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; I am sure this has been covered before, but I didn't find any hits when I searched for it. What are the legal ramifications of ...

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Thread: legality of hand load ammo

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array TedBeau's Avatar
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    legality of hand load ammo

    I am sure this has been covered before, but I didn't find any hits when I searched for it.
    What are the legal ramifications of using hand loaded personal defense ammo. Have there been cases where the ammo was a deciding factor in an otherwise "Legal" shoot?

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    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    I've seen the discussions too. Personally, I'd carry the best factory ammo available.
    Last edited by sniper58; October 24th, 2008 at 12:38 PM. Reason: spell
    Tim
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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    I'd give you my opinion as an attorney as to the perils of using non-factory ammo in the aftermath of a use of force encounter; however, due to the fact I am an attorney, I've found my opinion is considered worthless.

    After all, people who have learned far more than I could possibly know about the aftermath of a shooting from TV, magazines and the internet tell me I'm wrong all the time.

    Dam. Look at the time.

    I've got to get back to the courthouse for a hearing.


    (Use the handloads. People usually don't give police & prosecution enough help to make them miserable after they defend themselves. Talking to the police without a lawyer doesn't hurt you bad enough. You need to add another wild card to your situation which can confuse and mislead a jury into thinking bad things about you.)

    Ta-ta.

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    VIP Member Array TedBeau's Avatar
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    threadjack my own thread

    Maybe I should worry less about the "Evil sounding Name, hand loaded ammunition and worry more about the brand of gun I carry.
    In researching my carry brand I find it has been a favorite of mentally disturbed creatons for years!

    Examples
    The revolver was used by Son of Sam serial killer David Berkowitz in his murder spree.
    Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of using this revolver in the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.
    Mark David Chapman used this snub-nosed revolver to murder musician and former Beatle John Lennon.
    Arthur Bremer attempted to assassinate Presidential Candidate and Governor of Alabama George Wallace, Jr. with this snub-nosed revolver.

    The choice of crazys;
    Charter Arms Pug, Bulldog, Off Duty or Under Cover.

    Maybe I should buy a S&W.

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    Member Array Rusty Bouquett's Avatar
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    MitchellCT, I appreciate the fact that a lawyer will hang around these parts and weigh in on those topic we gun owners are concerned over. I know this topic has been beaten to death on forums all across the i-net and I don't want to contribute to the continuation of that process. However, having said that, can you cite a case wherein a person making an otherwise legitimate shoot was convicted due to the use of reloads? I'd really like to read the transcript of a trial where that happened.

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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...tml#post883386

    To further address your question, can we define a legitimate shooting?

    I mean, don't we have courts with judges and juries to determine what is and is not a legal shooting?

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    Member Array nuparadigm's Avatar
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    The consensus of my crowd is that concern over using handloaded ammunition for carry is an "Ayoobism". There is no case law in Texas relative to this concern.
    The Edge ... there's no honest way to describe it. The only ones who know where it is have gone over.

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    To answer the core question, hand loads are perfectly legal, for carry and anything else in VA. Handgun hunting does have a power floor you must meet.

    My criminal defense attorney said no one in VA has been convicted in a shooting just because they used hand loads, that he knows of (of course he used the qualification, because he may have missed one who knows).

    As a defense attorney he likes to win. As someone who likes to win he likes to have the advantage. So he recommends to his clients that they carry factory ammunition. By doing this the prosecution should not bring up the ammunition, and if they do he counters with a nice factory box you can buy at Walmart.

    His concern is having to explain to a jury about reloading. We all know that we don't sit around cooking up and manufacturing special "man killer" "extra lethal" ammunition, but try to get someone who can't get out of jury duty to understand that fact. He believes he could, but why waste the time and take the chance. Being as he likes to win, he doesn't want his clients taking the chance, and it removes a variable should you ever go to trial.

    If you are going to carry, find a good criminal defense attorney and talk to them before you have to make the call to them at 2AM. They can give you information that may keep you out of court, jail and or the poor house. It will probably cost you whatever they charge for an hour or two of their time depending on what questions you may have, and in the unlikely event that you have to defend yourself, that advice will pay for itself exponentially.

