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Are legal concerns over carrying handloads trivial?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Clark, Dec 20, 2005.

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Are legal concerns over carrying handloads trivial?

Poll closed Jan 19, 2006.
  1. Yes, be afraid, very afraid!

    20 vote(s)
    15.7%
  2. We don't need no stinking factory loads!

    90 vote(s)
    70.9%
  3. No opinion. Where am I?

    17 vote(s)
    13.4%
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  1. tellner

    tellner member

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    "...and the ammunition he used was less deadly..."

    In another forum I considered my wife's Colt Diamondback. It's a beautiful gun, and she achieved Zen with it the first time she picked it up - *pop*pop*pop*pop*pop*pop* through the ten ring. But it's an older gun, and the gunsmiths here have warned us against a lot of current ammunition and certainly all .38 +P. The better bullets all seem to come attached to the front end of fairly powerful charges. The lighter charges are pushing bullets that I'd rather replace with something a bit more effective.

    We're considering handloads with modern bullets and slightly reduced powder for the benefit of her gun's function and shooter safety. There may or may not be a certain legal risk for us here, but it's a judgement call as to whether it outweighs the risk of a damaged gun and, G-d forbid, a damaged wife. It also made me think of how it might be presented in court. She used cartridges that were specially made to be "less deadly" than factory loads. I can't see how it would hurt.

    Others have complained about finding good ammunition for older pistols and revolvers. There doesn't seem to be enough of a market for the big manufacturers to make ammunition to fill that gap. Some will be forced to use handloads or make do with less effective ammunition. Tradeoffs again.

    I've even come up with a catchy name for the downloaded cartridges - The "Wandering Inept Metal Projectile"

    "I use Black Talons."
    "I use Golden Sabers."
    "I use Hydra-Shocks."

    "I use W.I.M.P.s"
     
  2. grendelbane

    grendelbane Member

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    [QUOTEOthers have complained about finding good ammunition for older pistols and revolvers. There doesn't seem to be enough of a market for the big manufacturers to make ammunition to fill that gap.][/QUOTE]

    I have to agree with this statement. And they don't necessarily have to be all that old either. Try finding a good factory SD load for the S&W Model 58. This is probably one of the best social revolvers ever made, but there is little to no decent factory ammunition available for it. Yes, I know about Silvertips, and if they were a little heavier, going a little slower, and engineered to expand well at sub-sonic velocity they would be my first choice.

    You have already mentioned the .38 Spl, and I will mention the .44 Spl. Here we have a cartridge with excellent potential, handicapped by factory loads that date back to the time when Elmer Keith was wearing diapers.

    I really don't like the selection of factory .45 Colt loads. Grand old cartridge, but not very many good factory loads to choose from for serious purposes.

    Georgia Arms does load an 147 grain .38 Super, but it is loaded a little hotter than what I would want for social purposes. I think it could be dropped back to about 1070 FPS and still be quite effective.

    So handloads are not always about loading hotter. Many times it is about loading lighter, especially with the magnum revolver cartridges.

    A 9x223mm Winchester with 147 grain bullet going about 1300 FPS would be nice also. That would compare favorably with the 145 grain Winchester Silvertip .357 magnum.
     
  3. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Standard .38 Special factory loads such as Remington, Winchester or federal that are not +P loads should be O K for that Colt Diamondback...Unless it has been very badly abused in an earlier life...For that matter, standard handloads would probably do just fine...
     
  4. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Unless your Diamondback is a rust bucket or defective, there is no reason it can't digest +P .38 Special. It's an extremely tough all-steel revolver that's a notch stronger than the S&W steel J-Frames. I don't know what your gunsmiths have been smoking. Sometimes those guys get some notion in their head that only a brand new revolver with a titanium backstrap can cope with "+P" ammunition.

    There is no such thing as a "less deadly" lead bullet in the eyes of the law. The bullet either works or it doesn't. If it doesn't kill reliably, then you have no business using it as lethal force in the first place. And if it does kill you'd better have sufficient grounds to fire before doing so.

    So you don't need to download the special, and for self defense you really shouldn't anyway.
     
  5. tellner

    tellner member

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    Cosmo,

    It's certainly not a rustbucket; it's a very nice gun. Since we're not gunsmiths we're going on the advice of the local ones. If it really is up to digesting modern cartridges, that's great. I'd rather use them.

