reloading exclusively for HD/hunting make sense?

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Re: reloading exclusively for HD/hunting make sense?

Post by maine1 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:32 am

Several years ago, i spoke to an experienced attourney about this very issue ( he does the investigations and defends all ME LE shootings)
The issues with reloads:
1) stupid people putting poison or other substances into the hollow point (?)
2) others bitching about it.


He dismissed the issue out of hand, and his tack in court was to be " i'm sorry, your honor, that my client did not have the time or the money to head down to the local gun store to buy the lateste acceptable round when he was BRUTALLY ATTACKED by the defendant. He had to use what he had on hand. If the defendant did not desirte to get shot with my clients reloads then he should not have assaulted him to begin with".
Other lawyers -2 to date- have said about the same thing. 'unless YOUR lawyer is sleeping..its easily dealt with". Other issues are far more important.
But we all should make our own desisions with this. Mas's advice does make sence. Lawyers are people, after all, and soem are pretty scummy for all thier education, and are given to hissyfits about stupid things. J cochran, anyone?

However, if one LOOKS, one can find evidence that reloads were used in LE work during/after WWII, I read of one police chief who was down to his carry load and like 7 rounds, not sure where i read this, but i did.
At one point, many western men used reloads: buffalo hunters famously. Guns were comonly sold WITH a bullet mold and 310 type tool. It was EXPECTED that the end used would produce his/her own ammo.

For hunting/ SD ammo, be damn sure to TEST your rounds, THOROUGHLY, in the weapons they will get used in. Not 20, not 50, not 100, but lets say 3-400 rounds of rifle ammo with a particular load/bullet/crimp/OAL to be sure it works. If it does WRITE IT DOWN in a notebook. Competition shooters shoot THOUSANDS of reloads without a hiccup in competition. They take the time to control all aspects of ammo production, whereas many people get excited to produce ammo and crank it out, before the legwork is all done.
SURE you could have a malf, leave a bullet in the throat..ect, but it happens with factory ammo as well. Thus the above testing.

Inconsistent reloads? OK...maybe. I load my ammo on a dillon 550. With most powders, its within .5 grain on powder throw. On real serious loads, (10mm with 800x, 308 hunting loads) i hand weigh each one. They are consistent. The lives of my wife and son depend on me knowing WTF i am doing..and i have done /continue to do the legwork to make this happen. I HIGHLY doubt that anyone running a machine at Winchester/Olin cares about my family more than i do. I have a vested interest in making DAMN sure my rounds go bang, feed smooth, hit accuratley, and perform as designed.

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Re: reloading exclusively for HD/hunting make sense?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:17 am

maine1 wrote:For hunting/ SD ammo, be damn sure to TEST your rounds, THOROUGHLY, in the weapons they will get used in. Not 20, not 50, not 100, but lets say 3-400 rounds of rifle ammo with a particular load/bullet/crimp/OAL to be sure it works. If it does WRITE IT DOWN in a notebook. Competition shooters shoot THOUSANDS of reloads without a hiccup in competition. They take the time to control all aspects of ammo production, whereas many people get excited to produce ammo and crank it out, before the legwork is all done.
SURE you could have a malf, leave a bullet in the throat..ect, but it happens with factory ammo as well. Thus the above testing.

Inconsistent reloads? OK...maybe. I load my ammo on a dillon 550. With most powders, its within .5 grain on powder throw. On real serious loads, (10mm with 800x, 308 hunting loads) i hand weigh each one. They are consistent. The lives of my wife and son depend on me knowing WTF i am doing..and i have done /continue to do the legwork to make this happen. I HIGHLY doubt that anyone running a machine at Winchester/Olin cares about my family more than i do. I have a vested interest in making DAMN sure my rounds go bang, feed smooth, hit accuratley, and perform as designed.
I agree on the legal issues. I've yet to see handloads make or break a case. Good call and hand-inspecting defensive and hunting loads. You'd hand-inspect match rounds, right?
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Re: reloading exclusively for HD/hunting make sense?

Post by maine1 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:05 pm

OH YEAH...

CASE GAUGES....have one for each caliber. Use them on EVERY ROUND you load. Sure, it takes a bit to run 500 rounds of 45 through it, but you might catch 1-2 rounds that will not function well ( BUT, even most of my "rejects" shoot just fine) I often have NO rejects( not trying to present myself as perfect, or all knowing. its the machine, when used and adjusted well, MAKES GOOD AMMO.) And If I can learn to do it, anyone else can if they spend the time and effort.

