DHS On The Hunt For Millions Of Rounds Of Frangible Ammunition

As I pointed out to you before, the Department of Homeland Security had nearly 264 million rounds of ammunition in their inventory at the beginning of Fiscal Year 2013. DHS also had roughly $37 million of taxpayer money to spend on ammunition as well. Though they have claimed that the Sequester has cut into their budget so much that they were releasing felons into the population, they continue their search for millions of rounds of ammunition, but this ammunition is specifically designed for the range.

Following the solicitations of over 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition last year, "Big Sis" has put out a new request for ammunition. This time they are looking for frangible ammunition. This type of ammunition is designed to "disintegrate into tiny particles upon impact to minimize their penetration for reasons of range safety, to limit environmental impact, or to limit the danger behind the intended target."

According to Global Security, "Frangible ammunition represents the first viable revolutionary change to firearms science in the past 100 years. Frangible ammunition is a relatively recent development in bullets, presenting a departure from the standard projectiles in use for both range shooting and personal protection. With the advent of modern hostage rescue tactics in the 1970s and 1980s, the military and police agencies began to look for ways to minimize over penetration risks. One widely-accepted solution was the frangible round, also known as the AET (Advanced Energy Transfer) round."

DHS' solicitation refers to the frangible ammo as "reduced hazard training ammunition." According to solicitation number HSFLGL-RFI-00056, DHS is requesting the following:

CALIBER TYPE; Acceptable Bullet Weight Range

  • 9MM Reduced Hazard, Frangible; 90 -105
  • 10MM Reduced Hazard, Frangible; 100-135
  • .357 SIG Caliber Reduced Hazard, Frangible; 100-115
  • .38 SPL Caliber Reduced Hazard, Frangible; 110-
  • .380 Auto Caliber Reduced Hazard, Frangible; 70-75
  • .40 S&W Caliber Reduced Hazard, Frangible; 100-135
  • .45 Auto Caliber Reduced Hazard, Frangible; 155-
  • .223 REM aliber Reduced Hazard, Frangible; 50-55
  • .308 WIN Caliber Jacketed, Reduced Hazard; 165-168
  • 12 Gauge Steel Shot Target Load, Reduced Hazard; #7
  • 12 Gauge #00 Buckshot Full Recoil, Reduced Hazard, Frangible; 8 PELLET
  • 12 Gauge #00 Buckshot Reduced Recoil, Reduced Hazard, Frangible; 8 PELLET
  • 12 Gauge #00 Buckshot Full Recoil, Reduced Hazard, Frangible; 9 PELLET
  • 12 Gauge #00 Buckshot Reduced Recoil, Reduced Hazard, Frangible; 9 PELLET
  • 12 Gauge Rifled Slug Full Recoil, Reduced Hazard, Frangible; 1 OZ
  • 12 Gauge Rifled Slug Reduced Recoil, Reduced Hazard, Frangible; 1 OZ 
  • 12 Gauge #4 Buckshot Full Recoil, Reduced Hazard, Frangible; 27 PELLET
  • 12 GAUGE #4 Buckshot Reduced Recoil, Reduced Hazard; 27 PELLET 

DHS also wants to know just how fast these manufacturers can turn out this ammunition. For instance, they as the following questions:

  • Are you capable of producing large quantity orders of any training caliber specified with a short turnaround time of 30-60 days?
  • What would your lead time be for an order of 2 million rounds of a single type listed above?
  • If you were awarded a contract for some of the calibers listed above, submitted a production lot of one million rounds and that lot or portion of the lot was not accepted, would you be able to replace that order with an additional one million rounds within 60 days?

You can read about the differences of terminal ballistics between frangible rounds and others here. Most people commenting on the frangible rounds say they would not use them, though there are exceptions of those that would use them in a home defense setting.

The problem is that with budget tightening, is the purchase of frangible ammunition frugal? The answer is both yes and no. It is more expensive than full metal jacket ammo, but usually less expensive than defense ammunition (hollow points). They are also considered to be safer, as they are designed to be "lead free," and additionally, as the video below indicates, the user can recycle the copper and recoup some of the money spent on the ammunition.

Could these be used away from the range? Of course, but experts say they are used for scenarios where you don't want over penetration.

This switch to frangible ammunition is interesting in light of the fact that the Government Accountability Office is "just getting underway" with an investigation on DHS ammo purchases. USNews reports:

The congressional investigative agency is jumping into the fray just as legislation was introduced in both the Senate and the House to restrict the purchase of ammo by some government agencies (except the Department of Defense). The AMMO Act, introduced Friday, would prevent agencies from buying more ammunition if "stockpiles" are greater than what they were in previous administrations.

Donelle Harder, a spokeswoman for Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., who introduced the legislation in the Senate, tells Whispers the bill would also require GAO to share the findings of its report on DHS purchases with Congress.

Officials at DHS have denied to both Whispers and lawmakers that it is stockpiling ammunition. The Associated Press reported in February that DHS wanted to buy more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition, but DHS officials testified last week it was only planning to buy up to 750 million.

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  • http://twitter.com/PaladinFirearms PaladinFirearms

    Frangible ammo is designed for one purpose and one purpose only and that is to cause severe tissue trauma and damage.

    A recent poll provided that 39% of Americans believe an armed revolution is needed to correct what is wrong with America; 47% believe civil disobedience on a national scale is needed.

    Now, if you've never shot a gun at the range; the range is the LAST place you need frangible ammunition. I'll explain why.

    At the range you are shooting at paper targets. How do you over-penetrate a paper target?

