The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old September 13, 2012, 09:03 PM   #51
Marquezj16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 3, 2011
Posts: 2,088
Quote:
So, if scientific or specialized knowledge will help the jury, an expert's opinion is admissible if:
(1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data,
(2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and
(3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.
1 - a good reloading book from a refutable company should suffice
2 - reloading is a known process with a long history that is proven by the thousands of reloaders
3 - if the reload is tested by a balistics expert in a lab, that expert witness can testify on the reloaders behalf.
Marquezj16 is offline  
Old September 13, 2012, 09:41 PM   #52
droptrd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 22, 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 315
I dont let the thought of a jury influence me though i dont use my hand loads. I like hydrashok and Ranger T series.
droptrd is offline  
Old September 14, 2012, 01:42 AM   #53
iraiam
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 6, 2012
Location: Lakewood, CO
Posts: 875
I do in fact use reloads for home/self defense. My 9mm defense ammo is every bit as good as any high end 147 grain SD ammo (superior to some of it). I have loaded and fired thousands of rounds of this recipe.
iraiam is offline  
Old September 14, 2012, 06:34 AM   #54
Spats McGee
Staff
 
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 5,202
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmortimer
"The fact that the Daniel Bias case (where reloads were an issue) is not an SD case is wholly irrelevant."
Well, no, it is relevant. In Bias, a convicted killer, tried to say his wife killed herself.
Did Bias have a criminal record as a killer prior to the case involving his wife's death? What impact does his status as a "convicted killer" have on the admissibility of evidence?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmortimer
Assuming we were to believe him, or not, then the take away is that no one should reload, or put reloads in their firearms. Even an accidental shooting (this is what the prosecution argued - that it was an accidental and reckless killing)and you are toast using this "logic." Are we really going to quit reloading and assuming the answer is no, then would we dare to insert the reload into a firearm, because just doing that will cause you huge problems in court no matter what if someone gets shot. Accidents happen, and that is what the Bias case is all about in the end, and reloads are bad in every circumstance because accidents happen. You see how silly all this is. Use some common sense. So, no one use reloads under any circumstances and no one use a 10mm just because you never know what might happen.
That no one should reload is not what I take away from the Bias case. What I take a way from it is that using reloads for SD can significantly complicate one's defense, should there ever be a shooting with those reloads. The "constellation" under which that complication can arise is of a "low-probability-but-high-stakes" sort. If you're aware of some case that stands for the proposition that "a reloader's reloading data is admissible," I'll be glad to read it.

As for 10mm, I take that to be a wholly different problem. Reloads are an evidentiary issue. The 10mm case was a jury perception problem, a totally different beast.

I actually agree with this earlier statement of yours earlier statement:
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmortimer
I suppose the best practice would be to reload as close as possible to the uber-factory load that you carry and practice with the reload.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marquezj16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spats McGee
So, if scientific or specialized knowledge will help the jury, an expert's opinion is admissible if:
(1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data,
(2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods, and
(3) the witness has applied the principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case.
1 - a good reloading book from a refutable company should suffice
2 - reloading is a known process with a long history that is proven by the thousands of reloaders
3 - if the reload is tested by a balistics expert in a lab, that expert witness can testify on the reloaders behalf.
1) How will the reloading manual tell the jury what was actually loaded into the cartridge? Answer: it won't. It will only tell the jury what was recommended. For actual loading information, you'll have to turn to the reloader himself. There's a challenge to "suffient" right there.
2) You won't be allowed to bring in "thousands of reloaders." I do not doubt that the process is reliable, but the key witness to the act of reloading and the data will have to be the shooter (defendant). Reliability of the data/testimony is a problem.
3) See #1 and #2.
__________________
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 September 14, 2012, 06:59 AM   #55
Tinner666
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 12, 2012
Location: Richmond, Va.
Posts: 349
About 6 Silvertips followed by 6 FMJ. Spare clip has FMJ only. I would hope it never gets to where I'm firing the FMJ too..
__________________
Frank--
Member, GoA, NRA-ILA, SAF, NRA Life Member
Tinner666 is offline  
Old September 14, 2012, 07:01 AM   #56
Skadoosh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,776
Quote:
About 6 Silvertips followed by 6 FMJ. Spare clip has FMJ only.
I have often considered doing this....just curious as to your reasoning.
__________________
NRA Life Member (2003)
USN Retired
I think that one of the notions common to the anti-gunner is the idea that being a victim is 'noble'; as if it is better to be noble in your suffering than disruptive in your own defense.
Skadoosh is offline  
Old September 14, 2012, 10:56 AM   #57
Marquezj16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 3, 2011
Posts: 2,088
From earlier post
Quote:
I think if your load was developed to perform as the manufactured ammo (published load, chronographed and tested side by side on gel medium) your lawyer could argue that your ammo is no more deadlier than the manufacturer ammo.
Quote:
I actually agree with this earlier statement of yours earlier statement:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmortimer
I suppose the best practice would be to reload as close as possible to the uber-factory load that you carry and practice with the reload.

