Excessive force?

This is a discussion on Excessive force? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi All, I was just told by my ccw instructor,that choosing to carry my .454 may open me up to legal problems with excessive force. ...

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Thread: Excessive force?

  1. #1
    Member Array IronMike's Avatar
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    Excessive force?

    Hi All,
    I was just told by my ccw instructor,that choosing to carry my .454 may open me up to legal problems with excessive force.
    Its OK to use a 12 ga. to defend your home,but on the street the .454 will be trouble.
    I cannot see the diff, Any input?
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    jfl
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    Distinguished Member Array jfl's Avatar
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    Most of the people who might decide on your actions consider a shotgun as "normal"; it is a hunting gun.
    The .454 will be looked as a "mass killing weapon".

    Stupid ? Yes

    OTOH after 20+ years I find my Glock 26 heavy to carry all day; I wouldn't even think of carrying a big gun, but I am 5' 8" and 145 lbs
    The first rule of a gunfight: "Don't be there !"
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    Senior Member Array highvoltage's Avatar
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    Yeah a .454 would seem like a bit much to most people, maybe even a jury of your peers.

    But for those times when you're being charged at by a rampaging elephant you'll be all set!

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    Senior Member Array Warmon's Avatar
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    I think you can use 45 Long Colt in a 454 - isn't that right???

    Okay, check this out...http://www.gunblast.com/Ruger-SRHAlaskan454.htm
    Last edited by Warmon; April 11th, 2009 at 07:40 PM. Reason: link for 45LC
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    I would imagine that it depends on the views of the prosecutors and judges in your area.

    Here, our Prosecutor teaches the "law" part of the CHL classes that we teach.
    It is his opinion that if someone needs killing and its is justifiable, then it doesn't matter if you did it with a rock, a fork in the eye, an RPG or a .50 BMG.

    "Excessive force" is not something that is usually applied in a shoot, but more often on a survivor.

    For instance, you shot a guy 24 times and he lived to tell about it. Excessive force could only be applied if the perp went down with the first shot and you stood over him shooting and reloading, because you used more force than was needed to stop the threat.

    As far as I know, there really aren't many cases in which a shooter that was justified in using deadly force was tried for excessive force and lost. I'm sure that there are some,perhaps in the anti-gun parts of the country, where jurors see using any gun as excessive force, but they are few and far between.
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    VIP Member Array sgtD's Avatar
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    I remember discussion on this board about a case some time back where a guy got convicted of manslaughter (IIRC that was the charge) in a self defense shooitng. At least one of the jurors said afterword that they were swayed against him becuase he carried a big ole 10mm and used hollowpoints.

    Who knows what they'd do if he would have had a .454?
    When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.

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    On the street I'd see overpenetration as an issue with .454 loads. Also the issue of quick follow up shots with the kick. With some .45 LC hollowpoints it wouldn't be as much of an issue though.

    In my mind a good shoot is a good shoot, but there is no guarantee your jury will think like me. Just my opinion though.
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    Two words: Over penetration.
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    Distinguished Member Array MinistrMalic's Avatar
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    In AZ if the homicide was justified then the method that took is not an issue. If it was not justified to pull the trigger the caliber wouldn't matter either.

    Choose a round and a gun that makes sense to you and that you can effectively defend yourself and others with. Better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronMike View Post
    ... choosing to carry my .454 my open me up to legal problems with excessive force.
    Right. Some will probably take it that way. Some ... and that will include the twelve fine folks in a jury, the prosecutor, perhaps even a judge or two. Why? Well, .454 Casull is plenty powerful, several times over, and it'll be a tough image to keep out of people's minds once the suggestion is made. Believe one thing, if you believe nothing else: the suggestion will be made. The thing is, though, the rest of us can lay claim that every police department in the country uses one or the other caliber. You have no such "leg" to stand on when attempting to claim that the .454 was necessary.

    Its OK to use a 12 ga. to defend your home,but on the street the .454 will be trouble.I cannot see the diff
    Home vs. Street. That's very different. In your home, your back is to the wall, so to speak. And a shotgun is seen as a defensive weapon appropriate for those situations. But, carrying a gun around "amongst us" is something different. People aren't going to be to appreciative of a portable land canon being concealed in their midst.

    As others have pointed out, too, penetration is something else to worry about. If you miss, and since you're human you're highly likely to miss occasionally (particularly if multiple shots are fired), exactly what's the probability of having one or more stray bullets? They'll go how far, how deep, through how many walls, while still carrying enough energy to kill? You'll have a tough time explaining that away, should the proverbial 3yr old child be killed by your bullet. You'll be painted as the child killer who carried a hunting cannon in public, whose obvious, irrefutable intent was to inflict as much damage as possible. Well ... you did (hypothetically, if you were to gun down innocents).

    For all those reasons, my suggestion would be to stick with a traditional concealed-carry caliber: .380, 9mm, .357, .40, .45. Anything grossly larger or more powerful is going to be a bit of a surprise to those who would gain points by seeing you swing. (Think muzzle energy, here, and attempt to qualify the distinction that an unschooled person would find between the .44/.454 class of ammo versus the 9mm/.40/.45 class.) I'd suggest sticking with something in the 200-600 lb-feet range. Anything over ~1000 is likely to be called a large-animal hunting round, and you could be crucified for it.

    Now, here's the silly thing of it:
    • .44 mag ballistics: 1800 lb-feet @ muzzle, 270 gr.
    • .454 Casull ballistics: 1800 lb-feet @ muzzle, 300 gr.

    The .454 is no "worse" than the .44, in terms of basic force to punch through things. So, what's the difference? You'll be able to thwart the legal claims easily enough, but the public's "common knowledge" is, essentially, of the .454 as a behemoth of a round unsuitable for common use, certainly unsuitable for use carried around on the streets. Silly ... but true. Your CHL instructor has a point, and it's hard to avoid.
    Last edited by ccw9mm; April 12th, 2009 at 02:19 AM.
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    Member Array Astute's Avatar
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    You could always load it with 45 Colt MagSafe. That would take care of the over penetration Problem. My opinion: If your man enough to carry a .454 for your daily carry, I'm defiantly not man enough to argue with you.

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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinistrMalic View Post
    In AZ if the homicide was justified then the method that took is not an issue. If it was not justified to pull the trigger the caliber wouldn't matter either.

    Choose a round and a gun that makes sense to you and that you can effectively defend yourself and others with. Better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6.
    True probably in all states, except that the guys' 10mm was scary enough to sway the jury into believing that the guy was bloodthirsty and probably didn't have to pull the trigger, but instead wanted to. I forget how many years he got...10 maybe.
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    Serious over penetration (especially with a possible miss of your intended target) even in a home or apartment environment would be my primary concern.

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    Senior Member Array Warmon's Avatar
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    After reading up a bit, I would load this puppy up with a mild / moderate 45 LC and not worry about it. Even though it is not as commonly used today; they are gonna have to fight the fact that the round has been used as a defensive round in pistols for military, police and civilians over the last 140 years and that many modern day revolvers for this round are still in production - including the Taurus Judge. I would not carry 454 unless you routinely are in areas where you may encounter bears or other wildlife.
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    Defense attorneys [and others] need to be educated as to the reason for the use of a large caliber weapon as a matter of personal choice. I find nothing offensive it the use of any caliber larger than a .45 - if it can be fired from a hand held pistola... I could tell you the story of an old Army master sergeant [WWII] who told me when I was a kid that he carried a .30 caliber carbine, until he had a really bad gun fight - he then switched to a BAR with a .45 as backup...and he told me why...
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