Concealed carry ammo.....?


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the Black Spot
November 23, 2012, 12:08 PM
Do the authorities frown on using handloaded ammo? Is there a chance of less repercussions if I use factory ammo?
Thanks.

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jeepnik
November 23, 2012, 12:23 PM
Several "experts" advise against it. Yet, none seems to be able to point to an incident where it mattered.

My personal feeling is stay with factory. Two reasons, factory is generally more reliable (I reload and have probably had equal number of failures with both factory and reload) and, why give the other peoples lawyer a leg to stand on.

golden
November 23, 2012, 12:27 PM
SPOT,

There has been a lot of talk on this subject. The basic arguement against handloads comes down to two points:

1. Handloads are not as reliable as factory ammo. I accept this argument for the most part. If you are a handloader who is very meticulous, then it might not be relevant.

2. The legal argument is based on the possibility of you getting criminally tried for using handloads by an opportunist district attorney looking for headlines. If you think this is unlikely, just remember all the lawsuits that Elliot SPITZER filed in N.Y.
In one case in Miami that became pretty famous, a police officer was tried twice by the state. When the case was finally won in the state, the federal government stepped in and moved the case out of state for a civil rights trial. In the end, the officer was cleared, but went through hell.
The other arguement is that you might be sued civilly. This has a real possibility, especially if the incident gains noteriety.

A very valid question to ask, is what can you do with a handload than cannota be done just as well, if not better with factory ammo. What bullet can you load that is not available in factory ammo?
As a handloader, you do not have access to the powder mixing facilities that the factories have, so you are very unlikely to exceed factory velocity without raising pressures well above factory ammo.
Also, some brands of factory ammo use flash suppressant powders, will you be able do the same?

In the end, I do not see any advantage in carrying handloads in a defense gun.

Jim

shafter
November 23, 2012, 02:26 PM
It probably doesn't matter but why take a chance?

mljdeckard
November 23, 2012, 02:41 PM
There are several things that MAY be used against you by an overzealous prosecutor.

In a perfect world, no it wouldn't matter. What kind of ammo or by whom it was made should not be a factor in determining whether or not you used reasonable force. But our world is far from perfect. A D.A. looking to make a name for himself might get creative. If you carry the same ammo your local cops carry, you were trying to play cop and looking for a chance to shoot someone. If you carry something else, you were negligent in using unproven, less effective ammo. If you carry factory defensive ammo, you were using evil, devastating hollow-point ammunition that is intended to inflict damage so inhumane, THE MILITARY WON'T EVEN USE IT.

They can throw a spin on anything they want to. Most of the conventional wisdom says to use premium factory defensive ammo. But I also think there is something to Clint Smith's advice; "Survive first, deal with the legal consequences afterward." Surviving a defensive shooting is the SECOND worst thing that can ever happen to you. You will likely face life-changing financial and legal consequences no matter what.

the Black Spot
November 23, 2012, 02:51 PM
The only reason for searching for good handload would be if factory was not accurate enough. The only factory stuff I could afford would be federal 200 lswc-hp, win silverrtip, and speer gold dot hp 200 gr.

MedWheeler
November 23, 2012, 06:30 PM
Yet, none seems to be able to point to an incident where it mattered.

I read of one. It was a case in which a woman whose husband had often left a handgun loaded with a lighter-recoiling handload (.38 Special) out for her to have access to. The night came when she attempted suicide. The method was not declared in the account I read. He locked the gun, and all his others, away, and she got treatment.

A few years later, she had seemed "back to normal" for quite some time, and expressed another desire to have a gun available for her defense when she was home alone. Her husband, according to the account, again put out the revolver, loaded with a light handload, for her availability.

He came home one night to find her with the gun, according to his account, in a suicidal position with it, and tried to get it from her. It fired, and she was killed.

He was charged with her death, and the ammunition remaining in the gun was cited as evidence. Because some of it was loaded in cases marked "+P", that was the factory ammunition load it was ballistically compared to in the trial proceedings. His pleas for investigators and the prosecutor to examine the rest of his own handload stash fell on deaf ears; it was, after all, evidence "manufactured by the defendant."

I cannot remember the sentence, but he was indeed convicted of at least a manslaughter charge.

Part of what hung him up was the fact that the ammunition was "fabricated" by the defendant, presumably (for the prosecution) for the purpose of assuring his wife's death. I'm not sure if the outcome of the trial would have been different had the ammunition been factory-sourced. I don't see where it should have been, but the opportunity for the prosecutor to portray the defendant as having fashioned, in a sinister light, the death rounds himself, would have at least been eliminated.

Certaindeaf
November 23, 2012, 06:51 PM
It's a red herring.

beatledog7
November 23, 2012, 07:24 PM
At defendable (in court I mean) SD range, accuracy of the ammo one chooses is not the main point; just about any factory round will prove accurate enough. These days lots of purpose-built factory SD ammo is available, albeit expensive, so perhaps the court argument might be that an SD shot taken with handloaded ammo could only have been taken by a person who thinks factory ammo simply isn't deadly enough. That's preposterous, of course, but that wouldn't stop an aggressive prosecutor from saying it not jurors from buying it.

As a handloader, one might consider loading with one of the reasonably priced factory rounds (this will not be a JHP vs FMJ post) for carry and a close ballistic duplicate handload for practice. There's little to demonstrate that $1.25/round SD bullets perform significantly better than budget JHPs of the same weight and velocity. The key is that your carry ammo must be reliable, and many argue that handloads are less so than factory rounds. My experience is different, as I have had a handful of factory rounds go click instead of bang, but none of my own loads has ever not gone bang.

M-Cameron
November 23, 2012, 09:39 PM
my main question is.....unless you run around saying its hand loaded to every cop, detective and lawyer on the scene......how are they going to know?


for the most part, hand loaded ammo looks exactly the same as factory ammo....and of all things they could be spending their time on, i dont see trying to figure out whether its hand loaded or not being one of them.

mljdeckard
November 23, 2012, 10:36 PM
Well, there will be multiple extractor marks on it for one thing. If it is VERY experienced brass, it will also be permanently discolored.

And I should also add, if it is loaded the same was as commercial defensive ammo, I don't see how they could paint you as being irresponsible, but I could see how there could be difficulty in corroborating who fired what.

ArchAngelCD
November 24, 2012, 12:04 AM
I do not believe handloads will cause you any legal problems because a good shoot is a good shoot and a bad one is very bad for you no matter what ammo you use. (only my opinion and I won't argue about it because it's my opinion)

I don't believe using what the local PD uses will help you in a shoot because again, good shoot = good, bad shoot = very bad for you! (only my opinion and I won't argue about it because it's my opinion)

I can not agree in any way factory ammo is more reliable than my reloads. While I have NEVER had a problem with one of my reloads I have had a failure to fire from factory ammo. Granted it was only 1 ever but that only proves my reloads are at least as reliable as factory ammo. I would trust my reloads over factory ammo any day...

Spats McGee
November 24, 2012, 09:43 AM
The odds of complications arising from the use of handloaded or reloaded ammunition in an SD shoot are slim. The consequences are potentially very, very grave, though. The case mentioned above involving the light .38 Spl loads and suicidal wife is the case of Daniel Bias. There's an article on it by Massad Ayoob available on the web. I think that Ayoob's article was for American Handgunner, if that will help you find it.