Quote:
Quote:
1) How will the reloading manual tell the jury what was actually loaded into the cartridge? Answer: it won't. It will only tell the jury what was recommended. For actual loading information, you'll have to turn to the reloader himself. There's a challenge to "suffient" right there.
2) You won't be allowed to bring in "thousands of reloaders." I do not doubt that the process is reliable, but the key witness to the act of reloading and the data will have to be the shooter (defendant). Reliability of the data/testimony is a problem.
3) See #1 and #2.
Today 01:42 AM
1 -the expert testifies to the validity of the load as printed in the book after testing it in a lab (read quotes above about loading as close as possible to factory spec).
2. It's not about bringing thousands of reloaders into court it's about your lawyer presenting reloading as a reliable process based on testing the process "if you load 1000 rounds, using the documented process, you get the same results". This can also be tested in a lab by an expert.

3. - again the expert testifies.
Marquezj16 is offline  
Old September 14, 2012, 11:35 AM   #58
buck460XVR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2006
Posts: 2,285
Quote:
We all have to decide for ourselves, but I'm not going to decide based on something that has never, ever happened in the history of the United States.
I agree. The guns I use for SD/HD are loaded with the ame ammo as I use for practice. My handloads. They are commercially available bullets loaded to published specs. They are also the loads I have found shoot the best outta my guns. The Daniel Bias case has nuttin' to do with self defense because it was not a SD shoot. It was a case of where the prosecutor claimed it was murder and the Defense said suicide. The reason the reloaded bullet evidence was compromised is because Daniel Bias himself said that the box of shells that he claims his wife loaded the gun with contained shells with various amounts of powder charges. Since one needs to know the powder charge to determine range from GSR, testing the bullets had no merit because the charge could not be known. Since the range could not be determined by the GSR, there was a question whether the wife held the gun to her head or Daniel Bias shot her in the head from close range. Why the 'ell folks continue to use this as a reasonable reason to not use handloads is way beyond comprehension. But, as I always say, one should always use the ammo they are most comfortable with, have the greatest amount of confidence in and functions the most accurately and reliably in the firearm they have. To me, that is my handloads that I practice with every week.

Hard to believe a jury in the world would think that someone using range ammo in their handguns is more likely a crazed killer than someone using "Zombie Killer" or "Black Talon" ammo.

Probably the same reason my local D.A. uses his own handloads in his SD firearms.
buck460XVR is offline  
Old September 14, 2012, 01:20 PM   #59
Spats McGee
Staff
 
