Saturday, August 18, 2012

US government ammunition controversy explained: they're burning your money.

Lately there has been a lot of noise about non-police agencies of the US government buying up jacketed hollow point (JHP) pistol ammunition. Many people have said, including myself, that it seems very ominous that these agencies are stocking up on combat pistol ammo right before what could be a very fractious Federal election in November.

Well, Uncle Sam has an explanation.

The agency [SSA] said it has 295 special agents across 66 offices in the country. "These investigators have full law enforcement authority, including executing search warrants and making arrests," the statement said. 

As for concern about the type of bullets -- hollow points, which expand upon impact -- the statement said the type is "standard issue" and is used during "mandatory quarterly firearms qualifications and other training sessions."

The explanation is that contrary to basic economics and common bloody sense, the truth is (or so they claim) that Federal agencies really do give their officers the expensive combat ammo for range practice, instead of the more usual full metal jacket (FMJ) bullets, otherwise known as "hardball". That would be the kind of combat ammo that goes for more than a dollar a round at the store.

50 rounds of Federal HydraShok (JHP) in .40 S&W, 165 grain bullet costs $67.00 at the first store I googled. Same store, 1000 rounds of CCI hardball in .40 S&W, 165 grain bullet, $400.00. Which is $20.00 for 50 rounds. Buying in large quantity, US government agencies will probably be able to get their JHP combat ammo much cheaper, perhaps only DOUBLE what they'd pay for FMJ at -retail-.

Sadly, I believe this explanation. It fits their pattern of "price no object" behavior perfectly. I didn't think they'd be wasteful enough to burn JHP at the range, nobody does that. But it seems I was wrong. D'oh.

Still no word on why Dept.s of Agriculture, Education and Housing need their own SWAT teams though. Same reason probably, mission creep and too big a budget.

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." Robert J. Hanlon

"... but don't rule out malice." Robert A. Heinlein

The Phantom


robins111 said...

They shouldn't have agency specific police departments, the have far too many secret squirrel alphabet agencies as it is.. hollow point for target practice, please.. sounds like they are gearing up.. I wonder if anyone has tracked the location of the ammo depot, bet its the same for a whole bunch of these weird agencies.. scary..

The Phantom said...

I look at it this way Robbins. If they're lying here they're dangerous assholes. If they're telling the truth, and they really truly are burning up all that super expensive ammo for training,they're STUPID assholes... and still dangerous.

Hard to decide which is worse.

Anonymous said...

Dept of Agriculture likely has it's own SWAT team to deal with marijuana farming operations in National Forests.

HHS to deal with drug gangs in public housing projects.

The former I can sorta see. Normal SWAT teams have almost zero clue how to operate in non-built up areas, much less out in the woods. The latter? Use local police resources.