Self-Defense bullets/powder


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kestak
September 21, 2009, 03:41 PM
Greetings,

I did a little bit of research, but I want your fresh idea. Per what I found, Hornady HP/XTP would be a nice one.

What would be a good self-defense bullet in 9mm and 45ACP for me to reload?

Anothwer question: Anyone tested thoroughly the Ramshot Silhouette for its low flash capability compared to the commercial self-defense loads and flash?

Thank you
P.S.: I live in Ga. No stupid laws like in California where you really need to use commercial ammo for self-defense.

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ny32182
September 21, 2009, 04:32 PM
Gold Dots are available as components.

As far as powder I'd be inclined to say go slow for the bullet weight and maximize velocity, but I've never really thought about handloading rounds specifically for defensive purposes before... I still have more faith in factory ammo for that, given my current experience level.

ny32182
September 21, 2009, 04:35 PM
Also, is there really a law in California that you can't use handloads for self defense? I thought that was all a bunch of BS.

They would have to do a separate detailed forensic examination just to prove whether a particular round was a handload or not. I've never, *ever* heard of that actually happening...

fprefect
September 21, 2009, 05:03 PM
I use the same .357 125 gr. bullet for hunting and personal defense with 21.5 grs. of H110. According to Hodgdon it's not a max. load, but trust me, work up to it slowly. You probably won't want to be punchin' holes in paper with this load.

F. Prefect

ljnowell
September 21, 2009, 05:24 PM
I use power pistol for my .45acp loads. Anything from a 230gr XTP to 185gr gold dot. Those two bullets in any weight have been excellent choices with power pistol. Very accurate and the best expansion I have ever had. I have a thread on here with pictures if you look up "power pistol .45acp". Cons to it:

1. It has some recoil. I am not going to lie. Unless you are a 80lb weakling, its manageable.
2. Its got some flash, and you can see that from the pictures. In fact i will find the link and post it back up. Its not bad and I have shot at night and didnt have any issues.

Here you go:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=5684926#post5684926

RidgwayCO
September 21, 2009, 05:55 PM
For the 9mm Luger, Speer GDHPs or Hornady HP/XTPs in the 124gr persuasion are very nice SD bullets. With these bullets, you'll be hard pressed to find better powders than Power Pistol or 3N37. Power Pistol might give you a few more fps, but 3N37 does its work without all the flash that Power Pistol's known for. AA #5 and #7 are also good in 9mm, but don't burn as completely.

zxcvbob
September 21, 2009, 06:16 PM
I think California is actually pretty good about shooting and/or killing someone in self defense. They just harrass gun owners the 99% of the time you are *not* using your gun for SD.

I reload .38 Specials for HD; 158 grain soft lead HP's with 4.5 grains of Unique. (I may up that to 5.0 next time, or switch to Bullseye.) For my .380, I use 4.2 grains of Unique with a 95 grain LRN bullet.

oneounceload
September 21, 2009, 06:30 PM
P.S.: I live in Ga. No stupid laws like in California where you really need to use commercial ammo for self-defense.

But I bet they have just as many smart attorneys to sue you.......

pinkymingeo
September 21, 2009, 08:56 PM
I use lead swc's for most of my defense loads, because I believe that two holes are better than one. The exception is in my 357's for pocket carry, where I use Speer jsp's with a big meplat. No hope for expansion, again, but great bullets if you agree with the two-for-one concept.

Marlin 45 carbine
September 21, 2009, 09:17 PM
power pistol is good for 9mm and .45acp. enforcer by ramshot is too and w/o the 'flash'.
I favor XTP and Rem GS (the tightest grouping jacketed I have personally loaded)
Noslers are great too.

WV_Vizsla
September 23, 2009, 12:43 AM
Tested the factory Hornady Custom 124g and the Hor 115g Critical Defense in ballistic gel last month: both work as advertised. The Critical Defense line has reduced flash like the TAP line. Will test that as the light fades.
Still think factory is the way to load CCW gear.

pinkymingeo
September 23, 2009, 06:26 AM
That's especially important if you're attacked by ballistic gel. That stuff really has an attitude! People, on the other hand, come in a variety of sizes and shapes, wear lots of different types and weights of clothing, carry stuff in their pockets, and have body parts of radically different densities. I have come to believe that for gelatin defense you can't beat overpriced factory ammo.

Ianmtx
September 23, 2009, 01:40 PM
Personally, I would not use handloads for self defense, too much of a liability.

Ben Shepherd
September 23, 2009, 02:53 PM
All the opinions on whether handloads are a prudent choice for SD purposes aside, I'd look long and hard at gold dot or xtp slugs launched by the appropriate Vihtavuori powder.

Vit powders are extremely clean, very low flash, and consistant across the board in my experience.

