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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

post 2 of 2 today-business idea


BUSINESS IDEA-post 2 of 2 today

After reading the comments and the one on diversifying your self employment income, suddenly I remembered a guy I knew twenty years ago.  I hadn’t thought of him all this time.  He would take your fired brass and reload for you, selling at a nice discount from a retail price.  Now, obviously this was only one of his businesses, and I think it never occurred to me[j1]  to think of this as a viable one because, well, you know-everybody who shoots a lot reloads themselves.  And I always discounted post-collapse reloading as a business because you would need those irreplaceable components for your own tribal needs.  But I was looking at this the wrong way.  If we are in an economic contraction, and the weekend plinker becomes a thing of the past, and gun owners aren’t all reloading themselves because it is no longer economical to buy the equipment as you can only afford to shoot a little now lather than a lot, perhaps becoming a commercial reloader on a small scale can be a business.

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This is a Great Depression business, as envisioned.  You aren’t catering to a guy with a 9mm shooting 500 rounds.  Rather, the hunter needing a half a box or a guy target practicing a clip at a time to stay proficient.  You are, in effect, selling single cigarettes rather than packs or cartons.  My question becomes, what is the cheapest reloader and dies that will last a long time you could invest in?  What dies will cover most of the population ( the least amount of calibers to cover most of the population )?  Buying powder in bulk saves on the hazard fees, so how much less is the least amount of powder compared to someone buying it themselves?  I don’t think you save much buying bulk primers, but I’m sure you do with powder.  We are talking about the cheapest in inventory you can get away with and still provide a cheaper price than for someone to do it themselves.  The equipment isn’t meant to be fast and easy, manual labor is okay here.

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I’m presenting these questions for comments.  This is not a how-to article. Those reloaders with experience are asked to please share in your knowledge.  I don’t know if I want this to be MY business, but knowing the options is nice.  It might help out those that have the investment income ( remember, we are minimizing here.  $1k might get you a great set-up and inventory, but that is a long payback at ten cents a round profit.  A better option would be, say, $4oo ).  Think of answers such as, do they sell bulk bullets or is a few dozen about the same price as a few hundred?  Primers-price per at a hundred, or a thousand.  Price per charge at one can powder, or at the max amount of powder in one shipment?  The best press at the cheapest price?  The cheapest dies ( but not low quality )?  Thanks for your help, in advance.


 [j1]

22 comments:

  1. Beware of crossing the line with the atf.gov. Also local business tax and licensing plus the local ordinances on storing components.
    I guess all that goes away after the collapse. I can help with equipment choices later

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  2. If it's a business you've got to invest.
    Anybody with a reloading press will have the same idea. One solution is location (you're the only one in that area, pretty much like convenience stores);

    Another solution is doing what others can't, and that would be to manufacture components. Moulds for Cast lead bullets are the easiest investment. I have Lee moulds (cheapest and / or more available) but I never used them so far.

    A way more interesting to do is experimenting with making powder, out of ammoniac for instance. The recipe is out there in several forms but one thing is for certain, this is not about a recipe but about a long and difficult learning curve. This is what people are going to pay you for, the trouble you had learning that trade.

    So first I would go to the local shooting range and see how many people reload, and how many would be competitors (not necessarily the better equipped, he may have a job that he'll keep during the Depression).

    Also, customers have to know you, this is not something you can advertise for, a lot relies on word of mouth.

    Regarding reloading dies, some people want to buy new only, but in experience people don't abuse them severely. Shooting ranges are good place for advertisements to buy used, but sometimes some gun shops sell deposited items (in Europe there are a few like that). It would be cheaper than new.

    I have several LEE RGB (Real Good Buy) relaoding dies, the green boxes, they worked very well for everything. You can adjust them finely, it's just more time intensive.

    Besides, we're talking survuival relaoding here, people are not looking for you if they want to do some bench shooting.

