An Update on the Milsurp Brass Topic

I listened to Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk show via podcast this afternoon. The second hour he had Gordon Hutchison, author of The Great New Orleans Gun Grab, on to discuss the subject, and Tom also got Larry Haynie, owner of Georgia Arms on the phone, since this whole thing apparently started with him. Haynie reported that he had bid on and won an auction for 30,000 lbs of brass, mostly 5.56, with some 7.62 and .50BMG. He had sent his check, and was making arrangements to ship the brass late last week when he received notification that new DOD rules were in effect and that the brass had to be destroyed rather than reloaded. He immediately sent out emails to all and sundry, and Gordon Hutchinson was on his email list. After the show on Sunday, Gordon posted an extensive piece. Quoting:

From now on, remanufacturers of military brass will not be able to buy surplus brass from DOD–actually from Government Liquidators, llc.–the corporation that sells surplus materials for the U.S. government. At least, not in any form recognizable as once-fired brass ammunition.

Now all brass ammunition will have to be shredded, and sold as scrap.

Georgia Arms, who brought this to our attention, is the 5th largest ammunition manufacturer of centerfire pistol and rifle ammunition in the U.S.

“We’re right up there behind Hornady,” Larry Haynie told me.

He also told me with the cancellation of his contract to purchase this brass, and the ending of his ability to purchase any more expended military ammunition, he will have to severely curtail his operation–laying off approximately half his 60-person work force.

Haynie further pointed out this move is a stupendous waste of taxpayer money–reducing the worth of the brass some 80%–from casings, to shredded bulk brass.

He stated most of this will now go to foundries where it will be melted down, cast in shippable forms, and likely be sold to China, one of the largest purchasers of U.S. metals on the open market.

Haynie was manufacturing over 1 million rounds of .223 ammunition every month, which he sold on the civilian market to resellers, and to law enforcement agencies across the country.

He will start tomorrow sending cancellations of orders for .223 to law enforcement agencies all over the country.

Actually, during the conversation Haynie stated that Georgia Arms loads approximately 1.2 million rounds of just .223 a month, and has about three months worth of inventory left before he will have to start laying people off.

I recommend you read the whole piece.

And write your Congresscritters.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: 3/17 – It’s over. We won. Georgia Arms now has this message up on their homepage:

Dear Loyal Customers,

Thanks to your voice, DOD has rescinded the order to mutilate all spent cases as of 4:30 pm on 3/17/09. We appreciate the time and effort that you expended, together we all made a difference. We will be posting the email we received from DOD as well as any additional information within the next 12-16 hours. Thanks so much and lets get to work!!!

Damn! That was quick! Good for us!

I Haven’t Done This in a While

I Haven’t Done This in a While

One Ruben Navarrette, Jr. has a piece in last Sunday’s Fresno Bee that is quite fiskworthy. It’s been a while since I fisked a piece in its entirety. Let us proceed:

Gun-running between U.S., Mexico must stop

It’s time for the American people to stop living in a state of denial and get serious about stopping gun shipments into Mexico.

It’s past time for the American government to stop living in a state of denial and get serious about BORDER SECURITY – in BOTH directions.

Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan, has noted that as many as 2,000 weapons enter Mexico from the U.S. every day — most of them through Texas and Arizona, and many of them are purchased legally at gun shows and gun stores.

And that number is what fraction, pray tell, of the number of illegal aliens “undocumented workers” who come across the border each day in the other direction?

Many of the transactions come in “straw purchases,” where drug traffickers use Americans — including friends and relatives — to buy guns.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives estimates that 90% of the firearms confiscated in drug crimes in Mexico come from the United States, and some of the shipments can be enormous.

Which again illustrates graphically that the BATFE is a whirling vortex of suck at DOING THEIR JOB, doesn’t it? Instead of investigating “straw purchases” etc., they seem to spend an extraordinary amount of time screwing with manufacturers after changing the rules on them without warning, or pursuing typographical errors instead of, you know, known criminals because, I suspect, legitimate businessmen (unlike drug dealers) don’t shoot at you when you screw with them.