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 5,202
Quote:
Originally Posted by buck460XVR
. . . . The Daniel Bias case has nuttin' to do with self defense because it was not a SD shoot. . . .
In what set of evidentiary rules do SD shoots get different evidentiary rules from an alleged murder?
Quote:
Originally Posted by buck460XVR
Since one needs to know the powder charge to determine range from GSR, testing the bullets had no merit because the charge could not be known. Since the range could not be determined by the GSR, there was a question whether the wife held the gun to her head or Daniel Bias shot her in the head from close range. Why the 'ell folks continue to use this as a reasonable reason to not use handloads is way beyond comprehension.
No, it's not beyond comprehension. One does need to know the powder charge to determine range from GSR. That much is true. If you're using handloads, you run the risk that such evidence will be excluded. All it takes is a finding by the judge that the data provided by the handloads is not reliable in order to exclude it. Who has more reason to lie about the powder charge? (A) A handloading shooter facing a murder charge; or (B) A subpoenaed representative from a neutral ammunition manufacturing company who faces no criminal charges.
Quote:
Originally Posted by buck460XVR
. . . .Hard to believe a jury in the world would think that someone using range ammo in their handguns is more likely a crazed killer than someone using "Zombie Killer" or "Black Talon" ammo.
But this is a problem of jury perception, not evidentiary rules. I'd avoid using any rounds for SD named "ManKiller 2000," regardless of whether they were factory rounds or handloads.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marquezj16
. . . .1 -the expert testifies to the validity of the load as printed in the book after testing it in a lab (read quotes above about loading as close as possible to factory spec).
2. It's not about bringing thousands of reloaders into court it's about your lawyer presenting reloading as a reliable process based on testing the process "if you load 1000 rounds, using the documented process, you get the same results". This can also be tested in a lab by an expert.

3. - again the expert testifies.
It's about exemplar evidence. The round(s) actually used in the shooting are no longer available for testing, of course. So it's about getting a sample of similar ammunition to use as an exemplar. It's about the possibility that the judge may simply determine that evidence created by the defendant himself (the remaining handloads) do not constitute a sufficiently reliable sample on which to base testing. Nobody in the world has more incentive to lie about how the round was loaded than the shooter/defendant. OTOH, a neutral third-party representative from a company that loads millions of rounds a year, has much less reason to lie about how one particular batch of ammunition was loaded.

For that matter, it's not even about handloads being deadlier than factory ammunition. Daniel Bias, by all accounts, used a light load because his wife was recoil-sensitive. It's about consistency in the loads, having a sufficiently reliable source for the load data, and someone who can testify about the powder charge without having to put the defendant on the stand (in the potential criminal case).

Don't misunderstand me. I understand that handloads carry significant cost savings. I'm all for that. I'm all for developing a handload that mimics a reliable, effective factory load, for practice purposes. If I had a place to handload, I'd be cranking out my own practice ammunition. What I don't think is that the risk of having potentially exculpatory evidence excluded is worth the cost.
__________________
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 September 14, 2012, 01:35 PM   #60
Tinner666
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 12, 2012
Location: Richmond, Va.
Posts: 349
Skadoosh, " Quote:
About 6 Silvertips followed by 6 FMJ. Spare clip has FMJ only.

I have often considered doing this....just curious as to your reasoning."

I just figure if I'm in a firefight after 6 rounds, somebody must be under cover and I need penetrating power. I'd like to hope that never happens. The most BG's I've faced at one time was 4 and there were two of us, and we got the drop. No shots fired and over with.
__________________
Frank--
Member, GoA, NRA-ILA, SAF, NRA Life Member
Tinner666 is offline  
Old September 14, 2012, 01:49 PM   #61
zxcvbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,215
I usually carry 158 grain soft lead hollowpoints, but sometimes I'll carry 158 grain WFN or 148 grain DEWC. All of them loaded to the upper limit of .38 Special non +P data.

For a reload I carry a speed strip or two of Fiocchi 125 grain XTP +P. They don't weigh my pocket down as much, and the jacketed bullets and nickel cases don't mess up my clothes as much as exposed lead.
__________________
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
zxcvbob is offline  
Old September 14, 2012, 02:31 PM   #62
buck460XVR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2006
Posts: 2,285
Quote:
In what set of evidentiary rules do SD shoots get different evidentiary rules from an alleged murder?
Huh? Are you asking if the rules of evidence are different for SD and Murder? If that is the question than my answer is no. The deal in the Bias case was if the distance was two feet or two inches. The difference between murder and suicide. In a SD case, the difference between two feet and two inches is irrelevant. The danger from harm is virtually the same. BTW, the murder charge against Daniel Bias was actually overturned, partly because of the lack of GSR. IOW, the use of handloads helped him. IMHO, they helped a guy get away with murder. He was later convicted of Reckless Manslaughter for pointing the gun at his wife during an argument and pulling the trigger. Several years later he was charged with a felony weapons offense possessing weapons after being prohibited because of the reckless manslaughter conviction.

