Reloads and Gun mods in Court [Archive] - Glock Talk

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wildcat455
08-19-2012, 18:53
I admit. I am at FAIL. :crying:

I sincerely don't understand how doing either, or both in the thread topic, would be "Bad" if I wound up in court.
I've always wondered about this since I first heard it. (Which would have been around 2006... I lead a sheltered life)

Everything I've come up with is reaching...
So what is it all about?

There was a post here that finally sparked me to ask. Rather than derail the thread it was in, and in TRUE GT fashion, I started a NEW thread...

The post I read, and refer to went like this:


"Civil & Criminal Courts will SHORTEN your "life & balance sheet" if you use Re-loads vs. factory ammo.... just like if your gun is "stock or altered".... Stock gun with factory ammo is always more desirable in a courtroom vs. reloaded & altered.

Aux Bear
08-19-2012, 19:04
It's the same as a competent and capable shooter is always at a legal disadvantage. Some how being able to hit a target translates to being trained only to kill. Being a S.O. Dept Armorer we are instructed to never alter a gun with aftermarket parts, convert back and remove any non-OEM purchased parts. To the extent that if we suspect a .25 cent job we are to change out the parts. Guess it is a big legal arguing point and since most claims are settled out of court it's taken the cloak of being a bad thing and non OEM parts have taken on the ife of being killer components in stock gun.

NeverMore1701
08-19-2012, 19:21
I figure that they're my guns and my life on the line, so I will do whatever will make them more accurate and easier to shoot. If that means grips, night sights, smoothing out or lightening the trigger, whatever, I'll do it. If I ever have to use it I'll get a good lawyer and be grateful that I'm on this side of the dirt.

Fox
08-19-2012, 20:11
Try to cite a case where the use of reloads went against the defender in court.

I bet you can't.

AKRover
08-19-2012, 20:36
I could see reloads and aftermarket parts being a legal point in a negligence case where someone was shot accidentally. In a SD situation it shouldn't make any difference. Of course that's just my common sense view of the subject and based on nothing else

dnuggett
08-19-2012, 20:40
Try to cite a case where the use of reloads went against the defender in court.

I bet you can't.

NJ vs. Bias

A quote from the attorney involved as told through Ayoob-

It is interesting to hear the advice of the attorneys who actually tried this case. John Lanza wrote, “When a hand load is used in an incident which becomes the subject of a civil or criminal trial, the duplication of that hand load poses a significant problem for both the plaintiff or the prosecutor and the defendant. Once used, there is no way, with certainty, to determine the amount of powder or propellant used for that load. This becomes significant when forensic testing is used in an effort to duplicate the shot and the resulting evidence on the victim or target.”

He adds, “With the commercial load, one would be in a better position to argue the uniformity between the loads used for testing and the subject load. With a hand load, you have no such uniformity. Also, the prosecution may utilize either standard loads or a different hand load in its testing. The result would be distorted and could be prejudicial to the defendant. Whether or not the judge would allow such a scientific test to be used at trial, is another issue, which, if allowed, would be devastating for the defense. From a strictly forensic standpoint, I would not recommend the use of hand loads because of the inherent lack of uniformity and the risk of unreliable test results. Once the jury hears the proof of an otherwise unreliable test, it can be very difficult to ‘unring the bell.’”

jp3975
08-20-2012, 01:37
NJ vs. Bias

A quote from the attorney involved as told through Ayoob-

It is interesting to hear the advice of the attorneys who actually tried this case. John Lanza wrote, “When a hand load is used in an incident which becomes the subject of a civil or criminal trial, the duplication of that hand load poses a significant problem for both the plaintiff or the prosecutor and the defendant. Once used, there is no way, with certainty, to determine the amount of powder or propellant used for that load. This becomes significant when forensic testing is used in an effort to duplicate the shot and the resulting evidence on the victim or target.”

He adds, “With the commercial load, one would be in a better position to argue the uniformity between the loads used for testing and the subject load. With a hand load, you have no such uniformity. Also, the prosecution may utilize either standard loads or a different hand load in its testing. The result would be distorted and could be prejudicial to the defendant. Whether or not the judge would allow such a scientific test to be used at trial, is another issue, which, if allowed, would be devastating for the defense. From a strictly forensic standpoint, I would not recommend the use of hand loads because of the inherent lack of uniformity and the risk of unreliable test results. Once the jury hears the proof of an otherwise unreliable test, it can be very difficult to ‘unring the bell.’”

I dont see his reasoning. A legal shoot is a legal shoot. What does it matter how fast the bullet is going or the precise ballistics?

NeverMore1701
08-20-2012, 02:06
And how could they prove that the Gold Dots pulled out of the BG and the Speer cases on the ground were actually factory ammo? And and and....

Maine1
08-20-2012, 02:18
IIRC, that case has to do with GSR in a suicide. The mans wife suposedly committed suicide in fron of him in a revolver he had loaded with light loads she could handle, the Prosecution argued that since there was minimal GSR, the shot must have been fired from further away. His reloading records were inadmissible, as it was seen as him fabricating evidence.

dnuggett
08-20-2012, 02:23
I dont see his reasoning. A legal shoot is a legal shoot. What does it matter how fast the bullet is going or the precise ballistics?

You didn't read the case.

firefighter4215
08-20-2012, 02:51
I'm amazed this continues to be an issue. It's so easy to buy quality self-defense ammo from a reputable manufacturer. It's really not worth the risk of loading your own and having to deal with a very easily avoidable problem. I'm pretty sure if you find yourself in court you won't want it to be any more complicated than it has to be.

WoodenPlank
08-20-2012, 03:21
I dont see his reasoning. A legal shoot is a legal shoot. What does it matter how fast the bullet is going or the precise ballistics?

It's not a legal shoot until a judge or jury sees it that way. A prosecutor can use reloaded ammo or modified triggers to try to show either negligence, accident, or even malice aforethought in your case.

So, why do something that gives you little advantage, but can cause you massive headaches in court? Don't use reloads for SD ammo, and don't go lighter than factory suggestion for trigger weight.

verrot
08-20-2012, 05:59
It's not a legal shoot until a judge or jury sees it that way.

That statement is scarily similar to "Guilty Until Proven Innocent".....:shocked:

checkyoursix
08-20-2012, 07:30
That statement is scarily similar to "Guilty Until Proven Innocent".....:shocked:

It's not actually. We are assuming that an homicide has taken place here. The issue at hand is whether external factors could affect the determination of whether it was a justifiable homicide or not. A good prosecutor will use anything to make his case, is that simple.

Mr, Ayoob has answered questions on this topic several times, and since none of us gets paid as an expert witness in court I think it would wise to use him for the great resource he is.


This is an extremely delicate topic, and while I completely agree that being on this side of e dirt is a great thing, the potential effects on your life from a financial and emotional point of view should not in any way be underestimated.

Even the remote possibility that using hand loads could be used againsts in court should be absolutely enough to close the discussion. Are we really debating for the sake of saving $5?

checkyoursix
08-20-2012, 08:02
Welcome to Glock Talk, Kyle. Your question is one of the most contentious on the gun boards. Personally, I would recommend strongly against using handloads for defensive purposes. No one has yet found a case where the courts accepted the defendant's word or records as to what was in the gun, when gunshot residue testing became necessary to determine a disputed distance of the shot in question. Seen that in criminal court, so it's not just a civil court thing.

