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Discussion Starter #1
OK, I was sitting around with a LEO friend last evening and the talk turned to reloading. He was relaying a story about a self defense shooting he investigated a few years ago. He said something about the deceased family's attorney making an issue of the fact that the shooter used handloads. It was a major point in the Wrongful Death complaint. (Deceased guy was a definite BG and died in the comission of a robbery- Mistook the shooter on a darkened downtownn street as a sheeple)

Wondering if carrying of handloads would lead to liability for me if I am involved in a situation where I would be forced to defend myself.

FYI. I handload plinkers for the range, but my defense carry is 230Gr HydraShoks. Not planning on changing my posture, but his story got me thinking and I thought I would bring that thought to the board.
 

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Im not a lawyer dont play one on tv but this has coem up a lot and no one has ever offered proof one way or another that yes it will get you in trouble to no its cool


i would like to get a straight answer to most forums have had the arugment been on the highroad 3-4 times in the past year and still no documentable proof one way or the other
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sorry if this is a repost. I used the "Search" and couldn't find anything on point. I don't want to start a "Moral High Ground" argument, so if the Mods think this is gonna get heated, feel free to lock or delete it.
 

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No im not saying its a repost just youll get a lot of varying opinions and not for sure answer it is a good post though
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Would normally ask a lawyer friend of mine, but I always feel like I need a shower afterward. :biggrin: J/K
 

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Indeed - it is an old subject but AFAIK one which thus far has never been satisfactorily answered.

Seems tho up 'till now - no actual case anyone can quote which might set a precedent.

On balance I guess we mostly ''assume'' use of handloads ''might'' prejudice a jury decision - or give a prosecutor more leverage .... and so stick to factory.

If I felt totally at ease about it I would carry my own loads.
 

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If you go to a jury trial in a non-gun friendly state, you can expect that the perp's lawyer (civil case or persecutor in a criminal case) will make a big deal of your "extra deadly home-brewed assault ammo". And if the jury is made up of sheep, they can definitely be swayed . . . not in your favor.

For these folks, if the ammo you use is the same as the police use, you can "win points" as opposed to losing them for home-brew ammo.

If you are in gun-friendly/savvy territory, I wouldn't expect the outcome to be swayed by the home-brew argument.

My expectation would be that the answer to your question depends deeply on WHERE this happens and their general feeling towards civilian gun ownership. Here in MA if I were to do this, I'd be toast both civilly and criminally. . . even in a 100% righteous shoot.

IANAL
 

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I recall Massad Ayoob at my LFI I course stating that handloads should be not be carried in a self defense firearms for the reasons stated by LenS, above; it gives opposing counsel an avenue to attack you...as if they would need any excuse to do so. Ayoob also gave private citizens high marks as well for carrying the same ammo as the police.
 

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Do not believe it has ever been used in court.

Gun modifications have been. In Miami's prosecution of PO Alverez (spelling?) the fact that the PO had put a spring kit in his S&W was brought up by the city. Miami prosecutor said gun would fire faster. Ayoob was able to demostrate that in fact the gun fired slower due to slower trigger return.

The question is simple really...why tempt fate? Can you make better self defence ammo than the factories???
 

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Ayoob a few months ago in one of the gun rags mentioned that a dead BG's lawyer could make an issue of handloads..."gun professional who can load his own ammo designed for killing" an idiot jury could be swayed by it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great responses. I am not considering carrying home brewed ammo, just asking. Don't think I'm gonna do better than HydraShoks.
 

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Anyone with access to Westlaw should be able to cite case law regarding use of handloaded ammo in self defense situations.

I vaguely remember Ayoob stating that one case he was involved in as an expert (or he was familiar with) a person used handloaded .45 ACP 200 grain Speer JHP rounds sometime in the 80's to shoot an aggressor and what saved this person in court when this was brought up by opposing counsel was that his reloads were actually loaded less hot than Speer's factory 200 grain JHP load at the time.
 

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san antone rr said:
Great responses. I am not considering carrying home brewed ammo, just asking. Don't think I'm gonna do better than HydraShoks.
It's a great topic to bring up since I'm sure there are people out there that have carried handloads in their self defense guns.
 

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Advice I have had from an attorney; "Find out what local LEO's use and use it." Or something very similar. He also stated that the opposing attorney would be missing an opportunity if he didn't make an issue of handloads vs factory. He could not however, cite a case where it had been used in Oregon.
 

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buzzg said:
Advice I have had from an attorney; "Find out what local LEO's use and use it." Or something very similar. He also stated that the opposing attorney would be missing an opportunity if he didn't make an issue of handloads vs factory. He could not however, cite a case where it had been used in Oregon.
This is a similar issue to my post about trigger mods, except trigger mods help one shoot better. I suppose handloads could do the same thing, if you can proof it. I now believe it would be pretty easy to justify trigger mods because, as I understand it from a VERY reputable source, many cops have trigger jobs, and of course many don't.

But another issue about handloads is will they perform as well as factory loads? The "factory" goes to great lengths to test, maximize, and insure consistency of performance in their loads. They have street results to work from as well. We simply can not do all that with handloads so there may be a bit of downside there.
 

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Here's my take: If you reload on a regular basis and only use store bought stuff for self defense, that looks bad as well. "You went out of your way to buy ammo just to kill when you reload everything else on God's green earth" Had this discussion w/a friend of mine today...
 

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old4x4 - I think that is down entirely to the way it is argued - and on balance I'd have thought most folks could ''justify'' their choice of factory fairly easily.

Anyways - it's always a contentious subject and if anyone wants a long read, there has just been a large thread on this subject over on THR.
 

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What about someone who loaded light? Maybe factory loads were too powerful and they loaded theirs lighter. Would that help them in court?
 

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Yes, I do remember reading about actual court cases where handloaded ammunition was turned into a legal issue.
I am only saying that case numbers and XXX VS YYY were cited but, I did not go anywhere and check to see if they were real court cases or not.

I sure will not tell anybody else what to carry.
That's not my place to do that. I will say that I personally stay with factory and with the ammunition that our many of our local Police carry.
 
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