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Select jacket category on left Corbin Bullet Jackets are packaged in bags of either 250 or 500, depending on their size and weight. Bullet jackets are made of copper and zinc, in 95-5 or 90-10 ratio. Corbin's VB jackets are ultra high precision "Versatile Benchrest", with a heavy base section for high energy hunting loads and a thin forward section for easy expansion.

Bullet jackets are always made .002 to .005 smaller than the final diameter of the bullet. They expand upward, like a balloon, when the pressure is applied to their ductile lead filling or core within the core seating die. This insures a snug fit of the jacket grip on the core when the pressure is released.

Jackets are categorized as "rifle" or "handgun". Some of the handgun jackets are often used for rifles, however. A good example is the J-45-680, which can be used for either 45 pistol (.451-.454 range) or 45 rifle (.458).

Select the category of jacket in the list, at the left.

Bullet Jackets

Low Risk Copper Futures Investment?

This isn't really a "futures investment", but owning bullet jackets might be looked at as a "non-speculator's" futures position.

In a simple explanation, futures are contracts that you buy now, for a given amount of material, at a fixed price for a given period of time. At the end of that time period, you are anticipating selling the contract for that material at a higher price than it is now, and making the difference between what you paid and what the future market price will be.

For example, you might agree to buy copper at today's price and pay a portion of today's price for the contract. The actual copper wouldn't be in your possession, but when the contract is up, you'd buy and immediately sell as part of the same transaction to finish the contract, and you'd make or lose money at that point, never actually having physical possession of the copper.

If the price of the commodity, such as a pound of copper, goes down below what you paid for it today, then you lose some of your money. In fact, even before the contract was up, your broker might call and say you needed to pay more to keep the contract because what you had invested wasn't enough to cover your loss at the current price. Or, if you have any use for the material, you can just take delivery and wind up with the material.

Usually, real futures contracts are for huge quantities of raw materials or other goods that the average handloader or custom bullet maker does not need and has no place to keep anyway. Usually it is measured in tons or truck loads. So the downside for the average guy is pretty risky.

But with bullet jackets, you don't have to purchase tons today and anticipate selling in a year. You can buy whatever is comfortable for you to own now. And take delivery now. Then, if the copper market goes higher in the future, your jackets are worth more than you paid, and you can advertise them on a bullet-maker's web site if you don't need them for yourself. If the price goes down in the future, no problem, you paid a reasonable price and guaranteed your supply so it doesn't hurt to hang on to what you may have left of them, and wait for the price to go up again if you want to sell some. If you don't tie up money that you might need quickly, it's a low risk investment.

Of course, this really isn't a futures contract at all. Still, owning a good supply of bullet jackets at today's price is not such a bad idea, if you shoot and make bullets anyway. Copper prices have historically cycled higher over time, often by quite a large amount. On a year to year basis, the price is more often higher in the future, even if there are weekly or monthly drops and peaks along the way. So your bet that the jackets will be worth more in the future is likely to pay off.

And you will be holding something you can actually use. And that other bullet makers can buy from you if you need to get some of the money back at a future date, likely at a higher price (no guarantees, of course, but look at the price history and judge for yourself). Copper has an intrinsic value, in itself, and the jackets have added value because they are not all that easy to find on the market. Most jacket-producing sources don't particularly want to sell just the jacket to a hand loader, because most of them use their own jackets to make bullets, and to load ammo, which sells for a far higher price.

It would be like Ford selling steering wheels. Yeah, they do have parts for sale. But given the choice of assembling another car or selling you their last steering wheel, what do you think they'd do? What would YOU do? Right: you'd rather sell a complete car than just a little piece of it, if you had to choose.

It's the same with jackets, even more so! That's why, although jackets are being made by the millions, there are almost none to be found on the market in the majority of lengths and calibers. And when they are available, they are usually not cheap! Bullet makers who build their own jackets are wise NOT to reduce their income by selling jackets cheaply, and encouraging YOU to compete with them by making your own bullets using THEIR jackets! Hard to blame them for that!

Over the years, bullet jackets have gone from selling in the two or three cent range to twenty cents and more, for the same jacket size and weight. Holding them for a few years and then selling some can and has paid for the entire purchase, even with the "opportunity cost" of having the money tied up in inventory. The higher the true inflation rate, the more jackets retain and grow their value.

Having a thousand dollars in a savings account or CD today is going to give you, what, maybe $30 gain in the next three years not even counting the inflation loss? Bullet jackets have gone up in value more than 10 times in a time period when the dollar became worth about half its initial purchasing power. The increase in price has far outpaced inflation, partly because of vastly increased use of copper in electrical products, and added increases in labor and transportation costs to produce and bring the jackets to the end users.

The fellow who held them until the end of that time, and then sold only 1/10 of his jacket supply paid back his initial investment and was in effect shooting with free jackets from that time forward. The fellow who kept the same money in the bank probably lost purchasing power, depending on the particular years and the bank's interest compared to inflation. So if he wants to get some jackets now, he will be paying 10 times more, instead of shooting most of them without any cost! If his dollars are worth half as much, and interest is very low on the savings, he could be paying 20 times more in current dollars!

Having a good stock of a popular length and caliber of bullet jacket in your "portfolio" of assets seems like a fairly good and reasonably safe investment for a bullet maker. You can use them, you can sell them, and they are durable and have intrinsic metal value even if not used in bullet making. And you can buy whatever quantity you feel comfortable owning! At least, you can now while they are available! It's worth considering!

Disclaimer: None of the above is intended to be professional investment advice. All opinions expressed are just that, an expression of opinion.

Check the facts for yourself, such as the historical copper prices over the past 5, 10, 20 year period, as well as the cost of labor and transportation (for turning the copper into jackets, and for moving the materials from mine to mill to drawing plant to distributor and finally to you). Check the price of bullet jackets 5, 10, 20 years ago. Check your bank's interest rates! Always seek professional advice from a licensed broker or investment professional for advice on futures, commodities and stock purchases. Gotta say this, to soothe those with no sense of humor or a totally literal mind-set, or the inability to think beyond blind acceptance of anything written! It's on the internet: what, it's therefore gospel? Nope, just opinion with a few years experience thrown in.
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