Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ammo Shortage

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are making it tough on deer hunters and police training here in the United States.

With US troops firing off around a billion rounds a year in Asia, there's an ammunition shortage here in America. Ammo prices are up 10-15% and police departments are having to wait a year for bullets they've ordered.

The Associated Press found the shortage shooting down police training all over the country. Al Tompkins summed up their findings at "Al's Morning Meeting:"
  • In Oklahoma City, officers cannot qualify with AR-15 rifles because the department does not have enough .223-caliber ammunition -- a round similar to that fired by the military's M-16 and M4 rifles. Last fall, an ammunition shortage forced the department to cancel qualification courses for several different guns.

  • In Milwaukee, supplies of .40-caliber handgun bullets and .223-caliber rifle rounds have gotten so low that the department has repeatedly dipped into its ammunition reserves. Some weapons training has already been cut by 30 percent, and lessons on rifles have been altered to conserve bullets.

  • In Trenton, NJ, a lack of available ammunition led the city to give up plans to convert its force to .45-caliber handguns.

  • The sheriff's department in Bergen County, NJ, had to borrow 26,000 rounds of .40-caliber ammunition to complete twice-a-year training for officers.

  • In Phoenix, an order for .38-caliber rounds placed a year ago has yet to arrive, meaning no officer can currently qualify with a .38 Special revolver.

  • In Wyoming, the state leaned on its ammunition suppler earlier this year so every state trooper could qualify on the standard-issue AR-15 rifle,. Rifle rounds scheduled to arrive in January did not show up until May, leading to a rush of troopers trying to qualify by the deadline.
The Lubbock, Texas PD usually goes through hundreds of thousands of bullets in a year. It used to take them a couple of months to get bullets shipped to them. Now, it takes 10-12 months for an order to arrive. That makes it hard to plan practice sessions -- and the police shooting range is a lot quieter these days as a result. (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal/Baltimore Sun)

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