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Country Woodpecker
12-14-2011, 6:33 AM
This may have been covered before but I was unable to find any threads via searching. My long time mentor has always told me to not carry with hand loads as it can increase liability as a defense attorney might make you out to be shootings "Hot" rounds. I'm just curious what others think on the matter. If you purchase your ammo I'm also curious to know what defensive ammo you prefer. I shoot an XDm .40 and a Colt Delta Elite 10mm if that matters to any recommendations. Thanks!

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CSACANNONEER
12-14-2011, 6:53 AM
That seems to be the prevailing philosophy. However, I don't really give a rat's azz. I carry with my reloads and, if I ever have to use them in a situation in which my choice of ammo comes into question, at least I'll be alive to defend myself agaist stupid lawyers. My loads are not as hot as commercial SD rounds (which I also carry) and, since I'm never planning on using my ammo on anything other than a rattlesnake or rabid dog, I can argue that I just grabbed whatever I had on hand at the time I loaded my gun. In the end, most people adivise you to carry exactly what your local LEA carries. I just don't give a .........

jbj
12-14-2011, 6:58 AM
Don't carry them. Period. There are dozens of great rounds available, and it allows you to point out that you use the same ammunition as your local police, or say, the FBI, as opposed to handing a prosecuting attorney the line "So, regular ammunition available to the public and law enforcement wasn't lethal enough for you?" it might also void your home owners insurance if invoked to pay for legal bills involved in a shooting defense.

Mas Ayoob writes about it fairly often, and considering the amount of income he makes hanging around inside of court, I'd listen.

five.five-six
12-14-2011, 6:59 AM
That seems to be the prevailing philosophy. However, I don't really give a rat's azz. I carry with my reloads and, if I ever have to use them in a situation in which my choice of ammo comes into question, at least I'll be alive to defend myself agaist stupid lawyers. My loads are not as hot as commercial SD rounds (which I also carry) and, since I'm never planning on using my ammo on anything other than a rattlesnake or rabid dog, I can argue that I just grabbed whatever I had on hand at the time I loaded my gun. In the end, most people adivise you to carry exactly what your local LEA carries. I just don't give a .........

I have read a few people writing that, mostly 2nd hand.... seems to me a few years ago there was a big advocate of using LE rounds posting a lot, ever since that it has been almost a straw man argument

judged by 12 > carried by 6

Country Woodpecker
12-14-2011, 8:06 AM
So what ammo does LEO or FBI carry then? Thanks for input.

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vintagearms
12-14-2011, 8:10 AM
A good shoot is a good shoot. Doesn't matter what the ammo is, unless its incenderary or something like that. If your concerned, our PD shoots Speer Gold Dot or STX.

jbj
12-14-2011, 8:35 AM
Judges by 12 is the issue. No matter how justified you were in shooting, if you are on trial, why give your opponent an advantage. Plenty of people are in jail because of appearances in the eyes of the jury. This is the same issue as deactivating a safety. It's a really bad idea.

medicdude
12-14-2011, 8:39 AM
i carry the Federal HST rounds in .40, based on my own testing and the testing of other reliable sources this is one of the best. you can find them cheap online sometimes, but even still, its worth a few extra bucks when its your life or your freedom.

weinerd
12-14-2011, 8:51 AM
So what ammo does LEO or FBI carry then? Thanks for input.

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Ayoob recommends Federal HST, Speer Gold Dot or Winchester Ranger-Ts. They all have consistent penetration and expansion.

For my .40, I personally use HST 180 gr, but have a larger stash of 180 gr Rangers for SHTF (cuz they were $10 cheaper/box of 50).

Although recently I've been convinced into trying HST and Rangers in 155 gr... Once I'm happy that a few boxes of each fire consistently without problems, I might swap over to these "2nd gen" .40s...

A few LE agencies that use .40 carry the new "3rd gen" rounds with lighter bullets (135 or 140 gr) claiming they simulate the stopping power of similar-massed .357 magnum rounds.

wildhawker
12-14-2011, 9:06 AM
With the availability and selection of high-quality commercial defensive rounds, why would anyone think it prudent or necessary to add risk by carrying handloads?