Quote:
I'd avoid using any rounds for SD named "ManKiller 2000," regardless of whether they were factory rounds or handloads.

Even if the FBI or your local police force used 'em?

As I said before....folks should use what methods they are comfortable with and confident in. As long as they are legal. I believe the use of handloads is still legal. Unless you have some evidentiary rules showing they are not?

I believe in our justice system and I believe in the theory that a jury of my peers will see the truth and make their decisions based on that truth. I also believe their decision will be the same as it has been in every other SD shoot trial in our country.....that type of ammo, handloads or store bought, made do difference in the decision if the shoot was good or bad.

Last edited by buck460XVR; September 14, 2012 at 02:55 PM.
buck460XVR is offline  
Old September 14, 2012, 03:22 PM   #63
Marquezj16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 3, 2011
Posts: 2,088
Quote:
As long as they are legal. I believe the use of handloads is still legal. Unless you have some evidentiary rules showing they are not?
I agree.

To state that we should not carry handloads because of some non-existent court ruling or law is giving in to those who would pass laws to limit your rights.

BTW - My reloads are for range ammo. I don't reload 9mm so I don't have any for carry. I do reload 45 ACP but I don't carry my 1911s. I would not hesitate to use my 45 ACP reloads for HD.
Marquezj16 is offline  
Old September 14, 2012, 09:05 PM   #64
Spats McGee
Staff
 
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 5,202
Quote:
Originally Posted by buck460XVR
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spats McGee
In what set of evidentiary rules do SD shoots get different evidentiary rules from an alleged murder?
Huh? Are you asking if the rules of evidence are different for SD and Murder? If that is the question than my answer is no. The deal in the Bias case was if the distance was two feet or two inches. The difference between murder and suicide. In a SD case, the difference between two feet and two inches is irrelevant.
The point about evidentiary rules is exactly what I was driving at.

It can be just as relevant in an SD case as it was in the Bias case. These issues can come into play in any case where: (a) distance is disputed; but (b) can be resolved through the use of GSR evidence.

IIRC, the handload data didn't come in until about Bias' third trial, after he'd lost his house, his job and spent a couple of years in jail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by buck460XVR
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spats McGee
I'd avoid using any rounds for SD named "ManKiller 2000," regardless of whether they were factory rounds or handloads.
Even if the FBI or your local police force used 'em?

As I said before....folks should use what methods they are comfortable with and confident in. As long as they are legal. I believe the use of handloads is still legal. Unless you have some evidentiary rules showing they are not?
If the police or FBI used them . . . quite possibly. That, however, is a jury perception problem, not one based on evidentiary problems.

Handloads are entirely legal. I've never claimed otherwise. That doesn't make them a good idea. It's also entirely legal to use Q-tips as your home defense system. Surely that doesn't seem like a good idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by buck460XVR
. . . . I believe in our justice system and I believe in the theory that a jury of my peers will see the truth and make their decisions based on that truth. I also believe their decision will be the same as it has been in every other SD shoot trial in our country.....that type of ammo, handloads or store bought, made do difference in the decision if the shoot was good or bad.
I believe in giving my attorney every advantage that I can. I believe in stacking the deck against an ignorant or overzealous prosecutor as much as I ethically and honestly can. That means planning ahead to not have potentially exculpatory evidence excluded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marquezj16
To state that we should not carry handloads because of some non-existent court ruling or law is giving in to those who would pass laws to limit your rights.
Sorry, but I don't see it as "giving in." Were I to state that "thereoughtabealaw" prohibiting handloads, that'd be giving in. All I'm doing is trying to make sure that my (potential) attorney has every available tool at his disposal, even if I have to educate him on how to use them.

