Buying handloads, are there safety issues?


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skinnyguy
September 18, 2007, 04:01 PM
There is a gunshow in Salt Lake this weekend, and I'll be going in to drool and and wish I had more money, but the MAIN reason I'm going in is to check out the handloaded ammo.

I have a Ruger P89 and a PC9. I'm going to be looking at the 9mm defense ammo prices, and if I come across a price I like, I might just pick some up.

I'm concerned about the safety and consistency of the rounds, though. Can handloads be trusted, or would I be better off passing them up in favor of factory loads?

If the safety of the handloads is generally acceptable, and I run a couple hundred rounds without a problem, what is the liklihood the round I NEED having a problem?

I do realize that there are many variables that nobody can predict, regardless of any ammo used, but I'm talking about a general overview of your past experiences and impressions. I also understand that the final decision to purchase or not is mine, and mine alone, and the advice I'm looking for is just information gathering, so there won't be any blame-games being played by me if I pick up a problem batch.

Thanks in advance, People!!!

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MaterDei
September 18, 2007, 04:07 PM
There are some reputable companies that 'remanufacture' ammo out there. I will buy from them. A small mom and pop or just a hobbyist with a table at the show, forgidaboutit.

rcmodel
September 18, 2007, 04:20 PM
+1 to what MaterDei just said.

I have handloaded for over 45 years and have never had a problem of any kind with my own ammo.
However, I wouldn't shoot someone else's reloads on a bet, unless I knew them, and their loading procedures very well.

With that said, it is probably never a good idea to use reloads for personal defense, for a number of very good reasons.

SD Practice, yes!
SD carry? Never!

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rcmodel

john1911
September 18, 2007, 04:59 PM
I used to shoot ammo loaded by a very small father/son shop. Really liked their Golden Sabre load, same price per 50 as Remington was charging for a box of 25. Last time I went to buy ammo from them, they kept the same price only for a box of 25.

Since then, I've started reloading my own.

rdhood
September 18, 2007, 05:41 PM
Ditto what everyone else said. I wouldn't shoot someone else's reloads, and I really wouldn't want someone to shoot mine. I also rely on retail ammo for self defense loads.

pax
September 18, 2007, 05:46 PM
When you shoot someone else's reloads, you are betting your firearm (and your dominant hand) on someone else's intelligence and attention to detail.

pax

Never No More
September 18, 2007, 06:22 PM
I dont buy ammo. Got to much invested in my firearms. I make my own.

Cept the wife's SKS, its expendable

gandog56
September 18, 2007, 06:58 PM
Nope, trust mine, don't trust others.

ClarkEMyers
September 18, 2007, 07:02 PM
Ask the vendor about product liability insurance - if you are satisfied with the liabilty coverage proceed to the next step of price and quality. If it's the owner's homeowner's policy I'd back off.

There are certainly folks whose ammunition I would buy - for plinking and for defense but mostly folks like Blackhills or Georgia who have established credentials - unlikely to be folks I've never heard of at gunshow.

I agree with Mas Ayoob on the notion that so far as possible popular factory ammunition is the choice for defense - as much for the tested ballistics as for any notion of killer ammunition.

lee n. field
September 18, 2007, 10:31 PM
Can handloads be trusted, or would I be better off passing them up in favor of factory loads?

Load them yourself or buy factory. You have no idea what kind of fool you may be buying from.

Sharps Shooter
September 19, 2007, 01:02 AM
Hey Skinnyguy,
Could be we’ll run across each other at that gun show. The wife and I were figuring on attending – it’s a couple of hours drive for us.
All of the ammo I’ve seen for sale at gun shows I’ve attended, including the gun shows held there at the Expo Center in Salt Lake, is either new or “remanufactured” ammo. Remanufactured ammo is not exactly handloads. The fact is I was under the impression (someone please correct me if I’m wrong) it’s illegal for the average Joe Handloader to sell his “handloads” or “reloads” – whichever you want to call them. I thought you have to have an ammunition manufacturers license to build ammo for sale.
Regardless, I'm with everyone else. I load my own or buy new. I'd never shoot someone else's handloads, much less buy them. I've occationally bought remanufactured ammo though and I've never had any major complaints with any of it.

frogomatic
September 19, 2007, 02:48 AM
never use handloads for personal defence, legally it opens you up to all kinds of possible civil suits and/or criminal charges.

don't ever buy somebody else's reloads. very bad idea! you have no way of knowing the precision and quality of work.

skinnyguy
September 19, 2007, 03:30 AM
I'd like to be able to reload, but since I'm having trouble buying a few boxes of ammo, the initial investment to start reloading is just WAAAYYY beyond my means right now. I was hoping to be able to squeeze a few bucks together and come away with some decent ammo and save some money.

