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Reload Carry Ammo?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Tim A Marcia, Mar 14, 2020.

?

Do you reload your Carry Ammo?

Poll closed Mar 16, 2020.
  1. No, factory ammo only

    42 vote(s)
    54.5%
  2. Yes, I make better ammo to carry

    35 vote(s)
    45.5%
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  1. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

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    Speer Gold Dot 124gr moving 1200fps. Bought factory they are over a dollar a round. Made by me on a single-stage press in lots of 50 at a time are around 30 cents a round. XTPs are even cheaper. I can verify their accuracy and become very familiar with their characteristics for a fraction of the cost of factory ammo.

    Besides, the argument regarding GSR differences fails to account that GSR doesn't travel more than a couple of feet and the ONLY case people can come up with involved a man who had a gun loaded in his house with reloads that his wife used to kill herself with. He did not try to duplicate performance of factory self-defense ammo using the same velocity and bullet type.

    Using their argument against reloads and the only case they can point to, one would have to extrapolate that you should never shoot reloads in any gun in case you have to use it in self-defense at the range, or someone might come into your home and use one of your guns with your reloads in it to shoot themselves. It's a little ridiculous.

    I consider having the Punisher logo on a gun much more legally precarious than using reloads for self defense. And the same goes for that stupid zombie defense ammo.
     
  2. Thomas Traddles

    Thomas Traddles Member

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    I roll my own and carry my own: 38 spcl, 38 spcl +P, 357 mag, 44 spcl. I think that the ammo type used to defend myself will be tertiary to other factors. Why would carrying my own hand loaded rounds be anymore evidence of malicious intent than carrying manufactured ammo specifically engineered for "personal defense"? This line of reasoning makes no sense to me.
     
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  3. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    I'm required to carry factory ammo off duty, but I've had slightly better reliability with my own reloads. :)
     
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  4. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    I carry factory ammo. I don't currently reload, but I intend to. Even once I get set up, I won't be carrying reloads.
    Probably true, but the idea that you could make reloads that are superzombiekillers or "more deadly" than factory rounds is only one part of the equation.
    The evidentiary issue is not.

    This is one of the more common red herrings that I see tossed about in these debates. Lots of folks focus on this idea of an overzealous prosecutor and "killer, premeditated" reloads, but there's more to it than that.

    No, that's not the main objection. Certainly not my main objection. Mine is an evidentiary one.
    I'm curious: what kind of proof would be required to satisfy this? Would the case of Daniel Bias suffice? He went through three trials (I think it was 3), and one of the issues was GSR and his handloads. Will that do it? Or would you require me to produce the deposition transcript from a civil trial?
    For the sake of argument, let's call it a 70 cent per round difference. A dollar a round vs. 30 cents per round. I think my math is pretty solid there. How many handloads do you have to shoot to make up the difference if you have to hire a GSR expert at your criminal defense for, say, $25K?
    Nah, I've never seen it claimed that GSR and tattoing were an issue beyond a few feet.
    And how does the suicide issue affect the admissibility of the GSR evidence?

    The folks that I've argued with over the years often point to the suicide issue in the Daniel Bias case as though it is some kind of distinguishing feature that makes it difference than SD shootings. The rules of evidence in all of the jurisdictions where I've looked at the issue generally apply regardless of the type of case at bar. Thus, the rule on expert testimony would apply whether the case is a suicide, a car wreck, a SD shooting, or a debt collection case.

    I would also point out that GSR & tattooing was an issue in the George Zimmerman trial and helped support his claim of self-defense.
    Why would he? You just said he didn't use factory ammo. That, in fact, is one of the main problems. If you need to duplicate performance for GSR testing purposes, using your handloads can be a big hurdle.

    Only if you choose to extrapolate it to the point of being ridiculous.

    I can't say that I disagree with this. It helps to understand that we're looking at different kinds of legal pitfalls. Handloads are a (moderately) complex issue of GSR, expert testimony, and exemplar evidence. Punisher logos are jury perception problems.
     
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  5. BWS

    BWS Member

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    Handloads.

    One minor sticking point here;

    Say "hunting" and look at how many folks assume deer whacking. I varmint hunt.

    Say "carry ammo" and human targets are the assumption. I'm in pretty deep woods almost every day,handgun carry ammo is for killing wild dogs and stopping black bears.

