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Thread: FBI ammo purchases

  1. #1

    FBI ammo purchases

    I am having trouble figuring this out. I have read that the FBI recently contracted with Winchester, Hornady and Federal for duty ammo over the next several years. I have variously read they have accepted 135 gr +p 9mm flexlock and 175gr flexlock .40 from hornady and 147 gr bonded 9mm and 180 gr bonded .40 from Winchester and are only buying training ammo from Federal. Elsewhere I read that they also accepted Federal hydra shok deep from Federal.

    I understand they contract with multiple suppliers to have adequate coverage but am confused by their choices. I have never really paid any attention to the Hornady Critical Duty ammo and was unaware the feds liked it, and am confused that they are accepting different weight bullets in the same calibers. I was also unaware they have ever looked at the Hydra Shok Deep stuff which has the post in it.

    I don't really care what the FBI chooses and I know what I feel works well, but I know many agencies get all wobbly in the knees about issuing what the feds do.

    So I am wondering if anyone can shed any light on whether the above information is correct and if not, what the ammo du jour is in fed land and perhaps any other interesting info.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jd950 View Post
    I don't really care what the FBI chooses and I know what I feel works well, but I know many agencies get all wobbly in the knees about issuing what the feds do.
    During my 20 something years in federal law enforcement for Treasury / Homeland Security, it was rare that the carry ammo issued from one quarterly qualification to the next was the same. Whether it was sub-sonic, hydra-shok, silver tips, black talon, federal, winchester, speer, etc. If you were expecting consistency you'd have lived an angst ridden life.

    Since retirement and having to purchase my own ammo, I refer to Doc's list, pick a great round, buy it in sufficient quantity to last me a while, and call it good.

    I love most of my brethren at the FBI, but I don't lose a minute of sleep over what gun they choose this year or the round they are feeding into it.

    YMMV.
    “Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” - Sun Tzu | "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson

  3. #3
    I am well familiar with the recommended ammo list and I am comfortable with my ammo preferences. I am just curious. Well, mostly curious, but I may find myself being issued new ammo in the not-to-distant future based on the FBI choices. The people who decide these things are often swayed by the ammo the feds chose, the guns NYPD chooses, etc. I don't have complete control over my ammo choice.

    Really not trying to start a "which brand/caliber/weight" thing, just curious about what the FBI really is contracting for and why the changes.

  4. #4
    The FBI did enter into a contract with Hornady for 135gr +P Critical Duty, and I think training ammunition. This was to supplement the contract for the 147gr G2, not replace it.

    @HCM

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jd950 View Post
    Really not trying to start a "which brand/caliber/weight" thing, just curious about what the FBI really is contracting for and why the changes.
    The most probable objective being pursued―as it is with most large bureaucracies―is meeting budgetary constraints with everything else be-damned.
    ''Politics is for the present, but an equation is for eternity.'' ―Albert Einstein

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TC215 View Post
    The FBI did enter into a contract with Hornady for 135gr +P Critical Duty, and I think training ammunition. This was to supplement the contract for the 147gr G2, not replace it.

    @HCM
    Going back to the OP, other agencies, especially state and local agencies and smaller federal agencies pay attention to what the FBI does with regard to ammunition for two reasons:

    1) The FBI has the money and resources to do thorough, rigorous and scientific / repeatable testing of ammunition performance. This includes both terminal performance and how they perform in weapons in terms of reliability / durability issues and human performance. This was most apparent in the various 40 caliber loads adopted in attempts to address durability issues with Glock 40s and human performance issues caused by excessive recoil.

    2) On the state and local side many LE managers attend the FBI National Academy and consider what the FBI does in May areas “best practice.” In terms of ammo testing this is true. As Doc GKR has said doing ammo testing is easy, doing it properly is hard.

    Unlike most DHS agencies which buy ammo centrally and distribute it via internal channels or drop shipping, my understanding is each FBI Office gets an ammo budgets and buys off approved contracts for training and duty ammo according to their needs. They also use separate training and duty ammo.

    I have not heard anything about current purchases of Hydra shock deep.

    Re: G2, my understanding is the intention is to eventually standardize on the Critical duty load. It is also my understanding that the FBI originally wanted critical duty ammo and when they wrote the specifications for duty ammo with goo in the HP but Speer submitted the G2 and snatched the contract. I don’t see G2 going away immediately as Hornady is a relatively small ammo company and there is some question whether Hornady can maintain their current QC levels at higher volume,

  7. #7
    Interesting article, but here are some particularly enlightening excerpts:

    "We needed the twist rate to spin fast enough so that bullets don’t fly sideways,” Emary recalled. “Glock had a 1:10-inch twist for 9mm, while Ruger and SIG [Sauer] had a 1:16, and Smith [& Wesson] used a 1:183⁄8-inch twist.
    ...
    We found that those bullets fired out of slower twist rates would start tumbling if they touched anything."
    By 2017, the FBI had selected the Glock 17M and 19M
    It was at the ballistics center that results from muzzle energy, penetration, accuracy, temperature sensitivity (-40 F to 140 F) and weight retention were measured and put in a scoring matrix. The FBI observed that bonded bullets beat Critical Duty a little on glass, but Critical Duty beat everyone on uniformity. Ultimately, the contest came down to performance through glass where Critical Duty’s uniformity, terminal performance and accuracy won the day. Notably, the FBI reported that the Critical Duty 9mm 135-grain load was the most accurate 9mm round that they had ever fired.
    https://www.gunsandammo.com/editoria...ty-load/325989
    Last edited by 0ddl0t; 04-14-2019 at 09:46 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0ddl0t View Post
    Interesting article, but here are some particularly enlightening excerpts:


    Thanks for the link - that looks like an interesting read..




    https://www.gunsandammo.com/editoria...ty-load/325989

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    “We needed the twist rate to spin fast enough so that bullets don’t fly sideways,” Emary recalled. “Glock had a 1:10-inch twist for 9mm, while Ruger and SIG [Sauer] had a 1:16, and Smith [& Wesson] used a 1:183⁄8-inch twist. Nobody even thinks about it now, but that was a bit of a fight in 2011. We found that those bullets fired out of slower twist rates would start tumbling if they touched anything. That said, Critical Duty really benefited the handgun industry. They all use a faster twist rate like a 1:10 now.”
    Wondering why this hasn't been observed with .38 caliber bullets (all of .002" larger) of similar and heavier weights at lower velocities...

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by revchuck38 View Post
    Wondering why this hasn't been observed with .38 caliber bullets (all of .002" larger) of similar and heavier weights at lower velocities...
    I've always wondered the same. There are only millions of revolvers out there with that twist pushing bullets slower and faster to no ill effect.

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