Guess I'll check out the ammo prices on the production stuff and see if I can save at least a little bit.

Thanks for all the responses!!!

Sharps Shooter - Could be! I'll be the skinnyguy in a Ruger hat *L* I'll probably only be there on Saturday, but I WILL be there. Have a safe trip down!!!

foghornl
September 19, 2007, 01:21 PM
I buy and shoot a lot of 'reloads', but from only ONE source...

National Bullet Company of Eastlake, Ohio.

Unknown source at a gunshow? ? ? ? Less than a snowball's survival chance in Hades I would shoot, let alone buy, any of that.

My humble 1/50th of $1.

K3
September 19, 2007, 02:22 PM
never use handloads for personal defence, legally it opens you up to all kinds of possible civil suits and/or criminal charges.

don't ever buy somebody else's reloads. very bad idea! you have no way of knowing the precision and quality of work.

What about in a state like Texas that just passed some new laws, one of which disallows civil suits in righteous self defense shoots? It seems like it wouldn't be an issue then.

rcmodel
September 19, 2007, 02:31 PM
Who knows!

But I bet you wouldn't want to be the Guinea Pig to find out, over the few cents per round savings you got from buying reloads for self-defense.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/1224.gif
rcmodel

snuffy
September 19, 2007, 02:35 PM
Once, ONCE, ONCE I bought gun show reloads, that cured me from ever doing it again! (a long time ago) It was 45-70's with cast boolits in them, a charge of fast burning pistol powder. I almost took them apart, just wanting the brass for my H&R calvary model trap door replica. I decided the shooting them would be more fun! About the fifth shell had an apparent double charge in it! Louder report, much heavier recoil. Shell had to be removed with a solid brass cleaning rod. It bulged the chamber next to the ejector slot. I can still shoot it, but don't, sometime I might contact H&R to see if it could be re-barreled.

K3
September 19, 2007, 03:10 PM
Who knows!

But I bet you wouldn't want to be the Guinea Pig to find out, over the few cents per round savings you got from buying reloads for self-defense.


rcmodel

The question remains, how could one be the guinea pig if civil suits are not allowed? The type of ammo used has no bearing on whether the shoot was deemed righteous by the police/DA. Or does it?

If you are the victim of a home invasion in the middle of the night and you fire on the intruder and 'stop the threat', would that not be a justified shoot?

And it's not a matter of the reloads being cheaper. It's a matter of improved accuracy and the fact that I can depend on my ammo. Reloading hasn't exactly been a money saver thusfar, but that's not why I do it.

Gaucho Gringo
September 20, 2007, 04:47 AM
I go to gun shows in my city and I buy Miwall & HSM re manufactured ammo. I have had no problems with either one, no FTF(over 1500 rounds of Miwall) or any other problems and they are fairly clean. I still have over 1,000 rounds left but I am expecting to get sticker shock at the next gun show.

uk roe hunter
September 20, 2007, 05:30 AM
i got given a load of loads that someone else had done. When i looked at the box it seemed ok, there was proper labels on the box and it looked ok. when i looked at the rounds there were lots of different bullets loaded. When i broke them down there was no pwder in some of them! They were a disaster waiting to happen. i pullded them all.

steve

halvey
September 20, 2007, 03:05 PM
never use handloads for personal defence, legally it opens you up to all kinds of possible civil suits and/or criminal charges.
Cite the case(s) where handloads convicted anyone. Ayoob couldn't even do that.:uhoh:

K3
September 20, 2007, 03:22 PM
I was offered some handloads. I accepted them because I didn't want to hurt the guy's feelings. I plan to pull them for components. No way on earth will I fire them.

iiranger
September 20, 2007, 03:38 PM
If the handloader/reloader is following the law, he has some kind of license. Long ago knew a vanilla FFL (Class 1, gun dealer???) who reloaded some for fellow shooters, but he made it plain to me that it was illegal for the average Joe or Jane to sell reloads without a license... And he would not exceed published book mid range loads, tops!!! He did mostly trap loads for shotgunners. If they are "in business" then they should have some kind of liability insurance and procedures... ASK and if they don't know about insurance or liability, FLEEEEEE...

