What is required to become an ammo manufacturer?


February 28, 2008, 04:33 PM
What licenses, insurance, etc is minimally required to become an ammo manufacturer in Illinois?

Illinois has a handgun hunting regulation that states for a cartridge to be used, it must have commercial manufacturer load data available for it that states it has a minimum of 500ft-lbs.

A guy with the last name Bellm wanted to use a 30 caliber wildcat cartridge of his own, so he started offering boxes of his wildcat for sale to meet the manufacturer load data requirement. I want to do the same thing he did so that I can use a similar new cartridge of my own.

I don't imagine I would actually have to sell much of the ammo, rather just make it available on some special order process that would still meet the legal criteria of commercialized.

Any ideas of how I could go about doing this without drastic expense involved?

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February 28, 2008, 04:56 PM
I suspect the insurance/liability problem would be cost prohibitive. I would not even consider it.

I also suspect that a manufacturer might have to pass safety and zoning law requirements that would make it not plausible.
This is conjecture on my part, but makes sense.


February 28, 2008, 05:00 PM
You need an 06 type FFL to manufacture ammo. I think a 7 (Firearm Manufacturer) can make ammo too, not sure.

February 28, 2008, 05:00 PM
I have no idea about Illinois, but it looks like you would need a Type 06 FFL (MANUFACTURER OF AMMUNITION FOR FIREARMS). I would look into ways of limiting my personal liability, such as forming an LLC, and carrying insurance.


February 28, 2008, 05:01 PM
I let my Federal mfg license expire. There is no way I could sale enough ammo to pay for insurance and the other costs.

February 28, 2008, 05:46 PM
Ask the BATF - they are the 1st on the kist.

February 28, 2008, 10:32 PM
As mentioned, you'll need an 06 FFL. But, the way the statute reads, they basically won't grant one until you have your ducks in a row. You'll need state and local business licenses which may not be easy to get. Go down to city hall and tell them you want to manufacture ammunition and plan on having several hundred pounds of gun powder on site. They'll freak and refer you to the fire marshal's office. He'll make your life crazy because whatever site you have picked out won't be zoned right, will have poor ventilation, insufficient fire suppression systems, and inadequate fire exits.

The bureaucracy you'll have to deal with will vary depending on your location.

And then there's the insurance issue.

February 28, 2008, 11:42 PM
Yea, what they said. First get the funding, including insurance for the building you plan on using, any staff you plan on hiring, and any liability insurance needed in case your place goes sky-high when one of those employees hits the button when they should have pulled a lever.

Then put together a business plan, and approach the zoning board, to get the building you want. Realize that they're generally going to laugh you out of the room.

And lets not get into the kind of money you'd have to spend in insurance in case one of your rounds blows up a customer's gun and/or face.

And I thought I was crazy, trying to open a restaurant.

In all seriousness, that sort of thing is gonna take dumptrucks full of cash, and at least one good lawyer.

February 29, 2008, 06:08 PM
Ok, sounds like that idea is going to die very quickly.

Basically, the guy I read about sounded like a hobbyist who simply "manufactured" a cartridge for the sole reason of making it legal under IL handgun hunting law for him and his friends to hunt with. That had me under the false assumption that it could be done cheaply.

I wonder if I could find an already licensed ammo manufacturer on the small side, pay them cash, and have them commercialize my wildcat with their load data, without actually selling any ammo. In theory, a few loads could be chronographed, and it could be published for the BATF to see by them, then they could "discontinue" the ammo etc - if you catch my drift.

It's just such a screwy thing in IL to hunt with the cartridge I want to use. :rolleyes: There has to be a way somehow to pull it off legally.

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