hand load SD ammo


February 17, 2013, 04:37 PM
Seems I read somewhere a long time ago that using hand loads for self defense could lead to legal trouble.

Does anyone have any info on this? Any reference to a case? Any article where this happened?

Many thanks!

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February 17, 2013, 05:47 PM
It will almost surely be brought up by prosecution, but I don't believe it's ever actually happened.

February 17, 2013, 05:56 PM
I can see where prosecution would try to run with it, but to me self defense is self defense... JMO...

February 17, 2013, 07:10 PM
No one has ever come up with a citation of a criminal case where handloads led to additional charges, let alone conviction(s).

A tort layer may have more success insinuating that your 'diabolical killing bullets' exposes you to civil liability.


February 17, 2013, 07:23 PM
I hand load both 9mm and .38/.357. My main carry is an XD9M, and for that I use commercial, using the hand loads just for practice. But I keep a Taurus 605 (.357 with 2" bbl) in the car, and have hand loaded .357 in it. But it is a reduced load, somewhat between .38 +P and a full .357 magnum load. I suppose a lawyer trying to make something of it would focus more on the Speer Gold Dots in my hand loads than the powder/power. But with all kinds of "tactical/personal defense" offerings in the commercial market these days, I don't see that going anywhere. Only if you loaded up something incredibly "hot" with a tactical/defense bullet might someone think they could go after your motive in using such a load.

This is more of an "urban legend" I think. I could probably defend any maximum load I could come up with in 9mm/.38/.357 by simply saying that I was trying to emulate the defensive stopping power of a .45. :)

February 17, 2013, 07:24 PM
I see it as no different then sharpening your butcher knife to cook with, or putting a new hammer handle in an old hammer.

Or using grandpa's old model 12 trap gun and reloaded trap shells he left you in his will, and then being pressed into using it in SD by a criminal.

If deadly force is justified in SD at all, it legally doesn't matter what you are using to do it with.


February 17, 2013, 07:31 PM
It SHOULDN'T matter. It probably WON'T matter. But if you are in legal grey are where the DA is trying to make a name for himself, and he's trying to get creative to find that last little bit of evidence to get an indictment, he can try ANYTHING, which may include your hand loads. If you modified your trigger. If you disabled any safeties on your gun. If you called the bad guy a naughty word before you shot him.

I don't worry about it, but I won't state definitively that no DA anywhere under any circumstances can ever try it.

February 17, 2013, 07:46 PM
We are replowing old ground. See this (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=618021).

The risk analysis is highly judgmental. The rules of admissibility of scientific forensic trace evidence, however, are fundamental.

Will they figure in to a case?

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

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