ArchAngelCD
September 24, 2009, 05:25 AM
I live in Ga. No stupid laws like in California where you really need to use commercial ammo for self-defense
Why can't everyone who posts in every single thread like this honor what the OP says and not tell them to use only factory ammo instead of handloads??? :banghead: It's obvious in this thread the OP knows all the arguments for and against so the excuse, "I'm making sure they know" doesn't hold water.. Let the flames begin! :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

WV_Vizsla
September 24, 2009, 10:12 AM
Hey Ben
What is the low flash V powder for 9mm 115g ??

kestak
September 24, 2009, 10:14 AM
Greetings,

Quite funny: All the bullets proposed are backorder in 9mm or 45acp.

Thank you

The Bushmaster
September 24, 2009, 10:28 AM
L O L There must be a reason...I, too, use my own reloads for concealed carry. Hornady HP/XTP 124 grain for 9mmX19 and 185 grain for .45 ACP.

Did you know that Fiocchi of Italy uses 35 grain HP/XTP in their .25 ACP (Extrema)??:cool: Maybe that's where all the XTPs are going...:D

Steve H
September 24, 2009, 10:35 AM
take a look at the Barnes XPB bullet.

GW Staar
September 24, 2009, 10:39 PM
Interesting thread. The factory vs. handload ammo is irrelevant these days. You use what you can find.:rolleyes:

In my local area, I can find all the XTP and Gold Dot bullets I want. What I can't find is factory versions of anything except FMJ and maybe a few Remington Golden Sabres, which do ok in my Kimber 45, but don't feed well in my Kahr 40.

As for the Gold Dots, the last factory ones I bought was in .40SW, for short barrels. My 6 month old Kahr, freshly cleaned, would not feed them...even first rack.(mangled the soft hollow part of the bullet) Emailing Kahr brought a canned response and they sent me a new stiffer spring.:confused: Anyway, moot point, as I have never found any more Factory Gold Dots to try them out and I hesitate to buy a whole box of bullets just to find out they don't work.

Ben Shepherd
September 24, 2009, 10:56 PM
Hey Ben
What is the low flash V powder for 9mm 115g ??

Flash wise, 3N37 has worked well for low flash when I tested it with the lights out at the indoor range. Accuracy wise it has been excellent as well. There are other powders that will drive the 115 a touch faster, but at the expense of greatly increased muzzle flash.

JShirley
October 15, 2009, 04:40 PM
But I bet they have just as many smart attorneys to sue you.......

No, actually, in Georgia, someone injured during the commission of a felony cannot sue...

John

freakshow10mm
October 16, 2009, 11:07 AM
P.S.: I live in Ga. No stupid laws like in California where you really need to use commercial ammo for self-defense.
Really? What law? Or is this more ignorance? Figured.

BattleChimp Potemkin
October 16, 2009, 01:47 PM
Ben Shepard, I second the 3n37 from Vihtavouri! In slightly milder loads, almost non-existant flash at night (shot at night at a range). When really bumped up trying to get the numbers Viht says it can get, you do get a white (as opposed to yellow or orange) flash, but only with heavy loads (and I mean, MAX), and even then, pretty mild. 3n37 can really speed up a bullet, but with little recoil too. I loaded to max 147gr 9mm and it was VERY mild compared to factory 147 subsonic (and went crazy fast too, 1050+-10 fps out of a 4" Glock 19).

Viht 3n37 is great in 9mm, not so much in .45 (meh velocity, pretty low pressure for a high energy powder). HP38 can be okay, Unique was great in regards to flash. I use slightly milder charges in .45 and .38 for low flash. Whatever you do, stay away from Longshot: It's velocity numbers and availability may seem cool, but the flash and ruckuss they cause is purely amazing. Every caliber, I have tried Longshot. Sure it gets you the velo, but at the cost of bright white huge flash (even in lower charges) and is very loud compared to other loadings.

LibertySympathizer
October 31, 2009, 06:33 PM
Is there a Hodgdon powder considered pretty low flash?

That's the only brand carried locally, and I have a lot of my primary powder, and don't need enough to justify buying a lot to cover the mail order hasmat.

But I'll keep in mind that Vihtavouri for when I do need to make a large order.

GRIZ22
October 31, 2009, 06:43 PM
No stupid laws like in California where you really need to use commercial ammo for self-defense.

Is this going to be the new internet myth?

jfh
October 31, 2009, 06:53 PM
Ramshot's Silhouette is definitely a lower-flash powder.

I've shot it indoors, next to AA#5, but only in .38 Special and .357 Magnum so far. I have not tested it extensively for its flash characteristics. Unfortunately, our club's range has a day-light-to-dusk shooting time, and an irritable neighbor who lives downrange.

Jim H.

armsmaster270
October 31, 2009, 06:58 PM
30 years in Law Enforcement in CA and I know of no such law. However some Instructors say to use factory so the DA can't claim you were using "Special Man Killers " on the poor guy that was just trying to injure you with that 10ga shotgun.:what: DUH.