    The "less deadly" was in counterpoint to the whole "you used extra-deadly hot handloads" argument. That's why it was in quotes. Deadly force is deadly force is deadly force, but it would be interesting to see how the whole thing would play if the ammunition were, for some other good reason, less powerful than the factory brand.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2005
  6. GrantCunningham

    GrantCunningham Member

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    Todd, please PM me with the names of the people you talked to; none of the locals that I know are even remotely qualified to pass judgement on a D-frame Colt, and I'd sure like to know which ones think they are!

    Back to the point: a Diamondback won't sustain any damage shooting +p loads. While wear will be accelerated (particularly the hand and ratchet), that is true of any gun. Frame stretching is a remote possibility with the Diamondback, as the top strap is significantly stronger than even the regular D-frame, which is a pretty stout gun to begin with.

    I wouldn't prescribe a steady diet of hot loads in great quantity, simply because of the increased maintenance costs (Colt 'smiths don't come cheap ;) ) However, even several hundred rounds a year in a Diamondback - assuming it's in good shape to start - won't be a problem.

    If she wants to shoot thousands of rounds a year, just use more standard pressure loads. While this seems to go against the recommendation to "shoot what you carry", in this case it's no problem. The frontal weight of the Diamondback is considerable, and you'll find the difference in recoil between standard pressure and +p rounds isn't all that dramatic - certainly a box of +p every month or so would easily keep her "in practice."
     
  7. zeke

    zeke Member

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    Am glad the moderators let this thread continue, as it has been very educational. Used to depend on handloads almost exclusively, and still do for several specific calibers and firearms. Not too many years ago, decent (highly subjective opinion) readily available self defense loads for the 44 special, 44 mag (down loaded) and 45 LC (down loaded 45 acp bullets) were rare. Expanding loads with decent velocity from 3 inch 45 acp are still rare, and very expensive. The development of non-plugging hollow points is already here (Powerball)

    The last several years has seen custom (another subjective definition referring to manufacturers other than Win, Fed and Rem commonly available factory loadings) attempt to , and in several cases have, produce more specialized loadings. Thinking of powerball, Barnes x-bullets, short barrel Gold Dots and downloaded 44 mag and 45 LC.

    With few exceptions, am still more confident about the quality and consistency of own custom loaded rounds, where absolute control of components can be made, without regard to mass manufacturing savings. Have been lots of recalled rounds over the years? If matching velocity with same bullet, same results are predictable to various tests that have been conducted.

    In the last couple years, have replaced or am considering replacing some versions of custom loaded rounds with now availble factory options. Still ain't seen a midrange 180 grain jhp 44 mag (Rem sjhp or Hdy 180 xtp), 1250 fps from 4 in, extremely accurate, low flash and recoil) from manufacturer yet. Believe Mid range 200 GD's are available, however.

    That being said, have experienced lawyers trying anything to twist facts/or discredit a person. Ya gotta be ready to educate em. Thinking ahead for this, can be nothing but beneficial.

    Despite my own beliefs and actions, ain't prepared to recommend people use handloads for self dense.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2005
  8. Grump

    Grump Member

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    Suffering from threatchoke-itis, I *think* it was Mr. Ayoob who wrote:
    And then our attorney-friend out of Alaska pointed out some things about the remoteness of any opportunity for evidence-tampering and such with the pile of handloads left back at the house...

    And I merely wish to point out that if factory load "X" launches a Hornady 124-gr XTP out of *my* 9mm wondergun at "xyza" fps velocity, and my handloads with that *same* Hornady bullet launch it at the same "xyza" velocity, plus-minus 20 fps...

    Whatinnaheck difference izzit gonna make??

    Honestly, the "track record" argument would mean nothing. After all, we're *NOT* dealing with lead rifle bullets that measureably compress in the nose when fired with differing type of powder at different power levels. There is *not* going to be any difference in the bullet as launched from the factory load as compared to my handload, other than powder and primer residue deposited on the base of the jacket...Irrelevant!

    If you want to avoid all possible problems, no matter how laughable or easily defeated, at all costs, then by all means eschew handloads for self-defense. Me, I will use whatever happens to be handy and within reach at the time and will not worry about the ammo. If the potential problem can be so easily de-fused or diffused or whatever your preferred verb, then it is still a trivial problem...even for a civil lawsuit with its different legal issues and broader motives for legally-privileged and non-actionable libel in the courtroom.

