Barnes loaded ammo going to Starline


#1

I have been purchasing loaded ammo from Barnes ever since they got into the loaded pistol-ammo market a few years ago with their VOR-TX line of SCHP loads. All of those cases, and all of the cases on their newer TAC-XPD stuff have had “Barnes” headstamps as far as I have noticed, up until several months ago when they came out with the .357mag in TAC-XPD for 2015 which was Starline. I presumed it was a temporary supply problem and that they would eventually go with Barnes brass. I was wrong. Today at Cabelas I picked up a new production boxes of the .357mag TAC-XPD and a box of the .44mag VOR-TX (has been available for years, always with a Barnes headstamp), and they both had Starline headstamps! I could not check at the store since Barnes tapes / labels their boxes shut and only found out after buying them.

My theory on this is that the floundering financial situation of Freedom Group which is Barnes’ parent company (as well as Remington, Bushmaster, etc…) has caused them to give up on the notion of custom headstamped brass, and that they are phasing it out in favor of cheap Starline brass. Loaded ammo from Barnes in pistol cal anyway, only appeared after the acquisition by Freedom Group, and I presumed it had something to do with Remington in so far as making the brass with Barnes headstamps, or even loading the ammo? In any case, Freedom Group / Remington / Barnes are all in an uncertain situation at the moment it seems.


#2

I thought Starline would provide cases headstamped to customer’s requirements at no significant extra cost provided MOQ was met, or has that changed since my involvement in such things?

Over here, pre handgun ban, some pretty small outfits had their own headstamps courtesy of Starline’s competitive rates.


#3

I don’t know on the pricing, but it seems odd to me that Barnes would abandon such an otherwise obvious & simple branding / marketing issue unless they are in some sort of distress, which they may be given their parent company’s endless financial maneuvering.