a jury system.

tellner
December 26, 2005, 07:24 PM
In another forum I considered my wife's Colt Diamondback. It's a beautiful gun, and she achieved Zen with it the first time she picked it up - *pop*pop*pop*pop*pop*pop* through the ten ring. But it's an older gun, and the gunsmiths here have warned us against a lot of current ammunition and certainly all .38 +P. The better bullets all seem to come attached to the front end of fairly powerful charges. The lighter charges are pushing bullets that I'd rather replace with something a bit more effective.

We're considering handloads with modern bullets and slightly reduced powder for the benefit of her gun's function and shooter safety. There may or may not be a certain legal risk for us here, but it's a judgement call as to whether it outweighs the risk of a damaged gun and, G-d forbid, a damaged wife. It also made me think of how it might be presented in court. She used cartridges that were specially made to be "less deadly" than factory loads. I can't see how it would hurt.

Others have complained about finding good ammunition for older pistols and revolvers. There doesn't seem to be enough of a market for the big manufacturers to make ammunition to fill that gap. Some will be forced to use handloads or make do with less effective ammunition. Tradeoffs again.

I've even come up with a catchy name for the downloaded cartridges - The "Wandering Inept Metal Projectile"

"I use Black Talons."
"I use Golden Sabers."
"I use Hydra-Shocks."

"I use W.I.M.P.s"

grendelbane
December 26, 2005, 08:00 PM
I have to agree with this statement. And they don't necessarily have to be all that old either. Try finding a good factory SD load for the S&W Model 58. This is probably one of the best social revolvers ever made, but there is little to no decent factory ammunition available for it. Yes, I know about Silvertips, and if they were a little heavier, going a little slower, and engineered to expand well at sub-sonic velocity they would be my first choice.

You have already mentioned the .38 Spl, and I will mention the .44 Spl. Here we have a cartridge with excellent potential, handicapped by factory loads that date back to the time when Elmer Keith was wearing diapers.

I really don't like the selection of factory .45 Colt loads. Grand old cartridge, but not very many good factory loads to choose from for serious purposes.

Georgia Arms does load an 147 grain .38 Super, but it is loaded a little hotter than what I would want for social purposes. I think it could be dropped back to about 1070 FPS and still be quite effective.

So handloads are not always about loading hotter. Many times it is about loading lighter, especially with the magnum revolver cartridges.

A 9x223mm Winchester with 147 grain bullet going about 1300 FPS would be nice also. That would compare favorably with the 145 grain Winchester Silvertip .357 magnum.

The Bushmaster
December 26, 2005, 08:04 PM
Standard .38 Special factory loads such as Remington, Winchester or federal that are not +P loads should be O K for that Colt Diamondback...Unless it has been very badly abused in an earlier life...For that matter, standard handloads would probably do just fine...

Cosmoline
December 26, 2005, 08:25 PM
But it's an older gun, and the gunsmiths here have warned us against a lot of current ammunition and certainly all .38 +P. The better bullets all seem to come attached to the front end of fairly powerful charges. The lighter charges are pushing bullets that I'd rather replace with something a bit more effective.

Unless your Diamondback is a rust bucket or defective, there is no reason it can't digest +P .38 Special. It's an extremely tough all-steel revolver that's a notch stronger than the S&W steel J-Frames. I don't know what your gunsmiths have been smoking. Sometimes those guys get some notion in their head that only a brand new revolver with a titanium backstrap can cope with "+P" ammunition.

She used cartridges that were specially made to be "less deadly" than factory loads. I can't see how it would hurt.

There is no such thing as a "less deadly" lead bullet in the eyes of the law. The bullet either works or it doesn't. If it doesn't kill reliably, then you have no business using it as lethal force in the first place. And if it does kill you'd better have sufficient grounds to fire before doing so.

So you don't need to download the special, and for self defense you really shouldn't anyway.

tellner
December 26, 2005, 09:29 PM
Cosmo,

It's certainly not a rustbucket; it's a very nice gun. Since we're not gunsmiths we're going on the advice of the local ones. If it really is up to digesting modern cartridges, that's great. I'd rather use them.

The "less deadly" was in counterpoint to the whole "you used extra-deadly hot handloads" argument. That's why it was in quotes. Deadly force is deadly force is deadly force, but it would be interesting to see how the whole thing would play if the ammunition were, for some other good reason, less powerful than the factory brand.

GrantCunningham
December 27, 2005, 01:05 AM
Cosmo,

It's certainly not a rustbucket; it's a very nice gun. Since we're not gunsmiths we're going on the advice of the local ones. If it really is up to digesting modern cartridges, that's great. I'd rather use them.

Todd, please PM me with the names of the people you talked to; none of the locals that I know are even remotely qualified to pass judgement on a D-frame Colt, and I'd sure like to know which ones think they are!

Back to the point: a Diamondback won't sustain any damage shooting +p loads. While wear will be accelerated (particularly the hand and ratchet), that is true of any gun. Frame stretching is a remote possibility with the Diamondback, as the top strap is significantly stronger than even the regular D-frame, which is a pretty stout gun to begin with.

I wouldn't prescribe a steady diet of hot loads in great quantity, simply because of the increased maintenance costs (Colt 'smiths don't come cheap ;) ) However, even several hundred rounds a year in a Diamondback - assuming it's in good shape to start - won't be a problem.

If she wants to shoot thousands of rounds a year, just use more standard pressure loads. While this seems to go against the recommendation to "shoot what you carry", in this case it's no problem. The frontal weight of the Diamondback is considerable, and you'll find the difference in recoil between standard pressure and +p rounds isn't all that dramatic - certainly a box of +p every month or so would easily keep her "in practice."

zeke
December 27, 2005, 10:00 AM
Am glad the moderators let this thread continue, as it has been very educational. Used to depend on handloads almost exclusively, and still do for several specific calibers and firearms. Not too many years ago, decent (highly subjective opinion) readily available self defense loads for the 44 special, 44 mag (down loaded) and 45 LC (down loaded 45 acp bullets) were rare. Expanding loads with decent velocity from 3 inch 45 acp are still rare, and very expensive. The development of non-plugging hollow points is already here (Powerball)

The last several years has seen custom (another subjective definition referring to manufacturers other than Win, Fed and Rem commonly available factory loadings) attempt to , and in several cases have, produce more specialized loadings. Thinking of powerball, Barnes x-bullets, short barrel Gold Dots and downloaded 44 mag and 45 LC.

With few exceptions, am still more confident about the quality and consistency of own custom loaded rounds, where absolute control of components can be made, without regard to mass manufacturing savings. Have been lots of recalled rounds over the years? If matching velocity with same bullet, same results are predictable to various tests that have been conducted.

In the last couple years, have replaced or am considering replacing some versions of custom loaded rounds with now availble factory options. Still ain't seen a midrange 180 grain jhp 44 mag (Rem sjhp or Hdy 180 xtp), 1250 fps from 4 in, extremely accurate, low flash and recoil) from manufacturer yet. Believe Mid range 200 GD's are available, however.

That being said, have experienced lawyers trying anything to twist facts/or discredit a person. Ya gotta be ready to educate em. Thinking ahead for this, can be nothing but beneficial.

Despite my own beliefs and actions, ain't prepared to recommend people use handloads for self dense.

