The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old December 27, 2011, 09:39 PM   #26
Willie Lowman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 5, 2009
Location: Uh-Hi-O
Posts: 2,420
So, you are telling me that a person who down loads .44 magnum ammo to something like a +p .44 special would be in grave legal danger for using these rounds for home defense?

Or is this more about loading a carry gun with your hand loads and getting into a shoot out down town?
Willie Lowman is offline  
Old December 27, 2011, 11:13 PM   #27
Spats McGee
Staff
 
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 5,084
It's not a matter of the location of the shoot. The rules of evidence remain the same, whether it's at your home, or downtown. As other posters have pointed out, there's a particular constellation of events under which this issue rears its head:
1) A shooting;
2) in which handloads were used; and
3) the now-defendant needs GSR evidence to establish distance.
__________________
A gunfight is not the time to learn new skills.

If you ever have a real need for more than a couple of magazines, your problem is not a shortage of magazines. It's a shortage of people on your side of the argument. -- Art Eatman
Spats McGee is offline  
Old December 27, 2011, 11:17 PM   #28
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,339
Quote:
So, you are telling me that a person who down loads .44 magnum ammo to something like a +p .44 special would be in grave legal danger for using these rounds for home defense?
I don't know who you're responding to because no one has used the words "grave legal danger" (or even any combination of words that could reasonably be construed to have similar meaning) anywhere on this thread.

I think it will help tremendously to keep things civil if we can all try to focus on what's actually been posted on the thread instead of trying to stir things up by overstating or exaggerating either position.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old December 27, 2011, 11:27 PM   #29
Willie Lowman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 5, 2009
Location: Uh-Hi-O
Posts: 2,420
I used the term "grave legal danger."

When discussing the possibility of being incarcerated for several years, possibly the rest of your life, grave legal danger is a good descriptor.

It seems my simultaneous use of the bold, italics, and underline function have upset you, John.

I was asking if this conversation was in regard to shootings in the home or out in the street.

Spats answered my question quite clearly. Thank you.

Good night.
Willie Lowman is offline  
Old December 27, 2011, 11:39 PM   #30
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,339
Quote:
It seems my simultaneous use of the bold, italics, and underline function have upset you, John.
I don't know why you think I'm upset. I did assume that you triple-emphasized those particular words because you felt they were important or meaningful in some way, as opposed to triple-emphasizing some randomly selected part of your post.

As a result I felt it was worthwhile to point out that characterizing what anyone has posted on this thread as a claim that anyone who uses handloads for carry/home defense is in "grave legal danger" is hyperbole and that this thread, which is on a topic that often generates heated discussion, can do without that sort of thing.

It's been made quite clear that the main point of this entire issue is that using factory ammunition for carry/home defense is a small price to pay to eliminate a risk that, while improbable, could be quite bothersome if it came to fruition. I dont' think that's what most people think when they say or hear "grave legal danger".
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old December 28, 2011, 12:48 AM   #31
Frank Ettin
Staff
 
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 6,701
Quote:
...It's been made quite clear that the main point of this entire issue is that using factory ammunition for carry/home defense is a small price to pay to eliminate a risk that, while improbable, could be quite bothersome if it came to fruition. I dont' think that's what most people think when they say or hear "grave legal danger".
Whether or not the legal danger is "grave" is a value judgment folks will need to make. But there is a real legal danger if GSR test results are important to your defense and if because you used handloads you can't get expert opinion testimony based on GSR testing into evidence.

Spats, Bart, OldMarksman and I have discussed the legal and evidentiary issues in great detail in the threads that Spats and Pax have linked to. Spats, Bart and I are lawyers. OldMarksman has a legal background and experience in legal matters. I suggest that it's a waste of all our times to again trod this already well trod path.

In this post I discussed in great detail the Bias case, why the evidentiary principles illustrated by that case are important to us even though it's not a self defense case, and the general principles applicable to the admissibility into evidence of expert opinion testimony based on scientific testing.

