Been thinking about using reloaded handgun ammo as your concealed carry choice? It's not as cut-and-dried as you might think.
I’ve been thinking about reloading carry ammo for my personal defense gun, but I’ve read a lot on forums that it’s a big no-no. I reload for hunting and matches to get the best performance, so why not do the same for the ammo I bet my life on? —Bill McDonald, Powell, Wyo.
Gun Digest Responds:
Thanks for writing in, Bill. This really is a hot topic among lay shooters and personal defense experts alike. The reason for so much of the debate is that there’s not a simple, black-and-white answer. Most notably, perhaps, Massad Ayoob has argued in Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense that reloading for self defense is a serious mistake. Ayoob argues that standard forensic testing after a shooting relies on powder residue from factory loads, and since handloads throw off this data, it could potentially allow prosecuting attorneys to vilify defensive shooters. Another concern, according to Ayoob, is that attorneys could somehow prove malicious intent by the mere act of reloading, as if it were some kind of premeditated form of bloodlust. As an expert witness and authority on legal matters relating to self defense, Ayoob’s argument has serious weight. For that reason, many folks opt for factory ammo when it comes to their carry gun.
On the flip side, many reloaders are more comfortable defending themselves with ammunition that’s been personally inspected and loaded to their level of personal satisfaction. They carry confident with ammo they’ve honed to perfection. Like you said, Bill, if reloading gives you the best all around load, why not go that route? At least that’s one side of the argument. As always, it’s paramount that you do your homework, know the laws in your state and make a decision that’s best for you and your loved ones.—Eds.