There are a few points that almost invariably crop up in these discussions, so I'll go ahead and address a couple of them now:
1) "No one has ever been convicted of using handloads." -- True, but a red herring. Of course no one's ever been convicted of using handloads. That's because it's not illegal. That does not mean that the use of handloads in an SD shooting could not significantly complicate your defense.

2) "Does that mean that I should not add night sights, have a trigger job done, or otherwise modify my carry gun?" -- No, but there may be other reasons to avoid modifying a carry gun. The problems involved with using handloads have to with: (1) expert testimony, (2) exemplar evidence, (3) the possibility of needing said expert to testify on the subject of gun shot residue (GSR), and (4) the distance from the shooter to the target. While there may be reasons to avoid certain modifications to a carry gun, those reasons are separate and unrelated to the issues implicated by the use of handloads.

3) "A good shoot is a good shoot." -- That sounds good, but the legal reality is that a good shoot is only a good shoot after a bunch of people like police, a prosecuting attorney, perhaps a judge and jury have looked at the evidence and agree with the shooter that the shoot was good.

Some time ago, I began compiling all of the threads that I could find on this issue over on The Firing Line. Those threads can be found at An Archive Regarding Reloads and Self-Defense (http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=452627).

Hondo 60
November 24, 2012, 04:49 PM
I found one court case where a single juror opined after the trial about the ammo.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15199221/#fullstory

So yes, there IS documented evidence.
However scant, I'd rather be safe than sorry.


And this juror was disturbed by the type of bullets Fish used.

Elliot: The whole hollow point thing bothered me. That bullet is designed to do as much damage as absolutely possible. It’s designed to kill.

gamestalker
November 24, 2012, 06:14 PM
I don't concern myself with the legal issues, as stated good shoot is good shoot, period. This is also something I have addressed with a firearm legal expert that represents both the defense and the prosecution concerning firearm related court proceedings. His take on it was to use what you feel is most reliable. For me that is a hand loaded .357 mag 158 gr. Gold Dot with a full tilt H110 powder charge, works for me.

As for reliability, I have experienced mis-fires with factory ammo, but in over 30 yrs. of reloading I have not had one single failure of any type with my own handloads in any cartridge I load.

GS

MedWheeler
November 24, 2012, 06:43 PM
Hondo, his issue was about the use of "hollow-point" bullets, which both the media and the prosecutor's office have trained him only the most diabolical, sinister-minded people would ever load their guns with. But, I saw no mention of them being handloaded.
Hollow-point bullets (and rounds in bigger calibers "than most cops carry") have been demonized in many self-defense cases, far more than handloads have. That's a whole 'nother discussion.

Drail
November 24, 2012, 07:25 PM
After having seen new boxes of factory ammo with primers inserted backwards and/or no flash hole in the case I have NO faith in factory ammo anymore. I will only carry ammo that I KNOW is going to fire when I need it to. If that means I have to make it myself then it's a no brainer as far as I am concerned. I shot handloads for quite a few years in competition and NEVER had one of my handloads fail.

markallen
November 24, 2012, 08:35 PM
Same here, after thirty plus years of reloading, I have NEVER had a failure with the ammo I loaded.
I have had issues with factory ammo, such as hangfires, and a couple of squibs. Which are some of the reasons I started loading in the first place.
I carry what I know will work if and when I need it to work. That is why I carry my reloads.

JERRY
November 25, 2012, 01:04 AM
when you say authorities, the cops dont care what ammo you use unless youre in new jersey or other restrictive locales. as far as the prosecutors that could make a difference in your initial hearing whether you are tried for some sort of "criminal intent"....

mljdeckard
November 25, 2012, 02:20 AM
Ask Harold fish if a clean shoot is a clean shoot.

357 Terms
November 25, 2012, 02:43 AM
I carry handloads

I have a better chance of getting hit by a meteorite than I do having legel issues with handloads.

.....SERIOUSLY!!!!!!

mljdeckard
November 25, 2012, 03:33 AM
Upon what do you base that?

I'll repeat. IN A PERFECT WORLD, a clean shoot is a clean shoot. In events like violent felonies and gunfights, the law of unintended consequences gets silly. Your entire world is thrown into chaos, and you have no idea what is and is not guaranteed.

357 Terms
November 25, 2012, 07:21 AM
Upon what do you base that?


On the fact that NOT ONE person in a self defense shooting has had an issue..ever!

You and many "experts" can speculate and throw out legalese all you want, it has never happened and most likely never will.

Spats McGee
November 25, 2012, 08:13 AM
There's more to the issue than just a prosecutor claiming that a handloader tried to make rounds "deadlier" than factory loads. I can't & won't way that it's impossible for a prosecutor to make that claim, but if a prosecutor talks about that in front of a jury, at least the shooter/defendant gets a chance to respond. The fact that Harold Fish carried a 10mm caused him some problems, but his problems and the "he handloaded deadlier than normal rounds" problem are both perception problems.

That's separate and different from the other real problem with handloads. That one involves GSR & expert testimony. This particular issue causes me some concern because that it's a matter of evidentiary exclusion, which means the jury may never know about it. If there's a dispute about the distance from which the shooter fired, and expert testimony is needed to resolve that dispute, I'd rather not have my evidence & my expert excluded from being presented to the jury.

Now, the legal reality is that a particular constellation of events has to come into play for handloads to get you in trouble on the GSR/Expert Testimony front, but it certainly can happen. To be precise, (1) there has to be a shooting; (2) using handloads or reloads; (3) at a range where GSR "spatter" could make a difference in court; (4) that actually winds up in court; and (5) the use of expert testimony using exemplar evidence could resolve the dispute over the distance at which the shooting happened.

On the fact that NOT ONE person in a self defense shooting has had an issue..ever!
Incorrect. Read up on the Daniel Bias case. The fact that he had used handloads significantly complicated his defense.

I am aware that the Bias case was not a SD shooting, but that makes no difference to the discussion. The rules of evidence remain the same, whether it's a SD shooting or not.

357 Terms
November 25, 2012, 09:04 AM
Incorrect. Read up on the Daniel Bias case. The fact that he had used handloads significantly complicated his defense.


Incorrect? did you read my quote? I said "in a self defense case".

There is a good chance that Bias executed his wife, how is that a SD case?

The Bushmaster
November 25, 2012, 09:16 AM
I carry a Kimber UCC II and my own handloads. I will worry about the courts later [if I'm still alive].

As far as the dependability of handloaded ammunition. I've been reloading for 27 years and still have not experienced a failure to go down range. No failure to fire of any kind.

The conception of faulty handloads is contrived by those who are careless when reloading ammunition.

Spats McGee
November 25, 2012, 09:18 AM
357 Terms, yes, I read your quote. I have two issues with it, though. First, the fact that Daniel Bias was not a self defense case is irrelevant to the issue of whether the handloads/GSR issue could come up in a SD shooting, though. The rules of evidence remain the same whether the case is a SD shooting, a homicide, or a personal injury car wreck case. It's very easy to say "Daniel Bias was not a SD case, so it doesn't count," but that misses the mark. Even if it were technically correct, it's misleading as to what the real issue is. Mind you, this is not an accusation that you are trying to be misleading or dishonest. I mean no such thing, but your statement could mislead one to believe that the Daniel Bias case should not be considered in regards to handloads when it should be.

Second, the fact that you (or I) have not found, specifically, an SD shooting in which handloads have caused an issue does not mean: (1) that it hasn't happened; or (2) that it could not happen.

On the fact that NOT ONE person in a self defense shooting has had an issue..ever!
I do not have time to check the records of every criminal court in the nation, and not every court reports all of its cases in a manner that will lend itself to my internet searches, or yours.

