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Q re: loading defensive ammo

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 10-Ring, Sep 14, 2003.

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  1. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

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    I have no problems making practice/ range/ IDPA ammo. My question now is figuring the right forumla for defensive ammo...Are there particular bulletheads that perform better? Powder that doesn't flash as much, primers that will work reliably everytime or anything else I need to consider?
     
  2. Pumpkinheaver

    Pumpkinheaver Member

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    I don't use home rolled ammo for defensive purposes. It might get you into trouble in court if you blast someone.
     
  3. David4516

    David4516 Member

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    " It might get you into trouble in court if you blast someone"

    I've heard this before, but is it ture? I mean, if you were really justifyed in shooting the bad guy in the first place, who cares what kinda ammo you used?
     
  4. BigG

    BigG Member

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    I don't use home rolled because I've seen too many misfires, goof ups, etc. for comfort.
     
  5. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

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    To get back to the question: What caliber are you thinking of loading?
     
  6. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Member

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    I let Federal do all the hard work for me and picked up their Premium Defense. Did I get raped on price? Yes, BUT I have ammo that I'm completely confident in without having to do a ton of experimentation.

    If you want to roll your own I'd recommend comparing what is available as "defensive" ammo to what you have available to make your own with.

    Personally I would go with Speer bullets of an appropriate type. That's personal preference based on their construction techniques and tested performance.

    As for powders I've never seen a comparison on flash but I know Power Pistol and H110 makes really pretty fireballs and so you might want to avoid those.

    Let us know what you settle on or if you find anything on the flash.
     
  7. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

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    45 acp; I use 231, Winchester primers & 230 grain fmj's. I was thinking of making a 200 or 230 grain jhp loaded to a +p or +p+ but need to find the right formula/recipe :D
    If liability is an issue (I live in the land of liability, CA :( ), I might be better sticking w/ factory ammo....decisions decisions :rolleyes:
     
  8. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    It's my understanding no one's ever been taken to criminal or civil court for defending his life with home-rolled ammunition. I doubt there's anything like a shortage of assault lawyers who'd be glad to try to smear someone for "maliciously making the super-lethal bullets that killed my poor client's good child who fell in with bad company, but was trying to mend his ways," et cetera, et cetera, et-ad-nauseum-cetera, but ammunition is ammunition is ammunition. If you use over the counter components and standard reloading manual data, you'll end up with ammunition well within industry norms.

    That said™, I carry factory ammunition because a.) it takes forever and a Sunday afternoon to work up the most accurate load for any given gun; b.) I have no way to test bullet performance—not even a chronograph, truth to tell—and c.) I've got to figure close enough is probably close enough in a snub-nosed .357 magnum revolver, anyway. If I had the time to invest and a way to test bullet performance, I probably would roll my own.
     
  9. WESHOOT2

    WESHOOT2 Member

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    E-mail direct; include all pertinent info of tools and launch platform(s).
     
  10. David Wile

    David Wile Member

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    Hey 10,

    When you ask about "defensive" ammunition, the term "defensive" takes in a lot of territory and consideration.

    For example, if you are talking about wanting to inflict as much tissue damage as possible on some dangerous animal (human or otherwise) that has a thin skin, then you would probably want to use a bullet designed for expansion such as a hollow point. A shotgun could also be a good choice here. However, if you are put in danger by someone wearing body armor or by a large animal with a thick hide, then you would probably want to consider a fully jacketed bullet. A hard cast big bore bullet such as a 45-70 can be very effective on big animals where deep penetration is desired.

    The big difference between pistols and rifles is also significant. A great big 44 Mag is very poweful compared to other pistols, but its power is small when compared to an ordinary 30-30 rifle. Like the old saying, "Never take a knife to a gun fight.", you really would not want to go up against a rifle with a pistol.

    Having said all that, let me back up a few steps. I am not suggesting that you should always be carrying a pistol, rifle, and a shotgun with you. You really need to evaluate your risk and be prepared accordingly.