Both Americans and Mexicans tend to think of the border as the end of the Earth. It isn’t. It’s a turnstile.

Not even. Turnstiles at least provide an opportunity to slow the flow.

When someone goes north looking for work, Mexicans naively assume they have seen the last of him. And when guns go south looking for trouble, Americans assume the same about the havoc they create.

Ah! And here we have it! Witness, ladies and gentlemen, the fundamental flaw of The Other Side, the inability (some would argue conscious refusal) to Identify the Problem. Read that phrase again: “. . . when guns go south looking for trouble . . .” Mr. Navarrette has, as his side so often does, personified inanimate objects. The guns aren’t taken across the border, no! They “go south looking for trouble“! No human intervention necessary! The problem isn’t the people who wish to use them criminally, the problem is the guns – and therefore the only possible solution involves eliminating the guns – Q.E.D. And not just the guns “going south looking for trouble!”

Wrong on both counts. Immigrants are going back to Mexico because of a bad U.S. economy. Meanwhile, the gun violence that Americans subsidize south of the border is boiling over onto U.S. soil.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano didn’t get the memo. She recently told a Senate committee that Mexico’s drug violence had not spread to the U.S.

And she’s in charge of the federal Dept. of Homeland Security! I feel safer already.

But only a few days earlier, Texas’ Homeland Security Director Steve McCraw told the Texas Legislature that violence from the drug cartels had — “no question about it” — spilled into Texas.

Then there is Napolitano’s own state of Arizona, where its largest city — Phoenix — is now considered the nation’s kidnap capital because of spillover violence from Mexico.

Which I posted on a few days ago.

According to the Justice Department, Mexican drug traffickers have a presence in at least 230 U.S. cities. No wonder the Obama administration is getting serious about helping Mexican President Felipe Calderon fight the drug cartels.

Gee, why doesn’t Calderon just fight the drugs that are coming North, looking for trouble? Isn’t that the winning strategy?

Napolitano has promised to increase the Homeland Security Department’s cooperation with Mexico to help curb the southward export of assault weapons. And, on that topic, Attorney General Eric Holder caused a stir when he turned the drug war into a debate on gun control.

“As President Obama indicated during the campaign,” Holder said, “there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons [which expired in 2004]. I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum.”

Except: A) Holder lied. To begin with, the “ban” wasn’t really a ban, and it certainly didn’t cover the weapons that Holder apparently believes it did. Don’t you think that the Attorney General ought to understand what the law does and doesn’t say? Either he does, and he lied, or he doesn’t and he’s incompetent. Either way, as Glenn Reynolds says, “We’re in the best of hands.” And: B) The “debate” got no traction at all, since Speaker Pelosi effectively told Holder “No f$&^ing way.”

That was all it took. Those who love their guns more than their neighbor to the south were eager to believe CNN’s Lou Dobbs when he declared: “Attorney General Eric Holder is willing to sacrifice our gun ownership rights under the Constitution for the benefit of a foreign government, in this case Mexico.”

And here’s the second fundamental flaw of The Other Side – the belief that if you don’t agree with them you must be EEEEEVIL! Note the comparison: If we don’t believe in “gun control” then we “love our guns” more than we “love our neighbor to the south.”

Odd dichotomy, that. I think I’ll go hug my AR15. How about this: We love our rights more than we love enacting policies based on opposing philosophies that are useless at best, counterproductive at worst?

Because we know the problem isn’t the guns, Mr. Navarrette.

Suddenly, the anti-Mexico crowd had a new warning for America. And like the rest of their gibberish, this bit of nonsense fit on a bumper sticker: “Obama will take away your guns — to please Mexico.

Gibberish? Like “guns going south looking for trouble”? That kind of gibberish? And defending my rights is now “anti-Mexico”. Check.

So now laudable efforts by U.S. law enforcement agencies to crack down not on gun ownership but on gun smuggling — through initiatives such as “Operation Gunrunner,” which the ATF launched a little more than a year ago — are an infringement on Americans’ right to bear arms under the Second Amendment?

Somehow, I doubt that James Madison, the father of the Constitution, would cosign that assertion.

