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Posted: 3/22/2006 1:33:34 PM EDT
i shoot 124 gr +P GDHP factory rounds in my G19 right now, i can handload these same rounds to almost exactly factory specs. what are the pros/cons to using handloaded ammo in my CCW weapon? and for the sake of argument lets exclude the idea that handloads could be unreliable, because i've had more FTF from factory new stuff than from my handloads, since i use a single stage press (yes, i use it for rifles too, no i dont single-stage bulk 9mm ammo for practice)
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:41:14 PM EDT
I 've heard this discussion and the consensus was that if you build some uber-tactical (yet practical) self defense round, a lawyer could rip you a new a-hole because *obviously* you had planned to horribly maim some poor innocent victim.....

My $.02 would be to find a good reliable commercial round

I ain't a lawyer and don't even watch them on TV, so take this for what it's worth
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:45:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dablues:
I 've heard this discussion and the consensus was that if you build some uber-tactical (yet practical) self defense round, a lawyer could rip you a new a-hole because *obviously* you had planned to horribly maim some poor innocent victim.....

My $.02 would be to find a good reliable commercial round

I ain't a lawyer and don't even watch them on TV, so take this for what it's worth



That is an interesting take on it. I have never thought about it that way. Hmmm...I'm gonna ask my lawyer when I get home and I'll be back.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 1:54:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2006 1:55:41 PM EDT by V-Rod]
Tagged for the shitstorm


Im using my handloads. each one is hand charged, exactly weight bullets, (175gHP silvertips) exact OAL and crimp with CCi350 magnum primers. I also have a receipt for factory Winchester 10mm ST..

I use to stack my mags using DT ammo.. but my ST allows the best of control, follow up shots and stopping power. DT provided stopping power, period
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 4:33:03 PM EDT
i already load the GDHPs for myself in order to practice with what i carry, just cheaply, but i've always heard this was a bad idea, and never really heard any cases where someone actually did get attacked like this in court.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 5:13:47 PM EDT
One case. I want one single case where it has been an issue. No one has ever been able to point one out. A shooting is either justified or not, and the load used isn't going to make one bit of difference.

+1 on the Gold Dots.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 8:58:34 PM EDT
Ok, I have asked my lawyer, who happens to be my wife, what her take was on this issue. She says that while it could be brought up, it probably won't hold any weight, especially if it is ammo loaded to approximate factory spec. I have been searching on Westlaw (Online case search engine) all evening, and I can't find one case where it was even mentioned. And I seriously doubt that nobody has ever shot someone with reloads and it went to court for one reason or the other.

If you did come up with some uber tactical blow up a bus load of nuns in one shot round, then I guess that you could have a problem. But let's keep this in the realm of reality.

Just our .02

Brian
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 10:18:29 PM EDT
thanks a lot brian, that was exactly the sort of researched answer i was looking for. 124 gr. +P GDHP is a damn good load so i dont feel that i need to do anything to improve on it, and if my loads come up 50 FPS short of it, whats it matter in the end. i really doubted that some cop would go look at the reloads and be like "A-HA! he used brass cases with gold dots, they're not factory, hang him high!"
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 10:31:10 PM EDT
The whole "lawyer tearing you a new one" thing has been over done. I'm not saying it's impossible, but no one has provided any details of such a thing happening in real life.

Eventually I plan on doing this with a Barnes XPB bullet. The thing is you have make very certain that you've tested this load for consistancy in your weapon. I would also suggest you seal the bullets and primers with some type of commercial sealant for extra security.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 3:11:16 AM EDT
Read the Ayoob Files in the current issue of American Handgunner. A LEO in NH had just that problem several years ago.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 9:24:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By XM17SBullpup:
Read the Ayoob Files in the current issue of American Handgunner. A LEO in NH had just that problem several years ago.



From the articles (mostly Ayoobs) I've read, it's usually brought up as a bargining chip......


+1 on the 'justifiable or not' comment - Unfortunatly thats not the way the world works anymore
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 10:05:48 AM EDT

I ain't a lawyer and don't even watch them on TV


I am happy to say "Do'h!" and freely admit I was offering my opinion.

