I never really did understand exactly how to craft your own ammo. Can anyone please explain how to make your own ammo and what are the benefits as to just buying some from a store or trader?
I recently created a class with this in mind. I never understood how it worked and wanted to try it out. Needless to say, anyone who wants to use the big, cool guns like the Anti-Material Rifle or the Mini-Gun should know how to hand load. It's not that hard really. One thing you should know though, just in case you didn't know, bullet crafting uses the Repair skill. You will only be able to craft bullets within your repair level. For example, .357 rounds only need about 30 repair, where as to make a special .50 MG round takes a whopping 100 repair skill to craft. The only reason people don't get how to handload, unlick normal crafting, is because you can only find one of the components in the wasteland commonly, and that is casings. Two of them basically must be bought and the third, lead, is created from regular scrap metal. I'll explain to you how to craft some lead:
Now you have your first and most needed component. Lead can be used to craft any bullet. The catch is that common rounds such as the .357 magnum round for .357 revolvers and cowboy repeaters take only a few, while rare rounds like .45-70 Gov't. rounds take around 2 to 3 times the amount it takes to make .357 rounds. It's just for balance and stuff though, not like it's that hard to find scrap metal anyways.Now, for the second component, go to the gun runners or a guy named Alexander. Alexander is also a gun runner, but he is stationed at the 188 Trading post. I think you need to pass a speech check of 30 to buy from him, but thats no big deal. Anyways, what you need is gunpowder. Gunpowder is not common in the wasteland, although you will rarely rarely find small hidden stashes. Gunpowder is split into 2 groups if i remember correctly: pistol or rifle. I know this is a little bit confusing for some people, but repeaters take pistol rounds until you get to the Brush Gun, which uses .45-70 Gov't, which is considered a large rifle round. So, to make ammo for .357 or .44 magnum revolvers or repeaters, you will always be making pistol rounds. Same with 9mm and 10mm pistols and SMGs. Like I said, gunpowder just needs to be bought from a trader. As far as I know there is no way to craft it.For the third component, this is found throughout the wasteland, and every time you shoot you occasionally recover one. These are the casings. You can find casings on dead bodies, merchants have a handful of them for free sometimes, you can buy boxes of them from merchants, or you can recover them while shooting. If you're looking to handload a lot (which once you learn how, you will be doing 90% of the time when you need more ammo), it's quite obvious that you should take the Handloader perk as quickly as possible. It unlocks better recipes at the Reloading Bench as well as greatly increases the casings you will recover while shooting. But, more about that later; back to casings. Each type of bullet takes a different casing. .357 rounds take .357 casings, .44 magnum rounds take .44 casings, and so on. For this reason casings are much more specified. In order to make ammo, you have to find or buy casings for that gun, which prevents players from making 1000 bullets in one sitting.
The fourth component is a primer. Along with gunpowder, 99.9% of the time it will need to be purchased from a vendor. These a split up into 5 categories, if I remember correctly. They are:
Yes, the .50 caliber round has it's own primer category. Anyways, these are varying between bullet types. Obviously since there are only four, they work for different caliber bullets. You will have to chech the recipies at a reloading bench because I don't remember any of them off the top of my head. Usually you can just go with instinct. What primer do you think a 9mm pistol round uses? Small pistol. What kind of primer do you think a 12.7mm pistol round uses? Large pistol. If you're really confused, it's not to hard to check.There, so now you should have the four components. You should be able to make any kind of Bullet that you need. Now, if you're thinking about using the Energy Weapons instead, that's much easier. All you have to do is recover drained cells of your choice. Whether you need electron charge packs or microfusion cells, just pick up the drained variant off of dead enemies or get them from when you're shooting. I also believe that this uses the Science skill instead of Repair. You will only be able to recycle anything within your science skill level. For energy weapons, instead of using a Reloading Bench, you use a Workbench. You simply take your drained cells, open up the workbench and select " recycle drained X cells". It's not as profitable as handloading though, but there is a perk that goes along with it similar to handloading, it's called Vigilant Recycler. Now, most energy weapons have a 'recylcer' modification that essentially makes the third or fourth shot free, and not use any cells. This helps as well.Now, back to the Handloader perk is available at 70 Repair skill unpon leveling up and perk selection. The hand loader perk unlocks the 'handloaded' variants of rounds at reloading benches. I believe they use a bit more gun powder and lead, but the difference is null, it might make you 5 less bullets. Who needs five more bullets when you do more damage per shot? Anyways, these bullets are much better than the common variants and I recommend breaking down any of the original bullets you get and turning them into handload variant rounds. For example, say you just found 20 .357 rounds on a Raider. Great find! Now, take those 20 rounds to a reloading bench, chose the breakdown .357 option and take apart all twenty of those. With the Handloader perk you will find the ".357 JSP Handloaded" recipe. craft that and you will have 19 better round that do more damage and slow down the degradation of your weapon. All recipes for the handloader perk have the word 'handload' in them.
Now, about the breakdown. Breaking down ammunition will return the bullet you break down into it's raw state of the 4 components. You simply go to a Reloading bench and select 'Breakdown X'. It will then tell you in the box on your right what you will be getting. It will tell you your lead and gunpowder values as well as case and primer information."Why would I want to breakdown ammo?" you ask. Well, little billy, think of ll the unused ammo sitting in your bag. All the 9mm rounds, all the 10mm rounds. Those won't fit in your repeater, and you have the cowboy perk! Well, just go to your reloading bench and break 'em down! Now you don't have to go buy lead, pistol powder, or primers to make a .357 round! All you need is the .357 casings! Amazing!I know it's a lot there, took me an hour to type it. Hope it helps. Post any questions you have. Once you start handloading, you won't know how you ever got by without it!
Praise The Sun!
You should get a metal for that answer. Kudos.
Also wanted to added if you have Old World Blues, the sink sells a Primer and Power pack that comes with 25 of all 6 primer types and 200 of both power types. This is especially helpful is you're have trouble finding the right primer you need. cough .50MG cough
How much is that?
86 caps with a barter of 90.
I'll have to remember that. I haven't gone through Old World Blues with my current character yet, but I was looking at doing it now because I have my brush gun.
just wanted to thank everyone for their answers as they were very helpful. i'd like to especiallybthank IsaacClarkeSNL for his very informative answer and appreciate the time and effort he put into it. Everything is now a lot clearer.
Excellent response Isaac, 2 thumbs up :).........myself, I usually breakdown all the ammo I'm not using ie 9mm, 20ga etc. Only find I use scrap metal as a last resort...