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Reloads for Self Defense??

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  • tips13
    started a topic Reloads for Self Defense??

    Reloads for Self Defense??

    Just a curious question. If you've been reloading for sometime and are comfortable with your loads and load with Hollow Points, would you use reloads in your everyday carry? And if not why not as your basically using the same thing as the factory might?

  • viking
    replied
    Interesting topic that I have heard much internet speculation about.

    Generally if I am every day carrying one of my semi-auto .45s I carry factory JHPs, from whatever manufacturer is cheapest at the time (usually Hornady.) If I have one extra magazine its JHPs as well, but the second spare magazine will be FMJ. You never know what life will throw at you + I always follow the scout motto.

    When I am running or cycling I only carry a .380, but I load it with factory FMJ because I have concerns about the reliability of JHPs in both feeding and penetration of vital areas with that tiny pistol. This gun becomes my pocket carry BUG almost every other time.

    However, to the theme of this topic --- I do sometimes carry my own reloads in certain circumstances. When hiking in extremely remote areas west of the Mississippi, I'll carry my own .357 Mag hard-cast, lead semi-wad-cutters with a large meplat on the bullet. This is only when I am carrying one of my 6" or longer barreled magnums and where I am more concerned about lions & bears than other people --- even then I often upgrade my "BUG" to a smaller .357 or 9mm (that I can conceal in town). These reloads (a John Taffin recipe) are the perfect (for me) balance between felt recoil and muzzle energy. So I know I can shoot them extremely accurately & I could hunt with them if for some reason I needed to. Yes, I travel with all this hardware checked on plane & have never had an issue. Sometimes I carry the same set-up around my property & home just because I want to. I'm not all that concerned about goblins in the semi-rural area that I live in though.

    I would say, the #1 concern is be confident, trained and proficient in whatever gun/load combo you choose to carry. We all need to work on this.

    Leave a comment:


  • petergunn
    replied
    Don't reload and don't believe in magic bullets, EDC(LCP)is loaded with Remington Express FMJ. I bought 5 boxes on sale, $20.00 a box(50). When that's gone it'll be the next Match grade ammo deal I've found.

    Leave a comment:


  • joe sixpack
    replied
    how can they tell it's a factory load?
    I mean someone could pull the bullet or reload the case.

    so even for factory loads how can they be sure?

    Leave a comment:


  • dl645
    replied
    While forensics may not be able to tell exact bullet, with a commercial load they can tell a lot about the shooting from powder residue (how much, how spread out, etc.). If a "witness" claims you shot them from 20yds and the residue results show 3yds, it can work in your favor. This was important in at least one case. I forget the name but the details were someone had loaded some light .38s for his wife because she had a problem with recoil. She used the gun and his loads to commit suicide. Unfortunately since they were his reloads/handloads they weren't able to confirm distance and such. Won't matter if you swear on a stack of bibles that this is how it was loaded and provide them with it for testing. I believe they actually charged him with murder and while he was eventually cleared, it would have been a lot easier if there had only been factory loads used.

    Leave a comment:


  • brian d.
    replied
    Another interesting topic I just never get around to starting is what type of rounds so you carry and why.
    All hollow points (HP)
    All full metal jackets (FMJ)
    or a mix of HP and FMJ

    I carry all hollow points both in the gun and any spare magazine(s) on my person. One could (and many have in print) "But what if...?" this topic to pieces with suggestions of mixed load magazines, a spare mag for ball in case perpetrators reach cover or are inside a car, etc.

    After a lot of pondering (and some shooting at/through cover type materials on the range under safe conditions) I came to the conclusion that most FMJ handgun ammo isn't THAT much more likely to penetrate what someone jumped behind than hollow points of the same caliber/power. Also, with ball ammo, especially hotter stuff, there is somewhat more chance of overpenetrating an assailant and hitting an innocent behind them.

    My only exception to this concept is when I travel to places where there are bigger, tougher predatory aninmals than humans possibly present. My handgun of choice becomes a Glock Model 20 in 10mm. When out where the bears, etc. may be, I carry the gun with handloaded FMJ stuff that's pretty potent. The additional penetration could be critical. When I get back to town I swap out the bear loads for JHP's which were carried in the spare magazine. So far I've never forgotten to do the switcheroo.