In fact, really crucial carry.hunting rounds get gauged twice.

If you have no time for QC...then i'd say you have no time to relaod.
Its NOT that easy to hurt yourself reloading if you have half a brain. all the "don't blow yourself up" comments are from the uneducated.

Avoid Amerc brass. The only brass that i have NOT been able to produce a good live round with. Not even a dummy round.

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Re: reloading exclusively for HD/hunting make sense?

Post by Browning 35 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:01 pm

Reloading for hunting makes a lot of sense to me. What reloading I've done has revolved almost entirely around hunting and I'm still working on some 55 grain soft points I reloaded a couple years ago. A few rds here and a few rds there. I buy and use other hunting ammo, but that's my baseline hunting ammo. Sounds like you'll be doing it one better than just reloading SP's too. I tended to focus on producing really accurate loads with great attention to detail rather than churning out great quantities of it, but I was also trying to maximize my dollars by using pretty good soft points rather than a better bullet.

I personally wouldn't use reloads for self defense/home defense unless there wasn't a single mags worth of factory defensive loads. I see what the naysayers are saying and to a certain extent I agree. In the event of a defensive shooting incident it's unlikely that a prosecuting attorney would focus on the 'OhmyGawd, normal ammunition wasn't deadly enough. This evil man had to construct ammunition equivalent to a small thermonuclear device spinning down a gun barrel which slammed into the 'victim' who was on his way to church to meet his minister and hold hands with his saintly 98 year old g'ma after doing mid-night basketball charity work for little crippled kids' if all the other facts of the case were squarely in the shooters favor. Point taken.

The flip side of that is that using factory ammo that consistently performs the same way every time and which can be proven in a lab that it performs this way or that is one more chip in your stack of chips, so why fuck with it? I'll take a collection of small advantages when it requires very little effort on my part.

Below in the link are the standard arguments of the anti-reloads for self defense/home defense crowd and their poster boy is usually Massad Ayoob.

Handloads: Not a Good Idea for Concealed Carry (*Click*)

Now someone could say that as a firearms trainer he's stuck in the 80's and 90's and there might be a bit of truth to that statement, but as far as the court side of defensive shootings he seems like he's pretty current. If he says that it probably gets brought up more often then most of the shooting community realizes I tend to believe him. He's been called as an expert witness to hundreds of court cases and I haven't. Don't think anyone else in this thread has been either. It probably won't ever come up even if you are involved in a defensive shooting, but it's pretty cheap insurance just in case to close that line of argument. His other suggestions such as shutting up until you have a lawyer are pretty good as well.

As far as hunting ammo goes it's a different story. Even a so-so reloader like me was able to make a bit of accuracy gains. YMMV though and if someone feels comfortable in carrying reloads for HD/SD in their gun and they feel that the possible law enforcement/court angle of it is a non-issue then by all means carry on with your bad self.

One could just as easily second guess their decisions to the point of being completely paralyzed by fear. That's not exactly a good strategy either.
Mr. E. Monkey wrote:
Evan the Diplomat wrote:Why do you want to shoot penguins? What did they ever do to you?
It's that smug, superior attitude of theirs, strutting around in their fancy outfits like they're better than everyone else. Yeah, burn in hell, you snobbish bird bastards.

And don't get me started on pandas!

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Re: reloading exclusively for HD/hunting make sense?

Post by maine1 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:46 pm

Browning 35 wrote:Reloading for hunting makes a lot of sense to me. What reloading I've done has revolved almost entirely around hunting and I'm still working on some 55 grain soft points I reloaded a couple years ago. A few rds here and a few rds there. I buy and use other hunting ammo, but that's my baseline hunting ammo. Sounds like you'll be doing it one better than just reloading SP's too. I tended to focus on producing really accurate loads with great attention to detail rather than churning out great quantities of it, but I was also trying to maximize my dollars by using pretty good soft points rather than a better bullet.

I personally wouldn't use reloads for self defense/home defense unless there wasn't a single mags worth of factory defensive loads. I see what the naysayers are saying and to a certain extent I agree. In the event of a defensive shooting incident it's unlikely that a prosecuting attorney would focus on the 'OhmyGawd, normal ammunition wasn't deadly enough. This evil man had to construct ammunition equivalent to a small thermonuclear device spinning down a gun barrel which slammed into the 'victim' who was on his way to church to meet his minister and hold hands with his saintly 98 year old g'ma after doing mid-night basketball charity work for little crippled kids' if all the other facts of the case were squarely in the shooters favor. Point taken.