    At the range, indoors you have a plate steel backstop and bullet trap that is angled and designed to literally deflect, catch and trap bullets all the way up to the incredible 50 caliber anti aircraft round.

    At the range, outdoors you are shooting into a berm... a massive hill of dirt. How do you over penetrate dirt?

    The FBI sets the standards for ammunition performance for virtually every single government agency. This includes bullet penetration (a bullet must penetrate at least 14 inches of ballistic gelatin), car windshields and car doors, and expansion (meaning it cannot fall apart - ergo no frangible ammunition).

    A frangible bullet can do NONE of those things because it is designed to break apart upon impact.

    I'm not saying what the DHS is really preparing for since only they know, what I am saying is their explanations so far have been complete lies based solely on the design and purpose of the rounds they are trying to procure.

    You decide.

    • axmickl

      Your explanation for the FBI standard is correct if you are talking about full metal jacket rounds. That standard only applies to that round at a specific powder load weight.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kay-F-Ferguson/1611135655 Kay F. Ferguson

    Ramping up for a domestic distraction to the Benghazi fiasco. We have a regime of un-American, lying commies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.shepherd.77312 James Shepherd

    ANYONE that BELIEVES the DHS on these ammunition buys is just in denial or ridiculously ignorant. They (DHS) are in the preparatory stages of an ILLEGAL ATTACK on American citizens. Obama wants to be a Stalinesk 'Chairman of the American Communist Party' regardless of his future denial that You can be SURE is also already written.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Davison/1087661410 Dave Davison

    Not sure what you call "recent" but they used frangible 30-06 ammunition to train machine gunners during WW II. It was not used for combat.

  • http://twitter.com/AlRoberts3 Al Roberts

    DHS does not NEED any ammo at all. They are NOT LAW Enforcement as that is ONLY for the locals and state. The FBI is restricted to bank robberies, kidnappings and etc. And they really aren't need for any of those either.
    Border Patrol has been instructed to RUN. So they can't be used as an excuse to buy ammo. No. This is Obama's BROWN SHIRT civilian army. They are to be used AGAINST the American citizens who GET OUT OF LINE.

  • DanielAllison

    Those things are usually sold in boxes of five or ten rounds as opposed to twenty or twenty five rounds of standard ammo and cost about three times as much per box. They are too damn expensive for practice. They will set you back $3.00 or more a shot at last years prices. A lot more than that now. Smoke and mirrors my friends. We are talking about $40.00 or more to load a Glock. They are designed to do one thing and one thing only, shoot people and stay in the first one hit. They are not for target practice, they are for personal defense and marketed as such.

    • axmickl

      Don't know where you got your pricing info but frangible ammo is close to the same price as hollow point. Try looking at Gander mountain web site. most of their ammo is frangible and its price is not high.

    • DanielAllison

      It is clear that you have no idea what frangible ammo is. Most of Gander Mountain ammo is NOT frangible. Frangible ammo is designed to break into many small pieces. It is quite expensive. There are not all that many manufacturers of this type of ammo. CCI and Federal are two makers of that type of projectile and they sell in packages of twelve for about $2 a pop last time I bought some. Likely higher now.

    • axmickl

      Did you go to gander mountain's web site before you posted your reply? Much of their ammo is listed as frangible and many are non lead. Please don't make disparaging comments out of ignorance. It lowers any esteem we might of had for you.

    • DanielAllison

      Yes I did and Cabela's also and I stand by what I said. Non-lead copper bullets are not frangible. An expanding round is not a frangible round. You simply do not understand what a "frangible" round is, therefore any further discussion is pointless. Non the less I wish you well and may God bless you.

    • DanielAllison

      If you really want to learn about frangible ammo, then try this, http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/frangible.htm I look forward to your apology for the ignorant statement.

  • Its_Alive

    After the damage the "shootout" in Boston caused to many neighboring homes, autos and other property, I'm not at all surprised that they're looking for such ammo.

    They're quite possibly anticipating an increase in live-fire situations in urban environments, or perhaps areas where many people congregate (sporting events, parades, malls, etc.). We could only speculate as to why that might be.

    And the timeline (30-60 days) also makes one wonder what the rush is.


    • http://twitter.com/AlRoberts3 Al Roberts

      Gung ho exmilitary who were criminals when they were in battle come back and haven't got to shoot at a person in several years. The thrill was "just overwhelming", so much so that they COULDN'T HIT THE BROAD SIDE OF A BARN.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matheus.grunt Matheus Grunt

    DHS isn't even a lawful agency. They're taking our money to buy ammo while they strip the supply of it so WE can't buy any? F--k them. I can't wait to see this agency along with many many others get dismantled one day.

    • vet

      Untraceable rounds Hmmmm.Hollow points were outlawed in combat because of the damage they do when they open up.Now we have bullets that will break up into millions of little pieces that will do far more damage to a person and are untraceable to the gun that was used.If you don't want to have to loose the gun that was used what better way of hiding the ballistics.The perfect assassin's round.

    • lfhpueblo

      The perfect DHS assassin's round.

  • A. Levy

    "Could these be used away from the range? Of course, but experts say
    they are used for scenarios where you don’t want over penetration

    In a dense urban setting perhaps? It seems like Butch Napilitano is using the words "practice and target shooting" quite a bit. Is that how she believes we'll be thrown off? Is that word game meant to call the dogs off?

  • R.Young

    All Ammunition produced must belong to the Government!

    • FIRE1949

      I hope your statement was intended as satire. Otherwise, may GOD help you, 'cuz I won't.

    • R.Young

      Looking at it the way the Regime does everything is Property of the Regime and what you believe to be your Property is not, it is actually Property of the Regime and you are just the custodian of the Regime's Property!