Letter Re: Ammunition Prices in the Future?


[Regarding your reply to the recent letter about military surplus ammunition prices,] cheap ammunition is indeed a thing of the past. The reasons for this are several;

1) Under new UN small arms treaties, many states are now committed to destroy small arms ammunition rather than allow it to fall into the hands of “Unapproved Users” (which does not include psycho dictators, just civilians).

2) US small arms ammunition is now going “Green” with lead replaced with Tungsten-Tin, Tungsten-Polymer and other non-toxic materials, which means they cannot be sold to civilians as they fall under “Armor piercing handgun ammunition” category { “a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium,”}. And yes Virginia, 5.56 and 7.62 NATO are “Pistol” ammunition to the BATFE.
[P.S. It might interest everyone to know that the Tungsten comes from China, wonder what would happen if China stopped being so friendly]

3) The Clintonistas passed a regulation that made “Military Propellants” a controlled item (not for sale to the unwashed), so the ammunition must have the powder replaced with commercial powder before it could be sold as surplus. The increased costs involved made it cheaper to destroy the ammo than to sell it, especially since the cost goes on the budget right away, while the profit goes on the next fiscal year. Combined with No 2 above, this is why the government has burned billions (yes B, BILLIONS) of rounds of 7.62 NATO over the last 12 years or so. [JWR Adds: The “popped” ammunition components that come out of the incinerators is then sold as scrap metal. Very sad.]

4) Increased costs of materials (copper, nickel, lead, etc.) as well as higher transportation costs, higher import fees, and compliance costs for various regulations, will keep the price of new ammo high, even after the huge drain on production involved with the “War on Terror” slows.

The bottom line is stock up! Don’t expect prices to go down or supplies to go up, because barring some serious changes in the situation, they won’t.