Here's another take on this.. author basically says "BS" worrying about ammo. His line of reasoning says the most important aspect of a case in a shooting is the legalities of your action, not the bullet.

Interesting read

http://www.plusp.com/classroom/lesson22.php

Lesson #22: Gun & Ammunition Choices and Legalities

It is time to put to rest the gun magazine nonsense about what guns or ammunition you use in self-defense. If you shoot someone the concern will be the legality of the shooting, not the weapons or ammunition used. In the past some lawyers have tried to go down that road and had their legal head handed to them on a platter. Nobody in the legal community would go down this road in the 1990s.

Gun rags had constantly warned of the legal concerns of hand loading ammunition. What is interesting is that they fail to mention ONE documented case where it was a primary issue. Let us assume there is concern that the ammo you used was hyper-velocity in nature. Loaded to the max. Loaded to the edges of safety. Then you use this to shoot someone in self-defense. If the shooting is legal and found to be so, the matter is over. That is the END.

Civil is another animal. However we come back to the issue of legality. In most cases where no charges are filed or you are found innocent, it becomes difficult to make much progress in civil court. In fact, you find that 80% or more of all civil cases never reach court after the original filing. Most will be dismissed, or settled prior to court. Any "expert" that claims any knowledge about court proceedings will know this. In settlement papers both parties almost always wrap it up with no blame or negligence admitted by either side.

Having investigated murders and having been involved in hundreds of shooting cases, I have never once seen any concern expressed over the ammunition or gun used. In fact, the gun and ammunition found at the scene are seldom examined in detail by anyone even when the case goes the civil route. Lawyers are concerned with the LEGALITY of the situation, not the hardware.

Stop and use some common sense. If hardware were an issue, wouldn't the shotgun be the ultimate legal nightmare for a shooter? No other weapon has the massive destructive power of a shotgun. No handgun even comes close. In fact, the lethality rate for a shotgun is 67% vs. 14% for a pistol and 17% for a rifle like an AK-47. If we are talking destructive power, and looking at tissue damage, the shotgun would be a constant source of review by lawyers. It is not.

Years ago we had a shooting where the homeowner used a .36 caliber black powder revolver. The homeowner pushed it into the thug's chest and fired. The blast of burning black powder went directly into the thug's chest. Opened at the morgue the inside of his chest was a black mushy mess. The burning black powder and blast did incredible damage. Should there be some damages paid for a shooter using black powder vs. smokeless?

Also the burden to PROVE that the ammunition you used was excessive would fall with the complainant's lawyers. What is excessive? If your life is in danger that argument doesn't hold much concern for the shooter. You want the most effective cartridge you can use. I'd think the other lawyers should be glad you used a pistol and not a shotgun or larger bore rifle?

Finding cases where anyone took a serious look at the gun or ammunition used is hard to come by and few try it. If the gun is defective that may be an issue. I was involved in a case where an officer killed a motorist and the officer used a gun I had examined prior to the shooting. He had it nickel plated and that included internal parts. If you pulled the hammer back and shook the gun it would discharge. I told him it was unsafe, but he carried it anyway and the shooting followed a few weeks later.

The gun did become an issue as having a "hair" trigger. But the Grand Jury cleared the officer and the following civil suit was settled for $400,000 and the issue in depositions was the LEGALITY. The gun was never mentioned again. The payment was made without comment by either side. In the late 1960's as police moved to hollow points and ammunition like Super-Vel came on line, the issue started to show up in court. I recall one silly lawyer trying to bring the Geneva Convention into the argument. It fell flat and the lawyer lost the case big time.

Defective guns are a whole other issue and will almost always come up in product liability actions, not civil actions for an actual self-defense shooting. It is funny to see gun rag writers that boast of their highly modified guns and then flip-flop to claiming any modification is serious legal problems. I have seen self-defense shootings and cases with strange weapons. One shooter used a .22 rifle that fired when you slammed the pump action home. The trigger didn't work. It was never brought up in the criminal trial and no civil charges ever filed. The shooter was cleared.