On a personal note I prefer to use proven loads tested and carried by on duty officers.

rfwobbly
October 31, 2009, 09:40 PM
Is there a Hodgdon powder considered pretty low flash?

HP38 can be okay...


That was already answered.

Kentucky Jelly
November 1, 2009, 12:18 AM
I just started working on a 9mm SD load. I am using xtp's because I have a ton of them:) over power pistol. I am not reaching close to max loads, and would not consider these hot at all. Below are pics of 3 different powder levels with .1 grn difference. Left to right right being the hottest. Out of a G17.
http://i232.photobucket.com/albums/ee212/Hondatool/DSC_0011.jpg
http://i232.photobucket.com/albums/ee212/Hondatool/DSC_0012.jpg

I was shooting gallon jugs full of water and digging these out of the soft mud. Not very scientific, but the gallon jugs were greatly traumatized. Also tried them in a m&p compact and they didn't seem near the velocity of the longer barreled Glock. Like I said I wasn't close to max so I am going to try hotter for the m&p or a different powder. All of them felt real nice in the glock. I was alone on a sunny day so I can not comment on flash.

ArchAngelCD
November 1, 2009, 02:21 AM
Is there a Hodgdon powder considered pretty low flash?
Along with the already mentioned HP-38 (W231) HS-6 is also a low flash powder. It's a slower burn rate powder than HP-38 and with that it can be used for +P rounds for the 9mm and 45 Auto. (and in the .38 Special +P like I use it)

LibertySympathizer
November 1, 2009, 02:42 PM
Thanks, and sorry I missed the already mentioned HP-38.

rfwobbly
November 1, 2009, 02:50 PM
...sorry I missed the already mentioned HP-38.

It's OK. We got your back.

ArchAngelCD
November 2, 2009, 06:57 PM
My saying it was already mentioned wasn't to tell you it was but to give credit to the post that did mention it already.

delta5
November 3, 2009, 12:36 AM
How about Speer gold dot bullets with Hodgdon Titegroup powder?

45crittergitter
November 3, 2009, 11:17 PM
There are numerous good reasons to use only factory loads for SD. None of them have anything to do with a statute. As far as handloads or any other load of undocumented origin, don't. Just don't.

ljnowell
November 4, 2009, 10:24 AM
There are numerous good reasons to use only factory loads for SD. None of them have anything to do with a statute. As far as handloads or any other load of undocumented origin, don't. Just don't.
__________________

Why? You perpetuate a myth with nothing to back it up. There is no unknown origin when someone builds handload themselves.

45crittergitter
November 17, 2009, 10:52 PM
No myth and plenty of backup. I did not say "unknown origin." I said handloads OR undocumented origin (meaning a factory box, not your load notes). Perhaps not the best wordsmithing there. It mostly has to do with evidence issues in the legal system, but nothing to do with statutes. It's all in your assigned reading. Just a hint: You don't want to be the defendant who literally manufactured the evidence. Even factory ammo is best when traced to the specific box or lot number. The $5 you save can easily cost you $50k or more in some situations.

Kraylon
November 18, 2009, 01:50 AM
I was told by a ccw instructor that outside of your house you should never have your reloaded ammo in your gun when you are carrying because if you have to use that firearm at the time you have it loaded with reloads, it can or will give the lawyer that is against you fuel for there fire, since you loaded that ammo, they can claim you made that ammo with the indent to kill someone, and the best ammo to use is as close to what ever the cops in your town use "if it is good enough to protect a officer of the law then it is good enough to protect me." as for home defence he has told me it is best to do the same but you can reload ammo for " home defence" but understand that if that bullet exits your house it has your name all over it and you are going to pay for what ever it hits. In the city I work in, the police use Winchester hollow points and the closest ammo non law enforcement can get is the Winchester sxt.

Every state or lawyer maybe different but it gives one less reason for the to paint you to be the bad guy, and I could see a lawyer claim one reloaded "man killer" bullets, lawyers are smart but sometime far away from reality.

ljnowell
November 18, 2009, 02:34 AM
The only documented case Ihave ever seen anyone post came from ayoob, and it was shakey. They were accusing the guy of shooting his wife because of the loads in the gun.

LibertySympathizer
November 20, 2009, 02:48 AM
Ordinarily I would agree that for QC and such, use factory stuff.

But with the ammo shortage, I'd rather use my reloads and take my chances with the aftermath, than rely on my ability to take out Goliath with a rock.

For the moment, things have changed, and it's no longer the same argument.

Balog
November 20, 2009, 03:24 PM
No myth and plenty of backup

Prove it. I see this repeated ad infinitum ad naeseum on the errornet, but I have yet to see any evidence for it other than "Ayoob sez." No offense to him, but until there is a verifiable case where it has happened I'll file it under internet myth.