The flip side of that is that using factory ammo that consistently performs the same way every time and which can be proven in a lab that it performs this way or that is one more chip in your stack of chips, so why fuck with it? I'll take a collection of small advantages when it requires very little effort on my part.

I guess i would have to see a scientific comparison between a box of, say WWB 45 acp of the local wall mart shelf- or say 6 boxes for a larger sample size- as well as 300 rounds of a 45acp Speer gold dot ( one of the most popular LE rounds in the US) and 300 rounds of a good established 45acp load from an experienced loader. Good reloaders are not using any crazy charges, mixing powders, or having powder charges that greatly vary. The powder charges of factory rounds do vary slightly as well. What exactly is the "inconsistency" that Mas is speaking of? Ia m NOT doubting Mas, but i want some clarity on this
Below in the link are the standard arguments of the anti-reloads for self defense/home defense crowd and their poster boy is usually Massad Ayoob.

Handloads: Not a Good Idea for Concealed Carry (*Click*)

Now someone could say that as a firearms trainer he's stuck in the 80's and 90's and there might be a bit of truth to that statement, but as far as the court side of defensive shootings he seems like he's pretty current. If he says that it probably gets brought up more often then most of the shooting community realizes I tend to believe him. He's been called as an expert witness to hundreds of court cases and I haven't. Don't think anyone else in this thread has been either. It probably won't ever come up even if you are involved in a defensive shooting, but it's pretty cheap insurance just in case to close that line of argument. His other suggestions such as shutting up until you have a lawyer are pretty good as well.

That is ASSUMING you can find a decent JHP load in stock. I see all sorts of FMJ's, but have nor seen even a WWB JHP load in a long time. If i want JHP, it might be that i HAVE to load it myself. Right NOW its not like that, but things change fast.
Carrying FMJ's might be as large a liability, even factory loads.
As far as hunting ammo goes it's a different story. Even a so-so reloader like me was able to make a bit of accuracy gains. YMMV though and if someone feels comfortable in carrying reloads for HD/SD in their gun and they feel that the possible law enforcement/court angle of it is a non-issue then by all means carry on with your bad self.

One could just as easily second guess their decisions to the point of being completely paralyzed by fear. That's not exactly a good strategy either.
This is true as well.

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Re: reloading exclusively for HD/hunting make sense?

Post by MaconCJ7 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:56 am

In regards to the way previous posts of actual cases.

A decent (not even good, just decent) reloader writes down how he loaded. The reason is simple repeat-ability. Not writing it down, means you can't do it that way again. Unless it's some family secret of the "perfect" load that was drilled to memory for years. No matter what, if it needs to be done again, some record, memory or otherwise, is kept so those loads can be made again. To say a forensics team can't make it happen is fallacious at the start. They can make a round kill someone that leaves no powder residue. The problem is making it exact to specifications that they don't know. Thankfully, powder residue isn't how suicides are determined. A factor, surely, but not even a major one.

Unlike what the movies portray, finding residue on a hand doesn't make someone a murderer either. You can be your own attorney and deflect anything that has to do with powder residue.

There was a period of time where my only ammunition were reloads or cheap overstock. Life changes changed that fact, but I will never be against running my reloads, nor those from specific people. I won't buy reloads at a gun show, but that doesn't mean reloads are bad. If you can prove to yourself that your reloads go bang every time, then you have no worry running them for sd. If you can prove that your reloads are accurate against themselves, then you should have no problem using them for hunting. And you only have to prove to yourself. 50/50 isn't good for me, but it might meet your risk assessment.
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Re: reloading exclusively for HD/hunting make sense?

Post by Browning 35 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:19 am

maine1 wrote:I guess i would have to see a scientific comparison between a box of, say WWB 45 acp of the local wall mart shelf- or say 6 boxes for a larger sample size- as well as 300 rounds of a 45acp Speer gold dot ( one of the most popular LE rounds in the US) and 300 rounds of a good established 45acp load from an experienced loader. Good reloaders are not using any crazy charges, mixing powders, or having powder charges that greatly vary. The powder charges of factory rounds do vary slightly as well. What exactly is the "inconsistency" that Mas is speaking of? Ia m NOT doubting Mas, but i want some clarity on this
You'd have to ask him what he meant, I can only guess that what he meant was that not all reloaders are created equal. That some are sober, skilled and serious with great attention to detail thrown in and some reloaders are absolute slobs. If someone took ALL factory ammo and ALL reloads (not just those that were crafted by someone with a ton of experience who were at the top of their game, but also those who were whipped up by shooters who only half knew what they were doing or who fell into the trap that many beginning reloaders fall prey to and exceeded safety parameters because 'Moar powder is moar better') and compared them which of these two categories would do consistently better?

