Do you reload your own SD ammo?


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sb350hp
October 27, 2007, 01:25 PM
Do you purchase all your SD/HD loads for your handguns? I have heard that in the legal circles there is a stigma behind SD handloads if ever faced with a legal battle over SD. The problem I face is that I cannot afford to practice with say Hydra-Shoks all the time. It just gets way to expensive. I want to know that my SD round feeds reliably and a box of 50 does not build my confidence 30 bucks at a time.

Currently I have been reloading 185gr JHP from Rainier (purchased thru midway). I have recovered a few from the bank that I shoot into and expansion seems OK and as far as accuracy and reliability I have had zero problems in 300+ rounds and my groups are 2" at 12yds consistantly with maybe one flyer per mag.

What do ya think?

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AKCOP
October 27, 2007, 01:50 PM
If you are a competent handoader you can ceratinly make your own SD loads and feel great about them. I have been carrying handloads for years. With the cost savings I find I am rotatiing my ammo more often insuring a nice fresh load in my weapon of choice and practice far more often then if I were using expensive factory ammo. Good luck

Steve H
October 27, 2007, 01:56 PM
Load my own. I'll start a new gun, espically if it's a new cal., on factory stuff in order to make sure it functions properly and build up a brass supply. Once I'm happy with the gun it's time to start trying different recipies.

Brian Williams
October 27, 2007, 02:00 PM
yep, all my ammo is reloaded, too cheap to buy new.

shadowalker
October 27, 2007, 02:39 PM
I am not against carrying with hand loads but I wouldn't load plated bullets (either Rainer or Berry's) for daily carry, I do use them for practice quite often though.

XTPs are around $15/100 and Gold Dots $15-$20 for 100 around here.

sb350hp
October 27, 2007, 02:53 PM
Shadowalker

What is your issues w/ plated? Agreed they are not the best but do you have a negative perspective on them for any specific reason?

zxcvbob
October 27, 2007, 03:09 PM
I load my own for home defense (.38 SPL 158 grain LSWCHP.) I don't carry; if I did I might use factory ammo for that. I don't think legally it makes any difference, but I wouldn't wanna be the test case. OTOH, if someone breaks into my castle it would be hard for any prosecutor to claim that I was out looking for trouble because I'm trigger-happy, no matter what Massad Ayoob says.

There was a case a year or two ago where the type of ammo someone used in SD made a difference when a guy in Arizona was carrying a 10mm to protect against mountain lions. He was attacked by 2 dogs and shot them (or maybe shot the ground right in front of the dogs, i don't remember) He was then attacked by the enraged dogs' owner and shot him in SD. The jury decided that the shooting might have been justified, but using a 10mm was just too much (the cops don't even carry handguns that powerful!) and they found him guilty of manslaughter. :banghead:

Cannonball888
October 27, 2007, 03:19 PM
Massad Ayoob doesn't recommend using handloads for SD because it can be used against you in court.

AKCOP
October 27, 2007, 05:17 PM
If the fact that you use handloads to defend yourself is used against you in court you need to fire your lawyer and find a better one. I mean if it was a justified shooting you shouldn't even be in court unless of course you had the previously mentioned crappy lawyer.

Ron James
October 27, 2007, 05:46 PM
It doesn't matter if it is a justified shooting or not, If the prosecutor needs a conviction to round out his resume you can be hauled in to court. Remember the AG controls the grand jury. There's an old saying that a good prosecutor can get the grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. With so many good factory loads on the market, why even consider using reloads for self defence? I reload , but only for target and hunting, I wouldn't even consider using reloads for self defence. Just my humble opinion, you do what ever floats your boat, but before you start making statements such as " it's a good shoot , why worry about the courts", you really , really should spend a few days just siting in the court room and learning just how the law really works. A good prosecutor can convince a jury that the Virgin Mary was a hooker.

shadowalker
October 27, 2007, 07:33 PM
What is your issues w/ plated? Agreed they are not the best but do you have a negative perspective on them for any specific reason?

Plated bullets are usually very soft lead with thin copper jackets, they are intended for practice and are constructed cheaply so they can pass the savings on to the consumer, I am not comfortable trusting my life to the cheapest constructed bullet.

My cost for 100 hand loaded XTP's is about $20 and $25 for Gold Dots, these replicate factory loads so I can carry either factory or hand loads if I wanted to. In Idaho or Alaska I'd feel pretty comfortable carrying hand loads for self defense, some of the other states that barely believe in a person's right to self defense I'd be more cautious in.

I shoot thousands of Berry's plated for practice and have a good amount of them loaded, in a SHTF scenario I would use them but they are not what I carry.

The man with the 10mm also seemed to have a pretty bad defensive team, the jury also mentioned the use of JHP influenced them.

A good attorney would have made the point that the 10mm is equivilant to the 357 magnum which was very popular with police for years and is still in use and also would have easily defused the JHP problem.