J&S Custom Bullets
November 22, 2009, 12:17 AM
You can buy Gold Dot bullets.

45crittergitter
December 9, 2009, 10:17 PM
State of New Jersey v. Daniel Bias

State of New Hampshire v. Sgt. James Kennedy

EddieNFL
December 9, 2009, 11:00 PM
State of New Jersey v. Daniel Bias

State of New Hampshire v. Sgt. James Kennedy
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BTT/is_181_30/ai_n26806104/?tag=content;col1

I saw nothing in the Bias case that had to do with handloads for self defense. He wasn't charged or convicted because he used handloads.

Couldn't find anything on the Kennedy case.

SomeSmuck
December 10, 2009, 01:20 AM
Along with the already mentioned HP-38 (W231) HS-6 is also a low flash powder. It's a slower burn rate powder than HP-38 and with that it can be used for +P rounds for the 9mm and 45 Auto. (and in the .38 Special +P like I use it)
Is HS-6 a clean burning powder as well? I intend to use it for 38 special (reg and +P) and 40 SW loads and was curious. Was also looking at AutoComp and Viht N340. Leaning towards HS-6 or N340 at the moment. I'm not familiar enough with the Ramshot powders to know if any of them are clean and low flash.

Thanks!

lgbloader
December 10, 2009, 02:09 AM
I use the same .357 125 gr. bullet for hunting and personal defense with 21.5 grs. of H110.


I use this for 357 Mag as well. 21.0 gr of H110 though.

LGB

BattleChimp Potemkin
December 10, 2009, 03:35 PM
Another bullet that appears occasionally not on backorder are Sierra Powerjackets. In my highly informal testing :D they expand VERY well in denimed environments in 9 and .45. Unfortunately, they also fragment violently if driven quickly. For a low penetration load, I use upper end dose of Titegroup under a 115gr Sierra JHP in 9mm, a LARGE dose of Viht 3N37 to replicate the lower flash Corbon loading using the same bullet. For .45, mild doses of Unique can be lower flash (close to middle, 230gr, lighter bullets flash horribly as they need more powder). My HP38 load using the old Hodgdon +P data for .45 is phenominal. Used to use a 185gr Gold Dot (didn't feed in my 1911 well, but Glock 30 perfectly), switched to 230gr Gold Dots or Sierra Powerjackets.

I am not a huge fan of XTPs in slower combinations. My testing has shown they need quite a bit of velo to open up and are confounded easily (regardless of velo) by denim. While not an end all in my book, it is still something I avoid.

Magtech component "Gold" JHPs are pretty nice and cheap too when you find them online. One can easily replicate factory Magtech defensive ammo. They also have an all copper component bullet like the Barnes, but they are MUCH cheaper and have performed well in my tests (but are usually light for caliber, I.E. 77gr 9mm JHP as opposed to Barne's 115gr). They still penetrate deep and open despite 4 layers of denim and 2 layers of bathtowel (on top another) into saturated sand (the ultimate test IMHO, not for terminal performance, but for seeing if it will clog).

Also, most cases where I have seen handloaded ammo used against the shooter were questionable cases regardless. The 10mm case, the guy went psycho and attached without provocation, he wasn't convicted based on his ammo... Just throwing that out there, sorry to the OP, this isn't helping... :D

45crittergitter
December 24, 2009, 02:57 PM
In New Jersey v. Danial Bias, the weapon was loaded with light reloads. The police used +P factory loads in their GSR tests. The police results incriminated the defendant. The defense experts tested reloads identical to what the defendant claimed to have used. The defense results would have exonerated the defendant, but the evidence was not admitted, because it would have required the court to take the defendant's word for the handload recipe. In other words, the defendant literally manufactured the evidence and the reloading records. This resulted in an indictment and a hung jury in the first trial costing the defendant $100,000. The second trial also resulted in a hung jury. The third trial resulted in a Reckless Manslaughter conviction that was overturned on appeal. A fourth trial also ended in a Reckless Manslaughter conviction and a prison sentence. These trials lasted over ten years and of course bankrupted the defendant. We cannot know, but it is possible, even likely, that had factory ammo been used and the resulting GSR tests supported the defense, there may well have been either no indictment or an acquittal at the first trial. Regardless, I see no legitimate reason to ask for that kind of trouble by trying to save $20 on your self-defense ammo.

ljnowell
December 24, 2009, 07:27 PM
We cannot know, but it is possible, even likely, that had factory ammo been used

More bullcrap. Sorry to have to tell you this, but this person was not convicted because he used reloads. No one that ever was part of a GOOD shoot was convicted for reloads. Prove me wrong.

ArchAngelCD
December 25, 2009, 01:07 AM
Is HS-6 a clean burning powder as well? I intend to use it for 38 special (reg and +P) and 40 SW loads and was curious. Was also looking at AutoComp and Viht N340. Leaning towards HS-6 or N340 at the moment. I'm not familiar enough with the Ramshot powders to know if any of them are clean and low flash.

