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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
O.K.,
I am kind of newbee on this forum, and some of you may have seen my questions posted around these parts with me trying to educate myself, and figure out how (since I just got my concealed carry permit) I should pack my new H&K-USP .45 full sized, and what ammo to have in it.
I have seen the great, very informative posts, by DiFabio and Clay, on the various types of .45 JHPs and what they do when they are fired into wet newspaper, gelatine, and bodies. I am totally sold my H&K, and on the 230g .45 JHP. But I am still in debate as to what brand to carry and why.
Here is my problem: When I took my concealed carry class, my instructor said, "You should never carry a weapon full of ammunition that doesn't say, 'Self Protection' right on the box. And NEVER throw away the box!" The thinking here is that if you ever HAVE to shoot, and you hit the bad guy, but your round keeps on going hits an innocent by-stander in the background, the only way you won't be liable is if the ammo manufacturer has taken that responsibility off you shoulders.
I originally bought a box of Hydrashocks, but everyone is consistatly saying they don't like the perfomance on this round.
So then I look at DiFabio's photos and decide that I want to carry the Winchester Ranger-Talon. Well, I can't, they aren't available to Joe Public any more.
So the next best thing looks like the Speer-Gold Dots. So I go to buy some of those and they DON"T SAY THE MAGIC WORDS ON THE BOX.
I have a box of Winchester "White Box" - "Self Protection" rounds, but I wasn't sure how well they would really perfom untill I saw the post by Clay, and maybe they aren't too bad.
So I am still way confused. ANY help from you guys as to how big of a leagal deal those magic words are, would really help me figure out what to carry.
Sorry for the novel, but there wasn't a quick way to explain all of that.
LionHeart!
 

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Well I'm not a Lawyer and I don't play one on TV... but if you think that the bullet saying "Self Defense" on its box is going to protect you from hitting innocent bystanders you're nuts.

Some people have argued taht shooting "so called" self defense bullets can be used against a lawyer who tries to argue that you're "super-duper kill'em all dead evil nasty dum-dum hollowpoints" are a sign that you wanted to cause your poor victim unnecessary suffering. Ultimately you're lawyer will have to defend against the argument, and it won't make much of a difference if it says Self Defense or not. Say you heard they were good bullets, and that's all you know. The play dumb idea is what most people recommend.

Now none of this is gospel, but it's the collected opinions of a few lawyers and a few people who aren't, and of course it has all been filtered through my biases. So... wait for more knowledgeable people than me to post before making any decisions.

-Morgan
 

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Hello. While I see the point in having something labeled "self-defense" when you use it for "self-defense," I do think it is not too important. It is already commonly known that JHP rounds in handguns are designed for "stopping power" and such is an ingredient looked for by the self-defense shopper.

It hurts nothing at all to do what you were advised, but I'm doubtful that it would "save" you, either.

Frankly, and I'm sure I'll be flamed, but no longer care on this topic, Ayoob has frightened people with his ideas on this. Yeah, I guess it can happen, but I've seen not one court case where it has. A meteor could fall on me, too, but I'm not too concerned about it. Been involved with folks in a number of shootings (fatal). Ammunition type, other than caliber, did not enter into the proceedings at all.

Get the ammo you like and trust.

Then hope you never have to use it.

But, if you do, it'll be your actions that determine whether there is a criminal prosecution or not and while you will almost certainly be sued, the ammo name and the fact that you saved the box will likely not matter.

Best.
 
G

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I'm not an attorney either but I can offer some insight into the civil suit that follows in the aftermath of a justifiable shooting ruled as such by the DA's office based on my own personal experience.

First,
I know that DAO triggers, safety/no safety, modified gun/stock gun, same gun as the local PD etcetera ... "tried in court" articles generate a lot of press.
But more importantly they generate new gun sales from customers who otherwise would not purchase these types of non-ergonomic designs.
It seems these days that little truth is found in such outlandish claims but the real bottom line is going to remain in your actions.

If you were justified and you acted accordingly and competent counsel represents you you will prevail.
FWIW, I know of a man who used a nail gun to defend himself from two muggers, he was justified and he did prevail and today he works for a national building contractor.
The question of assault nails or PD nails or self-defense nails was never raised.
The question of race was raised, he is Caucasian, his attackers were African American and he did lose his business due to the legal costs from the civil trial.

