Thursday, August 16, 2012


What Do They Know That We Don't

I can understand the Department of Homeland Security buying pistol ammunition. Security people often carry weapons and you need ammunition for them. For the record, they ordered 450 million rounds of .40 S&W hollow points. This is on top of an order a few years ago for 200 million of the same rounds. And I can understand the FBI ordering 100 million rounds of the same rounds. I can even understand the U.S. Fish and Wildlife buying 320,000 rounds for a variety of handguns and .223 and shotgun ammunition. Wildlife (and to a lesser degree fish) can be dangerous so the rangers and such need the ammunition.

But is there any reason, any reason at all, for the National Weather Service to buy 40,000 rounds of .40 S&W caliber, 180-grain jacketed hollow point (JHP) and another 6,000 rounds of frangible, 125-grain CFRHT .40 caliber? It's the weather guys. Apparently packing. God knows why.

And here is the social security administration buying 174,000 rounds of .357 Sig 125 grain bonded jacketed hollow point pistol ammunition? And now the SSA is hiding the details of the purchase.

Look, I have no problem with the choice of pistol cartridge. Both the .40 S&W and the .357 Sig are great rounds, real man-stoppers (as opposed to our military's less than optimum 9mm parabellum). The frangible round is perfect for self defense as it will only very rarely exit the target and hit someone else and it almost never ricochets, certainly never fatally. It's the departments buying the ammunition that is so puzzling.

Oh, and again for the record, hollow point rounds are illegal for military use under the Hague Convention of 1899. We only use full metal jacketed bullets on our enemies. Are these rounds meant for our enemies or our fellow citizens?

UPDATE: Rather than hide the purchase order, the SSA now is explaining it. OK, so the agency has 295 fraud investigating agents who are armed. That's over 590 bullets each, a brick plus. Hollowpoints are specialized bullets, not routinely used for target practice. (That's what the cheaper and less deadly FMJ or ball ammunition is for). What sort of action is the SSA expecting?

The most paranoid among the ones noticing these purchase orders think these huge purchases are a government plot to make ammunition more difficult to obtain by citizens, while the more cynical think it's just agencies using up the money given to them each year so they get more next fiscal year. Either way it seems a waste.

I corrected my mistake above that one of the Geneva Conventions banned hollowpoints and dum dum rounds.


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