Controversy has spread this year over the amount of ammunition that various federal agencies have purchased. The Department of Homeland Security has purchased more than 1.2 billion rounds in the last six months alone. Now they have a new solicitation out for over 200 million more rounds of ammunition, some of which are used by snipers.

FedBizOpps website show that the DHS is looking to purchase 200 million rounds of .223 rifle ammunition over the next four years, as well as 176,000 rounds of .308 caliber 168 grain hollow point boat tail (HPBT) rounds in addition to 25,000 rounds of blank .308 caliber bullets.

What is the point of blank ammunition? Well it is good for putting on a show, but it's also useful in teaching those new to shooting to develop good trigger and breathing control.

James Smith writes concerning the sniper .308 ammunition,

The good news

One of the theories posited by so many commentators is the extremely large amount of ammunition purchased by the DHS. According to the same legal opinion (from the US Navy JAG), it is because trained soldiers are horrible sharpshooters:

Statistics from past wars suggest that this probability figure may be optimistic. In World War II, the United States and its allies expended 25,000 rounds of ammunition to kill a single enemy soldier. In the Korean War, the ammunition expenditure had increased four-fold to 100,000 rounds per soldier; in the Vietnam War, that figure had doubled to 200,000 rounds of ammunition for the death of a single enemy soldier. The risk to noncombatants is apparent.

Working the math out, that comes to only 7,600 people that DHS wants to kill, using the Korean War numbers. What luck!

The bad news

However, all of the “sniper” grade ammunition is being used by trained, or in-the-process-of-being-trained snipers.

The same legal opinion found that:

In contrast, United States Army and Marine Corps snipers in the Vietnam War expended 1.3 rounds of ammunition for each claimed and verified kill, at an average range of six hundred yards, or almost twice the three hundred meters cited above for combat engagements by the average soldier. Some verified kills were at ranges in excess of 1000 yards. This represents discrimination and military efficiency of the highest order, as well as minimization of risk to noncombatants. Utilization of a bullet that increases accuracy, such as the MatchKing, would further diminish the risk to noncombatants.

And that math comes out to be 135,384 potential kills for the snipers to make, using the 176,000 rounds of ammunition.

While I have pointed out that yes there are law enforcement agencies that must acquire ammunition and even qualify annually, the simple fact is that the federal government has demonstrated that it cannot be trusted. A prime example of the untrustworthiness of the federal government is the Fast and Furious scandal and the use of executive privilege involved in it.

While the Social Security Administration has come out and at least attempted to communicate something to the public about the reason for their purchase, DHS has failed to do so. This administration has been called one of the most dangerous administrations in our history. I think a little more forthcoming from DHS is in order. Meanwhile .223, .308 and various other calibers are still available to the public.....just sayin'.

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