To answer your question directly, all bullets are deadly when used against living things and to stereotype one version as Self Defense ammo and one version as non- self-defense ammo is ludicrous at best.

I questioned my former Winchester LEO sales rep as to the issue of restricted Ranger ammo
Use by "civilians" in a justified shooting, he responded that the issue has never been raised to Winchesters knowledge.

I do know of one shooting using MagSafe Agent KD rounds that involved the testimony of an expert as to how "prudent" was the defendant in using these rounds for self-defense purposes.
This was only brought up as the wounds were massive and the autopsy listed various body parts as "shredded" and "shattered".
The photos were awful to view, the trial did end Ok for the good guy and he died of a heart attack ten days later.

This really is an argument in marketing terms created in the "sales laboratory".
Yes, this is the same laboratory that created 90% effective handgun loadings, black nylon tactical gear, and of course the amazing titanium metals or the perceived need for all things tactical or just painted/laminated/anodized black etc.

The only time the action/type or make/model of a gun comes into play is when there is some doubt as to your actions.
Did you plan to fire or did the gun just "go off", if your answer to the responding PD was you are not sure or you do the unbelievably dumb thing and make a statement without your attorney present it will be brought up again in your civil trial if you are not imprisoned as a result of your statement.

If you own anything or appear to own things, plan on being sued and sued at length.
If you can find a very good attorney you will walk away having only paid $75 to $100K in legal fees, if your attorney is not so good or you made a really dumb statement plan on another court date to file chapter 11.

Again, the single most important thing is that your actions prior to and after the shooting incident were legal and the shooting is justifiable.

Ways that you can open the door:
If you were in an area not covered by your CCW like your place of employment, if your company has a policy expressly prohibiting weapons on premises.
Carrying at a post office or a sporting event.
Having just had a "beer with friends" being drunk or rarely matters.
Giving a statement such as "I am an expert shooter", or "I am a competitive shooter, gunsmith, champion shot etcetera..."
Telling the responding officers that you are glad the SOB is dead or you wish he would die...

These are the types of things that will open the door for all types of possible criminal and civil issues.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David DiFabio on 2001-10-05 17:57 ]</font>
 

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I agree with the reasoned opinions above and wish to add the following.

If your instructor was that sure of his opinion that your choice of ammunition should have such special printed wording I would question any other of his "absolutely true" pronouncements that triggered your "bullshit detector."

What's the old description of such a guy - Oh, yeah. "Often wrong, but never uncertain."
 

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I have taken a course from Massad Ayoob (LFI - 1, when HE actually taught it), and I remember NO SUCH STATEMENT ["Self-Protection Only" ammunition).

I DO remember being told not to carry RELOADS. The theory was that you would be accused of fabricating hyper-lethal ammo in your basement because over-the-counter cartridges did not cause sufficient damage.

THAT statement made sense to me then and, after law school, makes sense now. However, the real issue at trial, whether civil or criminal, was whether you were justified in using deadly force under the circumstances in which you shot.
 

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The only relevant issue if you have to shoot someone is whether or not you had the right to use lethal force.

If you shoot someone with an illegal weapon, say you have an old Browning Automatic Rifle just laying around, for the shooting the only question will be is whether or not you had the right to use lethal force. If so, no problem on the shooting. Then there will be a separate charge on whether or not you were permitted to own a fully auto weapon. So the shooting may be fine, but you might have weapons charges. Get the idea?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the great posts,
I apreciate the breath of common sense it blows onto the subject. The questoin, "So how often does this really matter?" kept running through my head, but I didn't have the time or desire to start digging thought old court cases to find the answer. So some of your experiences help me understand that it isn't a huge deal.
So will put more energy into finding out which bullet is better instead.
Thanks for the redirection,
LionHeart!
 

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Hello all. Great forum. I visit/moderate on several other boards but just recently found this one. I like it a lot. I shoot a little bit of everything, but handguns are my fav.