SaxonPig
October 27, 2007, 09:48 PM
I think that using hand loads in a defensive shooting COULD become an issue as a smart lawyer would make you look like a bloodthirsty killer loading your own ammo for extra killing power because factory ammo just doesn't kill fast enough.

I know it's ridiculous but remember that the jury would NOT be made up of shooters and gun owners. They might swallow that baloney.

Having said that I do load my own .38 Specials because no factory 38 load I have tried makes me comfortable. I find the +P with a 125 at 925 FPS to be a good plinking load. For SD I use the same 125 JHP at 1,150 FPS with fine results in J and K frame Smiths. I don't worry too much about legal consequences because in my state courts and juries don't punish law abiding people who shoot criminals. If I lived in a less friendly state I would reconsider.

My primary carry gun is a 9mm with factory 115 +Ps.

M2 Carbine
October 27, 2007, 10:12 PM
I use whatever I think is the best bullet, whether I load it or it's a factory load makes no difference.

My first consideration is to stay alive and stop the attacker as fast as possible, with as deadly a bullet as I can buy or hand load.
I wouldn't even consider reducing my chances by using a less effective bullet just because of the EXTREMELY REMOTE possibility that I might have to explain it in court.

mavracer
October 27, 2007, 10:15 PM
I can't see where it should make a difference as long as you are replicating some acceptable load (read factory or duty ammo) I wouldn't go over listed max or modify bullets.not to hijack thread but I have two instances where I use rainier plated HP for SD one is 44 special 240 grn loaded to 900fps because the gun shoots this load very well and at that velocity the soft lead HP should work well if not it's still .429. and the other is my IPSC/IDPA 10mm load 165 rainier load at 1000-1100 fps once again at the modest velocity they should work well and since I only carry these to and from matches I can hardly think they could prove I loaded them special.

Cosmoline
October 27, 2007, 10:29 PM
For rifles, yes. Most factory loads are geared for game level penetration.

This is a very old issue and has been argued at great length. But the legal concerns with handloads involve forensics, not any impact they would have on the justification of self defense. There are also concerns over reliability esp. over time if you haven't sealed your primers properly.

WSM MAGNUM
October 27, 2007, 10:46 PM
Yes, I reload my own ammo for self defense as well as hunting and target shooting. I will trust my ammo over the factory to perform every time because I know that each round has been inspected by my own eyes and I know what components every round has in it.

BikerRN
October 27, 2007, 11:53 PM
For courtroom survival I carry factory ammunition.

I'm not going to go in to it here, this topic has been beat to death. I will just say that I believe that anyone who carries "handloads" for self defense is the same as a lawyer that defends himself in court.

Biker

RyanM
October 28, 2007, 12:31 AM
Handload. Can't afford factory. And I can get better performance than factory ammo anyway.

Rudy Kohn
October 28, 2007, 12:56 AM
Now, I'll admit before saying anything else that I have no experience with handloading...

That said, couldn't you hypothetically develop a load that simulates the recoil, point-of-impact, velocity, etc. of your favorite SD round and use those for practice?

Is that unfeasible for some reason?

ArchAngelCD
October 28, 2007, 01:22 AM
Since I can't afford to practice with the SD ammo I carry, I practice with my reloads. I did buy some Factory ammo for carry. Since I carry Speer Gold Dot .38 Special +P I used Speer's data to replicate their ammo. I use Speer Brass, CCI primers and Gold Dot bullets and I get the same velocity and feel from my reloads. I guess you can say I get the best of both worlds from my plan.

It's just a real shame we have to worry about what ammo you carry. This is not the same country I was born in.

BikerRN
October 28, 2007, 05:45 AM
Duplicating a "factory" load for practice is fine, IMHO. I do not however think one should carry a handload for self defensive purposes.

I shoot reloads at the range, on the street I carry factory ammo.

Biker

Double Naught Spy
October 28, 2007, 07:45 AM
Massad Ayoob doesn't recommend using handloads for SD because it can be used against you in court.

First of all, get one thing straight. Everything about the shooting circumstance and circumstances leading up to the shooting are likely to come into play. If your shoot is questionable and goes to trial, the prosecutor will use everything in his/her power to get a legal conviction. Gun type and ammo type are included. They will both be used against you. A classic example is Harold Fish who shot factory hollowpoints. The fact that he used hollowpoint ammo bothered some of the jurors and that has lead some people to believe that hollowpoint ammo got him convicted. Reading the case, it seems that his version of the story did not fit the forensic evidence and that is what got him convicted - his claim of self defense not being justified.

So how does Ayoob say handloads can be used against you? If you are worried about the prosecutor saying they are uber lethal or whatever, that can be said about any round and was said about Fish's hollowpoints. So that is a given.

No, it wasn't that hollowpoints can be used against you in a self defense shooting. It was was that a lack of known loading standards means they can't be used in support of your defense in regard to gun shot residue. He cites a couple of cases where GSR would have been critical in proving the defendant's story that could not be proved because handloads were used.

