legality of hand load ammo - Page 2

legality of hand load ammo

This is a discussion on legality of hand load ammo within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by MitchellCT I don't care if it's legal to use handloaded ammo for carry. Legal has nothing to do with it. My rights! ...

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Thread: legality of hand load ammo

  1. #16
    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellCT View Post
    I don't care if it's legal to use handloaded ammo for carry.

    Legal has nothing to do with it.
    My rights! My rights!

    Thank you, MitchellCT, for a dose of reality and real world experience. Good series of posts.


    I mean...I didn't learn it reading gun magazines or on the internet, so how could I be right.
    You're kidding right? No one needs to go to school anymore. A few hours on Google is the equivalent of four years undergrad, three years of law school and decades of working in the profession.


  2. #17
    Member Array alaskazimm's Avatar
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    I too want to thank MitchellCT for his insight into this question.

    I've just gotten into reloading and was thinking about loading some SD ammo. I guess I won't be now and just carry factory. Just too much of a risk for so little gain.



    Oh yes, first post!

  3. #18
    Member Array CTurner91's Avatar
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    If I was carrying Id use a top quality factory ammo, and use reloads for target practice etc.. If you end up shooting someone, in court they could say you were some type of gun nut that was 'just waiting' for the opportunity to shoot someone, sure the same could be said either way but I think the sheep would lap it up more if you were packing reloaded rounds.

  4. #19
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    I am sure MitchellCT has seen this happen, as far as they way the prosecuter does things and how they treat someone after a defensive shooting. Without getting into a wetting contest, I will venture to say that it is going to have a lot to do with where you live and the circumstances of the defensive shooting. I am sure there are circumstances where the ammo that is used is not even questioned.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  5. #20
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Here is another dose of reality.

    With a criminal case you are paying by the hour for your lawyer, and you also have to pay for any expert should you need one to testify.

    Your lawyer costs in the range of $150 to $500 per hour, and experts run in the range of $500 for a consultation on the case and a written opinion given to your lawyer on the issue, and around $2,000 per day to be available to testify.

    The incident will be confusing enough with possible factors such as:

    a) Entry wounds in the back of the attacker;
    b) The defendant running off at the mouth and saying...who knows what before he realizes he should shut up;
    c) A video which shows the situation in a way which reflects poorly on the defender either via angle of the video or showing only part of the whole incident;
    d) Your 6 foot tall, 275# attacker is actually 15 years old and a minority;
    e) You emptied a magazine into the attacker;
    f) You thought his candy bar/cell phone/comb/hairspray was a gun and you shot him...

    Or so forth.

    Any combination thereof.

    What? You thought your situation would be clean and simple?

    Get real. Real life is messy. Real life is as screwed up as it can get.

    Your defensive shooting is really unlikely to be a clear cut case of self defense.

    It's going to have at least one issue that probably needs to be "smoothed over".

    That, in and of itself, is not fatal. After all, you aren't required to be 100% right, just subjectively and objectively reasonable...

    But the more factors you throw in, even if they are individually simple and explainable -

    1) Cost money to deal with. Lots of money. (Which, to me, isn't a bad thing...I mean, I'm a vampire and the more of your blood I get, the better...however; you might not agree...but I can't say I care)
    &
    2) Can add up to something, which taken together is much uglier than the sum of its parts.

    The more factors, the uglier the situation.

    The uglier the situation, the more it costs you.

    I don't care if you can make a handload for carry that is 3 times as accurate, consistent and higher quality than Black Hills.

    Just by virtue of adding the issue to be dealt with you may be adding thousands of dollars to your legal bill in the aftermath.

    Then again...that isn't a bad thing from my point of view so go ahead and cook up something interesting for carry.


  6. #21
    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellCT View Post
    Here is another dose of reality
    Another very good post, MitchellCT.

    Just curious, but you post smacks of specific experience in this area. Have you defended (or prosecuted) a self defense shooting or are you writing from a wide ranging knowledge of the legal process in general?

    In any event, the 'Castle Doctrine' in Arizona puts the onus on the prosecution, which is certainly a benefit. It certainly must be easier to justify a self defense shooting in a home invasion than out on the street.