    Mr. Ayoob: Do you ever offer your seminars in Arizona? If so, watch out. I've read some interesting things about their efforts to crack down on non-lawyers dispensing legal advice without a law license. You may have been quite lucky to be running below the radar of those who care about enforcing their laws and court rules.

    Those who think Ayoob is ahead on points should tally up all the things posted in objection to his positions, and see how many he has *not* answered.

    Clark, unfortunately, has done worse and lost credibilty. But others have stepped in and ably challenged much of what has been posted by the Ayoob camp.

    Mr. Ayoob: I belive that Clark is using is perjorative derivation of your last name for the "O" in his references to "MO". It's a cheap shot, but "MO" is you, my friend.

    Clark: YOU also lose a lot of credibility for failing to answer some fairly simple and direct questions.
     
  9. tellner

    tellner member

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    The best I've seen are the Silvertips. Do they have the same troubles in .45 Colt that they do in the other caliber you mentioned? It's a shame because, once again, we have a revolver in that caliber that's just the nicest straightest shooting gun you could want. It wouldn't be my first choice for carry, but it does a fantastic job of putting holes in the part of the paper you want it to (Navy Arms replica of the Schofield in .45LC).
     
  10. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Would there be a downside in a home defense situation to using
    standard factory Target or Hunting ammunition simply because
    that is what you use mormally?

    And at the risk of being :fire:ed I would like to offer the opinion
    that I would not use what the local LEO use because if law
    enforcement responds to a shooting in progress I would not
    want credit for any possible "friendly fire" casualties.
     
  11. grendelbane

    grendelbane Member

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    I found .45 Colt Silvertips to be quite accurate, but just moving too slow to open up in any informal test medium I tried. (My favorite is OJ cartons filled with water.)

    The short barrel on my Taurus deserves much of the blame, but I have heard complaints from others who were using S&W's with longer barrels.

    The Cor-Bon load expanded, but it is only a 200 grain bullet. I sold the Taurus, and now have a 696.
     
  12. Clark

    Clark Member

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    Grump,

    "MO" is a typo that I stopped making after it was notices and pointed out.

    Count how many times MA called me a liar.
    Count how many times MA accused me of calling HIM a liar.
    Count how many times I in fact called him a liar.



    Count how many court cases MA provides to support the notion that handloads bear a legal risk.

    Count how many of those the court cases the lawyers who responded will accept as supporting the notion.


    My crediblilty as a what?
    I am just another guy that can question a book by dividing the number of real court cases by number of handloading concealed carry guys.
    Then I compare that to the danger of lightning strike we all face.

    If you find my calculator without credibilty, I'm sure they have calculatators in Alaska:)
     
  13. kengrubb

    kengrubb Member

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    If by Target you mean FMJ or SWC, or by Hunting you mean JSP, then I would say yes those could be bad choices. FMJs and JSPs tend to penetrate deeper than desired. SWCHPs would probably be a very good and inexpensive choice.

    I suppose it's possible, but it seems improbable. Police response to a shooting in progress tends to come with a lot of audio and video--well sirens and flashing lights in any event.

    If I get into a shooting with someone trying to kill me at the food court of a local mall, I would think the matter to be resolved by the time LE arrives--unless both me and my intended killer or killers have overlooked a uniformed officer enjoying a taco three booths over. Therein lies my much larger concern--that I would become a bullet trap for responding officers. If the fight goes into overtime with my unfocused killers exposed in the open, and I'm counting my way through all my 40^2 friends behind the comfort of cover, then there's probably more than one disgruntled forum poster trying to kill me. When I hear the approaching Hut-Hut-Hut of a responding SWAT team, it's time to take stock of the situation and figure out how I might start looking less conspicuous and less interesting so that my would be killers find the SWAT officers more conspicuous and more interesting. If it works, then I exhale all available air to become thinner and more covered. After the kindly SWAT officers perforate my unsuccessful killers, the least of my worries will be that my ammo is the same as that used by the SWAT officers to unintentionally perforate a bystander.
     
  14. callgood

    callgood Member

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    Assume a "good shoot", i.e. I am in my home and I defend myself against an armed intruder.

    I load 180 grain Gold Dots into Starline brass for my 10mm. So does Doubletap Ammo. I do not push mine nearly as hard as they do. I'm about 80% of max velocity per my Speer manual. How does that open me up to additional liability?

