Al (the head honcho) is a lifelong shooter, hunter, reloader, collector, and caster. In 2009, Al was looking for a bullet to fil an antique military rifle he had been wanting to put back in service. The bore diameter was an uncommon one so it took a lot of searching to find a custom mould manufacturer to produce the bullet he wanted. Al did find a shop willing to make the mould he was interested in, but it wasn’t inexpensive or a fast process. Imagine the disappointment when after waiting months for his new moulds to arrive they were both sized wrong and didn’t work for their intended purpose. It was while trying to figure out how to correct these defective mouds that Al realized that nothing in a bullet mould was all that different than some of the things he had made before. He believed he could make a better mould and began to tinker with doing just that.
Word spreads fast in gun forums when a new product is available and word of Al’s new moulds lit up castboolits, and the Cast bullet Associations forums where he began to sell moulds. The first month Al sold 200 moulds and his hobby had become a small business running from his two-car garage. Al figured this might be something to do once he retired and would give him something to occupy a bit of his free time. Somewhere about this time is where I came into the picture (Wiljen), Al was selling moulds on the forums through group buys and beginning to build a name for NOE bullet Moulds particularly within the Castboolits forum but was worried about the way buys were run and the potential for long-term sales in this format. I suggested I could setup a website for him and the first generation of noebulletmolds.com was born. (For reference, you are now reading the 3rd generation). We setup a site, listed the moulds he had in stock and accepted payments through paypal or mail order. Somewhat to both of our surprise, it worked. The site worked, the relationship worked between Al and I, and stuff was selling well. It didnt take long to need a better website. Generation 2 of the website introduced a full e-commerce site where you could order anything in stock and pay with a credit card. We had discounts for large orders, a full catalog of products, and a big, no small problem. As in too small. We were out of space. The two-car garage simply couldn’t be used as a store room, a machine shop, a mail room, and the billing department. We were now selling literally a thousand moulds a month out of less than 1000 sq ft. of space.
So, NOE did what every successfully company does, they started looking for places to move and ways to improve the speed with which products could be delivered. (If you’ve never been a business owner, this is also the time that scares the crap out of you as you are now in debt for the new tools and building and wondering how long the sales numbers will continue to grow. Every business owners biggest nightmare is that they will invest a large sum of their own money in new equipment the day before the bottom falls out of the market.) NOE moved on into a new shop, adding two new state of the art CNC milling machines and a CNC lathe. This gave NOE the ability to control every aspect of production and allowed for their already enviable reputation among customers to get even stronger. NOE made the best moulds available at their price point and most of the time the best moulds available at any price point.
Ever looking for new ideas to drive the business, Al took out ads in Handloader Magazine, began sponsoring the castpics casting reference site, and started a forum to allow users to share load recipes, casting data, discuss new ideas for moulds, and generally ask questions. Al is a very hands-on owner to say the least.
That brings us to today. This time the space we outgrew was our website. Sure it was still working, but it was starting to show its age and it was time to move on before the cracks started causing problems. Today we are proud to have state of the art online and manufacturing facilities and look forward to continuing to serve our customers with the best moulds available at any price, and to do so at a price that is below the market rate.