Reloads For Concealed Carry Against The Law?


April 7, 2013, 10:48 AM
Neice's husband told me yesterday that it is illegal to use reloads for concealed carry in Ohio. Is this fact or fiction?

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April 7, 2013, 11:08 AM
No! Not against the law, but very very bad idea. Read Massad Ayoob's books for an in depth explanation why.

April 7, 2013, 11:10 AM
Fiction. Supposedly there was a case a guy used (during self defense) reloads that were hot and was found guilty of murder...that being said I cannot confirm or deny that case actually exists.

April 7, 2013, 11:12 AM
fiction, though there's a concern by some folks that if you used handloaded ammunition in a self defense situation an anti-RKBA prosecutor could try to make an example out of you. the more appropriate concern is that some people prefer factory self defense ammo for reliability (though most on this forum would argue their hand loads are more reliable than factory). Personally, until I can Hydra-Shok bulllets and load them myself I use factory ammo in my HD firearm. But I don't see anything wrong with using handloads either.

April 7, 2013, 11:13 AM
No but there are considerations ...

For those that did not get to read the other comprehensive discussion thread (, here's a quick summary.

Use of reloaded ammunition for justified defensive shooting is fine.

The problem is that once the police discover/realize that reloaded ammunition was involved in the shooting, your ENTIRE reloading equipment/components can and will be taken in for evidence for the duration of the investigation and/or court trial while police/experts may try to replicate the load used for the shooting to determine distance, etc.

This one factor alone made me decide not to use reloaded ammunition for SD/HD purposes. If factory ammunition was used, police would take the remainder of the ammunition and the factory box (if available and based on the discussion, I would HIGHLY recommend that you keep the factory box with the lot number handy for the police) along with the pistol for evidence.

I don't know about you, but I do not want the police going through all of my "delicate" reloading equipment and the entire reloading component stash.

April 7, 2013, 11:22 AM
Fiction is my guess. Everything I read in the ORC mentions nothing about the choice of ammunition. It would be nice if the niece's husband could provide something in the ORC as I sure can't find it.

While the argument can be made factory ammunition is more reliable or that someone can hand load making more destructive ammunition opening the door for civil arguments I see no reason not to use hand loads if you have confidence in them.



April 7, 2013, 11:24 AM
IMO: A shooter facing a jury has much larger problems than the type of ammunition used in that shoot. Handgun editor Sheriff Jim Wilson and a retired federal judge searched high and low for a shooting case where the use of handloads made a difference in the jurys decision: They found none.

April 7, 2013, 11:27 AM
Consider this. Much, much more info at the linked thread even with Masaad Ayoob commenting on the thread -

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.


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.

April 7, 2013, 12:12 PM
here we go again....

April 7, 2013, 12:22 PM
See nothing mentioned here.......Ohio CWC rules and regs (

April 7, 2013, 12:24 PM
Yesterday a thread about giving up the AR for HD because of bad press and possible negative jury influence. This handloads for SD/HD discussion has gone around a bunch of times.

My take: arguing that the use of a legal means of defending oneself could be trouble in court means that one is not very confident in his ability to make a proper shoot/don't shoot decision. If I have to shoot, whether I can win my court case is really moot--I'm alive, probably because I made the shoot decision.

If I properly defend myself or my family, whether I fire an AR with handloaded cartridges is utterly beside the point, and if a jury decides otherwise--well, I guess I don't have to worry about what to make for dinner.

April 7, 2013, 04:50 PM
No! Not against the law, but very very bad idea. Read Massad Ayoob's books for an in depth explanation why.

Mas Ayoobs reasoning has never occured. Not once. Pure speculation of an event thats fiction.

Fiction. Supposedly there was a case a guy used (during self defense) reloads that were hot and was found guilty of murder...that being said I cannot confirm or deny that case actually exists.

Its the daniel bias case. He was found guilty because he shot his wife. Bullet entry angle, etc., was all the evidence needed.

This is a topic thats been beaten to death. If you dont want to do it dont. If you do, then do it. If your shoot is justified, its justified, end of story. I will continue to use my handloads. I like to knoew that every primer has priming compound, that every powder charge is perfect, etc. I trust my loads with my life.

April 7, 2013, 05:07 PM
while I understand the cautious reasoning of recommending not to use reloads, it doesn't really make much sense when applied to other factors.

For instance, should you not use hollow points? Couldn't a prosecutor say that you were attempting to inflict maximum damage? Can you not shoot a .357 or .44 when a .32 or .380 could have sufficed?

