Ask an Attorney: Hand-loaded Ammo?

We started talking about ammo issues yesterday in Ammunition Loaded Wrong. Tom Grieve is taking on the legal aspects of hand-loaded ammo in his latest blog post:

Do you hand load your ammo? Why would you ever carry or not carry your own hand-loaded ammo?


I would not carry hand load ammo just like I avoid RIP and other such named ammo. If the local Sheriff carries it then it is good enough for me.


When I took my CCW class. The instructor told us to ask a police officer what they used. And then get the same ammo if possible. And they also said it is best for legal reasons as well not to use your own reloaded ammo for the same reasons mentioned in the video. And I also reload ammo for myself as well. But I don’t use it in my carry guns unless I at the range competing or practicing. I carry store bought ammo when I carry.


That’s what our instructor suggested also. I’m in the process of designing a reloading bench, but, will only carry “bought” ammo when out and about.


I reload most of my range stuff. We reload to the mid level of powder, I don’t load ‘hot’ rounds. So, I carry factory rounds. There is also a reliability issue, I have gotten a lot better, but even after checking ‘all’ my reloads, I still find one without a primer. :grinning: Plus, I don’t have the patience or equipment to work up a self defense load.

I will say reloading is a lot of fun, and will let you shoot a lot more at the range.


I carry only branded ammo. All my instructors suggested this. To be honest I use branded ammo at the range as well.


I have a good friend, firearms trainer, former USMC SSgt. and double retired LEO who hand loads. He loads primarily two types of ammo. regular ball ammo for the range and precision rifle ammo for competition. He does not keep reloads in his EDC weapons.


When I was working at the range this weekend, I saw the damage from a badly reloaded round for the first time in person.

The couple was using reloaded ammo a friend gave them and shooting it through a Glock. There was a serious crack in the casing of the Glock and her hand was hurt - no broken skin and not too severely, thankfully. This was the third gun they’d destroyed with the reloaded ammo from their friend.

This wasn’t the gun, but it has similar damage:

photo borrowed from:


I think that I would probably quit accepting reloads from that “friend” after the first time it blew up a gun of mine. By the third time I have to believe that you’ve decided to accept the known risk of using that ammo, so I have less sympathy.


It takes some serious pressure to blow a Glock up like that! I would graciously decline any future gifts of ammo from that friend.


One free box of Ammo = Free
Cost of a new Glock = $569.00
Reactions Priceless
Thank Goodness nobody was seriously hurt, maybe a bruised ego.


WOW! I know the picture is from when Truth about Guns write blew up a 10 mm. Lucky for him, aside from not getting hurt, he was using factory ammo from Underwood. Not only did Underwood give him new ammo, they replaced the gun.

The shooter using hand loaded ammo, regardless of who hand loaded it, will probably be out the whole cost of the gun. Manufacturers won’t warranty a gun if you are using hand loads.