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Old April 26, 2013, 02:34 PM   #26
Gaerek
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Gaerek, I have friends who are current or former FBI, Secret Service, Customs, DEA... plus every branch of service.

173 per month would be high for any of those agencies.

It would not be high for HRT or similar, but it would be very high for all the rank and file. (As in 5 to 10 times the amount normally used.)
Oh, I wasn't arguing that point. You mentioned that it's possible that all Coasties train on firearms regularly, and I was just showing you some cases where they don't. I do know that things have changed since my Dad retired in 2000. For example, the 39 (of the original 42 ordered) Jayhawks (CG version of the Blackhawk) are ALL getting upgraded with weapons mounts for door guns, and armor to protect from small arms fire. And keep in mind, these helicopters are rescue helicopters, and were designed with that in mind.

Off topic a bit, my dad (helicopter mechanic) thinks it's a really dumb idea to add armor to a rescue helicopter. What makes the Jayhawk a great platform is the fact that it's fast and fuel efficient. You add several hundred pounds of armor to a helicopter that doesn't need it, and you affect it's speed, efficiency (esp. in Alaska, there are locations where they may only get 20-30 minutes on site before they hit bingo fuel), ability to lift/carry, and maneuverability. I'm sure there's some tin foil hatters that'll take this information and run to Alex Jones with it...

I do agree that 172 rounds per person per month seems high. However, I do know some local CBP agents who are basically able to hit the armory once or twice a month and pick up a few boxes of ammo. Once they do that, it's basically not tracked, and they can do what they want with it. In other words, these agents can pick up 200-300 rounds of high quality ammo, and do what they want with it. Very few shoot that much, and it ends up in their personal stockpile.

I think there needs to be a lot more accountability from these agencies on their ammo purchases. I do not believe they are gearing up to fight civilians, or any of that other tin foil hat stuff. I do also believe that they need a reasonable amount of ammo to train with, but compared to most LE agencies, 172 a month seems very high.

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Old April 26, 2013, 06:40 PM   #27
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Gaerek, on the helicopters, while I agree with your dad's take on the downside of armor in Alaska, I expect the reason is that it is easier for the Coast Guard to standardize their helicopter fleet, rather than having one configuration for Alaska and one for Key West.

Since many areas where the Coast Guard flies could involve getting shot at by drug runners, it would seem they are standardizing toward the high threat area, as opposed to the low-threat long-distance area.

But if you are correct about agents stockpiling their own ammo from government lots, that is a big deal - IE misappropriation of government property.

Edit: While I don't think they are gearing up to fight civilians, either, I do think that such huge purchase orders directly impact your and my ability to buy ammo. If the factory is using all its primers, and ordering more from outside sources, to make over 1B rounds of .40, well, that would have have an impact on my ability to order pistol primers.
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Old April 28, 2013, 08:55 PM   #28
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Anyone seen anything about where the expended brass from DHS goes?
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Old April 28, 2013, 09:13 PM   #29
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I don't really care if they are shooting or stockpiling, to a degree.

The Fed gov't has spent us into bankruptcy and they (all of them) have to cut back.

Could they, I am asking here, start to handload? Could they use more FATS training?

It would be better for the ammo makers to be selling that (and I have a feeling they could sell it all) to the civies at a higher price.

All that being said, any administration that would lie about Fast & Furious (incd. an American BPA being murdered) & about Benghazi is not above buying up ammo to dry up supply for us.
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Old April 28, 2013, 09:58 PM   #30
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If they were planning on using the ammo for civil unrest I would have assumed they would be investing in rifle ammunition more.

Nonetheless I do suspect this is an effort to control how much ammo is on the market at any one time.

Of course my theory could get holes shot in it, but I am thinking the ammo makers have to keep a certain amount of ammo on hand in case the government asks for additional ammo. Thus the government doesn't actually buy all the ammo but the ammo maker has to have it on hand in case they decide to.

Still solidly the DHS definitely has definitely purchased several hundred million rounds since Sandy Hook.

Still the 22 ammo thing is absolutely insane. However such a crazy panic would take place is incredible. Considering that shotgun ammo hasn't been affected much at all (thank you Joe Biden). 22 ammo would be the last ammunition ever banned.