    As far as defending your use of your own ammunition in court, I wouldn't worry too much about that. If you have to go to court because of a shooting incident, the ammunition you use will not be a significant factor in the overall scheme of things.

    And if you choose to not use your own ammunition because you have "too many misfires, goof ups, etc.", then you really should not be reloading any ammunition. If you cannot reload ammunition that is not only reliable, but also better than factory ammunition, then you are wasting your time. Reloading quality ammunition is not about making cheaper bullets as fast as possible. Reloading is a craft, and, if you practice that craft, you can build better ammunition than you can get off the shelf at the local gun store. Misfires? If you have any misfire, something is wrong with your process. The first box of ammunition I loaded was with a really slow Lee Loader, but I have never had a misfire in nearly forty years of reloading.

    By all means, use your own ammunition for whatever "defensive" purposes you may have. You may have "defensive" ammunition in pistol, rifle, or shotgun. In any case, make it well and use it well.

    Best wishes,
    Dave Wile
     
  11. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    If you are in a self defense shooting where you had the right to defend yourself with lethal force, then it won't matter if you use a hammer or homemade ammo as far as criminal court goes.

    The real concern is if you somehow manage to shoot somebody that was not somebody you were defending yourself against that then you may have some real legal issues. Of course, if you shoot somebody in that manner, you are going to have many legal problems.
     
  12. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I must respectfully disagree: it takes many novice reloaders a good many batches to get the hang of it all. There are lots of variables involved, lots of gadgets to be mastered, lots of tricks to be learned, and lots of opportunities to make mistakes.

    Although I've never had a problem with hand load reliability, it took me a long time to realize that for pure accuracy in some of my .357 magnum revolvers, I had to drop below the suggested minimum loads. I knew a mechanically disinclined fellow some years ago who when through somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 primers before he got the hang of priming cartridge cases consistently—but he got it.
     
  13. David Wile

    David Wile Member

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    Hey Standing Wolf,

    I would suggest that making bad ammunition is more closely related to the attitude of the reloader than it is to the knowledge and experience of the reloader. All you have to do is read the numerous posts where the person relates how he does not have time to spend reloading and wants to spend his time shooting. That same person then usually goes on to tell anyone new to reloading that they should start right out with a progressive press so they don't have to waste time at the reloading bench. I suspect that folks with that type of attitude are the ones who are most likely to find they have misfires or double charges or whatever else can go wrong. When I read someone's post where they are bragging about being able to reload 500 or a 1,000 or more rounds per hour with their super dooper progressive press that they just bought last week, I just shake my head in wonder that someone can be that naive.

    Over the years, I have started quite a few folks on the reloading path, and not one of them ever had problems with their ammunition. I would submit to you that the main reason for their success was their attitude toward reloading as a craft to be learned rather than a process to endure just so they could shoot more ammo at the range.

    Bad ammunition is the end result of bad reloading by bad reloaders with bad attitudes. Yes, there are many variables, lots of tools, things to be learned, and opportunities to make mistakes in the reloading process. However, I would also submit that I can take a novice and show him how to safely reload a box of ammunition in an hour if he has the right attitude toward learning reloading as a craft. That type of person will get it right, will learn to recognize their limitations, and will know when they need learn more about a particular problem. Then there are the other folks who really cannot be bothered with the learning process involved in reloading as a craft. They just want to crank them out and get to the range. If some do not go bang, oh well, they can make more to shoot.

    There is no excuse for bad ammunition. It does not take years of experience to make good ammunition. It just takes the right attitude and the willingness to devote the time necessary to do it properly.

    Best wishes,
    Dave Wile
     
  14. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    That's exactly what I do. Use .357 cases loaded to .38 specs for pure accuracy when paper punching.
    10-ring, the best defense load is the one that shoots the most accurately in your pistol and you can shoot accurately. You can clearly handload with no problem. Just work up a load with 230 grain HP's that's not a target load(think higher velocities) and is the most accurate in your pistol. A load that won't go bang every time or won't hit the 'A' ring every time is useless. The same primer etc considerations for a good accurate IDPA load will be just fine for a "defensive" load. Your IDPA load will likely be fine as well. It's best to practice with the ammo you will use in your carry pistol.
     
