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Old May 3, 2013, 10:41 AM   #19
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 13,741
OK. The thread is back open after consultation with the legal eagles and other staff.


Here's the deal: Barter does count as income, same as money, and its value is supposed to be reported to the IRS, same as any other income. However, the way the controlling law is written, an ammunition manufacturing license is required only if you are regularly engaged in trying to make a profit from it for part of your living. Note that you don't have to succeed at making a profit to contribute to supporting yourself; just be trying to. However, how much it takes to cross the line from occasional hobby behavior to "regularly engaged" is really vague.

Originally Posted by Frank Ettin

The issue will be one of frequency and volume.
  1. The guy who on occasion sells or trades a couple of boxes of his reloads to other guys at the club is probably in the clear.

  2. The guy who regularly spends two or three nights a week in the garage, after he gets home from his day job, reloading, and who then regularly takes several thousand of his reloads around to the local guns shows, probably has something to worry about without a license.

  3. The guy who usually goes to compete at his club's skeet or high power rifle or IDPA matches and usually has some extra of his reloads to sell or trade with other competitors who ask, he might be in a gray area.
Also, from Brian Pfleugger's background read that:
18 USC § 921
(A) The term “ammunition” means ammunition or cartridge cases, primers, bullets, or propellant powder designed for use in any firearm.
So, in effect, every time someone sells brass or bullets, it's technically supposed to be subject to the same scrutiny as assembled ammunition. As a practical matter, I doubt that it is. However, the next time some gun control nut proposes a tax on ammunition, keep in mind it will affect all components and used components, and not just loaded rounds.

Bottom line on the legal front is, a one-time small transaction seems pretty unlikely to get you into legal trouble as I had been concerned might be the case. Hence reopening the thread. It just seemed prudent to get some educated input on the issue first.


I believe this 2007 post still largely applies today, except the ORM-D classification is being eliminated (more like phased out, the way they are doing it) and the required label will be changed to an international symbol (see, here). The bottom line for shipping seems to me to boil down to a combination of using proper labeling and packaging. The exact packaging requirements are unclear. If you go by what airlines require, it is commercial packaging that separates each round, and that probably is a good guideline. Corrugated exterior packaging (the box) probably has to be new and unused, as is commonly required for hazardous materials in general. On the inside, I see no reason used cartridge boxes would not suffice, so long as they're intact and complete and intended for the caliber/cartridge shipped.

Originally Posted by UPS
Ammunition will be transported only when packaged and labeled in compliance with 49 C.F.R. § 172 regarding hazardous materials shipments, and must be shipped in accordance with the UPS Guide for Shipping Ground and Air Hazardous Materials.
UPS tells me they require no hazmat fee for ORM-D.


This is personal opinion: I won't shoot ammunition loaded by someone else unless I was present during the loading to audit the work. I would not load for a stranger unless I had an ammunition manufacturer's liability insurance policy because my wife would kill me if we lost all we have in a law suit by the relatives of a person disabled by an accident the relatives blamed on me. Conversely, I would not shoot ammunition loaded by a stranger who did not have an ammunition manufacturer's liability insurance policy. I might not be inclined to sue him for an accident caused by his loads, since I chose to use them, but I can't guarantee my relatives would see it that way if I were out of commission. So, by using his loads I am putting him at risk.

Only God is perfect. Human beings, despite the best of intentions and all prudent precautions, still make mistakes from time to time. That's why I wouldn't load for a stranger without insurance for doing same, and apply the same reasoning in reverse. For anyone not sharing my view, caveat emptor and caveat venditor both apply.
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Last edited by Unclenick; May 3, 2013 at 10:53 AM. Reason: clarification and typo fixes
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