HS-6 is a low flash powder. It is also very clean but only when used at the top end of the pressure range. (like most powders) I don't suggest using HS-6 for light .38 Special loads, you will have a lot of unburnt powder at lower pressures.

I've heard good things about AutoComp but I'm not sure how it performs when downloaded. It is low flash from everything I've heard... If you want 1 powder for the .38 Special in standard and +P loads give W231/HP-38 a try. It's fairly low flash and it's clean across it's pressure range.

Marlin 45 carbine
December 25, 2009, 09:26 AM
all my carry semi-auto pistols (either a Mak or Beretta .32) I have a hot handload h-p XTP or GS chambered then handload fmj's in the mag. if I was forced to use it and got into trouble for useing them I'd say I bought the loads at the gun show. because they were cheap. let them prove other wise.

Galil5.56
December 25, 2009, 12:29 PM
Is HS-6 a clean burning powder as well? I intend to use it for 38 special (reg and +P)

Not in my experience using +P 125 jacketed and +P 158 LSWC data in .38 Special. Even Hodgdon max 9mm loads with 115 and 124 gran bullets are far from "clean" (especially in the cold weather). Have used HS-6 in in max .45 Auto loads, but do not remember/didn't note how "clean" it was. In .38 Special in particular, HS-6 leaves a ton of soft sandy grit that gets under the star on extraction. Hodgdon book max loads produced this same soft sandy grit (less than .38 Special) in my 9mm pistols and in a 16" UZI carbine, but in an UZI is no threat to reliability at all.

Any .38 Special +P ammo I make now gets powered with Power Pistol. It's MUCH cleaner, slightly lower charge weights, meters great, very high chronographed velocities with factory data... PP also works fantastic in my experience with 9mm, and .45 Auto, cast or jacketed, light to max charges, and their is good data for it in .40 cal too. Power Pistol does seem to be "boomy", and may be a bit flashy, but just the same I won't be buying any more HS-6 when my stash is gone.

orrwdd
December 26, 2009, 12:28 AM
Also, is there really a law in California that you can't use handloads for self defense? I thought that was all a bunch of BS.

They would have to do a separate detailed forensic examination just to prove whether a particular round was a handload or not. I've never, *ever* heard of that actually happening...
I always carry with commercial ammo for legal reasons.

Even if there is no law there are always legions of lawyers and even prosecutors that will sue you or charge you for using handloads when you shoot someone.

It doesn't matter why you had to shoot, or how bad the guy was, they love to get into court and the press about your homemade man killer ammo.

Bill

45crittergitter
December 31, 2009, 06:28 PM
No one that ever was part of a GOOD shoot was convicted for reloads. Prove me wrong.

First of all, simply avoiding CONVICTION is not my only goal. I'd rather avoid a trial. I'd rather avoid even addressing the ammo issue at trial if there is one. In this case, 3 or 4 trials and hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees could have been avoided. GSR is an issue in upwards of 40% of defensive shooting cases, and I'd rather not discard evidence that will likely help me in a good shoot.

Secondly, if you didn't realize, the defendant in that case DID NOT FIRE THE GUN (he did previously load it), yet he was CONVICTED TWICE. Both of his attorneys stated that had factory ammo been used, they didn't think there would have been a conviction.

Shawn Dodson
December 31, 2009, 07:29 PM
A few years ago I handloaded my defense ammo because the cartridge I chose, Remington 9mm 147gr Golden Saber, exhibited velocity extremes of as much as 125 fps when I chrono'd them from my G19. I liked the Golden Saber bullet so I developed handloads, using VV 3N37 propellant, that duplicated average factory velocity from my G19 (throwing out the extremes). I used new Remington brass. I had no qualms about my handload for defense then, nor would I now. It was my "standard" cartridge for training and defense. I had ammo cans full of this stuff.

This all changed when, in an effort to reduce costs, I chose the Speer 9mm +P Gold Dot load for defrense, which I could easily duplicate identical performance for training using less expensive 124gr FMJ bullets.

Handloads for defense have the potential to increase the cost of your defense as a result of the time and effort required to defend their use. If you choose to use handloads, like I did, I suggest using, at a minimum, the same brand of brass (preferrably new brass) as the bullet for dedicated defense loads. Also, duplicate factory velocity with your handloads. Don't volunteer any information about your ammo, and if queried, consult with your lawyer first before making any statements.

