Defense loads and the law


Dhaught

New member
Hi, I'm new to CC, will be taking my class next week. Anyway I have heard many different claims about the laws concerning shootings in self defense and prosecution efforts regarding chosen calibers, gun type, and ammunition. I will be asking these same questions in my ccp class but wanted to get some input from people of this and a few other forums.

I guess that my question is: What are the preferred calibers, weapon type, and ammunition type in regards to leaving the prosecution, should you be prosecuted or sued, the least amount of opportunities to portray you as a trigger happy, gun toter just looking for an excuse to shoot someone?

An example of some things I've heard are that you should choose non magnum calibers becasue the magnum can be exploited in court. Also that hollow point or other destructive type rounds that can cause large wounds and trauma (which would seem preferable for stopping an attacker) should possibly be avioded as well. I've heard the Glaser rounds cause pretty serious wounds and leave a prosecution angles to exploit.

I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this.

I tried searching before posting this but couldn't seem to find the info I was hoping for.

Thanks.
Dan
 

MP3Mogul

New member
The police use hollow points...

The reason for using hollow points when in court is not to inflict the most damage, it's so the rounds don't go through the person and harm an innocent bystander. You are being RESPONSIBLE for using hollow points.
 
Find out what the local pd carry and use that as an example. Most LEO in my area carry 9mm S&W 5906. There are a couple of LEO agencies that allow the .40 s&w round. I prefer the stopping power of the .40 s&w over the 9mm hence all of my personal defense firearms are .40 s&w. I use the same brand and type of ammo that the local LEO use. Consult your own legal counsel for advice. My choice of firearm and ammo was in part due to conversations with the atty I have on retainer.

Find a caliber that you can shoot comfortably and accurately. When under stress, fine motor skills diminish. You don't want to be firing 2 or 3 magazines worth of ammo to stop one BG! That would look pretty bad in court. Keep in mind that you're looking to "stop a threat". Some BG is out to cause you serious harm or death, and obviously you don't agree with his/her intentions. With this in mind, as a "last resort" (I'd sooner hop in my car and drive off than get into a gun fight), you used "lethal force" to "stop" or "neutralize" the threat.

I'm not an attorney, don't play one on television, haven't stayed at a "Holiday Inn Express" last night. DO NOT take my statements as "legal advice". Seek competent legal counsel that has experience in criminal defense if you want a "legal advice".



gf
 

festus

God Bless Our Troops!!!
Do not use handloads for defense

It is only a matter of time before some dirtbag ACLU (anti-Christ's Legal Unit) atty. brings it to the jury that you loaded that round to be a MORE EFFECTIVE killing machine. It ain't worth the hassle.

Do contact the Local Police and find out what they carry. The rounds have already been tested and approved by the Police Dept's Legal team. Makes for an easier court case IF you do shoot a BG.

When you load your defensive magazines/wheel gun & speedloaders...write the date on the flap of the ammo box. This will give the court a clear cut method of obtaining the Manufacturer and Lot number of the rounds used. The Manufacturer will be summensed and ask to provide ballistic data and possibly an expert witness for the ammunition used. This is a plus considering that they do not have to send in a sample of your ammo to a lab for testing at great expense to all involved.

You only want to stop the threat. Do not ever say kill or terminate...things go badly in court after these utterings.
 

tattedupboy

Thank God I'm alive!
Finding out what the police carry? Keeping track of the lot number and date of purchase? Sheesh, I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that upwards of 90% or more of people who are lawfully and peacebly carrying don't go to such lengths; I know I don't and don't ever plan to. I couldn't care less what the police carry; as long as I'm not prohibited by law from carrying a certain brand or caliber (the only such restriction I know of is in Oklahoma, where the largest caliber that can be legally carried is .45) I'll carry what I shoot best. Sure, I know that some prosecutors will try to make a big deal out of the caliber and types of rounds that people use for self-defense, but as long as I'm able to establish that that I fired my gun to stop a threat against myself and not because I'm some trigger happy hothead looking to shoot someone, I figure that any jury would believe me.
 

UGA

New member
Hi, I'm new to CC, will be taking my class next week. Anyway I have heard many different claims about the laws concerning shootings in self defense and prosecution efforts regarding chosen calibers, gun type, and ammunition. I will be asking these same questions in my ccp class but wanted to get some input from people of this and a few other forums.

I guess that my question is: What are the preferred calibers, weapon type, and ammunition type in regards to leaving the prosecution, should you be prosecuted or sued, the least amount of opportunities to portray you as a trigger happy, gun toter just looking for an excuse to shoot someone?

An example of some things I've heard are that you should choose non magnum calibers becasue the magnum can be exploited in court. Also that hollow point or other destructive type rounds that can cause large wounds and trauma (which would seem preferable for stopping an attacker) should possibly be avioded as well. I've heard the Glaser rounds cause pretty serious wounds and leave a prosecution angles to exploit.