The problem I face is that I cannot afford to practice with say Hydra-Shoks all the time. It just gets way to expensive. I want to know that my SD round feeds reliably and a box of 50 does not build my confidence 30 bucks at a time.

So dont' practice with Hydrashoks all the time. If you reload, this is a no-brainer. Develop a load with the comparable recoil and muzzle flash characteristics of Hydrshoks as fired from your gun. It is that simple.

I don't reload, but what I found is that Blazer ball 230 gr. .45 acp is a good match for Hydrashok 230 gr. in recoil characteristics, POI, and muzzle flash and so I feel fine about practicing with Blazer and it being a decent substitute for Hydrashoks on the range.

PotatoJudge
October 28, 2007, 09:19 AM
So dont' practice with Hydrashoks all the time. If you reload, this is a no-brainer. Develop a load with the comparable recoil and muzzle flash characteristics of Hydrshoks as fired from your gun. It is that simple.

In a semiauto, bullet profile is very important when it comes to reliability. Hydrashoks aren't available as components so there's no way to really test them without buying lots of expensive loaded ammo. That's part of the reason I use Golden Sabers.

Okiecruffler
October 28, 2007, 09:21 AM
If you're that worried about what happens after a shooting perhaps you shouldn't use a gun for SD. There be reloads in mine, I've never had one of my reloads fizzle, can't say the same for factory.

CTPistol
October 28, 2007, 09:46 AM
No reloads here!

I reload for all practise, and make a similar round...but go back to factory for carry.

I agree with the few above about looking better in court. The general public does not think reloading (making your own bullets!) is normal. Any prosecutor will run you through as a Rambo type making super killer rounds. Who needs the added pressure?

I reload 1000's of rounds, just not my SD stuff. Gun is stock and so is ammo.

For home I also prefer to use the same defense gun and ammo that every trooper in my state carries.

The argument about not being able to afford factory ammo or not getting the performance is pretty weak IMHO...

PotatoJudge
October 28, 2007, 10:04 AM
The argument about not being able to afford factory ammo or not getting the performance is pretty weak IMHO...

Performance-wise I agree. There are loadings out there to fill about any need.

Cost-wise, 200 rounds for the semiautos (100-200 for revolvers)- that's 10 boxes at about $20 a box. That's $200 per gun and that's if the first ammo you try works. Add another $100 if you want to try different loads for flash, noise, POI/POA, etc. At $200-300 a gun (and who keeps just one gun loaded for SD?) that'll add up real quick. The argument is weak if you have the money for it but on a budget it's a pretty good one.

jerkface11
October 28, 2007, 10:42 AM
I for one do not trust factory ammo. Having your gun go click when you NEED it to go bang is a bad thing. And I've run into factory ammo with no flash hole!

DMZ
October 28, 2007, 11:28 AM
I do not develop loads specifically for SD, but in my area the most available bullet (over the counter) in most calibers and weights is the XTP. This is a bullet I can afford and find it to be accurate in all of my pistols and revolvers, so, most of my ammo stash is loaded with XTP's. If I was ever to shoot a home invader, it would be easy to show I used my plinking/target/hunting load.

Oohrah
October 29, 2007, 01:59 AM
Yep I do. I would only worry about a clean kill without a surviver!
:)

polekitty
October 29, 2007, 02:53 AM
In that case of SD with a 10mm, the guy probably didn't have a gun-knowledgeable lawyer. To say he was guilty for too much power was stupid. Most police don't use those calibers because they just can't handle a "strong" gun! Let's face it, most police are not shooting enthusiasts. Folks go int police and fire for one prime reason: where else do you find a job which will still be there next month? Much less, 25 years later to retire! The 40S&W is popular for one and only one reason---it's more potent than 9mm, but works fine for people who just are plain scared to try shooting anything bigger! And, 10mm takes a bit of practice. Most police fire maybe 50 shots once a year to re-qualify. That just doesn't cut it!

Kimber1911_06238
October 29, 2007, 08:36 AM
Don't handload sd ammo, check massad ayoob's posts for reasons why.

DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT used rainier plated hollow points for SD. They are extremely soft and I'd be willing to bet that penetration is horrible in a real life application. The lead inside the plating is very soft, swaged rather than hardcast. Use a good jacketed hollow point instead.

The Bushmaster
October 29, 2007, 12:35 PM
No...I use the same ammunition as my local sheriff uses. But I do hand load an equivilant for practice. I flat out trust my handloads, but for liability reasons I use factory loads for SD. Sheriff uses Federal 124 grain Hydra-shoks...

DoubleTapDrew
October 29, 2007, 03:37 PM
What about factory reloads like Buffalo Bore or Double Tap with their higher pressure gold-dot rounds? Are those considered handloads or factory? I wonder if it would be brought up in court that "regular ammo wasn't deadly enough for you?" like Ayoob says.
I'd like to use handloads but I worry about attorneys. I'd like to use factory but I can't afford to spend $300 in ammo to test reliability of each new round I'd like to try.