You'll find long threads on this issue in the archives here, and more with a search at www.thehighroad.org and www.thefiringline.com.

best,
Mas


Well, I actually found a post on the GATE forum on this topic. I am going to stick with the opinion of one of the foremost experts in the industry.

dnuggett
08-20-2012, 08:10
Nevermind

WoodenPlank
08-20-2012, 08:14
That statement is scarily similar to "Guilty Until Proven Innocent".....:shocked:

It's not actually. We are assuming that an homicide has taken place here. The issue at hand is whether external factors could affect the determination of whether it was a justifiable homicide or not. A good prosecutor will use anything to make his case, is that simple.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

People have to remember, justifiable homicide is not a typical criminal case. In Florida, for example, you have to show that a preponderance of evidence (ie: 50.1% or 51%, depending on opinion) supports your claim of self defense in order to have it ruled as such.

SigFTW
08-20-2012, 08:22
I'm amazed this continues to be an issue. It's so easy to buy quality self-defense ammo from a reputable manufacturer. It's really not worth the risk of loading your own and having to deal with a very easily avoidable problem. I'm pretty sure if you find yourself in court you won't want it to be any more complicated than it has to be.

Agree!

As a reloader I still buy SD rounds. It's not worth the potential added risk that can come up in court.

I have read all of Ayoob's reports and side with caution when dealing with SD rounds (Reloads vs Store Bought). So, I'll stick to store bought.

M&P15T
08-20-2012, 08:33
Still.

Not one court case of civilian SD/HD shooting, where re-loads or mods were an issue.

Maybe someone reading this thread knows of one.

WoodenPlank
08-20-2012, 08:48
Still.

Not one court case of civilian SD/HD shooting, where re-loads or mods were an issue.

Maybe someone reading this thread knows of one.

Did you miss the post from Mas someone quoted a few posts back?

"No one has yet found a case where the courts accepted the defendant's word or records as to what was in the gun, when gunshot residue testing became necessary to determine a disputed distance of the shot in question. Seen that in criminal court, so it's not just a civil court thing."

Sounds like a damn good reason to not use hand loads to me.

Beanie-Bean
08-20-2012, 09:02
wildcat,

I have several of Mr. Ayoob's publications, and would trust his advice to just stick with factory-loaded duty/carry/defense ammo, along with a stock trigger. Anything that would provide any possible avenue for attorneys to pursue would not be worth the money spent on quality ammo or time invested practicing and training with a stock-equipped firearm.

Oh yeah, I also have the proper responses for law enforcement if an incident does occur. Those responses were straight for Mr. Ayoob's writings, as well.

Be safe, man.

Z71bill
08-20-2012, 09:25
So a factory loaded 230 gr .45 ACP +P - with 500 FT pounds at the muzzle causes you no additional legal problems

But a hand loaded 65 gr .32 caliber with 155 FT pounds causes you additional exposure?

I can see some risk if you go off the chart and create a SUPER POWERFUL hand load. Take a 45 Colt - push it up to 1,400 FT pounds (if that is even possible)

Then combine this with some stupid statements that your hand load is deadly and you would love to use it on some perp

Then be involved in a shooting - Charles Bronson Vigilante like - in a "bad" neighborhood - far away from your home - no reason to be there unless you are just looking to shoot some minority.

Sure this is a potential problem -

But

Shoot some thug with a hand load & modified gun as he tries to car jack you at gun point - stab you at the ATM machine.

I see no problem.

M&P15T
08-20-2012, 10:21
Did you miss the post from Mas someone quoted a few posts back?

"No one has yet found a case where the courts accepted the defendant's word or records as to what was in the gun, when gunshot residue testing became necessary to determine a disputed distance of the shot in question. Seen that in criminal court, so it's not just a civil court thing."

Sounds like a damn good reason to not use hand loads to me.

Yeah? Read it again. It's a bull**** two-step, and nothing more. That statement is cleverly worded to sound like it's an issue that presents itself every day in some courtroom in this country. Could be re-worded as "there have been no cases where re-loads were ever an issue", and be just as true.

And that quote is NOT what I'm looking for. I have yet to see a SINGLE example of any civil or criminal SD/HD shooting where using re-loads or a modded firearm mattered to the outcome of a trial.

Not one.

Glockdude1
08-20-2012, 10:41
Try to cite a case where the use of reloads went against the defender in court.

I bet you can't.

:agree:

Darkangel1846
08-20-2012, 10:42
Some hear say court case is not going to change what ammo I use. Loading ammo for accuracy or practice is not a legal standing.

blk69stang
08-20-2012, 10:44
SHOULD reloads or modifications to a gun used in a shooting matter as to whether the shoot was justifiable or not? Of course that stuff probably shouldn't matter.

WILL things like that be used by slimeball attorneys who want to win at any cost, or are pushing an anti-gun, anti-self defense agenda? You bet your ass (literally)!

Attorneys have two functions: 1) to know the law, and present the parts of the law that uphold their side of the legal argument. 2) To convince the judge / jury that their argument is the correct one.

Therefore, attorneys must know the law AND be either smart enough to either use the law to their advantage (supporting their argument) or cunning enough to use distraction and obfuscation to cause the judge / jury to overlook the law if said law goes against their case. Or, to say it another way, they win by using the law and facts, or they win by trickery and manipulation.

We're gun people, and we understand what an extended slide stop, or a trigger job, or handloads are for. But most people aren't "gun people". Most likely, your jury is going to consist of a majority of people whose only experience with guns is what they see on TV and in the movies. When the prosecutor tells them the above mods and handloads PROVE that you plotted (with malice and aforethought) to MURDER the first person you thought you could kill and get away with it, those ignorant slobs are going to believe it. They'll say that you're a "thrill killer" whose bloodlust led you to "build each murderous bullet by hand INDIVIDUALLY, to assure the most lethal affect possible" and that you then went "looking for a fight" which was evidenced by the "tactical modifications" that would allow you to "reload quicker, to assure the kill" and have a "hair-trigger" so that it would be easier to "murder". They'll say that you simply went out with the intention of committing murder and cloaking the crime with a false claim of self-defense, but in reality you KNEW you were going to MURDER someone when you left the house with that "evil, modified-for-murder" gun and those "super-lethal bullets" that you painstakingly crafted by hand in true psychopathic serial killer fashion.

They'll paint a picture of you as a dark, brooding, sociopath who sat for hours amongst his guns, fantasizing over your reloading bench about building the perfect, most lethal bullet you could possibly build.

In court, reality does not matter. The PRECEPTION of reality by the judge / jury is truly all that matters. Can an ignorant judge / jury be convinced that gun mods / handloads are evil? Sure thing. Can that perception of "evil" then sway their perception of whether or not a shoot was justifiable? Absolutely.

Unethical attorneys will use ANYTHING they can get their hands on in order to win. I for one don't like the idea of giving them any more ammunition.

I mean, sure- you might be able to mod your gun and use handloads in a SD shooting... but when it's SO EASY to come up with a million ways that it could go horribly wrong, why add that "x-factor", that variable that might cause things to go south? It's a totally controllable and preventable variable, I think it just simplifies things so much if those variables are removed from the equation.

Personally, I think we need some commonsense legislation that would address this. Something like making common mods or handloads inadmissable as "evidence" of evil intent. $0.02

WoodenPlank
08-20-2012, 10:44
Yeah? Read it again. It's a bull**** two-step, and nothing more. That statement is cleverly worded to sound like it's an issue that presents itself every day in some courtroom in this country. Could be re-worded as "there have been no cases where re-loads were ever an issue", and be just as true.