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    1. Only the fanatics have the equipment now. That is not your target, but the casual shooters and the last minute gun buyers who didn't understand crime and gov were a concern.

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  3. Well a customer is a customer, but in these businesses I understand why people would want to know the seller and why the seller would also want to know the customer.

    If you sell ammo to a guy who uses it to commit crimes, arson or whatnot then you have a responsability in it. Obviously in a post-collapse world the line betwen "right" and "wrong" would be very thin (in fact undiscrenable) (movie : the rover). People get irrational when wronged while hungry and out of sleep, heat and faith.

    I would say "reload for family" but nowadays families are dyfunctional and their moral compass doesn't work well. John Steinbeck's "The Grapes Of Wrath" main theme is the disollution of family and other ties ( friends etc.), in the end they are just people stranded somewhere, unable to function.

    Back to the topic, in a town there is always a reloading guy / anorak who has tried stuff. This is good, but you should know what is being used or owned in terms of ammo. Spent brass at the local range is a good indicator of this. Until a few years ago I was an avid collector of spent cartridges, it used to be interesting.

    A few words on this hobby : the brass you find often comes from semi-auto, because other systems (revolvers, bolt-action) allow to recover it easily. Semi-auto people fire like there's no tomorrow, revolver types tend to make each shot count. (That is from an European perspective, I witnessed in US videos that some US shooters are not economy-minded.)

    There is less and less brass now at the range, and people have less and less ammo reserve at home. If the crisis continues most people with firearms will have about 10 rounds left.

    This is to be asociated with the general crisis underways ( http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2016/04/47-percent-americans-cannot-even-come-400-cover-emergency-room-visit.html ) and this will not end well.

    as we wrote before (some months ago), I believe .38 and .308 are common calibers to have moulds for. The rest is not really good for reloading (either it needs to be jacketed or it requires special powders).

    I'm a bit random here but it's the end of the day and I've spent all my intellectual energy.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, appreciate the perspective on the shooting economics.

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  4. Jim,

    You get an "A" for trying.

    But, you have too many contradictory goals and assumptions here.

    If you have not done very much re loading at this point in your life it's better to forget about it. (like that B.S. idea you had to be fuc**** around with that 7.62x54r surplus, i.e. scrounging powder etc.)

    If you are trying to help any of your readers out, well... forget that too. Most of them are not bright enough or disciplined enough to learn what they need for a collapse re-loading job. Idiots talking about making powder. They read some other dumb fuc***'s post about making powder and they think it will be so easy.

    Most of the dumb asses don't even have a weeks worth of water stored. And they think they are going to be making powder.

    You won't get any business from some guy wanting a clips worth of bullets (so he can stay proficient) in a depression. He will just get a BB gun or dry fire.

    As far as the hunter...There is going to be lots of competition for those deer. In some places during the last depression the deer were almost killed off. If he is out there hunting because he is poor (dirt poor) he can't afford the re loads. Maybe you would want to give him the rounds for some of the meat??? What do you think his chances are when every other Tom, Dick and Harry is out in the woods too?

    Sorry to be so negative, but that's reality.

    If we wanted to live in La La land we would be buying FLIR s and semi autos, right?

    YKW
    MM

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    Replies
    1. Hmmmm. Okay, I'll concede your points, which are similar ones I've used elsewhere. Good points. I do disagree with you on the 54r salvage. At the time of zero powder availability I went with the cheapest option I had. Now that powder is available again, I don't need it. Which is good, because I can't afford it. So it all worked out well in the end.

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    2. MM, in case you didn't understand the whole economic aspect here, if you can't manufacture powder the whole idea of reloading is useless.

      Thanks for trying though.