357 Terms
November 25, 2012, 09:24 AM
The rules of evidence remain the same whether the case is a SD shooting, a homicide, or a personal injury car wreck case.

Yes, I know.

The handloads found at the scene of the Bias case were tested and the results were (if I'm not mistaken) presented at trial.

It was his "phantom" loads or load data that was not allowed, (conviently data that would corroborate his story) if there was no evidence these loads exsisted than of course they were not allowed.

PRM
November 25, 2012, 09:30 AM
I found one court case where a single juror opined after the trial about the ammo.

One person's opinion is not going to change the way I do things... Guess I could send my 1858 Remington to the factory for loading. Of course they wouldn't do it. Then I would loose my gun, because they can't ship it back loaded :-)

OK - now we get another cup of coffee and wait for someone to post something from a gun rag author that is supposed to show the rest of us are too dumb to breath and their opinion is the only valid one.

ArchAngelCD, I agree with you...good is good, and if its bad, what you use ain't gonna make it good.

Spats McGee
November 25, 2012, 09:33 AM
I think the handload evidence was allowed in during the second trial, not the first. One of the basic issues that pops up on this is that the shooter is asking to court allow evidence that the defendant manufactured. No matter how meticulous, scrupulous, and honest the handloader is, the load records and the handloaded cartridges will always be evidence created by an interested party. That creates legal hurdles that one would not face with factory ammo.

Lawdawg45
November 25, 2012, 10:54 AM
Do the authorities frown on using handloaded ammo? Is there a chance of less repercussions if I use factory ammo?
Thanks.

There have been several threads that dealt with this topic, either directly or indirectly, and the responses have been divided and passionate. I will only say that your worries are not with the authorities, but with clever bottom feeding Attorney's. With factory ammo they will question your use of a JHP over a FMJ, or a +P over standard loads, and with reloads they will question your powder load. Some have suggested copying what your local PD uses, but this move can also be twisted around to make you look like a wannabe copy cat. I say use a reliable round, be aware of your local SD criteria, and don't leave a injured witness!:D

LD

Spats McGee
November 25, 2012, 01:13 PM
. . . .With factory ammo they will question your use of a JHP over a FMJ, or a +P over standard loads, and with reloads they will question your powder load. . . .
The attorneys, the police, the judge(s) may question any of those things, as well as gun modifications. As regards JHP, FMJ, +P loads, though, data on the loadings is available from a neutral, third party with no interest in the case. That will make it much easier for the shooter/defendant to get his expert's testimony, based on exemplar evidence, admitted. If I am ever forced to shoot anyone, heaven forbid, I want two things: (1) to survive; and (2) for my lawyer to have every possible tool available to exonerate me.

Girodin
November 25, 2012, 02:03 PM
I read of one. It was a case in which a woman whose husband had often left a handgun loaded with a lighter-recoiling handload (.38 Special) out for her to have access to. . .

I at one time researched this case a bit. In my opinion, as an attorney, I think people like Mr. Ayoob have tried to use this case for an example of something it wasn't. I suggest you look into it. It was a pretty sketchy accident claim from the get go. Mr. Ayoob and others associated with it clearly believe their guy was innocent. I can tell you that it is not uncommon for people to really get behind their arguments in a case and become galvanized in their belief they are correct, period. It helps some folks become better advocates.

What the anti hand load folks try to say is that certain test with respect to gunshot residue were disallowed simply because the rounds were hand loads. That is not at all what I see having been the evidentiary issues with what the defense was wanting to do. Rather, the issue was really that the fatal shot came from a mixed lot of loads. Any of that lot could have been the fatal shot. No one could establish which load that round was. Mas and company wanted to say it was the particular one that would best match their account of what happened that night. They couldn't prove, or even show in any kind of reliable way, whether it was one of the lighter or heavier loads. The judge disallowed them to make a hand load and do tests with it and introduce those results because they couldn't reliably establish that the load they were going to make was the same as what was in the gun. Essentially they were not allowed to make up hypothetical evidence and present it. Had all the hand loads been the same, and that could be reliably established, the ruling might well have been different.

The issues in this case could have just as easily existed with a mixed lot of factory ammo if one couldn't show which load the fatal round was.

In sum, the defendant had much bigger issues in this case than the hand loads. Chief amongst them was the seemingly fanciful story he told the cops when they arrived. If there is a lesson to be taken from this case its that one should exercise their rights to remain silent and their right to counsel. The second lesson is not even that hand loads mean you will not be able to introduce evidence based on that load. Rather the only clear take away is that if you cannot say with any degree of certainty what load was in the gun (factory or hand load) you will not be allowed to pick which one best supports you story and test it.

If our one case we can point to in arguing against hand loads is one that wasn't even a self defense case, and one in which those pointing to it have to wrest what was really going on to make their arguments, I think that tells you something.

Most all the cases people point to with respect to caliber used, hand loads, weapon type, etc the underlying facts are what is really problematic. I would be much much much more worried about clearly understanding the laws regarding use of force and making sure that I had exhausted all other remedies, that whether I my gun had hand loads, was a 10MM, etc.

The fact is gun writes need something to write about. They can't advise you on the actual laws somewhere because they aren't attorneys. You can only write so many articles telling people to seek professional training. As a result we get articles about outlier cases where non legal "experts" swallow camels and strain at gnats with respect to the various legal issues in the case.

357 Terms
November 25, 2012, 05:40 PM
If our one case we can point to in arguing against hand loads is one that wasn't even a self defense case, and one in which those pointing to it have to wrest what was really going on to make their arguments, I think that tells you something.


I can't agree more!

Absolutly zere logic in citing Bias as a warning or an example of the dangers of carrying handloads.

Pure and irresponsible speculation!

Spats McGee
November 25, 2012, 08:28 PM
I at one time researched this case a bit. In my opinion, as an attorney, I think people like Mr. Ayoob have tried to use this case for an example of something it wasn't. . . .
During your research, did you happen to lay hands on any of the pleadings, briefs, transcripts, etc. I've read everything about this case that I've been able to lay hands on, shy of actually ordering a copy of the court file. If you happen to have access to any of the court documents, I'd be very interested in reading them.

. . . .Absolutly zere logic in citing Bias as a warning or an example of the dangers of carrying handloads.

Pure and irresponsible speculation!
Hardly. I'm an attorney with about 10 years of practice under my belt. Nothing that I said consisted of "zero logic" or "pure and irresponsible speculation." Excluding expert testimony on the bases that I've already laid out is consistent with the rules of evidence. If you'd like for me to link the post from another forum in which I've more thoroughly laid out the legal analysis, just let me know.

Jorg Nysgerrig
November 25, 2012, 09:07 PM
If you'd like for me to link the post from another forum in which I've more thoroughly laid out the legal analysis, just let me know.
I'd be curious to see this. It's always good to see an experienced attorney's take on such things. Far too many "legal" experts on forums have no credentials, or worse, are a year or two out of law school and already know everything. :)

Spats McGee
November 25, 2012, 09:27 PM
Here's what I posted, in its entirety (including at least one typo that I didn't notice on first posting :o):
It's true that there is no rule specifically prohibiting the use or introduction of expert GSR testimony, when the shooter has used handloads. However, I still contend that the use of handloads makes the use or introduction of such evidence more problematic. We can talk all we want about jury perceptions, and they're clearly relevant to the outcome of the case. However, I see the real problem being the fact that the jury never gets to hear that evidence.