And that quote is NOT what I'm looking for. I have yet to see a SINGLE example of any civil or criminal SD/HD shooting where using re-loads or a modded firearm mattered to the outcome of a trial.

Not one.


:agree:

Did it change the outcome? Maybe, maybe not. It HAS been held against the person using hand loads to defend themselves.

Quality JHP is not prohibitively expensive. Buy it, use it, and save the reloads for range use.

M&P15T
08-20-2012, 11:00
Some hear say court case is not going to change what ammo I use. Loading ammo for accuracy or practice is not a legal standing.

Uuuuuhhh....o.k.......that makes great sense.

Handloaded ammo is also not a legal issue.

At least not hear.

M&P15T
08-20-2012, 11:03
SHOULD reloads or modifications to a gun used in a shooting matter as to whether the shoot was justifiable or not? Of course that stuff probably shouldn't matter.

WILL things like that be used by slimeball attorneys who want to win at any cost, or are pushing an anti-gun, anti-self defense agenda? You bet your ass (literally)!blah-blah-blah-blah-blah-

Post just one reference to a civilian HD/SD/CCW case that hinged on hand-loaded ammo or a modded pistol for it's outcome.

M&P15T
08-20-2012, 11:14
Did it change the outcome? Maybe, maybe not. It HAS been held against the person using hand loads to defend themselves.

Quality JHP is not prohibitively expensive. Buy it, use it, and save the reloads for range use.

You're not getting that the quote from Masaad is complete B.S. It's made-up tripe used to scare people, and nothing more.

For Christ' sake, read it again.....out loud. Don't you get it?

It's not a legal shoot until a judge or jury sees it that way.

I have noticed your complete lack of understanding on this. I've seen you post such incorrect drivel before.

You don't seem to grasp that the state that you live in, like many other states, has Castle Doctrine. It is NOT NECESSARY for a Judge or Jury to deem a shoot legal. The burden of proving innocence no longer lies with the HD/SD shooter. Shooters are NOT automatically arrested and charged, they are presumed innocent unless there is reason to believe that something other than self-defense has taken place.

In your state, and many others, the LEOs have to have a reason to believe that the shooting WAS NOT self-defense. They have to find a way to PROVE that the shooting was not self-defense. This is why what is happening with Zimmerman is complete bull-****, and nothing more that political gamesmanship.

I can't figure out why you continue to believe that every self-defense shooting ends up in court.

wildcat455
08-20-2012, 12:28
Ok. This is where my confusion comes in. I see good arguments for and against from all of you... So THANK YOU GUYS for that.

For you, Is this topic really "Fear based"?

Just how deep does that rabbit hole go?

If reloads/gun mods can be used against you if you defend yourself using them... because a prosecutor is going to try to paint a picture such as some of you have alluded to in this thread, does it also stand to reason if you have more than 1 gun, and more than 1 magazine full of factory rounds, the same picture could be painted?

What do those that assemble their guns do? (By assemble, I mean legally purchasing components of their choice and assemble them to complete.)

By some of your arguments here, is the ONLY way to be "Safe" from the prosecuting attorney painting you in any negative light, to have one STOCK gun, and one factory magazine loaded with factory ammo?

Is that what it takes?

Give up everything out of fear of being misunderstood or misconstrued?

Is the ONLY place it is acceptable for some of you to defend your life, in your home?

mac66
08-20-2012, 12:52
The reload, mod thing is a red herring tactic used by prosecutors or other lawyers (in civil suits) to muddy the waters and portray the defendant as having intent or negligence. It is total BS and I have never seen it work in the 34 years I was involved in the criminal justice system.

Unfortunately Massad Ayoob wrote about it in his books and magazine columns and it has been blown up all out of proportion to what it really is.

countrygun
08-20-2012, 13:21
I might as well weigh in since I was actually on the jury in a homicide case where GSR was an issue. Not quite in the way those here might think but I got to see, firsthand how the issue is handled in a courtroom.

At issue was a gunshot wound and GSR created by a black powder revolver. Had there not been at least three of us on the jury who had experience with black powder I am convinced that, after the lawyers were finished, the other jurors would have had a completely ridiculous view of the issue.

I learned from that case,

I am glad I live an a rural area where people are familiar with firearms.

I want to have factory, and commonly available, ammo in a defensive handgun so all ballistic testing can confirm my story. BUT and a big BUT, since I reload I can see a smart arsed attorney trying to claim I crafted my own powder charge with factory bullet and case. IF a Courtshark decides to go after you be prepared to answer that question, (and best if you don't shoot your gun dry so they can pull bullets on your remaing loads.)

There are a lot of variables that can be twisted in a court, and in my experience it doesn't take a lot to confuse a jury with no firearms experience.

ronin.45
08-20-2012, 16:11
I could see reloads and aftermarket parts being a legal point in a negligence case where someone was shot accidentally. In a SD situation it shouldn't make any difference. Of course that's just my common sense view of the subject and based on nothing else

My thoughts exactly. I don't think I'd trust reloads in a carry gun, but that has nothing to do with legal reasons. As for a light trigger, if I meant to shoot it doesn't matter if the trigger is 10 pounds or 10 ounces. Unless the trigger is accidentally pulled it makes no difference.

chewybaca67
08-20-2012, 17:34
Well....it's a legal system, not a justice system.

dakrat
08-20-2012, 18:04
Try to cite a case where the use of reloads went against the defender in court.

I bet you can't.

+1.

urban myth.

your honor, I was on my way to the shooting range. I feared for my life and that was all I had... case dismissed.

Merkavaboy
08-20-2012, 18:19
I dont see his reasoning. A legal shoot is a legal shoot. What does it matter how fast the bullet is going or the precise ballistics?

Really? According to WHO? You? The school janitor? The doofs here on GT because they "say it is"?

The "only" people who make such decisions are the investigating officers who may or may not arrest you, the state or Fed Prosecutor, the Grand Jury and ultimately the Judge and/or Jury.

dnuggett
08-20-2012, 18:23
Really? According to WHO? You? The school janitor? The doofs here on GT because they "say it is"?


:rofl:

Merkavaboy
08-20-2012, 18:26
And how could they prove that the Gold Dots pulled out of the BG and the Speer cases on the ground were actually factory ammo? And and and....

Very easily. It's called Exemplar ammo, ballistics, forensics, chemestry, GSR analysis etc. this ain't the Dark Ages.

glock_19guy1983
08-20-2012, 18:33
The REAL Elvis COULD show up at graceland wanting the keys to his Caddie next week, doesnt mean its likely to happen. Until I see a proven case Ill continue to carry my customized 1911 with my much hotter than factory reloads.

Merkavaboy
08-20-2012, 18:38
Quote:
It's not a legal shoot until a judge or jury sees it that way.

That statement is scarily similar to "Guilty Until Proven Innocent".....:shocked:

In almost every single state the act of SD is considered an "affirmative action defense". It is up to you, the defender, to prove YOU were justified in using deadly force. And if you and/or your attorney can't/won't defend your actions, then Doom On You. Might as well take the Plea and take your chances in prison.

dudel
08-20-2012, 18:51
I'm amazed this continues to be an issue. It's so easy to buy quality self-defense ammo from a reputable manufacturer. It's really not worth the risk of loading your own and having to deal with a very easily avoidable problem. I'm pretty sure if you find yourself in court you won't want it to be any more complicated than it has to be.

