My suggestion would be to find out what load one of the larger law enforcement agencies in your area carries, and use that. IF you ever have to use if 'for real,' you WILL be questioned, most likely repeatedly. Either the person you shot or their family are very likely to hire an attorney, who at some point will probably get to question you. If thier attorney ask why you chose to carry some particularly effective hollowpoint that killed or maimed his poor, misunderstood client, your response is that you simply got what the cops carry, since you don't know that much about such things.
Never carry anything exotic, and never never NEVER carry handloads.
This is a good bit of advice here. If it's good enough for the cops to use; it's certainly good enough for you to use. Their lives are no more important than yours.
Originally Posted by kom976
On the other hand, this strategy isn't likely to work if your local police carry .357Sig and you've got .45ACP:
Originally Posted by kom976
Originally Posted by Theoretical Testimony
Originally Posted by Snake Plissken
Originally Posted by Kiko
Originally Posted by Robstafarian
Sometimes when I've taken a formal class or formal training, the trainers say to write a letter to yourself outlining what you've learned and from who so that if you ever shoot someone in self defense that letter can enter into evidence and then the trainer can show up in the courtroom and give the same lessons about self defense and shooting to the jury.
Originally Posted by Robstafarian
There's nothing wrong with using your own handloads for defensive purposes. Just about any handload that I create uses commonly available components.
If I handloaded my own defensive ammo, and if there were a defensive shooting on my part, they would probably try to recover the bullet used, which could be any number of off-the-shelf types, such as Speer's Gold Dot JHP, Remington's Golden Saber BJHP, etc. To any forensic expert, they would simply see another commonly used hollowpoint bullet.
There aren't any "magic bullets" out there that are going to be far more deadly than what's already available. Brass is going to come from your usual sources, such as Starline (who makes the brass for several respected companies' defensive ammo, such as Georgia Arms), Winchester, Federal, etc.
Ammo choice really doesn't make a difference when it comes to defending yourself in court, unless you were using illegal ammunition. The main thing a prosecutor would be looking at, would be if you were justified in shooting the guy in the first place.
Now, that being said, do I load my own for defensive purposes?
After all, with Vihtavuori 3N37 powder, a 124 grain Speer Gold Dot hollowpoint, a Winchester standard small pistol primer, and high quality Starline brass, I can easily create ammunition that is as good as Speer's own 124 grain +P Gold Dot ammunition, possibly getting a few more FPS. For that matter, because companies the likes of Georgia Arms also uses the above same components (although the powder probably differs), how would anyone be able to say "Hey! This guy made his own ammo, instead of buying it from Georgia Arms?"
The answer is "no." The reason is, that I'm not going to be saving any real $$$ on components, when using premium bullets. I can buy a pack of 50 9 mm 124 grain Georgia Arms Gold Dot +P JHP cartridges for 24 bucks at the gun shows.
For me to manufacture my own would cost:
21 cents per Speer Gold Dot bullet
2 cents per powder charge
2 cents per primer
15 cents per Starline brass casing
That comes out to 40 cents per cartridge, or about 20 bucks per 50 cartridges. Not really worth my time. That's why I choose to carry factory loads as my defensive ammo.
The problem with using handloads in a defensive firearm has nothing to do with the effectiveness or the cost of the handload itself. The problem comes later, when a plaintiff's attorney is standing in front of a jury full of nice people, people nice enough to be on a jury. People who are as educated in firearms and martial skills as the average PTA member or grandmother, because that is generally who ends up on a jury. Do you want to bet that an attorney, who's paycheck is based on how big of a judgment he can get out of that jury, is NOT going to point out you were using handloads? Because factory ammo just isn't deadly or injurous enough for you, you felt compeled to sit in your garage/basement/where-ever, carefully hand-crafting the most deadly ammo possible.
If that is a fight you wish to take on, then God bless you. My question is, how are you going to fight it? Do you have the financial resources to obtain the expert witness(es) it would take? Are you POSITIVE your expert witness could convince the jury you're not some dangerous nutjob? Are you betting on an insurance company to back you financially, and not decided it is cheaper to settle out of court?