I watched a youtube video where a few of the hoarders got brave enough in the comments to brag about their stockpiles. One guy had 45,000 rounds, another boasted of his 10,000 round stockpile of 22 ammo. I can only hope they store it in a very good environment because 22 long rifle cartridges don't have the best airseal between the bullet and case.
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Old April 28, 2013, 10:36 PM   #31
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If one does the math, using only the stats given in the article, 750M rounds at 60months at 72K officers = 173.666 rounds of practice ammo per month.
I was thinking more about this. Does the DHS buy ammunition and distribute it across all the agencies and LE districts across the nation? I would be completely okay with the federal gov't purchasing this amount of ammunition it it meant that the rest of the nation would be rationed from this purchased amount. However, it has always been my understanding that Federal agencies and state/city police do not share the same resources. If that is true, I feel like the amount of people that have access to this ammunition is far smaller.

Maybe wrong though, I do not know much about the structuring of DHS
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Old April 28, 2013, 10:59 PM   #32
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They have training facilities that are used by most federal LE organizations. From what I can determine, trainees are issued ammo for training done at the facility. One report I saw indicated that over 90,000 federal LEOs from a large number (more than 50) different federal LE organizations were trained at DHS training facilities during a recent year.

In addition to that training, DHS has to provide issue ammo for their own agents, and, given the way the government works, it's likely that they're doing this buy, not just for the training they provide and for their own agents' issue ammo, but to do a bulk buy for other, perhaps virtually all, federal LE organizations which have ammunition needs.
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Old April 28, 2013, 11:26 PM   #33
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I don't blame just them. But If I had to cook the way I have to reload I'd starve.

I got a ton of free bullets from Hornady- And I have to send in more forms to get even more- But the powder I have for my 230 grain bullets isn't on the 185 grain freebie list. I have powder and cases for .223, but no bullets or primers. I have powder for 230 grain, but can't find bullets. I have bullets, primers and cases for my 300 RUM, but no powder.

I checked out Walmart, and Cabelas recently. Cabelas had a crap ton of Herters .223 with a 5 box per person limit to make sure they KEPT a crap-ton(like a metric ton, but it stinks) for sale. Reloading component wise, you had it made if you shot .257 Roberts, or 25-06 etc.

Factory ammo in handgun was about a dozen boxes of 10MM, and a couple boxes of .327. These are not calibers DHS is buying. So it's not JUST their fault. Remember police orgs don't use very many calibers. We have been our own worst enemy just as much as they have helped us along.
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Old April 29, 2013, 07:59 AM   #34
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The federal law enforcement training center trains tens of thousands of state, tribal, local and foreign law enforcement officers.

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The Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) mission is “We train those who protect our homeland.” To carry out this mission, the FLETC serves as an interagency law enforcement training organization for 91 federal agencies or Partner Organizations. The FLETC also provides training to state, local, rural, tribal, territorial, and international law enforcement agencies.
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During FY 2012, almost 70,000 students received FLETC training. Since it was established in 1970, approximately 1,000,000 law enforcement officers and agents have been trained at FLETC.
Although the FLETC trains officers and agents from all federal departments and all three branches of government, it is a component of the Department of Homeland Security.
http://www.fletc.gov/
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Old April 29, 2013, 08:49 AM   #35
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Could they, I am asking here, start to handload?
They can't handload (usually- there may be some exemptions in the SWAT/HRT ranks for snipers) for the same reason we can't/shouldn't for our SD rounds. They want the studied ballistics and trace evidence benchmarks- If you shot at X feet, with Y gun, using Z ammunition, the powder will do 1, the bullet will do 2, and so on and so on.
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Old April 29, 2013, 11:19 AM   #36
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The embarrassing thing is this conspiracy continues with traction even after all these facts are brought to light. It isn't that much ammo. Maybe local PD only shoots 50 rounds a year, but that is entirely pathetic training and it needs to be upped, not federal reduced.
There is an unbelievable amount of armed agents in agencies you would never guess. Almost every agency has a SWAT team now to serve warrants in fraud cases in addition to the armed officers used to investigate. Since less than half of US military uses small arms, I would expect their per capita training ammo allotment to be much lower.
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Old April 29, 2013, 11:35 AM   #37
maestro pistolero
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Even if the bill is DOA, there is a benefit to shining the light on this issue. For a long time I was of the opinion that the current ammo shortage was strictly market driven. But when ammo isn't even arriving on the shelves so that people can hoard it, I think it's safe to assume there's much more going on.