I bet Thomas Jefferson would.

Here’s another weakness of The Other Side – an apparently complete unfamiliarity with Economics 101, or as Father Guido Sarducci’s puts it in his 5-Minute University routine, “Supply and Demand.”

And I’ll bet Mr. Navarrette has a degree from a prestigious journalism school, too.

Choking off one source just means opening up a different one. This is something the British (who live on an ISLAND by the way) have some experience with. And the Brits have every gun control law on the books there that cause Josh Sugarmann to have wet-dreams, with the exception of a complete ban.

It hasn’t stopped people there from being machinegunned.

Supply and Demand, Mr. Navarrette.

This is a serious issue worthy of serious discussion, without hyperbole or distortions.

So far, Reuben, you aren’t doing too well on either point.

Congress certainly thinks so, which is why it approved $10 million for Operation Gunrunner in the economic stimulus bill.

That would be the bill that was so crucial that no one had time to read it? So critical that if it wasn’t passed with extraordinary speed, our economic “crisis” would become an economic “catastrophe”? The one that includes $50 million for National Endowment for the Arts grants?

That economic stimulus bill? The one The One took three days to get around to signing?

Sarukhan, in a recent interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune, cited one bust last year in the city of Reynosa, across the border from Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.

“In a single seizure,” the ambassador said, “we detained half a million rounds of ammo, 270 semi-automatic assault weapons, fragmentation grenades and … sniper rifles. And they were all coming from the U.S. side of the border.”

Right! I can go into any gun shop and buy a case of frag grenades? I’m having problems finding bulk-pack .22 Long Rifle ammo! How’s that BATFE thing working out? After all, that stuff got across the border, didn’t it?

And “detained”? According to Webster’s, “to detain” is defined as “to hold or keep, as if in custody.” All well and good, but what happened to all that ordnance? Is it all still in the Mexican government’s hands? Or has it been trickling back out to the Cartels? Inquiring minds want to know!

No point in denying it. Much of the death and destruction south of the border is stamped: “Made in the U.S.A.” Americans helped make this mess. It’s only right that we do whatever we can to help clean it up — not just for Mexico’s own good, but for ours.

Well, I’ll deny it. That death and destruction is stamped “Hecho en Mexico” because the fingers on the triggers are not attached to Americans. Someone please explain to me why “whatever we can” always seems to mean “infringe the rights of U.S. Citizens,” especially when that infringement never seems to affect the actual problem, which is bad people with lots of money willing to kill other people to keep making that money.

Assume we could shut off the flow of arms from the U.S. into Mexico (laughable, since we can’t shut off the flow of drugs, much less people in the opposite direction, but just as a mental experiment), the Cartels are going to stop killing? Or will the continuing murders be OK then because the “death and destruction south of the border” will no longer be stamped “Made in the U.S.A.”?

Oh, sorry, I forgot: The weapons and ammunition that will be smuggled up from Central America or directly from China and Europe by the containerload will still be our fault because we’ll be paying for it with our appetite for the drugs they sell, and because many of the weapons will be, as that earlier post pointed out “left over from the wars that the United States helped fight in Central America.”

Sorry, Mr. Navarrette. I’m as concerned as the next guy about our neighbor to the south, (perhaps more, since I’m about an hour from the border) but I understand that restricting my rights won’t help them. Your jeremiad is just another example of the cognitive dissonance exhibited by those with the gun-control mindset:

When someone tries to use a strategy which is dictated by their ideology, and that strategy doesn’t seem to work, then they are caught in something of a cognitive bind. If they acknowledge the failure of the strategy, then they would be forced to question their ideology. If questioning the ideology is unthinkable, then the only possible conclusion is that the strategy failed because it wasn’t executed sufficiently well. They respond by turning up the power, rather than by considering alternatives. (This is sometimes referred to as “escalation of failure”.)

You’ll pardon me if I advocate for skipping the escalation of failure this time. I, for one, have had enough of “Do it again, only HARDER!

(And yes, I’ll be emailing a link to this piece to Mr. Navarrette, Jr.)

UPDATE – 3/21: Six days, and not a peep out of Mr. Navarrette, Jr. Color me surprised.