    I think it's like I use the tomahawk I keep on my hearth to split kindling rather than the ax in the garage to do the BG in, but that's just my take.

    Locale may have something to do with it. I doubt the DA here would waste his time. Of course, I go to church with him.:evil:
     
  15. massad ayoob

    massad ayoob Member

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    Cases Where Handloads Caused Problems in Court

    As promised, here are the sources for records for any who feel a need to confirm the cases I have referenced previously where handloaded ammunition caused problems for people in the aftermath of shootings.

    As I have noted in this thread earlier, and as the attorneys who have responded to this matter have confirmed, local trials and results are not usually available on-line. However, in each case, I have included the location where the physical records of the trials are archived.

    NH v. Kennedy

    James Kennedy, a sergeant on the Hampton, NH police force, pursued a drunk driver whose reckless operation of the vehicle had forced other motorists off the road. The suspect ended up in a ditch, stalled and trying to get underway again. Advised by radio that responding backup officers were still a distance away, and fearing that the man would get back on the road and kill himself and others, Kennedy approached the vehicle. At the driver’s door, the suspect grabbed Kennedy’s Colt .45 auto and pulled it towards himself. It discharged in his face, causing massive injury.

    The reload in the gun was a 200 grain Speer JHP, loaded to duplicate the 1000 fps from a 5” barrel then advertised by Speer for the same bullet in loaded cartridge configuration.

    This was the first case where I saw the argument, “Why wasn’t regular ammunition deadly enough for you,” used by opposing counsel. They charged Kennedy with aggravated assault. They made a large issue out of his use of handloads, suggesting that they were indicative of a reckless man obsessed with causing maximum damage.

    Defense counsel hired the expert I suggested, Jim Cirillo, who did a splendid job of demolishing that argument and other bogus arguments against Kennedy at trial, and Kennedy was acquitted.

    This case dates back to the late 1970s. The local courts tell me that the case documentation will be on file at Rockingham County Superior Court, PO Box 1258, Kingston, NH 03843. File search time is billed at $25 per hour for cases such as this that date back prior to 1988.

    NJ V. Bias

    This is the classic case of gunshot residue (GSR) evidence being complicated by the use of handloaded ammunition, resulting in a case being misinterpreted in a tragic and unjust way. On the night of 2/26/89, Danny Bias entered the master bedroom of his home to find his wife Lise holding the family home defense revolver, a 6” S&W 686, to her head. He told police that knowing that she had a history of suicidal ideation, he attempted to grab the gun, which discharged, killing her. The gun was loaded with four handloaded lead SWC cartridges headstamped Federal .38 Special +P.

    Autopsy showed no GSR. The medical examiner determined that Lise Bias had a reach of 30”, and the NJSP Crime Lab in Trenton determined that the gun in question would deposit GSR to a distance of 50” or more with either factory Federal 158 grain SWC +P .38 Special, or handloads taken from his home under warrant for testing after Danny told them about the reloads. However, the reloads that were taken and tested had Remington-Peters headstamps on the casings and were obviously not from the same batch.

    Danny had loaded 50 rounds into the Federal cases of 2.3, 2.6, and 2.9 grains of Bullseye, with Winchester primers, under an unusually light 115 grain SWC that he had cast himself, seeking a very light load that his recoil sensitive wife could handle. The gun had been loaded at random from that box of 50 and there was no way of knowing which of the three recipes was in the chamber from which the fatal bullet was launched.

    We duplicated that load, and determined that with all of them and particularly the 2.3 grain load, GSR distribution was so light that it could not be reliably gathered or recovered, from distances as short as 24”. Unfortunately, the remaining rounds in the gun could not be disassembled for testing as they were the property of the court, and there is no forensic artifact that can determine the exact powder charge that was fired from a given spent cartridge.

    According to an attorney who represented him later, police originally believed the death to be a suicide. However, the forensic evidence testing indicated that was not possible, and it was listed as suspicious death. Based largely on the GSR evidence, as they perceived it, the Warren County prosecutor’s office presented the case to the grand jury, which indicted Danny Bias for Murder in the First Degree in the death of his wife.

    Attorney John Lanza represented Danny very effectively at his first trial, which ended in a hung jury. Legal fees exceeded $100,000, bankrupting Danny; Attorney Lanza, who believed then and now in his client’s innocence, swallowed some $90,000 worth of legal work for which he was never paid.