And the ruling isn't non-existent. You and others may disagree with the judge's ruling in Bias, but it's out there. There are two things to consider: (1) it's one of the few cases out there in which this has arisen; and (2) exclusion of exemplar evidence based on a handloader's data is consistent with the principles underlying the evidentiary rules.
__________________
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 September 14, 2012, 09:09 PM   #65
Father Time
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 21, 2007
Posts: 632
I think this is being overthought.

Just buy a hollowpoint that is reliable and common. Ammo found at walmart marked "for self defense" would be hard to hold against you in court.
Father Time is offline  
Old September 14, 2012, 09:28 PM   #66
FM12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 5, 2007
Location: Monroeville, Alabama
Posts: 1,606
I carry my own reloads. Period.
FM12 is offline  
Old September 14, 2012, 09:40 PM   #67
PT-92
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 20, 2007
Location: "Undisclosed Bunker"
Posts: 1,429
As Long As It's Legal

I just want to preface this by saying that I realize as the OP states the "potential" ramifications of using anything other than FMJ. That being siad, I don't worry about that "possibility" so I do my research/due-diligence and select and carry the ammo that I believe will best preserve life by ending the threat.

Of late I have become completely enamored with Hornady's new line of ammo called "Critical Duty." I have long looked for a load that filled in the hollow-point with material ("flexlock") so as to avoid any potential for feeding issues while still being of a weight which I felt would provide the necessary penetration and expansion. Hornady's Critical Duty 9mm Flexlock 135gr load is arguably the best on the market and all of the ballistic tests demonstrate its effectiveness.
__________________
NRA Life Member
“A free people ought...to be armed..."
George Washington
PT-92 is offline  
Old September 14, 2012, 10:13 PM   #68
Marquezj16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 3, 2011
Posts: 2,088
Spats - you are entitled to your opinion but that does not make it a fact. Your argument for why one should not carry hand loads have no solid evidence. You are free to chose your own defense as I am free to chose mine.

I am going to agree to diagree with you and leave it at that.

As far as why I posted this thread, it's to see what people carry and to ask if having to explain their choice to a jury plays a part in their decision. Looks like the majority carry what they like or what functions with their gun and are not worried of having to explain their ammo choice to a jury.
Marquezj16 is offline  
Old September 14, 2012, 10:21 PM   #69
Marquezj16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 3, 2011
Posts: 2,088
@PT92 - I bought some Critical Duty also based on the advertisement and shot 25 rounds out of my 92FS Compact. All five groups of five rounds were less than 2" at 7 yards. 100% function. I like it and carry it in my 92FS now.
Marquezj16 is offline  
Old September 14, 2012, 10:51 PM   #70
Spats McGee
Staff
 
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 5,202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marquezj16
Spats - you are entitled to your opinion but that does not make it a fact. Your argument for why one should not carry hand loads have no solid evidence. You are free to chose your own defense as I am free to chose mine.
I have never claimed that you were not free to choose. I am claiming that there is a risk (not a certainty) that potentially exculpatory evidence could be excluded where handloads have been used. I am also asserting that a court may well consider a neutral third-party to be more credible and reliable than a murder suspect. Do you claim that there is no such risk? Are you actually claiming, to some reasonable degree of certainty, that a handloader's data will be (not could be) admissible in court? I have yet to see a case, from any jurisdiction, in which the handloader's data was admitted for testing & GSR purposes. If you know of one, trot it on out. I'll be happy to read it.