But you are a decent and honest guy, right? So the choice between handloads or factory ammo has nothing to do with whether the shooting was good or bad, right? Well, you're right, it doesnt't. If you have a lawful shooting, its not 'more' lawful with a standard police-type 9mm and factory ammo than it would of been with a tricked-out .45 race gun and handloaded ammo. And I sure there isn't an attorney to be found who would say otherwise, right?
Wouldn't be a LOT easier to just get a couple of boxes of whatever factory ammo the cops carry? I would think so, but that's just my opinion. If the caliber you own isn't on that agency's list, then find another agency where it is on the list. Or if you don't own a 'duty' caliber, ask about the agency's approved off-duty weapons policy; many larger agency's have such a list.
For what its worth, I consider myself at least as much of a gun nut as the average NRA member, if not more so. I routinely handload for my recreational shooting, both for rifle and handgun. However, handloads ABSOLUTLEY do not go in my 'working' firearms, either my agency-issued weapons nor my personally-owned weapons.
And just in case there is ANY question, I generally do not care for attorneys. It has been my experience that once an attorney is involved in anything, quaint notions like "RIGHT" and "WRONG" no longer matter.
Prosecutors don't try cases where you get monetary judgments. They try criminal cases. While you got valid points and I agree that handloads shouldn't be used in a defense gun, I wouldn't base my decision on defense loads based on my worries on how much money I need to pay out of my pocket after a legal proceedings in civil court. I would be worried about going to jail for excessive force. You sound like a LEO or a former LEO, aren't you part of the justice system?
If you ever have to go to court for anything, you should tell the attorney representing you how you feel about lawyers. Actually, no, since you're so just and honest you should put 100% faith in the system and yourself and go pro se.
But yeah, for "working guns" factory loads all the way, and I've heard that using local PD's issue ammo is a safe route to go.
I read the whole thread and find that Powr Ball and same other brand not mentioned. A ballistac tipped hollow point. the plastic tip keeps the hollow point from clogging and also keeps the bullet expanding. Joe
This sentiment applies to the whole argument.
Originally Posted by kanegs
There are MANY variables that contribute to how your projectile will behave when it hits a body.
Lets start with bullet type and velocity. FMJ's naturally tend to penetrate farther by virtue of arowdynamic design. However, sopme such as the .45acp and .44special are wide, heavy bullets that travel at relatively low speed and tend to behave similar to faster, smaller caliber, hollowpoint rounds. (I'll post a grat link for IRL testing and demos at the bottom of this post) That ois they expand and dump a great deal of kinetic energy into the target. (You may even find 9mm HP loads that expand to pretty much the same size as a deformed .44spc or .45acp, albeit with less mass.)
Are FMJs as suitable for SD? This is a semantic argument that will drive you in crazy circles till the cows come home.
The reason is that there are so many bullets, loadings, variations on cartridges (10mm vs. .40S&W anybody?) and barrel lengths to choose from. To further complicate things some rounds are just not readily available in HP (7.62 Tokkarev?) and some weapons tend not to reliably feed HP ammo. (1911a1 haters, you know what I'm talking about!)
Basic guidlines can be applied though.
In HD, you don't want things that will travel far enough or fast enough to hurt your neighbors. A few examples would be Aquilla mini shells (low velocity 12 guage slugs) frangible bullets (Glasser for example) waddcutters (not necessarily reccomended...) and of course HPs. If HP is not an option in your caliber of choice, than slow, heavy and fat are your criteria for picking projectiles.
In the case of the "SKS" scenario proposed, USE HOLLOWPOINTS FOR THE LOVE OF GAWD! The 7.62x39 is a hell of a penetrator! Even more so from the the SKS (longer barrel than most AK style weapons). You most CERTAINLY want HP or frangible bullets if you're using that caliber for HD. (Not as weird as it sounds. An AK pistol in 7.62 with a drum full of HP is about as much firepower as you can get in that size of a package. In case there's a mob of em, choo know?) I would go so far as to say that if you are "stuck" with a rifle caliber for HD, is is your RESPONSIBILTY to use expanding or frangible bullets. But that's JMHO.
Now for the BOX OF TRUTH! This site tests just about any bullet and load you've been currious about against layers of drywall, pigs in thick clothing, rows of watter jugs, you name it. They video tape it and post it for every gunners edification. Enjoy!
Last edited by Mr. Machette; 8/03/2012 1:29pm at .
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