The judge is the gatekeeper of evidence, and appellate courts typically afford the judge a high degree of deference when it comes to determining which evidence gets in, and which is excluded.

For purposes of this discussion, I'm going to stick with the Federal Rules of Evidence. I know that most of these cases come down on state law grounds, but I'd like to avoid veering off into discussions of one state's rules of evidence against another. Many states use the Federal Rules as a model, and they'll give us some common ground from which to work.

So, first off, relevance:
All relevant evidence is admissible, except as otherwise provided by the Constitution of the United States, by Act of Congress, by these rules, or by other rules prescribed by the Supreme Court pursuant to statutory authority. Evidence which is not relevant is not admissible. Fed. R. Evid. 402
If it's relevant and not otherwise excluded, it gets in. If it's not relevant, it doesn't.

But (& this is a big but), GSR is specialized enough that it is considered "expert testimony. That means that Rule 702 governs it:

If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if (1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data, (2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case. Fed. R. Evid. 702(emphasis supplied)
So, if scientific or specialized knowledge will help the jury, an expert's opinion is admissible if:
(1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data,
(2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and
(3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.

You have to have all three to get the testimony of the shooter's expert in front of the jury. If the prosecutor files a Motion in Limine prior to trial, asking that it be excluded, he or she will simply argue that the opinion of the handloading defendant's expert is based on unreliable data. Specifically, what the prosecutor is saying is that because the data belongs to the defendant, it's inherently unreliable. I think there's a good chance that nobody was around when the cartridges were loaded, so there's no independent witness. If there is a witness, it's probably a good friend of the defendant. As a result, any data on which the opinion is based is suspect. The prosecutor may not argue with how the defendant's expert got from A to B, but what if A wasn't the right starting point? Then B becomes an unreliable conclusion. Anyway, if the motion in limine succeeds, there can be no mention of the defendant's expert at trial, and the jury will never hear about it.

Edited to add: This thread is beginning to have a bit of a "Tastes Great! Less Filling!" feel to it.
Link to the post on The Firing Line:http://thefiringline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4499803&postcount=118

Techinically, it should read: "But (& this is a big but), opinion testimony on GSR is specialized enough that it is considered "expert testimony." That means that Rule 702 governs it:" (The underlined parts here show my corrections, but I apparently got in a hurry before I posted the quoted one.

Madcap_Magician
November 25, 2012, 10:55 PM
I think we're arguing very passionately over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

I agree with Spats McGee et. al. when they say that handloads could produce a GSR evidence issue. It seems that the paucity of case studies would indicate that this is a very infrequent decider of self-defense cases.

However, I would like to lay out a potential case where it might matter.

You are walking through a parking ramp late at night. There are no cameras or other persons nearby. You are walking to your car, when a man with a tire iron steps toward you and swings it at your head. You draw and fire, killing him.

Your gun was loaded with handloaded ammunition.

You are sued in civil court by the family of the deceased, who argues that the deceased did not attack you (he had no history of violence, was a choir boy who liked puppies, etc.), and that you were sufficiently far away from the deceased that the tire iron (if it was even used as a weapon) was not a deadly threat to you, and therefore you were unjustified in shooting the deceased.

I am not a cop, lawyer, ballistics expert, or forensic scientist, but it seems to me that the gunshot residue pattern on the victim is now very important in determining how far away your erstwhile attacker was from you when you shot him.

Will the court allow GSR testing of your firearm with the rest of your handloads? Or will they use factory ammo? I actually have no idea, but I also have no desire to find out the hard way.

I also strongly disagree with the idea that a 'good shoot is a good shoot, and a bad shoot is a bad shoot.'

I think a 'good shoot' only becomes a legally justified one AFTER the justice system has had a chance to nitpick it for a near-indefinite amount of time compared to the amount of time you had to make up your mind about shooting. In that sense, it only becomes a 'good shoot' if the county/city attorney declines to press charges or an empaneled grand jury no-bills you.

And THEN you have to survive civil court, which has a substantially lower burden of proof and is known to be a wretched hive of scum and villainy with personal injury lawyers swimming around. Unless of course you're fortunate enough to live in a state with good protection for people against civil suits resulting from a criminal case that went in your favor.

Jorg Nysgerrig
November 25, 2012, 11:00 PM
Thanks, Spats. It's an interesting discussion, to be sure.

357 Terms
November 26, 2012, 01:43 AM
As to GRS evidence and how it can a likely would be used at trial this is a post from BullfrogKen from a previous discussion.



As I mentioned, I had occasion to speak to a good friend yesterday, and I asked him if we could have a short discussion about the matter of reloads used in a shooting. I passed some of the assertions here past my friend, a state crime lab expert, last night. I won’t go into the entire conversation, but I’ll share a few relevant points.

The matter of ammunition in evidence –
Asserted here and in other discussions is the belief that ammunition in evidence must remain entirely preserved. That is entirely false.

Any recovered bullets, casings, and unexpended ammunition is thoroughly inspected at the lab. Furthermore, as a matter of procedure unexpended ammunition is disassembled to determine its characteristics as precisely as possible. The bullets and powder are examined, weighed and identified, as is the primer. An experienced and trained examiner will have the ability to determine with some certitude the manufacture of origin. In other words, the examiner can determine whether the rounds are loaded at a factory and by which manufacturer, or outside a factory.

Furthermore, if the firearm itself and enough ammunition were recovered, some of it will be fired through that firearm as part of the examination. If there isn’t sufficient ammunition in evidence, the lab will test some that is as similar to the evidence as possible. Most of the cases the lab works the lot number, or numbers, of the ammunition is simply impossible to determine. But the lab will have identified who made it, place a phone call to the manufacturer, and request some having the same characteristics and using similar components. And when it arrives, even the factory rounds are examined, disassembled and sampled to ensure the lab got what it asked for. If that’s not possible, the labs have reloading equipment. They will replicate, as close as possible, ammunition identical to the round they disassembled and use those to conduct their firing tests.

So, the notion that an examination of recovered ammunition can only be done through means of observation that completely preserves the evidence is not true.

If the state in any way suspects that hand loaded ammunition was used, a search warrant will include the seizure of the suspect’s components, loading equipment and loading data. I believe his quote was, “Ken, if you’re ever the subject of the attention of the state in a homicide, we can turn your entire life inside out. After the search warrant is executed you’ll be lucky to have carpet left in your house.” I asked him specifically if he’d ever worked a case where the crime lab used a hand loader’s data book to develop test ammunition. “Of course,” was his reply.


The matter of Gun Shot Residue –
Asserted here are many false notions of GSR examinations, most commonly repeated is the notion that GSR testing without independent factory exemplar data is not admissible as evidence in court. That is entirely false. We discussed this at length. I’ll leave you with this.

Quite often the crime lab works a case with evidence that contains GSR, but no gun or ammunition was recovered. Now according to some, without a gun and the ammunition the evidence is rather meaningless. Far from it. Much can be determined from that evidence alone. We discussed just how much information can be gathered, “But rather than take my word for it, Ken,” he says, “go to the Kentucky State Police Forensic Lab’s website and look for yourself.”