There are many opinions on this, but not all opinions are equal. A great deal of the practice of law involves reading cases that aren't aren't exactly like the one we have at hand, and extrapolating. figuring out what we think the result in our case will be. I am not sure what you require in order for there to be "solid evidence," but what little case law is out there says that handloads are a bad idea.
__________________
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 September 15, 2012, 12:21 AM   #71
glockguy18
Junior Member
 
Join Date: September 13, 2012
Posts: 6
Critical Defense. Thats what they are for. And just in case I keep a mag of Zombie Max.
glockguy18 is offline  
Old September 15, 2012, 01:52 AM   #72
wayneinFL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2004
Posts: 1,935
Quote:
The deal in the Bias case was if the distance was two feet or two inches. The difference between murder and suicide. In a SD case, the difference between two feet and two inches is irrelevant. The danger from harm is virtually the same.
I don't see how you could argue that GSR evidence can't be a factor. GSR is being used in the Zimmerman case as a matter of fact. You might argue the level of risk. Then try to weigh that risk against the benefit of carrying reloads. Then make your decision whether to carry reloads based on your personal assessment.

The only reason you don't see a lot of self-defense/murder cases involving reloads is just that not very many people get into shootings carrying handloads for self defense.

Any self defense criminal trial is a murder case or a manslaughter case, by the way.

Last edited by wayneinFL; September 15, 2012 at 01:59 AM.
wayneinFL is offline  
Old September 15, 2012, 09:55 AM   #73
jmortimer
Junior member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2010
Location: South West Riverside County California
Posts: 2,763
"The only reason you don't see a lot of self-defense/murder cases involving reloads is just that not very many people get into shootings carrying handloads for self defense."
Fake fact pulled out of thin air. There are no facts to support your opinion. The reality is that in most every self-defense shooting, no one cares what ammunition was used. A good shoot is a good shoot. No one cares what ammunition or gun was used if the gun/ammunition was legal. What we do know is that there are far more accidental shootings than self-defense shootings and therefore, no one should reload, or use a 10mm. If your dare to reload and dare to insert the reload into a firearm, you are could, possibly get in trouble, because you should never shoot someone with a reload even by accident. You are far more likely to shoot someone by accident. So, again, the take-away from the anti-reload "logic" is never reload. Quit reloading now, forthwith. And don't use a 10mm.

Last edited by jmortimer; September 15, 2012 at 10:00 AM.
jmortimer is offline  
Old September 15, 2012, 10:10 AM   #74
buck460XVR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2006
Posts: 2,285
Quote:
I don't see how you could argue that GSR evidence can't be a factor. GSR is being used in the Zimmerman case as a matter of fact.
I didn't say GSR was not a factor. I said the difference between 2'' and 2' is not a factor in SD cases because the threat from harm from a attacker is the same. In the Zimmerman case the GSR is being used to determine if indeed Martin was on top of him[2'' to 2') as opposed to 20 feet away.


Quote:
You might argue the level of risk. Then try to weigh that risk against the benefit of carrying reloads. Then make your decision whether to carry reloads based on your personal assessment.

That is what the thread is all about. Folks arguing the level of risk of using reloads for SD. I have weighed that risk many times in more than one process of making my decision. I am comfortable with my assessment and respect the right of others to disagree and make other decisions that concern the safety and welfare of themselves and their loved ones. I only ask they do the same.

Over the years I have been told the use of reloads in a SD shoot will turn it from SD to Murder. I have been told the polishing of the trigger on my CCW revolver and the reduced springs in the 1911 on my nightstand will turn a good SD shoot into murder. None of these things has been done with the intent to kill someone. They have only been done to make my firearms more accurate and more reliable, at the range, in the field or in my home against potential attackers. IMHO, increased reliability and accuracy reduces the risk to me more than the potential increase of risk from what some claim "could happen in a worst case scenario". Especially since the "could happen" never has.

No where in this thread have I said that X-Brand ammo is the best. No where have I told others that they need to use reloads. Hell, I never even suggested it. I just said they work the best for me. In the one in a million chance I need to use my SD weapon, and after that, the one in a trillion chance the DA will make an issue outta my reloads and I end up in jail after saving my life and/or the life of my loved ones.....so be it, and ol' Spats can come visit me and say I told you so.
buck460XVR is offline  
Old September 15, 2012, 11:19 AM   #75
Frank Ettin
Staff
 
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 6,914
Quote:
Originally Posted by buck460XVR
...In a SD case, the difference between two feet and two inches is irrelevant...
The issue can indeed come up in a self defense case.

