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Discussion Starter #1
How hard is it?

I wonder what the smallest means of mass production for casings, bullets, powder and primers
really is? Someone should design a "package" plant for ammo :)
 

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Manufacturing powder and primers in the same general area sounds like a bad plan.........;.
 

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There is no "small" way to manufacture cartridge cases. The process requires an extrusion press and I doubt there are many homes that even have the kind of electrical service required to run one. You can cast bullets or swage them with special presses and although you can make black powder making smokeless powder is out of the question. Even black powder is problematic trying to keep uniform results with small batches is nearly impossible. Making it in large batches is VERY dangerous. Primers are made with a very sensitive primary explosives, extruded cups of steel and bronze pieces called anvils. If I have to, I can cast bullets and then swage to size for paper patching and use all the other components that I have in bulk. I keep at least 3 pounds of each pistol powder, and 8 pounds of each rifle powder that I use, 2000 primers of each size I use and 1000 bullets of each type and size. I like to have 1000 rounds of live ammunition on hand for each caliber. I was distracted in my move during the last election so I am currently running low on some supplies but I have enough to get through the next year when I can replenish my stock completely. For now I just buy what I can find where I can find it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes but they get manufactured some where - all of it does. Clearly there is a market for more so there needs to be more
manufacturing. Bullets are probably the easiest.

Manufacturing powder and primers in the same general area sounds like a bad plan.........;.
 

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Well if anyone has about twenty million to put into a cartridge manufacturing plant then we can talk about a small plant - is that what he had in mind?
Manufacturing cast or swaged bullets is nearly as expensive if you want to mass produce (mostly due to the lead hazard and EPA).
Making powder and primers takes a lot more money and that is why the major brands are all made by a couple of manufacturers and sold under different names and brands. I believe that ADI make most of the powders sold in the USA, Canada and Australia - don't know about the others.
I do know that Winchester, IMR, and Hodgdon do not make any powder themselves and that WW231 is the same powder as HP-38 and WW760 and H414 are the same powders under the different brands. (I know because I refused to believe it and finally got so sick of folks telling me that I sent an email to Hodgdon) Now they have it listed on their site - apperently I was not the only sceptic.
 

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Figuring on spending a start up of about $1 Meg. per year as anything short of that, you can buy the equipment, pay the fees nor the components to do it all. Just casting lead bullets will cost you well over 100K a year. Powder, primers, and brass figure at least 10 x that per year.
 

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OK, how far will one million get you towards this:

a few acres of commercial land, a building on a 5 or 6 foot thick foundation with reinforced areas where the presses will be placed. An electrical feed service of 440 3 phase / 2000 amps, air conditioning and air filtration, sprinkler system, plumbing and electrical wiring, a couple of "in-house" transformers, an office, break room, restrooms, computers and server, LAN network, video and alarm system.

Then you need to buy the presses, dies (6) for each cartridge caliber, the blanks for cartridges (cups), anealing ovens, polishers, and automated quality checking devices for length, weight diameter and concentricity.

One million might get you the land, foundation and the exterior of the building but not much more.

As a check how about a garage that is 22x24 feet with 9 foot walls and a simple standard foundation?
1. concrete foundation $3750 (including the excavation)
2. materials for the walls and roof $6900 (exterior only)
3. Architechtual fees $5000 (10% of completed value)
4. Heat pump $3500 (includes two wall mounted units)
5. materials for interior finish $1640
6. wiring and electrical finished $1834
That includes no windows, one 30" door and one garage door for a 616 sq. ft. garage and I already own the land.
It comes to a total of $22,624 and some change, now tell me how you are going to spend only 44 times that amount to get a commercial industry up and running?
 

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OK, how far will one million get you towards this:

a few acres of commercial land, a building on a 5 or 6 foot thick foundation with reinforced areas where the presses will be placed. An electrical feed service of 440 3 phase / 2000 amps, air conditioning and air filtration, sprinkler system, plumbing and electrical wiring, a couple of "in-house" transformers, an office, break room, restrooms, computers and server, LAN network, video and alarm system.

Then you need to buy the presses, dies (6) for each cartridge caliber, the blanks for cartridges (cups), anealing ovens, polishers, and automated quality checking devices for length, weight diameter and concentricity.

One million might get you the land, foundation and the exterior of the building but not much more.

As a check how about a garage that is 22x24 feet with 9 foot walls and a simple standard foundation?
1. concrete foundation $3750 (including the excavation)
2. materials for the walls and roof $6900 (exterior only)
3. Architechtual fees $5000 (10% of completed value)
4. Heat pump $3500 (includes two wall mounted units)
5. materials for interior finish $1640
6. wiring and electrical finished $1834
That includes no windows, one 30" door and one garage door for a 616 sq. ft. garage and I already own the land.
It comes to a total of $22,624 and some change, now tell me how you are going to spend only 44 times that amount to get a commercial industry up and running?
It will get you in the door for a business loan that is about it as I said there is a lot more that just land etc. Wait till you see the license fees, insurance costs etc. The insurance alone will stagger you, since they are "High Risk" to begin with.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
There is always mexico! Payoff the federalies and permits are easy.

I saw a 90 foot cement boat for sale a few months ago....I hate permits!
 

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The ammo companies are aiding in their own demise. They should know what is happening yet they favor the side who wants to destroy them while ignoring those who could help. Pretty stupid.
 

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Well you can still make all you would need with and investment of the price of a press and dies as well as the 4 components require. You will need brass, primers, powder and bullets. I haven't bought a single factory loaded round now in over a year. I shoot all I want too.
 

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The ammunition manufacturers are servicing their customers in the same order they always have.
1. Military and police
2. public

The component manufacturers are servicing their customers as they always have.
1. military and police
2. ammunitions manufacturers
3. public

There are two reasons for shortages of ammo and components.
1. 1.6 billion rounds ordered by the homeland security and additional orders by military and police
2. panic buying by the general public - people are buying to horde because they fear what they are causing - a shortage.
 

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Most Ammo companies contribute to the police and military market as do most arms manufacturers. Diverse customer base just makes good sense for a business. We get our stuff from local dealers who are competing against all the other customers for the same supplies. When the demand goes up so fast it takes time for the manufacturers to gear up to meet it. Once they do then they end up with surplusses and profits go down. I have spoken to just two manufacturers (or suppliers) of components recently and they both told me the biggest reason for the backlogs is the rush/hording of components by the general public. They both told me that they were gearing up, slowly, to try to keep up with demand but without going into a pit when the demand drops. They esimated that the current shortages would last no longer than 6 to 9 months.
I have enough supplies to easily meet my demand for that time period but then I have been loading my own ammo for 41 years. I keep a good stock of the components that I use all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
From some google provided links it appears about 6000 sq feet of space, a million in equipment, and 10 good crew members will get you 10,000,000 rounds a year, but you buy primers and powder :(
 

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Well you can still make all you would need with and investment of the price of a press and dies as well as the 4 components require. You will need brass, primers, powder and bullets. I haven't bought a single factory loaded round now in over a year. I shoot all I want too.
I think he was talking about the complete manufacturing of the case and bullets.
 
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