So I did. You can, too. http://www.firearmsid.com/A_labsys.htm


Quote:
When a pattern of gunshot residues is found on a submitted article of clothing and the questioned firearm and ammunition are known, firearm examiners will try to bracket the muzzle-to-garment test results within a minimum and a maximum distance. Results may read something like:

Exhibit 1 (victim's shirt) was examined and a pattered deposit of gunshot residues was found around a bullet entrance hole located in the shirt's left shoulder. Exhibit 2 (firearm) was found to produce similar deposits of gunshot residues when fired at a target from a minimum distance of 6 inches out to a maximum distance of 18 inches.
Bracketing the muzzle-to-garment distance within a minimum and maximum distance is being pretty specific. To get a report back saying something like that listed above the exact firearm and ammunition used in the case must be known and there must be a significant pattern of nitrite residues on the garment.

So we see here that in order to get a precise distance, precise meaning within a foot at close distance, having the exact gun and ammunition isn’t enough. The GSR evidence itself has got to be both well-defined and well-preserved on the garment. Neither of those factors is within the shooter’s control. One is a result of pure luck. The other is subject to any number of factors such as handling by first responders and even the weather.

This module in particular addresses determining distance using only the evidence with GSR - http://www.firearmsid.com/A_distanceResults.htm


Quote:
When a firearm is not recovered there still may be certain general conclusions that can be reached when gunshot residues are found on the evidence garment.

Contact or Near Contact Gunshot

Probably the easiest conclusion to report would be one involving a contact or near contact gunshot. The results may read something like:



Exhibit 1 (shirt) was found to have a bullet entrance hole in the chest area that displays physical effects and gunshot residues consistent with a contact or near contact gunshot.
A contact or near contact gunshot will normally deposit a very intense ring of residue right around the margins of the bullet hole. A close range gunshot, like the one seen above, will typically be in the near contact to approximately 12-inch range of fire.


Close Range Gunshot

Another conclusion that is fairly easy to reach involves what can be call a close range gunshot. The results may read something like:



Exhibit 1 (shirt) was found to have a bullet entrance hole in the chest area. A heavy deposit of gunshot residues were found around this hole that are consistent with those that would be deposited by a close range gunshot.
Close range gunshots will usually leave a very concentrated deposit of residue around the bullet entrance hole that is visible to the eye.

A close range gunshot, like the one seen above, will typically be in the near contact to approximately 12-inch range of fire.


Intermediate Range Gunshot

An intermediate range gunshot usually will deposit a significant amount of particulate residue that is not easily seen with the eye but can be detected through a microscopic examination and through chemical testing. The results may read something like:



Exhibit 1 (shirt) was found to have a bullet entrance hole in the chest area. A deposit of gunshot residues were found around this hole that are consistent with those that would be deposited by an intermediate range gunshot.
An intermediate range gunshot, like that seen in the above image, can range from just beyond the 12-inch range out to 24 to 36 inches. This depends greatly upon the caliber, barrel length and powder type used in the ammunition.

So GSR evidence – or the lack of it – will become part of the discovery and admitted into evidence whether you used hand loaded ammunition or not. Furthermore, quite a bit of information will be gleaned regarding the distance the shot was taken, even if the gun and ammunition used is completely unknown. If your case and proving your innocence hinges upon knowing the distance down to matters of inches, you’ve got a big hurdle to overcome.


The matter of submitting evidence produced by the Defendant –
As I have already presented, part of the examination will include disassembling the ammunition in evidence. It may include firing some of those rounds in evidence. Even the National Institutes of Justice (NIJ) agrees this is within the scope of a proper investigation of evidence. The NIJ has a complete, and quite thorough, program that they’ve published on-line used as a training tool for Firearms Examiners. In Module 9 it mentions the use of evidence ammunition in testing.

http://www.nij.gov/training/firearms...m12_t06_08.htm


Quote:
To reproduce results, the suspect firearm must be available. The size and density of residue patterns vary based on a combination of factors that may include the firearm, ammunition, barrel length, caliber, powder type, and powder charge. When residue patterns are reproduced in a shooting case, it is essential that the firearm and ammunition used in known-distance testing be as similar as possible to that used in the case.

Sources of testing ammunition may include

evidence ammunition from the case, per laboratory protocol,
purchased ammunition (same brand, stock number, with the same powder, projectile and primer components),
reference ammunition (same brand, stock number, with the same powder, projectile, and primer components).

Note: Examiners should always be aware that reference collections/database programs are seldom all inclusive; all available resources and examiners should be consulted.

If hand loaded ammunition was used, in order to replicate ammunition as similar as possible to the evidence, the lab may load it and use it for testing. The conversation I had last night discussed a case where a man used a round of .45 ACP ammunition dating back to the 1940’s. The lab simply could not find ammunition from that time period to use in testing. So the technician identified the components and loaded some that were as similar as possible to the ammunition and used it for testing.


Fiddletown, you seem to be under the impression that taking a Sharpie to your box of factory ammunition will be sufficient to substantiate to the examiner that this was the ammunition used in the incident. I’m not sure how you come to reconcile that this piece of “defendant-manufactured” evidence is of unimpeachable value, but loading data is not.

A competent Firearms Examiner will not take your half-empty box and merely assume since the evidence ammunition looks similar to the ammunition in your box no further examination is necessary. “I’d be derelict and negligent in my duty if I did not perform a thorough examination of the evidence ammunition,” was his comment to me. “A factory box is nice to have, because I can make my determination quicker. But I could do the same with a reloader’s box of ammunition, or his data. A competent examiner assumes nothing.”

“Remarks like this show ignorance and inexperience, both of how a Forensics Lab works and trial proceedings in general, and you don’t want them making your defense.” He made some other commentary that really isn’t High-Road material, and has little additional value here. But after roughly an hour’s conversation on the matter he reminded me of one thing –

“Ken, there is only one Finder of Fact. It’s not the ammunition factory. It’s not the Forensic Lab, or anyone else involved in the case. The only Finder of Fact is the jury. And they get to chose who they believe. They get to chose how much weight they want to give to each expert witness. Or even if they want to give it any at all. You can present all the expert testimony you want, and it can be clear and convincing in its findings, but the jury retains the right to discard all of it if they want.”



The assertion that you need to use factory ammo to ensure you’ll be safe from a difficult trial is nothing more than a fantasy floated about by speculative masters. The sword cuts both ways. If the GSR that studies say should be there from factory ammunition isn’t, or is inconsistent with the facts as you assert them, all you’ve done is trade one set of problems for another. Sure they can be explained, but once again, the jury gets to decide who to believe.

If you are involved in an incident where you used hand loaded ammunition, and your defense team says they can’t get this sort of ballistics evidence submitted into testimony, retain yourself another.





For those that may still be interested here is a link to the thread Kens above post came from. It's long , but very informative.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=634817

R.W.Dale
November 26, 2012, 02:59 AM
I'm going to take this thread off on a different tangent.

For years and years there was no real reason to carry a handload over factory. Ammunition was fairy inexpensive, avalible and RELIABLE

But I don't think there's a person here whose not noted an increase in "bad ammo" reports over the past few years and its not wild speculation to surmise that when ammo plants are going 24_7_365 that qc will suffer.

Typically I don't carry handloads but I have and do on occasion particularly as an outdoors type when things lean more towards anti 4 legged uses. However my handloads are absolutely as reliable as factory, at least I know the cases have flashholes anyways.

Notice no manufacturer advertises SD ammo having gone through any more stringent quality checks than their bulk wal mart loads.




posted via that mobile app with the sig lines everyone complaints about

Girodin
November 26, 2012, 01:36 PM
During your research, did you happen to lay hands on any of the pleadings, briefs, transcripts, etc. I've read everything about this case that I've been able to lay hands on, shy of actually ordering a copy of the court file. If you happen to have access to any of the court documents, I'd be very interested in reading them.