For example, see this post by Marty Hayes on another board:
Quote:
I'll jump in here, although I expect my words to fall on deaf ears. I am scheduled to testify at a 1st degree assault trial in April, and pursuant to that testimony, I must conduct testing with a Glock 19 and Silvertip ammunition. It is critical for the defense to show the distance from the shooter to the shootee, and that should be done with a reasonable degree of acuracy BECAUSE I CAN USE THE SAME GUN/AMMO COMBO as the shooter/defendant. If he hadn't been using Silvertips, my testimony would be more open to being discredited, (as the DA tried to do in the first trial). This is a re-trial, due to a hung jury on the first one.

But, while I won't use handloads for self-defense, I certainly don't mind if you do. At $150 per hour of expert witness time, I like the idea that much more testing or work would have to be done to accomplish what might need to be accomplish. And, at private attorney rates of $250 er hour, how much more time will your attorney have to spend trying to explain to the jury why your use of handloads shouldn't be a factor?

For one hour of attorney time, you can use factory loads for the rest of your life....
And there was the case of Randy Willems. In about 1990, police Corporal Randy Willems of he Davenport, Iowa PD was able to successfully show he shot his accuser in self defense, and thus win acquittal, because he used factory ammunition and was able to introduce into evidence expert opinion based on GSR testing that supported his story. Here's what Massad Ayoob said about that case, as quoted by Bartholomew Roberts in this post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mas Ayoob
....Iowa v. Cpl. Randy Willems

A man attempted to disarm and murder Corporal Randy Willems of the Davenport, IA Police Department, screaming “Give me your (expletive deleted) gun, I’ll blow your (expletive deleted) brains out.” Willems shot him during the third disarming attempt, dropping him instantly with one hit to the abdomen from a department issue factory round, Fiocchi 9mm 115 grain JHP +P+. The subject survived and stated that the officer had shot him for nothing from a substantial distance away. GSR testing showed conclusively that the subject’s torso was approximately 18” from the muzzle of the issue Beretta 92 when it discharged. Randy was acquitted of criminal charges in the shooting at trial in 1990. Two years later, Randy and his department won the civil suit filed against them by the man who was shot.

I use this case when discussing handloads because it is a classic example of how the replicability of factory ammunition, in the forensic evidence sense, can annihilate false allegations by the “bad guy” against the “good guy” who shot him. The records of State of Iowa v. Corporal Randy Willems are archived in the Iowa District Court in Scott County, Davenport, Iowa. Those from the civil suit, Karwoski v. Willems and the City of Davenport, should be at the Iowa Civil Court of Scott County, also located in Davenport, Iowa....
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmortimer
"The only reason you don't see a lot of self-defense/murder cases involving reloads is just that not very many people get into shootings carrying handloads for self defense."
Fake fact pulled out of thin air. There are no facts to support your opinion. The reality is that in most every self-defense shooting, no one cares what ammunition was used....
No one care? Now that sounds like a fake fact pulled out of thin air.

The threshold question is how often has handloaded ammunition been used in an incident in which self defense was claimed and which went to trial?

Historical research is helpful only if there's sufficient historical data. If the question is something like, "Is a private citizen who shoots someone and claims self defense more likely to be charged if he used handloads compared with factory ammunition?", or "Is a private citizen who shoots someone and claims self defense more likely to be convicted at trial if he used handloads compared with factory ammunition?", the availability of useful data depends on (1) a large enough sample of private citizens having shot someone in claimed self defense; and (2) a large enough subset of those private citizens having used handloads.

I suggest that the vast majority of people who keep guns for self defense aren't enthusiasts and use commercial ammunition. Indeed, even many of the members here, who are enthusiasts, use commercial ammunition for self defense.

Just because there is insufficient historical data doesn't mean that professionals can't draw reasoned conclusions about how likely a particular result might be under certain circumstance. Indeed, it often happens in the practice of law that a particular issue of interest has not previously been addressed by an appellate court, and one must make a reasoned judgment without the guidance of on point precedent.