Grump
December 27, 2005, 03:03 PM
Suffering from threatchoke-itis, I *think* it was Mr. Ayoob who wrote:And, while you're doing your statistical prestidigitation, why don't you explain how these folks can, without duplicating a factory load and creating a mere cheap imitation, come up with a handload has a proven track record on the street, given the fact that the overwhelming majority of shootings DO involve factory loads instead of reloads?

And then our attorney-friend out of Alaska pointed out some things about the remoteness of any opportunity for evidence-tampering and such with the pile of handloads left back at the house...

And I merely wish to point out that if factory load "X" launches a Hornady 124-gr XTP out of *my* 9mm wondergun at "xyza" fps velocity, and my handloads with that *same* Hornady bullet launch it at the same "xyza" velocity, plus-minus 20 fps...

Whatinnaheck difference izzit gonna make??

Honestly, the "track record" argument would mean nothing. After all, we're *NOT* dealing with lead rifle bullets that measureably compress in the nose when fired with differing type of powder at different power levels. There is *not* going to be any difference in the bullet as launched from the factory load as compared to my handload, other than powder and primer residue deposited on the base of the jacket...Irrelevant!

If you want to avoid all possible problems, no matter how laughable or easily defeated, at all costs, then by all means eschew handloads for self-defense. Me, I will use whatever happens to be handy and within reach at the time and will not worry about the ammo. If the potential problem can be so easily de-fused or diffused or whatever your preferred verb, then it is still a trivial problem...even for a civil lawsuit with its different legal issues and broader motives for legally-privileged and non-actionable libel in the courtroom.

Mr. Ayoob: Do you ever offer your seminars in Arizona? If so, watch out. I've read some interesting things about their efforts to crack down on non-lawyers dispensing legal advice without a law license. You may have been quite lucky to be running below the radar of those who care about enforcing their laws and court rules.

Those who think Ayoob is ahead on points should tally up all the things posted in objection to his positions, and see how many he has *not* answered.

Clark, unfortunately, has done worse and lost credibilty. But others have stepped in and ably challenged much of what has been posted by the Ayoob camp.

Mr. Ayoob: I belive that Clark is using is perjorative derivation of your last name for the "O" in his references to "MO". It's a cheap shot, but "MO" is you, my friend.

Clark: YOU also lose a lot of credibility for failing to answer some fairly simple and direct questions.

tellner
December 27, 2005, 03:23 PM
I really don't like the selection of factory .45 Colt loads. Grand old cartridge, but not very many good factory loads to choose from for serious purposes.

The best I've seen are the Silvertips. Do they have the same troubles in .45 Colt that they do in the other caliber you mentioned? It's a shame because, once again, we have a revolver in that caliber that's just the nicest straightest shooting gun you could want. It wouldn't be my first choice for carry, but it does a fantastic job of putting holes in the part of the paper you want it to (Navy Arms replica of the Schofield in .45LC).

Carl N. Brown
December 27, 2005, 04:14 PM
Would there be a downside in a home defense situation to using
standard factory Target or Hunting ammunition simply because
that is what you use mormally?

And at the risk of being :fire:ed I would like to offer the opinion
that I would not use what the local LEO use because if law
enforcement responds to a shooting in progress I would not
want credit for any possible "friendly fire" casualties.

grendelbane
December 27, 2005, 07:13 PM
The best I've seen are the Silvertips. Do they have the same troubles in .45 Colt that they do in the other caliber you mentioned?

I found .45 Colt Silvertips to be quite accurate, but just moving too slow to open up in any informal test medium I tried. (My favorite is OJ cartons filled with water.)

The short barrel on my Taurus deserves much of the blame, but I have heard complaints from others who were using S&W's with longer barrels.

The Cor-Bon load expanded, but it is only a 200 grain bullet. I sold the Taurus, and now have a 696.

Clark
December 27, 2005, 10:58 PM
Grump,

..references to "MO". It's a cheap shot..

"MO" is a typo that I stopped making after it was notices and pointed out.

Clark: YOU also lose a lot of credibility for failing to answer some fairly simple and direct questions.

Count how many times MA called me a liar.
Count how many times MA accused me of calling HIM a liar.
Count how many times I in fact called him a liar.



Count how many court cases MA provides to support the notion that handloads bear a legal risk.

Count how many of those the court cases the lawyers who responded will accept as supporting the notion.


My crediblilty as a what?
I am just another guy that can question a book by dividing the number of real court cases by number of handloading concealed carry guys.
Then I compare that to the danger of lightning strike we all face.

If you find my calculator without credibilty, I'm sure they have calculatators in Alaska:)

kengrubb
December 28, 2005, 03:47 AM
Would there be a downside in a home defense situation to using standard factory Target or Hunting ammunition simply because that is what you use normally?

If by Target you mean FMJ or SWC, or by Hunting you mean JSP, then I would say yes those could be bad choices. FMJs and JSPs tend to penetrate deeper than desired. SWCHPs would probably be a very good and inexpensive choice.

And at the risk of being made into a red flaming face icon I would like to offer the opinion that I would not use what the local LEO use because if law enforcement responds to a shooting in progress I would not want credit for any possible "friendly fire" casualties.

I suppose it's possible, but it seems improbable. Police response to a shooting in progress tends to come with a lot of audio and video--well sirens and flashing lights in any event.

If I get into a shooting with someone trying to kill me at the food court of a local mall, I would think the matter to be resolved by the time LE arrives--unless both me and my intended killer or killers have overlooked a uniformed officer enjoying a taco three booths over. Therein lies my much larger concern--that I would become a bullet trap for responding officers. If the fight goes into overtime with my unfocused killers exposed in the open, and I'm counting my way through all my 40^2 friends behind the comfort of cover, then there's probably more than one disgruntled forum poster trying to kill me. When I hear the approaching Hut-Hut-Hut of a responding SWAT team, it's time to take stock of the situation and figure out how I might start looking less conspicuous and less interesting so that my would be killers find the SWAT officers more conspicuous and more interesting. If it works, then I exhale all available air to become thinner and more covered. After the kindly SWAT officers perforate my unsuccessful killers, the least of my worries will be that my ammo is the same as that used by the SWAT officers to unintentionally perforate a bystander.

callgood
December 28, 2005, 01:27 PM
Assume a "good shoot", i.e. I am in my home and I defend myself against an armed intruder.

I load 180 grain Gold Dots into Starline brass for my 10mm. So does Doubletap Ammo. I do not push mine nearly as hard as they do. I'm about 80% of max velocity per my Speer manual. How does that open me up to additional liability?

I think it's like I use the tomahawk I keep on my hearth to split kindling rather than the ax in the garage to do the BG in, but that's just my take.

Locale may have something to do with it. I doubt the DA here would waste his time. Of course, I go to church with him.:evil:

massad ayoob
December 28, 2005, 07:25 PM
As promised, here are the sources for records for any who feel a need to confirm the cases I have referenced previously where handloaded ammunition caused problems for people in the aftermath of shootings.

As I have noted in this thread earlier, and as the attorneys who have responded to this matter have confirmed, local trials and results are not usually available on-line. However, in each case, I have included the location where the physical records of the trials are archived.

NH v. Kennedy

James Kennedy, a sergeant on the Hampton, NH police force, pursued a drunk driver whose reckless operation of the vehicle had forced other motorists off the road. The suspect ended up in a ditch, stalled and trying to get underway again. Advised by radio that responding backup officers were still a distance away, and fearing that the man would get back on the road and kill himself and others, Kennedy approached the vehicle. At the driver’s door, the suspect grabbed Kennedy’s Colt .45 auto and pulled it towards himself. It discharged in his face, causing massive injury.

