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View Poll Results: Do you carry handloads in your personal carry handgun?
No. Factory ammo only. 43 67.19%
Yes, I carry handloads, or would if I reloaded. 21 32.81%
Voters: 64. You may not vote on this poll

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Old October 5, 2005, 05:56 PM   #1
Dave R
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Do you carry handloads in your defensive sidearm?

With the several threads we have had lately, discussing this, I thought it would be fun to get only slightly more scientific and make it a poll.

So I'm asking DO YOU or WOULD YOU (if you handloaded) carry handloads in your PERSONAL defensive handgun? Not your issue piece, with issue ammo....I'm talking your personal weapon.

We all know the arguments. If you use a handload, that's just one more thing for the bad guys to sue you on, vs. if I load it to factory specs, its the same thing and a good shoot it a good shoot.

As for me, I carry handloads (loaded to factory spec.) in my primary carry piece. I do it for economics. I get to practice a lot with the load I carry.

So how about you? I'm guessing it'll be somewhere around 10-25% of us will or do carry handloads.
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Old October 5, 2005, 06:00 PM   #2
tshadow6
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handloads for self defense bad idea

I would not want to have explain to the Prosecutor why I had to have handloads in my gun. An anti-gun Prosecutor would call them "hand made killer rounds".
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Old October 5, 2005, 06:15 PM   #3
leadcounsel
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Relates to Handgun ammo only...

tshadow: nonsense. see the other board for reasons.

I carry and shoot only factory ammo for a few reasons:
1) I don't have the time or $ to invest in loading ammo. I can buy quality bulk target ammo for about $.10- $.15 per shot, about $.50 for defensive rounds. My friend who loads spends about $.08 per shot, but he has a lot of dollars invested in equipment and time in front of his Dillans Press, much like a factory job earning $25 per hour AFTER you've hit the break even point, which may take months. Until you hit break even, you're working for free and losing money! Who wants to spend hours researching and buying brass, powder, primers, equipment, collecting brass at the range, etc. Not in the least bit interested.
2) There is too large of a start-up investment for another "hobby" that will probably gather dust like my guitar and foreign language books
3) Voids gun warranties
4) Leave it to the pros who can develop the best ammo.
5) I understand that reloads are more prone to stress the bullet casing and fail or Kaboom.
6) Finally, if a bullet loaded by Winchester blows up in my Glock and takes my hand off, I have SOME legal recourse with Winchester or Glock. If a bullet I load blows up and takes my hand off, I cannot successfully sue Glock because they warned me. And, of course it won't make much sense to sue myself.
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Old October 5, 2005, 06:24 PM   #4
azredhawk44
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Handloads for "personal defense" piece? That's interesting...

My guns that are designed to face a threat from 2-legged vermin all have factory ammo. I handload and accept the fact that I am not as precise as a machine in Federal's hydrashock plant.

I usually only have a gun strapped to my side when I am out hunting or hiking, however, and I carry something that is powerful enough for 4-legged trouble. My .44 magnum handloads are more powerful than PMC's manufactured stuff. I take painstaking care when assembling my hunting and hiking loads. I check primer depth/flushness, powder weight, crimp... I only do that with about 50 rounds a year, but I wager that those 50 come out better than anything from anyone's factory. I even make sure the primers are as new as possible and haven't been exposed to humidity, open air or any contaminants.

The rest of my stuff is just practice ammo and as such I just plink and target shoot with it. But I do put my life in the hands of my own handloaded ammo when hunting or hiking. If need dictates, I will certainly use it on 2-legged vermin.

Lions and tigers and bears ain't got nothin' on a lawyer, though.
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Old October 5, 2005, 06:33 PM   #5
zejs1
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As opposed to factory made killer rounds, I suppose?

If an anti-gun prosecutor wants to make himself look like an idiot, more power to him. He can then explain to the jury how someone shot dead with handloads is somehow more dead than someone shot to death with factory ammunition.

I handload, but in a self-defense situation, I would prefer to use factory ammunition for reliability reasons.

If I were forced to use my handloads to shoot someone, I wouldn't hesitate to defend my decision in court. My handloads are cheaper than factory ammunition. They are well within SAAMI specifications, and well below the most powerful factory ammunition available.

Tell the prosecutor less expensive means you can practice more. If you practice more, you miss less, reducing the danger to innocent bystanders. You used handloads because you were thinking of the children.
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Old October 5, 2005, 08:02 PM   #6
donkee
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Will somebody pleeze post a link to some sort of proof that handloads will get you sent up the river? I want to see the poor slob that got hit with a suit or procecuted for using handloads....
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Old October 5, 2005, 08:29 PM   #7
ISP2605
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Me too Donkee.
I've done all kinds of searches for cases, both criminal and civil, have asked numerous times, and have asked others to research it. Been looking for many years, long before there was an internet. Been in law enforcement for over 34 years and have done many, many shooting investigations. An assistant prosecutor I use to run around with researched it and he wasn't able to turn up any cases either. To date, no one has ever shown me a case. I'm still asking. With so many experts out there saying it will happen then one of them surely has a case cite they can provide.
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Old October 5, 2005, 08:33 PM   #8
Glenn E. Meyer
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It's hard to find a case. That's been stated a thousand times. It may not be a factor as most cases are clear cut.

