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Old August 22, 2011, 08:52 PM   #1
studman5578
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Commercially Casting

I'm thinking about selling my cast boolits. I would sell them on Gunbroker or at a local gun show. What's the deal with liability? There are so many other more important factors involved with handloads than the any errors in the casting so I would assume it would be difficult to pin any mistakes on the caster. Anybody out there do it commercially that can offer some insight? Or anybody out there look into doing it themselves? Thanks.
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Old August 23, 2011, 12:11 AM   #2
Stick_man
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First thing would be to check your local regs. Then, I have heard you need to have an FFL (class 06 I believe) to manufacture ammunition components. I don't think the liability insurance would be too bad, but with all the lawsuit happy attorneys out there and the anti-gun libs in office, you can't ever be sure of what's out there. If somebody can sue McDonalds for making them fat or for burning themselves on coffee, why not sue somebody for making the bullet that fit too big for your gun and "caused" your barrel to blow up?

There are also many different applications, alloys, and sizes for each caliber. For it to be profitable, you would need quite an investment in equipment and need to have a good reliable source for your alloy materials.

Best of luck with it.
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Old August 23, 2011, 12:46 AM   #3
chris in va
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Bottom line, after reading countless posts about going commercial...don't. 10 mil insurance liability, various permits and fees, then the thousands of bucks investing in casting equipment. Factor in the rising cost of lead alloy and it just isn't worth it.
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Old August 23, 2011, 01:51 AM   #4
studman5578
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yeah it doesn't seem like its worth it anymore. maybe I should put something up like this in casting 101 thread to prevent future inquiries. haha.

I didn't know there were any ffl requirements for it (i checked and you do need a class 6 as stick man said). I guess I assumed that there were enough other factors in the handloading process to be able to bring the blame off of the cast boolits in the case of an accident. I surely woudn't go after the caster if my gun blew up on me when i was shooting handlaods, but then again I wouldn't rob somebody on the street and there are plenty of people in the world who do THAT in my fine state where law-abiding citizens aren't allowed to protect themselves. Dumb. </rant>
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Old August 25, 2011, 10:17 AM   #5
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I tend to think there are no restrictions/licensing needed for selling cast bulets. Loaded ammo, yes, you'll need the Class 6, but selling lead pellets with wax on them I don't think so...
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Old August 25, 2011, 01:46 PM   #6
zippy13
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My recollection is the same as Stick_man's, you need a license to commercially manufacture ammunition and/or ammunition components. There is an exemption for a hand loader's personal use ammo. Check the archives, this has been previously discussed by folks (commercial casters) who know a lot more than I do. There's also the considerable insurance aspect.
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Old August 26, 2011, 12:01 AM   #7
Stick_man
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The class 06 FFL is for the manufacture of ammunition or ammunition components. This is a regulated industry and each of the components is taxed (do a search on Pittman-Robertson Act). The manufacture of components for sale would fall under this FFL category.

Manufacture for personal use does not require the license (yet). Hopefully, it never will.
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Old August 26, 2011, 10:13 AM   #8
studman5578
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I read the wording on the online version of the CFR and it wasnt especially clear to me, but Its believable that they regulate it. The license isn't even that expensive (only $10 per year) but the insurance is what deters me, and most others I'm sure. Anybody have an idea who would even insure cast bullets? I think state farm would give me some scary and puzzled looks if I walked into there and asked for bullet insurance.
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Old August 26, 2011, 10:51 AM   #9
snuffy
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The quickest way to turn an enjoyable hobby into drudgery is to make a business out of it. You will quickly tire of HAVING TO make some bullets to fill an order.

Then IF it takes off and you get a bunch of customers, you will not be able to keep up. That is unless you spent a ton of money on automatic machines to crank out a lot of bullets. Gone will be the use of scrap lead to make bullets. You just about have to get the lead direct from the smelter, then you can specify the alloy so you can offer different hardness, BHN numbers, to your customers.

Check out this operation at Missouri bullets;

http://www.facebook.com/missouribullet

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=608703

When you get shipments of tons of lead every month, you have some volume. When you get a bunch of machines like Brad has, you can be AHEAD of demand so you can ship the same day the order is received. He's famous for 2-3 day shipping using flat rate boxes. The P.O. picks up his shipments in a big truck that he loads with a forklift.
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Last edited by snuffy; August 26, 2011 at 11:02 AM.
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Old August 26, 2011, 12:03 PM   #10
studman5578
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That's quite the operation. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor when I saw the row of machines pumping out those bullets. I had seen some videos of 1 or 2 of those machines working but never so many. I wonder how much that setup would cost (not for any use to myself) and how quick they had a return on their initial investment.

My end goal for "commercially casting" was to cast bullets at a profit long enough for me to buy a 1911 for myself (i've got my eyes on the SR1911). I used the word commercially as lightly as possible and really only planned on a handful of listings on gunbroker over a period of time (undercutting a majority of the listings by about $5 to help guarantee a sale, but still making a healthy profit). What they're doing at MBC is crazy. If I had the capitol for such an investment, I would do it in a heartbeat (if it was ok with the Mrs. of course ), but until I get out of school and well established in the world, its just not happening at that scale.
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Old August 26, 2011, 06:11 PM   #11
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Studman, if your idea is to use an electric pot and hand held molds, You would be better off working part-time somewhere. Even with 4 or 6 cavity molds it's hard to cast over 300- 200 grain bullets an hour. If you had some monster pot that holds over 100 pounds of lead, then you could double that. The time robber is when the pot runs low, you have to replenish the pot. That means it takes 10-15 minutes for it to return to casting temp, then it needs to be fluxed. Figure 20 minutes every hour needed to wait for the lead to heat up.

You can get a melter to keep lead near casting temp to feed the main casting pot. Or a hot plate to heat up ingots to reduce the warm-up time.

I know a couple of guys locally that tried it with hand molds. They had about 20 different bullets they sold at local ranges and gunshops. Their bullets were first rate, but they got real tired of it, quit after a year. I don't know if they had the proper licenses or insurance.
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