I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this.

I tried searching before posting this but couldn't seem to find the info I was hoping for.

Thanks.
Dan

It is generally accepted to carry as large a caliber as you can handle. (I'm not saying a 50 cal ok) Though for many it is a personal prefference. An 80 yr old woman shooting a .45, would be nailed in civil court if you see what I'm saying. I carry a .45 everyday, all day. As far as ammo goes, hollowpoints all the way. Ball rounds can go through people and walls, and you want a round good enough to do the job. A round passing cleanly through your attacker could allow them to keep fighting. You are liable for everything that round comes in contact with. Remember, it is not your goal to shoot to kill, only to stop the threat. Massod Ayoob has written many great articles on why you should use hollow points.

I carry 230 gr Winchester Ranger SXT Talons in my .45, and 180 gr Ranger Talons in my .40. Yes, the box does say "Law Enforcement Ammunition" but that is a "Winchester" rule, not a law. They are legal to own and to use. They are the same as their "Black Talon" ancestor, but without the "Black" coating. If I find the link to Ayoobs article on this very subject I will post an update for you.

Ultimately, it is your job to check the laws of your state and Municipal codes of your town to be sure.
 
Last edited:

Mortpes

New member
Avoid rounds specified as illegal by the state you live in. The laws are slightly different in each state. Know the laws in your state expertly. The lawyer will make you look bad regardless. That is their job. In the case of hollow points, there have been cases where the shooteraccepted liability in the shooting of an innocent bystander because the solid went through the BG and into the bystander. If you were an expert in reloading you could drop the charge and use a solid to reduce the velocity. We normal folks have to make do with the hollow points.
 

benzuncle

New member
I did a pile of looking on various sundry forums concerning Self Defense ammo and reloads for SD. I found 5 pages of comments on reloads/SD ammo on Taurus Armed.net - Index under the Reloads section. I read them all. No one really answered the question I had: Can anyone actually point to a court case where someone was taken to task for using handloads and shooting someone in self defense? One guy from Texas uses handloads because of the expense of full tilt boogie factory loads. He then loads his firearms with what he shoots at the range because his firearms will react the same and he knows what he is shooting. If people are so worried about the legal aspects, I question whether they should own a firearm for protection in the first place. They should just carry a 3ft stick, slap'em in the nutz then run like hell. (For multiple BGz, carry 2 sticks!) Obviously, criminals, BGz and the like aren't too worried, are they? Look what happened in Washington D.C. for over 30 years. Lambs were led to the slaughter because law abiding citizens couldn't protect themselves from those that don't give a rat's butt about gun laws. Factory defense loads for my 45's are basically a buck a round and I doubt that they will go down from there. To stock up on that stuff, I'll have to sell one or two of the Warden's sewing machines and risk divorce and all that goes with it. I'm looking at buying the hollow point bullets, such as Remington Golden Sabers, and reloading my self defense ammo. I do not "scoop" my loads; I'm content with the velocity and energy of middle ranges loads. And as I weigh the powder often when reloading, and will always have reloads for those in authority to check out should the SHTF and I go to court, I'm not too worried.

I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th.
 

HK4U

New member
You do want to use rounds that will terminate the confrontation as quick as possible. The more shots you have to fire the better the chance one of them may end up hitting an innocent bystander. By the way be sure that what ever you choose feeds well in you gun. It does not mater how potent the round is if you gun jams every other time you fire it.
 

Dhaught

New member
If people are so worried about the legal aspects, I question whether they should own a firearm for protection in the first place. They should just carry a 3ft stick, slap'em in the nutz then run like hell. (For multiple BGz, carry 2 sticks!) Obviously, criminals, BGz and the like aren't too worried, are they?
I hope everyone has a wonderful 4th.


I don't agree.
I think it's prudent to think ahead to the aftermath of the shooting because in this day and age the chance that you will have to defend yourself in court are pretty high and most people don't understand the mindset of gun owners or carriers.
 

S&WM&P40

New member
I am new to CC as i am only 22 most of you on the forums have a lot more years with this and a lot more information i am looking to soak up. But i can not help but ask every one is talking about shooting the BG. Is the point of CC not a last resort? I know i my self would do every thing i could to get away before pulling my gun. Idk how the laws are in your states But in NH law says you must have done every thing in your power to get away from the attacker. I hope to god i never have to shoot some one. As every one in here has said there are so many people looking to make a name for them. Selfs by taking you to court and making you seem like it was all your felt and you attacked the guy you shoot and not the other way around. This day and age you would not just go to court one time but a second time. As even if the jury says you acted right and lets you go you can count on the fact that some who knows the person will try and sue you. Or take the gun maker to court or the ammo maker.
 

