SayUncle links to a story that suggests it might not be a wise idea, especially when considering Hornady’s disclaimer. The best advice I’ve ever heard for carry ammo was to find out what your State Troopers carry, and carry the same. That pretty much defeats any prosecutor’s argument that you were carrying shred-o-matic rounds of mayhem and destruction in your carry piece.
Robb has some contrary thoughts on the matter. I tend to think the odds of this coming up in a case are slim, but I believe this advice is based on an actual case that I’ve read about. I just can’t remember the case name, or where I read about it. It might be a story told by Massad Ayoob, who had been expert witness is a number of cases. I think the reason most lawyers suggest carrying ordinary factory self-defense ammo is because, in a self-defense case, there are going to already be enough factors for your attorney to deal with, and there’s not much good sense in introducing yet another element that’s going to make the case complicated for them, and by association you, the defendant. One thing to remember about the legal process, is that much like the political process, it’s a game. It’s about what you can convince a jury to do. One the prosecution decides to bring a case, and they generally won’t bring a case they believe they are certain to lose, they are going to use every angle they can possibly thing of in order to discredit you in the eyes of the jury. If they have to go after the ammunition you carried, they certainly will. That will be one more expert witness you’ll have to pay for, and several more hours of your lawyers time to deal with that issue.
Everyone has to weigh the risks versus the benefits. Personally, I think factory self-defense ammo works well enough to rely on it. In fact, I will trust it over my own loads. I just don’t see the advantage to carrying hand loads, or other unusual ammunition for self-defense purposes, enough to make up the downside.