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  #1  
Old 02-01-2012, 10:32 PM
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Default reloads for self defense

Why is this a bad idea?
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:36 PM
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Even the most expensive factory ammo isn't all that expensive.
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:41 PM
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There is an old theory that it could be used against you in court,but I think it's mostly a myth.
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:47 PM
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If you can believe law enforcement investigators, using handloaded ammunition in a self-defense shooting is a bad idea because it greatly reduces or eliminates the chance that the ballistics of the shooting event can be replicated in the shooting investigation. An example of that is determining the across-the-room shooting distance where the self-defense shooter claimed that the assailant was almost at touching distance when the shot was fired. Forensics proved that the shot was fired from more than 20 feet away by finding ball power firing residue across the room from where the shooter fired. The factory ammo used was a slow-burning magnum ball powder and identified after the shooting.

In this example, use of the factory ammo worked against the shooter's self-defense claim, but examples are known where using handloads put the shooter's self-defense case because factory ammo was not used and could not be used to duplicate the shooting conditions.
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:49 PM
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Let me google that for you

Ok, so that's kind of smartass, I admit it But, Mas Ayoob worked a case where he is convinced that it made a difference in the legal outcome. His experience, while it may be rare, can't be questioned. His conclusions, however, may be.

I guess I fall into the, "If it's a good shoot, the ammo won't matter" camp. But, look at the case of Harold Fish. He was using factory ammo, but the fact that he used 10mm was brought up in court to help paint a very bad picture of him. Point is, a zealous prosecutor could bring up most anything in an effort to discredit someone who used a gun in self defense, so why give them any ammo to use against you.

That said, I wouldn't be worrying about what was in my gun if the chips were down. And IANAL, YMMV, ETC
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:49 PM
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The thought train goes something like this...
The prosecutor at your trial will make your self defense look pre-meditated and portray you as a blood thirsty killer that planned to harm any available thug with deadly hi-velocity hand loaded ammo.

Now a smart lawyer can probably neutralize that portrayal but it may still be presented and will constitute a wild card in some jurors minds. If on the other hand, you were using the same factory stuff your local police dept uses, who could question that?

I'm not a lawyer so this is just my opinion on the subject.
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:59 PM
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Here's Mr. Ayoob's article about the case in question:

Handloads for self-defense: the Daniel Bias case | American Handgunner | Find Articles

If memory serves, Mas Ayoob has popped up on this forum and other boards in the recent past to discuss this particular question, as well as some others. Nice to get it from the gentleman himself, even when parties must respectfully agree to disagree.
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Last edited by 2hawk; 02-01-2012 at 11:00 PM. Reason: sp
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:05 PM
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If your state like mine has a good Castle Doctrine you don't have to worry about how far the bad guy was away from you when he was shot while in your home.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchAngelCD View Post
If your state like mine has a good Castle Doctrine you don't have to worry about how far the bad guy was away from you when he was shot while in your home.
Amen to this. Back when CCP became available, instructors would tell you reloads could be possibly used against you in a court of law if the occasion arose.

After the Castle Doctrine came to be I don't let it worry me anymore. I carry some factory ammo and I carry some of my reloads, all depends on the gun I have.

A lawyer would ask---Did you intend to kill my client (if he is still alive)

Well yes I sure did.

Question is the fact are my reloads more deadly or accurate.

Who knows

James
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:21 PM
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The man said self defense, he didn't say home defense.

Seriously, do a search. This question comes up repeatedly and some of us are getting tired beating the horse.

BTW, the issue isn't a TV myth. A cop in Virginia got convicted on an off duty shooting because the factory changed powders and the lab used a more recent production for their testing. He beat it on appeal with expert witness testimony from the factory, but he went through hell before doing so. There's no good reason to give the potential opposition a larger club to beat you with and raise the price of your defense at the same time. In the event of a similar event in factory ammo, the factory is a neutral third party providing exculpatory evidence. Whereas, you're a sniveling defendant trying to stay out of jail. Who has more credibility with the jury?

FWIW, there's at least one poster here who's comfortable carrying reloads. But, he's an attorney and is known to the justice establishment as a good guy. It didn't help the gent I mentioned earlier.

Last edited by WR Moore; 02-01-2012 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:39 PM
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It's time to dig up the horse

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Old 02-02-2012, 12:05 AM
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On the one hand the Prosecutor will say that you wanted to shoot someone so badly that you loaded up custom ammunition just for that reason.
On the other hand if it's a justifiable shooting then it really shouldn't matter what you used.
Personally, I'd rather use good quality factory HP ammo. Not that I don't trust my handloads but factory ammo is just more "court proof" and why take the chance when you can get a box of 20 or 25 great HP rounds for $15-$20 bucks.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:12 AM
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OR, you can always claim you had no intention of shooting anyone. The proof is, I had my handgun loaded with my reloads. If I intended to shoot someone today I would have loaded factory ammo so you guys know I didn't want to shoot someone!