    It may not be the perfect solution but it seems to make sense in my mind, anyhow.

    Leave a comment:


  • tips13
    replied
    Dinstar, My carry is loaded with 124 gr. factory hollow points mainly because when I bought them it was all the gun store had in 9 mm. Since than I've bought a lot of different ammo for targets and save the high priced hollow points for self defense.
    In 1972 when I was working as a rent a cop I carried a SW model 10 38 special with a heavy 4 inch barrel loaded with 158 gr. hollow points, worked night guard in a bank building.

    Leave a comment:


  • dinstar
    replied
    It's an interesting topic that comes up every now and then. I think there have been several big names suggest factory ammo and saving the box. That's what I've always done. At the very least it can't hurt.

    If I have to use my gun in self defense and for some reason have to go to court and then for some reason my lawyer or someone else asks "do you have the box your ammo came in?" I will have it. I think the chances of any of that happening are very slim but it's not costing me anything to hold onto the box so why not.

    Honestly I don't think it matters much. I would personally rather have high quality rounds that are designed for self defense then reloads or some new "super ammo". Since I paid $25-$30 for a box of 20, the box with a few unfired rounds is on a shelf in my closet. Not something I think about or worry about though.

    Another interesting topic I just never get around to starting is what type of rounds so you carry and why.
    All hollow points (HP)
    All full metal jackets (FMJ)
    or a mix of HP and FMJ

    I know there are a people on this forum who know alot more than I do about the difference in a criminal trial and civil trial maybe they'll chime in and explian.

    Leave a comment:


  • dinstar
    replied
    So you save the boxes and know what is in every gun? :mrgreen:

    I say that because I use to think along those lines with the boxes then I bought a .40 where the owner threw in about 200 rounds of different SD/HP ammo. Some boxes were full, but not all. I'm not even sure what is in my gun, but since I'm not talking, nobody else will know what's in that gun. Also, how will they even know during a civil trial? Unless the shooting is at my house, the police have no need to remove the ammo from my safe. For a civil trial, I have no reason to say what ammo was in the gun more than "I don't recall" because truly, without looking at the boxes and seeing what is partially empty and comparing that to the headstamp, I really don't recall because it's a popular brand. I know some are anal about what they put in the gun, and I am as well, but the .40 the ammo came with it so I never saw a need to buy new.

    I actually have the boxes. But to be honest for my carry firearms the about the only factory ammo I have is my carry; if I get a real good deal I'll buy for FMJ in the same weight that I carry. At the range I shoot strictly reloads that are reloaded very close to my carry ammo.

    When I chose my ammo I also bought 5 boxes all the same lot #. I used to shoot the ammo in my magazine every 3 to 6 months but now I just shoot the top two or three rounds and replace on the bottom the rounds with the same lot number.

    As for the trial (boldface/underline is mine). From my limited experience with civil cases the victum is going for cash and as much as they can get. Who knows what their lawyer is going to do. Looking at the underlined section it looks to me (over simplified), I'm pretty much guilty unless I can prove I'm not.

    The standard of proof is also very different in a criminal case versus a civil case. Crimes must generally be proved "beyond a reasonable doubt", whereas civil cases are proved by lower standards of proof such as "the preponderance of the evidence" (which essentially means that it was more likely than not that something occurred in a certain way). The difference in standards exists because civil liability is considered less blameworthy and because the punishments are less severe.

    BTW-in 1979 when I bought my first handgun the guy had two shoe boxes; one contained the gun and holster and the other was full of ammo. I had fun shooting it all.

    Leave a comment:


  • tips13
    replied
    Was just wondering if anyone does carry reloads. My Gun right now is loaded with 124 gr. factory hollow points that's a cheaper brand I guess as they only cost around $16 dollars for a box of 20. Recently I purchased 250 124 gr. hollow point bullets for reloading going to use for practice to so I know how gun reacts and for target placement. It makes sense that if you use a published recipe and reload your own shells and keep records of your loads, that basically you have the same as a factory load, just doesn't have a big factory name behind it.

    Leave a comment:


  • nrainstructor
    replied
    It's an interesting topic that comes up every now and then. I think there have been several big names suggest factory ammo and saving the box. That's what I've always done. At the very least it can't hurt.

