Not a bad primer on Surplus Ammo. For my fellow “Crufflers” out there, most of this is old news but I would pay close attention however to the IANSA’s and U.N’s perspective on surplus ammo. I will also be listing some additional companies at the end of this article besides the ones listed where you can find surplus ammo.
Surplus Ammunition – Don’t Call it Left Over Bullets
By Peter Suciu.
Manasquan, NJ –-(Ammoland.com)- The term “surplus” simply means an over supply; yet when used in conjunction with militaria or pretty much anything to do with the military, it often evokes used equipment or to some a substandard product.
This most certainly isn’t the norm when discussing surplus ammunition, and in fact, a lot of military ammo could be considered far superior to the commercial grade ammo in the same calibers.
To understand surplus ammunition, at least from an American perspective, requires a basic understanding of the nature of surplus equipment. Following the American Civil War there was simply more equipment than the vastly reduced U.S. military forces could ever use. This in turn led to the original surplus market, which spawned mail order catalogs such as the famous Bannerman’s catalog, where all sorts of used as well as un-issued equipment could be purchased. And while those prices may look like bargains by today’s standards, these were hardly bargain basement prices.
“Surplus ammo surely came early, as modern cartridge firearms evolved very rapidly in the late 1800s,” says Chris Clinton, who previously ran the old surplus ammo business Cannon and Cartridge. “Each time a rifle or round became the new performance ‘champ,” many issue weapons and their cartridges were sold off as obsolete. Sometimes a round (as well as rifle) would pass down to second line troops before it entered the civilian market.”
One early example of this says Clinton was the 45-70 government, which was adopted by the U.S. in the early 1870s, and used until the 1890s. This was likely the first cartridge surplus “milsurp” on the U.S. market. As the U.S. Army and other military forces adopted new rifles and small arms, the old equipment was sold off, and with the adoption of the traditional bullet that we know today, the same thing happened with ammunition.
“Ammo was dumped as it was deemed obsolete,” says advanced gun collector Rob Summerhill of the SurplusRifle.com forum. “Old ammo was just no longer of use, and it was sold off.”
Read the Remainder at AmmoLand
Some Other Companies to check out for Surplus Ammo:
- Samco Global
- Centerfire Systems
- Classic Firearms
- J&G Sales