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Using reloaded ammo for SD
#1
While at the LGS, someone brought up that they would never use reloaded ammo because it could be used by a prosecutor as a tool against you the shooter for loading ammo that was "purpose made" to kill.  At first I thought it laughable, but upon further reflection, I think I could see a DA trying this tact.

Any precedent either way?
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#2
I've heard that a million times. Apparently they will convince the jury that only crazy lunatics make their own ammo. With how stupid and gullible people are today, I wouldn't chance it.
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#3
Generally, the school of thought is to ask a local LEO what they're issued, and use that.


-Chaz
I love guns... And boobs...
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#4
Seems to be one of the few things people can agree on when it comes to self defense loads.
The law? The law is a human institution...
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#5
(09-11-2012, 12:17 PM)Spacemanvic Wrote: While at the LGS, someone brought up that they would never use reloaded ammo because it could be used by a prosecutor as a tool against you the shooter for loading ammo that was "purpose made" to kill.  At first I thought it laughable, but upon further reflection, I think I could see a DA trying this tact.

Any precedent either way?


Couldn't they use that argument about any ammo?
Don't the anti-gun people say that all ammo is "purpose made" to kill?

I've heard this line of reasoning before and have heard arguments for and against both sides.
I'm sure that a prosecutor will use any angle imaginable, and every angle they use is another angle you'll have to defend yourself against. If you modify your projectiles in an attempt to make them more lethal, as in changing the size of the "hollow" point, scoring or filing the jackets, or some other such craziness they may be able to make a case against you as being intent on doing more harm, and an uneducated jury just might buy into it, but what it really comes down to is whether it was a good shoot or not. If you were justified in using lethal force does it really matter what that lethal force was? If you acted with contempt or malice and weren't justified it wouldn't matter one way or another, it could be just one more line of text in the big stack of papers.
Back to your ending question, I am not aware of precedent for or against but I don't study things of that nature. I have heard arguments but never saw where anyone has cited statutes, court cases or anecdotal evidence where the need to use lethal force was negated by the type of ammo or weapon being used.
There are three types of people in the world:
Those who make things happen,
Those who watch things happen,
And those who wonder what happened.
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#6
I figure an attorney could dig up or put a negative spin on pretty much anything. If it is a good shoot hopefully you will never end up in court. Part of the reason why the CD here in PA was very important.

For a new reloader I would say do not even consider it. An experienced reloader, sure go for it. After seeing pictures of factory SD ammo with no flash hole in the brass I can see why someone would want to roll their own ammo.

It is nice to be able to inspect every component prior to putting it all together. There is always an option of duplicating factory ammo to the "T" with your reloads.(all matching components to factory loads) They will never know the difference but you have the piece of mind.
dkf, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#7
I carry reloads for my defensive carry rounds. 200 grain XTPs, on top of 5.1 grains of bullseye.

If I am ever in the position that I am being questioned about using my weapon, I have more things to worry about than some person asking a question if I designed my ammo to be more effective.

The answer is yes. If I could fit a piranha in my brass, I would do it. If it comes down to me, or them. It isn't going to be me.
This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins. -Ben Franklin
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#8
(09-12-2012, 09:31 AM)mauser Wrote:
(09-11-2012, 12:17 PM)Spacemanvic Wrote: While at the LGS, someone brought up that they would never use reloaded ammo because it could be used by a prosecutor as a tool against you the shooter for loading ammo that was "purpose made" to kill.  At first I thought it laughable, but upon further reflection, I think I could see a DA trying this tact.

Any precedent either way?


Couldn't they use that argument about any ammo?
Don't the anti-gun people say that all ammo is "purpose made" to kill?

I've heard this line of reasoning before and have heard arguments for and against both sides.
I'm sure that a prosecutor will use any angle imaginable, and every angle they use is another angle you'll have to defend yourself against. If you modify your projectiles in an attempt to make them more lethal, as in changing the size of the "hollow" point, scoring or filing the jackets, or some other such craziness they may be able to make a case against you as being intent on doing more harm, and an uneducated jury just might buy into it, but what it really comes down to is whether it was a good shoot or not. If you were justified in using lethal force does it really matter what that lethal force was? If you acted with contempt or malice and weren't justified it wouldn't matter one way or another, it could be just one more line of text in the big stack of papers.
Back to your ending question, I am not aware of precedent for or against but I don't study things of that nature. I have heard arguments but never saw where anyone has cited statutes, court cases or anecdotal evidence where the need to use lethal force was negated by the type of ammo or weapon being used.


I really do think this is more anecdotal than actually true.  While a prosecutor could use what type of ammo you had against you the same could be said about anything else in the scenario.  You also had a knife in your back pocket?  Well then, you were armed to the teeth and looking for trouble, nevermind that you probably use it more for utility than anything.  Spare mag?  You were loaded for bear, forget the practicality of having a spare mag in case something fails.

However, I think if the prosecutor is trying that hard to convict you then you have bigger issues to worry about, like how clear or ambiguous the situation was that got you in the DA's sights.  Clarifying the need to use deadly force will likely get you out of trouble more than anything else.

As for the practicality of loading your own SD ammo... I think it would depend very much on the individual.  I'd be more than confident with reloading my own ammo with the help of a friend who's very experienced with reloading, and I'm more than certain we could come up with rounds that are just as or more consistent than factory ammo.  However, if you're brand new and still learning reloading, I'd suggest against it until you have a very good idea on what the whole process is and what you're doing.

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#9
I haven't heard of any case either way.  I am not sure how much water the "made to be deadlier" argument holds.  If you can show that the ammo was to the same specs as common manufacturers I think a good lawyer should be able to show that the hand loaded ammo is not "more deadly" than manufacture's ammo.

On the other hand, good luck proving to the jury that the ammo the bg was shot with was to another manufacturers standard and not "extra deadly" - whatever that's supposed to mean.

Also, while hand loads are reliable enough for the range - and being very careful about what you are doing - I personally would not count on hand loaded ammo to not malfunction in a SD situation.
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#10
Massad Ayoob wrote an article about this subject. If it was ever used in any court but any proscuter then he would know about it. He said he's never found a trial in which the prosecution tried this particular tactic. I don't use handloads because I don't reload. I use factory ammo that is reasonably accurate and functions well in my pistol.
Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum Europae vincendarum
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