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Remind me why?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by halfded, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. halfded

    halfded Well-Known Member

    Went out and tested some factory SD ammo yesterday and it shot horribly, compared to my loads anyway.

    My question is this:

    I pay WAAY more attention to my ammo than the big name makers do theirs. I check, measure and assemble each round individually by hand; the big name guys don't.

    So if my ammo shoots better, is more accurate, and I'm starting to believe that I can trust it more, than why not make my own carry ammo as well?

    I know there are the legal implications of "devising the perfect mankiller", but I figure using a factory made bullet pushed at speeds matching factory SD ammo, then what leg would the prosecuting attorney really have to stand on? That I am a thrifty and economical gun wielding maniac for saving money making my own "mankillers"? My point being that I didn't devise a "mankiller", just copied someone else's design which has already been socially accepted (sort of).

    So what say you men (and women)?
  2. loadedround

    loadedround Well-Known Member

    Halfded: I have also wondered about the same issue if I ever had to use my own rolled ammo in a SD situation. All the gun writer jocks continue to warn us about the legal issues of using our own reloaded ammo. But I'll ask you the same question I have asked myself..."have you ever heard of a court situation where this had occurred". Frankly I think it's all media hype or just BS by the so called gun writers who keep repeating the same story over and over again. Let's wait until our "legal experts" chime in. :rolleyes:
  3. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

    I say a justifiable shoot is a justifiable shoot regardless of the ammo used as long as it is legal in the first place...i.e. no explosive or poison tipped bullets.

    The rest of it is just internet B.S.
  4. halfded

    halfded Well-Known Member

    Methinks there may be a racket afoot. Maybe its time to start a movement..:cuss:

    "Roll your own to save your own." or something like that.

    I have never heard anything about someone being prosecuted with bullet choice or manufacturer being a deciding factor. Kind of equates to me this way: There isn't an extra sentence or consideration given for the type of car driven in a vehicular manslaughter case, no matter the cause.

    Think I might order up some of my favorite projectiles and some new brass here soon and start some testing.

    Looking for as many POV's as I can get on the issue. Anyone else wanna chime in?
  5. Drail

    Drail Well-Known Member

    I have loaded my personal carry ammo for years because as the OP stated you have more control and personal interest in the quality of the finished product. I usually will pull down factory loads and rebuild them with my powder charge but using a Federal bullet in a Federal case with a Federal primer, etc. I think it would be hard to prove that it wasn't a factory load unless a really detailed investigation were to take place. I have seen factory ammunition loaded with primers inserted upside down or no powder. If it absolutely positively has to work I'll make my own.
  6. Bailey Boat

    Bailey Boat Well-Known Member

    I beg to differ there halfded,

    "Kind of equates to me this way: There isn't an extra sentence or consideration given for the type of car driven in a vehicular manslaughter case, no matter the cause."

    I'm sure that you've heard of the "SUV" killing many folks. Our local news likes to use that one quite often, as if it had a mind of it's own and acted without any human intervention..... I can't think of a situation where the bulls**t gets any more pure.......
  7. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Well-Known Member

    I'd say that I bought the ammo at the gun show if it came to that. because it was cheap.
  8. counterclockwise

    counterclockwise Well-Known Member

    IMO, this ideal is overblown. There is no case law to support this as the perfect offense in a "wrongful death" suit, or in a "manslaughter" trial.

    My "perfect mankiller" has a few micrograms of Ricin sealed inside a hollowpoint. I call it the KGB special.

    However, some people remained convinced that one must arm hisself with the "socially acceptable" round, which just happens to be what the police department uses. Well, I do not like to shoot 40's. I am not going to ditch my nines or 1911A1 over it. And, I am not going to ditch my little fragmenting round shooting mouse gun for a 12 ga.
  9. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    There's an enormous thread on the issue of carrying handloads from a year or two back that old Mas himself jumped into.

    I see no real problem with it so long as you keep good records of your loads in a loadbook and more importantly seal your primers. Personally I'm not 100% sure about my own handgun loads. I've had maybe 1 in 500 duds, which is too many.
  10. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I've never had a handgun round I've made fail to fire so I'm confident in my ammo.

    However, because I'm fearful of an overzealous prosecutor going after me and the fact I don't have the massive amounts of money it will cost me to defend myself properly I choose to spend a little extra on factory carry ammo. I do however attempt to produce replicas of my carry ammo for practice which saves me money.

    I know it shouldn't be that way and I'm not even sure it would happen that way but like I said, I don't have the money to properly defend myself just in case it does happen.
  11. counterclockwise

    counterclockwise Well-Known Member

  12. halfded

    halfded Well-Known Member

    How would I go about sealing the primers if I chose to do so?

