This is a discussion on reloaded ammo for carry gun within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by glockman10mm Mas Ayoob wrote about this some years ago. Since his article, it has morphed into one of the most misunderstood and ...
Personally I wouldn't use homemade rounds for SD purposes. There are way too many good manufactured SD rounds on the market and I can't imagine that I could hand load a round that would be so much more effective that it would be worth it. I don't really worry about my rounds going bang, being accurate or even any additional legal complications. It's more a matter of why reinvent the wheel when there are really good ones out there already.
Now for range time, 99.5% of the rounds going through my SD weapon are handloads.
...because you never know when the king of England might come looking for back taxes.
- Richard L. Johnson
One good reason to reload ammo is cost. For that stupid little 20 round box you pay $25 or more, I can load 100, and, by paying attention to the detail of each cartridge, can do it better.
Or if I want to use the same bullet, it costs me about half.
Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.
I couldn't find any 135gr +p Speer short barrel JHP anywhere for my LCR so I made some. Much cheaper.
Interesting opinions. Even though I said in the OP that I held the notion you shouldn't do it if your life depended on it, I've been known to carry reloaded ammo in a pinch. God help me if one day I hear that "click" and no "boom" if I ever get stuck. I do trust my remanufactuing practices though.
I trust my own reloads 110% more than I do some mass produced factory rounds that i have no idea who did the quality control on, if they were pissed at their wife or boss that day, or sleeping on the job.
Depends much on Location.
If your state is hostile or not friendly to self defense, then I may think twice about reloaded ammo in a carry gun.
Here in the Arizona, I don't give it a second thought.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. Albert Einstein
"People in Arizona carry guns," said a Chandler police spokesman. "You better be careful about who you are picking on."
No for me. I do have a stash of new brass, Barnes 45ACP bullets loaded as a last resort in the event I cannot get more factory rounds. I also Chamber Check every round before it goes into my gun whether reloaded or factory. I have come across a few badly crimped factory FMJ and Social Ammo in the last several years. Any one of those bullets would have taken my gun down and would have required an effort to get it cleared to function.
Praise the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle --- Psalm 144
NRA Endowment Life
There are NO Silver Medals for Street Combat
Here in rural Louisiana I worry less about the possible legal implications of reloads than I worry about ammo that malfunctions. In revolvers, I've gotten excellent reliability from both factory & hand loads, but I've experienced more problems with factory ammo than with my hand loads.
With off-the-shelf autos and their ammo, I've had far more reliability problems than with revolvers. My RIA 1911 malfunctioned WAY too often for SD, until I finished breaking it in with about 400 rds of my LSWC reloads. Now it shoots factory ammo well, too.
Like bmcgilvray, I have enjoyed the heck out of playing with the old .38 S&W. I've developed a load for my 4" guns using the Speer GDHP-SB 135g at just over 860 fps, and use 200g LSWC ammo in my snubbies in that caliber. I usually carry both guns, partly as a hedge against malfunction.
The 1911 and a .44 SPL N-frame are my HD guns, and my hand loads in the 44 use Matt's 250g LHP at 780 fps. They expand to well over .70 caliber in water, even after passing thru 4 layers of T-shirt material, and are easy to shoot fast. As soon as I run several hundred 230g LSWC's thru my 1911 at about 800-850 fps--somewhat hotter than my practice ammo mentioned earlier--that's what I'll load in that gun for HD. I may replace it with hand loaded Hornady 200 or 230 JHP's or Matt's 200g LHP's, but that's because I can afford to load & fire them in quantities that allow me to verify that they work w/o problems in my pistol.
For my concealed carry revolvers, I bring along spare ammo for one main reason: there are certain areas around here in which a BG's friends would reach the scene before the police. I don't want to have an empty gun if they arrive first. Sounds crazy, I know, but I live just upriver from Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and I've seen the changes wrought by KATRINA since 2005.
PS: I'm breaking in a Charter Pug 44 and Pug 357 for carry in our hot, humid summers. The 357 carries a 135g GDHP-SB factory duplicate loadk, and the 44 is loaded with 240g LSWC's with a huge meplat at low 700's. The 44 can't achieve reliable expansion with factory JHP's from its short barrel, and I don't want to limit myself to the 10-11" penetration of the Hornady CD's.
As far as the reliability of handloads. I have had more factory loads fail to fire than I have from my own reloads over the last 45 years.
For self defense I use factory Underwood...too many mas files in the handgun mags where they couldn't determine gsr patterns or other problems...reloads for 10mm practice.
I have never had a reloading setup for handgun or rifle, I was very involved in competitive shotgun sports for several years, and due to the need for the very best ammo for the task at hand, it was neccesary to reload. I have loads an uncountable thousands of rounds, and have never had a missfire on one of my reloads, and that's running a progressive loader putting our about a box a minuit. On the other hand I have seen a few factory loads fail over the years, although very few with fresh clean ammo, but I do believe it is possible to load more reliable ammo than can be bought.