The reload in the gun was a 200 grain Speer JHP, loaded to duplicate the 1000 fps from a 5” barrel then advertised by Speer for the same bullet in loaded cartridge configuration.

This was the first case where I saw the argument, “Why wasn’t regular ammunition deadly enough for you,” used by opposing counsel. They charged Kennedy with aggravated assault. They made a large issue out of his use of handloads, suggesting that they were indicative of a reckless man obsessed with causing maximum damage.

Defense counsel hired the expert I suggested, Jim Cirillo, who did a splendid job of demolishing that argument and other bogus arguments against Kennedy at trial, and Kennedy was acquitted.

This case dates back to the late 1970s. The local courts tell me that the case documentation will be on file at Rockingham County Superior Court, PO Box 1258, Kingston, NH 03843. File search time is billed at $25 per hour for cases such as this that date back prior to 1988.

NJ V. Bias

This is the classic case of gunshot residue (GSR) evidence being complicated by the use of handloaded ammunition, resulting in a case being misinterpreted in a tragic and unjust way. On the night of 2/26/89, Danny Bias entered the master bedroom of his home to find his wife Lise holding the family home defense revolver, a 6” S&W 686, to her head. He told police that knowing that she had a history of suicidal ideation, he attempted to grab the gun, which discharged, killing her. The gun was loaded with four handloaded lead SWC cartridges headstamped Federal .38 Special +P.

Autopsy showed no GSR. The medical examiner determined that Lise Bias had a reach of 30”, and the NJSP Crime Lab in Trenton determined that the gun in question would deposit GSR to a distance of 50” or more with either factory Federal 158 grain SWC +P .38 Special, or handloads taken from his home under warrant for testing after Danny told them about the reloads. However, the reloads that were taken and tested had Remington-Peters headstamps on the casings and were obviously not from the same batch.

Danny had loaded 50 rounds into the Federal cases of 2.3, 2.6, and 2.9 grains of Bullseye, with Winchester primers, under an unusually light 115 grain SWC that he had cast himself, seeking a very light load that his recoil sensitive wife could handle. The gun had been loaded at random from that box of 50 and there was no way of knowing which of the three recipes was in the chamber from which the fatal bullet was launched.

We duplicated that load, and determined that with all of them and particularly the 2.3 grain load, GSR distribution was so light that it could not be reliably gathered or recovered, from distances as short as 24”. Unfortunately, the remaining rounds in the gun could not be disassembled for testing as they were the property of the court, and there is no forensic artifact that can determine the exact powder charge that was fired from a given spent cartridge.

According to an attorney who represented him later, police originally believed the death to be a suicide. However, the forensic evidence testing indicated that was not possible, and it was listed as suspicious death. Based largely on the GSR evidence, as they perceived it, the Warren County prosecutor’s office presented the case to the grand jury, which indicted Danny Bias for Murder in the First Degree in the death of his wife.

Attorney John Lanza represented Danny very effectively at his first trial, which ended in a hung jury. Legal fees exceeded $100,000, bankrupting Danny; Attorney Lanza, who believed then and now in his client’s innocence, swallowed some $90,000 worth of legal work for which he was never paid.

For his second trial, Bias was assigned attorney Elisabeth Smith by the Public Defender’s office. Challenging the quality of evidence collection, she was able to weaken the prosecution’s allegation that the GSR factor equaled murder, but because the GSR issue was so muddled by the handloaded ammo factor, she could not present concrete evidence that the circumstances were consistent with suicide, and the second trial ended with a hung jury in 1992. At this point, the prosecution having twice failed to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt, the judge threw out the murder charge.

It was after this that I personally lost track of the case. However, I’ve learned this past week that the case of NJ v. Daniel Bias was tried a third time in the mid-1990s, resulting in his being acquitted of Aggravated Manslaughter but convicted of Reckless Manslaughter. The appellate division of the Public Defender’s office handled his post-conviction relief and won him a fourth trial. The fourth trial, more than a decade after the shooting, ended with Danny Bias again convicted of Reckless Manslaughter. By now, the state had changed its theory and was suggesting that Danny had pointed the gun at her head to frighten her, thinking one of the two empty chambers would come up under the firing pin, but instead discharging the gun. Danny Bias was sentenced to six years in the penitentiary, and served three before being paroled. He remains a convicted felon who cannot own a firearm.

It is interesting to hear the advice of the attorneys who actually tried this case. John Lanza wrote, “When a hand load is used in an incident which becomes the subject of a civil or criminal trial, the duplication of that hand load poses a significant problem for both the plaintiff or the prosecutor and the defendant. Once used, there is no way, with certainty, to determine the amount of powder or propellant used for that load. This becomes significant when forensic testing is used in an effort to duplicate the shot and the resulting evidence on the victim or target.”

He adds, “With the commercial load, one would be in a better position to argue the uniformity between the loads used for testing and the subject load. With a hand load, you have no such uniformity. Also, the prosecution may utilize either standard loads or a different hand load in its testing. The result would be distorted and could be prejudicial to the defendant. Whether or not the judge would allow such a scientific test to be used at trial, is another issue, which, if allowed, would be devastating for the defense. From a strictly forensic standpoint, I would not recommend the use of hand loads because of the inherent lack of uniformity and the risk of unreliable test results. Once the jury hears the proof of an otherwise unreliable test, it can be very difficult to ‘unring the bell.’”

Ms. Smith had this to say, after defending Danny Bias through his last three trials. I asked her, “Is it safe to say that factory ammunition, with consistently replicable gunshot residue characteristics, (would) have proven that the gun was within reach of Lise’s head in her own hand, and kept the case from escalating as it did?”

She replied, “You’re certainly right about that. Gunshot residue was absolutely the focus of the first trial. The prosecution kept going back to the statement, “It couldn’t have happened the way he said it did’.”

The records on the Bias trials should be available through:
The Superior Court of New Jersey
Warren County
313 Second Street
PO Box 900
Belvedere, NJ 07823

Those who wish to follow the appellate track of this case will find it in the Atlantic Reporter.

142 N.J. 572, 667 A.2d 190 (Table)

Supreme Court of New Jersey
State
v.
Daniel N. Bias
NOS. C-188 SEPT.TERM 1995, 40,813
Oct 03, 1995
Disposition: Cross-pet. Denied.
N.J. 1995.
State v. Bias
142 N>J> 572, 667 A.2d 190 (Table)


TN v. Barnes

The decedent attacked Robert Barnes and his young daughter with a large knife and was shot to death by the defendant with SJHP .38 Special reloads from a Smith & Wesson Model 36. The distance between the two at the time of the shooting became a key element in the trial, and a misunderstanding of that distance was a primary reason he was charged with Murder. The evidence was messed up in a number of ways in this case, and I do not believe the reloaded ammo (which the prosecution did not recognize to be such until during the trial) was the key problem, but it definitely was part of a problem in reconstructing the case. We were able to do that without GSR evidence, and Mr. Barnes won an acquittal. In this case, I believe the use of factory ammo, combined with proper handling and preserving of the evidence by the initial investigators, would have made the defense much easier and might well have prevented the case from ever being lodged against him.

