Ammo & Gear Reviews
Firearms Training Unit Detective Barbara J. Mattson of the Connecticut State Police holds up a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, the same make and model of gun used by Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook School shooting, for a demonstration during a hearing of a legislative subcommittee reviewing gun laws, at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Conn., Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill) Firearms Training Unit Detective Barbara J. Mattson of the Connecticut State Police holds up a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, the same make and model of gun used by Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook School shooting, for a demonstration during a hearing of a legislative subcommittee reviewing gun laws, at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Conn., Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)  

Rumor control: Did the Dept. of Homeland Security recently request to purchase 21,600,000 rounds of handgun ammo?

Mike Piccione
Editor, Guns & Gear

On February 5, 2013 the Department of Homeland Security issued a “Solicitation/Contract/Order for Commercial Item” for ammunition to be purchased and delivered to the DHS Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, New Mexico.

The ammunition being purchased is “Commercial Lead Training Ammo” — or CLTA, in government speak.

There are three components to the order:

1. .40 caliber, 165 grain jacketed hollow point rounds

2. 9mm, 115 grain jacketed hollow point rounds

3. 9mm, 124 grain ball ammunition

On February 7, three sources — the Examiner, The Blaze and  InfoWars – claimed that the DHS was adding 21,600,000 rounds of ammunition to its stockpile.

The next day, Investors.com reported the 21,600,000 round purchase by DHS.

The Daily Caller has reviewed the purchase solicitation and has determined that those reports are wildly inaccurate.

Section 20 of the solicitation outlines the “Schedule of Supplies/Services,” which details the purchase for each of the three components. The first two components, .40 caliber and 9mm 115 grain jhp rounds, specify 100,000 rounds to be priced per 1,000 rounds. The third component, 9mm 124 grain ball ammo, specifies 40,000 rounds to be priced per 1,000 rounds.

The incorrect caluclations that brought reporters to the 21.6 million number looks like this for each component:

1. .40 cal. 100,000 rounds x 100 quantities = 10,000,000 rounds

2. 9mm 115 grain, 100,000 rounds x 100 quantities = 10,000,000 rounds

3. 9mm 124 grain ball, 40,000 rounds x 40 quantities = 1,600,000 rounds

Total = 21,600,000 rounds

The problem with the equation is that the wrong numbers were used to calculate the delivery. The error in reporting occurred because the authors mistakenly failed to recognize that the delivery was to be priced per 1,000 rounds.

Here are the correct calculations:

1. .40 cal. 100 quantities of a 1,000 round unit = 100,000 rounds

2. 9mm 115 grain, 100 quantities of a 1,000 round unit = 100,000 rounds

3. 9mm 124 grain ball, 40 quantities of a 1,000 round unit = 40,000 rounds

Total = 240,000 rounds

To directly answer the rumors: Did the Department of Homeland Security just request to purchase 21,600,000 rounds of handgun ammo? No, not by a long shot.

They purchased 240,000 rounds. That amount is equivalent to just one round per employee of the Department of Homeland Security.