No, I could not find them either. I noticed that those who certainly had access to such materials, but where trying to characterize the evidentiary rulings a certain way, did not reference them or even really discuss what was supposedly in them.

One could certainly get them if he or she were so inclined. I, however, don't really care enough to do so. It seemed fairly evident to me, based on what I did read, that this case did not stand for the propositions Mr. Ayoob and others have tried to use it to support.

Spats McGee
November 26, 2012, 02:50 PM
. . . . It seems that the paucity of case studies would indicate that this is a very infrequent decider of self-defense cases. . . . .
I would agree with this statement, without hesitation. The way I see it, this issue only comes into play in a very specific set of circumstances. I've laid out the "constellation of necessary events" for this on a couple of occasions, and it looks something like this:
There has to be:

A shooting; and
The distance from shooter to target is disputed; and
The distance from shooter to target makes a difference in the outcome of the case; and
The dispute over said distance can be resolved by the introduction of expert testimony on the GSR created during the shooting.

I'll be the first to admit that the list above makes for a lot of factors that have to come into play, all in the same case. I don't think it's a common problem, by any means.

As to GRS evidence and how it can a likely would be used at trial this is a post from BullfrogKen from a previous discussion. . . . <snip>
I remember that post. It's very informative and a good read. It doesn't resolve the admissibility problem, though.

No, I could not find them either. I noticed that those who certainly had access to such materials, but where trying to characterize the evidentiary rulings a certain way, did not reference them or even really discuss what was supposedly in them.

One could certainly get them if he or she were so inclined. I, however, don't really care enough to do so. It seemed fairly evident to me, based on what I did read, that this case did not stand for the propositions Mr. Ayoob and others have tried to use it to support.
Fair enough. I've considered ordering a copy of the case file, but have never done so. I don't know what they'd charge me for the research and copying, but just couldn't see shelling it out.

Lawdawg45
November 27, 2012, 08:57 AM
The attorneys, the police, the judge(s) may question any of those things, as well as gun modifications. As regards JHP, FMJ, +P loads, though, data on the loadings is available from a neutral, third party with no interest in the case. That will make it much easier for the shooter/defendant to get his expert's testimony, based on exemplar evidence, admitted. If I am ever forced to shoot anyone, heaven forbid, I want two things: (1) to survive; and (2) for my lawyer to have every possible tool available to exonerate me.

While anything is possible and your jurisdiction may have different trail etiquette, I have never heard an Officer, Detective, or District Attorney ask those type of questions in my 30 years of LE. It has always been from the mall office Attorney trying to defend an injured suspect or the family of a dead perp looking for a wrongful death settlement.;)

LD

Spats McGee
November 27, 2012, 09:59 AM
The attorneys, the police, the judge(s) may question any of those things, as well as gun modifications. As regards JHP, FMJ, +P loads, though, data on the loadings is available from a neutral, third party with no interest in the case. That will make it much easier for the shooter/defendant to get his expert's testimony, based on exemplar evidence, admitted. If I am ever forced to shoot anyone, heaven forbid, I want two things: (1) to survive; and (2) for my lawyer to have every possible tool available to exonerate me.

While anything is possible and your jurisdiction may have different trail etiquette, I have never heard an Officer, Detective, or District Attorney ask those type of questions in my 30 years of LE. It has always been from the mall office Attorney trying to defend an injured suspect or the family of a dead perp looking for a wrongful death settlement.

LD
Well, I'm pretty confident that our trail etiquette ;) here is quite similar to that in Indiana. With that said, the items that I listed may be questioned. Not will, but may. Most of the issues that I could see being raised are jury perception issues.

I would agree, though, that the most likely scenario in which those could arise would be a wrongful death case, or some other negligence-type case. In your basic homicide or battery shooting, I doubt that any of them will be raised as an issue.

In an SD shooting (probably with a zealous (or overzealous) prosecutor, and a civilian shooter/defendant, I could see the prosecutor making some claims to the jury about FMJ or JHP, etc. Though it wasn't a question of FMJ or JHP (as best I recall), Harold Fish comes to mind.

Gun mods, . . . I would expect those to be more likely, as you noted, in the wrongful death case with private counsel. Something along the lines of "Shooter, you didn't really mean to shoot him, did you? But you'd had the trigger lightened so far that you accidentally shot him." (And my imaginary shooter's glib response: "No, sir, and I really don't know how you could think I accidentally shot him twice in the chest and once in the head." -- Not a response I would actually suggest using in court. . . )

Some of these potential complications (gun mods, JHP, reloads, etc.) simply boil down to a risk/reward assessment: "Is the increased legal risk warranted by whatever reward (increased weapon utility) that could be created by whatever choice is made here?" In some cases, yes. In some cases, no.

Lawdawg45
November 27, 2012, 03:16 PM
Well, I'm pretty confident that our trail etiquette ;) here is quite similar to that in Indiana. With that said, the items that I listed may be questioned. Not will, but may. Most of the issues that I could see being raised are jury perception issues.

I would agree, though, that the most likely scenario in which those could arise would be a wrongful death case, or some other negligence-type case. In your basic homicide or battery shooting, I doubt that any of them will be raised as an issue.

In an SD shooting (probably with a zealous (or overzealous) prosecutor, and a civilian shooter/defendant, I could see the prosecutor making some claims to the jury about FMJ or JHP, etc. Though it wasn't a question of FMJ or JHP (as best I recall), Harold Fish comes to mind.

Gun mods, . . . I would expect those to be more likely, as you noted, in the wrongful death case with private counsel. Something along the lines of "Shooter, you didn't really mean to shoot him, did you? But you'd had the trigger lightened so far that you accidentally shot him." (And my imaginary shooter's glib response: "No, sir, and I really don't know how you could think I accidentally shot him twice in the chest and once in the head." -- Not a response I would actually suggest using in court. . . )

Some of these potential complications (gun mods, JHP, reloads, etc.) simply boil down to a risk/reward assessment: "Is the increased legal risk warranted by whatever reward (increased weapon utility) that could be created by whatever choice is made here?" In some cases, yes. In some cases, no.

That's the label I've been searching for, thank you! I've heard them ask a shooter why they chose a .357 over a .22, why they chose ______ brand of ammo, why use the JHP's, why are you a member of _______range or shooting club, and why extra magazines, were you planning on killing more than one person? While these idiotic and extreme questions are asked, thankfully the Jury usually has an IQ over the room temperature and see's through desperate tactics.;)

LD

Archangel14
November 27, 2012, 03:46 PM
If you carry, do NOT load up with anything but factory ammo that is marketed as "defensive". The legal ramifications will be serious in any shooting situation. Insulate yourself from juror misunderstanding. I should know. I'm a Criminal Defense attorney with 18 years experience. I've come across this issue.

mljdeckard
November 27, 2012, 04:03 PM
Ummmm...no. Lawyer or no, you have made a blanket statement above that cannot be backed up. You cannot say that the ramifications WILL be serious. Obviously there have been many cases where it didn't come up at all. I disagree with others here who scoff at the idea that it can EVER be used against you, but neither can it be said that it absolutely WILL.