  7. #22
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SelfDefense View Post

    Just curious, but you post smacks of specific experience in this area. Have you defended (or prosecuted) a self defense shooting or are you writing from a wide ranging knowledge of the legal process in general?
    A self defense shooting is simply another criminal case with it's own subset of facts and arguments attendant to it.

    Yes, Yes...it has it's own distinct features that are unique to it, but still...it's a criminal case with an affirmative defense.

    My knowledge isn't any more wide ranging than any other lawyer who works in a general practice firm...well, one who's interests lay very heavily in firearms and other such things.

    Personal injury isn't just a type of legal practice. It's also my hobby.

    None of what I've been saying is anything complex or "hidden". It's just the way things are in the legal system and the practice of law.

    I'm writing about my job & what I do when I'm not avoiding work.

  8. #23
    Member Array Double Naught Spy's Avatar
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    Somewhat (but not totally) contrary to MitchellCT, I firmly believe you should use the ammo that is best for saving your live and the lives of loved ones. Maybe it is handload ammo and maybe it is factory ammo. I don't care. It helps to be a survivor of such an encounter to be able to be in court over it.

    With that said and in spite of the claims of many on the internet, I have yet to meet a shooter with handloads that are of a higher quality than quality factory rounds. Here, 'quality' refers to reliability in function and performance.

    If you truly believe your handloads are better quality than any factory ammo, then that is what you need to use to protect your life. If you are carrying handloads because you are too cheap to buy a box of factory ammo to carry for personal defense, then you are not thinking through the ramifications very clearly, specifically in regard to the potential costs as noted by MitchellCT.

    For those who believe in only carrying what they train with and so carry handloads because they train with handloads, rethink your paradigm. If you are such a good handloader, then load up some handloads to match the performance of some good factory ammo. Even if the performance isn't exactly the same, it isn't like that 1" at 50 yards difference in performance is something that is going to be within your grasp of control that will make a hill of beans difference at 50 yards and it sure as heck won't matter at 0-7 yards.
    Considering yourself to be defenseless is the first administrative step to becoming a victim.

  9. #24
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    MitchellCT,

    Then from your experience in the field, would you not agree that the state and the community in which you live will have as much or more to do with a defensive shooting than what type of ammo you are using at the time.

    I am sure that some of the cases presented on the personal defense threads, and the lack of prosecution or even remote interest of the police to take a serious look at the shooter have struck you as odd. I would have to guess by my reading that most of the cases in which there is little interest in the defensive shooter happen down south here were laws are much more friendly to those not engaging in criminal activity, and are only trying to protect their lives or their loved ones.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  10. #25
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    What I can't understand is why carry handloads in the first place? Do we think it to be superior to factory? Does our handload have any street record? Could it be that we could somehow develop a load that is a better performer than the factory ammo that has undergone extensive development and testing?

    Even if our handloads are superior, there's that - "So factory ammo isn't lethal enough, you have to make your own..." that surely wouldn't fair well in court.

    So for me, the question is with all the factory tested ammo with street records, why would we want to carry handloads in the first place?
    I'm too young to be this old!
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  11. #26
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    MitchellCT,

    Then from your experience in the field, would you not agree that the state and the community in which you live will have as much or more to do with a defensive shooting than what type of ammo you are using at the time.

    I am sure that some of the cases presented on the personal defense threads, and the lack of prosecution or even remote interest of the police to take a serious look at the shooter have struck you as odd. I would have to guess by my reading that most of the cases in which there is little interest in the defensive shooter happen down south here were laws are much more friendly to those not engaging in criminal activity, and are only trying to protect their lives or their loved ones.
    No. I wouldn't.

    Janet Reno used to be a State's Attorney down in Florida, so don't make the mistake of thinking that because you live down south EVERYONE thinks as you do.

    Prosecutors are lawyers, and where to the prosecutor's offices recruit from...law schools.

    They like to have top notch people just like everyone else, and many of the schools they recruit from, UCLA, Yale, Harvard, Suffolk, NYU, Pace...aren't knows for ardent support of the right to bear arms.

