Priming Powder

Dell Hallmark, President at Tru Ballistics, conducts quality control with a round measuring the ogive in full diameter. 

KENEDY – After manufacturing ammunition for two years, Dell Hallmark, president of Tru Ballistics, opened a brick and mortar storefront to provide firearms for sale.

“I’m a retired aerospace technician and it’s always been a hobby to load ammunition,” Dell said. “There was a shortage of ammunition years ago, which led to the prices going up and we saw the quality go down. The quality was terrible with the ammo and that’s when I started.”

While specializing in long-distance competition ammunition, Tru Ballistics offers customized hunting rounds as well.

“We can customize the ammo to a rifle that makes it more accurate for you to shoot,” Dell said.

Operations manager Charles Lobner added, “We will develop a load for either hunting, or target practice for each customer. We have schematics that we can work with to make each round particular for each customer. It saves time and money rather than the customer figuring it out on their own.”

Despite being open just under a couple of weeks, Tru Ballistics will continue to expand on operations with more opportunities.

“Our machinery from priming brass to loading rounds, we have been staying busy with our orders,” Dell said. “We run high volume commercial orders and we can keep up with anyone. We can prime brass at two rounds per second and move to loading a round per second.”

Tru Ballistics manufactures rifle ammunition, but will expand to handgun rounds when capable.

“We have to wait months just to have the supplier with the components for handguns right now,” Charles said. “That is something we will do when it’s possible.”

Dell added, “It’s a struggle to find items to make ammo. Some of the components are harder to find than others.”

As Tru Ballistics expanded to a storefront, it can provide customers a place to purchase a firearm, customize ammunition and sight in the firearm at the indoor range.

“This separates us from a lot of people,” Dell said. “We can verify the quality of the firearm before it leaves the shop.”

Charles added, “We aren’t just bore sighting a scope. We start with three different rounds to see what works best. Sometimes it’s a little less grain with the ammo for each gun. Some don’t know what they want and ask for recommendations.”

Business has been booming with current social issues around the country.

“On top of an election cycle and civil unrest, we have been selling a lot of ammunition,” Dell said. “We make what we can in ammo and it sells just as fast.”

Charles added, “People want to spend money on particular items. They are more one sided with self defense right now.”

With a presence already in the community manufacturing ammunition, Tru Ballistics listened to its customers when discussing firearm sales.

“We had no intention to open a gun store when I started,” Dell said. “As time went by our customers would always ask about us selling firearms. Our customers mainly wanted a shop.”

Charles added, “We have a license to ship them out anyway, so might as well sell them. People are excited about us being here.”

With ammunition its bread and butter, Tru Ballistics has competitors shooting its rounds.

“Last year, Colden Cloud won nationals in Precision Rifle Series shooting our ammo in the youth division,” Dell said. “We have a few competitors shooting our ammo.”

Tru Ballistics is located at 1023 FM 1145 in Kenedy.

Chris Filoteo is the editor at the Karnes Countywide and can be reached at 830-254-8088, or at karnes@mySouTex.com.

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