I also think you might be missing my point. I'm not saying that reloads are shit and inconsistent when compared to factory ammo (in fact many times the opposite is true and those reloads might be tailored to that gun and designed to wring every bit of accuracy potential out of it that it's capable of) what I'm saying is that the court won't even try to reproduce your reloads. You might be able to whip up hundreds of new reloads in a matter of hours that are identical in every way to the ammo used to shoot the assailant, but they won't consider that a scientific standard.

Repeatability for that load will only matter for you in regards to accuracy.

The remaining ammo in your gun or in your pocket/on your belt if you carry an extra mag won't be tested as that's evidence that 'X' number of rds were fired or not fired. Neither will the thousands of reloads in your closet. The court officers aren't going to even try to match your load.

They can however just go to the store or order the same brand/load that you used and test that and most likely the results of any ballistic tests will be entered into evidence.

That is ASSUMING you can find a decent JHP load in stock. I see all sorts of FMJ's, but have nor seen even a WWB JHP load in a long time. If i want JHP, it might be that i HAVE to load it myself. Right NOW its not like that, but things change fast.
Carrying FMJ's might be as large a liability, even factory loads.
Why limit yourself to what Walmart carries? Find a few loads that perform well in gel tests, order online, test them in your gun and make sure they work and then order again in bulk.

Even our local Wally-world carries Hydra-Shoks though. That's a good load and if the people down at the lab want to try to prove that whether you were at a certain distance away from the attacker then at least they have somewhere to start from and can go buy it off the shelf. I can guarantee you that they aren't going to break out a reloader and try to match your favorite defensive reloads.

Like reloads I also wouldn't use FMJ unless there was literally nothing else available, but for different reasons.

If you feel differently and believe it to be a non-issue then go ahead and carry reloads. It likely won't matter and even if you are involved in a shooting to protect your own life and the life of your family there are a hundred other criteria that matters more before they get to the issue of what kind of ammunition you used.
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Evan the Diplomat wrote:Why do you want to shoot penguins? What did they ever do to you?
It's that smug, superior attitude of theirs, strutting around in their fancy outfits like they're better than everyone else. Yeah, burn in hell, you snobbish bird bastards.

And don't get me started on pandas!

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Re: reloading exclusively for HD/hunting make sense?

Post by maine1 » Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:58 pm

I really can't disagree with any of that Browning. Yes, some reloaders shalf ass what they do...as people do in every other aspect of life.

I have no confidence that the court will use my data/loads or test any of it, if it would help in amy way. Tahts my lawwers job- and he will likley minimize this argeument to begin with.

Lots of viariables in a shooting, and mas is being conservitive and trying to eliminate those my one. As I said, i can't really disagree with him, yet i will run reloads, as i trust them.

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Re: reloading exclusively for HD/hunting make sense?

Post by Browning 35 » Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:54 pm

Cool, I was just throwing that out as that's one of the variables that you can control and which could possibly affect you in court if it gets that far. Someone can't control many aspects of a confrontation, but they can control how they're trained, how they're armed/equipped, what loads are in the gun, their conditioning and so on.

Being in court charged with a crime for defending yourself can be quite an experience. Most people know this (instinctively or from hearing about the experiences of others caught in that predicament), so they try to put as many odds in their favor as they can. What loads people stuff in their gun is a part of that.

Just because it *could* affect you in court doesn't mean it will. If you're happy with your reloads and feel that you can neutralize that with a good lawyer then that's fine too.
Mr. E. Monkey wrote:
Evan the Diplomat wrote:Why do you want to shoot penguins? What did they ever do to you?
It's that smug, superior attitude of theirs, strutting around in their fancy outfits like they're better than everyone else. Yeah, burn in hell, you snobbish bird bastards.

And don't get me started on pandas!

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Re: reloading exclusively for HD/hunting make sense?

