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Old July 1, 2013, 10:53 AM   #1
garryc
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Sd 38 ammo reloads.

Well, it's come down to it. I have to load SD ammo for the 38 special +P. Probably Bluedot or Unique lit with a Remington 5-1/2 primer in the 3" GP-100 with a 140 or 158 grain HP. I will be very careful with these loads. I'm using components on hand.

On the good side, I can actually practice with these because they are not $30 for a 20 round box. I have a bunch of Remington 158's and I think 140's. I like this because I can actually practice with the carry load so I know exactly how it acts.

On the speculative legal argument, no way anyone could say I am trying to make a super powerful round because I'm firing it in a 357 mag. If I wanted to take the gun to it's maximum then I would use my stash of 160 grain Speer half jackets and push them hard. I would do that but my wife would be firing it and she has trouble with full power 357's

So, the cases will match and all will be polished. The primer pockets cleaned. Each round will be loaded then weighed to make sure no errors exist. Every round will be cycled through the gun to avoid hangups.
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Old July 1, 2013, 11:30 AM   #2
Don P
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Search function will give a lot of info and opinion on reloads for SD. My personal opinion is only factory ammo for SD.
This particular subject has been beaten to death and then some on this forum. Factory ammo is cheap insurance for SD. Again just my opinion.
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Old July 1, 2013, 02:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
I have to load SD ammo for the 38 special +P.
Huh? How are you compelled to do anything of the sort?

And if you think you have somehow immunized yourself from criminal charges and/or civil litigation associated with the use of reloaded ammunition just because you are scrupulous in your reloading practices, well...I've got a bridge to sell you.
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Old July 1, 2013, 02:31 PM   #4
SaxonPig
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I load my own SD ammo in 38 Special. I live in a state where criminals are not rewarded and don't worry too much about it becoming an issue. But the possibility exists. If I lived in a blue state I wouldn't do it.

The argument is that to afford ammo to practice and thus be safe, reloading was necessary. Not trying to produce flamethrower loads, just trying to be economical so more practice is available and this is a safety issue.
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Old July 1, 2013, 02:37 PM   #5
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This issue has been beaten well enough that I even created an Archive Regarding Reloads and Self Defense. There's a wealth of information and argument in those threads. FWIW, my personal suggestion would be to use reloads (loaded to perform as close as you can get to a reputable factory load), but to use factory loads for SD/carry.
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Old July 1, 2013, 05:08 PM   #6
DaleA
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Quote:
So, the cases will match and all will be polished. The primer pockets cleaned. Each round will be loaded then weighed to make sure no errors exist. Every round will be cycled through the gun to avoid hangups.
Well and good but IMhO you might be obsessing a bit. Have you had any trouble with your regular reloads? And what is this 'every round will be cycled through the gun..." we are talking about a revolver here aren't we?
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Old July 1, 2013, 08:23 PM   #7
45_auto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garryc
On the speculative legal argument, no way anyone could say I am trying to make a super powerful round because I'm firing it in a 357 mag.
Any lawyer who wants can claim that you were trying to make a super powerful round, and you will have an extremely difficult (and expensive) time trying to prove them wrong.

The lawyer will say "Mr. Garryc was not satisfied with the performance of factory 357 ammo, so he used a smaller 38 special case loaded to even higher pressure than 357 Magnums to make a super powerful gut buster killer round!".

They will then introduce the evidence of how the 357 was developed about 90 years ago (from overloaded 38 Specials, 158 grains at 1400 FPS - today's factory 158 grain 357's only do about 1250 FPS) and claim that you were doing the same thing. Now, since you were using reloaded ammo and have no factory process documentation to prove the pressure that the killer round was operating at, it'll be up to your lawyer to persuade the jury that there was really some good reason that you ignored the advice of every reputable SD trainer in the world and used your "special" loads instead of factory loads (good luck claiming "but it was loaded just like all these others here on my loading bench" - can you prove that?).

Hopefully you have a good, cheap lawyer on retainer!

They WILL pick apart your gun and ammo if you ever have to use it. Here's the forensic report on Zimmerman's gun and ammo, can you imagine the smile on the prosecuter's face if Zimmerman had been using some undocumented handload instead of factory S&B?

http://lawofselfdefense.com/flde-for...-fatal-bullet/

History of the 357 Magnum:

http://www.americanrifleman.org/arti...ry-357-magnum/

Quote:
Phil Sharpe, a noted gun writer of the time and a member of the NRA Technical Staff, felt the .38/44 was capable of much better performance—read: higher velocity. Elmer Keith thought so as well, and both men separately began working up hotter loads that approached 1,400 fps with a 158-grain bullet.

Last edited by 45_auto; July 1, 2013 at 08:36 PM.
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Old July 1, 2013, 08:33 PM   #8
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Ya because Factory ammo is so cheap.. Just grows on trees its so cheap and available..

Cant find any SD ammo in my town for my .38spc, and its the only gun I have currently. I do have plenty of LSWC reloads.. Guess im screwed then..