This whole "personal protection" ammo issue is really a non-issue. More marketing hype than anything else as others have noted. If your handguns like the stuff, great. I carry a variety of ammo including Win "PerPro" white box and Fed PD HS because they shoot well through my pistols, not because they will magically keep me out of legal trouble. The only thing that will help in this respect is training, practice, sound judgment under pressure, and a good attorney.

As for factory only (no reloads)... in all my internet/gunshop/gunshow/range travels I have yet to see anyone present a documented court case in which using reloads sent someone up the river in an otherwise justified shooting. I'm not saying it couldn't happen with all the liberal DAs we've got, but until precedence is set it wouldn't concern me very much. Now, that being said, I try to steer my students (I'm NRA cert. HFS, BP, PP) to factory ammo just because I have now way of determining if their reloading practices are safe and sound. I myself do carry factory ammo in all my handguns except when hiking/camping where my handloads get the nod since they more powerful and more accurate.

NW
 

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Those of you old enough to remember the attempted assassination of President Reagan will recall that much was made of Hinckley's choice of ammunition: .22 LRHP's with the cavity filled with primer compound by some basement moron.

Note also that, should you need to defend yourself with a firearm, you will likely face TWO trials; the criminal action brought by the state if your shooting is not transparently justified, and a CIVIL suit brought by the wounded and/or the estate of the deceased. Note further that the latter requires only a "preponderance of evidence" (i.e., 51%) against you to prevail.

That said, what would you prefer your answer under oath to be to the following question:

"What ammunition did you fire repeatedly into the deceased?"

1. Glaser SAFETY Slugs / MagSAFEs / the factory ammo recommended by my dealer because it minimized the threat to bystanders posed by over-penetration,

or

2. Some +P+ hollowpoint loads I worked up.

Now stop thinking like a tactically aware firearms owner and start thinking like a soccer-mom juror. Which sounds better?

Your choice............
 

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The other problem with reloads is that you will most likely not have proven exemplars (rounds which were manufactured at the same tim, using the same components, with identical performance). Factories keep exemplars on hand for quality control analysis, and to use for forensic analysis.

And I've also taken LFI. Ayoob never mentions labelling except that you don't want something that cries out "Rambo wannabe." Will the jury know what brand of ammunition you use? Yes. Will the jury know the name of your weapon? Yes. Any good lawyer would bring both those up in the interests of prejudicing a jury who more likely than not will not have a clue about firearms.



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: buzz_knox on 2001-10-31 11:52 ]</font>
 

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I believe NW is exactly correct when he notes,

As for factory only (no reloads)... in all my internet/gunshop/gunshow/range travels I have yet to see anyone present a documented court case in which using reloads sent someone up the river in an otherwise justified shooting. I'm not saying it couldn't happen with all the liberal DAs we've got, but until precedence is set it wouldn't concern me very much. Now, that being said, I try to steer my students (I'm NRA cert. HFS, BP, PP) to factory ammo just because I have now way of determining if their reloading practices are safe and sound. I myself do carry factory ammo in all my handguns except when hiking/camping where my handloads get the nod since they more powerful and more accurate.

I have made the same sort of search for a documented case in which hand loads were a even a factor... much less the deciding factor... and I have access to West Law... still have found nothing ...nada...zip...Yok.

We need to keep in mind the fact there are those who make a decent living writing contraversal stuff in magazines... to do that they have to write stuff the causes contraversy... otherwise no sale on the articles.

A matter of view maybe...

V/r

Chuck
 

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"I have made the same sort of search for a documented case in which hand loads were a even a factor... much less the deciding factor... and I have access to West Law... still have found nothing...nada...zip...Yok."

That may be; however, Westlaw only has REPORTED cases. These are usually appeals. Westlaw won't show cases that settled out of court, and may not carry all the Superior court cases (initial trial) because they are not reported, so it may miss a case not appealed.

Therefore, rather than spoon-feed the opposition an argument that you were of homocidal intent and fabricated your own ammo (explain THAT to the soccer moms and even the general population!), especially if you loaded hollow point bullets, the prudent course of action, for many reasons, is to carry only factory ammo.

Additionally, I took LFI and never heard Ayoob exhort us to carry ammo with "Self-Protection" on the box.