    Sorry,back to regular programming.
     
  6. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    Good point.
     
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  7. stillquietvoice

    stillquietvoice Member

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    Tale it from one who has btdt. The reload Vs factory ammo use in an sd event will likely not be a primary charge, but the prosecutor iny case argued that since I reloaded I made killer bullets, even though a reload wasn't used, my reloading made the SD event premeditated. He also tried to use caliber to prove guilt you used a " 357 magnum why did you use such a cannon. "

    In short they will use anything they can to their advantage. We have to defend against their assaults with reason and fact that we are not "criminals" because we reload or own firearms.
     
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  8. forrest r

    forrest r Member

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    In my little neck of the woods these types of idea's don't fly. There is no "you hurtted them more better with them supped up turbo charged loads with the holes drilled in them, x'd & then filled with god only knows what". So now you got a problem.

    They will argue if the shooting is justified or civil court cases no matter what ammo is used. The laws & the local law enforcement agencies don't care what you use. It's why you used it.

    No matter what some ambulance chaser will try to make a $$$ if there's any to be had in civil court. Using factory ammo will not protect you from these types of law suits.

    If you live somewhere that worries if you defend yourself with a 6" knife instead of a 4" knife you might want to take care of that when voting. Same goes for factory vs reloaded ammo.
     
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  9. stillquietvoice

    stillquietvoice Member

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    I'm glad you live in a free state. My post is personal experience.
     
  10. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    The last time I carried factory ammunition, it was .22 lr. I have never used a CCW against a human or even drawn one against a human, if I ever did need to save my or one of my family members lives from one, I wouldn’t go off in search of factory ammunition, if I had time to do that a firearm wouldn’t be the right solution anyway. I’d use what I had save lives, hammer, F350, reload, wouldn’t matter.
     
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  11. GravelRider

    GravelRider Member

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    How so?

    I guess I look at it this way. I live in the mountains of Pennsylvania, I don't buy flood insurance. Sure there's a small chance that mountain runoff flash flooding could damage my property. It would likely be VERY expensive, in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. If that catastrophic event happened, there's no way that the money saved not having the flood insurance would cover the expenses incurred. However, given the very small chance of this happening (much larger chance than the chance of a defensive shooting with handloads with those handloads costing me more in legal fees than otherwise), I'm comfortable in my decision not to purchase this additional coverage.

    The cost savings with shooting and carrying those same reloads is very similar. I'm comfortable in my decision to save money this way, even given the hypothetical chance this could cost me far more money in the future. I think the chances of this happening are so small that I'm willing to take the chance.
     
  12. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I'm a cheapskate so I reload most of my ammo.
    I try to have factory ammo for carry though.
     
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  13. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    MORE consistent and JUST as reliable are two different things. The practice ammos I load, using the same basic components as in my factory ammos, is about as consistent; as far as reliability, I suppose you could say they are just as reliable... I don't have problems with reliability with either of them. It's interesting, I've gotten my reloads and factory ammo mixed up, before... I reload the same cases with the same bullet, and I stash them in the same boxes... but with reloading data taped to the back. I got the boxes mixed up and was carrying my reloads for a while. It is unlikely, in court, that anyone would probably be able to tell a difference between my reloads and factory... they are that close.

    Hondo, we aren't shooting benchrest, this is ammunition that will be used at close ranges at, generically speaking, pie plate sized targets... there is very little difference between practicing with generic FMJ ammo, and actually shooting SD ammo... unless you are stretching it and practicing with target loads and carrying crazy +P+ loads, or something else significant. Practicing with a reasonable facsimile of your carry ammo is a good way to save money. This is, of course, after you have proven your factory ammo as reliable in your particular weapon.

    My reference is a semi auto cartridge... I haven't carried a revolver for over 20 years, probably more. There is very little you can to do a semi-auto cartridge to soup it up vs quality factory SD ammo without going beyond published data, and I'm talking cartridges like the 9mm (what I carry) and the 45ACP (what I sometimes carry.) Revolvers are a whole 'nuther bag.

    Choosing to carry factory ammo is a personal choice. I've seen enough anecdotal evidence that reloads might be an issue in court, I choose to make that a non-factor.
     