I think its bullcrap that I cant use reloads for self defense. Why should it be a negative at all? Why, it makes no sense. If some dude is coming at me with a knife, and I pop him, why would the da care if I was using reloads or not? Especially if its a clear case of Self defense.
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Old July 1, 2013, 08:45 PM   #9
45_auto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordis
I think its bullcrap that I cant use reloads for self defense.
You can use them. Lots of people do. Nothing wrong with knowing the possible disadvantages of your choices so you can make an informed decision. If you're ever involved in a shooting, the cost of the most expensive box of factory loads you can imagine will seem unbelievably cheap in comparison to the first couple of hours of lawyer's fees discussing your ammo choice, not to mention the cost of the expert witnesses to defend your actions. Below is from a friend's webpage who is an expert witness in firearms cases. Figure he'll get a minimum of a couple of days prep time and a couple of days sitting around waiting to be called at the trial:

Quote:
(4) Retainer information:
Appx. Number of times retained by claimant's counsel: 7

Appx. Number of times retained by defense counsel: 38

(7) Usual and customary fee: $200.00/hour preparation time/$1800.00/day testimony time

(8) AREAS OF EXPERTISE AND EXPERIENCE

Note - Letter codes used in front of the subject mean:
[ T ] Testified in court or at depositions on the subject;
[ R ] Retained as a consultant, but have not testified on the subject.
[ Q ] Qualified to testify or consult on the subject, but have not served as a paid consultant.

[T} Use of deadly force and force not likely to cause death

[T] Police practices and customs

[T] Firearms and Tactics

[T] SWAT and Tactical Team Operations

[T] Off-Duty Weapon Management

[T] Administrative Negligence

[T] Batons, Flashlights, and other Impact Weapons

[R] Firearms Range Design

[T] Insufficient or Inadequate Training

[Q] Physical Fitness and Training
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordis
Why should it be a negative at all? Why, it makes no sense.
Google "reloads for self defense". It's been covered MANY times. Or just look here:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=452627

Quote:
Originally Posted by mordis
Especially if its a clear case of Self defense.
How much clearer a case of self defense can you imagine than some guy sitting on top of you beating your head on the concrete and stating that he was going to kill you? Ask George Zimmerman how well that's worked out for him.

Last edited by 45_auto; July 1, 2013 at 09:07 PM.
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Old July 2, 2013, 08:29 AM   #10
SgtLumpy
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Quote:
Cant find any SD ammo in my town for my .38spc, and its the only gun I have currently. I do have plenty of LSWC reloads.. Guess im screwed then..
They sell ammo on that interweb thing.


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Old July 2, 2013, 09:01 AM   #11
BigD_in_FL
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^^^^^ Yep, try looking around, you can find all SORTS of things on the internet, including ammo
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Old July 2, 2013, 09:07 AM   #12
hardhat harry
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http://www.gunbot.net/ammo/38special
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Old July 2, 2013, 09:36 AM   #13
Bob Wright
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Nobody has ever approached the fact that the ammunition used must be prooved to be handloaded. Very few have the ability to do that. Even the powder used by ammunition companies is not consistant and varies from lot to lot.

Suppose the bullet and case were manufactured by Winchester, can the spent primer be identified positively as non-Winchester? It is highly doubtful. Do you ask the defendant? Fifth Amendment

And how often does the ammunition come into play? I know of two men who were involved in fatal shootings, and their ammunition was never questioned. And a recent Wrongful Death Suit was thrown out of court as the accused had commited no crime.

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Old July 2, 2013, 09:53 AM   #14
garryc
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I did not say CCW ammo, I carry an XD sub 40 or a Sig p250 sub compact for that. This is in the house only, the gun I keep at my computer desk. Ohio is a castle doctrine state and the ranges are fixed by the size of the rooms.

I keep a loaded weapon in every room somewhere, by the bed is a 12 ga loaded with #1 buck and I keep my 40 XD there when I'm at home. This 357 is actually in a holster screwed to the underside of my desk top.
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Old July 2, 2013, 09:59 AM   #15
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I don't want to veer too far off into the "Self-Defense & Reloads" legal issue, but . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Wright
Nobody has ever approached the fact that the ammunition used must be prooved to be handloaded. Very few have the ability to do that. Even the powder used by ammunition companies is not consistant and varies from lot to lot.

Suppose the bullet and case were manufactured by Winchester, can the spent primer be identified positively as non-Winchester? It is highly doubtful. Do you ask the defendant? Fifth Amendment
First: A defendant in a SD case is unlikely to effectively assert the A5. In most jurisdictions, SD is an affirmative defense, which places the burden on the defendant to prove that he or she met all of the legal requirements to prevail. Doing so will almost always entail the defendant testifying. Defending a self-defense shooting is very different from defending a normal criminal charge.