There are no "magic words" that will save your ass if 1. You MISS and hit a by-stander; 2. Shoot THROUGH the BG and hit a by-stander; or 3. Shoot ANYONE not posing an immediate threat to you or an innocent third-party.

Stop wasting time looking for totems and spend it practicing at the range.
 

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On 2002-05-28 07:06, cxm wrote:
I have made the same sort of search for a documented case in which hand loads were a even a factor... much less the deciding factor... and I have access to West Law... still have found nothing ...nada...zip...Yok.
Just as an aside, I've seen people comment that searches through Westlaw, Lexis, etc., don't pull up cases on subject X therefore they don't exist. I use Westlaw and the other search engines every work day (and many weekends) and am still amazed at how the difference in a word or phrase in the search produces massively different results. Run a search on "reload" and you may not find a single case. Run the same search with "home made" and you might get a dozen (I haven't checked as it's my agency's nickel to run searches). Remember that judges, attorneys and reporters aren't "gunnuts" and don't have the lingo. You have to think outside the box on searches.

Further, just because there isn't a reported case doesn't mean the point of law isn't valid. I have researched legal principles that were universally accepted despite the absence of a recent or even semi-recent case. Either the point of law is just so universally accepted that judges don't require much of a foundation to accept it or it is so fact driven that common sense dictates the result (such as driving with faulty brakes being negligence).
 

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I appreciate the advice on the use of legal search engines... It is the same thing we were told to do when we went to the first class the company gave in the use of the systems about 1986-85.

Aside from search methods, the fact remains there is no known case in which the use of other than factory ammo (like that term better?) made any difference at all in the course or outcome of the procedings.

I tend to believe, had hand loaded ammon been a factor we would have heard of it from the gun rags, NRA or the anti media... research would not be needed.

If anyone knows one I'd love to hear of it... Ayoob can't cite one... neither can anyone else... and belive me I have searched long and hard to find one.

The arguement is, in my mind, simply specious... mostly the product of the same people who think Volvo makes a safer car.

Basically, I think people should carry what they shoot... not many can afford to shoot a lot of JHP ammo. This seems pretty basic to me... sort of like having brakes on a car... I also think people should practice... a lot. For my part, I try to shoot at least 100 rounds of my carry ammo per month. I know how my pistol will shoot, where it will shoot and how it will react...

Yes I shoot more than that...but I believe, being able to shoot well with the ammo I carry is extremely important...

FWIW

Chuck
 

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Don't lose the forest because of the trees! I have taken LFI and believe it to be geared toward the newcomer to the self-defense arena. IMHO he would rather the students be overly cautious than send them to the wolves left to their own inexperience. Whether legal cases have arrisen because of ammo or not, he made it plain to me over coffee he does not want one of his students to be the first. If I didn't have bad luck I wouldn't have any luck at all!
 

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Carry a JHP load made by a reputable manufacturer and forget about it. You will be attacked in civil court for carrying hollowpoints if you shoot someone. Big deal- any competent attorney can handle that one. If the shooting is good and you acted in a defensible manner, your choice of ammo will have little or no effect on the outcome. David DiFabio made some excellent points about how you can jack yourself up after a justified shooting.
 

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Without question the best advice anyone ever passed out regarding what to do after a shooting is "SHUT UP."

The cops ARE NOT your friends... neither is the DA or anyone else other than your attorney.

If you (God forbid) ever have to shoot to defend your self, be sure you don't talk until your lawyer is present.

Having said that, also realize, giving advice that is too cautious (and I realize it isn't easy to give advice in this area) can get someone killed or someone else killed. As difficult as it sounds, you need to shoot ONLY at the "right" time... not too soon.. and for sure not too late... and given our inbred adversion to shooting someone too late is a lot more likely than too soon.

As someone else noted, an anti gun DA will attack what ever you use regardless of what it is... but keep in mind you can use a Sturmgeschutz IV to defend yourself as long as you have legal justification to shoot.

The trick is to do your best to fully understand the law in your state, then make sure you have good solid training, have your lawyer's card in your wallet (with a 24 hr. contact number in it.) Finally, if you carry, you better think throughly through your personal rules of engagement and KNOW when you will shot or not in advance... it is too late to think it through with the stuff hits the fan.

FWIW

Chuck
 
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