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Doc Lee
Advanced Member

USA
1284 Posts

Posted - August 18 2007 :  12:34:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A top headline in today's news has dealt with the shortage of ammunition available to various LE organizations.

I'm a bit puzzled by the apparent shortage of ammunition for annual qualifications and routine practice. There is even discussion that there may not be enough rounds for proper training of recruits and the use of paint ball guns in training.

In years past, I remember some departments reloading "training ammunition" to save money. (30-40 years ago) Are departments bound by contract or rules that preclude alternate sourcing of ammunition when a particular source is on perpetual backorder? I've read the comments about shortages, by Evan and others, as reasons for stocking up "while we can." Are companies like Black Hills, CCI, Corbon, Remington, Winchester and etc so overwhelmed by shortage of production facilities or raw materials that they are unable to supply LE needs?

What I have difficulty in understanding is how a department can be on back order for .38 Special for over a year. Apparently no one in that department has sufficient ammunition for qualifications using .38 Special ammunition.

I admit to not having an appreciation for the supply and demand numbers, dollars, and or restrictions on LE organizations. This is the basis for this posting.

Regards,

Doc Lee

n/a
deleted

82 Posts

Posted - August 18 2007 :  04:48:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Doc, it is not just a shortage of loads, but actually the cost of materials to make the components.

This is compounded by bureaucracy (mercy, I love spell checkers! ;) ). It just ain't in the rool-book to cobble up your own assets. Git'R'Done is not a strong suit of the system.

Jerry
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Evan
Administrator

34526 Posts

Posted - August 18 2007 :  06:50:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
if you have a .223/5.56MM rifle you had better stockpile now and the shortage is real and gettting worse-we're hearing a price increase across the board on ammo Sept 1st of 20%.

"The greatest thing a Father can do for his children is to love their Mother."

Harold B. Lee

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Doc Lee
Advanced Member

USA
1284 Posts

Posted - August 18 2007 :  08:55:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Evan, thank you for the advice. I've been stocking up for the past six months and plan on making a couple of additional purchases this week. Commercial 55 gr ammo is still fairly cheap $5-$7 dollars for a box of twenty. SS-109 is getting very hard to find and is up to $10 for twenty. The two bullet weights I am currently buying are 45 gr HP and 75 Gr HP. I've also been adding 9mm, .357 sig, and .45 ACP as I find "deals." I've also purchased a couple hundred rounds of DPX in .30 carbine and look forward to testing it shortly.

It's interesting how things have changed. A few years ago I was able to find sales on Remington Golden Saber 124 gr +P BHP for about six dollars a box and .45 ACP 185 Gr +P for about the same price. I purchased a lot at those prices. The same with Remington 115 gr +P+ and Federal BPLE 9mm +P+ about six years ago for $7.50 for a box of 50.

Enjoy your stay in Georgia.

Doc Lee

Edited by - Doc Lee on August 18 2007 09:03:39 AM
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Tact81Cop
Advanced Member

USA
1523 Posts

Posted - August 18 2007 :  11:09:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Price of ammo across the board jumped in '07 - it really screwed my budget up. As for the shortage, I'm still waiting for 5.56 I orderd in March. The duty ammo (Federal 55 JSP TRU T223A) arrived but the hard ball training ammo is still not here. We even waited a while for our .40 ammo and I know some department near me that are still waiting.

To answer your question about reloads Doc, we don't use any at all. For the most part, it not cost effective (although if prices keep rising that may change!). Also there is too much inconsistency with reloads in semi-auto weapons.

Molon labe
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Melvis
Moderator

USA
659 Posts

Posted - August 18 2007 :  11:26:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It's real. Last qual, we were limited as to how many rounds we could shoot. We've been waiting for our April ammunition order to show up.

Results, not reputations.
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Doc Lee
Advanced Member

USA
1284 Posts

Posted - August 18 2007 :  11:48:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
John and Mel thank you for your input. I'm confused by your waiting for various ammunition. Are you restricted to certain distributors?

Ammunition in most calibers seems to be available. I realize that LE pricing on bulk contracts might be a significant factor to consider. John, you say that you're waiting for ball practice ammo in 5.56. I assume it is the same weight, 55gr, that your Federal JSP is. There seems to be a fair amount of 55 gr ball ammo available for $5.50 - $7.50 a box of 20.

I would think that the priority for re-supply of ammunition, for LE organizations, would be way up there. If one distributor cannot supply, say within 30 days, I would think (It gets dangerous when I do too much thinking, according to my wife) that alternate distributors could/should be used to take up the slack. Apparently the purchasing agents for your departments cannot shop around when a shortage arises.

I sort of think of ammunition as being similar in priority to gasoline for your patrol vehicles: Very IMPORTANT for the pursuit of your tasks. This must be an uncomfortable situation for those of you in LE.