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  14. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    While I am sure that all the reloaders here are perfect, when I see a gun go belly up at a match due to ammo, it is a good chance that it is a reload as compared to factory. The expense issue something of a red herring. If you can afford the reloading set up, you can afford a box or two of factory SD ammo for carry. The idea that if you practice with your handloads, you won't be able to hit a target with factory says more about your shooting ability than the ammo.

    No one knows what will move a particular jury, saying your area won't consider this is baloney. You don't know. We know that juries are influenced.

    Now let's say that you do get into a jury situation and need an expert as the ammo is being brought up (not in Mayberry!!). An expert can cost $1000 a day to $10,000. Hey, you saved some money by using reloads for SD! Wow!

    There's no real downside to using factory for SD. I understand folks are invested in their loading abilities. YMMV.
     
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  15. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    That.
     
  16. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    Nobody claimed that you should.
    In at least one well-known case (Daniel Bias), the use of handloads led to the exclusion of evidence.
    I think that's a fair assessment, and certainly one you're welcome to make. That said, it would not be a fair assessment to claim that the exclusion of evidence is 'hypythetical' or that "it can't happen here." Not saying you claimed the latter, but someone almost invariably will in these discussions. I read the situation with handloads as being a low-probability, high-risk situation. IOW, there's a very low probability of it happening, but if it does, the risk is high. I choose to spend a few extra dollars for factory ammo to avoid that risk. When I finally do get set up to reload, my goal will be to tune a practice load to mimic my carry load, and shoot the bejeebers out of that.
     
  17. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    The only time I carry anymore is hiking/ exercise walking, which all takes place on back woods dirt roads. We've had a rabies outbreak in the wild animal population in our county. So for small mammals, I rolled up some special low power loads using N340 and Berry's Hyper Hollow Point. They shoot just over 1100 fps without all the expense and fanfare of factory SD loads. I simply don't need FBI rated rounds for skunk and red fox.
     
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  18. Trey Veston

    Trey Veston Member

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    How many people do you know that have had to pay an expert in a trial because the use of reloads in a self-defense shooting caused it to be a questionable shoot?

    How many people do you know have see Bigfoot? Or to make it more statistically accurate... How many people do you know have seen Bigfoot dressed as Elvis?

    There is a greater statistical chance I will face legal issues over the shooting of Bigfoot than there is of using reloads.
     
  19. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    Many folks have had to use experts in SD cases. I don't care if you have to spend your money on such.
     
  20. sequins

    sequins Member

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    I do both. I carry factory rounds in my primary CCW magazine, but I carry reloads in spare magazines and higher capacity mags.

    For example, my glock 26 has 10+1 factory rounds, but my 3x 33rd magazines contain reloads. I also have factory in my LCP, and no backups. I typically IWB the G26 or pocket carry the LCP, and have a sub 2000 in a backpack with the 33rd magazines.

    For me it's about cost, I practice with a factory duplication load using the same bullet and I have factory in the primary magazines based on limiting liability in a situation with few rounds expended.

    However, if things get real bad, liability matters less than my health and safety. If I'm reloading with my 33 round magazines or pulling out my carbine the situation has become apocalyptic and I'm interested in lots of rounds, not low liability rounds. I can't afford to run hundreds of expensive factory ammo rounds so I reload beyond my box o' 20 that fills up the main mag.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
  21. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    ....and as most of us know, that exclusion led to a hung jury and he was not convicted of the charge against him....murder. It also was not a question of SD, but whether or not it was murder or suicide. That is why the true measure of distance was at stake. Did he shoot her from across the room as the D.A. believed or did she really have the gun to her head and in her hand, when it went off. SD/HD scenarios are not really dictated by the difference of inches. Someone breaks into my house, the law in my state tells me I can defend myself, regardless of whether the attacker is 2 feet or ten feet away. Seems most states in our country have similar laws. We now live in a time where SD/HD are readily accepted and the criteria more defined.

    That case is also 30 some years old and as yet, no other case of handloads resulting in a "bad shoot instead of a good shoot" has ever surfaced. Kinda like my grandma telling me not to scrunch up my face because it will get stuck like that. Could happen I guess, but what realistically are the odds? Are the odds any worse than what happened in the Bias case ? 30 years ago the idea of using a gun for SD/HD was not as popular as it is today. Attitudes of both the courts and the public towards the use of firearms for SD/HD are much more positive. One only has to look at cases from the past and even watch T.V. shows from the 70s-80s to see the general public had a negative attitude back then towards the use of firearms for SD. Same goes for the use of handloads. The movie Taxidriver gave us reloaders a bad face to the general public. We also were much less common than we are today. Back in the 80s, there was not really any readily available, dedicated factory SD ammo either. Back then, when some of it came out, we were advised not to use it either, because of what was considered "murderous intent".