  15. moxie

    moxie Member

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    I recommend the 230 gr. BJHP Golden Saber put out by Remington. It is readily available from Midway and is the same bullet Rem. uses in its factory ammo. Go to your current reloading manual and start working up and experimenting with loads using Unique. Move up toward the max load listed and stop when you have a load that feeds and ejects reliably and seems to have acceptable accuracy, for you. I like Winchester Large Pistol primers. If you do have a chrono, try for a load in the 850-900 fps range if you want a hot load, in the 800 range for something milder. Do follow a current guide! For brass, I like Remington, particularly the nickel plated +P variety. You can match your OAL to factory Rem. ammo. You want a snug, but not overly tight crimp. That should do it!
     
  16. WESHOOT2

    WESHOOT2 Member

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    HYPOTHETICAL

    230g R-P Golden Saber, IMI case, Federal 150, 7.0g Alliant Power Pistol, crimp diameter .469", OAL 1.210"-1.235", based on YOUR gun.

    Better be anal if you intend betting your life on them...............

    Or you can try some 230g offerings from the fine folks at Pro Load, Cor-Bon, or BuffaloBore.
     
  17. Edward429451

    Edward429451 member

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    I've heard of a lot more KB's coming from factory ammo than reloads. You can be anal at the cash register or anal at the reloading bench.

    The people who have difficulty reloading good ammo are the same people who when cooking with a recipe, skip, omit, or subsitute steps or ingrediants.

    Reloads= Yep, time consuming. Expensive labor, no wondering.

    Factory= Yep, expensive. Leaves you wondering.
     
  18. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Member

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    http://www.sportshooter.com/reloading/moderngunpowders.htm

    Interesting info on gunpowder including what's used for flash supressors. Unfortunately powder makers don't put "ingrediant lists" on the powder. Not only that there isn't enough interest for them to market "low flash" powders and there isn't any standardized way of expressing flash levels of the various powders for comparison.

    If I could get a grant might make an intersting research project ;)
     
  19. blades67

    blades67 Member

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    I load my own carry ammo. If you like, e-mail me and we can exchange ideas.
     
  20. WESHOOT2

    WESHOOT2 Member

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    SOME OF MY AMMO IS OFFENSIVE

    Me, too.
     
  21. Gary H

    Gary H Member

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    Wakeup Old Thread..WESHOOT2

    Regarding the use of Power Pistol..

    Certainly has the umph, but where do you go for the same velocity, but without the flash? When I think of defensive ammo, I think of dark places. When I think of bang with Power Pistol, I'm thinking that I might not need to load a bullet... I'll just blind the other guy.
     
  22. pcf

    pcf Member

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    Gary, what are you shooting (weapon not people wise)? I think that VV powders are the king of low flash.

    VV powder is very clean and has little flash, the draw back is that it's expensive and it doesn't meter well.
     
  23. enfield

    enfield Member

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    I only read this thread to find out how long it would take for someone to say "if you use reloads for self-defense, you're headed for prison". I wasn't disappointed. :evil:
     
  24. Gary H

    Gary H Member

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    Short barrel

    My father is looking at purchasing the new Kahr in 45ACP. It has yet to be released. So it would be launching out of a short barrel, very light semi-auto. I also need to find JHP that will expand reliably at low velocities. I've seen some of the claims, but haven't seen any tests from a short barrel. He has been carrying a 2 1/2" five shot Lady Smith, so this should be a major upgrade in power. I was hoping to get a 230gr JHP running at 800fps. Low flash and a reasonable recoil profile would be great. If only pigs could fly. I suspect that I'll need to go to a 200gr load.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2005
  25. Bandit01

    Bandit01 Member

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    Git yourself either a .44 or a .357 and git some H110 powder. Hell, you won't be disappointed. lol
     
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