I could also give a rat's hiney about what the box says, if there are two different packages for the same cartridge, but ine says "LE only" and the other says "defensive use" or something to that effect. There is absolutely no way the crime lab can ascertain which package the cartridge in question came from. That also goes into legal rhetoric that can easily be turned either way. You can carry what the local police carry, and you will be accused of wanting to 'play cop', because you bought horrible cop bullets. Or, you can carry something else, and be labeled as irresponsible or negligent for carrying 'off-brand' bargain basement jhp ammo which might give unpredictable results, because you were too cheap to buy the quality ammunition that the police use.

Archangel14
November 27, 2012, 04:17 PM
MLJdeckard: Please, just follow me on this one. EVERY TIME there is a shooting, particularly a fatal shooting, there WILL be a serious investigation. Even if it's been determined that you acted in justifiable defense, the incident will be placed under tremendous scrutiny. My position, which is backed up by 18 YEARS OF COURTROOM EXPERIENCE, OVER 100 JURY TRIALS, AT LEAST 25 TRIALS INVOLVING SHOOTINGS, and having otherwise handled hundreds of gun-related cases, many which were self-defense cases, has NOTHING to do with:

1. The reliability of handloads,
2. The preferred manstopper: factory or handload,
3. Ballistic characteristics,
4. lead vs. copper,
5. Or any other scenario concerning which bullet is best for SD.

It has EVERYTHING to do with someone discharging a firearm in self defense, subsequently falling under police scrutiny, GETTING UNJUSTIFIABLY CHARGED with having killed someone, and then hoping, no BEGGING GOD, that his or her attorney convinces several people who are likely to be totally uneducated concerning firearms, or are BIASED toward firearms, that the idea of a hand loaded round is simply okay. I had a juror tell me after a trial that the hollow point round is designed to "kill, nothing more. They should be banned". This, after expert and well presented testimony concerning the reality of HP's. You want to carry in self defense? Good, I congratulate you. But do so in a manner that protects you from the MILLIONS of ignorant people out there.

And another point....this was good, free advice to you. Accept it....next time you're on the clock!

mljdeckard
November 27, 2012, 04:18 PM
Your advice is contrary to the advice I paid for.

Archangel14
November 27, 2012, 04:45 PM
LOL! That is a funny reply.

But seriously, imagine if you were George Zimmerman right now. And imagine if he hand loaded the very round that killed that kid. I'm be amazed if the prosecutor didn't try to say something like:

"....and Ladies and Gentleman, Mr. Zimmerman's mental state and intent at the time of the shooting will be demonstrated by, among other things, evidence that he actually made his own bullets!"

I can hear the collective gasp of the jurors, all who probably never hand loaded before and are unaware that you can do so. Take my advice, and remember that stepping outside of your home can be dangerous business!

Spats McGee
November 27, 2012, 04:53 PM
As far as the marketing of defensive rounds, I'd be comfortable carrying "defensive" rounds, or "generic" rounds like WWB, for example. What I would scrupulously avoid is anything with names like "Widowmaker," or "ManKiller."

mljdeckard
November 28, 2012, 07:41 AM
A prosecutor who is trying to hang you up MAY say a variety of things to do so. I think it would be (to put it mildly) the LEAST of George Zimmerman's worries.

If stepping outside my home is so dangerous, perhaps I shouldn't do it at all?

Lawdawg45
November 28, 2012, 08:22 AM
MLJdeckard: Please, just follow me on this one. EVERY TIME there is a shooting, particularly a fatal shooting, there WILL be a serious investigation. Even if it's been determined that you acted in justifiable defense, the incident will be placed under tremendous scrutiny. My position, which is backed up by 18 YEARS OF COURTROOM EXPERIENCE, OVER 100 JURY TRIALS, AT LEAST 25 TRIALS INVOLVING SHOOTINGS, and having otherwise handled hundreds of gun-related cases, many which were self-defense cases, has NOTHING to do with:

1. The reliability of handloads,
2. The preferred manstopper: factory or handload,
3. Ballistic characteristics,
4. lead vs. copper,
5. Or any other scenario concerning which bullet is best for SD.

It has EVERYTHING to do with someone discharging a firearm in self defense, subsequently falling under police scrutiny, GETTING UNJUSTIFIABLY CHARGED with having killed someone, and then hoping, no BEGGING GOD, that his or her attorney convinces several people who are likely to be totally uneducated concerning firearms, or are BIASED toward firearms, that the idea of a hand loaded round is simply okay. I had a juror tell me after a trial that the hollow point round is designed to "kill, nothing more. They should be banned". This, after expert and well presented testimony concerning the reality of HP's. You want to carry in self defense? Good, I congratulate you. But do so in a manner that protects you from the MILLIONS of ignorant people out there.

And another point....this was good, free advice to you. Accept it....next time you're on the clock!

I agree, but as the OP asked, I have never seen this insane curiosity come from the Police or Prosecutor, just the bottom feeding private counsel. I would be interested to see any case where the shooting was determined to be justified, but the victim was prosecuted for using "zombie" ammo.

LD

Spats McGee
November 28, 2012, 10:31 AM
A prosecutor who is trying to hang you up MAY say a variety of things to do so. I think it would be (to put it mildly) the LEAST of George Zimmerman's worries.
I agree. Of all the things I worry about in choosing carry ammo, the gimmick used to market a given round is fairly far down on my priority list. That said, I do take the possible effect on jury perception into account.

. . . .I would be interested to see any case where the shooting was determined to be justified, but the victim was prosecuted for using "zombie" ammo.

LD
Carrying "zombie" ammo isn't illegal, so you're unlike to find such a case. You can't (or shouldn't) be prosecuted for a legal activity. That doesn't necessarily make it a good idea, though.

I look at it this way: If I can choose between generic (white box) rounds and the "WidowMaker 3000" (complete with a mall ninja & a death's head on the box), and they are equivalent in terms of performance, I'll take the generic rounds.

Archangel14
November 28, 2012, 12:40 PM
Yeah, I guess I'm a "bottom feeder". Unlike that prosecutor who brought charges against those Duke Lacrosse boys. Or the very prosecutor who now persecutes Zimmerman. Or that idiot DA who changed the OJ venue so as not to "offend" as certain segment of society. Or the prosecutor in one of my cases a few years ago who admitted to fabricating evidence. No, no such thing as a bad prosecutor. Maybe you should tell the kid I got off on murder charges on self defense that I'm the bottom feeder, not the DA who prosecuted him because it was a big headliner and a great career advancer. If I recall, 12 people agreed with me that it was self defense. The DA disagreed, but I'm sure he was correct. Go ahead, load up your home made ammo, leave the home. I'm sure you won't have any problems at all if you find yourself in a fatal shooting. Your a legal genius. I'll call you when I have legal trouble.

mljdeckard
November 28, 2012, 01:38 PM
I'm a legal genius who knows the difference between "your" and "you're".

Archangel14
November 28, 2012, 05:36 PM
Hey Mljdeckard.....thanks for pointing out my spelling error. That sinks my argument in your eyes? You kidding me friend? That's your reply?

There's a great poster on this forum who has a by-line that reads something like "I learn from the mistakes of others". I'm "paraphrasing" (did I spell that correctly?). Maybe all of you legal geniuses should take that bit of friendly advice.

Now go load up and head out Rambo....I'm sure you got all the angle covered!

Archangel14
November 28, 2012, 05:40 PM
Spats....that's my point. No, we should not be prosecuted for legal activities. And that includes acting in lawful self defense with a firearm. The problem we see far too often is that what should be deemed legal is deemed illegal by the prosecuting authorities. We then find ourselves in court fighting an unjust prosecution. There's no need to give them any "ammo", so to speak. If you carry, please give great thought to every aspect of it. It's more fraught with potential headaches than first meets the eye.