The records of TN v. Barnes are archived under case number 87297015 at:

Criminal Justice Center
201 Poplar
Suite 401
Memphis, TN 38103

Iowa v. Cpl. Randy Willems

A man attempted to disarm and murder Corporal Randy Willems of the Davenport, IA Police Department, screaming “Give me your (expletive deleted) gun, I’ll blow your (expletive deleted) brains out.” Willems shot him during the third disarming attempt, dropping him instantly with one hit to the abdomen from a department issue factory round, Fiocchi 9mm 115 grain JHP +P+. The subject survived and stated that the officer had shot him for nothing from a substantial distance away. GSR testing showed conclusively that the subject’s torso was approximately 18” from the muzzle of the issue Beretta 92 when it discharged. Randy was acquitted of criminal charges in the shooting at trial in 1990. Two years later, Randy and his department won the civil suit filed against them by the man who was shot.

I use this case when discussing handloads because it is a classic example of how the replicability of factory ammunition, in the forensic evidence sense, can annihilate false allegations by the “bad guy” against the “good guy” who shot him. The records of State of Iowa v. Corporal Randy Willems are archived in the Iowa District Court in Scott County, Davenport, Iowa. Those from the civil suit, Karwoski v. Willems and the City of Davenport, should be at the Iowa Civil Court of Scott County, also located in Davenport, Iowa.

A final word: I did not research the above and place it here to placate lightweight net ninjas. I did it because three recent Internet threads led me to believe that a number of decent people had honest questions about the real-world concerns about using handloads for self-defense, and were possibly putting themselves in jeopardy by doing so. For well over a decade, certain people have been creating an urban myth that says, “No one has ever gotten in trouble in court because they used handloads.”

This is now absolutely, and I hope finally, refuted.

Respectfully submitted,
Massad Ayoob

WT
December 28, 2005, 08:02 PM
Mas - thanks for the entry. Very good info.

Hope you hang around despite the 'slings and arrows.'

Have a Happy New Year.

taliv
December 28, 2005, 10:49 PM
yep, thanks mas.

btw, it would be interesting to see the result of the poll if it hadn't been posted in the handloading forum. if we put the same poll in tactics adn strategy or legal forums, my guess is that the numbers would be similar, if not slightly in favor of the factory loads.

zeke
December 29, 2005, 07:57 AM
Mr. Ayoob-Sincerely appreciate your considerable efforts and legitimate concerns, they are educational and informative.

Particularly revealing are the purpose of prosecutors, which is to get convictions. Some may not realize to what extent some will go to.

massad ayoob
December 29, 2005, 08:03 AM
yep, thanks mas.

btw, it would be interesting to see the result of the poll if it hadn't been posted in the handloading forum. if we put the same poll in tactics adn strategy or legal forums, my guess is that the numbers would be similar, if not slightly in favor of the factory loads.

Taliv:
It would be interesting to see you, one of the moderators, or even Clark put such a poll in BOTH the handloading section and the tactics section.

My concern with the poll as it exists is that it is phrased in a misleading way that other posters have commented on. Not until one gets well into reading the thread in detail do we find that "we don't need no stinking factory loads" actually means the voter thinks "legal concerns are trivial."

Such a poll needs to be worded with plain, clear questions like "Do you carry reloads or not?" "If so, for what reasons(s), i.e., confidence, personal pride, more power, more accuracy, less recoil, factory ammo unavailable in caliber of choice, (or whatever)."

What we have now is a bit of a ticking time bomb. It is a documented fact that anti-gun organizations like the Brady Bunch's Violence Policy Center (and their lead propagandist, Tom Diaz in particular) subscribe to gun magazines at sterile addresses and lurk on threads like these to "get behind enemy lines." Diaz and his kind then twist statements out of context to use against us.

For instance, when Jeff Cooper once commented that guns were useless if their owners didn't know how to use them, Diaz twisted the quote to read something like "Gun expert Jeff Cooper says guns are useful only to the most highly trained." When I once made a comment that the most common mistake made by armed citizens in confrontations was failing to call the police immediately after the offender had been driven off without bloodshed, Diaz wrote something like "Massad Ayoob says people with carry permits commonly make mistakes."

Right now, folks, we have a poll sitting atop this thread that Diaz, Brady, and company -- who always try to portray us all as outlaws -- can use to say "A poll on a well known gun forum called The High Road determined that two-thirds of gun owners felt that legal concerns were trivial."

That's why I think it's a ticking time bomb. I hope THR sends in the EOD to defuse it: pull the poll before the Brady Bunch spots it, replace it with a clearly and honestly worded one that addresses the handload question, and we're all good to go.

halvey
December 29, 2005, 08:22 AM
NH v. Kennedy - the suspect grabbed Kennedy’s Colt .45 auto and pulled it towards himself. It discharged in his face, causing massive injury. The cops would have been sued either way. A criminal grabbing a cops gun and the handloads are at fault? Why was the cop carrying non-issue ammo anyway?

NJ V. Bias - He told police that knowing that she had a history of suicidal ideation, he attempted to grab the gun, which discharged, killing her….Danny had pointed the gun at her head to frighten her, thinking one of the two empty chambers would come up under the firing pin, but instead discharging the gun. Danny Bias was sentenced to six years in the penitentiary, and served three before being paroled. He remains a convicted felon who cannot own a firearm. This is not a legit self defense shooting. This guy is a killer. Yeah, he used handloads, and if not, he'd have gotten away with murder.

Iowa v. Cpl. Randy Willems - I use this case when discussing handloads because it is a classic example of how the replicability of factory ammunition, in the forensic evidence sense, can annihilate false allegations by the “bad guy” against the “good guy” who shot him. Fine, but not a civilian self defense shooting.

TN v. Barnes – Mas, I'd almost give you this one. The only argument I see are the handloads caused "problems" and the case dragged on a bit longer. So you have one case. Kinda.

For well over a decade, certain people have been creating an urban myth that says, “No one has ever gotten in trouble in court because they used handloads.” I don't think (many) people have been saying that. I think most say "No one has gotten convicted because of handloads in a legitimate SD shooting." And that still stands, right?

What we have now is a bit of a ticking time bomb. It is a documented fact that anti-gun organizations like the Brady Bunch's Violence Policy Center (and their lead propagandist, Tom Diaz in particular) subscribe to gun magazines at sterile addresses and lurk on threads like these to "get behind enemy lines." Diaz and his kind then twist statements out of context to use against us. They'd take anything we'd say and twist it. But, Mas, you said 115 gr 9mm +p+ is good. Isn't the regular 9mm deadly enough for you?

griz
December 29, 2005, 10:22 AM
Thank you for the info Mas. I can imagine situations where a handload might complicate a defense. But by and large it seems a small concern to me. Even from the cases you cited it appears that a successful defense would be complicated by incompetence or outright deception by the prosecutor. That risk would still be there with factory rounds.

Another question: With rare exceptions, I use factory rounds for defense. But I do not keep any written records of what I loaded in which gun. In your experience, would the court assume I used handloads because I have ten times more handloads on hand compared to factory, or would they take my word that I used factory ammo?

One last (I think) question. You mention in the Bias case that the loads in the gun were the property of the court and thus could not be tested. But you also said the reloads, presumably also court property, were tested. Why the different treatment of the evidentiary rounds?

Thanks again, Griz

WT
December 29, 2005, 10:39 AM
I did not answer the poll because I found the questions confusing. They need to be cleared up and written in plain English as Mas suggested.


