Self Defense Hand Loads


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Taildragger-J3
September 14, 2009, 01:58 PM
I've read a few references to avoiding using hand loaded rounds in a firearm carried for self defense. I'm curious about the logic behind such advice. Is there some kind of legal issue? Is it just a question of reliability? At the moment I've got cor-bons in mine, but they are the last 5 from the box.

Comments? Suggestions?

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rcmodel
September 14, 2009, 02:11 PM
The logic is that using handloads can be used against you in court.
(Factory loads not deadly enough for ya, you cold blooded killer?)

Massad Ayoob is a leading proponent of this and pounds on it all the time.
He says factory ammo can be compared forensically to determine powder burn marks, range of the shooting, etc.
Something you cannot do with reloads because there is no set standard.

My feeling is, if you are involved in a SD shooting, you darn well better be sure it was a justified shooting in the first place, and there won't be any hard questions like that.

If I blow away a BG in my house with grandpa's Model 12 and some of my trap shell reloads, I doubt there would be.

Currently, you would be hard pressed to find any factory SD loads in my house, or guns.
But thats just a personal decision I made many years ago, and may not be correct in todays kinder, gentler courts of law.

rc

Ben Shepherd
September 14, 2009, 02:41 PM
Massad Ayoob did finally find a case that backed him up on his legal points, I read it a few months ago in some magazine or other. Don't remember exactly where, as I just noted as I read it that he finally had a case study to back him after all the years of telling us not to.

That being said, like rc, I carry handloads. This decision was not made lightly, and I won't tell others to carry one or the other. But after an incident with a primer missing the compound, I don't trust ANY ammo I didn't assemble as much as some I did.

AFAIK, there are no laws anywhere stating you can't carry handloads either. Although you may want to dig through your own state and local regs just to make sure.

possum
September 14, 2009, 03:25 PM
i carry corbon dpx, however i do have handload defense rounds they are 155gr speer gold dots as a matter of fact. they are reliable, accurate, and shootable in my handgun, they are about as hot as a load as i would want to shoot. anyway, they are in my stash. why in the stash, well they are set back for shtf, and or if for some reason down the road there is an ammo crises, again and no ammo can be found i can have enough to last me a few years worth of cycles through my carry gun, home defense gun etc. just in case.

rcmodel
September 14, 2009, 03:36 PM
I just relized my wifes bedroom gun IS loaded with factory ammo.

Old .38 Spc 110 grain Super-Vel in fact.

Like to see Mas find some of that from the same lot number to forensically compare it with.

rc

GP100man
September 14, 2009, 09:04 PM
my wifes nite stand gun is loaded with hydra shocks , everything else is handloads & home cast boolits .
1 GP is loaded with shotshells for Mr. no leggs , it has a designated place above the kitchen sink , real handy place!!

The Bushmaster
September 15, 2009, 09:33 AM
Guess I'm in trouble with the lawyers. My two night stand guns (Mod 10s) are loaded with 5 grains of W-231 under a 140 grain SJHP. My carry ammunintion is 7.6 grains of WSF under a Hornady 185 grain HP/XTP...

First two are .38 Specials and the last one is a .45 ACP.

Marlin 45 carbine
September 15, 2009, 10:06 AM
If qued about my loads I'd say I bought 'em for cheap at the gun show.

iblong
September 15, 2009, 10:22 AM
Out of 7 hand guns only 2 have factory ammo in them.My 38spl.is loaded with BB.+p 158 lswc-hp and my wifes Kahr has 124gr gold dots.Her 38 has my version of the fbi load that she can handel and shoot very well.My 45's are hand loaded as is My m&p 9 and gp100.