    For his second trial, Bias was assigned attorney Elisabeth Smith by the Public Defender’s office. Challenging the quality of evidence collection, she was able to weaken the prosecution’s allegation that the GSR factor equaled murder, but because the GSR issue was so muddled by the handloaded ammo factor, she could not present concrete evidence that the circumstances were consistent with suicide, and the second trial ended with a hung jury in 1992. At this point, the prosecution having twice failed to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt, the judge threw out the murder charge.

    It was after this that I personally lost track of the case. However, I’ve learned this past week that the case of NJ v. Daniel Bias was tried a third time in the mid-1990s, resulting in his being acquitted of Aggravated Manslaughter but convicted of Reckless Manslaughter. The appellate division of the Public Defender’s office handled his post-conviction relief and won him a fourth trial. The fourth trial, more than a decade after the shooting, ended with Danny Bias again convicted of Reckless Manslaughter. By now, the state had changed its theory and was suggesting that Danny had pointed the gun at her head to frighten her, thinking one of the two empty chambers would come up under the firing pin, but instead discharging the gun. Danny Bias was sentenced to six years in the penitentiary, and served three before being paroled. He remains a convicted felon who cannot own a firearm.

    It is interesting to hear the advice of the attorneys who actually tried this case. John Lanza wrote, “When a hand load is used in an incident which becomes the subject of a civil or criminal trial, the duplication of that hand load poses a significant problem for both the plaintiff or the prosecutor and the defendant. Once used, there is no way, with certainty, to determine the amount of powder or propellant used for that load. This becomes significant when forensic testing is used in an effort to duplicate the shot and the resulting evidence on the victim or target.”

    He adds, “With the commercial load, one would be in a better position to argue the uniformity between the loads used for testing and the subject load. With a hand load, you have no such uniformity. Also, the prosecution may utilize either standard loads or a different hand load in its testing. The result would be distorted and could be prejudicial to the defendant. Whether or not the judge would allow such a scientific test to be used at trial, is another issue, which, if allowed, would be devastating for the defense. From a strictly forensic standpoint, I would not recommend the use of hand loads because of the inherent lack of uniformity and the risk of unreliable test results. Once the jury hears the proof of an otherwise unreliable test, it can be very difficult to ‘unring the bell.’”

    Ms. Smith had this to say, after defending Danny Bias through his last three trials. I asked her, “Is it safe to say that factory ammunition, with consistently replicable gunshot residue characteristics, (would) have proven that the gun was within reach of Lise’s head in her own hand, and kept the case from escalating as it did?”

    She replied, “You’re certainly right about that. Gunshot residue was absolutely the focus of the first trial. The prosecution kept going back to the statement, “It couldn’t have happened the way he said it did’.”

    The records on the Bias trials should be available through:
    The Superior Court of New Jersey
    Warren County
    313 Second Street
    PO Box 900
    Belvedere, NJ 07823

    Those who wish to follow the appellate track of this case will find it in the Atlantic Reporter.

    142 N.J. 572, 667 A.2d 190 (Table)

    Supreme Court of New Jersey
    State
    v.
    Daniel N. Bias
    NOS. C-188 SEPT.TERM 1995, 40,813
    Oct 03, 1995
    Disposition: Cross-pet. Denied.
    N.J. 1995.
    State v. Bias
    142 N>J> 572, 667 A.2d 190 (Table)


    TN v. Barnes

    The decedent attacked Robert Barnes and his young daughter with a large knife and was shot to death by the defendant with SJHP .38 Special reloads from a Smith & Wesson Model 36. The distance between the two at the time of the shooting became a key element in the trial, and a misunderstanding of that distance was a primary reason he was charged with Murder. The evidence was messed up in a number of ways in this case, and I do not believe the reloaded ammo (which the prosecution did not recognize to be such until during the trial) was the key problem, but it definitely was part of a problem in reconstructing the case. We were able to do that without GSR evidence, and Mr. Barnes won an acquittal. In this case, I believe the use of factory ammo, combined with proper handling and preserving of the evidence by the initial investigators, would have made the defense much easier and might well have prevented the case from ever being lodged against him.