There ya go, perfect reasoning that even an anti-gun prosecutor can understand.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchAngelCD View Post
OR, you can always claim you had no intention of shooting anyone. The proof is, I had my handgun loaded with my reloads. If I intended to shoot someone today I would have loaded factory ammo so you guys know I didn't want to shoot someone!

There ya go, perfect reasoning that even an anti-gun prosecutor can understand.
Since when are anti-gun prosecutors reasonable or logical?
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchAngelCD View Post
OR, you can always claim you had no intention of shooting anyone. The proof is, I had my handgun loaded with my reloads. If I intended to shoot someone today I would have loaded factory ammo so you guys know I didn't want to shoot someone!

There ya go, perfect reasoning that even an anti-gun prosecutor can understand.
"Did you intend to shoot my client?"
If I intended to shoot him, I would have used a rifle.
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:43 AM
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I understand the argument. They say "use what the police use and it will hold in court" The idea being "police loads weren't enough for you, so you had to jack up to some super round."
However, does this apply to .38 Special? Police carried .38 Special. They also, many of them, carried .357 Magnum. Any reload you did in .38 special out of a .38 Special gun would be less than .357 Magnum loads used by police departments way back when.
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:27 AM
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I think we've set a new record! The last discussion of this is still on the first page of threads!

Cast bullets for personal defense?

I'm sure you'll find plenty of reading on the subject if you follow all the links.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:20 AM
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AAAAHHHHH!!!!!!
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:17 AM
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:21 AM
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Seems a 'clever' lawyer could use the same argument if you used factory loads. Why did you use Federal HydraShocks? Is it because they are well known to have SUPERIOR STOPPING (KILLING) performance? OH, these are also +P? Forget it if it is +P+!!! Think any super performance factory ammo, meaning not standard caliber loading, could be argued you had an intent to really inflict death or major injury.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:20 PM
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"Clever" lawyers won't use any argument about the ammunition. They both know better.

Last edited by Jellybean; 02-02-2012 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:25 PM
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:33 PM
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Enough already.

Come on everyone, this is a reloading section. Move on or put it in the Self Defense section.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:41 PM
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But everyone knows you can't claim self defense if you use reloads.

But out of respect to the OP, I will give a serious, but short, response to the question.

Who says it's not a good idea? And what are their qualifications to say it?

Many people say it will cause malicious prosecution. Where is the proof they are basing that on? If prosecutors could use that argument and make it work, there'd be tons of evidence to back it up.

In Mas Ayoobs case of New Jersey vs. Daniel Bias, Mas' testiomony wasn't permitted to be heard in the court. From the little bit of information that is available online it appears to be because it had nothing to do with the case. The defendant went to jail for murder but it had nothing to do with the fact that he was using handloads or even if he in fact was using handloads. It didn't matter. The testimony wouldn't have contradicted any evidence that was pertinent to the case and appears to have been an attempt to create doubt in the minds of the jury.

But, there is/are place(s) that do forbid the use of handloads for CCW permit holders. It is written into their laws and everyone needs to know for sure what their local laws are. But even then, if you do shoot someone with ammo that is not "legal" that will not change the question of "were you justified in taking a life?", it'll just add a seperate charge on your docket.

Last edited by Jellybean; 02-02-2012 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:33 PM
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Whenever this comes up, Hand Loads and Self Defense Shootings, I see that the fear of the consequences of a good shoot being turned into a pre-meditated murder are universal to all firearms owners.
Stay as far from trouble as possible, others are all too ready to make a horrible event even worse.
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:42 PM
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Let's look at it this way--can anyone point to any state statute or code that says the use of handloaded (reloaded or any other similar term) is illegal or that only factory ammo is legal?

Not in FL.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwickens View Post
"Did you intend to shoot my client?"
If I intended to shoot him, I would have used a rifle.
Or there is that too! LOL
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:39 PM
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Riddle me this, how is it premeditated murder because you use a handload but no so when you use the best killing ammo you can find on the market that was developed specifically to kill a person?
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay View Post
There is an old theory that it could be used against you in court,but I think it's mostly a myth.
Anything and everything will be used against you. If it ain't hand loads it will be that cop killer ammo you bought purposely to inflict maximum pain before death.

My "defense" rounds are hand loads because I only load for paper punching and I never plan to use it for killing.
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