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Thread: shotgun shell mfg
02-04-2011, 09:17 PM #1
shotgun shell mfg
Got an old timer friend who used to make his own shotgun ammo back in the old country. he has had some manufacturing equipment that automated the loading of the shells. Now he is semi retired and wants to break out his machinery to get back into low volume production for his and close friend use.
He has his own formula for powder and a place that will make it for him, and he still has a few million wads left that he designed. Now he needs to find somewhere where he can have the case made to his specs and the brass head stamped with his info. Any idea where he can start?
He still has about 20 tons of lead left, but at some point he will need to find someone with a shot tower, preferably on the west coast. Wasn't there one in Carson City a long while back?
Thanks for any direction.
02-05-2011, 05:10 AM #2
The only company I know that might do something like that would be Cheddite, you would have to go through their U.S. distributor which is Grafs and Sons in Mexico ,Mo. [URL="http://www.grafs.com"]
Cheddite won't deal with anyone else in the U.S. others have tried. As far as the shot goes , West Coast shot is still in Carson City,NV.
I wish your friend all the luck with his enterprise..he'll need it.
Things are not the way they were when he was in the old country..if he is looking to make any kind of profit on loading lead shotshells..well good luck. The price of lead had probably tripled if not quadrupled in the past few years, primers have doubled in price, and factory ammunition these days cost about as much and is as good as anything you can reload or produce on a small scale.
Add to the above the regulations,laws,permitting, restrictions,etc. you have on producing ammunition in this country and he quickly may find out he has to charge much more than the factories do just to make a small profit.
Not trying to knock the wind out of his sails, but others I know have done this and its tough to make it work these days.
02-05-2011, 09:47 AM #3
I agree that the cost savings between reloading and factory new shot shells is not that big and can even be negative if you buy shot when lead pricing is highest. Most trap shooters that I know have a press or many presses for reloading and only those shooters who have moved to a condo or apartment have given up reloading.
There might be a market for reloaded shot shells that can be slightly cheaper than factory new shells but it doesn't seem like a viable business to me. In fact I am being given spent cases all of the time by those who do not reload so there is a glut out there of shell cases.
Selling his lead supply when the price peaks again would be his best move, in my opinion.
02-05-2011, 11:37 AM #4
add to that insurance and an ammunition manufacturing license from the ATF and he'd be hard pressed to make a profit doing relatively low volume.
if he is selling ammo without a manuf. license, the ATF will fine him heavily and not something i would risk. only 2 groups scare me and i follow their books to a T and that is the IRS and ATF. both can make life difficult.
02-05-2011, 08:35 PM #5
Thanks Guys! He is mulling it over.
02-06-2011, 03:21 AM #6
Unless he has a few hundred friends that shoot, he brought enough shot with him to make around 600,000 trap loads and a million wads?
Excuse me for being a bit blunt here,,just find it a bit odd.
02-06-2011, 06:06 AM #7
Bluntness is fine! He used to have government contracts in his home country, and was an Olympic shooter many decades ago, he came here and was all set to start manufacturing.
He got the ATF License and then personal tragedy put all his plans on hold. several decades later he wants to try and start, but all of his contacts overseas have dried up or were bought out. Now he is trying to start from scratch. The stuff he brought was small time for him considering what he used to make. I think he thought it would be for his personal use.
02-06-2011, 01:20 PM #8
Wow..sounds like he went through a lot. If he does decide to try making a go at it he may want to try and concentrate on shells for the 16 and 28 ga. Those are the niche markets these days..you have to hunt most times to find ammo for either one. If someone came up with some good high performance loads for both of those they have a ready market.
02-06-2011, 02:51 PM #9
I would suggest he contact Fiocci in Italy as they will make the shell cases with any head stamp and many colors for the casing. The use of used cases could bring on problems with the original manufacturers. My last contact in this area was with with the old Alcan and later S&W-Fiocci operation in Illinois many years ago I have a friend who is buying the raw cases from Fiocci with his own head stamp and using them for decorative decoration purposes, not reloading.
02-06-2011, 08:40 PM #10
He is a really nice and interesting guy, we were at the range yesterday and he was nice to coach me for the day both skeet and trap. I would really like to pay him back for all the coaching he has given me with helping him on this project.
He is a fan of Fiocchi so I am sure he will be fine using their product. Thanks for the direction, I will let you know how it goes.
What do you think costs would be for tooling on his own heads?
02-07-2011, 03:50 AM #11
Id be interested to see how much your own headstamp costs myself, a friend and I were going to have our own design wads produced several years ago...till we found out the cost for making our own mold...
02-07-2011, 07:29 AM #12
02-07-2011, 01:07 PM #13
Check with Federal, I think they will make private label casing. I believe they make the Nosler Brass for Nosler.
ATK is the parent company.