Reloading for a customer??

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by ROY357SIG, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. ROY357SIG

    ROY357SIG Member

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    Good Day to All, I am a riflesmith with a science/ballistics background. I do pretty good by word of mouth and the local gunshops. I hold an FFL incase I have to keep a rifle overnight. I don't as a habit load for my customers but I carry the liability ins. to do it proper. Recently I had a long term customer ask me to load 100 rounds of my secret blend:).
    Unfortunatly he has no idea what materials even cost......I tried to get him to go to a local shop but he was quite determined I was his guy. Because of today's "sue at the drop of dime" mental mind set & the fact that I cannot control what occurs after the sale makes me really leary. No doubt custom reloading would bring in more sales......I really would like to hear some opinions. And please, no lawyer jokes,

    Thanks, ROY357SIG
     
  2. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't do it.
    Everybody today is lookin for a shortcut, and there is no chance of pleasing these fools.
     
  3. deerkiller

    deerkiller Well-Known Member

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    If we let the fear of lawsuits put us off of a business venture, how is a person to make a living?
    Do what you know, do it well & carry insurance.

    dk
     
  4. ROY357SIG

    ROY357SIG Member

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    DK you make a good point. Have you seen the prices for custom loaded ammo? When times are hard a solo shop looks for any way to keep the lights on and now that the Obama bubble has popped shops are stuffed with AR's they can't sell. I appreciate everyone's comments. Your points are well taken. I'll keep everyone advised & maybe you'll buy some rounds from me. Virgin Lapua cases, any flavor of bullet & chronographed too! I sound like a pimp.........:rolleyes:
     
  5. trueblue

    trueblue Well-Known Member

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    Roy,
    I would handle this one of 2 ways.
    Either do it on a cash only basis(no paper trail), or draft up a blanket statement printed as part of the sales receipt with carbon copy.
    The statement would cover items such as the buyer takes full liability, signs off on components used,list specs of ammo such as COAL,powder,bullet,ect.
    Basically a CYA statement.
    Depending on how much of this you plan to do, I would tend to lean toward the cash basis to start.
     
  6. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you are an upstanding Gentleman wanting to run a legitamate business. That said, in order to operate legally you'll need to have a paper trail. The key to covering your liabilities is with enough sound legal language where appropriate but, following as lawyers say "Less is better" in certain areas as sometimes the more you elaborate the better the feast for the plaintiff's lawyer/s. I definitly would seek legal advice and pursue your idea as I think it's a sound one. Others have done it quite successfully. Good luck and keep us posted. I'm sure there are some folks here that would be interested in buying custom ammo. I know it's not always feasible but, sometimes knowing the buyer helps to sometimes to avoid the PITA ones.
     
  7. ROY357SIG

    ROY357SIG Member

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    Thanks TrueBlue,
    When I first started it was a cash only repair shop. Small but neat, a place where you could come over, have some sweet tea & talk about our love of shooting. After 9/11 the client base changed. It was middle aged men with the first rifle. I'd mount the scope they bought online & poof, they were gone. Now I'm back to my regular customers. Things being what they are with the economy spiffing up Grandpa's old Winchester goes on the back burner. I have dropped my prices accordingly to help out. I have a great lawyer(we met in college) who has done all my CYA work. I meet with him regarding the custom reloading next week. The ATF guys don't care as long as I have an FFL & zoning permit. I'll know more next week because VA. law may have some speedbumps I don't know about. Thanks again for all of the insight the LRH members brought to this discussion. Best Regards, Roy
     
  8. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Well-Known Member

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    I think you need to look real carefully here for several reasons.

    A paper trail is vital to protect your interests. That probably means incorporation to protect your personal assets.

    Liability insurance for commercial reloading business is not going to be cheap to say the least. Homeowners will not cut it.

    Also would not be surprised to find VA Beach has some pretty rigid fire laws about powder storage and commercial reloading activities. Your fire chief can settle that one. VA fire chiefs are hitting the powder boys pretty hard across the state in some locals.

    Last load I would ever give anyone is my secret recipe for my rifle. You are going to have to use generic factory equivalent loads that are safe in any gun. Otherwise are you prepared to do workups for each gun, with separate set of dies etc to make sure that they work in that gun?

    Suggest you talk to the professional right in your area who does commercial reloading to see all the ins and outs and is this something your really want to do.

    Terry McManuels at Macs Reloading and Factory Ammunition in VA Beach his email is macs@visi.net
    phone is (757) 479-0849
    www.macsreloading.com is his website.

    BH
     
  9. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    +1 with BH on incorporation and insurance. Let us know what advise your lawyer gives...it would be interesting to see if any is similar to advice received here. I would think some of it would be as some of it is just common sense.
     
  10. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    Roy, the atf requires a Manf. of ammunition license to make ammunition for sale. The only way to not have the lic. is to only reload your customers components. Manf. also requires paying the exise on ammunitions tax.

    I have a manf. of ammo, and I quit the service before I even started. It is a PITA and the cost to the customer is sometimes cost prohibative. Your looking at about $3.00 or more a round for custom ammo. Keeping records is a must, the courts would take you to task for the inference that you are trying to hide the transactions, then the atf and irs would be up your tailpipe. Detailed inspection reports, and load charge records with triple checks would have to be saved and on file for evidence that you did your part in any litigation. Most likly in court you would be proving your procedure rather than defending your aledged action in the misshap. The worst case senerio is a idiot with a gun who plugs the bore or uses your ammo in the wrong gun, or somthing that is out of your control yet is going to try and "get somthing"

    Like BH mentioned generic loads made to fire in all guns would be doable on a large scale type buisness, and such a guy exist about 50 miles from me. He covers his liability by loading down so the cartriges are on the lower performance level. In 10 years I never heard anyone having any detonating experiences with his ammo. He also markets based on price point and that is what garners sales, cost not quality.

    The red tape for manf. ammo on a small scale is just too much hassle. Now if you have a high end customer base that is willing to pay for top quality and can keep you busy year round it might be worth the trouble, but that would be a tough market to build. Like the others said protect you personal assets and incorporate or don't even bother.
     
  11. ROY357SIG

    ROY357SIG Member

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    Thank you all for the insightful comments. I now have 3 pages of notes on legal pad to cover. I'm OK insurance wise. As an NRA Training Counselor I carry the top of the line coverage from Chiarello/ They have all my gun ins. As for Mac's Relaods I prefer to be a gentleman, nuf said. The sit down with my lawyer & the ATF Regional Director will answer a lot of these questions. I will keep you guys posted so we all know the latest info. Best Regards,