- The Business of Custom Bullet Swaging: What's in it for you?
- Marketing Tips: Build your plan on solid ground!
- Calculating material use: Copper strip/lead wire
- Production Speed: How to determine production rate
- Turning Ideas Into Income: The business book for new bullet makers...
- Download Business Brochure: Custom Bullet Business Summary
- Custom Bullet Makers: Partial listing of bullet makers
- A Message from Dave Corbin: Ideas that worked...
|The Business of Custom Bullet Swaging
From a hobby with potential for part time income, to a full time business that costs less than a used car, based upon making UNIQUE products for top shooters, you have everything you need to get started with Corbin books, services and products! (click the picture for more information)
Custom Bullet Makers
Market Info Pack
|There are good and bad points to any kind of business. The good points for a custom bullet business include these:
You need to obtain a Federal Firearms License, Class 6, "Manufacturer of Ammunition or Components of Ammunition". This is the same form as a regular gun dealer license, except that you check off the Class 6 box. The cost at this writing is still only $10 per year, with a 3 year term (so it costs you $30 for 3 years). To get the FFL, log onto the BAFT website and find out where to send for the form at the field office nearest to you or from headquarters. The BATF website is listed in website links.
You do not need a business location, if you are not open to walk-in sales. But you do need a physical location for your business records and license. If you have a shop or garage, and this is your "location", then the BAFT field agents need to have access to this area during the business hours that you list on your license application, and on those days you plan to be open (which you state on the license app). Make sure there is an outside door giving access to your shop or work area, and keep your records right there. What records? Just general business info, same as you need for the IRS or your state tax agency. Sales, inventory purchase invoices.
There is a lot of misinformation and unfounded fear surrounding the license. Some people think the BAFT can just storm in at any time without a warrant and demand to see your records. No. Wrong. They probably couldn't care less about your records in the first place, because people who manufacture bullets to sell and do not load ammo or sell guns are just about the last people they care about. There's little or nothing to trace. But they do have the right to inspect your records, during the normal hours and days of operation that you put on your license. If you work part time, that could be Saturdays from noon to four in the afternoon. Whatever you say on the license application is your business hours for the term of the license. That is when the agent can visit and ask to see information. All the talk about warrants and searches has to do with criminal cases, not ordinary business! For heaven's sake! It would be funny if it wasn't such a wide-spread misconception.
Part of the misinformation is, I believe, a deliberate effort to stir up fear in order to shake money out of donors to pro-firearms causes. There are plenty of other reasons to support pro-2nd ammendment lobbies, but some of the organizations get a little too tempted to play the fear card. Yes, abuses have happened. But in almost every case, there was a seemingly justifiable reason behind the actions. Some guy is seen tossing hand grenades around, bragging about his para-military connections, or participating in what looks like para-military activities, and he draws attention to himself. If this unfortunate person happens to have an FFL, then it becomes more of an issue.
The ordinary citizen could, in a string of co-incidental innocent actions, appear to be fitting a dangerous pattern, and could, and probably has, attracted improper attention as a result of it. But by and large, this isn't the case. There is usually a person with a few screws loose at the heart of these examples of fine upstanding citizens being bulldozed by an aggressive gun-hating agency. Most of the agents I know are not gun haters. Some are shooters. I have fired many a round with federal agents, spoken for years with BAFT field agents, and most of them are pretty nice folks with no axes to grind. Could there be a few who would like to be jack-booted thugs if they could? Probably. So could your local florist! Only the florist is more likely to dress up in camo and give it a try, since so few people are keeping tabs on him compared to the agent!
With bullets, there is no requirement for a record of clients and sales to them, no excise tax on the bullets (as opposed to loaded ammunition). In reality, you will probably never see any agent from any agency in regard to this business, unless you conduct a business in a location where your local use laws prohibit it. In fact, before you can get an FFL, you have to be cleared with local law enforcement, which means you probably need a business license if you are in the city. However, the number of bullet makers who do business outside of cities and have no business license (and don't need one) is probably far greater than those who do.
If you are a conspiracy theorist and believe that having any sort of license from a government entity is a license to be invaded by jack-booted thugs, then don't even think about starting a bullet business. It isn't worth not having the license, which is cheap, easy to get for non-felons, only requires a standard FBI fingerprint search at your local sheriff or police headquarters, and the assurance of your local law enforcement authority that there is no law prohibiting you from operating this kind of business at the location you put on the application.
Anyone who owns property, drives a car, has utility connections, has been in the military or school system, votes, or in general enjoys the normal life of even a moderately successful American, is already known or easily can be found by any government agency with the need and the right to do so. Why worry about a little thing like the FFL? You are already in the database, pal! If the mysterous men in black have not got you yet, odds are pretty good they aren't going to! And if they do, not a whole lot you can do about it at this point anyway...might as well sell some bullets!
If you are an unknown hermit with no prior contact with civilization, it isn't likely you will find many clients anyway. Please bear in mind that while abuses of power happen, there is usually a major provocation to trigger them, and the aftermath of bad publicity means it is a long time before such a thing happens again. The average good fellow minding his own business or trying to start one is not usually the subject of a Waco-like fiasco. These guys were nuts! Are you nuts? I thought not. Then quit worrying about it.
|Other points you need to consider:
|Marketing Information Package (M.I.P)
If you want to find out more about the marketing and business aspects of custom bullet swaging, E-mail for the M.I.P. (Marketing Information Package) which costs $4 (VISA/MC).
The M.I.P. contains (among other things) two booklets that have proven very useful not only to our clients but to others in completely different fields who have read them and used them to help develop home-based businesses. One booklet outlines a seven step plan to developing the groundwork for a business and getting free publicity (which still costs you a little for printing, mailing, and your time, but pays thousandfold in the sales that can result from mentions in the trade press), and the other booklet details the differences between bullet casting and bullet swaging businesses, explains the volume/profit curves of these two fields, and shows why in most cases lower volume sales results in higher percentage of profit in this unusual market. Download MIP Spreadsheet info in PDF format.
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