Hand-loading your ammo and the court

Robb talks about some cases where hand loads lead to guilty verdicts. Also, he found an argument against using them.

8 Responses to “Hand-loading your ammo and the court”

  1. HL says:

    If you will just use a 10mm Auto, the perp will be vaporized, leaving no evidence at all.

  2. Rivrdog says:

    I still don’t get the logic here.

    Unless NJ has a law requiring factory ammo, what is at question here? Any bullet, propelled by any powder, which makes it out of the gun with sufficient energy to cause a lethal wound is an instrument of lethality.

    New Joisy has a solid bullet rule, but beyond that, since there is no “wound if you can, only kill as a last resort” rule, any lawyer worth his/her salt ought to be able to label such a line of logic as fallacious, and there for tending to disprove the State’s case.

    You load with factory because it’s more reliable, supposedly, and that is the only reason. Take note that a reliability argument works against the “moar lethality” rubric.

  3. Robb Allen says:

    The problem isn’t the lethality issue. That was how I had always heard the argument – that the jury will be convinced that you were innocent right up until they learned you created Exploding Metal Balls Of Death in your living room.

    The issue is gunshot residue and people’s belief that the one arm bandit is ‘due for a payout’.

    The thing is, the only round that will cause the exact gunshot residue / ballistic path / etc the forensic people will look at is the one that was fired and then only at that exact moment it was fired. The box has been opened and the cat’s mortal existence quantified.

    As a general rule, given a large enough set of ammo from a particular batch, you should be able to get an average performance from all of them. I think personally this is enough to show that the massive wound with the burnt edges really didn’t come from the .22 pistol vs the .44 Magnum. It can also help say that “on average, these pistol rounds would cause this range of evidence between this range of distance.”

    Your loads can be proven to do the exact same thing, but for some reason, people will be lead to believe that your ability to pull a handle a few times means the variation in your rounds would not be able to do the same.

    Regardless of the *fact* that my rounds can be just as testable as factory loads, people can be mislead, and quite easily since most people’s views on firearms comes from Die Hard movies.

    Is it worth it? Up to you and your risk stack.

  4. Kristopher says:

    Fuck New Jersey law and courts.

    New Jersey is not a good example for anything.

    If we all tried to arrange our lives to please NJ law, we might as well all move to Cuba.

  5. HiddenHills says:


    I wonder if you are a reloader, but use factory in your carry guns, are you still guilty ?

  6. SPQR says:

    No, HiddenHills, no. As Robb says, the argument is that a prosecutor or plaintiff’s attorney could use the reloaded ammunition to paint you as a bad guy who was making some kind of “special” ammo – as evidence of your bad motivations.

    Its a rational concern if you’d seen some of the odd theories that prosecutors and plaintiffs create around shootings.

    If you don’t accept the concern, fine, but attempts to ridicule the concern don’t impress me much.

  7. bobby says:

    Just imagine the extra fun that persecutor Angela Corey would be havin with Zimmerman now … “White crazy ass minority stalkin & profilin watermelon juice & skittles hatin wannabe cop with his special evil black pistol loaded with *Exploding Metal Balls Of Death*”

    It’s just another stick for the prosecution and civil trial attorneys to beat you with. Don’t let them have it.

  8. Rivrdog says:

    Bobby, you may have some actual truth on your side, but that doesn’t mean there’s logic there, also.

    In many jurisdictions, DAs get appointed, not elected, and the appointments are all political payoffs. A political appointee in a GFW state will do whatever he/she can do to suck up to the big political money to make his/her patrol happy. If the big money is anti-gun, than that’s where all this illogical, un-scientific crapple comes from.

    This is all about base, raw, plain-white-envelope ward politics, nothing more.