What's interesting to me is the question of how long a billion-dollar market demand can go unmet in a free market. Perhaps we have an economist among us who could chime in and explain that one to me.

I guess this is what Obama meant by under the radar.

It sure seems like some entity would set up manufacturing to meet the demand.
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Old April 29, 2013, 11:42 AM   #38
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Almost every agency has a SWAT team now to serve warrants in fraud cases
This is something that should give each of us pause. Not making any assumptions, mind you, but if a SWAT team is needed to effect a simple fraud arrest, what sort of statement is being made?
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Old April 29, 2013, 11:46 AM   #39
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It sure seems like some entity would set up manufacturing to meet the demand.
Remington and Winchester have upped manufacturing and they've added extra shifts.

However, this is a temporary situation, and there's not much point to investing heavily in new machinery, production facilities, and payroll for a bubble that will burst in a few months.
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Old April 29, 2013, 12:08 PM   #40
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I would posit that the large scale manufacture of commercial and mil-spec ammunition within a single factory is a far more complicated enterprise than most of us could possibly fathom, especially when the economics of it are factored into the equation. Therefore, it strikes me as quite simplistic to take two independent phenomena (ie big gummint order A and retail shortage in similar/same caliber(s) B) and fully understand the complex relationship (and, quite possibly, non-relationship) between the two. This is especially true since we simply do not know things like distributor and retail seller inventories, order patterns, historical backlog, current demand trends (though we know they are certainly at high levels), etc. And we have no idea how close these manufacturing plants are to manufacturing capacity, whether there are upstream supply chain issues, etc.

Economics is a complex enterprise, kids. Especially when one of the parties is the US government.
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Old April 29, 2013, 05:26 PM   #41
Gaerek
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AMMO Act?

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Originally Posted by MLeake View Post
Gaerek, on the helicopters, while I agree with your dad's take on the downside of armor in Alaska, I expect the reason is that it is easier for the Coast Guard to standardize their helicopter fleet, rather than having one configuration for Alaska and one for Key West.
I understand that, so does my dad. His issue, however is that you are taking a helicopter that was originally configured and used for rescue operations only, and adding weight/complexity for something the helicopter isn't designed for. They have separate helicopters they use for drug interdiction purposes. From 2000 until 2008 they operated MH-68 Stingray helicopters as part of their Interdiction force. In 2008 they were replaced by converted MH-65 Dolphins. The MH-60 Jayhawk was and has been only operated as a rescue platform. Adding armor and armament only reduces its capability to perform its primary mission. The Jayhawks flown out of Clearwater, FL and Sitka and Kodiak, AK are identical in form and function, even though there is a drug interdiction mission flown in the same areas in FL.

Ok, enough of the derailment.
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Old April 29, 2013, 06:18 PM   #42
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It is just chatter at the moment but it appears that the issue is serious enough that the government accountability office has taken an interest in investigating the allegations.

The DHS said they won't buy 1.6 billion rounds. They only intended on buying SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY MILLION ROUNDS!!!

This could be easily converted to the 75,000 agent estimate as being just 10,000 rounds per agent. A paltry number I know. I go through 10,000 every day whether I need to or not.
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Old April 29, 2013, 08:16 PM   #43
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However, this is a temporary situation, and there's not much point to investing heavily in new machinery, production facilities, and payroll for a bubble that will burst in a few months.
Is it temporary though? NICS has been running over 1.1 million checks a month consistently since 2008. I keep seeing manufacturers say it is temporary; but two of Black Hills 18-month backlogs (they've had 3 since the early 1990s) were within the last 4 years.

I think as semi-autos and defensive training become more popular, ammo manufacturers are still trapped in the "one box of ammo for deer season" paradigm and are reluctant to invest in new capacity short of just blatantly undeniable evidence of growing permanent demand.
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Old April 29, 2013, 08:42 PM   #44
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What come and take it said ... with link:

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/was...ammo-purchases
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Old April 29, 2013, 08:51 PM   #45
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Come and take it: The contract is for multiple years and 75,000 is the lowest estimate of armed agents I have seen. Isn't CBP up to something like 15,000 by itself?
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Old April 29, 2013, 10:38 PM   #46
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If there were 750,000 agents it would still be a thousand rounds per agent.

Even if it were two years that means 5,000 rounds per agent per year.

three years about 3,333 rounds per agent per year.

and it goes on and on.

