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Thread: Our Government and SURPLUS South American Ammunition

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    Senior Member tank_monkey's Avatar

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    Our Government and SURPLUS South American Ammunition

    As you guys well know, the rule is supposed that for all domestically manufactured ammo or imported ammo, the MILITARY gets first crack at it (acquiring it for their supply chain), SECOND, the U.S. Government gets 2nd crack at it for their 'domestic enforcement agencies', and the THIRD, the civilian market. So we're last on the priority list for selling ammo. Normally this makes sense and has never been a problem until now.

    Several things which really perplexed me:

    1) A buddy who is a big wholesaler/retailer in guns and ammo had a line on a huge amount of South American Surplus 5.56mm FMJ. I'm talking about MILLIONS of rounds. But after the ammo cleared customs, the importer informed my friend that the U.S. Government had bought the ammo right out from under him, paying premium prices akin to factory Remington or Winchester ammo. WTF? So an entire cargo ship of surplus foreign ammo is now gone. But I'm thinking, who in their right mind is going to issue SURPLUS South American 5.56mm? I wouldn't trust this stuff except for plinking. Would a soldier trust it? Would a SWAT team member trust SURPLUS south American 5.56mm? Who would use this stuff? And why did the Feds just snap up a major shipment of surplus ammo? What for?

    2) Being that ammo is like gold, I'm wondering, what is going on with all those foreign ammo producers? Russia? Brazil? etc? The American ammo market is a gold mine right now. I'd figure that these guys would ramp up production and make a killing. But why haven't they? Are they being blocked from selling us any of their ammo (more than they've been allotted in the past?)

    Thoughts? This is unsettling because it makes no sense.

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    Senior Member BISHOP's Avatar

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    I have been wondering exactly what has been going on when it comes to the importers like Aim and Century.
    Are they getting the ammo like they used to, to only have it sold so fast they can't even list it or can they even get it from their usual suppliers overseas?

    Its THIS I'd like to know and wonder why the major ammo importers haven't made a stink over this publicly
    They may be happy because the .gov is buying it from them immediately and telling them to STFU abut it, but they know that the civilian world isn't getting any of it.


    BISHOP

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    Forum Admin & **Team Gunsnet Silver 12/2012** Richard Simmons's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by tank_monkey View Post
    As you guys well know, the rule is supposed that for all domestically manufactured ammo or imported ammo, the MILITARY gets first crack at it (acquiring it for their supply chain), SECOND, the U.S. Government gets 2nd crack at it for their 'domestic enforcement agencies', and the THIRD, the civilian market. So we're last on the priority list for selling ammo. Normally this makes sense and has never been a problem until now.

    Several things which really perplexed me:

    1) A buddy who is a big wholesaler/retailer in guns and ammo had a line on a huge amount of South American Surplus 5.56mm FMJ. I'm talking about MILLIONS of rounds. But after the ammo cleared customs, the importer informed my friend that the U.S. Government had bought the ammo right out from under him, paying premium prices akin to factory Remington or Winchester ammo. WTF? So an entire cargo ship of surplus foreign ammo is now gone. But I'm thinking, who in their right mind is going to issue SURPLUS South American 5.56mm? I wouldn't trust this stuff except for plinking. Would a soldier trust it? Would a SWAT team member trust SURPLUS south American 5.56mm? Who would use this stuff? And why did the Feds just snap up a major shipment of surplus ammo? What for?

    2) Being that ammo is like gold, I'm wondering, what is going on with all those foreign ammo producers? Russia? Brazil? etc? The American ammo market is a gold mine right now. I'd figure that these guys would ramp up production and make a killing. But why haven't they? Are they being blocked from selling us any of their ammo (more than they've been allotted in the past?)

    Thoughts? This is unsettling because it makes no sense.
    Where exactly is this "rule" you're referring to? Why would the government bother buying surplus ammo from an importer when they could simply do the deal directly with the country of origin and cut out the middleman. I think someone's getting fed a line of B.S.
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    Administrator Krupski's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by tank_monkey View Post
    As you guys well know, the rule is supposed that for all domestically manufactured ammo or imported ammo, the MILITARY gets first crack at it (acquiring it for their supply chain), SECOND, the U.S. Government gets 2nd crack at it for their 'domestic enforcement agencies', and the THIRD, the civilian market. So we're last on the priority list for selling ammo. Normally this makes sense and has never been a problem until now.

