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Justify handloads for SD based on quality control?

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by CDW4ME, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. CDW4ME

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    Jun 5, 2009
    In one caliber, I personally had a factory Winchester Ranger T squib load; Winchester subsequently replaced that case of ammunition.

    I've seen a thread where primers were backing out of factory Hornady ammunition, locked up the revolver.

    I recently saw a magazine AD warning of a recall on some factory Remington ammunition.

    If a person was (is) concerned about the quality control of factory ammunition and used handloads because they could assure all of the ammunition had an appropriate powder charge, would this be a legitimate defendable reason for using handloads?

    I have some 185 gr. 45 acp handloads that I made with Hornady XTP bullets, new brass and carefully loaded it on a single stage press, visually checking each power charge and pulling random rounds to check OAL.
    Quality control is beyond outstanding, IMO.
    I checked velocity over my chrono and my handload is within 10 fps average of a Remington 185 gr. factory load, but my handload produces much less flash / blast.
    I trust this ammunition to feed & fire and have tested 200+ rounds of it in my pistol.

    I am very inclined to use this ammunition for SD.

    Is the quality control rationale defendable / legitimate reason to use handloads (assuming the care I've described) ?

  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob
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    Nov 6, 2005
    Oh, it's a perfectly logical reason. Only problem is, it doesn't get past the big concern with handloads for self-defense, which is that you almost certainly won't be able to introduce forensic evidence of gunshot residue testing on your opponent's clothing to determine your distance apart when you shot him. That's often necessary when the surviving assailant's story, or his partner's, or a confused witness's, conflicts with yours.

    No one has yet been able to find a case where a court took a reloader's word (or his records, however meticulous) and allowed in as evidence the testing that could have proven he was telling the truth. That's because there's no third-party verification possible, and it becomes a case of "you can't allow that to come before the jury, Your Honor: the defendant literally manufactured the evidence!"

    There are reams of discussion on this that you'll find in the archives here at GlockTalk. However, may I present an alternate solution.

    It sounds to me as if you craft your carry loads like fine jewelry. Good for you. I assume you also inspect them afterward for things like improperly seated primers, correct OAL, etc.

    Simply DO THE SAME with your factory ammo. Now the improperly seated primer issue is off the table. I assume you weigh each cartridge you complete as one last check to confirm the powder charge is in it: now, SIMPLY DO THE SAME with each factory load you put in your gun. Now the chance of a squib is off the table, too. Whether handloaded or manufactured, of course, you're still depending on a manufacturer to give you a primer that's not a dud, so that's a wash there.

    Hope this helps. Best of luck,

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