And in this post I pointed out a case in which a person was able to successfully defend himself in court because he didn't use handloads and was therefore able to introduce GSR test result corroborating his story.

Whatever legal risks may flow from using handloads for self defense, and however you choose to characterize them, they are completely avoidable simply by using quality factory ammunition.
Frank Ettin is offline  
Old December 28, 2011, 01:14 AM   #32
nate45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 3,746
fiddletown

I'm not arguing here and don't want a debate. You say you are a lawyer and I just want to ask you a few questions.

If someone shoots someone, with handloaded ammunition and there is a GSR issue involved. Why couldn't the remaining ammunition with the firearm, or the partial box, bag or whatever the person had at home be used as evidence?

If a person loaded a hundred rounds in virgin brass and carefully weighed each load. Why would that ammo be inconsistent or not provide good testing material?

Also, one lot of factory ammo could differ from another lot. If the forensic lab only uses ammo, that is like yours and not those, that actually were yours. What's to say that the different lot of ammo, even if it is factory and the same bullet and load, would provide reliable GSR results?

I'm not advocating handloads for defense, I just find it perplexing that with all the small boutique/designer defense ammo companies there are and all the commercial reloaders, how ones own carefully constructed handloads could be so different.

The whole way the term reloads is used in the debate, conjures up images of haphazardly constructed, oddly assorted once, or thrice fired brass and miss weighed powder charges.
__________________
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."- Thomas Jefferson
ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
(>_<)
nate45 is offline  
Old December 28, 2011, 01:21 AM   #33
Frank Ettin
Staff
 
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 6,701
Quote:
Originally Posted by nate45
'm not arguing here and don't want a debate. You say you are a lawyer and I just want to ask you a few questions....
Nate, I don't want to appear troublesome, but the questions you're asking have been answered multiple times in the various threads to which Spats and pax have linked.

It's late, and I'm tired. So why not spend some time reading those other threads. If some points are still unclear, I'll address them tomorrow or the next day.
Frank Ettin is offline  
Old December 28, 2011, 02:01 AM   #34
nate45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 3,746
I must have missed that thread that Pax linked to. I saw her link, but I thought I had already read all the handloads for defense threads.

The point about giving up your fifth amendment right if you had to testify about your handloads was a good one. Besides the possible biasing of the jury with the possible prosecutorial claim that you needed extra deadly ammunition. The giving up the fifth possibility, is one of the most compelling reasons not to use handloads for defense I've seen.
__________________
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."- Thomas Jefferson
ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
(>_<)
nate45 is offline  
Old December 28, 2011, 07:48 AM   #35
Spats McGee
Staff
 
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 5,084
While fiddletown is correct in saying that this path is well trod, I'll go down it just a little this morning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nate45
. . . .If someone shoots someone, with handloaded ammunition and there is a GSR issue involved. Why couldn't the remaining ammunition with the firearm, or the partial box, bag or whatever the person had at home be used as evidence? . . . .
Remaining in the firearm: That's part of the crime scene, and testing it would result in destruction of evidence. A big no-no.

Remaining in the box at home: If you're referring to handloads, for starters, because it would be evidence created by the defendant. As such, it's already suspect. Nobody has more reason to lie at trial than the defendant.

Evidence created by an impartial third party (Remington, Speer, etc) would not be suspect, as those third parties have no (obvious) motive to lie about what's in the cartridge. The defendant, possibly facing a long stay as a guest of the State, or perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, has very large motives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nate45
. . . .If a person loaded a hundred rounds in virgin brass and carefully weighed each load. Why would that ammo be inconsistent or not provide good testing material?
For the same reason as above: evidence created by the defendant. It's not a question of how good or consistent the reloader is, nor how good his records are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nate45
. . . .Also, one lot of factory ammo could differ from another lot. If the forensic lab only uses ammo, that is like yours and not those, that actually were yours. What's to say that the different lot of ammo, even if it is factory and the same bullet and load, would provide reliable GSR results?
That's an attack that can be made by defense counsel. If the defendant suspects that the factory load is inconsistent from other lots, he should, by all means, talk to his attorney about that! It wouldn't be hard to get a box or two from a different lot and have them tested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nate45
. . . .I'm not advocating handloads for defense, I just find it perplexing that with all the small boutique/designer defense ammo companies there are and all the commercial reloaders, how ones own carefully constructed handloads could be so different.