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

As most of you probably know, I’m an atheist (small “a”), but not an anti-theist. The difference, boiled down, is that I don’t believe in a God or gods, and an anti-theist believes there is no God.

And anti-theists proselytize.

I don’t – but I’m not ashamed of my lack of religion, either. Today’s QotD was found at Oleg Volk’s place, and I find myself in agreement with its sentiment:

The most compelling argument for the non-existence of a concerned god is that all of the world leaders don’t fit in an ashtray. If Odin or Thor were real, I would expect more frequent targeted lightning strikes than we now observe.

You Mean I CAN’T Buy Grenades At Muphy’s Guns?

Well, it would appear that the MSM has finally decided to spread the blame around a little. The LA Dog Trainer had this piece in yesterday’s issue:

Drug cartels’ new weaponry means war

Narcotics traffickers are acquiring firepower more appropriate to an army — including grenade launchers and anti-tank rockets — and the police are feeling outgunned.

By Ken Ellingwood and Tracy Wilkinson
5:53 PM PDT, March 13, 2009

Reporting from Zihuatanejo, Mexico, and Mexico City — It was a brazen assault, not just because it targeted the city’s police station, but for the choice of weapon: grenades.

The Feb. 21 attack on police headquarters in coastal Zihuatanejo, which injured four people, fit a disturbing trend of Mexico’s drug wars. Traffickers have escalated their arms race, acquiring military-grade weapons, including hand grenades, grenade launchers, armor-piercing munitions and antitank rockets with firepower far beyond the assault rifles and pistols that have dominated their arsenals.

Apparently “assault rifles and pistols” are a ‘gateway drug’ to more powerful weaponry!

But here’s the kicker:

Most of these weapons are being smuggled from Central American countries or by sea, eluding U.S. and Mexican monitors who are focused on the smuggling of semiauto- matic and conventional weapons purchased from dealers in the U.S. border states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

The proliferation of heavier armaments points to a menacing new stage in the Mexican government’s 2-year-old war against drug organizations, which are evolving into a more militarized force prepared to take on Mexican army troops, deployed by the thousands, as well as to attack each other.

These groups appear to be taking advantage of a robust global black market and porous borders, especially between Mexico and Guatemala. Some of the weapons are left over from the wars that the United States helped fight in Central America, U.S. officials said.

Yes, the “lax gun laws” in the United States were responsible for the (illegal drug) cartels’ armories, and by passing new gun control laws we were going to be able to NIP. IT. IN. THE. BUD! (So to speak.)

But instead, apparently, these scofflaws are buying military hardware from OTHER COUNTRIES.

And it’s STILL the fault of the United States!

Ah, I love the Blame America First, Last, and Always crowd!

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

The rise and fall of the Marxist ideal is rather neatly contained in the Twentieth Century, and comprises its central political phenomenon. Fascism and democratic defeatism are its sun-dogs. The common theme is politics as a theology of salvation, with a heroic transformation of the human condition (nothing less) promised to those who will agitate for it. Political activity becomes the highest human vocation. The various socialisms are only the most prominent manifestation of this delusion, which our future historian calls “politicism”. In all its forms, it defines human beings as exclusively political animals, based on characteristics which are largely or entirely beyond human control: ethnicity, nationality, gender, and social class. It claims universal relevance, and so divides the entire human race into heroes and enemies. To be on the correct side of this equation is considered full moral justification in and of itself, while no courtesy or concession can be afforded to those on the other. Therefore, politicism has no conscience whatsoever, no charity, and no mercy.Canis Iratus, A Thumbnail Hitory of the Twentieth Century, 12/03/04

(Emphasis in original.)

Respecting Authoritah

Respecting Authoritah!

A joke received via email:

A DEA officer stops at a ranch in Montana and talks with an old rancher. He tells the rancher, ‘I need to inspect your ranch for illegally grown drugs.’

The old rancher says, ‘Okay, but do not go in that field over there,’ as he points out the location.