StrikeEagle
October 29, 2007, 04:11 PM
I'm an enthusiastic Reloader and Caster. I actually enjoy preparing ammo almost as much as shooting it. :)

But no... no reloads for SD, not for me.

I know it "shouldn't" be this way, but using non-standard ammo is another joker in the overall deck. Things happen in court that just shouldn't... we all know that.

Trials are NOT always 100% rational. Often perception is a key. Mistakes and misjudgements DO happen. And when the very subject of firearms is an issue, goofiness and invincible ignorance can really, REALLY go through the roof. Have you never tried to have a discussion on guns or hunting with some robotic type who gets in freeze-frame mode and just keeps repeating:

"If you have a gun, you're just looking for trouble!"

"How could you shoot a deer? Would you like it if a deer shot you?"

etc, etc, etc...

Have you never seen this mentality? Well folks like that can and do end up on juries. You all know that, right?

Factory ammo is mighty good... certainly good enough. IMO, it makes NO sense to run any risk at all, no matter how small, of handing a prosecutor any additional... (for lack of a better word) ammunition.

Okiecruffler
October 29, 2007, 04:14 PM
With all due respect to Mr Ayoob, it's my butt on the line, not his. My number 1 worry in a shooting , and it's number one WAY ahead of anything else, is the nasty SOB in front of my muzzle going down and going down HARD.

zxcvbob
October 29, 2007, 05:11 PM
DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT used rainier plated hollow points for SD. They are extremely soft and I'd be willing to bet that penetration is horrible in a real life application. The lead inside the plating is very soft, swaged rather than hardcast. Use a good jacketed hollow point instead.

You're rather insistent, considering you haven't done any tests. (I would be more concerned that they wouldn't expand, since the nose and cavity are also plated)

CoRoMo
October 29, 2007, 05:16 PM
Depends on the caliber/gun. I reload my own .357, 38Spl, and 38 +P ammo, and I feel fine about carrying them.
I don't reload 9mm though. Just too expensive

jerkface11
October 29, 2007, 06:25 PM
Mr. Ayoob can insist that we not handload our defensive ammo till he's blue in the face. When asked he can't cite ONE case of someone losing a case due to handloads. The guy with the 10mm mentioned above was using FACTORY ammo and they used THAT against him.

massad ayoob
October 29, 2007, 06:55 PM
Wrong, Jerkface. Anyone on here can do a search under reloads/self-defense and find the case I exhaustively quoted here some time ago, in which the citizen's lawyers said he wouldn't have gone to prison and become a convicted felon if his home defense gun had been loaded with factory ammo instead of reloads.

jerkface11
October 29, 2007, 07:36 PM
The last thread I saw you post about this on, you couldn't cite a case where a good shoot lead to conviction due to the use of handloads. And the fact remains I can ensure that my handloads go off EVERY time. I have no control over what winchester speer or corbon do though.

BobMcG
October 29, 2007, 07:53 PM
For over three decades I've enjoyed handloading for all of my practice, plinking, target and hunting needs whether for shotgun, rifle or handgun. However, when it comes to carry ammo I've always used factory rounds.

Any shooting would be a nightmare come true and I don't need to carry around the thought that an overzealous DA might just be able to make my nightmare even worse because my handloads were involved. That's BS I can live without.

MCgunner
October 29, 2007, 08:10 PM
I live in Texas. I ain't real worried about such tripe being used in court. I like my hand loads, shoot to POA, accurate, and I can afford 'em and obtain them without ordering off the net. Hard to get premium ammo down here in Podunk. Another thing, in my autos, I want my loads to be tried and tested which ain't easy for me to afford when they cost a dollar a round. I guess I could stay away from autos and just carry my revolvers, but sometimes I like my little Kel Tec 9. In fact, I like to carry it a lot. :D I've handloaded the whole of my adult life, started about 40 years ago. I started with rifles, delved into shotgun reloading, and of course, when I got into handguns, I bought dies and molds and such. :D Actually, I inherited the habit from my grandpa and uncle. Some of my fond memories were as a 12 year old rug rat hanging out in the "reloading room" as they got ready for deer season. They usually gave me the case trimming to do to shut me up...."Let ME do somethin', Pa Pa!" LOL

MCgunner
October 29, 2007, 09:12 PM
You know, just a thought, I doubt the yokles down here at the Podunk PD even know you CAN reload ammunition. Don't know about the DA, maybe, think he hunts. He's no Johnny Holmes, but he's a republican.

hamourkiller
October 29, 2007, 09:18 PM
Yes I reload and use my reloaded ammo for defensive purposes. I also use factory loads depending upon the gun. Revolvers get reloads and spasmatics get factory ball.

Kimber1911_06238
October 29, 2007, 09:34 PM
DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT used rainier plated hollow points for SD. They are extremely soft and I'd be willing to bet that penetration is horrible in a real life application. The lead inside the plating is very soft, swaged rather than hardcast. Use a good jacketed hollow point instead.

