Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Why Is The U.S. Buying Almost 600,000 AK-47 Magazines?

February 11, 2014 American Thinker reports on the U.S. military's request for bids on almost 600,000 AK-47 magazines, 30 round capacity, and points out that even if this is to support the Syrian rebels, the quantity makes no sense:
That many magazines would require 17.8 million rounds just fill each magazine once. What nation or even what moderate Syrian rebel group needs that kind of firepower?  That request is far beyond what is needed by any nation that issues AK's to its soldiers except Russia and China. Of course, the US armed forces do not use AK rifles as standard issue.
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/02/another_strange_obama_admininstration_arms_purchase.html#ixzz2t3WHDTs9 Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook
Seriously: almost 600,000 magazines?  A soldier typically goes into combat carrying perhaps 500 rounds, and not all of it is necessarily in magazines.  Some is in stripper clips for rapid reloading, but the shear bulk of the magazines really discourages carrying more than about ten magazines of this size.  Sure, you lose some in combat operations.  But are we preparing to arm 50,000 soldiers in Syria who do not already have magazines?  Really?

A cynic could wonder if the goal is to make AK-47 magazines so scarce and expensive that civilians here could not buy them.

UPDATE: Some of my readers believe that this is providing magazines to not only Syrian resistance, but a number of other Central Asian allies that still have lots of AK-47s in use.


PhaseMargin said...

Perhaps they are arming the Afghans?

Kirk Parker said...

Yeah, this is another one of those "They're Making It Very Hard Not To Be A Conspiracy Theorist" moments.

TM Lutas said...

No worries, in the age of personal manufacturing supply catches up with demand very fast. All they're doing is bringing up the date when gun control becomes technically impossible because we've socialized that we make our own.

If they try to outlaw personal manufacture, I would take it as a bigger threat to liberty than full blown gun illegalization and I already take that threat very seriously.

Sigivald said...

Given that it says only contractors who've already worked with them will be given a solicitation, it can't be a way to "buy all the magazines so we can't get any".

They have to be new production, steel magazines, and I suspect they also have to be US-made.

Given that last I checked it's still legal to import magazines, and maybe a dozen companies make plastic or bakelite AK magazines, such an attempt wouldn't work.

I suspect the strangely specific number of magazines is a derived maximum and what Picatinny actually wants is a smaller number for (destructive) testing.

Ian Argent said...

6-7 magazines per soldier, x2-x3 for spares and training, across all the allied militaries that use the AK and are subsidized by Uncle Sam, and you're not actually talking all that many soldiers equipped after all.

Plus Sigivald's point, these aren't the magazines being bought by civilians anyway.

Geodkyt said...

Also, the wording of the synopsis indicates to me that this is an RFP to order up to these number of magazines, over an unspecified timeframe (probably no more than two or three years, based on current acquisitions SOP).

It’s also nice, for FMS purposes on small durable consumeables like these, to have a bunch on hand for future needs. If a new ally needs a bunch all of a sudden because a new war breaks out, it’s a little late to toss out procurement RFPs for stuff that requires new manufacture over and above current production. . .