The argument that handloads give any prosecutor a leg up in your prosecution is moot. No case has ever been decided on the basis of whether handloads or factory loads were used. Ayoob’s citations have been researched by handloading lawyers and were found to be without merit in regards to his argument.
Juries understand that whatever is in the gun at the moment is the bullet that is going to be used. Reloading at the point of the fight with factory loads would be foolish and would get you killed.
Pistols are very limited by engineering in there ability to carry a “super hot load”. .45 caliber (.452) is limited to 14,000 Psi and if you exceed that number the gun may blow up in your face either on the next shot or down the road after the gun has been weakened by the over pressures.
Speaking for the handloading community I can tell you that we are all paranoid in the extreme concerning loading super hot loads by accident and we go to great lengths to try to eliminate it because it could cost us our life or the life of a family member or the life of a stranger in the slot next to us at the shooting range. At the least it might thoroughly wreck a gun rendering it a paperweight and a reminder that screams “Don’t do this again!”.
Ayoob is highly respected in many quarters but not in the reloading community. He is regarded as a fool who is not sufficiently knowledgeable to be instructing others in this particular aspect of shooting.
My own bone to pick with him is that he has merged and confused the difference between tactical shooting and defensive shooting. To review the difference:
Tactical shooting is many times a drawn out affair with multiple magazines being loaded into the pistol. Distances are as far as 40 or so feet. Occasionally further. Large quantities of ammo are required and back up is always welcome. The gunfight may be several minutes in duration.
Objective of Tactical Shooting: To end the fight.
Defensive shooting occurs at distances of 10 to 15 feet and only 3 to 5 shots are fired. There is no backup available. The encounter lasts less than ten seconds and most likely will be about 5 seconds in duration.
The objective of Defensive Shooting: To keep the perp from making the next shot.
These are very different objectives and for my money the most effective method of meeting the objective for defensive shooting is to use a .45, either ACP or Long Colt. A .45 Long Colt loaded with a 250 grain bullet traveling 700 feet per second is quite effective on a perp at 15 feet and was also used to put down an out of control horse at close range. This is in no way a hot load but is the classic load for the .45 Long Colt, the black powder load equivalent for the day to day shooting needs of the Cowboy.
My own .45 LC reloads are quite mild but they would be effective on a perp at close range. Pretty much lights out on the first shot. Which is as it should be. He would not make another shot. Objective met.
Well said, buffaloguy. This one’s for you (and for Matt, if he ever wants to use any of the content or ideas from it in his own work). Sorry about the hasty writing. Other things to do here today.
The Story of Bob and His Buffalo Bore Coup
Metro recalled the thoughts of his past few days: the end of his career and the government-haters who ended it. He planned the whole operation from start to finish and even planned his defense in detail. Thank goodness, taxpaying public servants passed the Goochie Act to put the uneducated right-wingers in their place. The fools never suspected that Metro’s Progressive Conservatives were upholding decent regulatory government principles for doing business.
But the right-wingers succeeded in their crime of becoming anti-government communities, independent and with their own little economies. They refused to buy from approved retail authorities who generate revenues that upstanding persons like Metro are entitled to.
Metro arrived at Bob’s rube ranch. The place gave him the creeps. Men like Bob had always intimidated him. He had taken much pleasure in gatekeeping at the agency to keep tall rednecks like Bob from getting in.
Black rifle? Check. Commando uniform? Check. Level VI body armor with armor plate? Check. Twenty 30-round magazines in the proper (and very stylish) handbag? Check. Armored mask? Check. Metro couldn’t lose.
There’s Bob, down by his chicken coop, acting like the anti-government scumbag that he is. Look at him—proud to be an unintelligent, impoverished hick. Metro found a three-foot-high boulder and assumed a proper tactical standing position behind it.
Metro opened fire. He couldn’t miss, sending so many bullets through the air for only 200 meters. Or...how far was that? Dang. Forgot the laser rangefinder. Oh, well, doesn’t matter, because he knew that his black rifle was the brand that always made sub-MOA groups at 500 meters. learned it from the Internet. Had to hit something.
Bob took cover behind a small boulder and assumed a prone position, resting his Ruger Blackhawk on the boulder. He cocked the hammer, aimed for many seconds, a thinly scribed line on the lower part of the front sight leveling in line with the rear sight, squeezed and let one go. The revolver emitted the usual explosion and kicked like a mule. Didn’t expect to see that dandy boy up there. The revolver was for the monstrous bear that had been visiting to stalk and pester the livestock.
Metro dropped backwards like an Army silhouette. Bob saw dandy boy’s feet, aimed patiently between them and let another go. Boom!
The deputy looked at the exit wound on the top of the weird stranger’s skull and said, “Bob, that’s one sorry pelt.” Bob said, “Yup.”
The deputy looked around for an entry wound. Seeing the pool of blood between below Metro’s torso and no obvious entry wound, he decided to let the lab technician find it.
“You know that with that new Goochie law and all, you’ll have to drop by to see us.”
The lawyer for the partner of Mr. Metro S. Politan told the judge, “The Goochie Act....”
“I’m aware of it. Have it your way. The Court will present the lists.”
1 Striker/Arachnid Ninja rifle
Horny Turbo Extreme LE Cartridges
One Ruger Blackhawk revolver, customized by John...
...Buffalo Bore Cartridges
The judge decreed, “Mr. Metro, total $7,386. Bob, total $11,264, brand names also approved.
“Bob, not guilty...!”
I’ll freely admit that I have no instant cases where the jury based guilt or penalty on handloads where factory loads would have led to an Innocent verdict.
I’ll even stipulate to no cases ever having been decided on that turn of facts.
That being said:
1.WHY would one willingly provide a weak point in one’s defense like this, all over an occasional $20-$25 box of factory ammo? Small change, in the big picture.
2. DON”T count on the jury “understanding” anything, even after detailed explanation. People who can think for themselves are typically the first ones released from the jury selection. Lawyers want people they can lead to a conclusion. Thinkers cause problems for them.
3. I’m not following “...Reloading at the point of the fight with factory loads would be foolish and would get you killed.” From your point “...whatever is in the gun at the moment is the bullet that is going to be used” - “bullets is bullets”. Are the modern factory self-defense loads that sufficiently low-performing that one has to resort to the faster (= “hotter , more powerful”) handloads? My carry rounds (Hornaday Critical Defense) seem to perform adequately...
4. IIRC, Clint Smith notes that the point of using a gun is to get the bad guy to stop what he’s doing. Ending the fight = keeping the perp from making the next (or any) shot = getting them to stop what they’re doing.
We’re on the same page - just different ways of getting to the objective.