We are experiencing one heck of an event right now. Ammo prices are through the roof and flying off o the shelves. My question is what does it take to get your class 6 FFL to manufacture ammo and sell it? Does it need to be through a business or is it something you can have as an individual? And what is the cost to get the license?
Start at the atf website and research then check your local and state laws and ordinances.
FIRST--- Consult a lawyer. There are some legal considerations.
Second, form a corporation. You absolutely do not want to load ammo for sale as a sole proprietor.
Then get your license.
I was a partner in a small commercial reloading operation for for 5 years. It's a damn tough way to make a living.:o
Unless you are in the middle of NOWHERE, you will not get a zoning variance to start manufacturing ammunition, be prepared to move to Idaho, ND or Utah, people are a little funny about having their homes next to a explosive plant, yes I know that smokeless powder is not an explosive, however the storage of primers in quanity is explosives, but try tell them that. (LOL)
Next you will need a ton of money to buy Liabiltiy Insurance, Product Liab Insurance and Property Insurance if you can even find a insurance company that would underwrite such a policy.
But the first thing I would do is read the ATF regualtions, there are only 242 pages.
If after checking these three things out you still want to open a ammo business, then the best of luck to you and may your endeavor be a success.
BATF might be the least of your problems. Getting the components to make the ammo will not be easy. A couple weeks back, I heard the owner of a local custom ammo shop say that he is having trouble get powder and primers and he deals directly with the manufacturers. As a start-up, your difficulties might be even worse.
insurance rates will be. Be sitting when you hear or read the quote. If then
you are still interested consult a lawyer. Getting a quote from an Ins.
companies is free. Lawyers fees start at minute zero.
Then if you are still interested, call a lawyer.
being sued; this is a common misunderstanding and is often not explained
well by lawyers who are going to charge you for incorporation.
(Wikipedia, is not the best legal advise but it does give a good overview.)
I ran for nine years as sole proprietor, never sued, my Ins. loved me.
Closed the biz so I could spend more time with the family.
Consult a lawyer on this and your state laws concerning this, it does vary
by state. Have enough insurance. I was a one man welding and fab shop
with $2,000,000 in liability ins. and occasionally bonded to $5 million for
Not to mention there are excise taxes on ammo. both new and used, and
as a result lots of extra accounting. Tax ID numbers, quarterly tax filings
all kinds of fun stuff...
back alley garage. The local/regular ATF agent is very nice and well liked
the ATF auditors make the IRS auditors look like a very tame fluffy bunny
BTW, that business is for sale... One of the owners, the main owner,
passed away last year, he was a very good man, his son is looking to sell.
Just too much for one man to run.
I have no idea what hoops would have to be jumped if you moved it out of
state. Not too bad if in state, you just have to apply for the FFL in your
name or names if you have partners.
PM me if you are interested, I will put you in touch with them.
I would add to the list of legal hoops- the EPA. Envronmental Protection Agency. You are about to learn about HAZWOPER (hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response)
You will be handling lead. And some things, like polishing media for a tumbler, get contaminated with lead. So.... how are you planning on disposing of that hazardous waste? In a trashcan that goes to the landfill? OH NO YOU DON'T! Containers with lead dust from bullets? Where do you dispose of old primers, with lead azide priming compound? How about OSHA, and workers exposed to lead? Are you set up for blood lead monitoring?
None of that is required for a hobbyist, but once you are licensed as a BUSINESS....
My business was incorporated, Cost $150 total.
We contacted primer manufacturers and asked about their
OEM program. We wanted to buy primers in lots of 2.5 million per order.
They told us that didn't even come near meeting their OEM requirements.
Pretty much the same for powder, but Hodgdon treated us well. Of course they're not a manufacturer.
The bullet makers wouldn't even talk to us.
Ammoload machine set up for .38/.357 with 9MM, .223 and 45 conversion kits was ~$20K (Probably closer to $50K today)
Case processing machine, roll sizer and inspection table, another ~ $12K (Probably $20K today)
Two small concrete mixers and a tons of corncob media, ! $2K
Three Dillon 1050s for small production runs like .44 Magnum, .45 Colt, .30-30, .308, .30-06, another ~ $6K.
BTW, Dillon will help you if they can. But they're in business too.
And we hadn't even bought components yet.
Couldn't get a business loand, so all four of us had to take 2nd mortgages out.
In this endeavor, you learn the meaning of " go big or stay home.'
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