As Nassim Nicholas Taleb points out repeatedly in his books Fooled by Randomness, the Hidden Role of Chance (Random House, 2004) and The Black Swan, the Impact of the Highly Improbable (Random House, 2007), "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." Taleb, a securities trader and professor at the University of Massachusetts, provides some interesting and useful insights into strategies for dealing with rare events.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmortimer
...A good shoot is a good shoot...
We really need to stifle this "a good shoot is a good shoot" business.

You will not have the final say on whether or not your use of lethal force was justified. Other people will be deciding that. So if you think you were justified but the DA and/or grand jury disagree, it's not a "good shoot" unless your trial jury decides that it was. See, for example --

This couple, arrested in early April and finally exonerated under Missouri's Castle Doctrine in early June. And no doubt after incurring expenses for bail and a lawyer, as well as a couple of month's anxiety, before being cleared.

Larry Hickey, in gun friendly Arizona: He was arrested, spent 71 days in jail, went through two different trials ending in hung juries, was forced to move from his house, etc., before the DA decided it was a good shoot and dismissed the charges.

Mark Abshire in Oklahoma: Despite defending himself against multiple attackers on his own lawn in a fairly gun-friendly state with a "Stand Your Ground" law, he was arrested, went to jail, charged, lost his job and his house, and spent two and a half years in the legal meat-grinder before finally being acquitted.

Harold Fish, also in gun friendly Arizona: He was still convicted and sent to prison. He won his appeal, his conviction was overturned, and a new trial was ordered. The DA chose to dismiss the charges rather than retry Mr. Fish.

Gerald Ung: He was attacked by several men, and the attack was captured on video. He was nonetheless charged and brought to trial. He was ultimately acquitted.

Some good folks in clear jeopardy and with no way to preserve their lives except by the use of lethal force against other humans. Yet that happened under circumstances in which their justification for the use of lethal force was not immediately clear. While each was finally exonerated, it came at great emotional and financial cost. And perhaps there but for the grace of God will go one of us.

And note also that two of those cases arose in States with a Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law in effect at the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marquezj16
...1 -the expert testifies to the validity of the load as printed in the book after testing it in a lab (read quotes above about loading as close as possible to factory spec).
2. It's not about bringing thousands of reloaders into court it's about your lawyer presenting reloading as a reliable process based on testing the process "if you load 1000 rounds, using the documented process, you get the same results". This can also be tested in a lab by an expert.

3. - again the expert testifies....
If you used handloads, your expert probably wouldn't even get to testify, and certainly not as you suggest.

The issue here is the use of expert opinion about how something happened based on the testing or exemplars. The only way such opinion could be relevant and therefore admissible evidence in a trial would be if it could be established to the satisfaction of the judge that the exemplars were substantially identical to whatever was used in the event that is the subject of the trial.

A core principle of the rules of evidence requires that an expert opinion based on a scientific test be relevant. And for that opinion to be relevant, it must be established that it is based on a controlled and scientifically valid test that in all material respects duplicates the situation that is the subject of the trial.

So when the question is the distance from which a shot was fired, and the expert will be offering an opinion on that question based on GSR produced by firing exemplar rounds, that opinion can only be relevant if it can be established that the exemplar rounds were substantially identical to the round or rounds fired in the event that is the subject of the trial. Otherwise, how could the expert form a meaningful opinion about what actually happened?

If handloads were fired in the event, the only evidence of the characteristics of those rounds must come from the defendant, an extremely interested party. And therefore the only way the rounds fired could be connected with any exemplars used for testing would be through the defendant, an extremely interested party. The claim that the exemplars tested matched the round fired in the event is therefore suspect and inadequate to establish an acceptable foundation for the admission into evidence of expert opinion testimony based on the testing of those exemplars. There would be no independent verification that what was tested was anything like what was used in the event.

If identified commercial ammunition was fired in the event, there would be independent verification, through the manufacturer, that the exemplars tested substantially matched what was used in the event.
__________________
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
Frank Ettin 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 03:24 PM.


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 0.19339 seconds with 8 queries