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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
Hand Loader
Fallout: New Vegas
RequirementsLevel 6
Repair 70
EffectsTwice as likely to recover ammunition cases
Unlocks custom ammunition recipes
base id0016581b

You know your way around a reloading bench and don't let good brass and hulls go to waste. When you use Guns, you are more likely to recover cases and hulls. You also have all hand load recipes unlocked at any of the wasteland's reloading benches.

— In-game description, Fallout: New Vegas

Hand Loader is a perk in Fallout: New Vegas.


This perk allows you to craft six more types of ammunition at a reloading bench (plus one more with the Honest Hearts add-on, and another six with the Gun Runners' Arsenal add-on), each requiring slightly more supplies to create than the standard form. The perk also doubles the chance of recovering a shell/casing whenever firing off most rounds. This perk is favorable for players who prefer saving cartridges and casings and making their own at a reloading bench rather than spend the caps to get them from a vendor, and those who prefer the Guns skill over most other weapon skills. This saves money and when utilized to its full potential, can prove to be a very lethal proposition when choosing this perk.

Custom ammunition types

Ammunition Repair required DMG DT CND SPRD Other
10mm JHP hand load 50 (70) x1.65 x2 - - -
.308 JSP hand load 50 (70) x1.3 - x1.5 - -
.357 magnum JFP hand load 50 (70) x1.25 -3 - x0.8 -
.44 SWC hand load 75 x1.2 -6 - - -
.45-70 Gov SWC hand load 90 x1.2 -6 x3 - -
.50 MG match hand load 100 x1.15 - - x0.65 -
.45 super hand load Honest HeartsGametitle-FNV HH.png 80 x1.3 -4 x2.5 - -
12 gauge 4 buck mag hand load (GRA) Gun Runners' ArsenalGametitle-FNV GRA.png 50 (70) x1.30 -2 x1.15 - 4 projectiles
12.7mm JHP hand load (GRA) Gun Runners' ArsenalGametitle-FNV GRA.png 75 x1.65 x2 - - -
20 gauge 3 buck mag hand load (GRA) Gun Runners' ArsenalGametitle-FNV GRA.png 50 (70) x1.30 -2 x1.15 - 4 projectiles
5.56 match hand load (GRA) Gun Runners' ArsenalGametitle-FNV GRA.png 50 (70) x1.15 - - x0.65 -
5mm JSP hand load (GRA) Gun Runners' ArsenalGametitle-FNV GRA.png 50 (70) x1.30 -10 x1.50 - -
9mm JHP hand load (GRA) Gun Runners' ArsenalGametitle-FNV GRA.png 50 (70) x1.65 x2 - - -

Notes on ammunition terms

  • JHP - Jacketed Hollow Point; a lead-core bullet mostly enclosed by a copper jacket with a recessed nose, allowing the bullet to rapidly deform and fragment after striking tissue, essentially flattening out the bullet in the target, allowing it to efficiently expend more energy instead of going through the target cleanly.
  • JSP - Jacketed Soft Point; a lead-core bullet mostly enclosed by a copper jacket, but with the soft lead tip exposed. This allows the bullet to deform more readily after striking tissue, while retaining stronger penetration than a jacketed hollow point.
  • JFP - Jacketed Flat Point; a bullet with a flat tip instead of the usual rounded tip. A happy medium between penetration and tissue destruction. Due to the flattened point of the bullet, it creates a larger wound channel in tissue, but does not flatten out like a hollow point thus allowing it better penetration.
  • SWC - Semi-Wadcutter; an all-lead flat-nosed bullet, originally designed to punch clean holes in paper, making scoring easier in competition shooting.
  • Match hand load - match loads are rounds manufactured for accuracy and ballistic consistency, to ensure that multiple rounds fired from the same weapon will —all other things being equal—fly along the same path, at the same velocity, and strike the target in the same spot. Typically manufactured for applications such as competition shooting and long range shooting.
  • Super - .45 Super is an ammunition load designed for much higher pressures than the gun was originally intended to fire. Muzzle velocity is 20% greater than even +P resulting in much better armor penetration and damage, but potentially causing considerable weapon damage to guns not specially designed to operate these "Wildcat" rounds.


  • Certain custom hand-loaded ammunition may greatly deteriorate gun condition. This specialized ammunition is still practical to use, however, as the rapid deterioration of otherwise rare weapons can be countered by the relatively easy ability to repair them using a weapon repair kit or the Jury Rigging perk.
  • It should be noted that lead is not weightless as it might appear. Rather, its weight is so negligible that the game doesn't display it as a unit (weight is only displayed to the second decimal). It takes roughly 714.5 units of lead to make a full unit of encumbrance. To put it another way, 1000 units of lead weighs 1.4 lbs. This might not seem like much, but (with Hand Loader) the player can easily accumulate tens of thousands of units of lead, which then adds substantial weight if carried around in their inventory. With the game update that shows aggregate weight for stacked items in inventory, this becomes much more obvious and one can see at a glance how much weight in lead they carry.


  • PCIcon pc.png PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png Hand Loader is required for the efficient powder charge recipe added in Gun Runners' Arsenal, rather than the add-on's Mad Bomber perk.

Behind the scenes

  • The name of the perk refers to handloading, a process of loading firearm cartridges or shells by assembling the individual components (brass/shotshell, primer, powder, and bullet/shot), rather than obtaining completely assembled, factory-loaded cartridges.