God Bless..........

the Black Spot
November 29, 2012, 10:53 AM
So I bought the blazer 44 special 200 gr jhp ammo, box says its for practicing, has aluminum cases. Pretty sure I am good with these rounds.
Pretty slim chance of me getting into a scrape anyway, but the boy scout in me says "be prepared"

Trad Archer
November 29, 2012, 07:54 PM
How about Zombie ammo?:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

mljdeckard
November 29, 2012, 11:49 PM
No, your rhetoric and hyperbole do.

Lawdawg45
December 1, 2012, 08:38 AM
Yeah, I guess I'm a "bottom feeder". Unlike that prosecutor who brought charges against those Duke Lacrosse boys. Or the very prosecutor who now persecutes Zimmerman. Or that idiot DA who changed the OJ venue so as not to "offend" as certain segment of society. Or the prosecutor in one of my cases a few years ago who admitted to fabricating evidence. No, no such thing as a bad prosecutor. Maybe you should tell the kid I got off on murder charges on self defense that I'm the bottom feeder, not the DA who prosecuted him because it was a big headliner and a great career advancer. If I recall, 12 people agreed with me that it was self defense. The DA disagreed, but I'm sure he was correct. Go ahead, load up your home made ammo, leave the home. I'm sure you won't have any problems at all if you find yourself in a fatal shooting. Your a legal genius. I'll call you when I have legal trouble.

Simmer down sparky, we appreciate your opinion but you must admit that there are as many horror stories with private counsel as there are Prosecutors, and while you've had experience with trying these cases, some of us have been on the shooting side of the case (myself included). This forum allows both sides to contribute information and opinion. When a Prosecutor looks at a fatal case, they determine if the shooting was justified and not at the method used. If I'm defending myself against a knife wielding suspect, the fact that I used my Glock or a coal shovel is unimportant. The people who look at these details with magnification are the private counsel either defending a wounded criminal or the family of a dead one looking for a bureaucratic payout in a civil case. BTW, I would never carry reloads in a CCW, if that was also directed at me.;)

LD

Archangel14
December 1, 2012, 10:44 AM
LawDawg....there are some really scummy defense guys, as you well know. But I think that the "scummy" factor comes not so much from the way they conduct themselves in court, but essentially from the fact that they have what appears to be a distasteful job. I mean, really, how can we look at the guy who constantly represents accused murderers and say, "what a great guy!" Some will, but not most people. Around my parts there was a well known defense attorney who recently died. He loved representing sex offenders. That was his big thing. I found that entirely creepy, as did most other practitioners (prosecution and defense). Few in the legal field attended his funeral (I don't know why I did!). But I must say, he was very honest in the way he conducted his defenses. I've seen too many law guys bend the truth purposely to get that conviction. I guess you almost have to with the state of our laws.

And I guess you agree that if you're going to carry, it is VERY serious business and we must be VERY mindful about how we go about doing it?

Lawdawg45
December 1, 2012, 10:54 AM
LawDawg....there are some really scummy defense guys, as you well know. But I think that the "scummy" factor comes not so much from the way they conduct themselves in court, but essentially from the fact that they have what appears to be a distasteful job. I mean, really, how can we look at the guy who constantly represents accused murderers and say, "what a great guy!" Some will, but not most people. Around my parts there was a well known defense attorney who recently died. He loved representing sex offenders. That was his big thing. I found that entirely creepy, as did most other practitioners (prosecution and defense). Few in the legal field attended his funeral (I don't know why I did!). But I must say, he was very honest in the way he conducted his defenses. I've seen too many law guys bend the truth purposely to get that conviction. I guess you almost have to with the state of our laws.

And I guess you agree that if you're going to carry, it is VERY serious business and we must be VERY mindful about how we go about doing it?

Agree 100% my friend. May your influence as an honest practitioner with integrity be extremely contagious among your profession!:cool:

LD

PabloJ
December 1, 2012, 01:44 PM
Top quality defensive rounds in useful caliber are only $40-$50 for box of 50. Police surplus in 9x19 or 10mm short can be had for substantially less. Please see Glock 20 kBOOM topic..... buying quality ammo will almost eliminate chance of something like that happening to you.

jason41987
December 1, 2012, 02:40 PM
ive been reading this post.. handloaded, not handloaded, hollow points or not... and i have to ask myself what others have asked... is there something you can get in a handload you cant get with factory ammo?.... sure we handload to save money, but buying a box of factory ammo specifically for self defense shouldnt be much of a burden.... just take them out and shoot off your handloads when youre target practicing

as for hollow points vs... since this is a revolver forum, ill use SWCs as the alternative... what are you carrying for self defense? 357 magnum? 44?... do these need hollow points to be devestatingly effective?... and with a 38 special would you get the necessary penetration with them?... and is your placement so off that you hope theyll die in the hour or so itll take them to bleed to death because you failed to hit anything vital?

honestly... i doubt it would matter for me one way or another if i ever had to go to trial for self defense... i dont have a family, im not a scout leader, or a teacher, heck, i dont do much in my community and spent most my time in highschool in detention or suspended... but no, i wouldnt hurt anyone if given any other choice... even got in fights in highschool protecting smaller guys and girls from bullies... most people are smaller than me anyway, and unless they had a weapon im confident enough in my own abilities...

however.. simply because i dont look the part of the perfect husband and father, prefer to ride a motorcycle over driving my car, and would probably show up to court in jeans and boots as opposed to a suit (because i dont have formal wear)... i would probably end up doing jail time... and its not right, its not fair, the best i can do to avoid that is the best i can do to avoid the situations and minimize anything anyone could use against me relating to the incident itself

Lawdawg45
December 2, 2012, 08:10 AM
ive been reading this post.. handloaded, not handloaded, hollow points or not... and i have to ask myself what others have asked... is there something you can get in a handload you cant get with factory ammo?.... sure we handload to save money, but buying a box of factory ammo specifically for self defense shouldnt be much of a burden.... just take them out and shoot off your handloads when youre target practicing

as for hollow points vs... since this is a revolver forum, ill use SWCs as the alternative... what are you carrying for self defense? 357 magnum? 44?... do these need hollow points to be devestatingly effective?... and with a 38 special would you get the necessary penetration with them?... and is your placement so off that you hope theyll die in the hour or so itll take them to bleed to death because you failed to hit anything vital?

honestly... i doubt it would matter for me one way or another if i ever had to go to trial for self defense... i dont have a family, im not a scout leader, or a teacher, heck, i dont do much in my community and spent most my time in highschool in detention or suspended... but no, i wouldnt hurt anyone if given any other choice... even got in fights in highschool protecting smaller guys and girls from bullies... most people are smaller than me anyway, and unless they had a weapon im confident enough in my own abilities...

however.. simply because i dont look the part of the perfect husband and father, prefer to ride a motorcycle over driving my car, and would probably show up to court in jeans and boots as opposed to a suit (because i dont have formal wear)... i would probably end up doing jail time... and its not right, its not fair, the best i can do to avoid that is the best i can do to avoid the situations and minimize anything anyone could use against me relating to the incident itself

Jason, the process judges you on the facts of the case, interpreted by a jury of your peers, not the expensive suit crowd. You should see the collection of ghetto trash that walks out Scott free wearing saggy jeans, untied tennis shoes, t shirts with obscene images on it, and racks of fake gold teeth. Trust me, your boots and jeans would not have a negative effect!:)

LD

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