Re: the NJ case, the fact that Mr. Bias had 4 trials tells me that some jury members agreed with what he said while others did not. A person undergoing four criminal trials for the same 'offense' is amazing! No wonder the guy went bankrupt. Looks like the prosecutor went jury shopping.


I was once on a criminal jury and what I read in the newspapers afterwards did not represent what went on in court or the jury room. The reporter could have been talking about an entirely different case as far as I was concerned. The collective opinion of the 12 jurors was much more important than a single rookie newspaper creature.

pax
December 29, 2005, 11:07 AM
Halvey ~

Reading is fundamental.
NJ V. Bias - He told police that knowing that she had a history of suicidal ideation, he attempted to grab the gun, which discharged, killing her….Danny had pointed the gun at her head to frighten her, thinking one of the two empty chambers would come up under the firing pin, but instead discharging the gun. Danny Bias was sentenced to six years in the penitentiary, and served three before being paroled. He remains a convicted felon who cannot own a firearm.

The fourth trial, more than a decade after the shooting, ended with Danny Bias again convicted of Reckless Manslaughter. By now, the state had changed its theory and was suggesting that Danny had pointed the gun at her head to frighten her, thinking one of the two empty chambers would come up under the firing pin, but instead discharging the gun.
By leaving out the bolded segment of the sentence, Halvey completely changed the meaning of what Ayoob wrote. Ayoob's contention was that Danny Bias was, in fact, telling the truth about what happened -- that Bias had, in actual fact, tried to take the gun away from his suicidal wife and that the gun went off at that point -- and that the GSR evidence, if admissible and properly handled, would have shown that Bias' story was true.

Halvey removed the bit about "the state said." Why did Halvey remove that part of the sentence? Because Halvey believes Bias is guilty of murder. Why does Halvey believe Bias is guilty of murder? Because the state said Bias was guilty of murder. Halvey accepted the state's theory, and rejected Bias' story.

Here's the kicker: the state said Bias was guilty because the GSR evidence did not support Bias' story.

Halvey, by twisting and deleting part of what Ayoob said, actually did a pretty good job of making Ayoob's case about handloaded GSR muddying the Bias case.

pax

Carl N. Brown
December 29, 2005, 11:08 AM
NJ V. Bias - He told police that knowing that she had a history of suicidal ideation, he attempted to grab the gun, which discharged, killing her . . . .Danny had pointed the gun at her head to frighten her, thinking one of the two empty chambers would come up under the firing pin, but instead discharging the gun. Danny Bias was sentenced to six years in the penitentiary, and served three before being paroled. He remains a convicted felon who cannot own a firearm.

This is not a legit self defense shooting. This guy is a killer. Yeah, he used handloads, and if not, he'd have gotten away with murder.


Re-read the posting of the case: The part halvey excerpted after the ellipses ... was the PROSECUTOR's NEW THEORY of the case, NOT what Bias told the police:

Danny Bias entered the master bedroom of his home to find his wife Lise holding the family home defense revolver, a 6” S&W 686, to her head. He told police that knowing that she had a history of suicidal ideation, he attempted to grab the gun, which discharged, killing her.
..... paragraphs skipped ....
By now, the state had changed its theory and was suggesting that Danny had pointed the gun at her head to frighten her, thinking one of the two empty chambers would come up under the firing pin.....

Apparently, prosecutors with hung juries not only go jury shopping, they go theory shopping. Prosecutors make their pay taking people to trial and their reputation by winning serious charges. If the person is not guilty of the charges leveled, some prosecutors just say let'em convince the judge or jury, it's my theory vs their claim.

The common workaday guy cannot afford to go to court because even if he is innocent he loses money, time, sometimes his job and family. If there is a lightning strike chance that handloaded ammo could cost you in court, is it worth even a tiny risk?

(dang, pax beat me to it)

Kurac
December 29, 2005, 12:54 PM
I think the anti-gunners are busy protecting our right to privacy in light of the recent allegations of the NSA wire tapping and surveillance activities. I don't get it, they are against citizens owning guns as a safety concern and also want to make it more difficult for the government to protect it's people from terrorism. The first person that comes to mind when I write this is Diane Feinstein but there are others. It still might be a good idea to make the poll a little more PC. Sorry guys I live in CA what can I say.

massad ayoob
December 29, 2005, 01:19 PM
Thank you for the info Mas. I can imagine situations where a handload might complicate a defense. But by and large it seems a small concern to me. Even from the cases you cited it appears that a successful defense would be complicated by incompetence or outright deception by the prosecutor. That risk would still be there with factory rounds.

Yes, but it's a much smaller and more manageable risk.

Another question: With rare exceptions, I use factory rounds for defense. But I do not keep any written records of what I loaded in which gun. In your experience, would the court assume I used handloads because I have ten times more handloads on hand compared to factory, or would they take my word that I used factory ammo?

Key factors here will be spent casings at scene or in gun, and remaining ammo in gun or on person. I have long recommended that shooters mark on the box they load from, dating and initialing and including SN. For example, "Loaded Glock 26 Serial #ABC123US, 12/29/05, MA." Ammo box is also marked with exact load and lot number already for forensic confirmation.

One last (I think) question. You mention in the Bias case that the loads in the gun were the property of the court and thus could not be tested. But you also said the reloads, presumably also court property, were tested. Why the different treatment of the evidentiary rounds?


In the Bias case, the bedroom where the death occurred was the primary "crime scene." Though that term can extend to the whole house, it apparently was not treated as such in this case. After Danny mentioned the handloads, ammo was obtained under warrant from various locations in the home, but they apparently got the wrong stuff. That ammunition was retrieved expressly for testing purposes, and thus was "exemplar evidence" rather than scene evidence.

tellner
December 29, 2005, 01:39 PM
I think the anti-gunners are busy protecting our right to privacy in light of the recent allegations of the NSA wire tapping and surveillance activities. I don't get it, they are against citizens owning guns as a safety concern and also want to make it more difficult for the government to protect it's people from terrorism. The first person that comes to mind when I write this is Diane Feinstein but there are others. It still might be a good idea to make the poll a little more PC. Sorry guys I live in CA what can I say.

People can be anti-gun for as many reasons as they can be pro-gun. And either sort can be for or against other liberties and rights. It can be due to upbringing, familiarity, personal experiences, social pressure and any number of other things. From the other perspective many civil libertarians can't understand how people can so fetishize one right and be hostile to all the others.

There's a very human tendency to believe "Anything I like is everything I like. Anything I hate is everything I hate." Pick something that's emotionally charged like RKBA, the flag, the designated hitter rule, state-sponsored prayer in schools or evolution vs. creationism. Anyone who agrees with you is good. So anyone who disagrees with you is bad. If they're bad they can't possibly be on the side of something good, so they must be utterly evil or at best stupid and deluded. In any case there's no need to consider anything they say. It's a wonderful faculty. It frees one of the burden of developing opinions and thinking. It also makes it very easy for evil people to say the right slogan, wave the right talisman and get people to follow them.

This applies just as much to "people like us" as it does to "people like them".

An awful lot of pro-gun people will go on (and on and on) about their guns and how owning them is liberty and freedom. But they gave up the Fourth, Fifth, Eight, Ninth, and Tenth Ammendments without a whimper, are hostile to parts of the the First and yawn when habeas corpus and freedom from arbitrary arrest without charges are stripped away.

