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Can’t Find Ammo? Bad News: The FBI Is Stocking Up on ‘Sniper’ Bullets

Ammo Shortage Hunting
Image: Creative Commons.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation put Winchester Ammunition in its sights – not because the manufacturer of ammunition had broken the law, but rather to award the company with an exclusive five-year contract that will provide the national law enforcement agency with .308 Winchester/7.62 NATO cartridges in support of its sniper program. Consumers may still have a difficult time finding ammunition, but it seems that the FBI will be stocking up.

The $5 million contract was the first-of-its-kind in the caliber.

“To the East Alton and Oxford teams responsible for this great win, thank you for your diligent work on this competitive and highly technical project,” said Brett Flaugher, president of Winchester.

“This victory speaks to the talents and expertise of our team and I am very proud to see Winchester being selected once again by a premier national security organization such as the FBI,” Flaugher added.

The FBI had designed Winchester’s round-based ammunition as having the best overall value based on several criteria. The Winchester load carries a 169-grain Sierra boat-tail hollow-point bullet that was selected after it passed the Bureau’s rigorous testing protocol and examination process.

According to the contract details from the Department of Justice, “Requirement is to provide .308 Winchester/7.62 x 51 NATO caliber ammunition. The contract structured as a fixed price, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity type contract for one base year and four possible additional one-year options; full and open competition.”

This is the most recent contract the ammunition maker has had with the FBI, and follows a $16 million contract whereby Winchester Ammunition supplied the law enforcement agency with .40 S&W ammunition including full metal jacket (FMJ), bonded jacketed hollow point (JHP) service cartridges, and frangible training rounds. The contract came following the FBI’s decision to switch to 9mm Glock 19M sidearms – but noted that the .40 S&W would be required for the then currently issued legacy pistols, which are still in the process of being incrementally phased out.

Winchester and the Army

Earlier this year, Winchester had been awarded a $35 million ammunition contract with the United States Army, whereby the company would provide the service with 5.56 and 7.62 NATO caliber cartridges as well as .50 BMG rounds.

The U.S. Army Contracting Command at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, awarded the company a $37,141,981 firm-fixed-price contract for 5.56mm, 7.62mm, and .50 caliber ammunition. Work will be performed at Winchester’s plant in Oxford, Mississippi, with a completion date stretching to March 2026.

It was the first military contract for Winchester since it began the operating contractor at the famous Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, in Independence, Missouri. The facility is part of the U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command – and also continues to produce small arms cartridges, as well as percussion and electric primers, and pyrotechnic; while the plant also performs reliability testing on small-caliber ammunition.

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on

Written By

Expert Biography: A Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,000 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.