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Thread: I'm going to start CCWing with reloads...

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



    Idaho45guy's Avatar
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    I'm going to start CCWing with reloads...

    I've seen a few threads over the years in which people say carrying reloads in your CCW pistol is a horrible idea because they are unreliable and a prosecuting attorney will use it against you.

    I carry reloads in my woods carry pistols...

    I have been using either Federal Hydra-Shoks or Hornady Critical Defense in my CCW pistols since I started carrying.

    I have never gone to the range and shot a full session at varying distances with that ammo (except 10mm Hydra Shoks since it was free and I think it is worthless).

    I have never been able to afford to blast 100 rounds of expensive carry ammo at a time. That's $100 or more worth of .40 S&W Critical Defense ammo. It has bugged me for years that I was not practicing with the same ammo that I would potentially use to save my life.

    So I decided to start loading and shooting full-power loads with Speer Gold Dot or Hornady XTP bullets. That's still $25 and change for a 100-round range session, but that's a lot easier to swallow.

    I loaded up some .40 S&W with the 165gr Gold Dot and 7gr of Silhouette powder. That's not a max charge, which is 7.2gr, and the bullet doesn't have a scary name. I don't see how an over zealous prosecuting attorney could accuse me of "looking for trouble" or having a "Death Wish vigilante mentality" if I ever have to defend my life and my self-defense reloads are in the pistol.

    I will now be able to be completely familiar with recoil, point of impact, accuracy, and shootability of the ammo I could potentially use to save my life or the lives of others.

    Anyone else use their own reloads for carry ammo?
    "Luck don't live out here. Wolves don't kill the unlucky deer; they kill the weak ones..." Jeremy Renner in Wind River

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    @Idaho45guy,

    Here, here! I completely agree with you on this point. Deadly force is exactly that and is assumed to be capable of killing a person if used against them. It just doesn't matter what the caliber is or the bullet type or the powder loading or the length of the barrel or the weight of the gun. The combination can be deadly against an attacker. In self defense we shoot to stop the attack. The aftermath of whatever it took to stop that attack is in God's hands. It may be regrettable if the attacker dies from his wounds, but HE set that boat into motion when HE decided to attack you. We have no obligation to let an attacker get in a first strike against us just to make things "fair". It is not our problem when an attacker makes a poor life choice and picks an armed victim.

    In conclusion, if you make a good shoot according to the law, it is not going to matter what combination of gun/ammo you used to save your life. A decent defense lawyer should be able to wipe the floor with a prosecuting attorney who tries to make a issue of the type of ammunition used to protect your life.

    Marshall

  3. #3
    Boolit Master MyFlatline's Avatar
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    Always have carried reloads..

    Agree with Marshall 100 %

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    I produce all my own ammo.

  5. #5
    I would speculate that the concern about factory v. handloaded ammunition stems from a prominent gun writer who has repeatedly warned of the legal perils of shooting folks with handloads. This writer also advised that when attending training, to take away only what works for you. I will apply that good advice to his opinion on ammunition.

  6. #6
    Boolit Man
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    I've heard the issue of "killer reloads" for years being an issue in court after a successful defence. I have never seen or heard of an actual case where a prosecutor/civil case included this for the state or injured bad guy.

    If anyone has knowledge of reloads being a factor in an actual court case, please post the case info. Thanks

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Bibliotecario View Post
    I would speculate that the concern about factory v. handloaded ammunition stems from a prominent gun writer who has repeatedly warned of the legal perils of shooting folks with handloads. This writer also advised that when attending training, to take away only what works for you. I will apply that good advice to his opinion on ammunition.
    And that would be Massad Ayoob. I’m mentioning his name so others can read his writings and make their own decisions.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master



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    Took my new S&W M&P40c to the range with my new reloads. Very disappointing in a few regards.

    My old M&P40c would do 2-2 1/2" groups at 25yds. My XDS 40 will do 1 5/8" - 1 3/4" at 25 yds.

    Not sure what is going on, but my best group with reloads was 4". I shot a 5-shot group with the current carry ammo, Hornady Critical Defense with 165g bullets. It was scary bad with a 9" group.

    The weird thing is, I can shoot a 1" group off-hand with the same ammo at 10yds.

    I will try some loads with the 155gr and 180gr XTPs and see if the pistol responds to that.

    The shorter distance performance is definitely acceptable, but I need to get the 25yd groups cut down quite a bit before I'm happy.
    "Luck don't live out here. Wolves don't kill the unlucky deer; they kill the weak ones..." Jeremy Renner in Wind River

  9. #9
    Boolit Master MyFlatline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idaho45guy View Post
    Took my new S&W M&P40c to the range with my new reloads. Very disappointing in a few regards.

    My old M&P40c would do 2-2 1/2" groups at 25yds. My XDS 40 will do 1 5/8" - 1 3/4" at 25 yds.

    Not sure what is going on, but my best group with reloads was 4". I shot a 5-shot group with the current carry ammo, Hornady Critical Defense with 165g bullets. It was scary bad with a 9" group.

    The weird thing is, I can shoot a 1" group off-hand with the same ammo at 10yds.

    I will try some loads with the 155gr and 180gr XTPs and see if the pistol responds to that.

    The shorter distance performance is definitely acceptable, but I need to get the 25yd groups cut down quite a bit before I'm happy.
    Not being judgmental but if I am in a situation that I need to pull my CW , I doubt it will be more that 30 feet. If we are just talking practice that is one thing.. I'm not looking to take a pistol to a rifle fight, if you get my meaning. Again , please take no offence, but I get confused in these discussions..

