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Trez 10-02-2011 06:09 PM

Making a Cast Bullet Company?
A friend and I were thinking of making a small Cast bullet business. Ive noticed that any of the shops that sell cast lead bullets dont really have much of a selection like the jacketed ones, If they sell cast bullets at all. My friend has tons of casting supplys, he has about 100 different molds, some of which are around 100 years old, for both muzzleloaders and cartridge rounds, a few lube-a-sizers, plus enough lead to get stared.. Were thinking of casting a few of each today, to make a couple of boards to show all the various bullet designs.

Do you think there could be a market for this? Anything I want to be careful of? Any suggestions would be appreciated!!

BenLuby 10-02-2011 06:32 PM

Aside from the obvious health issues of casting lead, which you will need to check out, (EPA may be up your tailpipe), you may want to go after the niche castings to begin with.
There's discontinued ammo that self loaders would love to have, so that they could go back and shoot their .303 and other calibers.
You go in against the typical ammunition types, that are mass produced, you're going to have to have cheaper prices, as well as build a reputation.
Let's be honest. Most reloaders are anal as hell, and for good reason. They want the most bang for the least money they can get.
If you're one of, if not the only, place to get their ammunition? Then you increase your business base. (Of course, then the shell casings come into play, which is a whole other business.)

KABAR2 10-02-2011 06:51 PM

Sounds like you have enough equipment, most business are made or are broke after the first three years......I don't want to discourage you from this, just open your eyes to some things you may not of thought of..... & remember the Government - Federal , State & local are not friends of business... they created more impediments for a new business than should be allowed.....

So ask yourself the following questions:

Incorporating? DBA? LLC?

Do we have enough money to make this work?
most businesses are short sighted as far as capital.

you will need to become known which means an advertising budget...

Are you renting a building? or doing this out of the house? are there any laws that will stop you from doing out of your house?

what business licenses are required by State & local for said business?

What requirements will the EPA have on a filter system in the lead casting area,
what else will they require?

Hazardous material storage requirements?

Are you using gas or electric to melt your lead? Cost?

Have you researched companies to purchase your lead etc. form? how much per pound? and breaks on large quanities? by the ton? pick up or ship? cost?

I could think of more but this should be enough to chew on if you already have the answers to these than you are well on your way to starting a business. one last thing.... partnerships can work if both parties are well vested in it and have mutual trust, beware of third parties partners.... for some reason when there are three involved in running a business it ends badly, as usually one of them absconds with the money and leave the other partner's holding the bag....

Wishing you good luck and God Bless,

Allen <><

c3shooter 10-02-2011 08:59 PM

You need a type 6 FFL to make reloading components for sale- and need to pay Federal Excise tax on those.

Trez 10-02-2011 09:44 PM

Looks like even just to sell components you have to do everything as if you were actually to manufacture ammo... The 06 FFl isnt a big deal, but I have to register with ITAR and still have insurance.. The part I dont get is: It seems I dont need any of that if im casting bullets for blackpowders or antique guns? According to what ive read I dont have to pay an excise tax.

Heres the best info I could find, its off another forum: Selling cast bullets ? - Cast Boolits

Here are the facts from an actual licensed manufacturer that knows the facts, me.

The GCA of 1968 defines ammunition as:

Ammunition. Ammunition or cartridge cases, primers, bullets, or propellent powder designed for use in any firearm other than an antique firearm. The term shall not include (a) any shotgun shot or pellet not designed for use as the single, complete projectile load for one shotgun hull or casing, nor (b) any unloaded, non-metallic shotgun hull or casing not having a primer.
As you can see, ammunition also includes components such as bullets, cases, primers, and powder. If you manufacture any of these, example being casting a bullet, you are manufacturing ammunition. If you do it for livelihood and profit, you need to be licensed as a manufacturer.

The ATF's opinion/way they enforce the law, is one incident of selling ammunition or components you manufacture is cause to believe you did it to attempt profit and livelihood. Livelihood can be supplemental income. Selling also includes not only common currency payments but also trades for services, goods, or promises for future compensation. Selling equals compensation. If you are compensated in any way shape or form, you are "selling".

The FFL type you need is a Type 06 Manufacturer of Small Arms Ammunition Other Than Destructive Devices. The fee is $30 for three years.

Also, what a lot of manufacturers don't get is that since you are manufacturing ammunition or components that also gets controlled by the US State Department under the ITAR or International Trade in Arms Regulations.

In a nutshell, it states that manufacturers of ammunition, components, firearms, parts, scopes, etc are all manufacturers of "defensive articles". It does not matter if you are not exporting them. All manufacturers must register. There are no exceptions. The fact that you are only manufacturing articles for civilian use of domestic law enforcement use does not matter. The annual fee for ITAR registration is $2250 per year.

Here's the straight up ITAR code:

Sec. 122.1 Registration requirements.

(a) General. Any person who engages in the United States in the business
of either manufacturing or exporting defense articles or furnishing
defense services is required to register with the Office of Munitions
Control. Manufacturers who do not engage in exporting must nevertheless
Then there's liability insurance. A basic liability policy is a few thousand dollars a year and goes up from there.

So there you have it from someone who has been there, done that. I started my business as a commercial bullet caster in 2006, licensed as an 06 FFL, registered with ITAR as a manufacturer of defensive articles, and insured with a $1 million product liability policy. The legal way and the right way.

There is ZERO Federal Excise Tax on components. Only complete loaded ammunition. Components are ammunition for purposes of the GCA but not for FET. Bullet manufacturers don't pay FET on bullets. Ever.

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