You're rather insistent, considering you haven't done any tests. (I would be more concerned that they wouldn't expand, since the nose and cavity are also plated)

check out gunblast for expansion results on rainier bullets. they didn't expand and penetration was poor. There are also other sites that tested them and got a "splatting effect", couldn't find that link.

mavracer
October 29, 2007, 09:40 PM
Quote:
DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT used rainier plated hollow points for SD. They are extremely soft and I'd be willing to bet that penetration is horrible in a real life application. The lead inside the plating is very soft, swaged rather than hardcast. Use a good jacketed hollow point instead.

You're rather insistent, considering you haven't done any tests. (I would be more concerned that they wouldn't expand, since the nose and cavity are also plated)
if you keep the in their "window" of velocity they both expand consistantly and stay together well.and Bob they are plated and then punched like gold dots

mavracer
October 29, 2007, 09:59 PM
check out gunblast for expansion results on rainier bullets. they didn't expand and penetration was poor. There are also other sites that tested them and got a "splatting effect", couldn't find that link.
like I said you need to keep them in their window. if you go to rainier's websight they say from about 900-1250fps so yes it's not gonna expand at 736fps but I'd dissagree about penatration as it outpenatrated every bullet that expanded.

goon
October 29, 2007, 10:07 PM
I often try to duplicate at least the bullet type/style and approximate power level in my practice handloads but I don't carry them for SD.
I generally carry 9mm and there are many different factory JHP loads for all budgets. I have watched at Wal-mart and picked up Win white box JHP's for about $10 a box before so there really isn't any reason that you couldn't carry a factory load just based on price.
Even when you go with premium defensive stuff, I don't really think its necessary to blow through 800 rounds of the stuff before you trust it. I have found that a reliable autoloader is a reliable autoloader - generally if they feed and work well with one brand of JHP they will work perfectly with other brands as well. I have owned SIG's, Glocks, CZ's, and a Browning HP and that has been the rule with all of them. 1911's have been a different story. But if you are carrying a 1911, you probably already know that some of them can be tempermental and that you may have to put some $ into it to get what you want. That's why I don't own any.
With a revolver, if it fits in the chamber it will almost certainly be fine. All you have to do is shoot enough to know where your POI is and to make sure that primers aren't too hard or something - a box should do that.
Generally, after I have shot about a hundred rounds or so through an automatic without ANY issues, I'll carry that load and not worry about it. I've never had a problem with this system (but I haven't ever needed to use a CCW either).

The real reason I use JHP isn't to make a bigger hole, eventhough they do that. Lets face it guys, people got killed for centuries long before they had JHP ammo. Two .355, .357, or .452 inch holes in the chest is a bad thing whether they expand or not and would almost certainly take the fight out of you either way.
I just don't want to worry about hurting an innocent bystander so I consider the use of expanding or fragmenting ammo to be a social responsibility for anyone who carries.

zxcvbob
October 29, 2007, 10:15 PM
Bob they are plated and then punched like gold dots

I haven't used the Rainiers. I buy Berry's plated hollowpoints to use for target shooting because they are extremely accurate. They appear to be swaged and then plated; I assumed the Rainiers were the same. I wouldn't trust them without doing a lot of testing, but they are more accurate than wadcutters in my S&W 15-4.

madcratebuilder
October 29, 2007, 10:24 PM
If you're that worried about what happens after a shooting perhaps you shouldn't use a gun for SD. There be reloads in mine, I've never had one of my reloads fizzle, can't say the same for factory.
+1

mavracer
October 29, 2007, 10:51 PM
Bob, to clarify my first post to this thread I really don't carry my IDPA/IPSC guns but usually keep them loaded in the range bag when traveling.the only one I really ever plan to carry is the 44 special 240 rainier and I'm not going to start carrying them until I chrono them if they're not going close to 900fps I'll buy some more Gold dots (maybe the new Doubletap offering).so far the rainiers are the most accurate load I've used in my 3" taurus 1 jagged hole at 15 yards.

massad ayoob
October 30, 2007, 09:20 AM
Jerkface11, in Post #38 you said of me, "When asked he can't cite ONE case of someone losing a case due to handloads."

In Post #39, I reminded you of a case in which an armed citizen served time on a Manslaughter conviction because, his lawyers agreed, he had loaded his home defense gun with handloads instead of factory. (When an issue of suicide versus murder came up with that gun, as described exhaustively in a previous thread, the Court refused to accept his word or his records as to what the gun was loaded with, and gunshot residue testing that could have proven his innocence was not allowed to go before the triers of the facts.)

In Post # 40, you change your standards and say, "The last thread I saw you post about this on, you couldn't cite a case where a good shoot led to conviction due to the use of handloads."

Well, Jerkface, in the case mentioned above, a citizen who almost certainly did NOT shoot was convicted, primarily because he didn't have factory ammo that would allow court-approved gunshot residue testing. You also overlook mention in the previous thread of a case in which a cop with handloads was tried, largely on the basis of the "regular ammo wasn't deadly enough for you" argument, and ultimately acquitted.