    The records of TN v. Barnes are archived under case number 87297015 at:

    Criminal Justice Center
    201 Poplar
    Suite 401
    Memphis, TN 38103

    Iowa v. Cpl. Randy Willems

    A man attempted to disarm and murder Corporal Randy Willems of the Davenport, IA Police Department, screaming “Give me your (expletive deleted) gun, I’ll blow your (expletive deleted) brains out.” Willems shot him during the third disarming attempt, dropping him instantly with one hit to the abdomen from a department issue factory round, Fiocchi 9mm 115 grain JHP +P+. The subject survived and stated that the officer had shot him for nothing from a substantial distance away. GSR testing showed conclusively that the subject’s torso was approximately 18” from the muzzle of the issue Beretta 92 when it discharged. Randy was acquitted of criminal charges in the shooting at trial in 1990. Two years later, Randy and his department won the civil suit filed against them by the man who was shot.

    I use this case when discussing handloads because it is a classic example of how the replicability of factory ammunition, in the forensic evidence sense, can annihilate false allegations by the “bad guy” against the “good guy” who shot him. The records of State of Iowa v. Corporal Randy Willems are archived in the Iowa District Court in Scott County, Davenport, Iowa. Those from the civil suit, Karwoski v. Willems and the City of Davenport, should be at the Iowa Civil Court of Scott County, also located in Davenport, Iowa.

    A final word: I did not research the above and place it here to placate lightweight net ninjas. I did it because three recent Internet threads led me to believe that a number of decent people had honest questions about the real-world concerns about using handloads for self-defense, and were possibly putting themselves in jeopardy by doing so. For well over a decade, certain people have been creating an urban myth that says, “No one has ever gotten in trouble in court because they used handloads.”

    This is now absolutely, and I hope finally, refuted.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Massad Ayoob
     
  16. WT

    WT Member

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    Mas - thanks for the entry. Very good info.

    Hope you hang around despite the 'slings and arrows.'

    Have a Happy New Year.
     
  17. taliv

    taliv Moderator Staff Member

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    yep, thanks mas.

    btw, it would be interesting to see the result of the poll if it hadn't been posted in the handloading forum. if we put the same poll in tactics adn strategy or legal forums, my guess is that the numbers would be similar, if not slightly in favor of the factory loads.
     
  18. zeke

    zeke Member

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    Mr. Ayoob-Sincerely appreciate your considerable efforts and legitimate concerns, they are educational and informative.

    Particularly revealing are the purpose of prosecutors, which is to get convictions. Some may not realize to what extent some will go to.
     
  19. massad ayoob

    massad ayoob Member

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    about that "poll"

    Taliv:
    It would be interesting to see you, one of the moderators, or even Clark put such a poll in BOTH the handloading section and the tactics section.

    My concern with the poll as it exists is that it is phrased in a misleading way that other posters have commented on. Not until one gets well into reading the thread in detail do we find that "we don't need no stinking factory loads" actually means the voter thinks "legal concerns are trivial."

    Such a poll needs to be worded with plain, clear questions like "Do you carry reloads or not?" "If so, for what reasons(s), i.e., confidence, personal pride, more power, more accuracy, less recoil, factory ammo unavailable in caliber of choice, (or whatever)."

    What we have now is a bit of a ticking time bomb. It is a documented fact that anti-gun organizations like the Brady Bunch's Violence Policy Center (and their lead propagandist, Tom Diaz in particular) subscribe to gun magazines at sterile addresses and lurk on threads like these to "get behind enemy lines." Diaz and his kind then twist statements out of context to use against us.

    For instance, when Jeff Cooper once commented that guns were useless if their owners didn't know how to use them, Diaz twisted the quote to read something like "Gun expert Jeff Cooper says guns are useful only to the most highly trained." When I once made a comment that the most common mistake made by armed citizens in confrontations was failing to call the police immediately after the offender had been driven off without bloodshed, Diaz wrote something like "Massad Ayoob says people with carry permits commonly make mistakes."

    Right now, folks, we have a poll sitting atop this thread that Diaz, Brady, and company -- who always try to portray us all as outlaws -- can use to say "A poll on a well known gun forum called The High Road determined that two-thirds of gun owners felt that legal concerns were trivial."

    That's why I think it's a ticking time bomb. I hope THR sends in the EOD to defuse it: pull the poll before the Brady Bunch spots it, replace it with a clearly and honestly worded one that addresses the handload question, and we're all good to go.
     