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    Tom W.'s Avatar
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    I haven't purchased factory loads for carry in many years. Many years. I carry my handloads in my pistols & revolver, and they are cast boolits. So far they've saved my bacon twice. I haven't had any problems from LE, lawyers or other city officials about it. The local Sheriff's Office knows what I have and never did they say that it's not a good thing. All I've been told was to hit what I'm aiming at.
    Tom
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by MyFlatline View Post
    Not being judgmental but if I am in a situation that I need to pull my CW , I doubt it will be more that 30 feet. If we are just talking practice that is one thing.. I'm not looking to take a pistol to a rifle fight, if you get my meaning. Again , please take no offence, but I get confused in these discussions..
    So you know for a fact that you will never have to hit a target farther than 30' in order to defend your own or another's life?

    And that is the crux of the argument. I don't drive around or walk around town with a rifle. I like to know that I can hit a target reliably at 75'.

    Yes, the majority of self-defense shootings are under 10yds, but since the chance that any of us are going to be in ANY self-defense shooting is miniscule, then why not have the ability to engage a target beyond 30'?

    We already spent thousands of dollars being prepared for something that will likely never happen, so why not be prepared even further?
    "Luck don't live out here. Wolves don't kill the unlucky deer; they kill the weak ones..." Jeremy Renner in Wind River

  12. #12
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    You walking a fine line.
    As a CWP holder there are only a handful (ie 2 or 3) situations that you aren't required to retreat from first.
    I can't speak for every state because I live in SC so I can only speak about my state's laws

    You can “stand your ground” and meet the attack with force, including deadly force, if you reasonably believe that your force is necessary to protect you
    or someone else from death or great bodily injury or to prevent the commission of a violent crime. You don’t have a duty to retreat. This protection applies in public, such as on a
    sidewalk or at the mall, or at your business.
    If you are in your home or vehicle there are only one or two situations that don't fall under the stand your ground clause.
    Most of the time if you are in your vehicle or home you are cleared to defend yourself.

    Generally speaking from my experience at the ranges that I have attended over the past decades, there is only a handful amount of people that I have to worry about beyond 10 yards if they have a handgun. On rifles I would say beyond 100 yards (without a scope)
    Yes, they can send a bunch of lead down range and there is a decent chance one will hit their mark. But I would hope that after the first couple shots fired at me that I would respond with fire and the person would need to go on the defense vs the offense.
    I say that I hope because I have never been in a situation where I was being fired upon.
    And unless you are a LEO or have been deployed in the Military, chances are you haven't been in that situation either.

    It is fun to discuss what ifs, kinda like what you would do if you won the $1.6 billion dollar lottery but in reality its just a dream in either case.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy poppy42's Avatar
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    I’ve said this many times, and I’ll say it again! Show me one documented case where charges have been brought against someone defending themselves Soley because he used handloads ! They don’t exist A legal justified shooting is just that a legal justified shooting. Until someone can show me that documented case I will continue to use my hand loads for self-defense
    Long, Wide, Deep, and Without Hesitation!

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    Idaho45guy
    I am another who carries home rolled exclusively except for .32 ACP on the rare occasions that is the carry gun. Mine are all cast and multi purpose in nature. I live in the country and carry every day for sport, self defense and for pleasure shooting. I fire at least 12 rounds a day and have no reservations about my ammo.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy

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    If you feel like your life is threatened, you can defend your life using any means possible. It is either you or the assailant. This includes rocks, kitchen knives, flower pots, picture frames, tire irons and a host of other garage sale items. So no, the least of the arguments will be that you shot a perp with homemade ammo. It's either justified or not justified. I would rather be judged by 12 than carried by six.

    “To achieve victory we must mass our forces at the hub of all power and movement. The enemy’s "center of gravity”

    ― Karl Von Clausewitz

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I have never carried a factory round in my ccw all my loads have been cast. the only j bullets I have carried are Remington golden sabers in 9m/m 124 gr. loaded in mixed head stamp brass. the h-p is totally reliable.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Just recently there was a topic where someone... I think it was the member, JimP , that shared a link to cases where handloads were part of an issue with the trials of some whoused handloads vs. factory rounds. I will try to locate it & share both the link to the topic as well as the link to the referenced handloads vs factory round cases.

    Might take me a bit..

    I will comment on "MY opinion" , after Igo look to see if I can find the info.
    2nd Amend./U.S. Const. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "A man ought ta do what he thinks is best" - "Hondo" Lane.(John Wayne)

    "If ya don't like my gate, ya don't have to swing on the hinges..." - L. Ackerman ( RIP)

    Enforce the Immigration laws & deport the illegal aliens. Quit fooling around!

    ~~ WWG1WGA ~~

  18. #18
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    As far as I can remember, the only factory ammo ive ever carried were CCI Mini Mags in my Beretta Bobcat. That was way back when I only glove box carried, before I got my license.
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I have heard this discussion often. And I had the pleasure of meeting & talking with Mr. Ayoob once,, and his thought was this.
    He has been called to testify a lot about shootings,, and is considered an expert. He says,, it may not have happened YET,,, (at that time, several years ago,) but that he advises the carrying of factory ammo over handloads BECAUSE an over-zealous prosecutor MAY use just about any argument to prosecute you. Including your choice of ammo,, that may or may not be as "lethal" as factory ammo. And, he added,, that even if it's a weak argument,, it can cast doubt in a juror's eyes,, as well as make you spend more money for ballistic experts to testify in your behalf.

    I also carry ammo I handloaded. And if, God forbid, I ever get into a situation to where I have to use my firearm for SD,, I will ONLY speak to my lawyer,, and then I will use as much legal jargon as I can to protect myself. (My wife worked as a paralegal for many years.) I'll use what I prefer,, and let the jury & courts decide if I'm right or wrong.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
    Tom W.'s Avatar
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    Dieselhorses, I'd rather be acquitted by 12 than carried by six....
    Tom
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check