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Discussion Starter #1
For the guys that reload, do you load defense rounds and if so are you using them in your defense weapons? I have talked to a few people, my father included, that reload for their handguns. My father loads with a Dillon and it's all 45acp. It's a high production set up that potentially could load 1000 rds an hour. Now I doubt that he has achieved this or wants to and mostly loads ammo for target. My point is that some guys don't trust their reloads for life or death defense situations and feel more comfortable buying shelf +P ammo to keep in their weapons. What are your thoughts? Should they handload defense rounds with more quality assurance or keep buying shelf ammo?
 

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I don't know if I would say that most re loaders do not trust their hand loads for defense. I agree most do not use hand loads for defense.
I see the best path as:

Buy defensive ammo from a quality manufacturer which is proven effective, i.e. hollowpoints with enough weight to provide penetration and enough velocity to expand. An example would be my Federal 155gr JHP 40 S&W I load in my Sigma and K-40. Buy enough to fire at least 100 rounds in every automatic you will load the ammo into, plus enough to use for the intended purpose. Test the ammo in the auto; if it is not reliable, try different ammo. For revolvers, just buy enough to determine function and point of impact.

Load hand loads to the same point of impact and practice with the hand loads.

I have never had a center fire round from a quality manufacturer fail to fire, so I trust factory ammo.

Carry the factory ammo.

Andy
 

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I carry handloads with home cast bullets for personal defense. If I didn't trust my life with my reloads, I would stop reloading and throw all my reloading gear in the garbage.
 

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It has been pointed out to me, by people that may or may not know what they're talking about, that using handloads in a self-defense situation gives the defense lawyer something to work with.

So, while I'm absolutely confident in my reloads (I've never had a FTF in nearly 30 years of reloading) I figure why take the chance? I keep 20 rounds each of commercial SD ammo in .380, .357, 9mm and .45acp so I'm covered whichever weapon I decide to strap on as I head out.
 

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I carry handloads with home cast bullets for personal defense. If I didn't trust my life with my reloads, I would stop reloading and throw all my reloading gear in the garbage.
Keep in mind, this is from a man who could teach the manufacturers a thing or two about ammunition. I know he has taught me a thing or two.

Andy

p.s. edited a bunch for my atrocious spelling.
 

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The main reason generally given for not using handloads is the idea that some overzealous prosecutor might use the fact to persuade a jury that you were a muderous maniac, intent on using handloads because commercial ammo isn't deadly enough. The ONE existing case where handloaded ammo became a question was one in which the prosecutor was trying to dispute the defendant's claims of self defense by saying the shooting took place at a different range than the defendant testified to. Since there was no ammo from the same lot to test, as there would be with factory ammo, the powder-burn patterns could not be used to establish the range. This ploy did not work.

If the use of deadly force is justified in the first place, the type of deadly force used is legally irrelevant, be it a rock, a knife, handloads, factory ammo, or a howitzer.
 

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The "defense lawyer" would be YOUR lawyer, if there were to be criminal charges. Hope your own lawyer doesn't make you want to look bad!

Not to be nitpicky, but it doesn't make sense, otherwise.
 

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Its also never once been documented in case law that handloads were ever a factor in a justifiable shooting. Civil court may be a different story. I carry a mix, I usually carry handloads in revolvers and factory ammo in my semi autos. This seems to be a really hot topic on several boards right now.
 

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Aside from a legal standpoint in self defense, but do the people who dont trust there handloads (for whatever reasons) for self defense, but would you also not trust your handloads for hunting DG?
 

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The intent in defense is to stop a threat. It doesn't make a hill of beans what you use; baseball bat, dog, can of peas, etc. If handloads made a difference, the same argument could be made for the use of a "heavy" caliber over a lighter one. Could you not have relayed the same message with a 25 ACP over a 40 S&W? Why would you use a 45 ACP +P over the basic 45 ACP? Your justification is in the measure, the line, in which a decision is made to stop the deadly threat. Heck, you could use a stick to stop the threat once the decision is made. Did my choice of stick make the event more deadlier in that I chose it over a manufactured baseball bat?

I see the question only argued on forums.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The intent in defense is to stop a threat. It doesn't make a hill of beans what you use; baseball bat, dog, can of peas, etc. If handloads made a difference, the same argument could be made for the use of a "heavy" caliber over a lighter one. Could you not have relayed the same message with a 25 ACP over a 40 S&W? Why would you use a 45 ACP +P over the basic 45 ACP? Your justification is in the measure, the line, in which a decision is made to stop the deadly threat. Heck, you could use a stick to stop the threat once the decision is made. Did my choice of stick make the event more deadlier in that I chose it over a manufactured baseball bat?

I see the question only argued on forums.
No but the attorneys look at the size of the stick and the modifications to the stick as a person who dreams of using the stick or anticipated it, maybe even looks forward to using it. Although this another good topic I was mostly interested in trusting your ammunition to go bang.
 

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This is all controversy perpetrated by Massad Ayoob, and while I respect and follow many of his opinions and advice, I truly believe that handloaded ammunition would never be a factor in a criminal trial. That is unless you had handloaded ammunition that could recall the bullet after you pulled the trigger.
 

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Ranch Dog has a good point. I hunt hogs, sometimes with only a handgun, and sometimes go stomping through thick brush looking for one wounded with a rifle (and no idea if it is dead or not). If I can trust my loads to do that they should suffice for the typical crackhead, etc.