When you imply that only convictions count, it's a little like saying, "Aw, you don't need to take cover from opposing gunfire. That guy Ayoob cites who was wounded didn't die, after all." Being wounded is better than being killed, and going through the ordeal of trial to be acquitted is better than being convicted, but neither is a good thing. The fact is, handloads can get you into trouble, and it's been proven.

Neither you nor any other advocate of handloads for self-defense has yet been able to cite a case where a court DID take the defendant's word for what was in his handloads, and allow proper testing of same when gunshot residue as a determinant of distance became an issue at trial. It is for this reason primarily (and, secondarily, the "regular ammo wasn't deadly enough for you" argument) that causes me to strongly recommend against handloads for defensive use.

zxcvbob
October 30, 2007, 09:54 AM
Massad,
What about the difference between home-defense ammo versus carry ammo? (I tried to bring this up earlier) When I'm defending my home, I'm making a last stand. If I'm carrying a concealed weapon and get into a gunfight, a Mike Nifong type might say I was out looking for trouble so I could shoot somebody with my super-duper zombie-stomper handloads. Do you see the difference? Or is there no difference and I'm fooling myself?

I load .38 Specials to the same specs as factory ammo ("the FBI load", I think it's called) for home defense. I don't see how the fact that I loaded it myself has any bearing at all for home defense -- especially if I'm shooting it from a .357.

drdirk
October 30, 2007, 10:32 AM
I only shoot and carry my own homemade ammo. Carry .45 ACP so I feel perfectly safe carrying and shooting my reloads. I also like the fact that Point of Aim and feel are the same should I ever need to use it.

obxned
October 30, 2007, 11:43 AM
There have been many articles in the news lately about how police departments are having a hard time getting enough ammunition. As a good citizen, I reload instead of buying that scarce ammo and making things more difficult for our law enforcement people to do thier jobs.

The Bushmaster
October 30, 2007, 12:02 PM
Whether Mr. Ayoob is correct or not really makes little difference as far as I'm concerned. Why push it...? Why give the prosecutor any edge he might think he has? Factory ammunition has proven to be quite dependable. The most important thing is whether whatever ammunition you are using functions 100% of the time in your particular carry gun. In all my years (I'll be 65 in Dec) of shooting and hunting I've only had one factory round that was bad and it was possibly a double charged .45 ACP (scared the snot out of me). I've been reloading for the last 20 years and also have not had a bad round...But for the sake of liability and litigation I'll use what the sheriff uses. Seems like the best way to go...

And Really folks...I'm not sure what we're arguing about here. Shoot what you want and have a ball!!!

shadowalker
October 30, 2007, 03:07 PM
What about the difference between home-defense ammo versus carry ammo

The ammunition is used for the same thing whether you are at home or out and about, lethal force to protect yourself, your family, and perhaps another victim.

Whether at home or out and about lethal force is my last resort, my last stand.

StrikeEagle
October 30, 2007, 03:20 PM
Whether Mr. Ayoob is correct or not really makes little difference as far as I'm concerned. Why push it...? Why give the prosecutor any edge he might think he has? Factory ammunition has proven to be quite dependable.

This is exactly the point I was trying to make.

Very well said.

jerkface11
October 30, 2007, 09:54 PM
So which ammo company is it you own a stake in I forgot.

goon
October 30, 2007, 10:26 PM
Even if he did, what he's saying is reasonable advice.

mavracer
October 30, 2007, 10:32 PM
So which ammo company is it you own a stake in I forgot.
even if you forgot you should be able to deduct it would have to be federal as everyone else sells their bullets as components.

jerkface11
October 30, 2007, 10:40 PM
I'd hardly call trying to scare people out of loading their own defensive ammo for 20 years or so reasonable.

ArchAngelCD
October 31, 2007, 03:11 AM
What if you use Speer .38 Special +P Brass, CCI primers and Speer Gold Dot bullets? Do you think it would pass as factory ammo?

jeepmor
October 31, 2007, 04:20 AM
What if you use Speer .38 Special +P Brass, CCI primers and Speer Gold Dot bullets? Do you think it would pass as factory ammo?

None of this helps you in GUN SHOT RESIDUE tests now does it. If folks are that bent on using handloads for self defense, I would suggest you find out what powders are being used in your factory ammo that you are mimicking and roll out the same rounds for SD purposes. I believe there are several powders available to the handloader that are also used in factory SD offerings. I don't know what they area though, but I do recall reading of them here in THR over the years.

As for reliabilty, if you're that bent on it, you could extract the bullets and powder and check the flash holes personally, then reassemble.

From what I've gathered from this thread, the GSR tests are used to forensically verify the distances at which the ugly event occurred to be compared against the testimonies. Apparently our science types aren't savvy enough to do this with "other" powders not currently employed or placed in SD ammo. Rather, more realistcally, it's expensive testing you don't want to foot the bill for to bail your hide out of a sling when your dealing with a court case of this gravity.