+1. With what I save on reloads, I can easily afford a couple of boxes of gold dots a year. I practice with reloads that approximate the gold dots. Why create any obstacles for yourself. People will do what they want to do, but why they think they understand the issue better than Mr Ayoob is a mystery to me.

Merkavaboy
08-20-2012, 18:55
Yeah? Read it again. It's a bull**** two-step, and nothing more. That statement is cleverly worded to sound like it's an issue that presents itself every day in some courtroom in this country. Could be re-worded as "there have been no cases where re-loads were ever an issue", and be just as true.

And that quote is NOT what I'm looking for. I have yet to see a SINGLE example of any civil or criminal SD/HD shooting where using re-loads or a modded firearm mattered to the outcome of a trial.

Not one.

So, you're telling us that you have access to every single SD shooting case from every single district court throughout the U.S. for, say, the last 30+ years? You know with 100% certainty that there has absolutely been NO case where hand loaded ammo was NEVER a factor in a prosecution?

Or are you just ASSUMING that hand loads (or modified guns) have never been a factor because you personally have never heard of such a case?

dudel
08-20-2012, 19:00
The REAL Elvis COULD show up at graceland wanting the keys to his Caddie next week, doesnt mean its likely to happen. Until I see a proven case Ill continue to carry my customized 1911 with my much hotter than factory reloads.


:rofl::rofl::rofl:And now you've told the world! Smart move. Good luck.

checkyoursix
08-20-2012, 19:02
+1. With what I save on reloads, I can easily afford a couple of boxes of gold dots a year. I practice with reloads that approximate the gold dots. Why create any obstacles for yourself. People will do what they want to do, but why they think they understand the issue better than Mr Ayoub is a mystery to me.

The answer to your last question is anonymity. My bet is that nobody would even think of going against Mr. Ayoob with a fraction of the virulence we witnessed here. He can state his opinion backed by a nationally recognized experience and authority on these matters. Hide a Joe Smith nobody behind a forum name and voila' civility is out the window.

The interesting thing is that also anonymity on these fora offers a much thinner veil than most people know. A prosecutor can order your HD seized, and using software developed to track pedophiles the police can easily track your posts. I bet that knowledge about this fact would give some bloodthirsty poster pause but maybe I day dream.

It's like nobody heard the name Zimmerman, amazing.

Merkavaboy
08-20-2012, 19:10
You're not getting that the quote from Masaad is complete B.S. It's made-up tripe used to scare people, and nothing more.

For Christ' sake, read it again.....out loud. Don't you get it?



I have noticed your complete lack of understanding on this. I've seen you post such incorrect drivel before.

You don't seem to grasp that the state that you live in, like many other states, has Castle Doctrine. It is NOT NECESSARY for a Judge or Jury to deem a shoot legal. The burden of proving innocence no longer lies with the HD/SD shooter. Shooters are NOT automatically arrested and charged, they are presumed innocent unless there is reason to believe that something other than self-defense has taken place.

In your state, and many others, the LEOs have to have a reason to believe that the shooting WAS NOT self-defense. They have to find a way to PROVE that the shooting was not self-defense. This is why what is happening with Zimmerman is complete bull-****, and nothing more that political gamesmanship.

I can't figure out why you continue to believe that every self-defense shooting ends up in court.

How many of you Chuckwagons think this TX case was a "good shoot" under the infallible "Castle Docterine" or "Stand Your Ground" laws?

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-06-14/texas-stand-your-ground/55592380/1

glock_19guy1983
08-20-2012, 19:16
How many of you Chuckwagons think this TX case was a "good shoot" under the infallible "Castle Docterine" or "Stand Your Ground" laws?

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-06-14/texas-stand-your-ground/55592380/1

That guy was a total moron. They need to take him to the nearest oak tree and give him a short drop with a sudden stop.:steamed:

rgregoryb
08-20-2012, 20:35
as a retired homicide detective , unlike the "reserve Lt masquerading as a firearms expert trying to sell books" I also say to the topic at hand

http://th61.photobucket.com/albums/h49/nastyrasty/th_bsflag.gif

if you are protecting your or someone else's life, use a friggin howitzer...geez, this comes up every week

My error, a Police Captain in a town with a population of less than 3,000 people.......

WoodenPlank
08-20-2012, 23:03
You're not getting that the quote from Masaad is complete B.S. It's made-up tripe used to scare people, and nothing more.

For Christ' sake, read it again.....out loud. Don't you get it?


I have noticed your complete lack of understanding on this. I've seen you post such incorrect drivel before.

You don't seem to grasp that the state that you live in, like many other states, has Castle Doctrine. It is NOT NECESSARY for a Judge or Jury to deem a shoot legal. The burden of proving innocence no longer lies with the HD/SD shooter. Shooters are NOT automatically arrested and charged, they are presumed innocent unless there is reason to believe that something other than self-defense has taken place.

In your state, and many others, the LEOs have to have a reason to believe that the shooting WAS NOT self-defense. They have to find a way to PROVE that the shooting was not self-defense. This is why what is happening with Zimmerman is complete bull-****, and nothing more that political gamesmanship.

I can't figure out why you continue to believe that every self-defense shooting ends up in court.

Nice to see you'll still resort to personal attacks.

Even if you claim self defense or stand your ground, it's quite possible (even likely) to wind up at least in front of a judge. Why the hell would you give the prosecutor (especially if you get one that wants to build his career on your back) something to use against you like that?

"Your honor, forensics indicate that the defendant used hand-loaded, over powered ammunition, and a modified trigger that is much easier to pull than what the factory suggests. These two factors, we believe, show that the defendant was looking for a chance to shoot someone, and this incident just provided him an opportunity to do exactly that. We ask that the defendent be held in the county jail without bail until we can convene a grand jury."

Take all that money you saved on reloading, and use it to buy some damn factory JHP already.

I might as well weigh in since I was actually on the jury in a homicide case where GSR was an issue. Not quite in the way those here might think but I got to see, firsthand how the issue is handled in a courtroom.

At issue was a gunshot wound and GSR created by a black powder revolver. Had there not been at least three of us on the jury who had experience with black powder I am convinced that, after the lawyers were finished, the other jurors would have had a completely ridiculous view of the issue.

I learned from that case,

I am glad I live an a rural area where people are familiar with firearms.

I want to have factory, and commonly available, ammo in a defensive handgun so all ballistic testing can confirm my story. BUT and a big BUT, since I reload I can see a smart arsed attorney trying to claim I crafted my own powder charge with factory bullet and case. IF a Courtshark decides to go after you be prepared to answer that question, (and best if you don't shoot your gun dry so they can pull bullets on your remaing loads.)

There are a lot of variables that can be twisted in a court, and in my experience it doesn't take a lot to confuse a jury with no firearms experience.

Exactly. Doesn't matter how legitimate it is, all a DA has to do is convince the judge that it matters, or convince the idiots on the jury that it matters, and you will find yourself in far more hot water.

glock_19guy1983
08-20-2012, 23:21
Nice to see you'll still resort to personal attacks.

Even if you claim self defense or stand your ground, it's quite possible (even likely) to wind up at least in front of a judge. Why the hell would you give the prosecutor (especially if you get one that wants to build his career on your back) something to use against you like that?

