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Old December 11, 2009, 10:04 PM   #1
CRVT427
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45ACP +P - Excessive force for self defense??

I'm an avid mountain biker and dirt biker riding solo frequently in Northern CA. I carry a G30 using Corbon (copper) DPX45ACP +P for the woods. I also use the same gun as my primary CCW but use a 45ACP JHP. Since my parents live in the bay area, I take my family to San Franciso monthly. If I use the Corbon 45ACP +P for self defense especially in San Francisco, do you forsee an escalated legal case against me for using that ammo??
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Old December 11, 2009, 10:26 PM   #2
vranasaurus
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It could be brought up but my response would always be that dead is dead and the assailant you shot would have been no less dead had you shot him wiht non +p ammo.

Now you can always turn that around to say that +p ammo is completely unnecessary and therefore excessive.

Now this response comes from a gun owner and if I were sitting on the jury the choice of ammo would not even be a consideration for me. But what about non gun owning jury members?

Now ask yourself about the prosecutor will they try and use it against you to get the jury to believe you are just a blood thirsty dirtbag who needs to be in prison?
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Old December 11, 2009, 11:25 PM   #3
Mas Ayoob
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In the last case I was involved in where the shooter used CorBon +P .45, the other side didn't put much emphasis on it, and the shooter was acquitted.

In short barrel .45s like the G30, it's common to use +P to compensate for the loss in velocity with standard pressure loads.

In California, you can make the point that LAPD issues HST +P .45 to their several thousand officers who carry optional .45s as primary duty weapons. "If it was good enough for the police to choose to protect people like me and my family, it was good enough for ME to choose to protect me and my family."

While I've seen the "overpower gun argument" brought up in many contexts (the 10mm with JHP in the Harold Fish case), and the use of HP in general made an issue in many other cases, it is not hard to defuse with solid testimony by expert witnesses, or material witness testimony from the instructors who trained you and recommended such ammunition.

Bottom line: so long as you can explain your choice, I wouldn't worry about it.
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Old December 12, 2009, 04:58 PM   #4
Gary L. Griffiths
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If you use a 12-ga to stop a home invader, did you use excessive force, when a 20-ga would have done the same job? I've only heard of one case in which the caliber (power) of the weapon had any bearing on a conviction, and that was the Harold Fish case in AZ, whose conviction was recently overturned.

No matter what type of weapon you use, it can always be argued that you used excessive force, or that you selected the weapon for malicious purposes. A good defense attorney will easily counter any such arguments.
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Old December 13, 2009, 07:31 PM   #5
Glenn Dee
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Other than any overpenitration issue... dead is dead IMHO
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Old December 13, 2009, 08:07 PM   #6
Jim March
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Most of the 45ACP+P loads still don't generate as much raw energy (as measured in ft/lbs) as the better 40S&W loads used in law enforcement (500 to 550ft/lbs energy).

So if you're not throwing out as much energy as police ammo, the "+P" thing is going to be meaningless.

Now, in Arizona with my AZ CCW, I carry 357 with very hot ammo, full house 125s loaded to almost 800ft/lbs, pretty similar to the hottest 10mm rounds. BUT, I only have the six before I face a pretty long reload time. And despite the big energy the record for overpenetration on this sort of load isn't bad. The speed makes 'em pop open faster, esp. with Gold Dot projectiles.

Plus, I don't have a rifle or shotty as backup. And if the question is "what's reasonable", take a look at the energy levels of a 12ga Remington 870 loaded with buckshot . Or a 223 for that matter.
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Old December 13, 2009, 10:39 PM   #7
BobbyT
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Actually, +P+ or not, your pistol is woefully inadequate when it comes to stopping power. Hopefully it's enough to shock your attacker into stopping, or you have enough time to get several rounds off, but there's a reason that the survival rate for being shot with a handgun is 85+%.

