Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Gun Food

Ammo is a hot commodity again. Since guns and ammo are now part of my everyday work life, this story caught my eye.

In our store last week they held a department meeting. One subject covered was about the manufacturing and availability of ammunition. Here is what I learned.

Because of the machinery used in manufacturing ammunition a company such as, let say Winchester, requires large machinery with special changeable dies, production lines, packaging and conveyors to make, package and store ammo. For example, in their yearly plan Winchester will make XXXX million rounds of .40 cal in FMJ, JHP, etc. The bullet head may be different but the casing is the same.

The casing may be the same but the grain amount may change. With this in mind they will make a shitload of .40 of different variants for XX weeks then store the product in a warehouse. They then change the machine dies, production lines, packaging and conveyors to .45 ACP and all it’s variants, for example, and manufacture XXXX million rounds of it. They repeat the same cycle to make .32, .380, 9mm, etc. Winchester may not make any more .40 cal for the year. We were told there are no constantly dedicated production lines for XX cal. What’s made is there is there and that’s that for the year.

There are many manufacturers making ammo of all types and there are more types than I ever imagined. So for the sake of argument, your favorite Winchester handgun caliber ammo may be out of stock at your local gun shop but there’s always Remington, the more expensive Hornady, cheaper versions in steel and aluminum casings from Russian manufacturers such as Herter’s and Wolf. 

Popular calibers will be the first to disappear from retail shelves. Our manager mentioned he is surprised we have been able to keep .223 in stock considering all that we have sold so far this year in our store alone.

Large retailers make an advanced yearly purchase based on the amount sold the previous year and use projections, forecasts, scheduled retail promotions, seasonal needs and other reasons to alter their purchase amount. If they run out they can apply to purchase more, if there is any left in the warehouse after the manufacturer has already sold to other retailers, law enforcement, foreign entities, etc.

As stated in the above article the National Weather Service purchasing 46,000 rounds is something nobody could plan for. That sounds like a lot. Will it make a difference in the availability of .40 S&W ammo? I seriously doubt it. According to the article they are only buying JHP, which happens to be a more costly personal defense round and not something the casual shooter will use for target practice.

Now, consider that this is another national election year. Some of you may recall the ammo shortage of 2008. Because of national political election results citizens began legally purchasing more guns than ever and hoarding ammunition.

This is beginning to happen again and I am on-site to be seeing it every day. Shooters are buying in bulk.

BTW, tomorrow, August 16, 9mm Herter's brass casing target ammo is going on sale at $9.99 for 50 rounds. We are ready and have plenty of it on hand in our store.

All that being said, why does the National Weather Service need to make a large purchase of self-defense ammunition?

From the same article, emphasis mine:

The federal government is clearly gearing up for the likelihood of civil unrest on a scale that could outstrip what we’ve already seen in countries across Europe.
While the establishment demonizes the second amendment in light of recent mass shootings and legislation is prepared to ban the sale of large quantities of ammunition online, the federal government is acquiring ammunition at levels necessary to fight a full scale domestic war.

I find it comforting that the National Weather Service will be there to answer the call to help fight a domestic war. I can hear it now. “Tomorrow we will see overcast, wind from the south and local precipitation predicted to be anywhere from .05 -1” of .40 cal JHP’s in Chicago, especially in and around the Englewood neighborhood”.

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