As said, you don't want to shoot reloads in self defense. Too much legal entanglement. Try to find the loads the cops use or close. Helps the lawyer who will have to defend you against the persecuter...

Getting started with a LEE loader is not very expensive compared to the cost of ammo. The simple LEE for use with a mallet dates from black powder days and if you keep pressures down... it is o.k. and cheap. Then, you become addicted and add pieces as your wallet permits... Oh well, keeps you off the streets.

Few people whose reloads I would shoot. One guy bragged about putting red dot on top of a warm book load in a 7x57. For a 93 Mauser no less. !!! Your big savings in re manufactureds will come if you will take a lead bullet over something with a jacket. That does save some. Slightly more cleaning... but you have to set the value on your elbow grease... luck.

K3
September 20, 2007, 03:44 PM
As said, you don't want to shoot reloads in self defense. Too much legal entanglement. Try to find the loads the cops use or close. Helps the lawyer who will have to defend you against the persecuter...

Can you cite any specific cases on this? Or is this just speculation?

My assertion from earlier still stands, and that is:

The question remains, how could one be the guinea pig if civil suits are not allowed? The type of ammo used has no bearing on whether the shoot was deemed righteous by the police/DA. Or does it?

If you are the victim of a home invasion in the middle of the night and you fire on the intruder and 'stop the threat', would that not be a justified shoot?

halvey
September 20, 2007, 03:46 PM
As said, you don't want to shoot reloads in self defense. Too much
legal entanglement. Which case are you citing?

koja48
September 20, 2007, 11:04 PM
I have no problem using handloads, as long as the hands that loaded them were mine . . .

Bezoar
September 21, 2007, 01:17 AM
the writers do have good intentions in telling us to avoid using handloads for self defense. If you use a handload you have increased chances of the gun going "click" "click" instead of BANG BANG.

Sure factory ammunition has its issues from time to time, but its far safer then the average mall ninja handloaded ammo you may be getting at a gunshow. At least you know that federal/winchester/remington ammunition is going to be well under the pressure rating that woudl dissassemble your firearm and your own bits and pieces.

K3
September 21, 2007, 08:37 AM
The other poster was bringing up the legal aspect, not the reliability/technical aspect.

thebaldguy
September 21, 2007, 10:43 PM
I have found bulged cases in someone else's reloads; they did not offer a refund or a replacement.

That did it for me. Use someone else's reloads at your own risk. If they damage you gun, good luck getting them to cover your damage.

Gaucho Gringo
September 22, 2007, 03:00 AM
I shoot Miwall re manufactured ammo. They have a web site to buy over the internet but I find it more convenient to buy at the gunshows I go to in Portland, OR. Here is the web site http://buyammo.com/buyammo.php The prices are good and I have had no problems with their ammo.

peterotte
September 22, 2007, 05:57 AM
I back-up what snuffy said. ....About the fifth shell had an apparent double charge in it!..... The few times I have pulled someone else's reloads, they were defective! The last one's were loaded with some clumpy stuff - static or moisture? Whatever it was, it caused serious underloads.:what:

Peter

TEDDY
September 23, 2007, 09:22 PM
after reading some posts where the intent is to excede the max I would not want to chance them. I have a security 6 that has the barrel in two and the side of the frame blown off.the cylinder is still whole it a 357.I have seen a K38 with the top strap gone.target loads?? :uhoh:--:confused:-:banghead:

XD-40 Shooter
September 23, 2007, 10:44 PM
There was a thread earlier today about an XD-45 that kaboom'd, no doubt due to reloads. This is why I will never buy someone else's reloads, the only person I trust is ME. I've fired 3000 of my own reloads over the course of the last year, 40 cal and 357 mag, I've had zero issues.:D

Primersinmyshoe
September 23, 2007, 11:41 PM
I'm on the other side of the fence. I reload all my own ammo (45acp mostly). I've had frequent requests from guys at the range to sell them some. I haven't sold any, but I have given some (10 to 20 rounds) on occasion. What kind of trouble could I get into if their gun blows up?

dcloco
September 24, 2007, 01:26 AM
I HAVE shot somebody else's reloads. BOTH were given to me when I purchased rifles from two different individuals.

One, I personally know and would call on to answer technical reloading questions.

Other, don't know the person, only purchased a rifle from them.