Regards,

Doc Lee
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remington
Junior Member

183 Posts

Posted - August 18 2007 :  12:51:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Brass, copper, and lead have all jumped in prices in the past 5 years. We do secondary at a copper plant that has MILLIONS in raw material. Every ordr I've done for my PD has been back ordered for months. When we went to 40's our dealer bought back every single round of 9mm, 357sig, 45ACP, 380, ball and HP's. He said they were already sold before they got back to him.
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JMAC
Average Member

USA
389 Posts

Posted - August 18 2007 :  2:44:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Our departments ammo supplier says that the situation with .223/5.56 is basically that fact that so many departments have gone to that caliber in Michigan. As soon as they get a large shipment in, an agency comes in and buys all of it. Then thier back to square one again.

.223 and 5.56 seems to be the worst, but I've also noticed .40 slowing down a bit.
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enidpd804
Advanced Member

1761 Posts

Posted - August 18 2007 :  4:22:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Lee

John and Mel thank you for your input. I'm confused by your waiting for various ammunition. Are you restricted to certain distributors?

Ammunition in most calibers seems to be available. I realize that LE pricing on bulk contracts might be a significant factor to consider. John, you say that you're waiting for ball practice ammo in 5.56. I assume it is the same weight, 55gr, that your Federal JSP is. There seems to be a fair amount of 55 gr ball ammo available for $5.50 - $7.50 a box of 20.

I would think that the priority for re-supply of ammunition, for LE organizations, would be way up there. If one distributor cannot supply, say within 30 days, I would think (It gets dangerous when I do too much thinking, according to my wife) that alternate distributors could/should be used to take up the slack. Apparently the purchasing agents for your departments cannot shop around when a shortage arises.

I sort of think of ammunition as being similar in priority to gasoline for your patrol vehicles: Very IMPORTANT for the pursuit of your tasks. This must be an uncomfortable situation for those of you in LE.

Regards,

Doc Lee



We get $50.00 a year to buy training, qualification and duty ammo. High Cotton!

Warren
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Lennis
New Member

59 Posts

Posted - August 18 2007 :  7:26:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Kind of interesting. I purchase ammo for our team. Granted we don't use as much as L.A. P.D. but I have had no problem getting .45/9mm, 12gauge, .223 or .308. The prices are steady going up but I can order and have it in hand in three days.

Speed surprise and violence of action will rule the day.
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Tact81Cop
Advanced Member

USA
1523 Posts

Posted - August 19 2007 :  06:47:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Doc Lee,

quote:
I realize that LE pricing on bulk contracts might be a significant factor to consider. John, you say that you're waiting for ball practice ammo in 5.56. I assume it is the same weight, 55gr, that your Federal JSP is.


We buy through a vendor that has the state wide contract. (Consolidated purchasing for the multitude of municipalities in the Commonwealth.) So in regards to price, its virtually impossible to beat the contract prices. With the amount of ammo we order, our vendor merely submits the purchase to Federal who then drop ships to us. Yes our training ammo for 5.56 is AE .223 55 grain FMJ.

quote:
I would think that the priority for re-supply of ammunition, for LE organizations, would be way up there. If one distributor cannot supply, say within 30 days, I would think (It gets dangerous when I do too much thinking, according to my wife) that alternate distributors could/should be used to take up the slack. Apparently the purchasing agents for your departments cannot shop around when a shortage arises.

Again, the issue isn't necessarily with our vendor, its with Federal. I don't know if other manufacturers would supply fast or not - perhaps they would.

Apparently there's more going on with the shortage than the GWOT. I have "heard" through various internet sources that several copper mines around the glode have shut down - adding to the problem.

Molon labe
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CO
Advanced Member

USA
4154 Posts

Posted - August 19 2007 :  10:07:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My Dept has no trouble at all coming up with enough of that Blazer garbage for us. 223 is also not a real problem, but we have far fewer rifle shooters than people qualifying with the Grock. We go thtough an average of 13,000 rounds a month.
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Doc Lee
Advanced Member

USA
1284 Posts

Posted - August 19 2007 :  11:22:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for all the thoughts and details.

Warren, $50 whole dollars for ammunition per person per year! That's gotta be low cotton.

John and James, it is interesting how two different states, PA and Mi, handle ammunition distribution. Apparently in MI the distributor handles the actual ammunition transfers where in PA the ammunition is drop shipped from Federal. Both methods seem to come up with shortages. John, I think I read the same thing about several large copper mines in Chile shutting down.

CO, I thought blazer was fairly decent training ammunition. I use Blazer in 9mm, 40, & 45 as an inexpensive way to keep current. Not nearly the amount you use per month!! How large is your department? I really do not have a good idea of the number of rounds used by very large departments IE: NYC OR LA versus ????. It still boils down to number of rounds per person per unit of time..

This is interesting since the availability of ammunition seems to run from three days wait to three months or longer. I certainly am getting a better appreciation for the situation behind the recent news coverage.

Thank you very much for all the input. I've never given much thought to the LE logistics of ammunition supply.