To those who do so by choice, fair 'nough; this is more a question going to the implication that one would survive an encounter using handloads but not commercial ammo.

-Brandon

BunnySlayer
12-14-2011, 11:58 AM
With the availability and selection of high-quality commercial defensive rounds, why would anyone think it prudent or necessary to add risk by carrying handloads?

To those who do so by choice, fair 'nough; this is more a question going to the implication that one would survive an encounter using handloads but not commercial ammo.

-Brandon
I have few problems with my reloads these days, but it's still a few too many. I keep them for practice and competition ONLY! Yes good defense loads are more expensive but my life is worth it. +1 for the above.

Sir Stunna Lot
12-14-2011, 10:44 PM
just get Hornady Critical Defense, and call it a day

i carry both in 9mm and 40. so far from what ive seen, reliable and consistent expansion from people testing

Country Woodpecker
12-15-2011, 11:11 AM
Looks like I'm going to give Federal HST a try. I think I should have specified when I said reloads I'm referring to my own hand loads and not purchased reload ammo. It's surprises me how much negative feelings people have with reloading and the quality of the ammunition. I have never had a problem with my own reloads and feel very confident in the numerous ones (ie 1000's) I've reloaded. I figure if I were to carry I would take extra precautions and make sure each was done well and documented the loads, bullet and date to cya but I agree it's just not worth the liability so will be purchasing the HST.

Thank you all for your help and insight.

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RogueSniper
12-15-2011, 11:13 AM
And, if you're going to carry Factory Defensive rounds, practice with them and make sure they function with your gun. There are certain 45ACP rounds that do not feed in my gun because of the shape of the bullet profile.

I used my reloads, 185gr Hornady XTP 45ACP, exclusive in a course and never had a problem, but then, I was not putting my life on the line.

Kid Stanislaus
12-16-2011, 8:48 AM
If you want hot loads just google Cor Bon. Wilson Combat also has some hot stuff for sale. For just a few dollars you can circumvent the problem, although I think its phony baloney. Who (should) gives a fly'n rodent's posterior what you shoot a criminal with? BUT, we certainly don't live in an ideal world.

pTa
12-16-2011, 8:52 AM
Carry what your local LEcarries/ Best advice/ Because of the rareity of 10mmyou can probalby get away with factory spec handloads but that 'sjust my opinion/

Kid Stanislaus
12-16-2011, 9:22 PM
Carry what your local LEcarries/ Best advice/ Because of the rareity of 10mmyou can probalby get away with factory spec handloads but that 'sjust my opinion/

Ten MM ammo is readily available.

locosway
12-21-2011, 12:37 AM
And no one addressed that it's not always easy to obtain what your local LEA issues. Most of the time they use "Law Enforcement Only" ammo, which can be hard to come by. I know a lot of people wait months for various "LEO Only" ammo and usually it's in limited quantities too.

The bad part about going with anything other than the LEO ammo is companies like Winchester does not test their "civilian" ammo for expansion or penetration, which really is a problem. I don't think anyone should use/carry ammo that is not tested or designed with the idea that it needs to work 100% of the time.

CEDaytonaRydr
12-21-2011, 9:04 AM
How are they going to know that you reloaded them? ...or that they are reloads at all? If you don't tell them, they aren't going to know. Even if they ask you if you reloaded the rounds, you don't have to answer.

dtjester
12-21-2011, 9:27 AM
Does anyone have the link to that story about the guy who's wife committed suicide with his reloads and he was charged (and I think convicted) with murder? That story made up my mind about keeping reloads loaded to be used defensively.

skyscraper
12-21-2011, 11:18 AM
Does anyone have the link to that story about the guy who's wife committed suicide with his reloads and he was charged (and I think convicted) with murder? That story made up my mind about keeping reloads loaded to be used defensively.