    If I have to use my gun in self defense and for some reason have to go to court and then for some reason my lawyer or someone else asks "do you have the box your ammo came in?" I will have it. I think the chances of any of that happening are very slim but it's not costing me anything to hold onto the box so why not.

    Honestly I don't think it matters much. I would personally rather have high quality rounds that are designed for self defense then reloads or some new "super ammo". Since I paid $25-$30 for a box of 20, the box with a few unfired rounds is on a shelf in my closet. Not something I think about or worry about though.

    Leave a comment:


  • brian d.
    replied
    Right now the magazine (and chamber!) in my Glock Model 17 is loaded with one brand of store-bought hollow point ammo, the two spare magazines another. Without looking I don't know what either brand might be. They are the same bullet weight though, as of late I've been buying and sticking with 124 grain only for self defense use. (I got a great deal a while back, just had to buy a bunch to get the good price.)

    The only reason I try to stick with the same bullet weight is point of aim/point of impact consistency. That is probably overthinking the subject in and of itself, but years of handgun competition is to blame for that bit of anal-retention. 'The ten ring ain't good enough Brian, got to get them all in the X ring.' Like that's going to happen in the real world under life and death pressure. But, the thought swirls around in my brain anyhow.

    Leave a comment:


  • jediskipdogg
    replied
    I'm comfortable with my reloads for self-defense; but I carry factory rounds.

    When I took my course the instructor said carry what you are comfortable with. He carries facctory rounds. He went on to say during a criminal trial reloads most likely won't be brought up; but reloads will most likely be brought up during a civil trial. The difference is with factory loads you have a lot number. That lot number can be reproduced by the manufacture if needed.

    So you save the boxes and know what is in every gun? :mrgreen:

    I say that because I use to think along those lines with the boxes then I bought a .40 where the owner threw in about 200 rounds of different SD/HP ammo. Some boxes were full, but not all. I'm not even sure what is in my gun, but since I'm not talking, nobody else will know what's in that gun. Also, how will they even know during a civil trial? Unless the shooting is at my house, the police have no need to remove the ammo from my safe. For a civil trial, I have no reason to say what ammo was in the gun more than "I don't recall" because truly, without looking at the boxes and seeing what is partially empty and comparing that to the headstamp, I really don't recall because it's a popular brand. I know some are anal about what they put in the gun, and I am as well, but the .40 the ammo came with it so I never saw a need to buy new.

    Leave a comment:


  • dinstar
    replied
    I'm comfortable with my reloads for self-defense; but I carry factory rounds.

    When I took my course the instructor said carry what you are comfortable with. He carries facctory rounds. He went on to say during a criminal trial reloads most likely won't be brought up; but reloads will most likely be brought up during a civil trial. The difference is with factory loads you have a lot number. That lot number can be reproduced by the manufacture if needed.

    Leave a comment:


  • jediskipdogg
    replied
    If the shooting is legit, it's legit. If someone wants to say my reloads are "made to kill" then I would question what Federal HST, Remington Golden Saber, Speer Gold Dot, etc are all designed to do.

    I believe it's Massad Ayoob that is against using reloads and claims it can be used in court against it. Well, so can shooting any of the ones I just mentioned. Also, how are the police going to tell it's a reload? Most police and forensic analysts aren't smart enough to know the difference between the different self-defense bullets and what casings they should match. And if they are, that's generally the last thing on the mind to analyze.

    I see nothing wrong with it. I generally prefer to just buy factory self-defense rounds mainly for the cost. Sure, it's cheaper to reload each round, but what do I do with the other 230 HST pulled bullets? The quantity one buys to get a decent discount outweighs any savings. I'd essentially have a lifetime supply of hollow point bullets sitting in a cabinet. I'd rather spend $30 every 5 years cycling the ammo (box of 50) out over spending $100 for 250 premium HP bullets that sit around doing nothing. Also, factory self-defense ammo has proven tests through different clothing, your ammo doesn't.

    Now, that's not saying I don't carry reloads. All of my round nose bullets are reloads and I carry a mag of each. All my hollow points where are the ones loaded in my firearms are factory. That excludes my rifles, 100% of my rifle ammo is reloads but that is a quality control to maintain different bullets all having the same point of impact at different distances.

    Leave a comment:

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