    Again, we all have our opinion. IMHO, We all should use what we feel most comfortable with, have the most confidence with and are the most proficient with, when it comes to the protection of our lives and the lives of those around us. Shouldn't matter if that is handloads or factory. Period. I think that for many, the idea that their own handloads may fail them at a time when they really need them and might result in the loss of life for a loved one, is what keeps factory ammo in their gun. Easier to live with the fact that factory ammo failed than it would be with the idea their own ammo was the cause.
     
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  22. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    If memory serves, it got him a hung jury after the third trial. After he was broke and had lost everything. We will never know for sure if the use of factory ammo would have saved him from that, but there is some chance that it would have.

    But other cases have arisen in which GSR was used to determine distance. That can't be done if your GSR evidence is excluded at trial.

    What we should all do is make educated decisions about the issue, but ignoring it or claiming "it can't happen in my town" isn't making an educated decision.
     
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  23. Skgreen

    Skgreen Member

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    My Opinions:

    The use of reloads vs Factory loads, in itself, is never as simple as 'pass or fail' / 'go free or go to jail'.

    In certain instances/under certain circumstances, the use of ~extravagant~ ammo, (reloads or store-bought) could potentially be combined with other elements* to portray a negative/detrimental mindset. (*Far too numerous to mention here, but having Natural Born Killa! tattooed on your forehead could be an example)

    While I'm not saying that the use of my low budget / old school reloads could never be used against me as part of an attempt to 'paint a negative picture' by a Prosecutor, I'm reasonably confident that, at this time, there are very few other elements in my life/lifestyle to combine with using reloads a Prosecutor would have a tough time selling it to a Jury.

    FWIW, I am also of the opinion that if you want to use Factory PD ammo, it's probably best to consider something that Law Enforcement is/was utilizing, vs. any 'boutique' PD ammo.
     
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  24. Kayaker 1960

    Kayaker 1960 Member

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    As far as reliability, I've loaded a few thousand rounds of .40 and .357 Mag practice loads, only one didn't go off, I'd put the primer in backwards.

    I'm not the least bit worried about loading SD ammo and taking a little bit of extra time to make sure that it's perfect.

    As far as a court case after a SD shooting. Is the argument that I hand loaded "killer bullets" really worse than " He used a .357 MAGNUM" to kill the poor kid who broke into his house, but was trying to turn his life around, why didn't he use a smaller gun and shoot to scare away or wound?"
    How about "He went to a GUN STORE and BOUGHT the most deadly ammunition that he could find"
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
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  25. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    But....what you won't say, for some reason, is that the use of factory ammo may have had him in jail for life. A questionable SD/HD shoot is going to leave us broke regardless. Knowing what your local laws about castle doctrine, stand your ground and SD/HD definitions have shown to be important in keeping the question of a good shoot/bad shoot easily defined. It has not been shown anytime, anywhere that the use of handloads has blurred that definition.


    Again, what does distance have to do with SD/HD? Is there a law in any state/area that states you must be within a certain distance in order for it to be considered a good shoot? Does being outside the range of GSR make for a bad shoot? No. Does being inside that range automatically make it a good shoot? No.


    You are correct, and educated decisions are made on basis of fact, not conjecture, not anecdotal evidence. So far, that is heavily in favor that the use of handloads is a moot point when it comes to SD/HD. Everything else is just that, conjecture and anecdotal.

    Unlike some here, I am not telling anyone what they should use. I am saying it really does not matter. Others insist it does without any form of proof. I'm saying use what works for you and what you feel comfortable with. If you feel that the use of handloads may cause you problems, than use factory. I'm not gong to chastise and claim it's just an "uneducated decision". The fact that the poll in this thread is almost 50/50 shows that many others feel the same way. The fact that the majority of folks in the gun world do not reload anything, much less their SD ammo, means that factory ammo will always be in more guns that handloads. Just how it is.
     
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