    Also, does anyone know where I can find some LSWCHP bullets to load up and try out?
  13. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Well-Known Member

    You can buy primer sealant at your local reloading shop, or use nail polish. I like the acrylic in colors so I can keep different rounds separated even if they all get dropped in a bucket. I never had good luck with sharpies. :eek:
  14. longdayjake

    longdayjake Well-Known Member

    The only time I would fear using a handload in any situation is if I was doing something illegal. Handloading leaves tell tale marks on casings and will easily lead the police to believe that the person that committed the crime either handloads himself or buys handloaded ammunition. If anything I would think the police would be greatful for such a clue in any homicide investigation. If you are doing nothing illegal you should not fear going to prison. If you live in an area where you fear the government is after you, then move somewhere else.
  15. bluetopper

    bluetopper Well-Known Member

    Like Marlin45carbine stated...........use your lead reloads and "tell em you bought them at gun show".
    Or just tell them the truth, you reload your own ammo for cost savings.

    A justifiable self defense is a justifiable self defense.
  16. counterclockwise

    counterclockwise Well-Known Member

    Where can I find?:


    You did not mention the caliber. But for my "44 magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and will blow your head clean off" ("Dirty Harry"):D, I use this:

    Hornady #11118 .430 dia,
    240gr Lead SWCHP

    For the higher velocity loads I use a copper jacketed HP.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  17. jeepmor

    jeepmor Well-Known Member

    This subject has been covered ad nauseum. I think that you would want to be able to prove that your carry ammo matches some "accepted" standard for factory built defensive ammo.

    Like creating your own Gold Dots that match some factory Gold Dots in speed. But you can reduce the variation in your loads relative to factory loads with better monitoring.

    You'd need a chrony and some good note taking, nothing more in my opinion.

    Let's face, if you shoot someone, the legal system will focus more on why and how you shot the person, rather than what components you used. All these threads eventually wind up in two camps of folks. The "don't do it camp" and the "it's okay camp". I don't care either way, I think the events that lead up to the shooting will be focused on in the legal system, not the bullet/powder/primer/case combination you put together.

    Should it come to that, it would stand in your favor to have data and extra ammo for your carry firearm such that a court could independently test your firearm. The prosecuting attorney would try to ruin your credibility for rolling your own, calling you a person who somehow "planned" on using your ammo. Like buying carry ammo from a factory offering is really that much different, but you get the idea. It's simply another thing for them to sink their teeth into to convince a jury that you were not defending yourself, but were rather a predator, after said BG with fatal intent.

    I'm a strong believer that the events that went down will free or hang you in court, not the means you defended yourself with.

    Me neither, always comes off.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  18. jfh

    jfh Well-Known Member

    I'll probably start carrying my own ammo

    When I have shot up the factory stuff. The trouble is, I have enough various 38 & 357 factory PD ammo that, unless I really try to, I won't run out.

    Currently, I can build 38 Special "FBI800" ammo for practice for perhaps 12 cents a round using a standard 158LSWC. It duplicates the current 38+P factory ammo with a 158 LSWC-HP in it--today's variation on the FBI ammo specification for 38 Special. (FBI800 refers to the fact that it runs about 800 fps from a nominal 2" barrel). If I now substitute in either the Hornady or the Speer 158 LSWC-HP, my cost may increase to 15 cents a round. Those costs includes a case amortization cost of about 1.5 cents--IOW, I assume the cases cost about $140.00 (new Starline, shipped) and can be reused perhaps 8 to 10 times.

    The same ballistics can be built in a 357 case, obviously. I prefer to do that for the obvious reloader reasons--my carry guns are mostly 357 Magnums, and I'd rather shoot a 357 case and avoid the chamber scrubbing needed when you shoot 38 specials in 357. Note that this round would be considered a reduced-charge 357 round.

    Further, at my hand-conditioning / skill level, the 'biggest' round I want to shoot in my lightweight j frames is a 158 LSWC running at 900 fps or a bit over. That would be even more effective, I suspect, than the FBI800 load. I know of no factory PD ammo in 357 Magnum that runs a 158 LSWC-HP at 900 fps--but it surely also is a reduced-power 357. I can't see how this round induces liability.

    As for the point at hand--the concern about liability does seem to be overblown. As others have said, a good shoot is a good shoot: if you meet the criteria for self-defense with a firearm, the ammunition doesn't matter.

    Amd to clarify--I consider the criteria for "the biggest round" to be the ability to shoot Old Fuff "quad fives" back to back from a lightweight j-frame, and still be (barely) able to handle the j-frame.

    Jim H.
  19. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    For semi auto's 9mm and .45 acp I buy police surplus or commercial defensive ammo as they are loaded with better bullets than I can buy. In the case of of +P and +P+ they are loaded hotter than I'd personally risk not having pressure measuring equipment. These rounds are some of the most tested ammunition available with both simulated and actual shooting. I have certainly never found any lack of accuracy in commercial ammo with similar bullets that I'd use for SD.

    If a revolver is what's at hand when the time comes to defend my life, the ammo in its as likely to be hand loaded as factory.
  20. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    Why would you seal the primer on self defense rounds? That one just baffles the hell out of me.

    As I carry my own reloads and live in a very wet climate and have never had a failure to fire in any of my reloads over the course of 23 years. Yes I trust them and have never sealed my defense round...

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