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Smart Bombs: Military, Defense and National Security

US Ammo Companies Are Sending Millions of Bullets to Ukraine

Federal Ammo
Federal Ammo. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

American Ammo Has Arrived in Ukraine: Following Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine, the leader of the besieged nation was offered refugee status outside his country. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy rejected a U.S. offer to evacuate, and defiantly responded, “The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride.”

Earlier this month, AMMO Inc. CEO Fred Wagenhals heard the call and announced that his firm would send one million cartridges to Kyiv, and would ensure its delivery. In a tweet, which featured the blue and yellow flag of Ukraine, the company stated, “AMMO, Inc. Offers to Donate One Million Rounds of Ammunition to the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Support of Their Fight for Freedom.”

“First of all, I believe in the Second Amendment,” Wagenhals, who made his fortune in NASCAR before founding his company, told Fox 10 News in Phoenix. “I also believe in freedom and democracy.”

On Wednesday, the Scottsdale, Arizona-based vertically integrated producer of high-performance ammunition and components – which also owns, the largest online marketplace serving the firearms and shooting sports industries – announced it has confirmed the delivery of its one million rounds of donated ammunition to the Ukraine governmental authorities.

“We are very happy to announce that we have delivered the donated ammunition, we have directed our people on the ground near the border conflict zone to deliver and hand-off of the one million rounds of ammunition AMMO donated to support Ukraine’s valiant efforts to protect its citizens and sovereignty,” Wagenhals said in a statement.

“Our international operations sales and management team members are continuing to work their contacts around the globe in government and private business as we explore other opportunities to engage with and support the Ukraine forces,” he added.

The ammunition, which was reportedly valued to be worth around $700,000, was produced at the company’s facilities in Wisconsin. Wagenhals had said he would use a private plane to deliver the cache, but it is unclear how it actually arrived at the facilities. AMMO Inc, didn’t announce what type of ammunition was being provided to Ukraine, but likely it have included the company’s Signature 123 grain Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) 7.62×39, a caliber that is commonly used by the Ukrainian military.

Vista Oudoors Also Stepped Up

U.S. ammunition makers Remington, CCI, Speer, and Federal Premium Ammunition – which are all subsidiaries of Vista Outdoors – also announced that they are collectively sending an additional one million rounds of ammunition to help Ukraine’s efforts.

“The war in Ukraine has displaced millions of citizens and exposed average people to the horrors of war,” said Jason Vanderbrink, president of Remington, CCI, Speer and Federal Ammunition. “Supporting the relief effort is a crucial element of the global response and we are proud to do our part. It underscores how critical the Second Amendment is in America and highlights the importance of the ability of American Manufacturers to supply our allies with ammunition. We have long supported Ukrainian armed forces and we will continue to do so in this global cause to unite for democracy.”

The Ukrainian military has been a customer of those ammunition makers for years.

In addition to the donation, special T-shirts are being sold by Vista Outdoors, with all profits going to aid refugees in war-torn Ukraine. The shirts will supplement the ammunition donation, as well as help spread the word regarding the need for global support of Ukraine and its citizens, the company announced.

The generosity of those companies is likely to have little impact on the supply of ammunition on store shelves in the United States. Due to supply chain bottlenecks, which have impacted the ability to get the raw materials, as well as an increase in the number of gun owners, there has been a lingering shortage of ammo that began in late 2020. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearms industry trade association, at least twelve billion rounds were manufactured in the United States last year.

Most American shooters should respect the efforts to help the Ukrainian people defend their homeland.

Now a Senior Editor for 1945, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military hardware, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes.

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.