    Several things which really perplexed me:

    1) A buddy who is a big wholesaler/retailer in guns and ammo had a line on a huge amount of South American Surplus 5.56mm FMJ. I'm talking about MILLIONS of rounds. But after the ammo cleared customs, the importer informed my friend that the U.S. Government had bought the ammo right out from under him, paying premium prices akin to factory Remington or Winchester ammo. WTF? So an entire cargo ship of surplus foreign ammo is now gone. But I'm thinking, who in their right mind is going to issue SURPLUS South American 5.56mm? I wouldn't trust this stuff except for plinking. Would a soldier trust it? Would a SWAT team member trust SURPLUS south American 5.56mm? Who would use this stuff? And why did the Feds just snap up a major shipment of surplus ammo? What for?

    2) Being that ammo is like gold, I'm wondering, what is going on with all those foreign ammo producers? Russia? Brazil? etc? The American ammo market is a gold mine right now. I'd figure that these guys would ramp up production and make a killing. But why haven't they? Are they being blocked from selling us any of their ammo (more than they've been allotted in the past?)

    Thoughts? This is unsettling because it makes no sense.
    Years ago I had South African 5.56 in tan plastic "battle packs". The headstamps said "86" (year 1986). That was AWESOME ammo! It was reliable and loaded really hot. I still have one unopened battle pack of 300 rounds (6 boxes of 50 in a pack).

    If you're talking about the same stuff, *I* would pay Remington / Winchester / Federal prices for it!
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by tank_monkey View Post
    As you guys well know, the rule is supposed that for all domestically manufactured ammo or imported ammo, the MILITARY gets first crack at it (acquiring it for their supply chain), SECOND, the U.S. Government gets 2nd crack at it for their 'domestic enforcement agencies', and the THIRD, the civilian market. So we're last on the priority list for selling ammo. Normally this makes sense and has never been a problem until now.

    Several things which really perplexed me:

    1) A buddy who is a big wholesaler/retailer in guns and ammo had a line on a huge amount of South American Surplus 5.56mm FMJ. I'm talking about MILLIONS of rounds. But after the ammo cleared customs, the importer informed my friend that the U.S. Government had bought the ammo right out from under him, paying premium prices akin to factory Remington or Winchester ammo. WTF? So an entire cargo ship of surplus foreign ammo is now gone. But I'm thinking, who in their right mind is going to issue SURPLUS South American 5.56mm? I wouldn't trust this stuff except for plinking. Would a soldier trust it? Would a SWAT team member trust SURPLUS south American 5.56mm? Who would use this stuff? And why did the Feds just snap up a major shipment of surplus ammo? What for?

    2) Being that ammo is like gold, I'm wondering, what is going on with all those foreign ammo producers? Russia? Brazil? etc? The American ammo market is a gold mine right now. I'd figure that these guys would ramp up production and make a killing. But why haven't they? Are they being blocked from selling us any of their ammo (more than they've been allotted in the past?)

    Thoughts? This is unsettling because it makes no sense.

    This has been my "conspiracy theory" for the last few months. This is gun control without involving congress. If you can buy up all of the mags and ammo within your current budgets, who needs congress for gun control? It sure would be nice if they go caught and suddenly warehouses full of ammo flooded the market.

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    Administrator Krupski's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by NAPOTS View Post
    This has been my "conspiracy theory" for the last few months. This is gun control without involving congress. If you can buy up all of the mags and ammo within your current budgets, who needs congress for gun control? It sure would be nice if they go caught and suddenly warehouses full of ammo flooded the market.
    If you are right, then it's doubly disgusting. They are buying up ammo WITH OUR MONEY to DENY US the ammo!
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    Senior Member tank_monkey's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Simmons View Post
    Where exactly is this "rule" you're referring to? Why would the government bother buying surplus ammo from an importer when they could simply do the deal directly with the country of origin and cut out the middleman. I think someone's getting fed a line of B.S.
    Richard, you're mixing two items together. The rule is, from what I know, is that Military takes priority for all ammo (imported and domestic) IF THEY NEED IT. This makes total sense. Also it makes sense that (if in a time of crisis, I suppose), the federal Government gets priority to purchase ammo. Again, this is NOT unreasonable, IF there is a need.

    The rub is the "Question of NEED or Crisis" What urgent need is there that our Government is paying top dollar for surplus ammo?

    There is no RULE about the government and SURPLUS ammo. Where did you make THAT connection? The surplus ammo highlights the absurdity of the event. And yes, he DID have a line on at least several million rounds of Surplus S.A. ammo, I know this because he was really looking forward to getting it. Then he was bummed that the Feds swooped in and BOUGHT it all.

