Corbon going out of business?

I thought I had posted this issue before in the forum, but can’t find it anywhere now. I was noticing again today that Corbon seems to have virtually nothing available on their store website, and their retail distribution has dwindled down to a few scraps scattered around here & there. Corbon was, for a time a fairly relevant player in ammo sales, and became a household name among shooters through the 90’s and 2000’s. The production of Glaser Safety Slugs and Pow’Rball ammo seems to have ceased a few years ago just after having switched to boxed packaging as opposed to the hanging plastic blister packs.

On their website (shopcorbon) now they offer a smattering of loads, only 17 different calibers, with a few oddballs available such as 6.5x284 Norma, .338 Norma Mag, and 6x45mm. On the price-aggregator website a search for handgun calibers in general by Corbon returns only a page and a half- mostly .40S&W, and .45acp, with no 9mm results. By comparison, a similarly sized company like Double Tap returns six pages of results for anything & everything pistol caliber.

From this I surmise that they are going out of business. Their last gasp seems to have been the “MPR” (Multi Purpose Rifle) ballistic tip ammo which came in .308 and 30-06 and which came out in early 2015. Their last splash in pistol calibers was the very short-lived “Urban Response” load in 9mm, which seemed to get no distribution, and was only available from their website store for less than a year back around 2014 (it’s just a black-tipped Pow’Rball load). When I try to contact them they either never answer their listed phone number, or don’t return emails. Their online store works though, so somebody is boxing stuff up and processing sales.

Update: I found a members-only group on Facebook for Corbon Ammo and joined it. Once in I found that Pete Pi Jr. is a member and he had a post from October 18th regarding rumors that Corbon is closing. He asserts that they are in some sort of retooling / regrouping phase and that they intend to re-lauch and start loading up everything by the end of November, and that they will be shipping then. Their primary company Facebook page has only had two posts in the past 4 months, and they make no mention of this issue (which has been ongoing for nearly 2 years now) on their website, or Facebook, so we’ll see… I hope they re-launch and are a success in any case.

pete jr

Well, scratch that earlier post where Pete Pi jr had talked about how Corbon was retooling and gearing up to expand or whatever. In a live video stream, which is happening right now in a private Facebook corbon user group, Pete Jr has just proclaimed that the Pi family will no longer have anything to do with Corbon (!?), and that a new ammunition company called Defiant Munitions will be started soon by Pete Jr, initially on a small scale offering .223, 9mm, and .300 BLK. He doesn’t make clear exactly what is happening with Corbon, just that he is no longer going to be involved with it. When he says that the Pi family will no longer be involved, I assume he is including his father, the founder of Corbon - Peter Pi Sr, and that the company is either being sold, or closed… not sure. I have been very cynical and skeptical of everything going on with Corbon lately in terms of the vague excuses offered by them for their lack of product across the spectrum over the past year, and also why the promotion and marketing have been REALLY weak & strange over the past 2 years, and this turns out to be along the lines of what I figured was happening. As awesome as Corbon was, they just seem to have drowned in an industry that was rapidly expanding and surpassing them on the solid copper hollow point market, which defeated their main thing - the DPX line of ammo. That being said, Corbon does have a loyal, albeit out of touch with advancements in the industry, cult following.

The live stream video was kind of strange with a very informal Pete Jr. looking like he was ready for a frat party, and not a brand-launching announcement. He took time to use a vaping device (around 100 times) while talking, and showed off his multiple hand tattoos…

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I wonder how well this Defiant will actually do just offering 9mm, .223, and 300BLK to start? Honestly I don’t see any benefit to this “restructuring” to begin with. I think it’ll end up being the after-the-credits scene and be done within the next year if they even get off the ground.

Yeah, the whole thing is just bizarre to me. I can understand selling off Corbon if somebody wanted to purchase it for enough money or just closing it down or whatever if Pete Sr. wanted to retire, but there is a right way and a wrong way to pull that off in terms of handling the loyal customer base that Corbon had. To stall out like they did and just go M.I.A. for over 1-year, and then pop back up to proclaim that everything is fine and everything will be back soon, but then a month after that to then describe to the world your plans via video (while incessantly vaping) to launch a new small-scale manufacturer offering calibers/loads that literally 300 other manufacturers offer presently, all while during the most epic downturn in the gun & ammo industry of the past 30 years… a worrying gameplan.

I think the only way to vape would be incessantly for one. I feel like it would have been better to find another company to take over and keep the Corbon name alive that way.

At one point during the live stream video, Pete Jr was running down through the questions that people were messaging to him live via the comments, and he would read them and answer them. One of the questions was: “Are all of the back-orders and orders placed over the past year going to ship out, or are refunds going to be sent?” (orders made while it was his and his father’s business, of which there are apparently a great many back-orders for DPX ammo).

