Foreign projectile and brass source

Hello gentleman,

I am in the reloading components business and I have often thought about the idea of importing projectiles and brass. The reason I have is that I would imagine the regulations on these inert items would be far less than that of loaded ammunition. Does anyone on here know of a company outside of the united states that could be a starting point, perhaps in an eastern bloc country??

Your question isn’t very clear to me. I assume that you would like to import ammunition components into the US, and that you believe your best choice for components would be from an Eastern European Country or part of the old Soviet Union.

There are companies in Eastern Europe who manufacture and sell components as well as loaded ammunition. The largest and best known of these are now part of large international concerns. There are also companies in other parts of the world that could also provide components.

If you would like to contact me by email with more details on what you are interested in doing, I could give you some company names and addresses. Please be specific on calibers, etc.

The fact is that practically all loaders in the US use US made cases and bullets. It is pretty unusual to find ammunition loaded in the US for commercial sale that is not in US made cases, but it does happen. My conversations with these companies indicate they seek the lowest cost for available supply of high quality components. Some do buy cases off-shore but it seems to be more a matter if finding an available source when supplies are tight than it is a significant cost break.


Are ammunition components covered by the Clinton ban on ammunition from China?

As everything is made in China today, surely someone would have thought of getting bullets and cases cheaply made in China for importation. Not necessarily in the the typical “Combloc” calibres either.

I have not seen Chinese ammunition or Chinese components of any kind imported commercially since 1994. The only domestic ammunition manufacturer that I have ever seen using foreign components is Liberty Ammunition out of Florida, and they were using RWS cases. They are a relatively small-volume loader.

With the price and availability of Starline brass cases and Top brass cases, I can’t imagine that importing anything other than steel cases would save much money, if any. I have no data to show, but one would think that if importing components were any cheaper than domestic stuff, then we would have seen a lot more Aguila, PMC, and CBC stuff in the U.S. from the smaller manufacturers over the past 30 years, but I can’t think of one.

Winchester’s Metric calibers (7.62 x 25, 9 xc 18, 7.62 x 54) are made completely by Sellier & Bellot in the Czech Republic - the ammunition itself. Magtech ammunition sold in the USA is Brazilian. Turkey has made cases recently for a new firm, mostly steel with various finishes, but I have not seen any of this on the market yet. Fiocchi USA uses some foreign components and often their ammunition is foreign - Italian and Hungarian have been noted. Of course, it is becoming hard to define any ammunition makers by nationality, as so many of the conglomerates own facilities in multiple countries with multiple brand names. Years ago, a company with headstamp SA, in the USA, used Italian components. I just wanted to set the record straight that plenty of firms in America have sold, under their own brand, ammunition with foreign components or made completely in foreign countries. I am sure my above comments don’t even scratch the surface.

You can’t even know, without carefully looking at the boxes, where “foreign” brands are made.
We think of PMC as being Korean, but I have PMC 9 mm rounds made completely, or with components from, S. Korea, the USA, Mexico, South Africa and the Philippines. RUAG is a Swiss company, but ammo sold in the USA has been, American, German and Hungarian (perhaps others).

You can’t tell the players without a program any more!

I guess what I mean is that most all of what I refer to as “small time loaders”, that is, U.S. manufacturers who load and sell generic ammunition in common calibers with fmj or basic hollow point bullets in the U.S. traditionally all use either once-fired brass from ranges, or else they tend to use Starline, Top Brass, or other big domestic brass like WIN or R-P. The big global players in ammunition seem to use brass from all over, and they all sometimes produce from or for each other in some strange ways. They also produce ammo all over the world though, and so I don’t think they apply so much to havocnj’s question which I assume is proposing something on the scale of Double Tap ammo, Crossfire ammunition, or Atomic Ammunition. Whenever I buy a few boxes from these small manufacturers, it has always been some kind of domestically acquired brass and bullets.

Since this thread originated, components manufactured in foreign countries have been imported by US loaders. This appears to be in reaction to the difficulty US loaders have had in importing US brass.


As of late, the only domestic manufacturers other than the big 4 (Rem, Win, Fed, Hornady) that I have seen using much foreign brass are Liberty ammo with RWS cases, Corbon had some Lapua-made cases with C-B headstamps, and now Polycase is dabbling with Lapua. If one of the smaller domestic producers with their own headstamp is having brass made by Magtech or S&B then I wouldn’t know, but I assume manufacturers / labels like DRT, Double Tap, Nugent, and SBR are having theirs made by Starline, Pierce, Top Brass, or some other domestic manufacturer

Steel Ridge is using 9mmP Sumbro brass and Seneca 9mmP brass is made overseas but they didn’t share where. Their 7.62NATO is made in Pakistan.

Matt, Is the PolyCase Lapua packed in PolyCase boxes. I know they are loading Lapua brass for Atlantic Marksmen. The Firefly tracer cartridges in American Marksman boxes are Lapua. The Firefly tracers in PolyCase boxes are Stareline. I understand that the Firefly tracers are molded by PolyCase but the tracer compound it added by Southern Ballistic Research who also loads the ammunition. Who is on first base???