    As for carrying reloads in you PD firearm, no law against it in VA. I'm not aware of any law against it in any other state, so go for it. For me, I will follow my attorney's advice and carry factory ammo in mine. Should I ever need him, I want him to have every advantage and to not have done anything to give the prosecutor any advantage.
    Procrastinators are the leaders of tomorrow.

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    Distinguished Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    Kinda makes a me wonder if a jury would look favorably upon a guy that hacked a Bad Guy to death with a factory made meat clever vs a home made one.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuparadigm View Post
    The consensus of my crowd is that concern over using handloaded ammunition for carry is an "Ayoobism". There is no case law in Texas relative to this concern.
    You may want to click on the link to the "Show me the caselaw..." thread and do some reading to see how caselaw is or is not a determining factor.

    Or not.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    It's certainly legal. But there are some who believe that it aids a zealot prosecutor in the business of hanging you by your toenails, if you willingly offer up a situation that cannot be clearly and decisively explained and justified by you. (Issue wouldn't be the justification of the defensive steps; issue would be documentable performance of ammo, justification of how much power was enough, blah blah blah). Ammo which has performance you cannot prove to the satisfaction of a "spun" jury might well fall into that category.

    The point isn't about case law. Nor is it about a case hinging on a single point or fact. It is about what can or cannot be used as leverage against you. We can all appreciate how twisted an unjust much of the "justice" process can seem. Many claims are leveled and many threads are woven into a supposed whole, during criminal proceedings. Doesn't mean that your flavor-of-the-month, homespun ammo will or won't be used as leverage, anymore than your choice of a given factory load, calibration or weapon would be. It does mean, though, that the risk of a zealot taking it and running with it is something to be considered.

    For me: factory ammo works and is readily available. However compelling the reason to go away from that, it's simply not worth the risk of inability to disprove/deflect the (albeit lunatic) claims that may be made against my choices, particularly when it's my choices that would be under fire in such a situation.
    Last edited by ccw9mm; October 26th, 2008 at 12:19 PM.
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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    In Texas there is nothing in the law that says you can not carry handloads, nor does it even mention handloads that I am aware of.

    So apparently it is perfectly legal to carry your own hand made ammo.
    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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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    The less attention you attract...
    The less attention you attract.

    Why is this so hard to understand?

    You are a file to everyone in the court system other than your attorney.

    You are not a person.
    You are not a father.
    You are not a son.

    You are a dangerous person. You are a person nobody believes. Why?

    You are a CRIMINAL defendant. You shot someone.

    Everyone thinks the worst of you.

    The prosecutor thinks you are a menace to society. The police are happy to be rid of you and have a case cleared. The judge isn't all that hot to see you go free without being seriously convinced you were justified & that he won't be on the hook in the press when you shoot someone again and the media finds out he put you back on the street.

    I don't care if it's legal to use handloaded ammo for carry.

    Legal has nothing to do with it.

    I care how much of a sticking point it will be in a questionable situation and how likely it is to make a judge in his chambers during a conference just shake his head and say "No. I'm going with the state on this one. Your client is a fruitcake. This making his own ammo thing is just freaky. You can make your case for self defense at trial or you can plead this guy out to the very generous offer of 2nd degree manslaughter and take 7 years with a right to argue for less at sentencing. I'll give him consideration for his community involvement and for having no record but he's got to do some time."

    Ah, what the hell.

    After all, everyone is just going to keep asking for caselaw even though I tried to explain how relevant it is to these situations.

    (Caselaw...Caselaw...the battlecry of the ignorant...)

    I'm just a lawyer who does criminal work as part of my practice. What could I possibly know about criminal defense work?

    I mean...I didn't learn it reading gun magazines or on the internet, so how could I be right.

    Use the handloads and ignore everyone who says using them can be more trouble than they are worth.

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    Senior Member Array boscobeans's Avatar
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    "Legal has nothing to do with it...........using them can be more trouble than they are worth."
    +1

    bosco

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