Handloading for others? (well for $$s?)

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by olehippy, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. olehippy

    olehippy New Member

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    A couple (few) of other shooters at my favor range that know I handload have talked to me about handloading loading for them. I have let some of them shoot a few of my rounds and seem to like how they shoot. Im nothing special or anything, but enjoy making rather precise loads, that reward my efforts with wonderfully tight groups.

    I don’t really know these people, just have talked while we shoot together, or against each other. I’ve loaded a few times for family members or close friends, but this would be more of a business transaction, and if I did got involved it would be for profit.

    Anyone done this? What are the legalities involved, any licenses ect required? Considering Emperor Barac the 1st and his royal court’s stance on the 2nd Amendment (or the Constitution for that matter, but wont go there...) Im too interested in crossing them for a few dollars, but would enjoy getting into the for-profit-hobby.

    Thanks for any advise or experiences.

    Miles
  2. doug66

    doug66 New Member

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    Miles,
    I think it would be great, if you put a little "not responsible for any death or dismemberment while using this product" sticker on each box sold. IMHO it is a lawsuit waiting to happen.
    That being said, I've done it and it is a fun, quick way to make a few bucks.
  3. XP100

    XP100 Member

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    You will need an Ammo manufacturers license and a large liability policy. Even if an acident is not your reloads fault you will probably go to court.
  4. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    Legally, you need a license. You are making ammo for sale. You need to have an FFL manufacturing license and you also need to pay 11% tax on the ammo sold.

    Having said all that, I think everybody that reloads has been approached at one time or another about loading for someone else, and many have done it. I don't see, however, how Doug has made any money doing it.

    Let's say somebody wants me to load him some 7x57. Gives me 20 rounds of brass and wants me to load them. Federal ammo, using a Speer 140 grain bullet is 26 dollars, right now, at Midway. http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=253038 The bullets cost 26.50 for a box of 100 http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=469705 This is a 145 grain bullet. They don't have the 140s, but it's close enough to compare. Hodgdon's website says a 3031 load runs between 25 and 27.2 grains, so we'll use 26.0. A pound of 3031 is 22 dollars. http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=123296

    Plug all them numbers in the handy-dandy reloading calculator http://www.handloads.com/calc/loadingCosts.asp and it comes to 38 cents a round. 38 x 20 = 7.60 for that box. Eighteen dollars cheaper than factory ammo.

    BUT - it will take about a hour to reload them 20 rounds. Size 'em, clean off the sizing lube, clean the primer pockets, trim, chamfer, set up the scale for that charge, set up the powder measure, charge and load a bullet.

    How much do you charge for an hour's work? At my place of employment I get 20 bucks an hour. That's for a 40 hour week. When I do outside consulting work I charge 55 dollars an hour with a four-hour minimum. Even if I only charge the 20 bucks, that will be two bucks more than factory. If someone wants me to load for them, they want it loaded for MY cost. Ain't gonna happen. I've told the last several people that have asked me, "You won't like my price".
  5. olehippy

    olehippy New Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts, hope to get more.

    I have wonder about the issue of feeding the lawyers (liability), but think a strong disclaimer will help, and I don’t have enough assents to go after very aggressively anyway!

    I appreciate Alpos comment and research, but Im not looking to become one of the ‘roadside’ ammo and snake-oil peddlers selling cheap ammo even cheaper than its worth.

    Probably better said what these people are interested in match grade ammo. And, I enjoy the diversion (and challenge!) of primming loads to an exact charge, crimp OAL ect ect, which has tightened my groups wonderfully. Not running them through a five-stage asap speed.

    If I start offering these, it would be for its quality not its price. I don’t want to screw with competing with anybody, just charge a fair price for my services. Im NOT being egotistical (HOPE this doesnt come across that way!) but they approached me.

    When does this cross the line between offering a service and becoming a manufacturer? I wont bother to ask about ‘free’ enterprise...

