Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Serious Problem

BATFE is proposing a ban on .223 ammunition.
In a move clearly intended by the Obama Administration to suppress the acquisition, ownership and use of AR-15s and other .223 caliber general purpose rifles, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives unexpectedly announced today that it intends to ban commonplace M855 ball ammunition as “armor piercing ammunition.” The decision continues Obama’s use of his executive authority to impose gun control restrictions and bypass Congress.
 There are provisions in federal law for banning armor-piercing handgun ammo, but that definition includes:
“a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and which is constructed entirely . . . from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium.”
 M855 does not have that sort of core.  BATFE is pursuing this to make ammo scarce for AR-15 rifles.  It appears that for all the antigunners claim that the insurrectonary model of the Second Amendment is out of date and impractical, Obama obviously thinks otherwise.  Or he is doing it just to mess with us.  BATFE is accepting wriiten comment by letter and email until March 16.

1 comment:

hga said...

Really hard to say what the BATFE is trying to do here, besides screw us to a small degree.

I don't get the impression that (X)M885 ammo is a big part of the market, for most? purposes cheaper all lead plus jacket (X)M193 is preferred. And ATK running the government's plant at Lake City, Missouri is still producing the latter.

Which brings up one or two entities this will most certainly screw: ATK and the government. Because the significant availability of this ammo comes from two win-win-win aspects of ATK's contract with the government:

First, the government can simply cancel a order, as they conveniently did for 100 million rounds of M193 in the summer of 2008. ATK, which had already ordered up the material to make it, simply ran it off the government's equipment and sold it to us with an 'X' prepended to the designation, slightly alleviating the post-2008 election ammo shortage (only so much, that's "only" 100,000 1,000 round boxes, in a market that produces quite a bit over 10 billion rounds a year (I think it's now reaching 14 billion, from which you can subtract 3 billion rimfire, and I don't know how many shotshells; the NSSF ought to have breakdowns at that level)).

Second, if a lot of ammo fail the milspec tests like sealant application and effectiveness but is still safe, it is sold to us.

So one way or another, sooner or later, the government will be paying more money for this ammo.

As for total availability, certainly it'll decrease, then again Remington (also a part of ATK; well, before the company split in two very recently) will be well rewarded for their Arkansas plant expansion; as far as I know, they're the only entity that made a permanent capacity expansion since everyone has been worried about when the unprecedented demand will drop, and there's a lot of up-front capital and a long lead time required for the specialized machines that make ammo.