His answer was a blunt & unresolved: “I don’t really know what’s going on with that”… It was a face-palm moment for me.

Not to disparage the Pi’s personally, but it just seemed like the whole thing over the past 2 years with Corbon, and culminating in this strange video feed last night was just a master-class in “what to avoid when marketing / branding / selling ammunition”, and it could have all been so easily avoided with just a few messages posted on their website and Facebook page to inform people much earlier on. I think sometimes I just take it all for granted because I am so aware of the industry as a whole, and most all of the small to mid size manufacturers seem not to be very aware, based on some of the moves they make.

It just makes me scratch my head when they make these decisions which make no sense and then go about informing their customers in probably the least effective way possible. More of the same combined with a random injection of new direction doesn’t make for a good plan. Hopefully someone will have a lightbulb moment soon.

So what is the latest news here? Their Facebook page now says that the Pi’s are out, but doesn’t say who will be running the company in the future. Also says production will re-start on Jan 2. No details at all were provided.

Yeah, I noticed that whomever has taken over Corbon is now doing some stuff on their Facebook page. I only know that it is not Black Hills that bought them, since I asked Black Hills about that after hearing a rumor that it was them. Haven’t heard anything firm in terms of production, backorders, product lines, or anything else. Just a vague mention from their Facebook page that they will back up & running with all of the stuff that Corbon had done previously, as if back to normal so to speak.

Latest thing I saw on the Cor-Bon Facebook page is:

It was purchased by an Ohio corporation… There will be a public announcement in the near future and closer to the shot show

Well that certainly narrows it down if we’re talking about an existing ammunition manufacturer, in terms of being large enough and wealthy enough to purchase Cor-Bon, and being from Ohio. There are only a few, such as Buffalo Cartridge (not Buffalo Bore) or XCaliber Ammo.

I would guess it’s just a whole new enterprise of some sort and not a pre-existing ammo company that bought Cor-Bon.

It looks like an Ohio man by the name of T.A. Perrine is the new owner / operator of Corbon and they are actively producing a small range of typical calibers- mostly self-defense pistol ammo. I did come across an earlier story from back in January which described a new strategic alliance between Cor Bon and Super-Vel, whereas Peter Pi (Sr.) would aid in product development, branding etc. for Super Vel. That announcement came just after Cor Bon had announced they were changing ownership, and after Jr’s video announcement regarding Defiant Munitions. I don’t think the relationship ever evolved into anything.

Here is the link from Soldier Systems describing the arrangement:

And here is an image of what I believe is a new package type of some current production Cor Bon ammo that is different from any previous designs:


From a recent order I placed with Super Vel for some of the “Biker Bullets”, I received an email order confirmation, and lo & behold the salesman name on the email for my invoice was Peter Pi (Sr. presumably). A screen grab is below, and further below that in my email it actually said “sales rep - Peter Pi”, so I guess he is working for or working with Super Vel, not sure of the exact situation, but it jives with the information I had seen and posted about above back from June where he is described as Super Vel’s new director of business development. It makes sense I guess if Peter Pi Sr wanted to stay in the business and have employment somewhere, he certainly has plenty of street cred with the industry - in the heartland region at least. Super Vel is out of Nevada though, so maybe he works remote, or maybe he moved from South Dakota?

I am guessing that he works remote from South Dakota, and that he was probably the driving force behind Super Vel’s “Biker Bullets”, since Pete Sr. is close to, and probably a fan of the Sturgis motorcycle rally. Imagining him pitching the idea to Mickey Hopkins at Super Vel, and then going to Sturgis to do two things he loves - motorcycles and ammo at the same time - on somebody else’s dollar, very smooth Sr.

Meanwhile Pete Pi Jr. is forging ahead with Defiant Munitions, which is his new small outfit which will soon be loading up typical pistol & rifle calibers, and no doubt focusing on whatever the tactical or self-defense du-jour stuff is. I have been following Defiant on Facebook as to their progress, and it is sort of a good ol’ boys back-slapping gun-forum sort of crowd. Like if you had ever been into the gun forums from 2005 to 2015 and recall the kind of cliquey forum gangs of Bro’s who are typically snarky, bullish, and crude - it’s like that. Like the Warrior Talk forum that Gabe Suarez runs, it’s guys doing anything from posting beer jokes with lots of .gif files, to endlessly worshiping James Yeager, who is another Gabe Suarez type of tactical trainer. They like to talk about their E.D.C. junk and show photos of kubutons, compact pistols, flashlights, and ankle-holstered medical kits with quick-clots and tourniquets, etc… It’s basically midlife-crisis / Soldier of Fortune “Molon Labe” stuff with a side of possibly making ammo that 200 other outfits already make - we’ll see I guess. At their core they are good people, and I hope they have new headstamps anyway.