You're still putting out something like 1/5th to 1/6th the energy of a deer rifle.
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Old December 21, 2009, 08:19 PM   #8
RickE
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BobbieT

Inadequate? +p .45? Are you kidding? Compared to what, the Ruger .454 casull?
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Old December 22, 2009, 07:15 AM   #9
blume357
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I would research the initial development of the 45acp and

what it was designed for....

to stop a drugged up person coming straight at you with a machete.
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Old December 25, 2009, 09:33 PM   #10
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Gary L. Griffiths posted,
Quote:
I've only heard of one case in which the caliber (power) of the weapon had any bearing on a conviction, and that was the Harold Fish case in AZ, whose conviction was recently overturned.
I am unable to find anything on Mr. Fish's case being overturned.
I find where he won a new trial,
Please give me a cite.
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Old December 28, 2009, 01:21 PM   #11
bikerbill
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Try this site, blv it's up to date ... thot I'd read elsewhere that the DA decided not to retry ...


http://www.haroldfishdefense.org
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Old December 28, 2009, 03:55 PM   #12
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It's better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6 , let the chips fall where they may !
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Old December 28, 2009, 06:38 PM   #13
OldMarksman
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Quote:
I am unable to find anything on Mr. Fish's case being overturned.
I find where he won a new trial,
Same thing.
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Old December 28, 2009, 08:20 PM   #14
FALPhil
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Quote:
I am unable to find anything on Mr. Fish's case being overturned.
Consult this document.

Paragraph 83 reads:
Quote:
Defendant’s conviction and sentence are reversed. This
matter is remanded to the superior court for further proceedings
consistent with this decision.
AFAIK, "overturned" is not a legal term. But, I am not an attorney.
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Old December 28, 2009, 09:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Inadequate? +p .45? Are you kidding? Compared to what, the Ruger .454 casull?
Well, yes.

I really doubt .45 +P could be considered excessive. AP, tracers or homebrew mercury bullets? Sure, that'll come back to haunt someone, but as others have noted, the round you're carrying is approved by law enforcement.
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Old December 28, 2009, 10:46 PM   #16
Gbro
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Thanks for the link Falphil.
I confess my eyes are to heavy to read through the whole document.
I am very happy for Mr. Fish and his family.
I hope he dosen't have to go through a new trial.
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Old December 29, 2009, 01:02 AM   #17
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Anything more lethal than a purple parasol will get you in trouble there. Don't worry about it, use what you got but hope you never have to.
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Old December 29, 2009, 01:35 AM   #18
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FALPhil
...AFAIK, "overturned" is not a legal term. But, I am not an attorney.
No, "overturned" is not a legal term, but I don't really see a problem with using it as a colloquialism for "reversed."

In any case, the usual result of a reversal is a new trial. In Fish's case, the DA decided not to re-try him. The AG petitioned the Arizona Supreme Court to review the decision of the court of appeal, but they declined to do so.
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Old December 29, 2009, 12:30 PM   #19
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Quote:
I would research the initial development of the 45acp and
what it was designed for....

to stop a drugged up person coming straight at you with a machete.
Not exactly. That was the current problem orientation at the time, sort of, but that was not what the round was designed to do per se. It wasn't as if there was any testing of the .45 acp on Moros before production began. Instead, the military was looking for something that would work better than the .38 Long Colt revolvers they were using and had found that the .45 Long Colt did a much better job. So the military went with the .45 caliber.

However, in following your logic, then the .45 acp RNL round could be said to have been designed for the purpose of providing better stopping power than the .38 Long Colt used against highly motivated Moros guerillas who were defending their homeland, who were sometimes on drugs, sometimes used tourniquets preceding battle to staunch the flow of blood to their limbs, who were quite small by today's standards (4'8"-5'3" and 120-150 lbs.) who used a variety of weapons including the indigenous favorite knife, the barong.

However, the Moros situation was just the current ongoing problem at the time that provided the impetus for change. The military was looking for a good general purpose pistol that wasn't a revolver.

As has been noted, despite the problem orientation at the time, .45 acp has not always provided the needed stopping power. So there is most definitely a need for more power and/or better performing ammunition.
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Old December 29, 2009, 12:47 PM   #20
5whiskey
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Not to mention the fact that we were using ball ammunition against the moros. A .38 caliber hole will not do as much damage as a .45 caliber hole. Now that we have reliable expanding ammo, the original intent of the caliber is a little less relevant, although portions of your argument is true
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Old December 30, 2009, 10:18 AM   #21
Marty Hayes
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The other side of the argument, is that if you use a puny round to shoot, then you might need to use many more rounds than you would have with the +P .45 acp. What would look worse to a jury? One or two rounds of .45 +P, or seven or eight 9mms', the latter of which might result in a missed round or two finding an unfortunate target, or the perp being shot in the back as he twists around in pain?
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