The whole way the term reloads is used in the debate, conjures up images of haphazardly constructed, oddly assorted once, or thrice fired brass and miss weighed powder charges.
It's not a matter of how meticulous a reloader is, nor how well he or she keeps records of the loads created. The Rules of Evidence just won't let you get that stuff in. It's evidence created by the defendant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nate45
. . . .The point about giving up your fifth amendment right if you had to testify about your handloads was a good one. Besides the possible biasing of the jury with the possible prosecutorial claim that you needed extra deadly ammunition. The giving up the fifth possibility, is one of the most compelling reasons not to use handloads for defense I've seen.
If you're claiming self-defense, you're probably going to have to testify anyway. SD is an affirmative defense, which means that the shooter's story is, in essence, "Yeah, I shot him, but I had a really good reason."
__________________
A gunfight is not the time to learn new skills.

If you ever have a real need for more than a couple of magazines, your problem is not a shortage of magazines. It's a shortage of people on your side of the argument. -- Art Eatman
Spats McGee is offline  
Old December 28, 2011, 08:51 AM   #36
OldMarksman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 8, 2008
Posts: 1,950
Quote:
Posted by Willie Lowman: I was asking if this conversation was in regard to shootings in the home or out in the street.

Spats answered my question quite clearly. Thank you.
Spats is, of course, correct in saying that the location of the shooting will not impinge upon the legal issues:
Quote:
It's not a matter of the location of the shoot. The rules of evidence remain the same, whether it's at your home, or downtown. As other posters have pointed out, there's a particular constellation of events under which this issue rears its head:
1) A shooting;
2) in which handloads were used; and
3) the now-defendant needs GSR evidence to establish distance.
I may have created some confusion here in referring to the likelihood of higher risk in the case of a defensive shooting that occurred "in the out of doors in the absence of evidence of an unlawful forced entry". Let me explain.

My thought is, if one is forced to use a firearm inside his own residence after an unlawful and forcible entry, the likelihood that a defense of justification will be thrown into question by contradictory testimony or other evidence, and in particular the likelihood that GSR patterns will prove pivotal, would probably be lower than if the shooting had occurred somewhere else.

That does not mean that the issue could not arise.

It does mean to me that one would assume greater risk in carrying ammunition that had not been loaded by a factory in an outdoor situation where the reconstruction of the incident would likely be less straightforward.
OldMarksman is offline  
Old December 28, 2011, 09:41 AM   #37
Spats McGee
Staff
 
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 5,084
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMarksman
. . . .I may have created some confusion here in referring to the likelihood of higher risk in the case of a defensive shooting that occurred "in the out of doors in the absence of evidence of an unlawful forced entry". Let me explain.

My thought is, if one is forced to use a firearm inside his own residence after an unlawful and forcible entry, the likelihood that a defense of justification will be thrown into question by contradictory testimony or other evidence, and in particular the likelihood that GSR patterns will prove pivotal, would probably be lower than if the shooting had occurred somewhere else.
As a practical matter, I think that you are correct. When the shooting happens in the shooter's home, and the person shot was previously unkown to the shooter, I think that a jury is more likely to believe that the shooting was SD. I think that's particularly true if there's evidence of a forcible entry. For that matter, I think that the police and prosecutor are also more likely to believe SD under those circumstances, as well.
__________________
A gunfight is not the time to learn new skills.