"Your honor, forensics indicate that the defendant used hand-loaded, over powered ammunition, and a modified trigger that is much easier to pull than what the factory suggests. These two factors, we believe, show that the defendant was looking for a chance to shoot someone, and this incident just provided him an opportunity to do exactly that. We ask that the defendent be held in the county jail without bail until we can convene a grand jury."

Take all that money you saved on reloading, and use it to buy some damn factory JHP already.



Exactly. Doesn't matter how legitimate it is, all a DA has to do is convince the judge that it matters, or convince the idiots on the jury that it matters, and you will find yourself in far more hot water.

I challenge you to find one case where that has been used in a self defense situation. It doesn't happen. There would be just as much chance of a prosecutor trying to nail you to the wall for using a .45 instead of a 22 or using your factory hollow points instead of fmj. If you are involved in a SD shoooting, Your choice of ammo and gun modifications are the least of your worries. Besides why attack someone for the type of ammo they want to use? Personally I could care less whether you use factory ammo or a big stick.

WoodenPlank
08-20-2012, 23:24
I challenge you to find one case where that has been used in a self defense situation. It doesn't happen. There would be just as much chance of a prosecutor trying to nail you to the wall for using a .45 instead of a 22 or using your factory hollow points instead of fmj. If you are involved in a SD shoooting, Your choice of ammo and gun modifications are the least of your worries. Besides why attack someone for the type of ammo they want to use? Personally I could care less whether you use factory ammo or a big stick.

Again, people have posted here where it has come up in cases.

If you want to use reloads, then go for it. I believe it is short-sighted to do so. Why would you want to risk bringing more trouble down on yourself after a SD shoot? Using factory ammo is cheap insurance against GSR evidence being called into question in court.

Edit to add: What advantage do some of you see in using reloads for SD, anyway? It's not cost, as I doubt people are keeping hundreds of hand loads for HD/SD use handy at all times. I've noticed a few people saying they run hotter hand loads, but I don't get that either. Why not just use factory +P or a larger caliber?

I completely understand reloading for practice ammo, or even for a SHTF stockpile - but why bother for a couple hundred rounds of JHP that get carried every day? It doesn't seem worth the time and effort when you can get top end factory JHP for about 50 cents a round.

countrygun
08-20-2012, 23:34
I challenge you to find one case where that has been used in a self defense situation. It doesn't happen. There would be just as much chance of a prosecutor trying to nail you to the wall for using a .45 instead of a 22 or using your factory hollow points instead of fmj. If you are involved in a SD shoooting, Your choice of ammo and gun modifications are the least of your worries. Besides why attack someone for the type of ammo they want to use? Personally I could care less whether you use factory ammo or a big stick.


In the case I was involved in the GSR pattern was a factor in determining the distance between shooter and shootee. the Courtroom "show" on the issue was not enlightening to someone familiar with firearms and GSR but horribly enlightning about the show itself and how much can be twisted.

I am sorry that I have to cite personal experience, but I am afraid that's the only kind I have.

Trust me, give them no room to create doubt.

WoodenPlank
08-20-2012, 23:38
In the case I was involved in the GSR pattern was a factor in determining the distance between shooter and shootee. the Courtroom "show" on the issue was not enlightening to someone familiar with firearms and GSR but horribly enlightning about the show itself and how much can be twisted.

I am sorry that I have to cite personal experience, but I am afraid that's the only kind I have.

Trust me, give them no room to create doubt.

Bingo.

Side note, country: I snicker every time I see your sig line. That's freaking funny.

countrygun
08-20-2012, 23:48
Bingo.

Side note, country: I snicker every time I see your sig line. That's freaking funny.

It was a heck of a long trial and I had quite a bit of forensic experience in my life before hand. I could give a one hour lecture on that part of the trial.

Yah, that sig line is a modification of one someone else had, I preferred my wording to theirs.

thinktwice
08-21-2012, 00:10
There are a lot of why's and opinions on this subject. I have several handguns that have been altered in one way or another. But I choose to carry a box stock pistol and factory ammunition. Why gamble when it comes to a mostly uninformed jury. The prosecutor is going to try an make you look like a crazed "gun nut" because you were using a modified pistol with a light trigger and "cop killer" bullets. It's wrong and pretty sad but that's the way it is. Most people in that jury are not firearms people. (like us) I say why not take full advantage of having a firearm's expert such as Mas Ayoob right here on this forum that has testified in many court cases and knows what he is talking about.

glock_19guy1983
08-21-2012, 05:40
Edit to add: What advantage do some of you see in using reloads for SD, anyway? It's not cost, as I doubt people are keeping hundreds of hand loads for HD/SD use handy at all times. I've noticed a few people saying they run hotter hand loads, but I don't get that either. Why not just use factory +P or a larger caliber?



I carry a .38 super. Defensive ammo is rather limited for the caliber and what is out there is not loaded anywhere near the full potential of the cartridge. Think of it as a 9mm ++P++.

rgregoryb
08-21-2012, 06:42
There are a lot of why's and opinions on this subject. I have several handguns that have been altered in one way or another. But I choose to carry a box stock pistol and factory ammunition. Why gamble when it comes to a mostly uninformed jury. The prosecutor is going to try an make you look like a crazed "gun nut" because you were using a modified pistol with a light trigger and "cop killer" bullets. It's wrong and pretty sad but that's the way it is. Most people in that jury are not firearms people. (like us) I say why not take full advantage of having a firearm's expert such as Mas Ayoob right here on this forum that has testified in many court cases and knows what he is talking about.

how many?
kind of surprised you risk carrying a gun at all.........skeered? say skeered

WoodenPlank
08-21-2012, 07:05
I carry a .38 super. Defensive ammo is rather limited for the caliber and what is out there is not loaded anywhere near the full potential of the cartridge. Think of it as a 9mm ++P++.

I'm familiar with .38 Super, especially since I carry it's much younger cousin. :whistling:

Also, glad to see someone actually give a fairly legitimate reason for using hand loads for SD.

jmchaney
08-21-2012, 07:43
You didn't read the case.

You didn't read the case either. What you read, was an article written by Ayoob, where he implied that forensic tests could not be done with reloads. Bias' defense did offer expert testimony that the light loads accounted for the lack of GSR. However, the state's firearms expert damaged those claims with their own testing. Here is a quote from his testimony: "It seemed that no matter how low I went with powder and how heavy a bullet I used, there was recoverable residue at 36 inches" from the muzzle. There was very heavy residue at 20 inches. There would be massive recovery at 5 inches from the blast."

jmchaney
08-21-2012, 07:57
There are a lot of why's and opinions on this subject. I have several handguns that have been altered in one way or another. But I choose to carry a box stock pistol and factory ammunition. Why gamble when it comes to a mostly uninformed jury. The prosecutor is going to try an make you look like a crazed "gun nut" because you were using a modified pistol with a light trigger and "cop killer" bullets. It's wrong and pretty sad but that's the way it is. Most people in that jury are not firearms people. (like us) I say why not take full advantage of having a firearm's expert such as Mas Ayoob right here on this forum that has testified in many court cases and knows what he is talking about.

If "that's the way it is", then you should be able to cite just ONE case where it actually "was". Perhaps Mas Ayoob does know what he is talking about, since he has never cited one where it "was" either.

Merkavaboy
08-21-2012, 08:55
People seem to have short memories. Here's a case in which both the caliber of one's pistol and JHP ammo made a huge impact on a jury. So much so that when the jury members were interviewed on a TV news show, they actually remarked on the fact that the use of the non-standard LE 10mm caliber pistol and deadly "dum-dum" bullets were used. That case was:

State of Arizona v. Harold Arthur Fish.

