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The DHS and Their Ammunition Hording: Should You be Worried?

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posted on Sep, 22 2012 @ 03:23 PM
While I am not the ‘black helicopter behind every tree’ type, this one makes me curious. I am sure you heard of the DHS buying up lots of ammunition. This coming from a guy for whom ‘too many bullets’ is almost an inconceivable notion. There are those who are assured this means an imminent lock down on our streets is right around the corner.

While I have no insider information to confirm or deny that outcome, I am very curious on the quantities. I reload my own ammunition. If the DHS is buying up every spare bullet on the planet, the prices for reloading components are going to shoot through the roof if you can even get them at all. Ammunition manufactures love when the government purchase their wares. It’s not like when a normal person who can actually operate a calculator purchases something from them. But, on the surface, I do wonder why do they need these amounts? Let’s put it in perspective.

The DoD, in the middle of two wars, purchased around 1.8 billion rounds per year. At least last year. The DoD employs around 3.2 million trigger pullers.

That amounts to around 560 bullets per trigger puller per year. That sounds like a lot but when you use it at this rate: is easy to see how the quantities add up.

The DHS is a cabinet department which umbrellas other agencies.

They employ around 200,000 people. They have a lot of folks who need to shoot either in practice or in the course of real life. But just how many? This is harder to find. There are those on the Internet who claim 200,000 people will fire up a lot of ammunition. Could be. But does every single one of those 200,000 carry a gun? There are no administrative or logistics folks? No department heads? Every single employee of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Environmental Measurements Laboratory, and the National Domestic Preparedness Office all wake up in the morning, roll out of bed and commence to runnin’ and gunnin’ till the whistle blows and it’s time to go home? I find that hard to believe.

For arguments sake let’s assume a quarter, 25%, of the DHS employees need to shoot. If you think this is too low, you have no idea how many Federal employees it takes to not do a lot. So, 50,000. Got it. They need to practice, need to carry magazines on the job, etc. They will need bullets. Let’s look at how many the DHS has provided them.

Here are some charts to help see it.

If this is accurate, since 2008, the DHS has ordered in the neighborhood of 1.8 Billion rounds of ammunition. If we take our 25,000 employees and give them an even amount of that 1.8 billion rounds (forget different calibers, different departments, etc. for a second) how many does each get? That’s about 72,000 rounds per employee for the 5 year period. Or 14,400 per employee per year. (I sure hope my public school math isn't showing). Let’s say our 25,000 was off target and go with every single employee toting a shootin’ iron. That’s still 9000 per employee per the 5 year period or 1800 per employee per year.

That’s a lot of shooting. My guess is we are closer to the 14,400 than we are the 1800. I am also guessing there is no way DHS gun carriers are practicing that much. If they are, when are they out on the streets actually doing their duties? We must have a government agency full of crack shots by now. Once they retire from the DHS they can all join the circus as trick shooters.

Does this portend the DHS is planning a takeover of out fair country? I don’t know. Is this a simple case of government bureaucrats, drunk on the tax payer dollar, trying frantically to spend every dime they get to ensure next year they get more? Maybe.

If I were to be convinced the DHS is planning on locking down the US in some sort of Soviet era, throw back, police state, I will need to see more than ammunition sales receipts. It will take more than a few bullets to make this happen. I'm not saying it could never happen, I just don't see a causality between the lock down and the ammunition sales.

And for those who think I am blind, do the math on the other side of the equation. Who would those DHS agents face? Fellow Americans, which is another story but... How many guns do Americans own? Estimates are around 200,000,000. What were the total commercial ammunition sales last year? Granted a more difficult number to pin down but if each of those 200,000,000 firearms had 25 rounds of ammunition per year, that is 5 BILLION rounds sold per year. Any idea how much the average gun owner has on hand at any one time? Not too many are forthcoming with that information. My guess is over 25.

posted on Sep, 22 2012 @ 03:56 PM
I think you raise a couple interesting points.... First and foremost, I agree with the idea that it takes more than ammunition to have a police state. A LOT more...and they don't have it. I make it closer to 240,000 by the 2013 budget areas dealing with executive branch salary types by department but that's splitting hairs for the comparison to mega-millions of citizens who would need controlled. This is from, not exactly the pillar of the pro-Gun I tend to take what they say as fairly accurate since it's not showing the direction they'd tend to like anyway,

That's a lot of guns! ....on the citizen side.
Even the military weapons that exist are meager and kinda pathetic by comparison of pure numbers. It does put a harsh light on manpower and how much could even be brought up in a worst case, all hands involved kind of effort.

You bring up a much more important point though and it's just started to cross my mind as well. Just what IS the ammunition manufacturing capacity for bullets and how much do they need to order to max that for awhile and make artificial shortages like re-loaders experienced a couple years ago? I well recall the quota purchase limits on Primers and Powder because of literal supply shortages, not by any regulatory efforts..... Obama coming to power did that. Now if DHS has the production capacity locked up for their own orders...we'll pay out the nose and THEN some for basic components. Very true there. Now might be a dandy time for another factory tour of the Sierra Bullet factory and a peak at what they have in their big barrels of factory second bullets for sale.

Many a bargain can be found in their little factory store here in Missouri.

posted on Sep, 22 2012 @ 04:09 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

Yeah, the math is just rough put things in perspective.

With the reloading components, that is my concern too.
I remember the big primer shortage a few years back. Insane.

It's also something most folks do not consider. Everyone focuses on the guns but the guns are useless without ammunition. That never gets a headline. Tie up component production and no one can shoot unless they have their own stash.

posted on Sep, 22 2012 @ 05:41 PM
reply to post by ABNARTY

Exactly...I've tried mentally war gaming this out in a SHTF scenario. I just think back to the ice storm and 2 weeks of absolutely nothing to compare with for making do.

We can make brass work that each owns or scrounges over time...that can last decades or far longer to be honest.

Lead is getting to be...a challenge just by availability without paying much for it.

Copper makes even bigger problems for bullets. Many of us could, if needed, smelt and press lead bullets. How many could even joke about Copper? How? Where would one even start?

Even gun powder...or perhaps especially gunpowder can be made at home if necessary. It'll be a wild time getting mixture to burn rates down in a repeatable way and that art is something I could see becoming a real craft in itself.

The one thing we're cooked on, as reloaders in a world where buying more supplies isn't primers. Can't make those and they're literally little explosives contained in a shaped charge when it's all stripped away and simplified... That's the biggest concern I think.

posted on Sep, 22 2012 @ 06:24 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

My first plan is to use what I have. Hopefully that will last, well, a really long time.

After that? You hit it on the head, how does one 'make' primers? Burn rates
good luck with that. I have no answer.

Might have to go a little retro with a black powder or flintlock or something. A pointy stick perhaps?

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