LVLouisCyphre

Obama is a mack daddy!
Round choice.

Any round that is generally accepted as a LE/personal protection round typically works. I've carried Federal classic rounds (9BP (now C9BP), PMC Starfire, Remington Golden Sabers, Winchester Silvertips and SXTs with Federal classic and Winchester being my preferences. All mature self defense rounds. In some cases, you are limited to what round you carry because of caliber choice. My favorite example is the 9x18mm Makarov. Popular pistol, but your only factory self defense round available is a Hornady HP/XTP. A Makarov is a viable self defense pistol. If you carry a Mak, stock up on Hornady HP/XTP rounds.

I would also carry mainstream calibers; .380 ACP, .38 special, 9x19mm, .357 magnum, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. 10mm , .41 magnum and .44 special/magnum and are also viable choices, however, the cost for those calibers are more expensive. .41 magnum factory ammunition is difficult to find.

If you're in an area where you have to worry about medium to large game as well as byproducts of our judicial system then I would carry something more exotic or larger. Keep in mind though, the larger bore and energy calibers are designed to be effective against exactly that. Expect over penetration with a handgun caliber that is also viable for medium to large game.

As for using reloads. I would advise against it for two reasons; reliability and liability. You are not likely to incur any additional criminal liability for using handloads. However, it may get your crucified in civil court in a wrongful death or personal injury suit. Only a minority of the States have a civil suit immunity statute for justifiable homicide. An experienced trauma surgeon could point out the differences between using a hotter handloaded round over a standard pressure factory round that is issued to the local law enforcement agency.

Factory ammunition almost always will be more reliable than reloads. The purposes of reloading are to develop a custom round, more economical rounds and personal enjoyment. You don't want to come across in civil court as being too Chuck Bronson. In a rural setting, using handloads won't likely be an issue. In an urban setting, it may.

Reloading is great for developing practice rounds that simulate the handling of factory rounds, but I would not depend upon reloads in a self defense setting.
 

kwo51

New member
A mouth piece would say you got special bullets to KILL ,home rolled ,and you could not refut it. Factory is just that all loads set to standards.
 

tattedupboy

Thank God I'm alive!
I don't agree.
I think it's prudent to think ahead to the aftermath of the shooting because in this day and age the chance that you will have to defend yourself in court are pretty high and most people don't understand the mindset of gun owners or carriers.

+1 on that. Unfortunately, prosecutors will try to portray law abiding gun owners who carry as paranoid hotheads who have itchy trigger fingers and are vigilantes looking for an opportunity to shoot someone. The c caliber and type of ammo being carried will not change that.
 
F

frank.macher

Guest
The question of having to retreat and or doing everything you could to get away is not necessarily true in all states. The Cassel Doctrine (sp?) was signed by our Gov. allowing for no retreat - if you choose to defend yourself, you are within your rights. In the years prior to that passing, we had a duty to try and retreat, and woe be unto you if the BG got shot out side your home, etc.

You'll need to see what the LAW calls for in your own state to determine what you can and cannot do.

BTW, I understand the comments on reloads, the LEO generally prefer you to use factory loads, easier for them to investigate, also, they recommend in the classes I have taken to carry what the LEO carries, if it is good enuff for the LEO...
 

BikerRN

New member
Massad Ayoob has a book that every person who keeps a gun for self defense should read. It's titled, "In The Gravest Extreme.

This will help to answer a lot of the OP's "beginner questions". Not to worry, I had those same questions over twenty years ago. An argument can be made for or against any viewpoint. Thr "trick" is having the most sensible argument and being able to explain why you did what you did.

Buy Mas' book, you won't regret it.

Biker
 

2beararms

New member
There is nothing wrong with debating all of the variables in ones mind prior to the time of reckoning, provided it does not influence your thinking in action.

If when the time comes that you may need to use your weapon, you are thinking, did I do enough to avoid the situation, will I have a reasonable defense, did I load my gun with the right ammo to be defensible in court ... none of it will matter because you will be lying dead in the street.

TRAIN for what is a GOOD shoot and what is not. If it is a good shoot then it will be defensible, if it is not, well then you did not train long or well enough, but if you are going to think about it when the time comes ... please don't carry that gun in the first place.
 

tattedupboy

Thank God I'm alive!
Not saying that it isn't generally a good idea, but why does everyone keep saying to carry what LEOs carry? It seems to me that no matter what you carry, if the circumstances justify the shooting, why should it matter if the caliber of the ammo you're using is the same as the caliber that the local LEOs use? Does using a bigger caliber than they use somehow make it worse?
 

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
49,389
Messages
623,073
Members
74,211
Latest member
zack199
Top