NZ Army sells bad Bullets to the Public?

Filed under Random Grumps & Raves
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This story was reported in the Dominion Post, NZ Herald and in

The New Zealand Defence Force bought $590,000 worth of bullets for the army’s Steyr rifles, despite the manufacturer warning they were useless.  The stock of 5.56mm ball ammunition had worked well in the past, but when the manufacturer changed the alloy content, they could no longer be fired accurately because the bullets disintegrated as they came out of the barrel, the Dominion Post reported.

Army spokesman Kristian Dunne said the ammunition was bought for use on the Ardmore range, south of Auckland and their reduced range overcame the danger that a ricochet would fall outside the safety zone.

I don’t know about you, but the way I read that, the bullets are supposed to be safer on a short target range.  But because they disintegrate they are inaccurate.  Yet the army sold the 1,284,220 rounds of ammunition to Gun City in Christchurch for between $300,000 and $350,000, meaning a loss of around $240,000.  Gun City director David Tipple said he had sold a large quantity of the ammunition to a United States wholesaler and kept the rest.  I doubt that either Gun City or the US wholesaler intend to use the bullets as ornaments.

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp said the army’s decision to sell the ammunition was appropriate and the best way to minimise the cost to the taxpayer.

Someone please tell me that the NZ Army has not sold sub-standard, potentially dangerous ammunition to a dealer, to be sold on to public purchasers in NZ or overseas.  All for no better reason than to minimise the loss they would suffer as a result of incompetent purchasing.  Please please convince me that is not true.  Please convince me that the Dominion, NZ Herald and “Stuff” have been guilty of shoddy journalism and failures in sub-editing.

Because right now, I am disgusted with what the Dominion, Herald and “Stuff” reports appear to reveal about the army and the Minister of Defence.


NZ Herald Article: article:

One Comment

  1. JED says:

    The ammo is saqfe to use – it is just unsuitable to use in the Army rifles because the rifling in their barrels spin them too fast and they come apart in the air after leaving the barrel.

    Most civilian rifles are older and have slwer twist rifling so the bullet are not spun as fast. They do not disintergrate when fired from the correct type of barrel.

    The bullets are not as strong so they will break up when they hit the ground – as a safety feature to prevent them bouncing off the ground and out of rifle ranges.

    They are weak enough so they come apart if spun too fast.
    But are perfectly safe to fire from suitable civilian firearms.

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