  20. halvey

    halvey Member

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    The cops would have been sued either way. A criminal grabbing a cops gun and the handloads are at fault? Why was the cop carrying non-issue ammo anyway?

    This is not a legit self defense shooting. This guy is a killer. Yeah, he used handloads, and if not, he'd have gotten away with murder.

    Fine, but not a civilian self defense shooting.

    Mas, I'd almost give you this one. The only argument I see are the handloads caused "problems" and the case dragged on a bit longer. So you have one case. Kinda.

    I don't think (many) people have been saying that. I think most say "No one has gotten convicted because of handloads in a legitimate SD shooting." And that still stands, right?

    They'd take anything we'd say and twist it. But, Mas, you said 115 gr 9mm +p+ is good. Isn't the regular 9mm deadly enough for you?
     
  21. griz

    griz Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Eastern Virginia
    Thank you for the info Mas. I can imagine situations where a handload might complicate a defense. But by and large it seems a small concern to me. Even from the cases you cited it appears that a successful defense would be complicated by incompetence or outright deception by the prosecutor. That risk would still be there with factory rounds.

    Another question: With rare exceptions, I use factory rounds for defense. But I do not keep any written records of what I loaded in which gun. In your experience, would the court assume I used handloads because I have ten times more handloads on hand compared to factory, or would they take my word that I used factory ammo?

    One last (I think) question. You mention in the Bias case that the loads in the gun were the property of the court and thus could not be tested. But you also said the reloads, presumably also court property, were tested. Why the different treatment of the evidentiary rounds?

    Thanks again, Griz
     
  22. WT

    WT Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    I did not answer the poll because I found the questions confusing. They need to be cleared up and written in plain English as Mas suggested.


    Re: the NJ case, the fact that Mr. Bias had 4 trials tells me that some jury members agreed with what he said while others did not. A person undergoing four criminal trials for the same 'offense' is amazing! No wonder the guy went bankrupt. Looks like the prosecutor went jury shopping.


    I was once on a criminal jury and what I read in the newspapers afterwards did not represent what went on in court or the jury room. The reporter could have been talking about an entirely different case as far as I was concerned. The collective opinion of the 12 jurors was much more important than a single rookie newspaper creature.
     
  23. pax

    pax Member

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    Washington state
    Halvey ~

    Reading is fundamental.
    By leaving out the bolded segment of the sentence, Halvey completely changed the meaning of what Ayoob wrote. Ayoob's contention was that Danny Bias was, in fact, telling the truth about what happened -- that Bias had, in actual fact, tried to take the gun away from his suicidal wife and that the gun went off at that point -- and that the GSR evidence, if admissible and properly handled, would have shown that Bias' story was true.

    Halvey removed the bit about "the state said." Why did Halvey remove that part of the sentence? Because Halvey believes Bias is guilty of murder. Why does Halvey believe Bias is guilty of murder? Because the state said Bias was guilty of murder. Halvey accepted the state's theory, and rejected Bias' story.

    Here's the kicker: the state said Bias was guilty because the GSR evidence did not support Bias' story.

    Halvey, by twisting and deleting part of what Ayoob said, actually did a pretty good job of making Ayoob's case about handloaded GSR muddying the Bias case.

    pax
     
  24. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

    Joined:
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    Please re-read

    Re-read the posting of the case: The part halvey excerpted after the ellipses ... was the PROSECUTOR's NEW THEORY of the case, NOT what Bias told the police:

    Apparently, prosecutors with hung juries not only go jury shopping, they go theory shopping. Prosecutors make their pay taking people to trial and their reputation by winning serious charges. If the person is not guilty of the charges leveled, some prosecutors just say let'em convince the judge or jury, it's my theory vs their claim.

    The common workaday guy cannot afford to go to court because even if he is innocent he loses money, time, sometimes his job and family. If there is a lightning strike chance that handloaded ammo could cost you in court, is it worth even a tiny risk?

    (dang, pax beat me to it)
     
  25. Kurac

    Kurac Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    Bay Area, Peninsula
    I think the anti-gunners are busy protecting our right to privacy in light of the recent allegations of the NSA wire tapping and surveillance activities. I don't get it, they are against citizens owning guns as a safety concern and also want to make it more difficult for the government to protect it's people from terrorism. The first person that comes to mind when I write this is Diane Feinstein but there are others. It still might be a good idea to make the poll a little more PC. Sorry guys I live in CA what can I say.
     
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