We do know that DAs do exaggerate weapon's appearances and that rhetoric doesn't make it into the legal case literature.

We know that simulated juries are sensitive to such shennigans.

That's about all we really know.

You can be cautious about it or be ready if it ever became an issue. Both Ayoob and the simulation literature suggest you can handle the issue with competent experts and counsel.
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Old October 5, 2005, 08:49 PM   #9
grendelbane
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Everybody talks about handloads. What about handguns? I have assembled a couple of Gov't model clones on bare frames. One is almost ready for prime time, and the other is plenty reliable for SD use.

Although I have not yet done it, it is also possible to assemble a pistol on an 80% frame.

Any opinions on home built guns? How about home modified guns? Plenty of those around.
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Old October 5, 2005, 10:11 PM   #10
Dave R
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So far, its 65/35. Maybe I guessed low?
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Old October 6, 2005, 04:13 AM   #11
45-70
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.41 Magnum Handloads

I often carry handloads in my 657, since the only loads usually available are hunting loads, and "too destructive" to use for defense. Why, "they would do awful damage to someone!" And they would, too. I use Elmer's recommended police loads, or equivalent, 170 grain Sierras @ 1000-1100 fps. And I will sometimes use "Cowboy Action" loads (with LSWC 240 gr) in my .44 Magnum 629. Same reason. Well, that and .44 Specials are so hard to find, almost as bad as trying to find mild .41 Mags.
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Old October 6, 2005, 04:28 PM   #12
therealsteamer
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Why not avoid the possibility of a legal conflict. Find out what caliber and brand of ammo is the most common to LE in your area. That way, should something haoppen you can tell the DA that there was nothing special about your choice for self/home defense, heck its the same as local law enforcement!..............and?
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Old October 6, 2005, 04:32 PM   #13
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this dead horse has been flogged thousands of times. I see that the paranoid, ignorant, and excitable are still cringing at the thought of carrying hand loads. Sad.
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Old October 6, 2005, 05:04 PM   #14
therealsteamer
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wow such strong words is it really worth the risk? are you that sure that your home rolls are sooooo much better than factory SD HP (BTW I reload as well)
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Old October 6, 2005, 05:15 PM   #15
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donkee, ISP2605, et al., "everybody knows" handloads will get you in so much trouble the judge will bypass settlements and jail time and send you straight to hell for defending yourself with handloads. This is largely the result of Massad Ayoob and his marvelous flying theories that may possible in theory, but after 20 odd years have failed to prove legit. Ayoob's proponent will tell you that it can happen and I guess it could happen, but apparently with all the shootings that go on, it hasn't happened during Ayoob's tenure or didn't happen in a manner than Ayoob found the information worthy of publishing.

In fact, in the materials he has presented, I have found ZERO that show handloads caused a person to lose a criminal or civil case. In fact, he hasn't ever presented a case where somebody was sued over handloads. If he has, somebody here will set me straight and list the actual document in which Ayoob reviews such matters, but I have yet to find one.

Go over to http://www.thehighroad.org/search.php?searchid=744491 and take a look at the threads that come up. Several deal with the myth of handloads. In particular, this challenge to members turned up no verified cases of gun modifications or handloads causing things to go south during after action legal hassles, even though Ayoob warms of such matters...
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...light=ayoobian

and this thread deals with the fact that Ayoob has presented a couple of cases where the police were sued over gun and ammo choice and the ammo was factory amm...
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...light=ayoobian

Strangely, Ayoob notes in this recent work that if the prosecutor is going after your ammo, then they really have no substantive case against you and are just punching in the dark.

And before anyone says it, says, if you are in a shooting, expect the opposition to mention everything about what happened including prolonged discussions on gun choice and ammo choice. It is simply part of the process. Both sides of the suit would be remiss if they did not consider all the potential factors of the case, relevant or not.

If the best ammo you have for defense is handloads, then that is what you should load in your gun. The notion that you would intentionally load something you consider less capable because of some perceived future risk of suit is just plain stupid. A person trying to kill you is a true threat to you and you want to shoot that person with the best ammo you have so as to protect yourself. After all, if you fail to stop the person, you get to be dead and there will be no suit against you.