Being a strong advocate of self defense and firearms ownership and a pretty left wing kind of guy on many other issues I am, of course, the Devil to both sides :evil:

In all seriousness, one of the most heartening things I've seen in the last few years has been that Bob Barr and Phyllis Schlafly are working with the ACLU. There are at least a few people who understand that freedom requires hard work and transcends partisan issues.

Old Dog
December 29, 2005, 01:53 PM
I did not respond to the poll because I do not like the wording of the poll answers.

I would like to thank Mr. Ayoob for sharing his time and his research on this topic with us, and I'd hope that he may see fit to share his experience in other THR forums in the future as well.

Having been party to a couple of serious (criminal) jury trials, as well as having served on both civilian juries and as a court-martial member (jury) in some military trials ... I absolutely believe that use of handloads would not be a trivial concern should one be on trial subsequent to actually having to shoot someone ...

Why knowingly give any additional edge, no matter how slight or farfetched, to the prosecution in our legal system? Some who've posted in this thread have been vociferous critics of our legal system in other forums here. I cannot believe that some simply say, "Well, the odds of me having to shoot someone are so slim, I'll just carry my own wonderloads ..." Are you the guys who keep on golfing during lightning storms?

This is, after all, the country where a jury acquitted a famous ex-football player of double murder in spite of what should have been convincing DNA evidence and a substantial amount of other pretty damning circumstantial evidence ...

tellner
December 29, 2005, 02:08 PM
This is, after all, the country where a jury acquitted a famous ex-football player of double murder in spite of what should have been convincing DNA evidence and a substantial amount of other pretty damning circumstantial evidence ...

Everyone is innocent until proven poor ;)

BruceB
December 29, 2005, 02:47 PM
Old Dog, et al;

OD, THANK YOU for making such a succinct and accurate summary of MY thoughts on this thread. You framed it more capably than I might have been able to accomplish, and again I thank you.

Mas, I've been following your writing since your early pulp-paper-magazine days, and I have derived great value from your insights. While I may not always agree with what you say, you share an enormously-valuable trait with another of my long-time gurus, Colonel Jeff Cooper. That valuable trait is simply that the two of you make me THINK, and re-assess, and sometimes change the way I do things. STRESSFIRE, for example, VASTLY improved my effectiveness with a defensive shotgun.... just from READING, and practising what I had read.

I note that you personally do the same thing as time goes on, changing your thinking occasionally in the process. Also worthy of note is that after writing about the changed approach, you've been taken to task for changing! Sometimes, you really can't win.

Many thanks for your long labor for defensive handgunning. Please, as others have said, stick around here. It certainly seems that your hide is thick enough for these parts......

(I agree that the poll is extremely poorly-framed, in an effort to be.....what? Amusing? Countrified? Red-necked? The options presented PREVENTED me from voting.)

Grump
December 29, 2005, 05:47 PM
Uhh, somewhere between Posts 138 and 140, I put in a not-so-long-winded-as-possible response taking both Clark and Mas Ayoob to task on a few specific items.

I know at least one person saw it.

Don't we get some PM if a post is kicked for some content troubles? If it was kicked, I would surely have appreciated a chance to amend it a bit rather than lose it all.

One point I tried to make is that the lightning-strike analogy could be more realistic if we were comparing the risks on the shooter side to only the numbers of:
A. gunowners (less than the whole U.S. population, so whatever odds about doubled); or
B. gunowners involved in all uses, including outright murders _and_ no-shots-fired incidents (probably impossible to decisively quantify); or
C. gunowners involved in only self-defense uses, shoot and non-shoot; or
D. gunowners involved in only shots-fired uses (both good and bad); or
E. gunowners involved in only fatal shootings, both SD and out of bounds (easy to quantify); or
F. gunowners involved in fatal SD events (unavoidably the smallest universe of events).

As the numbers go down, the odds go up, ya know.

There's also a perhaps inept analogy--I consider the reloads as courtroom hell concerns to be like the seatbelts might trap me in a burning car concern. All to real for those who happen to be involved in the rare events, but the mere fact that it *can* and *has* happened doesn't make me worry about it. I'll continue to use my seatbelt and continue to have reloads available for SD use.

Anyone else see my longer and more bloviating post with these, and other, points? I was really tough on both of them. Honest.

massad ayoob
December 29, 2005, 09:05 PM
I saw Grump's post.

It WAS equally hard on both Clark and I.

This one? I would respectfully disagree with only one thing, Grump's seat belt analogy. For that to be true, it would have to be proven that handloads were demonstrably superior to good factory ammunition for self protection...and that hasn't happened yet.

Double Naught Spy
December 30, 2005, 02:16 AM
To Double Naught Spy:

In the same post, sir, you write, "It is interesting where others said they looked at the cases when in reality they could not have looked at them..."
Did it occur to you that perhaps they were professionals whose research skills may have exceeded your own?

I think a review on this board alone of previous postings by both Double Naught and Clark will show that they'll do little with legal reference sources, and I would not waste my time digging up the resource citations for them.


Do I think those that said they read all the articles were professionals whose research skills may have exceeded my own? Given that in one case you provided the WRONG information, then it would be hard for them to find the correct case. Then in the other case, you were overly vague in the citation so it would be more difficult to find the correct information, but no doubt it can be done.

It is hard to say that I will do little with the legal references given that obviously I worked through the references and found your mistake of incorrect citation.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Of the four cases presented, two were self defense using reloads and two were not. Of the cases that were not self defense, one is simply an example of how factory ammo can be used in a positive legal defense manner (Iowa v. Willems). That is nice information, but isn't a problem of reloads. It does indicate a real benefit to using factory ammo, but because factory ammo has this benefit does not indicate reloads or handloads are bad.

The other case was of a possible suicide/manslaughter issue (NJ v. Bias). The claim is that the husband ended up in trouble because his light load ammo failed to leave GSR, but had the gun been loaded with factory ammo, there would have been GSR. That sounds good, but there was nothing there to substantiate if the wife was shot with light load ammo at close range. Heck, there wasn't even proof the light load ammo existed outside of Bias' claim. Very dubious.

Of the self defense cases, in one the notion of the horribly detrimental handload ammo was shown to be bogus (NH v. Kennedy). It was brought up in court and dealt with accordingly. No doubt the evil overly detrimental handload arguments can be applied to other such claims just as claims of horribly detrimental factory hollowpoint ammo and be dealt with as Ayoob has noted.

In the other case (TN v. Barnes), we have no way of knowing if the handload ammo would have been a problem or not had the investigators not bungled the evidence. We don't know that factory ammo would not have been a problem in the same circumstances. While Ayoob is offering this case as evidence of how handloads can be problematic, you gotta like the fact that he states that he didn't think said loads were a particularly important point.

Ayoob said, The evidence was messed up in a number of ways in this case, and I do not believe the reloaded ammo (which the prosecution did not recognize to be such until during the trial) was the key problem, but it definitely was part of a problem in reconstructing the case. We were able to do that without GSR evidence, and Mr. Barnes won an acquittal. In this case, I believe the use of factory ammo, combined with proper handling and preserving of the evidence by the initial investigators, would have made the defense much easier and might well have prevented the case from ever being lodged against him.

Factory ammo isn't going to be helpful if the investigators screw up the evidence and present the screwy evidence as factual when it is not factual.

Neither of the two self defense cases seems to indicate any great problem with using handloads.