nitetrane98
September 15, 2009, 12:11 PM
I use handloads.
Whenever we hear about the lawyer asking something like what RC said it seems like we all imagine the dramatic music swelling, the camera cuts to the jury who are gasping, then to the judge who jerks his head around to look at you. Why doesn't anybody imagine saying, "Yes sir, the factory ammunition is certainly adequate in power, as a matter of fact, my handloads are somewhat less powerful than factory loads. What I am mostly concerned about is the accuracy and reliability of factory ammo. I am much more concerned with a bullet going exactly where I aim it than lethality and having had a factory round fail to fire due to non existent flash hole, I decided that I would rather be in control of every facet of the construction of my bullets to make them as accurate and reliable as possible so that I could depend upon them if I ever needed to protect myself or my loved ones. My biggest fear has always been missing my target and shooting an innocent person."
I mean, we do get to answer the question, right?

ljnowell
September 15, 2009, 12:20 PM
Massad Ayoob did finally find a case that backed him up on his legal points, I read it a few months ago in some magazine or other. Don't remember exactly where, as I just noted as I read it that he finally had a case study to back him after all the years of telling us not to.


Wasnt that the one where the handloads in question were not questioned for increased lethality, but instead a side issue? I thought it had something to do with leaving loads made for a persons wife in the gun, but when she was shot there was different ammo in it?

If thats the one you mean, it really didnt have much to do with increased lethality of ammo, just catching a guy in a lie.

Either way, I say its BS till Mas comes here and posts some links. He is a member of several large gun sites, but never manages to provide links to any of the stories he trumpets around.

Deavis
September 15, 2009, 12:23 PM
The case Ayoob cited, if we're thinking of the same one, involved a wife/husband shooting. He claimed suicide and the DA claimed otherwise. It was not a clear cut case of SD and the handload reference was pretty convoluted IIRC. However, it was a while since I read that article he published.

Personally, I'm not worried about the legal issues. If I'm involved in an SD shooting it will be because I had no other choice and I'm going to pay my lawyer a big chunk of change whether I shoot the BG with handloads or factory. I chose factory for my carry gun because in my experience testing them, they have shown superior flash and smoke suppression compared to any similarly powered handload using canister powders.

Taildragger-J3
September 15, 2009, 12:37 PM
Nitetrane, that's a GREAT response. I too hope and pray that I'm never faced with a shoot or be shot decision, but if it comes to that, I want to be sure the gun goes "BANG" and the slug goes where I'm pointing. I've had good results on both issues with both factory & hand loaded ammo. As I'm sure we would all agree one of the main reasons I reload is for the $ savings so I can continue to practice and be proficient. It's not a matter of creating a super cartridge or anything like that.

longdayjake
September 15, 2009, 01:16 PM
Massad Ayoob is a leading proponent of this and pounds on it all the time.
He says factory ammo can be compared forensically to determine powder burn marks, range of the shooting, etc.
Something you cannot do with reloads because there is no set standard.


Okay, the first issue I have with Mister Ayoob is that he is not a lawyer. He has a degree in business. Now, I will be the first to say that a degree says nothing about what you know or don't know, but for someone to give legal advice that is not a lawyer is ignorant and irresponsible. Secondly, looking through his credentials, alot of his training and teaching experience has come from new york city or LA. Several more are in extremely anti gun cities including London. It seems to me that he is probably used to teaching a more "restrictive" form of firearm ownership and involvement. I won't say I know more than him about the law, but I will say that if he can't back up his ideas with some sort of proof than I am inclined to give as much credence to his advice as I would CSI Miami.

Any good detective will not rely on powder marks to make their case. It may be a clue, but it won't make a solid case. An absence of evidence is not going to give you "beyond a reasonable doubt." In fact getting the prosecutor's expert witness to admit that a handload can give different results than a factory load throws out any kind of ballistic evidence that they could use against you. If he won't admit it then you are still saved or damned by the science of ballistics just as you would with a regular factory load.

Ben Shepherd
September 15, 2009, 02:45 PM
IIRC, in the case I read about, distance between the shooter and the shot was a key factor. Shooter used handloads, and there was no "lot number" as it were to test powder residue at varrying differences. The distance between the two was a key factor in the court case.

Like I posted earlier though, I just noted it as a point in a data set, and unless a law is passed barring me from doing so, I shall continue to carry ammo I assembled every step of the way. No missing primer compound, no nonexistent flash holes, BOTH of which I HAVE seen in "factory" ammo.

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