With all those other factors, a prosecution could theoretically point you out to be a blood-thirsty killer (they probably already will), but I've always heard people recommend using as much gun as you can shoot accurately, and I've never heard anyone recommend a smaller caliber or less effective round so that you can be viewed favorably by a jury if you're put on trial.

That being said, I personally heed the advice to shoot factory ammo for SD.

April 7, 2013, 06:31 PM
This cracks me up, someone calling this topic a dead horse in 2001

April 7, 2013, 06:37 PM
if you have any interest in that topic at all, read this thread.

It is unlikely a more in-depth discussion of the relevant factors exists anywhere.

345 DeSoto
April 7, 2013, 07:15 PM
Popcorn, anyone?...:rolleyes:

April 7, 2013, 07:28 PM
I have actually consulted with a personal defense attorney about your question. He said that there is no case history of such, and absolutely no law that exists regarding such. Now I would imagine that in today's constantly challenging and changing 2nd amendment times that this is certain to gain more attention than ever before, but for the moment we are OK.


April 7, 2013, 09:18 PM
If not using a reload that isn't too far from the norm, how
Would the prosecution know anyways ?? :uhoh:

Semper Fi

April 7, 2013, 09:23 PM
What I'm saying is, "Prove It." :)

April 7, 2013, 09:24 PM
I have heard the many reasons for and against using reloads for self defense and I apologize if my question wasn't clear. My neice's husband was told by the individual conducting his CCW training it was against the law in Ohio to have reloads in his conceal carry gun. I had never heard this before and was curious as to how this would be checked if true. For my personal CCW I use commercial ammo but would use my reloads if that was all I had available.

April 7, 2013, 09:54 PM
Easy fix, make your first round a hot reload. And every other round factory, this way there will be no evidence of a reload or hot round.


April 7, 2013, 09:54 PM
Just because he was teaching a class doesn't mean he knows what he's talking about. Check OH law yourself to find out if he was telling the truth. This is one topic that comes up constantly because people don't search before they create a new thread.

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April 7, 2013, 11:13 PM
If I use a ballbat to protect myself, can I use one I made myself? Does it matter if I use wood or aluminum?
I also wonder if it would make a difference in court if the criminal I shot defending myself was also using reloads?

April 8, 2013, 01:20 AM
I will use whatever I have to defend myself and my loved ones. Be it a homemade bat, slingshot or reloaded ammo, I will do whatever I can to preserve my life. I will deal with the civil consequences later, if I survive. I say that because I'd rather be alive and broke from litigation than dead below the soil line.

We see this time and time again here and get nowhere.....Now, back to the your regular program...

April 8, 2013, 06:50 AM
Easy fix, make your first round a hot reload. And every other round factory, this way there will be no evidence of a reload or hot round.


Problem with that it's you just made evidence against yourself. Why would you try to hide facts?

Back on subject. There is no law that I know of in Ohio. It does seem to change every week tho. Must of Ohio law doesn't make any sense to me. You need to try to keep up with Ohio's ever changing code yourself.

Carl N. Brown
April 8, 2013, 07:47 AM
I get the impression that that self-defense shootings tend to depend on motive, intent, actions of the "victim", actions of the "offender", and did the incident meet the tests of reasonable fear for life or limb, did the "victim" have the ability and opportunity to put the "offender" in jeopardy of death or greivous bodily harm. (Key: In keeping with Dick Wolfe's Law&Order view on "vigilantism" (self defense) I am using "victim" to denote the attacker and "offender" to denote the defender. ;) )

The local papers have had no cases I have read--and I have had a special interesr in self defense issues since the 1960s--no cases where the ammunition used was an issue.

Theoretically in a contested SD shooting a reconstruction of the shooting might depend on gun shot residue and stippling effects (powder burns and particle patterns) and standard ammo for comparison/reconstruction might be an issue. How often does that happen nationally?

I do know that every police shooting requires a TBI shooting review team and a presentation to the grand jury. Perhaps use of other than issue ammo is important in reconstructing a police-involved shooting incident.

April 8, 2013, 08:19 AM
Kind of like asking, 'Should I use expanding broadheads on my HD crossbow?'

April 8, 2013, 08:32 AM
[MOD TALK: The OP has clarified his question -- we're talking about OHIO LAW only. The general question of "should I?" isn't relevant. So reply if you know what OHIO LAW says about the matter.]

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