Post by minengr » Sat Aug 16, 2014 4:24 am

I doubt that I have bought more than a couple of boxes of center fire ammo in the last five years. I reload everything. IMO, most hunting ammo available at mart-mart sucks ass. Never limit yourself to that crap. If you've already shelled out for the press, scale, calipers, yada yada, you'd be crazy not to buy a set of dies. Dies usually pay for themselves in a couple hundred rounds or less. My 338WM dies payed for themselves in about 40 rounds. Similar factory ammo was $70/box.

My advise for the newbie
1. If you buy a tumbler, ss wet media with a Thumbler smokes everything
2. Used Redding powder thrower from ebay (I like the older maroon ones)
3. Redding dies in general, Type-S sizers and comp seaters are sweet but expensive
4. Lee universal decapper is nice to have
5. good digital scale
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Re: reloading exclusively for HD/hunting make sense?

Post by ZHT-1A » Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:56 am

To the OP: If you dont have one, get a Chrony. Tell you worlds of what and how your reloads are doing.
Every rifle has a preference for a certain bullet and to what length COL. get a bullet comparator for more accurate readings.
Different powders will give different amounts of flash. I did some reloads of .45ACP, one with Winchester one with Vit. The Winchester I got the fire ball at the muzzle. The Vit was more like sparks out the barrel.

I used to shoot NRA High Power Rifle with a Major who ran a target Rock River AR15. He had to use compressed loads and VLD bullets that had to be single loaded (would not fit the magazine) and even then he had keyholes at the 600 line.
I always out shot him at the 600 line using a NM M1A and 168BTHPs. 8-)
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Re: reloading exclusively for HD/hunting make sense?

Post by 2now » Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:11 pm

I am a civil trial lawyer, and have been practicing law for more than 20 years. But I have never had to defend a reload case. That said take my free advice for what you think it is worth.

1. It matters less what you do that why you do it.
"I reload to get the hottest, deadliest load I can"
vs.
"I reload to get the most accurate load for my gun I can"
The difference is in the statement made, not the use of reloads. and it makes all the difference.

2. Interview and hire a lawyer now. Having met a lawyer, making sure you get along with him and that he shares your views on self defense issues. This will cost less than your CCW pistol, or a good training class, or at least a half dozen other things that you should be spending money on if you are serious about armed self defense. Then ASK YOUR LAWYER about your plans for self defense [reloads, weapon choices, carry practices etc.] and how they will be perceived in your jurisdiction. Teh best way to get legal advice is always to ask your lawyer. It if far cheaper than you think and worth every penny.

When a lawyer gets and emergency call on a new issue, they response on a pretty predictable scale:
guys I do not know;
guys I have represented before, who eventually paid their bill;
guys I have represented before who paid their bills on time;
guys I represented before, who paid on time, and that I liked;
guys who still have money on deposit with me.
close personal friends

Even an ex client who has only $100 in trust with me goes to the top of my list. It is cheap to make sure you are "that guy" who is at the top of the list.
$100 in your lawyer's trust account is like money in a bank account that pays interest with the lawyer's interest in your call. You can get the deposit back any time simply by asking. Think of that deposit like a holster to hold your lawyer there ready for when you need him. Deposit at least as much as you spent on your CCW holster.

3. Scientifically being able to determine exactly what happened is only a good thing IF your account of what happened is extremely accurate.

If you say he was 10 feet when you shot the guy with the knife, and he says it was at least 30, as your lawyer I would not want someone to scientifically be able to prove he was at least 15 feet away. I know 21 feet is considered the danger zone, and that it MIGHT have been a good shoot even if he was more than 15 feet away. But your credibility has been damages when the evidence shows your story could not have happened. This can be true even if the detail is not a critical detail.
So reproducibility is only as good as your reporting is accurate.

Do a Force on Force training exercise, and afterwards let someone interview you about what happened. See how accurate you are. Most people will be surprised at the things that they get wrong.

4. In my current part of the country I would not care too much if my client used hand loads for self defense. However, I have been licensed in Massachusetts. I would advise a client there to use factory loads, or be crystal clear about why they were choosing hand loads. As the chance of getting a full jury ignorant of any gun issues would be much higher.

Just my thoughts having actually done trial work about what you should worry about if you get to court. If you want better advice ask YOUR lawyer.

if anyone needs help find a progun lawyer in the US, PM me.
I am a lawyer but I am not YOUR lawyer.

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