Yes, prosecutors and plaintiff's attorney can/will and HAVE used the type of firearm, caliber and bullet type to paint the defendant as being reckless and negligent.

Spats McGee
08-21-2012, 09:11
The issue of reloads came up so often on The Firing Line that I finally compiled all of the threads into
An Archive Regarding Reloads and Self-Defense (http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=452627). If anyone wants to explore the issue, it's been hashed out from almost every concievable angle in one of the threads contained in the archive.

Reloads and gun mods are distinct, separate legal issues. Reloads present an evidentiary problem related to GSR. The risk of reloads becoming a legal issue in any one particular case are slim, but the consequences can be very serious. The rules of evidence remain the same, whether the case is homicide, suicide, or an ice-cream truck accident.

Gun mods are a different beast entirely. I see those as more likely to become an issue if the shooter (or the victim's family) claims that the shooting was not intentional, but the result of negligence.

jmchaney
08-21-2012, 09:20
People seem to have short memories. Here's a case in which both the caliber of one's pistol and JHP ammo made a huge impact on a jury. So much so that when the jury members were interviewed on a TV news show, they actually remarked on the fact that the use of the non-standard LE 10mm caliber pistol and deadly "dum-dum" bullets were used. That case was:

State of Arizona v. Harold Arthur Fish.

Yes, prosecutors and plaintiff's attorney can/will and HAVE used the type of firearm, caliber and bullet type to paint the defendant as being reckless and negligent.

It wasn't "they", it was one juror that "had a problem" with hollowpoints. The expert testimony of the gun and ammunition was mentioned in the appeal, and this was the response from the court:
"Defendant has waived this issue absent fundamental error because he did not move to exclude this evidence by a motion in limine or object at trial to this evidence." Evidently, Fish's defense had the opportunity to exclude this, but did not.

dnuggett
08-21-2012, 09:26
You didn't read the case either. What you read, was an article written by Ayoob, where he implied that forensic tests could not be done with reloads. Bias' defense did offer expert testimony that the light loads accounted for the lack of GSR. However, the state's firearms expert damaged those claims with their own testing. Here is a quote from his testimony: "It seemed that no matter how low I went with powder and how heavy a bullet I used, there was recoverable residue at 36 inches" from the muzzle. There was very heavy residue at 20 inches. There would be massive recovery at 5 inches from the blast."

No I did not read the case in full. I have read summaries. I didn't need to read it to say what I said. I have said two things previous to this post and I believe both to be correct.

jbglock
08-21-2012, 09:38
I'm pretty confused here. I can't speak for every state but in my state you are not automatically justified. This is from an active leo. First the investigating officer or detective make a determination. Then they present their findings to the local DA. If the leo feels you were justified then it isn't likely the DA will proceed. If not then the evidence will be presented by the investigator to the grand jury. If they are convinced then you will shortly be brought to the county jail under a warrant for your arrest. That is where your nightmare begins if you truly were justified.

Let's not forget the possibility of the family suing you in addition or even if the DA rules it justified.

Maybe the leo is knowledgeable about firearms and knows whether your mods were safe or unsafe. Maybe he isn't of the opinion that your handloads weren't an effort on your part to create a special deadly bullet. I wouldn't bet on it.

I'm an leo and am of the opinion that a 3.5 pound connector with the factory spring in a Glock is unsafe for the average person. I have used them but only on a range gun. Lets say I feel you were justified in your actions. Now I present ALL the evidence I collect to the DA including my conclusion that you you made your gun unsafe for general carry. Don't think you will still get charged with something?

Frankly I do not mod my duty Glock but only because I'm not allowed to do it. I do modify my off duty carry piece but only with the pieces that my department armorer has approved. Night sites, Glock OEM extended mag release, Tango Down baseplates, and a NY1 trigger spring. I handload but would never carry the gun with handloads in the magazine. Why? Because I know better. Because I know that just because my handloads are actually milder than any factory load I use doesn't mean a lawyer couldn't make an issue of it. Even though I could have my lawyer argue the truth, the truth is what the jury decides the truth is in the end. I doubt one person here can't afford good quality factory loaded JHP rounds and either occasional practice with said load, cheaper practice ammo that is the ballistic equivalant, or reloading their own practice load.

I have no opinion on Ayoob as I've never met him, dealt with him, or know of his experience. I'll say just because he is working a town of only 3000 people doesn't mean his experience might be as limited as some think. My town is only a little above 3 times the population and a typical day for me is anywhere from 1 to 4 arrests. Some months no murders. Some 3 to 4. Countless drunks, addicts, thieves, child molesters, and dealers to keep track of. Unless you really know an officers area and level of activity you really can't discount his experience just because the population is small.

cowboy1964
08-21-2012, 10:48
Try to cite a case where the use of reloads went against the defender in court.

I bet you can't.

You could start here:

http://www.gunatics.com/forums/general-gun-talk/5514-cases-where-handloads-caused-problems-court-mas-ayoob.html

I'm sure there is lots more out there if you really wanted to look.

MrGlock21
08-21-2012, 12:10
+1.

urban myth.

your honor, I was on my way to the shooting range. I feared for my life and that was all I had... case dismissed.

+1

or
your honor, I picked up that ammo at the gun show and the seller sure looked like a licensed ammo maker to me. ...

Z71bill
08-21-2012, 12:26
Your honor -

Premium factory JHP cartridges cost about $.70 each - the guy I shot was not worth wasting a premium round on - :cool:


BTW I only shoot factory ammo - even at the range.

rgregoryb
08-21-2012, 19:14
delete............it isn't worth the time

jmchaney
08-22-2012, 07:35
You could start here:

http://www.gunatics.com/forums/general-gun-talk/5514-cases-where-handloads-caused-problems-court-mas-ayoob.html

I'm sure there is lots more out there if you really wanted to look.

OK, let's start there.

NH v Kennedy: Ayoob is saying that Kennedy's use of reloads is what caused his problems. Saying that is equivalent to saying, that it is OK for a police officer to shoot an unarmed person in a car, if only he uses commercial ammo. Did you believe it?

NJ v Bias: Reloads were tested by experts from both sides, and it was still shown that the muzzle was considerable distance from the wound. Beside that, the ME testified that the position and trajectory of the wound, precluded it from being self-inflicted.

Tn v Barnes: Going just by what Ayoob wrote, reloads were not a factor at all. The prosecution did not even know reloads were used until the trial, implying that it was the defense that brought it up. Saying that they were able to re-create the incident without GSR, also implies the the knife-wielding attacker was at a distance that GSR evidence would not be a factor, even with commercial loads.

Iowa v. Cpl. Randy Willems: I don't understand why this case is even mentioned, unless Ayoob wants us to believe that reloads do not produce GSR when fired.

And you are probably right. There may be many more like those, but I have yet to see a valid self-defense shooting, where reloads or gun mods made a difference.

M&P15T
08-22-2012, 07:49
So, you're telling us that you have access to every single SD shooting case from every single district court throughout the U.S. for, say, the last 30+ years? You know with 100% certainty that there has absolutely been NO case where hand loaded ammo was NEVER a factor in a prosecution?

Or are you just ASSUMING that hand loads (or modified guns) have never been a factor because you personally have never heard of such a case?