Of course if I am wrong, I am sure Ayoob will explain how the use of factory ammo will right the errors of evidence from the investigation.

odysseus
December 30, 2005, 05:07 AM
Wow. I must say this has been a quite a thread, especially for the Handloading and Reloading section.

A quick 2 cents on this, which I believe others in the "silent majority" might agree on. I agree with the proposition that using factory loads for self defense makes more logical sense. Both from a legal and technical point.

From a legal point, it is often best to remove a perception of having a modified weapon to do more damage. Now this may not be accurate in technical truth, but we all should know a jury of our peers would not be peers in the gun culture who would understand this, and it would be another hill to climb in a defense.

As another mentioned here, a big consideration is manufactured ammunition is reliability in the sense it is controlled and replicated. A lot of R&D went into processes at plants from large suppliers, and consistency is more important to me than metric gains in power of a load. As another said in another section regarding power +p loads, shot placement is also more important.

I also realize a lot of handloaders have spent a lot of time and effort into the science of their handloads. I say this having an Uncle who developed loads for competition benchrest shooters. I respect this. Handloading can be a great source of entertainment and excitment in refining handloads. I view this more of use for competition, sport, and hunting. My Uncle I mentioned here too was a LEO too, and never desired using anything but production made rounds in his holster at work.

However I sense in Clark's and some others here response, something I run into now and then, which is an overdeveloped sense of pride that is clouding any ability to be flexible to understanding the debate at hand.

BTW - Welcome to the board Mr. Ayoob, your reputation precedes you well. I hope you can stick around more.

Walt Rauch
December 30, 2005, 08:32 AM
"However I sense in Clark's and some others here response, something I run into now and then, which is an overdeveloped sense of pride that is clouding any ability to be flexible to understanding the debate at hand."

Bingo!!

halvey
December 30, 2005, 09:56 AM
Halvey, by twisting and deleting part of what Ayoob said, actually did a pretty good job of making Ayoob's case about handloaded GSR muddying the Bias case.

pax Come on pax, your better than that. All we've asked for is legit civilian self defense cases where handloads caused a problem. Mas gives 4 cases that do not fit that criteria. You hang your bias of using factory loads on a guy who murdered his wife? Or police shootings?

(Comments about actually carrying a gun deleted to keep this on THR.)

From a legal point, it is often best to remove a perception of having a modified weapon to do more damage. So don't carry a .45 because a .45 can do more damage than a 9mm. Don't carry a hi-cap because a hi-cap does more damage. Don't carry a .22 because you wanted the perp to suffer. Come on...

Clark
December 30, 2005, 10:38 AM
There's also a perhaps inept analogy--I consider the reloads as courtroom hell concerns to be like the seatbelts might trap me in a burning car concern. All to real for those who happen to be involved in the rare events, but the mere fact that it *can* and *has* happened doesn't make me worry about it. I'll continue to use my seatbelt and continue to have reloads available for SD use.


That is pretty much the problem, percieved risk vs calculted risk.

My wife is bringing home organic foods, and I really don't have the time to straighter her out any more than I have the time to straighten MA out.

Organic foods do not reduce any risk as much as the extra drive to the orgainic food store creates a new risk.

Avoiding handloads in carry does not reduce any risk, as much as not having handloads increases the risk the handgun will not work as well.

But the average guy cannot fathom that, and MA writes tens of thousand of words and has fans, so it may well never get straighted out, and we are stuck with yet another error in the gun culture.

taliv
December 30, 2005, 11:18 AM
A quick 2 cents on this, which I believe others in the "silent majority" might agree on. I agree with the proposition that using factory loads for self defense makes more logical sense. Both from a legal and technical point.

better check the poll results again.

massad ayoob
December 30, 2005, 11:27 AM
To Double Naught & Halvey:

Gee, fellas, you’ve finally proven a point: it’s hard to shoot accurately when you’re running backward.

With your original arguments completely refuted, you’re groping desperately for diversion. “Uh, well, OK, the cases we said weren’t there are there after all, but we don’t like them…”

You’ve both retreated out of debate, and backpedaled into deception and tortured logic. Halvey to Pax, in #161 of this thread: “You hang your bias of using factory loads on a guy who murdered his wife?” Sorry, Halvey, but two juries obviously determined that the prosecution had failed to prove murder beyond a reasonable doubt, and the judge in the second trial dismissed the charge of murder. It’s too late to resort to deception.

Double Naught also resorts to the tortured logic that has characterized all his many attacks on me over the years on THR. Most recently, on a THR thread titled “Hair Triggers Legal Problems,” Double Naught cited the case of Florida v. Luis Alvarez and got the facts COMPLETELY wrong (post #61, that thread). Since I had testified as an expert witness for the defense at that trial and did know the facts, I called him on it at post #61. He then fled with his tail between his legs; the thread has been open and silent since 12/08/05.

Now, in his immediate past post, “Double Naught” makes a big deal out of me having gotten Danny Bias’ first name wrong the first time I mentioned this case from memory. The astute reader will note that at post #48 of this thread, I apologized for the error and corrected it.

Double Naught, where was it exactly that YOU did the professional thing and apologized for your errors in the Hair Trigger thread, and corrected them? Where was it exactly where YOU apologized and corrected for the many times you’ve said there were no cases where handloads got anyone in trouble in court? Where was it exactly that YOU apologized and corrected for your false and unwarranted slurs against a good cop named Luis Alvarez, who was exonerated by a jury of the trumped up charges against him? No one can seem to find them…

Stop running for a second, fellas. Catch your breath. Then try to think of something intelligent, honest, and ethical to say…

griz
December 30, 2005, 12:10 PM
Am I the only one that sees people talking past each other? One side ask for a case where a conviction resulted because of handloads. The other side says here is a case where handloads were an issue. The first side says that doesn't count, the second side says quite calling me a liar, and then it gets ugly.

It looks like nobody has "proved" anything and nobody is going to change thier mind. Can we leave it at that? Probably not:(

El Tejon
December 30, 2005, 12:11 PM
No one is afraid of lawyers?:( *kicks rocks*

The proper answer is not listed: it depends.:D

CAN it be a problem? Sure can.

Have not seen handloads be an issue in my experience (10 years, 90% criminal), however I did have a case where the weapon was the reason for the prosecution on a clear self-defense case (one of those big Conan the Barbarian swords that they sell in the back of G&A) so stands to reason it can be, especially on an iffy case or a gun ignorant or anti-gun prosecution.

What helps most is that it is a clean shoot whether the weapon used is a 106 reckless rifle or a .32 with handloads. Have a great fact pattern and I could care less what you load or what gun shoppe commando slogan is written on your weapon.:)

If it matters, I carry factory Black Hills .45acp 230gr, +p as do several of my tilecrawler friends. I would prefer that I never have to use it and test anyone's theory.:uhoh: :neener:

mtnbkr
December 30, 2005, 12:24 PM
MA, you should simply place DNS on ignore and forget he exists. He's arguing for the sheer pleasure of arguing. Here he is arguing AGAINST handloads:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=1989000&postcount=13

Chris

tellner
December 30, 2005, 01:07 PM
I did meet one retired Chicago police officer who claims the last three rounds of his last magazine were silver and blessed by a priest. Don't know for sure if it's true, but there's a certain logic to it. If 30+ rounds haven't done the trick... :)

halvey
December 30, 2005, 01:12 PM
You’ve both retreated out of debate, and backpedaled into deception and tortured logic. Halvey to Pax, in #161 of this thread: “You hang your bias of using factory loads on a guy who murdered his wife?” Sorry, Halvey, but two juries obviously determined that the prosecution had failed to prove murder beyond a reasonable doubt, and the judge in the second trial dismissed the charge of murder. It’s too late to resort to deception. How am I deceiving? You said: "two juries obviously determined that the prosecution had failed to prove murder beyond a reasonable doubt" Obviously the use of handloads did not matter to those juries.