If you ever have a real need for more than a couple of magazines, your problem is not a shortage of magazines. It's a shortage of people on your side of the argument. -- Art Eatman
Spats McGee is offline  
Old December 28, 2011, 10:01 AM   #38
Don P
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 17, 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 4,792
Quote:
It's not a matter of the location of the shoot. The rules of evidence remain the same, whether it's at your home, or downtown. As other posters have pointed out, there's a particular constellation of events under which this issue rears its head:
1) A shooting;
2) in which handloads were used; and
3) the now-defendant needs GSR evidence to establish distance.

Spats McGee, THAT WAS THE HOLE POINT OF MAS'S SEGMENT!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for articulating it for me in # 3
__________________
NRA Life Member, NRA Range Safety Officer, IDPA Safety Officer
As you are, I once was, As I am, You will be.
Don P is offline  
Old December 28, 2011, 10:35 AM   #39
Frank Ettin
Staff
 
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 6,701
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spats McGee
While fiddletown is correct in saying that this path is well trod, I'll go down it just a little this morning....
Thanks, Spats. I was just out of gas last night, I'm afraid. Let me add a few comments yours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nate45
. . . .If someone shoots someone, with handloaded ammunition and there is a GSR issue involved. Why couldn't the remaining ammunition with the firearm, or the partial box, bag or whatever the person had at home be used as evidence? . . . .
In addition to the issues Spats mentioned regarding spoilage of evidence and the fact that the evidence was manufactured by the defendant, there will always be the question whether the ammunition tested was actually identical to the ammunition fired.

At least with factory ammunition from a major manufacturer, one would be able to introduce evidence regarding that manufacturer's quality control procedures. Manufacturers will have written quality control standards and testing protocols, and they will maintain logs of quality control testing. Because the manufacturer is an uninvolved third party, and because such records are routinely kept for its own business purposes, such records will be admissible as business records and have credibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nate45
. . . .Also, one lot of factory ammo could differ from another lot. If the forensic lab only uses ammo, that is like yours and not those, that actually were yours. What's to say that the different lot of ammo, even if it is factory and the same bullet and load, would provide reliable GSR results?...
Often it will be possible to establish what lot of factory ammunition was used. I keep partial boxes of the ammunition I load into magazines for defensive purposes. And ammunition makers keep back quantities of each lot. So as long as I can identify the lot the ammunition I used in self defense came from, I will probably be able to have my expert test exemplars from that same batch.

Even if you can't establish from what particular lot our Federal Hydra-Shoks came, for example, your expert could test multiple lots and compare results. If the results are wildly inconsistent, you might have some difficulties. But considering the the ammunition makers take some pains to maintain consistent velocity and pressure characteristics from lot to lot, to conform to published specifications, I doubt you'd see much inconstancy.

And you still have the opportunity to leave a trail indicating what lot you actually used.
Frank Ettin is offline  
Old December 28, 2011, 10:57 AM   #40
OldMarksman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 8, 2008
Posts: 1,950
Quote:
Posted by fiddletown: ...with factory ammunition from a major manufacturer, one would be able to introduce evidence regarding that manufacturer's quality control procedures. Manufacturers will have written quality control standards and testing protocols, and they will maintain logs of quality control testing. Because the manufacturer is an uninvolved third party, and because such records are routinely kept for its own business purposes, such records will be admissible as business records and have credibility.
That's a very key point. The existence of indpendently-generated third-party records that have been formally maintained in a secure environment under validated procedures is a major element consideration regarding admissibility.

The principles here are not at all limited to ammunition and firearms testing. The same issues may be encountered in determining the admissibility of a very wide variety of kinds of evidence, ranging from pharmaceutical test results to, believe it or not, computer-generated financial records.
OldMarksman is offline  
Old December 28, 2011, 01:37 PM   #41
Hook686
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2005
Location: USA The Great State of California
Posts: 1,930
Quote:
I'll keep my gun stoked with factory fodder since I live in a state ruled by liberals (just look at the majority of the voters here in Cali), therefore I refuse to give any additional doubt to a jury pool with the collective IQ of a gnat.