No way 75,000 agents are training at levels that SWAT teams or special forces are training at.

This is based on the admission that they fully intend or have already fulfilled to purchase at least 750,000,000 rounds.
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Old April 29, 2013, 11:11 PM   #47
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There are at least 120,000 federal LEOs who have arrest powers and are issued firearms--perhaps as many as 150,000 if the numbers have increased since the last reporting interval as much as they had over the previous two intervals.

The overall contract purchase period is 5 years. For the sake of argument, let's use the 750million figure that has been quoted here.

That works out to 1,000 -1,250 rounds per agent per year.

By most accounts, the purchase covers not only training ammunition, but also issue ammunition.

From thallub's post & the link he provided, it's clear that FLETC will be training something like 350,000 LEOs over the 5 year period the contract covers. A decent training class will probably require 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

That comes out to 350 million rounds--almost half of the 750 million figure claimed to be the actual intended purchase amount.

And that's just FLETC--that doesn't count usage by local training centers not run by FLETC and it also doesn't count issue ammunition.

If we assume that each agent is issued 500 rounds per year for carry and personal practice--a pretty reasonable figure--that's another 300 to 375 million over 5 years bringing our estimate to 650 to 725 million.

That's within spitting distance of the 750,000,000 round figure, and it still doesn't take into account usage by local/regional training centers not run by FLETC.
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Old April 29, 2013, 11:52 PM   #48
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Only that we know that most agents who have arrest powers will not train with close to that much ammo for their job a year.

This is where the justification to purchase hypothesis gets shot full of holes. It doesn't add up.

There is a lot of ammo being bought up. A lot more than the DHS needs.
--------------------------

This part is speculation.

Why are the most hard to find items made by CCI (a good chunk of the 22 ammo and primers) ? CCi is a part of ATK, the incorporated business that received the largest chunk of the outsourcing contracts.
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Old April 30, 2013, 12:44 AM   #49
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I used the training figures from the FLETC data for the training usage number estimate. It was not based on the total number of federal agents.

By the way, FLETC also trains state/local LEOs, not just federal LEOs, so one can't assume that all 70,000 officers trained at FLETC each year are federal LEOs and therefore won't need any additional training ammo for that year.

That also means that at least some of the purchased ammunition will not be used to train federal LEOs at all, but will be used to train state and local LEOs since FLETC training is not limited to federal LEOs.
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Only that we know that most agents who have arrest powers will not train with close to that much ammo for their job a year.
We "know" this how? They may not be actually using it once it's been issued to them, but the 500 rounds issued per agent per year for carry and personal practice that I estimated seems pretty reasonable based on my poking around on the web. I'm not going to try to do exhaustive research, but I did confirm that at least some federal agencies issue 150 rounds per quarter (600 rounds annually per agent) for personal practice and that doesn't count any ammunition used for qualification, for structured training or for formal classes.

Finally, some ammunition, probably around 10% of the total order will likely be held in reserve so that they don't have to shut down or completely stop training if there are temporary shortages or funding issues.
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There is a lot of ammo being bought up. A lot more than the DHS needs.
A relatively minimal amount of research using easily available multi-source information from the internet contradicts this claim. What it comes down to is that as far as I can see, although the numbers initially seem alarming, the purchase amount is commensurate with reasonable usage.

If there's anything that should give one pause (once the facts are clear), it's not how much ammo is being used. That amount is reasonable once one understands how much training DHS is responsible for and how many federal LEOs there are. What's surprising (at least it was to me) is how many federal agents with there are. I was not prepared to find that there were more than 120,000 (possibly as many as 150,000) federal LEOs with arrest powers and issued weapons.

Lest anyone be confused on this issue, I'm not trying to change anyone's mind. It seems clear that there are many people who've decided what they are going to believe about this topic and aren't interested in the facts. I did some research for my own edification and thought that others, who haven't made up their minds yet, might be interested enough in what I posted to do their own research and draw their own conclusions based on the facts that are available and can be confirmed. It sure beats merely speculating.
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Old April 30, 2013, 12:59 AM   #50
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I would be much happier if I knew that there was no funny business going on. The last thing I want to believe about my government is that there is a conspiracy to suppress the ammunition supply.

Nevertheless, any measures on the part of the government that could help ease the shortages without compromising training needs would go a long way toward restoring confidence and goodwill.
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