The DEA officer verbally explodes saying, ‘Mister, Let me tell you something, I have the authority of the Federal Government with me.’ Reaching into his rear pants pocket, he removes his badge and proudly displays it to the farmer. ‘See this badge? This badge means I am allowed to go wherever I wish …. on any land … no questions asked or answers given … have I made myself clear? Do YOU understand me?’

The old rancher nods politely, apologizes, and goes about his chores.

A short time later, the old rancher hears loud screams and sees the DEA officer running for his life chased, close behind, by the rancher’s prize bull. With every step the bull is gaining ground on the officer, and it seems likely that he’ll get “horned” before he reaches safety. The officer is clearly terrified.

The old rancher throws down his tools, runs to the fence and yells at the top of his lungs…..

‘Your badge! Show him your badge!’

What the hell. I’m already on somebody’s list . . . 😉



In another apparent back-door attack on the shooting public, it appears that the Department of Defense has changed the rules regarding the auction of once-fired milsurp brass. An email has been circulating through the gun boards concerning the status of materials sold as “scrap”:

Dear Valued Customer:

Please take a moment to note important changes set forth by the Defense Logistics Agency:

Recently it has been determined that fired munitions of all calibers, shapes and sizes have been designated to be Demil code B. As a result and in conjunction with DLA’s current Demil code B policy, this notice will serve as official notification which requires Scrap Venture (SV) to implement mutilation as a condition of sale for all sales of fired munitions effective immediately. This notice also requires SV to immediately cease delivery of any fired munitions that have been recently sold or on active term contracts, unless the material has been mutilated prior to sale or SV personnel can attest to the mutilation after delivery. A certificate of destruction is required in either case.

Thank you,

DOD Surplus
5051 N. Kierland Blvd # 300
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

A follow-up email by a poster at brings this clarification:

I just got off the phone with SV and GL with people I know very well. As of yesterday (3/12/09) ALL brass is only to be sold as scrap and as such, must be destroyed. It will no longer require an EUC, so that scrap buyers can pick it up immediately and submit the destruction certificate. Sounds like a move to help the metals buyers in the volitile(sic) markets.

In the SV managers words… “The reloaders are screwed.”

Georgia Arms is apparently the first remanufacturer/reseller to respond to this announcement:

Due to new government regulations concerning the purchasing of surplus brass, we are removing sales of all 223 and all 308 until further notice. Below is a copy of the email we recieved from Goverment Liqudiations.

“Effective immediately DOD Surplus, LLC, will be implementing new requirements for mutilation of fired shell casings. The new DRMS requirement calls for DOD Surplus personnel to witness the mutilation of the property and sign the Certificate of Destruction. Mutilation of the property can be done at the DRMO, if permitted by the Government, or it may be mutilated at a site chosen by the buyer. Mutilation means that the property will be destroyed to the extent prevents its reuse or reconstruction. DOD Surplus personnel will determine when property has been sufficiently mutilated to meet the requirements of the Government. “

This is a huge waste of taxpayer’s money. The value of these products is reduced by 80% by going from a recycled product to a scrap product.


Good advice.

I recommend writing to them as well. And include a teabag the string and tag from a teabag.

First the “no lead ammo in National Parks” rule, now this. It looks like Team Obama is going to implement whatever “gun control” they can through rule changes, since they obviously aren’t going to get any traction in Congress.

Congresscritters still understand that Job #1 is getting re-elected.

UPDATE: Tam posted first, and has more details.

UPDATE II: Jeff Bartlett at has this statement:

Effective Immediately

Orders for all military brass acquired thru government auction is hereby

suspended until further notice. If recent auction purchased brass is

is declared unrestricted, all orders will be filled in order received

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day

Like many people, I’ve about had enough with the nonsense that has been shoved down our throats by an activist media and an electorate that doesn’t know any better. We’ve seen our first Marxist President elected, and he’s wasted no time in remaking the American landscape to his own liking, with the assistance of a Congress drawn to solidifying it’s own power like cub scouts are drawn to fart jokes: inexorable.

Each day produces a fresh travesty which is pointedly ignored by most; they’re too interested in their bread and circuses. – Flynn, John Galt Underground

Yeah, that about covers it.