There's nothing wrong with handloads for defense. Handloads might be all you have at your disposal the time for any number of reasons (e.g., shooting up all your factory ammo at the range and having to load your gun with leftover handloads for the ride home; lack of commerical ammo availability; etc.).

kelbro
January 1, 2010, 08:22 AM
Factory or handloaded, if you shoot somebody it's probably going to cost you a lot of money.

ljnowell
January 1, 2010, 03:30 PM
In New Jersey v. Danial Bias, the weapon was loaded with light reloads. The police used +P factory loads in their GSR tests. The police results incriminated the defendant. The defense experts tested reloads identical to what the defendant claimed to have used. The defense results would have exonerated the defendant, but the evidence was not admitted, because it would have required the court to take the defendant's word for the handload recipe. In other words, the defendant literally manufactured the evidence and the reloading records. This resulted in an indictment and a hung jury in the first trial costing the defendant $100,000. The second trial also resulted in a hung jury. The third trial resulted in a Reckless Manslaughter conviction that was overturned on appeal. A fourth trial also ended in a Reckless Manslaughter conviction and a prison sentence. These trials lasted over ten years and of course bankrupted the defendant. We cannot know, but it is possible, even likely, that had factory ammo been used and the resulting GSR tests supported the defense, there may well have been either no indictment or an acquittal at the first trial. Regardless, I see no legitimate reason to ask for that kind of trouble by trying to save $20 on your self-defense ammo.


Really? From Mas Ayoobs writing:
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.


This was not a case of a totally innocent handloader who went to prison. The argument he presented was that since it was a light load, there was no gunshot residue on the victim. Sorry, but no matter how light the load a person who shot themself would have GSR on them. He was not convicted because of handloads, he was convicted for shooting his wife. According to his defense his wife held the gun more 24 inches or more from herself when she committed suicide, so no GSR. Also notice no mention of angles of entry or any of that. It doesnt support the "evil handloads" argument.

Once again, please show a case where someone was inolved in a GOOD SHOOT situation(Somene broke in, attempted to kill them, tried attacking a child, etc) where someone was convicted for using handloads, not someone who killed his wife. You cant.

45crittergitter
January 10, 2010, 05:28 PM
excerpt from the Bias case article:

"...the indications were that with the loads we believed to have been actually in the gun, the GSR would be so sparse and lightly deposited it was entirely possible none remained by the time the body was forensically examined the day after the shooting."

ljnowell
January 11, 2010, 12:40 AM
excerpt from the Bias case article:

"...the indications were that with the loads we believed to have been actually in the gun, the GSR would be so sparse and lightly deposited it was entirely possible none remained by the time the body was forensically examined the day after the shooting."

The handloaded 115-grain lead bullet punched into the left side of Lise's skull 2 1/2" behind and 1 1/4" above the ear canal
the fact she is right-handed and had the gun in her left hand.
A right handed woman held a pistol 24-30 inches from her head with her left hand and shot herself in a forward angle from behind and above with her left hand? The GSR isnt why he was convicted. This not an example of a good shoot and someone in trouble because of handloads.

link:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BTT/is_181_30/ai_n26806104/?tag=content;col1

ArchAngelCD
January 11, 2010, 04:58 AM
Have used HS-6 in in max .45 Auto loads, but do not remember/didn't note how "clean" it was. In .38 Special in particular, HS-6 leaves a ton of soft sandy grit that gets under the star on extraction. Hodgdon book max loads produced this same soft sandy grit (less than .38 Special) in my 9mm pistols and in a 16" UZI carbine, but in an UZI is no threat to reliability at all.
Galil5.56,
If you use a Magnum primer with HS-6 it cleans up very nicely even in cold weather. It is a Ball powder that's a little hard to ignite after all.

45crittergitter
January 13, 2010, 04:43 PM
I think the point is that the crime lab's conclusion that the gun was 24-30" away from the victim's head was due to allegedly faulty GSR testing - testing that would likely have been accurate had factory ammo been used in the gun.

Bias told the investigators the revolver had been loaded with extra-light handloads.

During the grand jury inquest, the following exchange came with a senior investigator on the stand:

Prosecutor: "In fact, the uh, the rounds that were uh, taken that night and the rounds that were tested were rounds that Mr. Bias himself had reloaded, is that correct?"

Sergeant: "Yes, that's correct."

However, the test ammunition taken from the Bias home (not from the gun) and submitted to the crime lab for examination included cartridges with R-P headstamps. The loads in the gun, and in the box it was loaded from, were all in Federal +P cases.

Apparently, the handloads taken for testing were full power loads, NOT the light handloads Bias claimed were in the gun. The tested loads deposited visible gunshot residue until a distance of 50" was reached. Factory Federal 158-grain lead semi-wadcutter +P would leave visible GSR at that distance or greater.

No particulate matter, sooting, tattooing, or other evidence of GSR of any kind had been found on the victim's hair, head or clothing. The medical examiner took pains to measure the dead woman's arm's reach, and determined approximately 30" for that measurement. The investigators and experts were unanimous at the trial: she could not have shot herself without leaving gunshot residue.