Did you graduate from UC Berkely in law ? Have you actually done a study, or do you just enjoy bashing other people ?

I carry factory ammunition in my J-Frame simply because the 5th round occasionly has jumped crimp and causes a problem. Factory rounds have never caused that problem.

If it isn't ammunition used, it would be some other 'Fear' subjective a lawyer will use to try and influence the jury to gain a favorable conviction. That is their job.
__________________
Hook686

When the number of people in institutions reaches 51%, we change sides.
Hook686 is offline  
Old December 28, 2011, 01:42 PM   #42
Glenn E. Meyer
Staff
 
Join Date: November 17, 2000
Posts: 15,686
Cease and desist commentary on snarky comments on liberals, IQ - etc.

As Pax stated we want to keep this on more sophisticated level.

If you see something, you think is not doing this - report this rather than respond.
__________________
NRA, TSRA, IDPA, NTI, Polite Soc.
http://www.teddytactical.com/archive...05_Feature.htm
Being an Academic Shooter
http://www.teddytactical.com/archive...11_Feature.htm
Being an Active Shooter
Glenn E. Meyer is offline  
Old December 28, 2011, 01:53 PM   #43
nate45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 15, 2007
Location: Illinois
Posts: 3,746
Okay, let us proceed on the presumption that whatever supply of handloads the defendant had at home were disallowed, due to evidentiary rules, chain of custody, etc.

Then why is testing a small sample of the ammunition with the firearm, or on the defendants person at the time of the shooting 'destruction of evidence'?

Testing a small sample of crime scene blood, or other fluids for DNA isn't deemed destruction of evidence. In fact I can absolutely, point to at least a few cases, I personally know of, where the original blood samples were completely used while testing for DNA matches.

I fail to see how testing two, or three rounds of spare ammo, out of even only 5-10 that remained would be ruled destruction of evidence. While at the same time, destroying biological crime scene evidence is allowed.
__________________
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."- Thomas Jefferson
ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
(>_<)
nate45 is offline  
Old December 28, 2011, 02:08 PM   #44
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 9,443
I've made my opinions made on this subject, have not changed my mind and there is no reason to re-state them.

However I can address the "destruction of evidence by testing" comments.

I've been involved in CSI for a long time, more in the lines of explosives and firearms. For the sake of argument, or keeping arguments form occuring, I'll only address the explosive part, but the procedure is the same.

When we discover a explosive device, (called IEDs now). You have a problem in court. If the device hadn't exploded, you still have to use the device as evidence. Skipping the danger aspect of a live device, you have to prove its a destructive device or prove that in fact it is a bomb. Can't do that without destroying it.

If you destroy it, (blow it up) then you have the problem of destroying evidence.

That's in theory. In reality, no one expects you to keep a bomb as evidence. You are however expected to prove its a bomb.

So whats to do:

Simple, its called filming. You take all sorts of pictures of the device, then you film the destruction of the device. Then you do a post blast investigation, gattering all the little pieces you can find. By now you have enough information to build the same bomb, only without the explosives.

Its not really that hard. And I have never ever heard of any such procedure being not allowed in court.
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old December 28, 2011, 02:35 PM   #45
OldMarksman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 8, 2008
Posts: 1,950
Quote:
Posted by Nate45: I fail to see how testing two, or three rounds of spare ammo, out of even only 5-10 that remained would be ruled destruction of evidence.
That's really not the most significant issue.

The real problem is that, unless the "spare ammo" had in fact been manufactured by a reputable third party with appropriate procedures for independently maintaining manufacturing, inspection, and lot acceptance test records, the results of testing those rounds would almost certainly not be admissible under the rules in effect today (see posts 31, 35, 39, and 40).