Second: Two options: (1) Why not simply ask the crime lab technicians? I'm not a ballistics technician, but I'm going to hazard a guess that extractors, ejectors, or other somethingorothers in a firearm would leave some kind of markings on a case. If you've got more than one extractor mark, then a casing has been fired more than once. (2) If the execution of a search warrant at the shooter's home (not all that unlikely if the shooter is charged with murder) turns up a reloading bench and all the other trimmings of reloading, that might also lend credence to a theory that the shooter was using reloads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Wright
And how often does the ammunition come into play? I know of two men who were involved in fatal shootings, and their ammunition was never questioned. And a recent Wrongful Death Suit was thrown out of court as the accused had commited no crime.
In all likelihood, it's very rare. At the same time, I would not call the risks non-existent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by garryc
I did not say CCW ammo, I carry an XD sub 40 or a Sig p250 sub compact for that. This is in the house only, the gun I keep at my computer desk. Ohio is a castle doctrine state and the ranges are fixed by the size of the rooms.
The risks posed by reloads remain the same whether we're talking about CCW or home defense, but that's really beside the point of this thread. My apologies for the thread veer, garryc.
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Old July 2, 2013, 10:12 AM   #16
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I think the arguments against handloads are mostly nonsense that can be easily countered by a good attorney.

I use what suits me, and the ability to practice with your SD loads is an advantage that can also be used for defense. Don't care what Mas says.

Jerry
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Old July 2, 2013, 10:24 AM   #17
garryc
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I think about the argument of how far away from the target where you. Well, that might have a little bearing on a revolver, but with an auto they sure can tell the difference by where the brass lands.
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Old July 2, 2013, 08:27 PM   #18
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I think the only situation that would release you from "Building " Killer ammo would be the argument that you have factory ammo for social work and in the heat of the moment you grabbed some "Hunting" ammo and loaded the gun with it instead. That way you could use your Handloads and maybe come up clean.
You'd BETTER have some factory H.D ammo on hand to support your claim!
Also you must never disclose that you are building speial high preformance ammo with the intent on using it on bad guys. You must appear clean.
The best way is to just buy really good H/D ammo and pratice with it so you are clean!
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Old July 2, 2013, 08:33 PM   #19
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The "Killer Handloads" issue is only one aspect of the problem with using handloads for SD. The other arises in evidentiary matters, should there be a dispute over the distance at which the shooter fired the shot. That's all covered in various threads in the Archive Regarding Reloads and Self Defense.
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Old July 3, 2013, 10:31 AM   #20
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Somewhere...anywhere...I would like to see a proponent of SD reloads show us a load with measurably greater terminal performance than any comparable factory load. And I don't mean only higher velocity - anyone can load a round hot, but bullets perform best at certain velocity ranges - and if you exceed that range it is quite possible the bullet will not perform optimally.

So...again...show us your SD handloads that are dramatically better than the comparable modern factory SD loads?
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Old July 3, 2013, 11:34 AM   #21
Don P
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All I'll add to this is this. Zimmerman is now in court battle for his freedom in a SD shooting trial. I would say that that is more than enough of a burden to bear and deal with. I would not want to imagine the addition of reloads as the ammo used in this case.
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Old July 3, 2013, 12:00 PM   #22
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Quote:
I think the arguments against handloads are mostly nonsense that can be easily countered by a good attorney.
Very true.
How many additional billable hours by that good attorney could be avoided by simply spending $30 on factory carry ammo?

It's not that reloads, in and of themselves, will get one convicted. It's that it's a potentially expensive distraction from what could otherwise be a cut & dried SD case. Lord help you if it's a complicated SD case.
Take Zimmerman, he (as far as we know) was not using reloads. His life is ruined for the foreseeable future as it is. Even if he is acquitted of all charges, he is financially ruined and will very likely have various people attempting to prey on him in any number of ways. Now, just for entertainment value, imagine how much more fun he would be having if he would have thrown reloaded ammo into the equation.

Reloads are simply one more potential variable to deal with. Why? To save a couple bucks on ammo costs?
What problem is being solved by reloads that outweighs the potential complications?
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Old July 3, 2013, 07:51 PM   #23
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2 things I can remember from readin Ayoob's stuff in the gun rags.

One was the fight it takes to prove, (it might be accepted now) that reloads are not "more dangerous" than factory. Get real... It's a gun, it's designed for death.

The other was a case that a guy reloaded (down) into 38 +p cases and his wive / gf committed suicide. Case was something like he did it because of the +p powder residue... wish I could remember.

Personally, I talk to a few of my local PD and find out what they use in their duty gun, and what they use in the BUG that I have in my caliber. That way I do not really have to fight that fight.
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Old July 3, 2013, 10:51 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dondor
. . . . The other was a case that a guy reloaded (down) into 38 +p cases and his wive / gf committed suicide. Case was something like he did it because of the +p powder residue... wish I could remember. . . .
That was the Daniel Bias case.
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Old July 3, 2013, 11:52 PM   #25
SSA
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Quote:
Bluedot or Unique lit with a Remington 5-1/2 primer in the 3" GP-100 with a 140 or 158 grain HP
Sounds reasonable. I would think Unique with a lead bullet, Blue Dot with jacketed.
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