ATF license to cast bullets?


January 25, 2008, 09:27 AM
I'm getting into casting, and am interested in trading folks the bullets I make for raw lead or alloy. This isn't a solicitation to sell my bullets, keep reading.

I'm a little concerned, however, that this would be considered "profit" reloading and require an ammunition manufacturers license from the ATF. Their site seems pretty vague on this law, but I figure with so many garage-based fellas making and selling hundred of thousands of lead projectiles for sale, someone here probably knows what's legal and isn't.

Could you please direct me to the appropriate place to find this information. Word of mouth is good for some things, but when it comes to federal crimes I'd rather have something from a .gov website tell me so.


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January 25, 2008, 09:30 AM
I doubt very much that you need a license to cast bullets commercially from the BATFE. Here's their website.

January 25, 2008, 09:34 AM
No worries. There are boatloads of folks who cast bullets. If you are not in buisness making and selling ammo with said cast bullets you will be fine.

January 25, 2008, 09:36 AM
Please keep in mind, even though you are not selling them, rather you are trading, you are still legally liable if something goes wrong that can be traced back to a defective bullet you made. Be careful of who you deal with, and CYA on everything.

January 25, 2008, 09:39 AM
Making cast bullets isn't manufacturing ammo. You're just forming lead. However, if you're worried, contact your loacal ATF office.
Make sure the room you're casting in is very well ventilated. Casting lead commercially will likely require a talk with the EPA too. Most places won't let you just vent lead fumed air directly into the outside air. CYA.

January 25, 2008, 12:30 PM
Making ANY component for reloading anything requires a FFL-type 6,(IIRC),IF it's sold for profit. That means shell casings, powder, primers, loaded ammo, AND bullets. The fine print of trading would be hard to prove, the BATFE would probably not bother.

The liability point would also be extremely hard to prove, but defending against such a lawsuit would be VERY expensive. Your chances of any problems are in the same range as winning the power ball lottery.:D

January 25, 2008, 12:45 PM
"For profit" is the key word here.
As long as you are trading your labor for a like value of raw material, there is no "profit", and you don't need a license.

It is pretty much the same thing as gun trading for fun.
As long as you do it for fun, and to enhance your collection, you don't need an FFL.

Start selling them out of your car trunk, or at a gun-show table every weekend, and the rules change very suddenly.

Were it me, I would be much more concerned about the liability aspect of it then the legality.

January 25, 2008, 03:53 PM
can't find anything on an FFL type 6, so I'm going to shelf that thought for now.

I'm not a commercial caster. I'm a little confused about where the line is drawn about who's responsible for badly reloaded ammunition. The gun manufacturers won't even honor a warranty for a firearm using reloaded ammo.

So, if you have a brass casing that's corroded and gives out on your AR, blasts you with shrapenel...can you sue the Original manufacturer? I think this all falls back to the "deep pockets theory" where you can't get blood from a turnip so why bother.

I guess it's like Ford/Firestone... both make defective products, who's responsible for killing folks in rollover accidents? Whoever the victim can sue for the most.

So, that said... I think that if you want to come back and sue me for your bad reloads, you can surely take me to court, sue me for the cost of your gun and I'll be sure to pay that bill right after I pay off everything else that I'm upside down on.

Just like I tell bill collectors... you can do the math yourself, it's a friday afternoon at 3pm and I'm obviously not working. They usually don't find that as amusing as I do.

Travis Two
January 25, 2008, 04:37 PM
Casting for yourself no problem. Casting for sale or trade for others would probably need the 06 license. You can always call your local B.A.T.F. office to be sure.

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