ArchAngelCD
October 31, 2007, 05:04 AM
I'm not "bent" on anything, it was only a question. :rolleyes: Check post #20.

StrikeEagle
October 31, 2007, 06:05 AM
What if you use Speer .38 Special +P Brass, CCI primers and Speer Gold Dot bullets? Do you think it would pass as factory ammo?


I doubt it... and it certainly wouldn't pass after they just ask you where you got it... and they will.

In the aftermath of a shooting, that's a question that simply *must* be answered truthfully.

Double Naught Spy
October 31, 2007, 08:38 AM
I doubt it... and it certainly wouldn't pass after they just ask you where you got it... and they will.

In the aftermath of a shooting, that's a question that simply *must* be answered truthfully.

Um, nope. They can ask anything that want to ask, but you should not be speaking with the cops if you have been in a shooting. You should be speaking with your lawyer and your lawyer only when dealing with the cops.

If you are going to answer questions from the cops, then they ALL must be answered truthfully to the best of your knowledge, but you should not be speaking with the cops.

TIMC
October 31, 2007, 12:14 PM
I use my own hand loads in my SD gun and have no intention of changing. I am using 185 grain Golden Saber JHP bullets with a middle of the road powder charge. They keep my little Para functioning perfectly so that is what I am going to use. I'll worry about answering for it if the time ever comes.

Don90
October 31, 2007, 12:24 PM
Wrong, Jerkface. Anyone on here can do a search under reloads/self-defense and find the case I exhaustively quoted here some time ago, in which the citizen's lawyers said he wouldn't have gone to prison and become a convicted felon if his home defense gun had been loaded with factory ammo instead of reloads. Mas, give us the link again.

massad ayoob
October 31, 2007, 12:27 PM
Alas, Don, I'm not sufficiently computer literate to post a link. However, a search under "handloads/self defense" should turn it up. I wanna say it was late 2005 but it might have been 2006.
best,
mas

Hawk
October 31, 2007, 01:10 PM
Here we go:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=2129976&highlight=gsr#post2129976

Hawk
October 31, 2007, 01:25 PM
Hopefully, not too much of a thread veer, but I'm curious as to whether concerns over "Why wasn’t regular ammunition deadly enough for you" type arguments being used by opposing counsel would cause some to stay away from some factory ammo.

I'll not mention specific brands, but I'm thinking of a firm that uses mall ninjas, lightning bolts and diamond plate in their advertising and trademarks such as "toothy face" and "air doom ninja exploding round of ultimate terrorist splattering giblets". Or something along those lines, anyway.

The GSR issues would be gone but I can picture the slide show of the company's web site leading to discomfort as it is played for a jury of one's peers.

Given the small market penetration of such things, I'd suspect there couldn't be any real world uses of eXXXtreme bullets of blowing things up, but I'd be interested in opinion and conjecture on the matter. Should rounds from firms employing "over the top" marketing be avoided in SD weapons?

Cosmoline
October 31, 2007, 01:42 PM
If you do a search there's a HUGE thread on this issue where Mas himself came in to clarify his position. His concern involves real-life problems he's seen arise where it would have been useful for a defendant to be able to test exemplars for various things such as powder burn patterns at X distance and so on. If you have a case of handloads with scant data, they don't have the same level of reliability as a marked and numbered case from the factory using a known bulk powder batch at a known weight.

Whether or not this potential problem is sufficient to outweight the utility of using handloads is something you have to decide for yourself. If you do use handloads for SD, make sure you hand weigh each charge for the batch and have everything kept well recorded in a book so it can be used by experts if needed. Personally I do rig handloads for rifles if used in a home defense role because it allows me to control the variables, and because most factory rifle rounds are loaded for deeper penetration than I need for HD. For handguns though there's such a range of loads available in .357 and .44 for mine I really don't need to worry about it now.

The "extra deadly" business is complete hogwash. That doesn't mean it can't crop up in court if your judge is asleep, but like a lot of other nonsense that can crop up at trial it shouldn't be a major concern of yours now. If you spend time worrying about all the things that might come up to cause troubles at trial you'd never set foot out the house. Worry about when the line has been crossed into sufficient threat to justify deadly force. Worry A LOT about that. Don't worry so much about what ammo you're loaded with. That applies to these excessive "overpenetration" concerns as well. A lot of things are possible once you pull the trigger, but if your life depends on it don't hesitate or you'll stop worrying about the whole business.

I'm curious as to whether concerns over "Why wasn’t regular ammunition deadly enough for you" type arguments being used by opposing counsel would cause some to stay away from some factory ammo.

A court that will allow such nonsense to come in about handloads would certainly allow it to come in about hollow points or even "too big" of a caliber. In that trial in AZ with the dog walker, the court apparently allowed the DA to yammer on about how horrible the 10mm handgun was. Using factory ammo gets you nothing in front of such a court. But as I said there are countless potentially prejudicial things you could worry about if you wanted to, from what clothes you're wearing when you shoot someone to how clean your house is when the cops take scene photos. Worry about the main legal principles and don't get hung up on all the potential evidentiary issues.