Do you? This topic has been discussed MANY TIMES here on GT. And not ONCE has anyone provided a case where either hand-loaded ammo or a modded firearm was an issue for a civlian SD/HD shooting.

How many of you Chuckwagons think this TX case was a "good shoot" under the infallible "Castle Docterine" or "Stand Your Ground" laws?

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-06-14/texas-stand-your-ground/55592380/1

This was discussed here in multiple threads. Everyone knew it was murder. No one thought that guy was in the right.

M&P15T
08-22-2012, 07:52
Nice to see you'll still resort to personal attacks.

Even if you claim self defense or stand your ground, it's quite possible (even likely) to wind up at blah-blah-blah-blah-blah.

One.

Just one.

Find it and post a link.

SRS
08-22-2012, 16:43
And not ONCE has anyone provided a case where either hand-loaded ammo or a modded firearm was an issue for a civlian SD/HD shooting.


Most cases that reach trial are going to be decided by a jury, and a jury doesn't provide much, if any, explanation for its verdict. Thus, it's impossible to tell in most cases which evidence the jury found persuasive unless you do detailed juror interviews. I've spoken to jurors in several cases after the conclusion of a trial and was really surprised by what they did or didn't consider important.

To be clear, I don't necessarily think that handloads or weapon modifications are something to be avoided. I just think it's a bad argument to say that no cases discuss the significance of handloads and mods and, thus, it's irrelevant.

countrygun
08-22-2012, 17:25
One.

Just one.

Find it and post a link.


Ahem. In the case I was involved in (mentioned before) the load in the black powder revolver, which is a basic form of handloading, was an issue in attempting to use the GSR pattern to determine the distance at which the victim was shot.

That firsthand courtroom experience convinced me to stick to factory ammo for forensic repeatability.

I don't think there is a real synopsis of the case on the 'net but if you like, Google "Oregon Prisons, death row, Gregory Allen Bowen

fnfalman
08-22-2012, 22:11
Better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.

Survive the encounter first and worry about the rest later.

fnfalman
08-22-2012, 22:12
I wonder how would a DA prosecute you if you were to "modify" your gun by putting on a set of pink plastic grips?

dudel
08-23-2012, 00:10
Better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.

Survive the encounter first and worry about the rest later.


Even better to be acquitted by 12, than judged by 12 (you could be judged guilty). In either event, it's going to cost you. The less time you spend in court, the less it will cost you.

You can survive the fight, but how big a financial hit do you and your family want to take for it?

WoodenPlank
08-23-2012, 02:08
Ahem. In the case I was involved in (mentioned before) the load in the black powder revolver, which is a basic form of handloading, was an issue in attempting to use the GSR pattern to determine the distance at which the victim was shot.

That firsthand courtroom experience convinced me to stick to factory ammo for forensic repeatability.

I don't think there is a real synopsis of the case on the 'net but if you like, Google "Oregon Prisons, death row, Gregory Allen Bowen

I get the feeling that your posts have been conveniently ignored here.

Again, it might make a difference in any particular case, or it might not. When good factory SD ammo is fairly cheap and readily available in most calibers, why invite the trouble?

I wonder how would a DA prosecute you if you were to "modify" your gun by putting on a set of pink plastic grips?

They will call you a sissy in court, and claim that you shot someone for being a little chicken...


:whistling:


Obviously, there are plenty of ways to change or modify a defensive weapon that would be very hard to be used against you. Different grips (assuming they don't have some 'evil' phrase, logo, etc on them), night sights, better/heavier recoil spring, going to a smooth Glock trigger over the grooved one, laser grips, etc. are all easy to justify. Some trigger mods are easy to justify, too, like a NY-1 with a - connector.

Don't use hand loads, don't go below factory suggested trigger weight in a defensive gun, and be able to back up any other changes you made to your gun with short and easy to understand reasons. Do those things, and you should be fine.

jbglock
08-23-2012, 08:28
WoodenPlank, a lot of posts have been conveniently ignored in this thread. Especially mine. Mine is the opinion of an active leo that does have a lot of input into who gets prosecuted and who doesn't. I guess all the armchair gunfighters know better though.

M&P15T
08-23-2012, 09:28
Ahem. In the case I was involved in (mentioned before) the load in the black powder revolver, which is a basic form of handloading, was an issue in attempting to use the GSR pattern to determine the distance at which the victim was shot.

That firsthand courtroom experience convinced me to stick to factory ammo for forensic repeatability.

I don't think there is a real synopsis of the case on the 'net but if you like, Google "Oregon Prisons, death row, Gregory Allen Bowen

If it's a legitimate SD/HD shoot, the distance from the BG (powder residue) shouldn't be an issue.

I'm totally for using factory ammo, I myself don't even load my own ammo. But this comes up time and time again, and, no one can provide a single instance of a mod or hand-loads making any difference in a civilian SD/HD shooting.

Take, for instance, your reference to Gregory Allen Bowne. I read a bit of the synopsis, and that is not a normal SD/HD shooting. There were assaults, drug abuse, and all other sorts of shady crapola leading up to the shooting death...

It WAS NOT an SD/HD shooting by a normal, legal person. They sound like they were wanna-be gangsters and drug addicts.

WoodenPlank
08-23-2012, 09:44
If it's a legitimate SD/HD shoot, the distance from the BG (powder residue) shouldn't be an issue.

I'm totally for using factory ammo, I myself don't even load my own ammo. But this comes up time and time again, and, no one can provide a single instance of a mod or hand-loads making any difference in a civilian SD/HD shooting.

Take, for instance, your reference to Gregory Allen Bowne. I read a bit of the synopsis, and that is not a normal SD/HD shooting. There were assaults, drug abuse, and all other sorts of shady crapola leading up to the shooting death...

It WAS NOT an SD/HD shooting by a normal, legal person. They sound like they were wanna-be gangsters and drug addicts.

In a perfect world, you would be right. In a perfect world, George Zimmerman would likely be a free man right now, since the evidence that is in the public eye is more than enough to back up his claim of self defense, and to satisfy the preponderance of evidence rule in FL.

We don't live in a perfect world. An unscrupulous prosecutor can and will use hand loaded ammo against you, legit shoot or not.

An unscrupulous and biased media will use hand loaded ammo against you, legit shoot or not.

If you live in a state without civil immunity, an unscrupulous lawyer representing the criminal's family will use it against you in the civil suit, legit shoot or not.

The point is, you still have to show it was a legitimate shooting, and using hand loaded ammo can most definitely muddy the waters, as posts here have demonstrated.

The same thing goes for triggers that are lighter than what the manufacturer calls for.

Will it make a difference in every single case? No way.

Can it make life MUCH more difficult (in an already difficult situation) to use hand loaded ammunition? Absolutely.

When the risks so drastically outweigh the gains, why do it?

M&P15T
08-23-2012, 09:49
In a perfect world, you would be right. In a perfect world, George Zimmerman would likely be a free man right now,.....SNIP
When the risks so drastically outweigh the gains, why do it?

I don't "do it", nor would I recommend it.

All I'm saying is that this discussion comes up all the damn time, and not ONE instance of hand-loaded ammo or a mod to a firearm has EVER been shown to have effected the outcome of ANYTHING, in regards to a justified HD/SD shooting.

And we all know damn good & well that the Zimmerman situation is about racial politics, not about ammo or mods.

WoodenPlank
08-23-2012, 09:59
I don't "do it", nor would I recommend it.