Bump for a link. I'd like to see how that was ever possible, even in Ca

jb7706
12-21-2011, 12:10 PM
Does anyone have the link to that story about the guy who's wife committed suicide with his reloads and he was charged (and I think convicted) with murder? That story made up my mind about keeping reloads loaded to be used defensively.

http://www.boiseshooters.com/index.php?topic=1883.0;wap2

dtjester
12-21-2011, 12:52 PM
I found it again too:

NJ V. Bias

This is the classic case of gunshot residue (GSR) evidence being complicated by the use of handloaded ammunition, resulting in a case being misinterpreted in a tragic and unjust way. On the night of 2/26/89, Danny Bias entered the master bedroom of his home to find his wife Lise holding the family home defense revolver, a 6” S&W 686, to her head. He told police that knowing that she had a history of suicidal ideation, he attempted to grab the gun, which discharged, killing her. The gun was loaded with four handloaded lead SWC cartridges headstamped Federal .38 Special +P.

Autopsy showed no GSR. The medical examiner determined that Lise Bias had a reach of 30”, and the NJSP Crime Lab in Trenton determined that the gun in question would deposit GSR to a distance of 50” or more with either factory Federal 158 grain SWC +P .38 Special, or handloads taken from his home under warrant for testing after Danny told them about the reloads. However, the reloads that were taken and tested had Remington-Peters headstamps on the casings and were obviously not from the same batch.

Danny had loaded 50 rounds into the Federal cases of 2.3, 2.6, and 2.9 grains of Bullseye, with Winchester primers, under an unusually light 115 grain SWC that he had cast himself, seeking a very light load that his recoil sensitive wife could handle. The gun had been loaded at random from that box of 50 and there was no way of knowing which of the three recipes was in the chamber from which the fatal bullet was launched.

We duplicated that load, and determined that with all of them and particularly the 2.3 grain load, GSR distribution was so light that it could not be reliably gathered or recovered, from distances as short as 24”. Unfortunately, the remaining rounds in the gun could not be disassembled for testing as they were the property of the court, and there is no forensic artifact that can determine the exact powder charge that was fired from a given spent cartridge.

According to an attorney who represented him later, police originally believed the death to be a suicide. However, the forensic evidence testing indicated that was not possible, and it was listed as suspicious death. Based largely on the GSR evidence, as they perceived it, the Warren County prosecutor’s office presented the case to the grand jury, which indicted Danny Bias for Murder in the First Degree in the death of his wife.

Attorney John Lanza represented Danny very effectively at his first trial, which ended in a hung jury. Legal fees exceeded $100,000, bankrupting Danny; Attorney Lanza, who believed then and now in his client’s innocence, swallowed some $90,000 worth of legal work for which he was never paid.

For his second trial, Bias was assigned attorney Elisabeth Smith by the Public Defender’s office. Challenging the quality of evidence collection, she was able to weaken the prosecution’s allegation that the GSR factor equaled murder, but because the GSR issue was so muddled by the handloaded ammo factor, she could not present concrete evidence that the circumstances were consistent with suicide, and the second trial ended with a hung jury in 1992. At this point, the prosecution having twice failed to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt, the judge threw out the murder charge.

It was after this that I personally lost track of the case. However, I’ve learned this past week that the case of NJ v. Daniel Bias was tried a third time in the mid-1990s, resulting in his being acquitted of Aggravated Manslaughter but convicted of Reckless Manslaughter. The appellate division of the Public Defender’s office handled his post-conviction relief and won him a fourth trial. The fourth trial, more than a decade after the shooting, ended with Danny Bias again convicted of Reckless Manslaughter. By now, the state had changed its theory and was suggesting that Danny had pointed the gun at her head to frighten her, thinking one of the two empty chambers would come up under the firing pin, but instead discharging the gun. Danny Bias was sentenced to six years in the penitentiary, and served three before being paroled. He remains a convicted felon who cannot own a firearm.

It is interesting to hear the advice of the attorneys who actually tried this case. John Lanza wrote, “When a hand load is used in an incident which becomes the subject of a civil or criminal trial, the duplication of that hand load poses a significant problem for both the plaintiff or the prosecutor and the defendant. Once used, there is no way, with certainty, to determine the amount of powder or propellant used for that load. This becomes significant when forensic testing is used in an effort to duplicate the shot and the resulting evidence on the victim or target.”