You are stating cases where handloads were used (well 3 out of 4 anyway), yet had little to do with the case or were successfully argued against.

This is all you have?

I'm sure you know of cases where handloads were used, yet never became much of an issue. But that'd be against your bias.

Face it, a shooting is justifable or not. The prosecutor will attack your choice of ammo, choice of gun, why you were there in the first place, why you didn't retreat, if you ever used a racial slur etc. etc. etc. Mas, you've gotten a lot of mileage out of this and still have yet to provide cases where handloaded ammo was an overwhelming issue.

BTW, is this thread going to be in a book or magazine article?:) I'd like royalties.

And to the mods: if you want me and others to stop arguing with Mas because his presence on this board is kind of a feather in the hat, I will do so. That is until John Taffin comes on the board and tries to say that "accuracy" is definied by using 5 out of 8 shots for a "group".

pax
December 30, 2005, 01:22 PM
And to the mods: if you want me and others to stop arguing with Mas because his presence on this board is kind of a feather in the hat, I will do so.
:D

Can't speak for the other mods, but it sure seems to me that Ayoob is perfectly capable of arguing back if that's what he wants to do in his own spare time. It doesn't look to me as though he needs to be babysat.

But I guess we could ask him: Do you need some extra hand-holding, Mas?

pax

odysseus
December 30, 2005, 01:41 PM
So don't carry a .45 because a .45 can do more damage than a 9mm. Don't carry a hi-cap because a hi-cap does more damage. Don't carry a .22 because you wanted the perp to suffer. Come on...

That's not entirely what I said and what I meant. You didn't include my sentences right after it for some reason. I said it may not be accurate (we are talking about lawyers, right?). And your examples are not correct to the premise I was making. I can buy a .45 and hi-cap. That is factory. I did not manufacture said device or modify it myself. Get it?

Here it is again.
From a legal point, it is often best to remove a perception of having a modified weapon to do more damage. Now this may not be accurate in technical truth, but we all should know a jury of our peers would not be peers in the gun culture who would understand this, and it would be another hill to climb in a defense.

massad ayoob
December 30, 2005, 02:06 PM
:D

Can't speak for the other mods, but it sure seems to me that Ayoob is perfectly capable of arguing back if that's what he wants to do in his own spare time. It doesn't look to me as though he needs to be babysat.

But I guess we could ask him: Do you need some extra hand-holding, Mas?

pax

No thanks, Pax, doin' fine.

Halvey might need some oxygen soon, though, if he exhausts himself with all this desperate ducking and dodging.

Do you think he's really missed that poor Bias WAS convicted? Or that BOTH of Bias' lawyers said that the inability to get a proper GSR test due to the handloaded ammo was what led to his murder charge in the first place?

I thank Oddysseus and Mtnbkr for their insightful comments on the motivation of some of these "ad hom" attackers.

Halvey wants royalties...but where to send the check? Like others of that ilk, he chooses not to post his real name, while attacking others by name..:rolleyes:

halvey
December 30, 2005, 02:18 PM
Well it looks like Mas wants it both ways:
Sorry, Halvey, but two juries obviously determined that the prosecution had failed to prove murder beyond a reasonable doubt, and the judge in the second trial dismissed the charge of murder.

Do you think he's really missed that poor Bias WAS convicted?

I really don't know if Mas Ayoob is your real name or not. I don't believe Mark Twain was a real name...
Lots of media people I know - undercover TV producers and radio personalities do not use their real names.

You can make the royalty check out to cash.

Halvey might need some oxygen soon, though, if he exhausts himself with all this desperate ducking and dodging.
And from all the cigarettes you smoke, you'd be the one gasping for air. Lighten up.

I will let Clark and DNS handle the arguments for the weekend as I am taking off work early to hunt; you know, actually shoot my guns.

massad ayoob
December 30, 2005, 03:05 PM
Have a good weekend, Halvey. Hope you shoot more accurately than you read and argue.

Did you actually send those other attack posts after reading about the Bias case, which made clear that in the course of four trials two juries hung, a judge dismissed murder, he was CONVICTED of Manslaughter, it was overturned, and he was finally CONVICTED of Reckless Manslaughter AND WENT TO PRISON because, thanks to his handloads, no proof consistent with suicide could be drawn from GSR testing?

When you get back from shooting, take Pax's advice. Reading IS fundamental, and remedial courses are everywhere.

Shoot well and safely,
Mas

P95Carry
December 30, 2005, 03:11 PM
Mas - just stopping to greet you and say Welcome. Good to have you as a member.

Sorry ''things'' here and there not exactly as we would wish ;)

FireBreather01
December 30, 2005, 03:36 PM
Finally got to sit down and read every word of this thread - I'm exhausted!

Mas - GREAT to see you here!

To sum it up ---

Mas Wins By TKO!!!

Larryect
December 30, 2005, 05:02 PM
Finally got to sit down and read every word of this thread - I'm exhausted!

Mas - GREAT to see you here!

To sum it up ---

Mas Wins By TKO!!!


I agree....

It just doesn't cost that much to carry factory loads and change them out once in a while. Practice with reloads that act similarly to the carry loads and you are good to go IMHO.

If you don't think Mas has a point, or you don't trust factory loads - fine - do it your way.


.

Johnny Guest
January 2, 2006, 12:44 PM
My compliments to Larryect for at least the last half of his recent response. It is worth repeating: It just doesn't cost that much to carry factory loads and change them out once in a while. Practice with reloads that act similarly to the carry loads and you are good to go IMHO.

If you don't think Mas has a point, or you don't trust factory loads - fine - do it your way. Without regard to the validity of the cases referenced, I'm comfortable that no one can say that the pros and cons of the original topic haven't been thoroughly vented. Pretty much everyone has had his or her say. I'm about evenly split on my thoughts about this thread. Some have made their point and stopped. Others have become so invested in forcing the opposition to admit to the One True Faith that egos have overcome the value of the rhetoric.

This is one of the very longest threads ever on Handloading & Reloading forum. While I agree that the original phrasing of the poll was not a masterpiece of objectivity, it was stated with a certain underlying humor. I don't blame anyone for not voting on a poll of dubious value. (No, I didn't vote on this one, myself, for my own reasons.) At the same time, after due consideration, I'll NOT remove the poll from public view, and I'll live with this decision. If this is reversed by any administrator or Oleg Volk, el jefe maximo. I'd not argue the decision, but I'll bet he'll grant my reasoning. See, folks, persons of good will CAN disagree without acrimony.

Here endeth the lesson. Anyone needing a Parthian shot may handle it by PM or e-mail, either to another participant or to - -

Yours truly,
Johnny

Late edit: I apologize to Oleg for putting in a couple of wrong names above. I serve as H&R moderator on two different boards, and I confused the two sets of bosses. Thanks to Byron Quick for pointing this out to me.
Johnny

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