Mannlicher, can I borrow your statement for my signature line?
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Old October 6, 2005, 05:24 PM   #16
markdido
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Quote:
Will somebody pleeze post a link to some sort of proof that handloads will get you sent up the river? I want to see the poor slob that got hit with a suit or procecuted for using handloads....
Wouldn't be much of a stretch for a prosecutor to paint the shooter as some sort of "gun nut" because he loads his own ammo.
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Old October 6, 2005, 05:41 PM   #17
leadcounsel
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Quote:
Wouldn't be much of a stretch for a prosecutor to paint the shooter as some sort of "gun nut" because he loads his own ammo.
And by that, people who cook for themselves are "food nuts," people who fix their own cars are, "car nuts," people who are self-employed are, "work nuts", people who roll their own smokes are more nuts, etc.

As demonstrated by the complete absence of any case law to this affect, I think that a lawyer would be laughed out of the courtroom if this was his argument, that a person who handloaded his bullets is any different than a person who bought them from a store. Dead is dead and it wouldn't make any difference it if was a hand load or a factory load.

I chose not to reload based not on the alleged legal ramifications but instead on the practicality of it as listed in my prior post above.
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Old October 6, 2005, 05:48 PM   #18
zejs1
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If you're participating in this forum, I'll wager there's a whole lot more than your Lee Classic Loader that can be used to portray you as a "gun nut".

As for using the same ammunition the police use, WHAT IF a prosecutor asks you why "regular civilian" ammunition wasn't good enough for you?

You know it's not going to happen, and if it does, the prosecutor is sinking his own case faster than Chris Darden telling O.J. to try on the bloody glove. The rest of the Chicken Little business is no different.
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Old October 6, 2005, 05:52 PM   #19
ISP2605
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Double Naught says:
"In fact, in the materials he has presented, I have found ZERO that show handloads caused a person to lose a criminal or civil case. In fact, he hasn't ever presented a case where somebody was sued over handloads. If he has, somebody here will set me straight and list the actual document in which Ayoob reviews such matters, but I have yet to find one."

I haven't been able to find any cases, criminal or civil, either. I've been researching it for many years, even long before there was an internet and the stories were floating around then. I've looked at enough law books and references over the years trying to find even 1 case that I could use when teaching deadly force investigation. I've looked in every state and circuit in the US. If there is such a case it must be one of those top secret cases held in secret government trials that are closed to public viewing.
I'm still looking for a case cite tho. If anyone can produce it I'd sure like to read the case and include it in my lesson plan.
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Old October 6, 2005, 06:10 PM   #20
LeeF
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Forget about the potential court case for now.

I am in absolute shock that someone who reloads believes factory ammo is better than their handloads. If you are cranking out 500 rounds an hour on a Dillon maybe one bad round every now and then, but ammo loaded on a single stage press? You can't be long time reloaders. After tens of thousands of rounds I've never had one fail to fire or a squib. Each primer is checked for seated depth and every powder charge is weighed. The finished rounds are checked in a chamber. I have had failures to fire with almost every brand of factory ammo.
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Old October 6, 2005, 09:55 PM   #21
OBIWAN
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Nope....but I don't even shoot handloads...not any more
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Old October 6, 2005, 10:10 PM   #22
hkg3
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Use what PD uses ONLY, to avoid needless prosecution.
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Old October 6, 2005, 10:52 PM   #23
zejs1
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Quote:
You can't be long time reloaders.
You're right, I'm not that experienced at handloading, which is why I'm not confident enough to use my own ammunition in place of factory ammunition. Maybe when I get considerably more experience, but I'm not at that point, yet. I suppose I should have mentioned that in my original post.

So far, every round I've completed has functioned flawlessly. I did catch myself seating a bullet into a case with no powder. That's only one potential dud, but that's enought to ruin your whole day.
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Old October 6, 2005, 11:01 PM   #24
Garand Illusion
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I have seen lots of people claim that hand loads will get you in trouble. I guess their logic is that if you're using a handloaded .38 you'll get put in prison for murder by the DA, but if you use your .500 S&W with factory loads you'll get a slap on the back and car fare home.

I've NEVER seen a case that shows this to be true. I've done searches on the internet (which has all knowledge, of course ) and likewise found nothing. No one who claims this has ever been able to produce a case (as has been said earlier)

I think what you have to ask yourself is ... what DA, even in California, is going to try to put the woman in jail who shot the serial murder/rapist because she was using handloaded ammo? Might happen in DC or NY, but then they would try to put he woman away irregardless of ammo.

I think the only time it comes in to play is something like you had a pre-existing relationship with the person you defend yourself against. i.e. a business dispute.

I don't use handloads, but then I don't reload. I have more faith in my premium defense ammo than the cheap reloads I buy at the gunshow for some of my weapons (which have only had 2 FTF's with in about 2000 rounds, BTW).

I suppose if I were a reloader and thought I could put together something better than factory, I would.
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Old October 7, 2005, 02:33 AM   #25
SamD
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Only use handloads. Tailored to my weapon.

I hear lots of talk about prosecutors might and you get sued for it in the civil trianl afterward.
Anybody got any case law on it.
Tired of he might they might. Give me a case or drop it.

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