For years, I’ve warned people that there are a couple of serious concerns with using handloaded ammunition for personal or home defense. The big one is forensic replicability when the shooter is accused, and opposing theories of distance become a factor.
How often does this happen? One time some years ago, that question came up on an internet debate. I looked through the ten cases I had pending at the time as an expert witness, and gunshot residue (GSR) testing to determine distance from gun muzzle to the person shot was an issue in four of them. Forty percent is not what I’d call statistically insignificant.
I’ve found this to be perhaps the most visceral and contentious of gun forum debates. When I suggest to someone that the ammo he crafted himself might be a handicap in court, it’s as if they had just prepared a Thanksgiving feast for their family from scratch, and I’d told them “Don’t poison your family with that crap, go out and buy them some KFC.”
They react as if you had told them they had ugly babies.
Here are two very good writeups, at least one by an attorney, explaining how and why handloaded ammunition can muddy the waters if and when you find yourself in court after a self-defense shooting:
Read, and if you have any friends who use handloads for serious social purposes, please share. You might just save them from the sort of nightmare suffered by the defendant in New Jersey v. Daniel Bias, who was bankrupted by legal fees before the first of his three trials was over, and wound up serving hard time. Both of his attorneys were convinced he was innocent, and told me they believed that if he had simply had factory ammo in his home defense gun, the case would probably never have even gone to trial.
Discussion is invited here, but PLEASE, read and absorb the two links before posting.