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  5. Since you asked for honest input I'm going to oblige you, and (sorry to say) probably rain on your parade.
    I've been reloading for over 30 years and was fortunate enough to stockpile components as well as milsurp ammo back when it was a bargain. I only stocked for myself because I knew that some day those bargains would be gone. Back then I also entertained the possibility of doing what you are proposing but over time concluded that this was not wise. When you sell someone ammunition you always run the risk of arming your enemies and having the bullets come back at you. I finally decided that I would not give any of it to anyone who was not actually fighting along side me. (Even then I'd be wary...)
    Instead of ammunition, I'd suggest you stockpile more wheat in smaller containers, along with more coffee. Most people are long on ammo and short on food - they'll probably be looking for calories and caffeine more than lead and brass when it gets nasty out there.
    On a lighter note, I've been saving for some time to purchase components for a solar (PV) system. I just read your article on the Amazon commissions being cut just when you needed it most. What better time to go to Amazon and make that purchase to help out :-)

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    1. First, obviously, its appreciated you're shopping on Amazon. Second, honest input is always what I need. Debase me of stupidity before it spreads. I can't always have 100% perfection, just close.

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  6. LEE dies, and you'll want a (expensive) progressive press to minimize the time spent per round. If you can't afford the progressive, get three LEE single stage presses so you don't have to change dies. This is what I started with, years ago. It's a good deal. Do it for your own guns first so you can see if you have the interest/aptitude.

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/423081/lee-challenger-breech-lock-single-stage-press-anniversary-kit
    Peace out

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    Replies
    1. That was the specific advice I was looking for, thanks.

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    2. I have a Lee single stage press. For doing larger amounts , I just have cartridge holders and do a couple hundred before I need to change dies. Doing it this way ya might have four hours invested in that 200 rounds.

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  7. If you are serious about reloading that you need to buy components in bulk to save pennies. Haunt sites like Midway and Brownells and several other sellers of reloading components like Natchez, Gamaliel and others. Do a search of reloading components and sign up for E mails. They often have specials like no hazmat, no shipping fees for large purchases etc. Getting components is an art and you have to be ready to buy when the specials show up. Stock up when you can.

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    Replies
    1. So, just like grocery shopping.

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    2. Yep! Except no shopping cart to push around.

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  8. I mentioned this very thing, reloading for others, a year ago and you sort of scoffed. Now, you are looking at it with eyes different than a year ago. Then, you had steady coin rolling in. Now, you are looking at ways to cause it to roll in, and you are a better person for it.

    First, don't let the income aspect of the endeavor cloud your thinking. Get involved, at a very low level, with any given venture because you are truly interested in it. Then do it. But do so as inexpensively as possible. If you spend too much you create panic in your mind. Do NOT go into debt. Start with the just the basics, for yourself only. I believe Lee makes a single serve model. Start fabricating your own rounds. Only you know what they are. This will establish whether this sort of activity is endurable over the long haul. If you don't like it, if it's too boring, if it is difficult, if for any reason it is bothersome, you will not like it nor will you stick with it and your mindset toward it will be like when you were just another uncaring employee watching the clock every dam day and wishing for 5 o'clock.

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    1. Well, I do apologize if I scoffed. Of course, that is my Go To attitude about most things, until an idea grows for awhile. Hell, you might have been the fertile egg here for all I remember.

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  9. Maybe we also ought to change our perception of "trade". I don't think this is meant as opening a shop on Main Street and doing Valentine Day Specials.

    I think this is much more in the black / dark grey economy, where "people know people who do this kind of thing".

    It is quite possible that eventually all valuable economic activities will go this way. A bit like the Soviet Union.

    Of course you best customers will be the FBI spooks who will bag you when they have to reach the month's quota. (kind of like the Soviet Union...)

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    1. Or kind of like the state highway patrol who all claim ticket quotas are myths but all doth protest too much.

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    2. Now you're just being paranoid.

      :)

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  10. Thanks for information sharing post. Purchase Cheap bulk ammo at bite the bullet, catch the superiority best pistol & rifle ammunition, gun magazines & accessories at discounted price.

    ReplyDelete

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