    Miles
  6. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    A few thoughts for your consideration:

    It is a huge liability issue and if you don't really "know" the people, then I'd say it's not worth the risk. I don't sell or let just anyone shoot my reloads. The only person that shoots my reloads other than myself is the man that showed me the ropes. He knows how I work and that I double check everything. I've shot plenty of his reloads also. I have factory ammo for friends and my kids if they want to do some shooting.

    If these guys are looking for match grade ammo; then you're certainly going to have to work with them very closely to develop loads that are specific to their rifles if they truly want match ammo. If they were going to be part of the process; then i wouldn't have any issue in developing some loads in conjuction with their help and funding. You may just end up making some great friendships out of it. If they're not people that you'd tend to associate with, then I'd just kindly let them know that you don't reload for others due to liability issues, but that you'd be happy to refer them to TFF to get them started on their own reloading adventure!

    Unless you're planning on REALLY cranking out some rounds, the risk vs reward just doesn't seem to add up from my vantage point.

    Hope this gives you some usefull thought,

    Semper Fi,

    Woolley
  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    i have done it and still do. I reload for my friends for the cost of supplies. I donot cut a profit I just lket them keep me stocked;) Make sure you lean toward the light end of the loading data for safetys sake...
  8. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

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    Previous responders have made many valid points. If you are loading for others for the purpose of making a profit you need a FFL for manufacturing ammo not to be in violation of federal law.

    From my experiences, most BATF employees are decent honorable persons. However one should never forget that a few years back, a citizen living near Ruby Ridge, Idaho named Randy Weaver did a little gunsmithing job for a friendly guy that he did not know too well. He measured the barrel length of a couple of Rem. 870 shotguns incorrectly (from the apparent outside length rather than the actual inside length) and unknowingly came up less than 3/16" below the 18" minimum barrel length. He lost his dog, son and wife (all dead by Federal gunshot wounds) in the aftermath.

    Bottom line, here: Load for yourself and Very Close Friends (for the actual cost of components). If a close friend wants to say thanks with a bottle of good wiskey, later that probably fine. Otherwise, the potential risks are just not worth it, from several viewpoints.
  9. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    thats why when I cut shotgun barrels, i cut them to 19 inches. one inch is neglegible and doesnt effect the look of a shorty, and will keep batf off your back...
  10. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    If you reload for someone else and they supply the components, you do not need an FFL or to pay excise tax. However if you simply sell them ammo you have loaded, you are in violation of several laws including, as mentioned, failure to pay excise taxes (gets the IRS involved here) and failure to possess a license for reloading. Neither of these is something I would want to get involved with.

    Then there's the liability issue. In my experience, not related to reloading, even your very bestest buddy who gets injured shooting YOUR reloads will most certainly file a lawsuit against you. Again, not worth the risk for a couple of bucks.

    My advice: Don't reload for others and don't shoot anyone else's reloads.
  11. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

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    "medalguy" just about "says it all" in his last sentence.
  12. olehippy

    olehippy New Member

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    Thanks for everyone’s thoughts and advise. After considering all of your counsel, think I will begin suggesting those that approach me for ammo purchase their own presses.

    Miles
  13. carver

    carver Moderator

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    A wise decision! I do reload for friends, but they pay for everything I use. I make no profet, and they know what they are getting, reloads. One friend wanted me to load some .45 long colt. I don't reload for that caliber because I don't own a .45 long colt, so he bought the dies, and the bullets. I charged him for the primers, brass, and powder, my cost. The labor was free.
  14. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville New Member

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    If a friend wants re-loads, they buy the components and can use my equipment while they learn under my supervision, but they really must be a close friend in order to do that.
  15. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Thats the way i do it... the real bonus is getting tooled up for another cartridge for free. Thats how I got tooled up for 9mm, 7.62X39 and .40 s&w... Just make sure you lean toward the light end of the data, for safetys sake...
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