In BOTH instances, there were MAJOR problems when I fired a round of THEIR ammo that THEY loaded for THEIR rifle that I purchased.

One was a large caliber rifle that the bolt would not open after firing. Other is of the 223 bolt action variety that had very HIGH and obvious chamber pressure.

I will NEVER shoot somebody else's reloads....EVER.

peterotte
September 24, 2007, 01:57 AM
In BOTH instances, there were MAJOR problems when I fired a round of THEIR ammo that THEY loaded for THEIR rifle that I purchased.

Yup, sounds about right. Makes you wonder if the gun you bought is still sound.:scrutiny:

skinnyguy
September 24, 2007, 03:06 AM
Ok, I passed up the reloads for some less expensive factory ammo, but in reading and re-reading the posts, I keep coming up with "I trust my own, but nobody elses". Ok, I can understand that.

I've read about problems, and I know it happens. Factory, reloads-more often than other types, surplus, etc. Ammo is made by humans and we are known to mess a few things up. Which brings me to the point of my post; with so many problems with reloads, whether done by myself or somebody else, why should I trust them at all?

From the posts in the thread, NOBODY'S reloads can be trusted. In post 35, dcloco explained that a person reloading for his own use messed up the loads. So should I even bother getting into reloading at all? If I do reload, it seems I'd just blow my hand off or blow my gun up. So why not buy reloads if I'm going to end up just as messed up either way?

Yes, I'm frustrated here.

peterotte
September 24, 2007, 05:41 AM
skinnyguy, it's simple - if you mess up your own loads you have only yourself to blame. But if you mess yourself up (or your gun) with someone else’s carelessness, you will kick your self from that time onwards! You do have control over your own reloading practices. But if in doubt - don't.
(Of course, that won't relieve your frustration. But actually, with due care, most reloaders survive quite well).

Peter

Primersinmyshoe
September 24, 2007, 08:03 AM
I would hazard a guess that most reloaders never have a catastrophic event with their loads. It's the exception that is reported. I have never had a gun blow up or barrel ruined. I have had squib loads, but they just require a brass rod to knock them out. With my Dillon 650 and the powder check station I haven't even had a squib.

Stumpy16076
September 24, 2007, 07:43 PM
I will buy re-manufactured ammo from only one source at local gun shows. He has his name, address and FFL License Number on each and every bag of ammo he sells and can tell you exactly what components are in his ammo, and he also velocity/POI tests to develop good loads. I have fired quite a bit of his 9mm Largo thru an Astra 400-perfect function and POI matches the sights! I have also seen some real junk sold-a friend bought some .38 spl. from "someone trustworthy"-he couldn't even chamber the rounds as the case necks were split form what appeared to be oversized bullets!

Bottom Gun
September 25, 2007, 06:55 PM
I have never understood why some people will spend well over $1,000 on a firearm only to run the cheapest junky ammo they can find through it to "save a buck".

I have seen two guns literally come apart when the shooters were using someone else's poor quality reloads. One was an AR-180, the other was a model 29 S&W. Both shooters were using reloads bought at a Texas show.

No savings there. . . . . . . .

cpttango30
September 25, 2007, 07:14 PM
I think everyone has said the same thing. Roll your own or buy factory ammo.

Never use reloads as carry ammo. Some spinless laywer will try to make you look like you were out to kill someone with your over the top more than deadly loading. No matter what kind of velocity you are getting.

koja48
September 25, 2007, 09:10 PM
MINE can be trusted . . . by ME . . . and that is EXACTLY as it should be. There's an old saying: "I trust me and God, and on occasion I've wondered about that other Fellow" . . . dang good advice.

K3
September 25, 2007, 09:44 PM
Never use reloads as carry ammo. Some spinless laywer will try to make you look like you were out to kill someone with your over the top more than deadly loading. No matter what kind of velocity you are getting.

Once again, please cite an actual case where this has occurred. I have seen many claims for this but no evidence. I would especially be interested in seeing a case for this in a state with laws that prohibit civil lawsuits in a justified shoot.

Sharps Shooter
September 25, 2007, 10:06 PM
"Once again, please cite an actual case where this has occurred. I have seen many claims for this but no evidence."

K3, I've noticed on these internet message boards "evidence" isn't always necessary for something to become fact. Quite often it's like that saying about a lie becoming truth if it's repeated often enough.
Nevertheless, I too would sure like to see an actual case involving handloaded ammunition in a justifiable shooting. Or any shooting of a human for that matter.

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