The Internet now allows us to search all the states court opinions using keyword. If you want to get bored try surfing those legal libraries and find ONE case where the choice of gun or ammunition resulted in any legal perils or one dime being awarded in damages.

It is time for the gun rag writers post the actual case titles so they can be researched and stop with vague, "trust me" logic. It seems they take pride in trying to insinuate they hold super secret key information that you should pay them to reveal.

As a court approved expert witness we aid lawyers in doing legal research on the cases at hand. We have a segment of our company that can do this legal research and aid in case strategy with the lawyer.

I recall on CBS's 48 Hours a segment on a fellow who shot a thug with a shotgun. Using actual courtroom video the gun they showed was a well tricked out Mossberg 500. The subject of even a shotgun being used was never mentioned. It didn't matter. They had to deal with legality, not emotions.

The decision of which gun or ammunition you will chose for self-defense is YOURS. It is not a serious concern for legal issues. As we tell students, if you buy it off the shelf worry not. If you hand load you will find that few hand loaders would try to exceed factory specs as adopted by ammunition manufacturers. Few shooters want to beat up a gun for a few extra feet per-second. There are some idiots out their, but their guns will probably fall apart before they use it for self-defense.

Ask yourself, what you could reload that would be of concern. How fast can you push a 115-grain slug in a 9mm pistol beyond factory +P+ specs? You won't get much further if you value your gun and shooting hand. As for bullets, do we invent our own? No, we shoot bullets made by someone else or those we can cast from lead. How fast can you push even hard cast slugs? Not much beyond factory specs again. Bullet design? Not much we can do to alter what we buy or make ourselves.

Granted, you may find out a nut case or two but those extremes do not effect us. Next time you see someone boast of the perils of your gun or ammunition you chose for self-defense ask for some actual case law on the subject. At best it may be brought up or mentioned, but it is a bad way to go for any lawyer, as the defense for it is as simple as a rock. I would like to think the opposition would bring up the subject. It would be to my clients favor.

In one case presently in litigation against a major discount chain store the argument is if the store sold handgun ammunition to an underage person, which resulted in a fatal accidental shooting. To date nobody has seen the gun or ammunition since police took it from the shooting scene. The case is near court and nobody is concerned if the gun was defective. The legal focus is the sale of the ammunition. Once again the gun/ammo boogieman just doesn't surface.

Here is what is involved to review a case history. You need ALL of the paper work. Testimony can cover thousands of pages. If you want a copy you pay for it. That can run from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Just right there you can see why the armchair experts have a problem documenting much of anything.

A summons and complaint filed in a civil case may mention the gun or ammunition used. That is a poor legal move, but it can happen. That is NOT evidence, only a complaint and will be addressed in court or depositions, or it won't every show up. Complaints contain a lot of superfluous information and comments.

Also for such information to impact a jury it will have to impact ALL of the jurors to be very effective. If you were a lawyer would you be trying to convince them that John Doe's hand loads were bad or that he acted in an illegal manner?

The gun and ammunition concerns are the least of your concerns. You have to worry about the legality of your actions.

If bullet choice is that important then we would think the gun rag writers would endorse Full Metal Jacketed bullets. Would they be safer? On the other hand, they pimp themselves trying to sell the most effective bullets they can endorse like Corbon or Triton? Can they have it both ways? We think NOT. When pressed to tell us which bullet choices are bad they fall pretty flat real fast.

About modified guns? To date I have not seen ONE gun rag writer claim that any one gun is the safest for legal concerns. In fact, if glass broke late in the night at their home and the only gun handy to them was a fully tricked IPSC gun, I doubt if they'd respond to the threat with a baseball bat our of fears of legality or liability for using their IPSC gun.