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I have now seen some conflicting reports that former Corbon national sales manager - Mike Shovel is the new owner / operator of Corbon. He might be partnered with the aforementioned T.A. Perrine, or perhaps Mike is just the C.E.O., or maybe T.A. is out now - who knows. There certainly are some photos of Mike helping move Corbon from their former location into a new location which is mentioned as being in Grafton, Ohio anyway. When I commented on the Facebook photos of this and asked if they will now be using the less expensive but nearly identical SCHP projectiles from General Bullet (also in Grafton) instead of from Barnes in their popular DPX line of ammo, I got the usual vague non-answer sort of answers I get when I ask ammo companies about things they think nobody should know or ask about. It would make sense since General Bullet is right there in Grafton and you know they would be less expensive - one could pick up a pallet of projectiles in their own pickup truck!

Mike Shovel had been at Corbon for a long time, up until 2015 when he became a vice president at Dynamic Research Technologies (makers of the jacketed frangible DRT bullets, also used by HPR / Ammo Inc in their black-coated “Ops” line of defensive ammo). Now he is back at Corbon, and is moving them to Grafton Ohio where he claims they will be bigger & better than ever, with more ammo offerings. That will be a tall order since Corbon was, for a time, loading more pistol calibers than any of the big 4 domestic manufacturers, and they had always done a solid array of rifle calibers as well.

The shooting ammunition business has had it hard for the last two years. It’s called the “Trump Effect” once Trump won, people stopped panic buying and stock piling at high prices .
.22 RF ammunition had a shortage 2 or 3 years ago ( make believe or not, by the producers ?) and boxes that sold for $2.00 before the shortage sold for “up to” $10.00 retail in 2015 to 2016, now they are back to $2.00 or $2.50 today.
Large on-line distributors, are dealing heavy on shooting ammunition, example: this week: I saw 9mm Luger (new brass case, boxer primed) $155.00 per 1000 cartridges (50 rd /boxes) and free delivery, in 2015 it was over $200.00 plus shipping…
The smaller ammunition producers of (so called) premium ammunition are feeling the slow down also, and they may get bought out by the large companies, or just go out of business. If you carry you use premium ammunition, but your not shooting it, your carrying it.
Importers with low cost on fairly good , brass case , boxer primed ammunition have also not helped the USA producers. maybe Trumps war on NAFTA will help there? But not yet.
Retails on shooting ammunition are still high compared to 5 to 10 years ago due to material and energy cost, but lower compared to 2 or 3 years ago.
The firearm’s market has also slowed and now a buyers market on new firearms, prices are still high on name brands, however AR-15s are dirt cheap in the non major brand name market.
It’s a buyers market for now, but the state of Maine went total Democrat last November at State and Federal levels and if that tread goes nation wide in two years . The panic buying will come back.
My opinion only, however the weather and the stock market, any market goes up and down.
Good time to buy, if the price is right. who knows, you may not be able to buy it in the future if Washington goes to the Dems in 2 years…
.P.S. COR-BON still has a web-site up. I did think they were bought out by the Remington family a few years back, but I can’t remember and may be wrong. Getting old.

Corbon Ammunition is still in business. We completed our move from South Dakota to Ohio last week. It was a much bigger project than we originally anticipated so it did take longer than expected. We have had several of our machines rebuilt and also purchased some new ones. We are producing more ammunition right now than we had in all of 2015,16 and 17! Most of the most popular items have been up and running for 2 months. Some of the more unusual items will be available in a couple months. The Glaser and PowRball machines all needed to be rebuilt at a great cost of money and time. These items will be available shortly. Distribution has picked up significantly recently. We look to be back in full production within the next month or two.
This has been an enormous effort to go thru the purchase from the bank and then to move the company cross country. Delays and snafus have caused much angst but we are making significant progress. Thanks for reading this. Just wanted everybody to know that we will be back bigger, stronger and much better than ever.
Thank you for your business and continued support.


Can you give us an idea of what will actually be produced, (‘popular’ in one area may not be ‘popular’ in another), and what is planned for production, when?

I am personally interested in the Glaser Safety Slug, and hope you bring back the entire line, (especially .223 & .308), many of which were discontinued after Corbon absorbed Glaser.

I have been asked to clarify what is “popular”.

9mm in all flavors, JHP, DPX and PowRball. Glaser will be back in a few months after we get the machinery rebuilt. 38 Spl in DPX and JHP. 40 DPX and and JHP, 45 auto DPX and JHP as well as some PowRball. We’ve run quite a bit of assorted 380 as well as 223 Ammo. Everything else will be coming back on line as we get caught up from pretty much being shut down for almost 3 months.

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Glad you’re back online again. I carried 40 S&W corbon loads for years. -Ger