    Normally I fully understand your posts, but this one confounded me.

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    Team Gunsnet SILVER 05/2012 deth502's Avatar

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    The rule is, from what I know, is that Military takes priority for all ammo
    There is no RULE about the government and SURPLUS ammo.
    that ammo thats coming in from sa, that ammo is surplus. and that ammo would also be included under "all" ammo.

    all [ awl ]
    1. whole of: used to indicate that the whole of an amount, area, quantity, or thing is involved or affected
    2. every: every one of
    3. any: any whatever

    i failed to see the words "except surplus" in there.

    how is this mixing unrelated items?

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    Forum Admin & **Team Gunsnet Silver 12/2012** Richard Simmons's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by tank_monkey View Post
    Richard, you're mixing two items together. The rule is, from what I know, is that Military takes priority for all ammo (imported and domestic) IF THEY NEED IT. This makes total sense. Also it makes sense that (if in a time of crisis, I suppose), the federal Government gets priority to purchase ammo. Again, this is NOT unreasonable, IF there is a need.

    The rub is the "Question of NEED or Crisis" What urgent need is there that our Government is paying top dollar for surplus ammo?

    There is no RULE about the government and SURPLUS ammo. Where did you make THAT connection? The surplus ammo highlights the absurdity of the event. And yes, he DID have a line on at least several million rounds of Surplus S.A. ammo, I know this because he was really looking forward to getting it. Then he was bummed that the Feds swooped in and BOUGHT it all.

    Normally I fully understand your posts, but this one confounded me.
    I'm simply asking about this "rule". It has to be a law right? Just asking for a link to that law. If there is a law or "rule" I don't see where it is being exercised. The recent large purchases by DHS were through RFP's sent out by the government. No company was required to provide any of the ammo. They replied to the RFP or they didn't.

    I'm also saying the perhaps it was the importer that was B.S.ing your friend. Even if it's true that the government bought the ammo it was the importers decision to sell it to them instead of your friend. Is the importer saying this "rule" your speaking about required him to sell it to the government?
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    Senior Member Phil125's Avatar

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    How long can they keep it up though if this is their goal? I mean even now its raising eyebrows. By the end of the summer I see it as being unsustainable. Too many eyeballs will be on it and asking questions.

    Unless they know the SHTF soon and they are trying to dry the loose ammo up out there to make control easier. With the gun stores empty the average Joe with 50 rounds won't last long.
    When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, and he looks you crooked in the eye and he asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Jack Burton always says at a time like that: "Have ya paid your dues, Jack?" "Yessir, the check is in the mail." ----- Jack Burton 1986

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    Administrator imanaknut's Avatar

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    But, but, but we have people here telling us that the government needs billions of rounds of ammo because there are so many government people with guns that require practice and go through many many rounds a week.

    The truth is out there, and I hope if it does turn out our government is using our money to infringe on our rights that the teflon gets stripped off the people who are causing the infringement.

    I wish I could remember what news service I saw the story, but I read that the Russian ammo manufacturers are complaining about how hard ATF is making it for them to get their ammo to our market. There is definately something more to the fact that there are just more honest people as firearm owners needing more ammo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by imanaknut View Post
    But, but, but we have people here telling us that the government needs billions of rounds of ammo because there are so many government people with guns that require practice and go through many many rounds a week.

    The truth is out there, and I hope if it does turn out our government is using our money to infringe on our rights that the teflon gets stripped off the people who are causing the infringement.

    I wish I could remember what news service I saw the story, but I read that the Russian ammo manufacturers are complaining about how hard ATF is making it for them to get their ammo to our market. There is definately something more to the fact that there are just more honest people as firearm owners needing more ammo.
    Agreed. With this administration it's more than probable.

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    Senior Member tank_monkey's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krupski View Post
    Years ago I had South African 5.56 in tan plastic "battle packs". The headstamps said "86" (year 1986). That was AWESOME ammo! It was reliable and loaded really hot. I still have one unopened battle pack of 300 rounds (6 boxes of 50 in a pack).

    If you're talking about the same stuff, *I* would pay Remington / Winchester / Federal prices for it!
    Unlike you Krupski, I KNOW the difference between South America and South Africa LOL.......... one place they speak predominantly Spanish and Portuguese, and the other place they speak Afrikaans and various tribal languages.

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    Senior Member tank_monkey's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by NAPOTS View Post
    This has been my "conspiracy theory" for the last few months. This is gun control without involving congress. If you can buy up all of the mags and ammo within your current budgets, who needs congress for gun control? It sure would be nice if they go caught and suddenly warehouses full of ammo flooded the market.