He adds, “With the commercial load, one would be in a better position to argue the uniformity between the loads used for testing and the subject load. With a hand load, you have no such uniformity. Also, the prosecution may utilize either standard loads or a different hand load in its testing. The result would be distorted and could be prejudicial to the defendant. Whether or not the judge would allow such a scientific test to be used at trial, is another issue, which, if allowed, would be devastating for the defense. From a strictly forensic standpoint, I would not recommend the use of hand loads because of the inherent lack of uniformity and the risk of unreliable test results. Once the jury hears the proof of an otherwise unreliable test, it can be very difficult to ‘unring the bell.’”

Ms. Smith had this to say, after defending Danny Bias through his last three trials. I asked her, “Is it safe to say that factory ammunition, with consistently replicable gunshot residue characteristics, (would) have proven that the gun was within reach of Lise’s head in her own hand, and kept the case from escalating as it did?”

She replied, “You’re certainly right about that. Gunshot residue was absolutely the focus of the first trial. The prosecution kept going back to the statement, “It couldn’t have happened the way he said it did’.”

The records on the Bias trials should be available through:
The Superior Court of New Jersey
Warren County
313 Second Street
PO Box 900
Belvedere, NJ 07823

Those who wish to follow the appellate track of this case will find it in the Atlantic Reporter.

142 N.J. 572, 667 A.2d 190 (Table)

Supreme Court of New Jersey
State
v.
Daniel N. Bias
NOS. C-188 SEPT.TERM 1995, 40,813
Oct 03, 1995
Disposition: Cross-pet. Denied.
N.J. 1995.
State v. Bias
142 N>J> 572, 667 A.2d 190 (Table)

SoCal AJ
12-21-2011, 9:26 PM
Great find on the article, thanks for the read... very tragic for this man and his family :(

IrishPirate
12-21-2011, 9:30 PM
all you need is a lawyer smart enough to say that you had the right to shoot them until they were dead, using the most deadly factory loads available on the market. the fact that you didn't kill them with handloads means squat considering you had the right to take their life. If you let your lawyer go down any other path, you'll be sorry.

Just make sure you were justified in shooting and you'll be fine. also, don't talk to cops :D

Also, with the NJ v Bias case, that was a question of who was the shooter. If you're shooting defensively, there will be no question about GSR proving who pulled the trigger and the only question would be the lethality of the round, which could be easily explained away since ALL ammo comes with the warning that it is lethal. Dead is dead, doesn't matter if it was at the hands of a standard .22 short, or a hand loaded .50bmg

Sir Stunna Lot
12-21-2011, 11:00 PM
reload for self defense pupose? just dont. there are many factory options out there. save the reload for practice.

using factory amo will definitely save u from any potential discrepancy that can be related to amo in case a shooting is brought to trial when compared to reloads.

"Friends dont let friends carry reloads"

skyscraper
12-22-2011, 6:19 AM
Does anyone have the link to that story about the guy who's wife committed suicide with his reloads and he was charged (and I think convicted) with murder? That story made up my mind about keeping reloads loaded to be used defensively.

That story has nothing to do with defensive shooting though....they tried to link the husband to a murder, but it was a suicide.

jb7706
12-22-2011, 1:41 PM
That story has nothing to do with defensive shooting though....they tried to link the husband to a murder, but it was a suicide.

The point is that because he had hand loads in the gun the court was under no obligation to accept any of his ammunition for forensic testing. There was no way to argue that the prosecution was wrong because the evidence said otherwise. The evidence that could have exonerated him was excluded from consideration.

Justified defensive shooting or murder. If there is any chance that my ammunition will have a role in the AAR that may lead to me living with men the rest of my life I'll stick with factory stuff. My freedom is worth far more than $.50. If others want to play that game and do so willingly, it's a free country.

Seesm
12-23-2011, 1:03 AM
I just figure shoot what we know is ok... I do not trust my own hand loads... lol