Ammo shortage?


May 27, 2004, 02:24 AM
Is ammo going to get more expensive? (

US asks private sector to ease bullet shortage
By Christopher Bowe in New York
Published: May 26 2004 22:00 | Last Updated: May 26 2004 22:00

Even in the age of unmanned aerial vehicles, satellite-guided bombs and night-vision goggles, the US army cannot fight a war without its most basic necessity: bullets.

And with more troops in Iraq, more intense combat than expected and the need for almost every soldier from frontline infantryman to rearguard logistician to be prepared for an ambush, the army suddenly finds itself in a bullet crunch.

According to a requisition last week by the Army Field Support Command, the service will need 300m to 500m more bullets a year for at least five years, or more than 1.5m a year for combat and training. And because the single army-owned, small-calibre ammunition factory in Lake City, Missouri, can produce only 1.2m bullets annually, the army is suddenly scrambling to get private defence contractors to help fill the gap.

The bullet problem has its roots in a Pentagon effort to restock its depleted war materiel reserve. But it has been exacerbated by the ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, where rearguard and supply units have been thinly-stretched throughout the countryside, occasionally without active duty combat soldiers to protect them.

The army's formal solicitation acknowledges that its current m anufacturing abilities have been all but exhausted. "Increasing military contingencies have created a situation where the capability to produce small calibre ammunition through conventional methods has been fully exercised," it said.

Specifically, the army is looking for 300m more bullets annually, potentially rising to 500m a year.

Alliant Techsystems, which runs the army-owned factory in Lake City, is in talks with the military about remedying the bullet production shortage, insisting it could expand output by 200m to 300m a year.

General Dynamics, the US defence contractor which submitted its proposed solution on Tuesday, said it had pulled together several small bullet suppliers - including Winchester, a unit of Olin Corporation; Israel Military Industries; and Canada's SNC Technologies - to meet the army's gap.

"We're using so much ammunition in Iraq there isn't enough capacity around," said Eric Hugel, a defence industry analyst at Sephens Inc. "They have to go internationally."

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May 27, 2004, 02:46 AM
Is this a bullet shortage or a complete cartrige shortage?

May 27, 2004, 02:49 AM
I was assuming a shortage of complete cartriges written by someone who didn't know the difference.

May 27, 2004, 08:31 AM
I wanna know why the think it is so important for them to mfg ammo? I think the civie sector produces more ammo in a given year than the federales. Hey, we're outsourcing interrogators, why not outsource ammo production?

May 27, 2004, 09:41 AM
Are they asking for civvies to fire up their Dillons? ;)

Dain Bramage
May 27, 2004, 09:47 AM
I don't use 7.62x51, 5.56, or 9x19. I should be set. :D

However, if the Russian army ever has a shortage, I'm gonna be in trouble.:what:

May 27, 2004, 10:31 AM
Interesting thought: what if the ramp-up in production is intended for future operations?

Hello, Syria!

May 27, 2004, 10:19 PM
How about a fuel shortage a la Rommel. That'd slow the operations some.

I read that article a couple days ago... wondering if IMI/Win will bring back the Q3131A (5.6/.223).

May 27, 2004, 10:33 PM
In the short term, yes. In the long term, I think this will actually increase availability and lower price just as the WW2 ammo has been available and cheap after the war.

July 2, 2004, 03:21 PM
I read that article a couple days ago... wondering if IMI/Win will bring back the Q3131A (5.6/.223).
I see this post is a month or so old but I just wanted to say that I was at Outdoor World today and they had at least two cases of Winchester Q3131A out on the sales floor at $3.99/box (that's $200/1000) and my local gun store had almost a case in stock so unless it is back stock or just the end of the supply, looks like there is enough to go around. And now that the military cannot use Israeli made cartridges in combat anymore, there may be even more produced for the civilian market. Dunno, guess we'll see.


July 2, 2004, 11:34 PM
I know a little about the DOD so I'll venture to say that if anything it will cause a drop in price after the hostilities stop. Yeah, more surplus ammo!

Except for elite units like the USMC Snipers, Uncle Sam does NOT manufacture small arm ammunition. Two contracts were awarded to prevent a shortage in small arm ammunition availability. One went to OLIN/Winchester and the other went to an Israeli Company (I think it was IMI). Both contracts were in the tens of millions. Also, I see that the Israeli ammo can only be used for training stateside. Something about shooting Muslims with Jewish bullets (PC BS). Some Govt. bigwigs don't want to give the impression that the Zionists are furthering the war against the muj. Then again, I've shot Israeli ammo before and the stuff is dirty. So it's probally better that it's only tagged for training.

Don't worry about an ammo shortage. OLIN/Winchester just basically increased production.

July 3, 2004, 01:01 AM
Sure will, but not because of the war. Unions that insist on unskilled workers being paid skilled wages is what causes prices to go up.

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