    Nope, will never happen. If there is the slightest chance that their warehouses would be open to purchase by the public, they'd find an obscure regulation and DESTROY all of the ammo (at taxpayer expense of course)... before they would let ONE ROUND fall into the hands of a law abiding citizen.

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    Administrator Krupski's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by tank_monkey View Post
    Unlike you Krupski, I KNOW the difference between South America and South Africa LOL.......... one place they speak predominantly Spanish and Portuguese, and the other place they speak Afrikaans and various tribal languages.
    Wow. I thought it said South African. Maybe somebody edited the original post?
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    Administrator imanaknut's Avatar

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    Interesting article I just read. Funny we were just discussing this, and Fox does a story that pretty much shows what is most likely the truth. With people lining up at stores on mornings of ammo delivery, lack of ammo on the shelf is self-fulfilling.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/05/12...est=latestnews

  17. #17
    Yea they claim the shortages are due to increased demand but think about all of the ammo manufacturers pumping out ammo at capacity. From what we are hearing, the govt is only buying .40 cal hollow point rounds. I havent heard any stories about huge orders of center fire rifle or rim fire. Sure, there are lines out the door when the truck gets there, but what the truck delivers is pretty measly. When something is in stock online, it is sold out within a few hours.

    I think there is a little bit more to the story than "people are just buying up the ammo as fast as it hits the shelves". Who was the last person you know who made a big bulk purchase, it seems you can only find a little at a time here or there.

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    Administrator imanaknut's Avatar

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    I agree something sounds very wrong. What I am really having a hard time figuring is with all the manufacturers of .22LR with capacity for so many per day, I would like to know the real reason there is no .22LR anywhere before I die. Things just don't add up.

    So I decided to go "to the horses mouth" and this is what I found: http://www.cci-ammunition.com/education/faqs.aspx

    Per CCI, there are only 24 hours to the day, and they are producing all they can. Their statement is that the majority of their ammo is for the commercial market.

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    Senior Member tank_monkey's Avatar

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    Here is something interesting. Remember during World War II (I don't expect anyone here to be old enough to actually remember the home front during WW2), but at that time, ammo factories QUICKLY expanded their operations. They HIRED and TRAINED people to operate the equipment to run three shifts a day, essentially 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at the height of the war. Why aren't these guys doing that? And if they are in fact doing that, shouldn't they be able to start cranking out stuff quickly. Taking the training of new employees out of the equation, there's no learning curve here (re: how to do it or what machines to build), there's no engineering, there's no design changes to worry about and there's no last minute specs or requirements, so unlike Tanks and Planes, ammo should be EASY for an established manufacturer to crank out by the butt load.

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    Forum Administrator Schuetzenman's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by tank_monkey View Post
    Here is something interesting. Remember during World War II (I don't expect anyone here to be old enough to actually remember the home front during WW2), but at that time, ammo factories QUICKLY expanded their operations. They HIRED and TRAINED people to operate the equipment to run three shifts a day, essentially 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at the height of the war. Why aren't these guys doing that? And if they are in fact doing that, shouldn't they be able to start cranking out stuff quickly. Taking the training of new employees out of the equation, there's no learning curve here (re: how to do it or what machines to build), there's no engineering, there's no design changes to worry about and there's no last minute specs or requirements, so unlike Tanks and Planes, ammo should be EASY for an established manufacturer to crank out by the butt load.
    Well in WWII there a lot more arsenal / ammo plants around. There was: Lake City, Twin Cities, Saint Louis, for the Gov. and Winchester (WCC) and Remington (RA). Currently the Gov. only has Lake City left to make their ammo. We have on the commercial side; CCI / Speer, Remington, Winchester, Hornaday, Federal.

    As far as I know all ammo plants are pumping 24/7 nonstop. At that rate you WOULD think that the supply would improve after 4 months of peak demand. So either people are still buying like mad or somebody is buying up all of it in big blocks. I personally think people are buying it vs. the Gov. buying all of it. People are spooked, people DO NOT trust this Government anymore. They see them as an enemy preparing to attack in some capacity be it an attack on their rights to simply own a firearm or an out and out physical attack by armed stooges. Now we hear of the IRS attacking conservative groups, this only helps paint the picture of a corrupt evil government that is hell bent to destroy freedom and liberty.

    All that and record gun sales = the ammo industry hasn't got the capacity to produce to the demand curve IMO.

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