Secondarily, it is quite possible that the results of testing only two or three rounds would not be conclusive, either because the number of data points would be insufficient or because they would not demonstrate convincingly that the results were reliably repeatable, or both.
OldMarksman is offline  
Old December 28, 2011, 02:40 PM   #46
HKFan9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2008
Posts: 2,716
In my close personal shooting circle there are a few lawyers, 2 former Green Berets of the 5th, and a Marine who was Force Recon, another gentleman who is a LEO and shooting instructor.

All of them told me to carry factory ammo, for already stated reasons, so I do.

I keep the reloads for practice,hunting, and competition.

As Pax helpfully suggested, you can reload to match the specs of your desired commercial carry load pretty easily to practice more affordable with.

I will say I have had unfortunate experiences in my life where I have been shot at, fortunately no one was mortally injured, I didn't even fire any shots in the 3 difference instances my life was at stake. I was grazed on the leg, I have also been stabbed, and had a beer bottled smashed across my jaw. I did not fire in any of them because it was quicker and easier for me to escape., except in the event of the beer bottle where I was forced to stand my ground against 6 people. Luckily this was in a very populated area, and police responded in literally seconds. I was working at the time, and was not able to carry a firearm. I have been extremely lucky.

These instances do not make me an expert at all... do I think if I used handloads that I would end up in prison in a SD shooting... probably not. However... I want to do everything in my power to have a solid defense against being locked up for an otherwise justifiable shooting, so I use factory ammo. A lawyer will come at you any angle they can, I want to give them the least possible angles.

Ayoob IS a professional, often times called in to testify..... I would hold his word above all others.

Not everyone are firearms experts... look at the media hype in the Winchester Black Talon ammo.... that has a bad enough rap.... wait to the lawyers find out you used "Hand crafted special evil diabolic home made extra lethal incendiary hot hand loads" in your "evil black Glock".

Last edited by HKFan9; December 28, 2011 at 02:47 PM.
HKFan9 is offline  
Old December 28, 2011, 02:57 PM   #47
Spats McGee
Staff
 
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 5,084
Quote:
Originally Posted by nate45
Okay, let us proceed on the presumption that whatever supply of handloads the defendant had at home were disallowed, due to evidentiary rules, chain of custody, etc.

Then why is testing a small sample of the ammunition with the firearm, or on the defendants person at the time of the shooting 'destruction of evidence'?

Testing a small sample of crime scene blood, or other fluids for DNA isn't deemed destruction of evidence. In fact I can absolutely, point to at least a few cases, I personally know of, where the original blood samples were completely used while testing for DNA matches.

I fail to see how testing two, or three rounds of spare ammo, out of even only 5-10 that remained would be ruled destruction of evidence. While at the same time, destroying biological crime scene evidence is allowed.
Those are very good questions, and kraigwy makes excellent points. I'm not entirely sure that I have a good answer to these particular questions, but I'll give it a shot. I haven't gone off and looked at the rules of evidence for this one, but here's my "shooting-from-the-hip" answer: destructive testing will only be allowed when there's no other alternative.

As regards blood and bullets, though, we're talking about two different types of evidence here. Actual evidence, and exemplar evidence. Blood found at a crime scene is actual evidence, and there's no way to get a sample of "DNA from the blood left at the scene," except to test the blood left at the scene. So my position on that is that testing of blood or other fluids, when they are actual evidence, is destructive testing, but it is permissible destructive testing.

On the other hand, the bullet testing we're talking about is exemplar evidence. In the case of handloads that were used in a shooting, the actual cartridges used were (obviously) used up in the shooting. So those can't be tested. Any rounds that are tested, whether they're from my reloading bench, or from a manufacturer, will have to be exemplars -- used only to test whether they behave in a manner consistent with my story.