The reality just doesn't make good press or sell magazines or ammunition.
<-- Previous Lesson ~ Classroom ~ Next Lesson -->

Link Posted: 3/23/2006 11:49:45 AM EDT
wow, well, that was... a lot... but very informative as to the other sid eof the coin.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 8:28:56 AM EDT
I read a story recently about a guy that got charged for killing his wife because his story did not match up with the ballistic evidence. He was using handloads with very little powder. To make a long story short, the powder left no residue on his wife's head and his claim that she was about to shoot herself and he went to take away the gun just as it went off was not bought. Standard factory ammo would have left residue on her head. The investigation could not know, nor could he prove the loads were so very light.

Moral of the story is to use factory ammo for all self defense situations and save the reloads for practice or competition use.

Now all we need is a Revolution!
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 9:07:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ArJunaBug:
I read a story recently about a guy that got charged for killing his wife because his story did not match up with the ballistic evidence. He was using handloads with very little powder. To make a long story short, the powder left no residue on his wife's head and his claim that she was about to shoot herself and he went to take away the gun just as it went off was not bought. Standard factory ammo would have left residue on her head. The investigation could not know, nor could he prove the loads were so very light.

Moral of the story is to use factory ammo for all self defense situations and save the reloads for practice or competition use.



The moral of THAT story would actually be NEVER use handloads at all. It could have just as easily been the case that she rummaged in his range bag before he left and the story went down. If that were the case that is a shitty situation for the guy, but that is a bad argument to use with respect to your application.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 10:54:12 AM EDT
As someone already pointed out, there are a couple of cases in the current literature from Ayoob about it, so the issue does come up. As others have pointed out, while it might come up it won't be a make or break item in the trial. To me, that is irrelevant, however. I don't carryhandloads and tell my clients not to carry handloads either. The reason is simple. It is an issue that propably will come up in the criminal trial, and almost certainly in a civil trial. Everything that comes up, no matter how ridiculous, requires your attorney's time and attention to some degree. Given that there are many factory loads that will do the job just fine, why carry something that if you use it will create more problems for you? If your attorney has to spend one day investigating and preparing for the handload issue you have now got an extra 8 billable hours to pay for that you would not have had with factory ammo.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 3:54:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ArJunaBug:
The investigation could not know, nor could he prove the loads were so very light.


Riiiight, because we all know that when you handload you only load a single cartrige.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 4:41:19 PM EDT
IMO and other experts it's a very bad idea and with quality commercial ammo avalable why bother
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 7:34:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2006 7:37:39 PM EDT by Rollyman]
My .02
I think that if your shooting is justified it wont matter what ammo is used you will be ok.
To me we just want to cover our ass in case of what may happen.
I agree 100% that potential prosecution will be over your actions not the implements.
So make sure if you have to pull the trigger it is the only thing you could have done to protect yourself.

Just an opinion on a fictitious situation.
If the prosecutors, leo’s, etc. Through their investigation get wind of a person who may have wanted to harm or kill a person. Then this might be a different story. If friends and witnesses get brought fourth to your state of mind then you can be in some serious trouble in court. If these people consistently make claim’s that he/she talked about shooting someone all the time. He was wanting, even looking for a situation to kill someone and get away with it etc. Then the type of ammo you use can and will be harmful to you. But again the point here is Your actions are what will hang you, the ammo you may have created might just be an extra nail in the coffin so to speak, but won’t be the focal point of the case. The media will exploit this BS because it is just a way to catch viewer’s attention so their ratings will rise. The media to me is the main reason that all this ammo BS is here in the first place and creating all these BS rumors. stupid isn’t it but we fall prey to it all the time.

Link Posted: 4/1/2006 12:06:46 AM EDT
I think you guys have pretty much settled it (this round anyway regarding the law, etc.)

If the shooting is a "good" shooting, and is ruled as such it won't go further. I think if it were ever going to be used, it would be used by the "victim's" survivors at a civil trial. A lawyer might argue this (because lawyers are trained to use every variable in order to promot their client's position) However, there is a flip side as well. Someone mentioned that complying with factory specs is disarming (no pun intended)

As your attorney I would argue/direct the line of questioning to reveal (if at all necessary) that you reload yourself so that you can afford to maintain your safe handling of the pistol by practicing consistently, and you use only that ammunition that you are intimately familiar with while practicing. Easy enough.
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