All I'm saying is that this discussion comes up all the damn time, and not ONE instance of hand-loaded ammo or a mod to a firearm has EVER been shown to have effected the outcome of ANYTHING, in regards to a justified HD/SD shooting.

And we all know damn good & well that the Zimmerman situation is about racial politics, not about ammo or mods.

:tongueout:

I realize that, it was a generalized statement.

Anyway, as someone else has pointed out already, it's almost impossible to know what affects the outcome of a trial without in depth interviews with the jury afterwards. There HAVE been posts here of first hand experience where it has muddied the waters of a trial, and made the defendant's case more difficult than it would have been otherwise.

Plus, there's no way we can collectively know the circumstances of every single trial of a self defense case in the US.

Side note: You're right about the Zimmerman case, but it is a damned good example of how something that should have zero bearing on the case (the racial angle) suddenly is the cornerstone of that case.

M&P15T
08-23-2012, 10:11
:tongueout:


Side note: You're right about the Zimmerman case, but it is a damned good example of how something that should have zero bearing on the case (the racial angle) suddenly is the cornerstone of that case.

I was just sitting here considering starting a thread in the lounge about the Zimmerman case. At this point I believe that the charges against him are going to be dropped after letting things calm down for quite a bit longer.

At least I haven't heard that there are any scheduled dates for any court proceedings.

WoodenPlank
08-23-2012, 10:20
I was just sitting here considering starting a thread in the lounge about the Zimmerman case. At this point I believe that the charges against him are going to be dropped after letting things calm down for quite a bit longer.

At least I haven't heard that there are any scheduled dates for any court proceedings.

Nah, the state-appointed DA wants to build her fame and further her career off this case. I don't see her dropping it. To be honest, I'm not convinced the judge is all that impartial, either.

M&P15T
08-23-2012, 10:27
Nah, the state-appointed DA wants to build her fame and further her career off this case. I don't see her dropping it. To be honest, I'm not convinced the judge is all that impartial, either.

THREAD DE-RAIL: ENGAGE!!:rofl::rofl:

My thoughts are that, since Zimmerman did not actually do anything illegal, the DA is doing this strictly to calm the "community" down (and get her notoriety), but there's not really any case to convict him on.

So, we'll see. My money is that several months from now, the DA's office announces they're dropping the case. They just can't convict him, so there's nothing more to do.

Who knows, I could be completely wrong. That's just how I'm seeing it from the information currently available.

WoodenPlank
08-23-2012, 11:01
THREAD DE-RAIL: ENGAGE!!:rofl::rofl:

My thoughts are that, since Zimmerman did not actually do anything illegal, the DA is doing this strictly to calm the "community" down (and get her notoriety), but there's not really any case to convict him on.

So, we'll see. My money is that several months from now, the DA's office announces they're dropping the case. They just can't convict him, so there's nothing more to do.

Who knows, I could be completely wrong. That's just how I'm seeing it from the information currently available.

I doubt the prosecutor will drop it, mostly because she has always seemed like a USDA Grade A.... well, something the language filter wouldn't like. She was practically salivating when she announced the charges. The only 2 ways this doesn't go to full trial is if A) the current judge grows some balls, loses his hard-on for screwing with Zimmerman, and actually tosses it after a self-defense hearing, or B) the judge gets pulled from the case, and A) happens with a new judge.

countrygun
08-23-2012, 11:20
If it's a legitimate SD/HD shoot, the distance from the BG (powder residue) shouldn't be an issue.

I'm totally for using factory ammo, I myself don't even load my own ammo. But this comes up time and time again, and, no one can provide a single instance of a mod or hand-loads making any difference in a civilian SD/HD shooting.

Take, for instance, your reference to Gregory Allen Bowne. I read a bit of the synopsis, and that is not a normal SD/HD shooting. There were assaults, drug abuse, and all other sorts of shady crapola leading up to the shooting death...

It WAS NOT an SD/HD shooting by a normal, legal person. They sound like they were wanna-be gangsters and drug addicts.

Bowen was the shooter and the bad guy, but that doesn't change the dynamics of the forensics in the courtroom.
We sent him to death row because he killed an elderly gentleman during a robbery (He had been sent to prison TWICE in another State for his involvement in seperate homicides we discovered this in the "penalty" phase after finding him guilty)

At any rate the amount of powder stippling around the entry wound was an issue in whether they were struggling for the gun or the victin had been shoot from several feet away. The defense claimed that the lack of stippling was due to a) it being a "contact wound" and b) being unfamiliar with that type of pistol the shooter HAD LOADED IT WITH A LIGHTER THAN NORMAL POWDER CHARGE.

Now you can play like an argumentative teenager and say "well he was the bad guy and that's all different in that case"
Most of us on the jury had some familiarity with firearms, two of us were reloaders and also shot BP firearms, one was the wife of a shooter, most were firearms owners.

After seeing the forensics presented and argued in court, all twelve of us agreed during the deliberation phase, that we would all stick to factory ammo in our SD guns.

Short of being the "subject" of the trial that is about as close as one gets to the real world of "guns in courtrooms"

Spats McGee
08-25-2012, 12:07
If it's a legitimate SD/HD shoot, the distance from the BG (powder residue) shouldn't be an issue. . . . .
Though perhaps you did not mean for it to be, this is something of a red herring. There are problems in the way you've rephrased the question.

First: If a case is a "legitimate SD/HD shoot," then the shooter has been able to carry his burden of proof on the issue of self-defense. Accordingly, he cannot have been convicted of a crime. In this case, it is unlikely that the State would have appealed, and it could be very difficult to locate such a case. OTOH, if the shooter was convicted of a crime, then he did not carry his burden of proof on SD, and, the case cannot be a documented self-defense shooting, unless an appellate court overturned the decision (of course).

Of all of the cases that are ever resolved by a court, very, very few are reported to any sort of searchable database. If no charges are filed, most of us will never be able to locate a report. If the defendant prevails at trial, most of us will never be able to locate a report. If the case is ruled not to be SD, and the defendant is acquitted, we will only find the case if the defendant appeals, and if handloaded ammo is an issue.

Second: In every jurisdiction of which I am aware, the rules of evidence remain the same, whether the case is a criminal prosecution, a negligence case, or a breach of contract case. The problems inherent in using handloads are evidentiary in nature, so the fact that one particular case does not have an element of self-defense to it does not diminish its value as a predictor of possible future rulings.

Third: It overlooks the difficulties in finding self-defense cases which meet suitable criteria. By "suitable criteria," I mean: (1) an allegation of SD; (2) use of handloaded ammunition; and (3) a decision with some useful guidance written into it.

In most jurisdictions, a shoot is neither legitimate nor illegitimate until someone other than the shooter (police, DA, judge or jury) decides that it was. That means that if there's any question about the distance to the target, and some variance between the testimony of the shooter and the testimony of the victim (if he survived) that variance could impact the jury's credibility determinations. Ultimately that could make the difference in whether or not a shoot was legitimate.

Finally, IMO, it's important to define what we mean when we say "handloads became an issue." Have handloads ever made the difference between a murder conviction and a determination that an SD shoot was "clean?" I don't know. AFAIK, there aren't any published studies of the jurors' opinions after trials. OTOH, is there a risk that the use of handloads could hang up a legitimate SD shooter's trial process and wind up costing thousands of dollars in retrials, hiring experts, attorneys' fees in fighting evidentiary motions? You bet. Could it result in exclusion of evidence based on testing a reloader's rounds? Yes.