StrikeEagle
October 31, 2007, 02:31 PM
Hopefully, not too much of a thread veer, but I'm curious as to whether concerns over "Why wasn’t regular ammunition deadly enough for you" type arguments being used by opposing counsel would cause some to stay away from some factory ammo.


I, for one wouldn't that 'ninja' ammo for just the reason you suggest. Nor would I use ammo with a particularly 'evil' name like, say... 'DeathBlitzTrauma' or some such.

As has been pointed out several times in this very interesting thread, normal, mainstream defense ammo is so good there just isn't any point.

massad ayoob
October 31, 2007, 10:05 PM
Cosmo makes some points that all attending should pay attention to.

However, no matter how thoroughly and meticulously you document your handloads, it can still be expected go down the chute when the opposing attorney cries, "Your Honor, you can't allow this: the defendant literally MANUFACTURED THE EVIDENCE!"


Hawk, I agree with StrikeEagle that ammo advertised to mall ninjas won't do you any good in court. Besides, I've never seen any confirmed cases of anyone being shot with it -- no track record, ergo, not something to trust your life to.

Some earlier posters had it right: picking a factory load you're comfortable with, making sure it works in your gun, and then duplicating it as closely as possible for TRAINING reloads gives you the best of both worlds.

ArchAngelCD
October 31, 2007, 10:26 PM
I would think if I had to use my handgun in a SD situation and had to actually shoot someone, the only time the ammo would be a factor is if the DA was convinced it was a bad shoot and went at me with everything he/she could think of.

If I handload a .38 Special with a 158gr LSWC/HP it's hard to call that more deadly than a Winchester Ranger, Speer Gold Dot or Federal Hydra-Shok round. After all, if it was good enough for the FBI......

BUT, as said in this post many times already, why chance it? (what a shame..)

Hawk
October 31, 2007, 10:40 PM
Thanks, Mr. Ayoob, that was pretty much what I was thinking. Mall ninja ammo has no positive attributes and may have negative attributes. In the absence of any good reason to carry ninja ammo, there simply doesn't seem much point in the enterprise - economy certainly isn't part of the equation.

I don't reload any semi-auto chamberings as my range runs hot in 12 hour stretches and watching once-loaded Starline sail into somebody else's bucket gets old in a hurry. Hence, my practice and carry ammo are both factory loadings - specifically, Fed HSTs. I reload revolver rounds but don't carry the things.

Someday, we'll do a survey with "priorites".
I won't carry handloaded ammo.
I won't carry ninja ammo or overtly "killer" decorations.

But I'll cheerfully pin the grip safety on a 1911 and remove firing pin block parts if needed to make the thing run right.

I suspect my acceptance of pinned grip safeties over "Punisher" grip panels is a minority opinion.

Before anybody strokes out on me... I've replaced the piece that needed the FPB removed and the pinned grip safety is academic only. My current EDC is "factory stock".
:)

massad ayoob
October 31, 2007, 10:45 PM
ArchAngelCD, as you say, why chance it? Agreed.

Let me emphasize once again that I for one think the "regular bullets weren't deadly enough for you" attack is the lesser argument against handloads. The strongest is the inability to duplicate gunshot residue testing to confirm your account of the incident, given that the courts are most unlikely to take your word for what was in the fatal load. Since so many self-defense shootings can occur at "powder-burning distance," this is more important than most realize.

I've been doing the expert witness thing since 1979. Most people wouldn't believe the BS that opposing lawyers will fabricate or grotesquely blow out of proportion when they know they have no case, but have to make political points with a prosecution or go for some $$$ with a civil lawsuit. I was involved in two homicide cases that went to trial just last month. The good guys I was retained to speak for won both, but each also went through roughly three-year ordeals before being exonerated. Both were clear-cut self-defense shootings, as the juries in each case ultimately confirmed.

The more BS attacks by unscrupulous lawyers that you can avoid by not giving them anything to work with, the better.

mavracer
October 31, 2007, 11:02 PM
Massad,
what's your opinion on Doubletap/Bufflo Bore ammo?is there any record of std factory vs. botique?

Double Naught Spy
November 1, 2007, 09:01 AM
The strongest is the inability to duplicate gunshot residue testing to confirm your account of the incident...

Right, so it isn't so much that hand/reloads will get you convicted as it is that they are useless or nearly useless in substantiating a shooter's claims via GSR.

Strangley, people translate the above quote to read
Massad Ayoob doesn't recommend using handloads for SD because it can be used against you in court.

Cosmoline
November 1, 2007, 03:05 PM
Thanks for dropping by Mas!

One of these days I should post a PDF of a typical pre-trial in limine motion even in a little fender bender. You'd be amazed what kind of nonsense the plaintiff attorneys try to get in front of the jury, from how much insurance you have to your lapsed car registration from ten years ago. I have to put my hip waders on to do the motion practice.

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