I was wondering if the Sumbro brass use by Steel Ridge was incidental from a range purchase (if they are reprocessed) since Steel Ridge uses several different headstamped brass types in their loadings? If new brass from Sumbro, then they should have plenty of that brass for some time to come.

Thanks for the Polycase info in terms of SBR. I was wondering what the SBR connection with them was (other than geographical proximity) ever since I noticed some SBR ammo boxes in the background of a photo from the Polycase Facebook feed:

Nice photo. This will be the injected molded PolyCase Firefly tracer bullets being sent to SBR for filling and loading! Nice documentation.

I know that Steel Ridge does remanufactured ammo also but this is suppose to be new ammo. The cases don’t appear to be reloads. The primer is nickel instead of the brass of the Sumbro loads.


Over the weekend I picked up a box of Federal Independence brand with FC 9mm LUGER headstamp that is imported from Israel. Note the small letters “mm”. It is sure hard these days to tell where any component came from unless the case is coded and you have the users suppliers list. Just to say everyone uses everyone else components these days or so it seems to be.

Another matter about Importing components from anywhere to anywhere (Ie, into the US from Europe etc)…QUANTITY. Most concerns will not be interested unless we are talking Millions of cases/Projectiles/etc. If it is not in a company’s standard manufacturing list (such as 9mm Para, or 7,62 Nato, etc) they just aren’t interested unless one orders a normal “factory Run” of a calibre.

Production of various calibres is usually “timed” over a year, so that for a couple of months, they only do XXX, then retool to make YYY or ZZZ. These days is not like back in the Heyday of DWM, Kynoch, or Remchester, with several Production Lines running concurrently making different calibres at the same time. Even in Wartime, the Majors had several Lines and even Factories doing the same calibres; (to the exclusion of others).

These days, only the small to medium ammunition maker can enjoy the Luxury of short runs, concurrently of different ammo. With Modern Machinery, it is made for “one off” massive Production ( look at SCAMP or Manurhin systems…the old, Multiple-machine systems of WW II and before have mostly disappeared from the Big Makers. Even Fiocchi, one of the Biggest Pistol calibre makers, only does its “Old Timers” production once every 5 to 8 years; This requires a lot of down -time for re-setting tooling for all the different size cases required.

When I visited S&B in Vlasim in 1993, they were just out of Communist supervision, having formed a Joint stock corporation ( ie, Private shareholdings, mostly by staff)…Their Machinery for the Most Part dated back to the A-H Empire, with some Interwar ZB and German Equipment from WW II. Their only “Modern” ie, post 1950s) equipment was a continuous Conveyor fed line for making Steel 7,62x39 cases (Courtesy of USSR) But the Machines were still the Individual types ( all the others were “Human transfer” machines, using Strong wooden crates for the semi finished shells.)

At the same time, I saw .270 Win (Brass), 9x17 Kurz (Brass) and 7,62x39( Grey lacquered steel) being manufactured, as well as a Manurhin Transfer Press making 9mm Parabellum Projectiles, with a F.Wiener Automatic Bullet scales Machine to separate different finished weights of 9mm Projies ( each weight-range is carefully matched to the appropriate Powder charge, to give constant Velocity Parameters.).

Since CBC ( Magtech in the USA)_ of Brazil, bought out S&B, the Machinery has been Modernised, and their wide range of sporting ammo maintained. Although I think, for smaller runs of “strange calibres” they still use the Old single Stage Presses etc, which are easier to change tooling and settings for. Their workshops are fully capable of building/Re-building their own Machinery, if need be.

Instead if we look at the recent Videos produced by Lake City (under ATK stewardship,) one can see the sort of Production done with dedicated, One calibre, Machinery…especially in crisis Periods (Iraq, Ghanistan, etc).

So, if one wants to “import” cases etc into the USA ( or Aussie, for that Matter) One must have a good market ready to take the Product, at the right Price, and be able to support the Volume required to make the Project financially viable, both at the Importation level, and on the Retail side. And remember, that once one gets to be “competitive” in the Market, along comes a “big Operator” who will either run you into the ground by Price War, or Make you an offer to sell which you can’t refuse!!!. The Only way to keep your head above water is to make stuff (calibres) that no one wants to get into, because of “Niche” market considerations…and this variety is the seeds of its own destruction (Too much tooling, etc).

There are still Possibilities, though, just that one has to have the Capital to be able to maintain the business. ( and the returns are not that great…more income can be made leaving the Money in Term Deposit with a Bank…or in Blue chip shares.)

Doc AV
Down Under.

Probably the biggest re-manufacturer in Britain was Howitzer before they were forced to close. They used once fired brass that they must have been importing in industrial quantities, I can only assume from the US. Occasionally they would revert to starline, particularly for .357, so the supply must have been a bit variable.
Incidentally, they closed purely because their insurers pulled the plug on them without warning. So I dont have anyone to ask now, we used to buy huge amounts from them.