However,

With duplicate loads in an exemplar six-inch Smith, Ayoob and Co. determined the light 2.3 grain Bullseye load with the 115-grain bullet would deposit GSR to perhaps three feet. At that distance, it left only about a dozen loose particles. At 24" there was still only loose particles, and even at 20" the powder would still be in very loose particles, with virtually nothing embedded.

Due to this testing and the realities of time, blood, etc., they concluded it was entirely possible Bias was telling the truth and the gun had been in his wife's hand when it discharged, and there were well-established reasons why no GSR might have been found on the body when the totality of the circumstances were considered.

I'm not saying he was innocent, just that if he was telling the truth, and had factory ammo been in the gun, the GSR would have been consistent with his story. I would want it to be consistent with my story, for sure - and I don't want to be the name on the next case y’all are discussing! :)

Also, let's not forget that we (at least I) should be unconcerned with saving $20 on ammo that's honestly no better than factory, when it could result in the possibility of this even being an issue in court, because if it's an issue, and even if we win, the defense of that point will cost you far, far more than you saved.

ljnowell
January 14, 2010, 01:27 AM
I think the point is that the crime lab's conclusion that the gun was 24-30" away from the victim's head was due to allegedly faulty GSR testing - testing that would likely have been accurate had factory ammo been used in the gun.

Bias told the investigators the revolver had been loaded with extra-light handloads.

During the grand jury inquest, the following exchange came with a senior investigator on the stand:

Prosecutor: "In fact, the uh, the rounds that were uh, taken that night and the rounds that were tested were rounds that Mr. Bias himself had reloaded, is that correct?"

Sergeant: "Yes, that's correct."

However, the test ammunition taken from the Bias home (not from the gun) and submitted to the crime lab for examination included cartridges with R-P headstamps. The loads in the gun, and in the box it was loaded from, were all in Federal +P cases.

Apparently, the handloads taken for testing were full power loads, NOT the light handloads Bias claimed were in the gun. The tested loads deposited visible gunshot residue until a distance of 50" was reached. Factory Federal 158-grain lead semi-wadcutter +P would leave visible GSR at that distance or greater.

No particulate matter, sooting, tattooing, or other evidence of GSR of any kind had been found on the victim's hair, head or clothing. The medical examiner took pains to measure the dead woman's arm's reach, and determined approximately 30" for that measurement. The investigators and experts were unanimous at the trial: she could not have shot herself without leaving gunshot residue.

However,

With duplicate loads in an exemplar six-inch Smith, Ayoob and Co. determined the light 2.3 grain Bullseye load with the 115-grain bullet would deposit GSR to perhaps three feet. At that distance, it left only about a dozen loose particles. At 24" there was still only loose particles, and even at 20" the powder would still be in very loose particles, with virtually nothing embedded.

Due to this testing and the realities of time, blood, etc., they concluded it was entirely possible Bias was telling the truth and the gun had been in his wife's hand when it discharged, and there were well-established reasons why no GSR might have been found on the body when the totality of the circumstances were considered.

I'm not saying he was innocent, just that if he was telling the truth, and had factory ammo been in the gun, the GSR would have been consistent with his story. I would want it to be consistent with my story, for sure - and I don't want to be the name on the next case y’all are discussing!

Also, let's not forget that we (at least I) should be unconcerned with saving $20 on ammo that's honestly no better than factory, when it could result in the possibility of this even being an issue in court, because if it's an issue, and even if we win, the defense of that point will cost you far, far more than you saved.

I do appreciate your opinion, I just disagree. I dont make my own ammo just to save money. I do it because I can trust my own ammo a lot more. Ever had a dud out of factory ammo? At least three or four times I have broken down a factory round to see why it didnt go bang and found no anvil in the primer. That would not happen with my ammo.

All that aside, I guess some of us would worry about such things as what happens if I have to use it, others wont. I am obviously one of those who wont. At least we both agree that having a gun when you need it is the most important part.

bds
January 14, 2010, 03:02 AM
"kestak - What would be a good self-defense bullet in 9mm and 45ACP for me to reload?"

I would recommend Remington Golden Saber for good expansion and penetration.

Just remember that Golden Saber bullets are designed to enhance expansion for the standard left hand rifling in barrels (Some others like Glocks have right hand rifling).

MidwayUSA carries bulk Remington Golden Saber at a reasonable price: (example: $17 for 100 124 gr 9mm)
http://www.midwayusa.com/Search/#bulk%20remington%20golden%20sabre____-_1-2-4_8-16-32

Paints
January 14, 2010, 09:54 AM
I would recommend Remington Golden Saber for good expansion and penetration.

I'm not arguing with you, but I thought I read that Remington GS were NOT all that good in the expansion department. Does someone have factual reference one way or the other?

I have a 500 bullet box that I've been using for gun/magazine testing.

