Thursday, August 16, 2012

Don't panic over every round

Exactly how much ammo is the U.S. government buying for domestic consumption?

It's getting hard to track all the orders.  Have we hit a billion rounds yet?

I'm still having trouble getting past some of the exaggerations and inaccuracies in reporting on some of the ammo buys. Those chronicling the government ammo buys are getting hung up on a few things that betrays a lack of shooting expertise or knowledge.

For example, Russia Today reports the Department of Homeland Security has completed purchase of 750 million rounds. No. At best, DHS has awarded contracts to be filled over a five year span. And those contracts likely give DHS an out if it decides it doesn't want to buy that much after all. Still, yes, DHS appears to be a glutton with severe cravings for ammo.

Meanwhile, The Blaze treats .357 SIG the same as .357 Magnum. One's for a semi-auto, the other's a revolver round. (Click here for a photo comparison of the two rounds). The .357 SIG was specifically developed as a compact law enforcement round, and many state and local agencies use it.

Many of the reports are also getting hung-up on orders for rounds with hollow-point bullets. Bottom line, hollow-points offer more stopping power because they mushroom on impact. And they're less likely to go through a target and into a bystander who may be behind the target. And yes, hollow-points can be used for practice. Different ammo configurations give different feels when fired. It's generally best to practice with the ammo you'll carry on duty.

And for those expressing concern about powerful handgun rounds being purchased, you've gotta remember cops and security guards sometimes find themselves up against perps in body armor. If you've got a mass shooting in progress, you want a round that will do more than just bounce off the bad guy's chest.

I continue to think the amount of ammo being sought by Homeland Security is significant for its excess. And I've never been a fan of each federal agency having its own armed enforcement division. But I also question why so many are falling for the sensational spin that now accompanies what appear to be routine (by today's standards) ammunition orders by other government agencies.

One more thought: Has anyone in Congress challenged or made inquiries regarding government ammo purchases for domestic use? I've actually found a Republican congressman's website that praises the DHS bulk ammo buy. But it's so over the top, I think I'll post it separately.

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