Regards,

Doc Lee
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CO
Advanced Member

USA
4154 Posts

Posted - August 19 2007 :  2:20:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We have approximately 8,000 staff members, and qualify annualy.. The academy uses more per officer, and of course our Tactical Support Unit trains every month, and qualifies quarterly. I have heard nothing from anyone in the supply chain about not having enough ammo. Then, for all i know, we may have purchased a million rounds two years ago, and are plowing out way through it all.
Doc, I just don't like Blazer, the reloader in me cringes at the unusable "brass"...
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Doc Lee
Advanced Member

USA
1284 Posts

Posted - August 19 2007 :  3:40:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
CO, I can understand your cringing at the use of "Unusable brass." I deliberately did not shoot Blazer for a number of years for that reason. My reloading efforts have slowed down considerably, and I find my bias against non reloadable brass not quite so strong as before. YMMV!

Doc Lee
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RTAB1
Advanced Member

USA
1179 Posts

Posted - August 19 2007 :  5:17:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My experience has been the same as Tact81's. At the beginning of the year I reported to management a 130+% increase in .223. I've been waiting months for Federal AE practice ammo (and it's made in the county where I work!). Had to buy some very cheap and very dirty Mag Tech to get through some earlier shoots.
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perrodelucha
Senior Member

USA
927 Posts

Posted - August 19 2007 :  8:46:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
local dealer told me the same thing Evan said, expect an increase in sept.
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Tact81Cop
Advanced Member

USA
1523 Posts

Posted - August 20 2007 :  09:03:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RTAB1

My experience has been the same as Tact81's. At the beginning of the year I reported to management a 130+% increase in .223. I've been waiting months for Federal AE practice ammo (and it's made in the county where I work!). Had to buy some very cheap and very dirty Mag Tech to get through some earlier shoots.



I almost didn't want to admit this publicly but now that you have I'll follow
We'v sunk as low as Wolf! just to be able to keep shooting.

Molon labe
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retfed89
Advanced Member

USA
1695 Posts

Posted - August 20 2007 :  3:14:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Quote;"I almost didn't want to admit this publicly but now that you have I'll follow
We'v sunk as low as Wolf! just to be able to keep shooting." From Tact81Cop

Which begs the question of how does the Wolf steel cased 5.56 perform in your ARs?
Last time at the range the shooters there were unanimous in saying would ruin the extractors.
Would prefer a report from a reliable source to that of the musings of the range ninjas. Thanks John. Retfed
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n/a
deleted

82 Posts

Posted - August 20 2007 :  6:32:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
retfed89; I am not totally biased against steel cased ammo. But, I am not going to use them in anything I own, that is not designed for them. Maks, AKs and SKS' have much more robust extractors.

I don't have any authority sources to quote to you, I suppose one, or a number of us could get together and try to trash an AR with them. But, it is not a thing high on my list to do.

Now, I do know, I had to work harder to clean the lacquer out of actions, when I did use them. I suspect the newer polymers are not immune.

Jerry
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CO
Advanced Member

USA
4154 Posts

Posted - August 21 2007 :  11:35:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I asked our armorer once about the Wolf ammo, was told we would never stoop to Wolf in our ARs. Current ammo is Remington, specifics are unknown, as I was never invited to qualify with the rifle, and now as a supervisor it is unneccesary.
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Tact81Cop
Advanced Member

USA
1523 Posts

Posted - August 21 2007 :  12:37:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I knew this would light some fires!!

There's no doubt its not something we like to do. But when we run out of ammo and we can get a couple thousand rounds of Wolf in two days we do what we have to do. I'll tell you this, surprisingly it runs darn near flawlessly in our Bushies, even on auto. We keep an extra close eye on the extractors and if one should happen to show signs of degradation we'll simply replace it. Replacing parts is easy. Getting ammo is not these days. We do what we have to do. Understand also this is not our "staple" training ammo - but we have used it to hold us over on a few occassions while waiting on Federal.

Molon labe

Edited by - Tact81Cop on August 21 2007 12:39:00 PM
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RTAB1
Advanced Member

USA
1179 Posts

Posted - August 21 2007 :  3:35:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
PS: I don't know why I stated "very cheap" when referring to Mag Tech. It was darn expensive compared to our usual practice ammo (Fed AE).
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retfed89
Advanced Member

USA
1695 Posts

Posted - August 21 2007 :  9:41:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
jamorris, agree with you for steel cased ammo in my SKS and WASR-10(AK47). Use it all the time in them with no problems.In fact burned up a coulple of 100 rds in them last friday with son and grandson, also some 5.56 in my Bushy. Best day I've had in a long time!
John, got 500 rds of Wolf Military Classic 223, 55 gr.awhile back and was holding for use if nothing else available. Believe it is polymer coated. Is this what you are using in your Bushies?
Armorer for local SO said could use it but keep and eye on the extractor. Thanks for the info and will use judiciously, as have about 2k rds of Federal and Winchester in stash, plus a few hundred Privi Partizan. Retfed
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Tact81Cop
Advanced Member

USA
1523 Posts

Posted - August 22 2007 :  06:32:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wayne,

Yes, it is the polymer coated case.

Molon labe
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