Ken

bds
January 14, 2010, 02:54 PM
Paints, as I mentioned in my post, Golden Saber bullets have "angled left hand twist" to the jacket petals to enhance expansion when fired from standard "left hand" rifled barrels (bullet rotates counter-clockwise).

If Golden Saber bullets are shot from "right hand" rifled barrels (such as Glock), clockwise rotation of the bullets defeats the left hand twist of the jacket petals and the bullets do not expand as well. For right hand twist rifled barrels, I would recommend the jacketed hollow point bullets that have non-angled jacket petals (basically any other jacketed hollow point bullet other than Golden Saber).

You can check the orientation of your rifling by looking down the barrel from the chamber end. Left hand twist (counter-clockwise) rifling is standard and right hand twist (clockwise) rifling is non-standard.

I do not load my factory barreled Glocks with Golden Saber (I have them loaded with factory JHPs from Federal/Winchester).

One solution I use for my Glocks is to have the factory "right hand twist" barrels replaced with Lone Wolf drop in standard "left hand twist" barrels ($99 from Cheaper Than Dirt). The Golden Saber bullets will work fine in these left hand twist rifled barrels.

The benefits of using standard Lone Wolf barrels are that the chambers fully support the case (no more bulged cases to resize :) ), I can comfortably shoot lead and moly coated lead bullets in the Lone Wolf barrels which have the standard land/sea rifling instead of Glock's polygonal rifling, and I also have the Lone Wolf 40 to 9mm conversion barrels so I can shoot 9mm out of my Glock 22/27 for cheaper practice.

FYI, I get the moly coated lead bullets from Precision Bullets out of Texas because they also bake their moly coating after tumble coating - very good price and free shipping (http://www.precisionbullets.com/products.html).

Update: Thanks to rcmodel, another lead bullet vendor cheaper than my current supplier: (Price + $10.85 for Shipping up to 2000 rounds and 5% discount for order over 12,000 rounds)
http://www.missouribullet.com/pricing.php

Jim Watson
January 14, 2010, 03:02 PM
I never knew that the Golden Sabre depended on the direction of rifling to "unscrew" upon impact. You got pictures?

Is "standard land/sea rifling" a new design? How does the salt water affect your bullets?

bds
January 14, 2010, 03:21 PM
Jim,

Here's the excerpt from Remington website and closeup photos.

"Spiral nose-cut feature permits mushrooming at lower velocity without sacrificing penetration or terminal performance"

http://www.remington.com/products/ammunition/handgun/golden-saber-hpj.aspx


It's not that Golden Saber bullets won't mushroom shot out of right hand twist barrels, just not as effectively when shot out of left hand twist barrels at slower velocities (i.e. short barreled sub-compact pistols). I believe at higher velocities shot from full-size 4.4" - 5" barrels, expansion is less affected by the spiral cut. I carry Glock 27 sub-compact with me most of the time and short-barrel terminal performance is important to me. All of my pistols were loaded with Hydra-Shock before Remington released the Golden Saber - And I do like the Golden Saber performance (I believe better bullet expansion, retention and deeper penetration). That's why I went with Lone Wolf standard left hand twist barrel option for my Glock 22/27.

As to standard left hand twist rifling - It was developed in 1850s by British for large bore rifles to prevent rifles from tipping away from right-handed shooters. The left hand twist pushed the rifle towards the right-handed shooters and the left hand standard twist stuck. For short barreled pistols, this is not an issue. For some reason, domestic gun manufacturers (i.e. 1911 barrels) continued to use the standard left hand twist while European manufacturers (like Glock, XD, Beretta, H&K, etc.) use the right hand twist.

As to salt water affecting the brass jacket instead of copper, I do not have much data on that. I have competed with brass jacketed bullets from Montana Gold for 15 years now and have seen some surface discoloration from old rounds I forgot about in the garage, but they were similar to discoloration on old copper jacketed bullets. Perhaps someone else can shed some light on the affects of salt water on brass. Don't they use brass in sea bound boats/ships to minimize corrosion? IMHO


BTW, lower photo shows 45 Hydra-Shok to the left and 9mm Golden Saber to the right.

http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/review/pix/Golden_Saber_mud_test_250.jpg

http://www.hi-upload.com/upload/uploaded3/p3at%20ammo%20tests.JPG

http://pds15.egloos.com/pds/200909/13/23/d0056023_4aacbccb0165c.jpg

45crittergitter
January 17, 2010, 07:41 PM
ljnowell, I appreciate your input as well. I've never had a factory centerfire dud that I can recall in the last 40 years. I've had one of my centerfire brass reloads fail that I recall. I understand our opinions vary; my belief was and is that most any brand name factory defense-type centerfire pistol ammo is AT LEAST as reliable as my handloads, even though I load one at a time and inspect each and every load multiple times. Having made that assumption, I'm sure y'all will understand the rest of my position.

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