    The guy who reviews your file and makes the decission to prosecute you may be 3 years out of law school, hasn't even hit 30 yet, isn't acclimated or acultured to your location and thinks of guns in very limited catagories such as:

    1) Cops carry them;
    2) I prosecute people who carry them without permit;
    3) Guns & drugs = Refer file to the federal prosecutor so I can clear my caseload;
    4) To get this job as a prosecutor they made me shoot one and issued me a permit to carry one, but I'll worry about that when I get assigned to prosecute someone important...;
    5) I think you can't hunt on Sunday around here, but I'm not sure because I don't hunt...but I read it in a statute book that posession of a shotgun in a field on a Sunday was a $500 fine & a class D Felony. Or something...but I don't care;
    6) People shoot other people with them, and then I try to put a needle in the shooter's arm...

    Just because a person works for the prosecutor's office in X-county, Southern State it doesn't mean squat.

    For all you know he could be a Pace University School of Law graduate and a hardcore Obama supporter who doesn't like guns, believes very strongly in the collective rights theory of the second amendment (as he learned in law school and it was on the bar exam...) and believes that people who shoot other people should be prosecuted...and if they can prove self defense, well, that's what defense attorneys are for.

    I would not make plans on the assumption things will break my way.

    I'm suggesting that you give up on trying to make carrying hand loads for self defense sound reasonable. It is not.

    It is as reasonable and smart assuming that simply because you are living it the south it is a good idea to start talking to the police after a use of force incident without asserting your right to counsel, because the cops are 'on your side'.

    You can keep making all the argumets you want for carrying reloads. If that is what floats your boat, go ahead.

    You decide for you.

    For everyone else, make an informed decission that isn't based on a desperate adherence to an ignorant idea rooted in the deep seated (and likely mistaken) belief that "I live some place that is different!!!" with all the attendant foot stomping.

  12. #27
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    So for me, the question is with all the factory tested ammo with street records, why would we want to carry handloads in the first place?
    Because people tell him not to.

    Because Ayoob says not to.

    Because people who want to carry handloads knows better that everyone else.

    Those people I couldn't care less about. It's the people who might listen to those people that I'm writing to.

  13. #28
    Distinguished Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    And then there is the guy that is doing hard time for using a 10mm with factory ammo. The court found that it was too powerful a round for self defense.

    As for me--There isnt any ammo made that is too powerful for me to consider if my life or that of my loved ones is at stake. And that includes nuclear weapons. Harry Truman did it and they are still talking about it, but no charges have been filed to date that I am aware of.

    Truthfully, I will grab the first thing that comes under my hand in defense of those for whom I care! I could not possibly care less if it is a .22 short or a .600 Nitro Express.

  14. #29
    Senior Member Array youngda9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellCT View Post
    I'm just a lawyer who does criminal work as part of my practice. What could I possibly know about criminal defense work?
    But some other guy told me it was ok to carry handloads for self defense. His reasoning was because he stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night, therefore he must know more than a lawyer.

    /sarcasm

    Don't do it people, no valid reason to do it. MANY reasons illustrated not to do it.
    Speak softly, and carry a big stick.

  15. #30
    Member Array The Quiet Man's Avatar
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    I have carefully read all the posts and find many interesting, compelling and thought provoking ideas regarding the carrying of handloads in defensive firearms. As a handloader of over 40 years, one thing comes through clearly. Some of the (assumed) defensive carry pro-gun people who commented do not really understand why people like me handload and would be willing to trust my life to my handloads. Now if pro-defensive carry people don't understand it, why should I think that a jury would understand?

    I have hunting rifles that have never been fired with factory loads, and most of my handguns enjoy a steady diet of handloads. I live in a rural setting with some acreage (within 15 miles of the edge of a metro area) and do sometimes carry handloads in revolvers when on my property. However, neither my wife or I ever leave our property with handloads in our handguns. We fully appreciate that "a lawyer is attached to each bullet we might fire" and it is ludicrous to hand a prosecutor anything that could be used to help convict us of a crime. I also know that factory ammo is slightly more dependable in our autloaders. I want every advantage I can muster if I ever am faced with having to fire in self-defense.

    I agree that we should (and are) able to carry handloads if we choose, that it shouldn't matter what you shoot someone with if the shooting is justifiable, and that jurors should understand these issues. Unfortunately, I believe I would be putting myself at increased risk from the legal system by doing so and choose to carry factory ammunition when I leave home. I also practice situational awareness, avoid places where problems are more likely to occur, maintain enhanced levels of self-control, and would do anything rational to avoid ever having to shoot in the first place. If those things don't work, I'll be in court and relieved that I used factory ammo to stay alive.

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