Ayoob is just blowing his own horn and making a mountain out of a molehill, my opinion. Other gunwriters have called him out in print to cite even one case and he cannot or will not. To me that tells the entire story. All he has to do is cite one case to "prove" he is the expert of all experts.... it would be simple, wouldn't it? Any criminal case not involving a juvenile will be public record and not only can he not cite one, no one else in the country can seem to find one, either.

Mostly I have factory stuff in my carry guns, but that's because I don't have time between hunting and other projects to work up specific loads. On the way to and from the deer camp I usually have one sort of revolver or another loaded up with heavy hard cast bullets for hunting and whatnot. Unlikely to get carjacked on U.S. 281 through rural Texas, but should that happen I'd not be thinking of whether my reloads aren't approved by Massad.....
 

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This is all controversy perpetrated by Massad Ayoob, and while I respect and follow many of his opinions and advice, I truly believe that handloaded ammunition would never be a factor in a criminal trial. That is unless you had handloaded ammunition that could recall the bullet after you pulled the trigger.
This is correct. Ayoob started this silly nonsense. There are no cases to point to and the difference between criminal and civil is important. If the bullet is legal and you had the right to self-defense it is hard to think of a situation in a criminal trial where the type of ammunition would matter. In a civil trial if you are liable for damages the type of ammunition could make a difference in $$$ damages and possible punitive damages and it may be easier to make a case against you with commercial ammunition if the manufacturer made certain claims as to "damage" or "effectivness" if it could be demonstrated that you knew what you were shooting and the likely consequences. At least with a hard cast you could always say you wanted to use "humane" non-"dum-dum" ammo as required by the Hague Convention.
 

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You could always say that you handloaded to increase accuracy and reduce potential injury to noncombatants. That would pretty well deflate any prosecutor.
 

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Another thing any defense attorney worth hiring should bring out is that reloaded ammo uses the same components as factory ammo and it doesn't cause any more , (sometimes less) trauma than factory,i.e. corbons and some others. If you live in a ******* state like I always have , the prosecutor (wife's ex-boss) refuses to prosecute and all your cop buddies call you and say "good shootin , bud"! :rolleyes:
 

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I used to agree completely with all the earlier comments on prosecutors and recited chapter and verse on Ayoob's failure to give examples as mentioned in magazine articles on the subject. I happened to do this on another forum that Ayoob occasionally posts in. He came back with a link to a longer list of cases than I would have supposed existed in which the prosecution (civil or public) did indeed make something out of hand loads being used. He points out that unless a case sets president in some way, it often remains only a matter of local record, so it can take some work to ferret examples out.

I'll have to find the link at some point, but he had them on line. I can't recall if it was a stand alone page or a reply in a forum? I do recall something about eating crow, however. I think there were at least four cases.

So, that has given me pause. It is, however an issue of prosecutorial ignorance or, in a civil case, a cynical attempt to relieve you of your money. None of that has bearing on my faith in my handloads, themselves, though. We had a post here awhile back. when this topic previously came up, from a fellow who had fired many tens of thousands of rounds of factory loads in evaluation for, IIRC, government agencies? He said he'd seen every possible kind of failure a handload might have in the commercial ammo at one time or another. Too hot, squib to no powder, backward primers, etc. etc. Commercial loads can also have failures hand loads cannot. For example, I found two bulk Winchester .223 cases without flash holes the last time I bought some. No reloader could have the failure that would cause, because his cases have already been successfully fired once, and no handloader of new brass will have that if he is diligent. Unlike a commercial ammunition maker, the conscientious handloader can take the time to visually inspect every single component. That's where he can beat the commercial makers on reliability if he decides to put the effort into doing so.

There are other steps you can take that a commercial loader can't have time for. For example, you can pre-weigh and match cases and bullets so that you can detect a missing or undersize powder charge by weighing the finished rounds. You can add primer and bullet sealant where only some manufacturers do the former and only military loaders, like Lake City, the latter, AFAIK? You can uniform primer pockets and deburr flash holes. You can weigh every charge. You can trim every case for best matching crimp tension. You can measure individual primer seating depths and bullet seating depths. There's really quite a bit you can do that, though unnecessary 99% of the time, can't hurt the effort to make more reliable ammo than a commercial manufacturer does. You just can't crank out as many as fast.
 

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I fully respect your experience, but short of you blabbling about using a reload, nobody is ever going to find out, commercial loaders use lead bullets, and we can load XTPs and Gold Dots all day long.

In the event you are arrested and tried, the Second Amendment Foundation is just a phone call away. They have the very best 2A Attorneys and would love to set precedent. Their phone number is: 425-454-7012
 

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Not my experience (thank goodness); just the cases Ayoob posted. And don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you should make your mind up about what to use because of them. I still have no clue (and I don't think anybody does) what percentage of cases involving hand loads for self-defense have been targeted by prosecutors in this way? It may be a pretty tiny handful? I can't tell, not knowing the totals for either event? I just meant to say that I had to eat crow about stating Ayoob only had one faulty example, as one of the magazine writers had claimed (and which may have been true at the time it was written, but is just no longer current).

What the prosecutor will or won't discover about your ammo is a big gamble, of course. It depends what you mean by not "blabbing"? Not making voluntary mention is fine, but giving a false or misleading answer would be another, and a prosecutable offense in and of itself. Forensics may not be like on TV, but given time the techs can still tell quite a bit.

I'd like to think that in most cases prosecutors are sensible and won't care whether you defended yourself with a shotgun or clobbered the guy with a plumbing fixture. Ideally, what should be on his mind is just whether or not the killing was justifiable? Unfortunately, prosecutions are sometimes driven by political considerations, so you just can't be 100% sure how you'll be treated?
 
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