The next best thing would be, as you've surmised, cartridges either left in the gun, or on the defendant's person. Even these would be exemplars, however, because they were not actually used in the shooting. It only makes sense to test those if we (or the court or the jury) can conclude that those leftover cartridges were similar enough in design and powder load to the spent cartridges that an expert can verify, to a reasonable scientific certainty, that the spent cartridges would have behaved in a way similar to the spent cartridges. Who can attest to that? The defendant. I would not expect a prosecutor to take my word for how I loaded cartridges. Now, you may be wondering: Why would anyone load the top 3 cartridges in a magazine with a different load than the bottom 7? (Or howevermany fit in your magazine). The truth is that it wouldn't, but that doesn't matter. The prosecutor would still have to believe that the shooter loaded identical rounds all the way to the bottom of the magazine. I would not expect the prosecutor to take the shooter's word for much of anything. (Part of that is a learned response. I'm just a traffic court prosecutor, but my "defendants-lie-to-me" ratio is pretty close to 100%. I can only imagine the lies that the prosecutors hear in the courts where murders are tried.)

In the case of factory cartridges, a neutral third party can attest to that, and to all of their records regarding their processes and procedures in loading. Two, three or 20 rounds of handloads that may be in a magazine or the shooter's pocket may not be enough to establish, with reasonable scientific certainty, that the cartridges did what I claim that they did.
__________________
A gunfight is not the time to learn new skills.

If you ever have a real need for more than a couple of magazines, your problem is not a shortage of magazines. It's a shortage of people on your side of the argument. -- Art Eatman
Spats McGee is offline  
Old December 28, 2011, 03:35 PM   #48
Don P
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 17, 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 4,792
Quote:
Ayoob IS a professional, often times called in to testify..... I would hold his word above all others.

Quote:
Quote:
It's not a matter of the location of the shoot. The rules of evidence remain the same, whether it's at your home, or downtown. As other posters have pointed out, there's a particular constellation of events under which this issue rears its head:
1) A shooting;
2) in which handloads were used; and
3) the now-defendant needs GSR evidence to establish distance.


Spats McGee, THAT WAS THE HOLE POINT OF MAS'S SEGMENT!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for articulating it for me in # 3
The 2 above quotes were my reasoning for starting this thread. Just to pass along information.
__________________
NRA Life Member, NRA Range Safety Officer, IDPA Safety Officer
As you are, I once was, As I am, You will be.
Don P is offline  
Old December 28, 2011, 04:25 PM   #49
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 9,443
Ammo selection aside, if one is interested, I'd recommend going to the library and finding a book (or books, the more the merrier) on Firearms Investigation & Evidence. Read the section on "range determination from powder marks".

You'll find it interesting and a bit conflicting to the stuff you read in these "factory vs. re-loaded" ammo topics.

Aside from that:

All marksmanship, be it plinking, competition, or self defense, is 95% + Mental.

If you worry or think about Y more then you do X, then choose X, the less you have to worry about, the better you are going to preform. Thats not just shooting, but pretty much all aspects of life............................Life after all is a mental game.
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old December 28, 2011, 04:51 PM   #50
Panfisher
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 30, 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 600
I have never really thought about the factory vs. reload scenario. My Kimber lives on a diet of reloads. 230 gr. HP's (generic ones) loaded to a pretty mild velocity. I keep the Kimber loaded with them all the time. I would be hard pressed to even find more than a partial box of factory loads in my house or workshop. I know exactly where the loads will hit and what they will do. I don't see any problem with them. I am not nor have I every been a lawyer but if the prosecution opened up the issue of reloads vs. factory loads would not the defense have the right to pursue that line also. Isn't it the prosecutions job to prove the reloads are more deadly and not the defense attorney, does not the burden of proof lie with the prosecution. Any decent lab could easily disassemble one round, determine the weight and type of propellant and reproduce easily the reloads and test them to their hearts content. I would think the most oft given reason for factory loads is reliability, however I have complete confidence in my loads. I don't believe that most reloaders routinely produces reloads that are more devastating than many of the so called PD loads such as Golden Sabres or Hydra Shoks, Glasers etc. so that part doesn't concern me, however as they say your mileage may vary.
Panfisher is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14178 seconds with 7 queries