USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- Their black boxes of ammo had been setting on the shelves in some big box sporting goods outlets for a couple of years, but I really did not pay that much attention. Then I came across information that Ammo Inc. was building a new ammunition manufacturing plant in Wisconsin. This did get my attention. Contact was made with Jim Mann, the general manager of what I thought was the Wisconsin branch of Ammo Inc.
Arrangements were set up and the 80-mile drive north from Milwaukee, to Manitowoc, Wisconsin was made. I spent the afternoon with Mr. Mann touring the current production operation of Ammo Inc and visiting the grounds where they are building their new 160,000 square foot, state-of-the-art ammunition manufacturing operation.
Ammo Incorporated (www.ammoinc.com) started life in August of 2019, assembling components into ammunition in Arizona. They were purchasing finished brass shell casings from Jagemann Munition Components in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. An opportunity was presented to Ammo Inc to acquire the operation from Jagemann and the concept of locating the entire ammo production in one location in Manitowoc, Wisconsin was born.
Projectiles/bullets, powder, and primers had to be acquired. These components were then added to the finished brass cases already manufactured in Manitowoc, for final production of ammunition. In 2021, Ammo Inc started its own projectile manufacturing in a stand-alone operation also in Manitowoc. When the new manufacturing plant is finished, the projectile production will move in.
Powder and primers still have to be sourced. All the components meet up in Manitowoc and become the product lines of the premier ammunition manufacturer of Wisconsin. Ammunition is no longer made in Arizona.
Did You Say Primers!?
Primers drive the ammunition manufacturing world. Without a continuing source of primers, you are not in the ammo business. With the current political climate, and the understood but rarely talked about issue that the US could be in yet another shooting war in the next 12-24 months, fresh ammo fails to remain on any retail sales shelf for long.
This week’s Powerball Lottery is well over $500 million. If you were to win that and had all the money you could ever want to spend, you still could not get into the ammo manufacturing business starting from scratch. There just are not enough components out there to go around to those who are already in the ammunition manufacturing business. No one is going to just sell you their hard to acquire components–least of all primers.
From what I am understanding a bartering system has developed in the ammo-making world, even with the large old-name ammunition manufacturers. “I have a million dollars worth of brass cases I am willing to trade for a million dollars worth of primers” this appears to be a current trend in the ammo game.
Mr. Mann told me he is producing 35 million to 45 million rounds of ammo a month. The operation runs seven days a week for 21 of every 24 hours in a day. There is no margin for error and there is no wiggle room to make up production. It is that critical. If there is a two-day statewide electrical power outage causing Ammo Inc to shut down operations, there is a very limited possibility to make up those two days of missed manufacturing.
I would suggest that everyone in the ammunition manufacturing business could suffer greatly from an extended delay in production. Time is critical and the loss of that time costs money that cannot be recouped.
At this point in history, the demand for ammunition never ends.
Besides the 45 million rounds of loaded ammunition, Ammo Inc produces 10-15 million finished brass cases.
I assume if you have to barter for primers you need fresh, shiny, new finished cases to exchange for primers or even powder.
6.5 Creedmoor is the new and upcoming cartridge that the US Special Forces has adopted. In the near future, a standard light machinegun will be deployed by Infantry platoons that will be chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. Ammo Inc will be one of the leading ammunition manufactures of that cartridge.
Therein lies the juggling act that most ammunition manufacturers face. How to make enough ammo in a specific caliber that meets the needs of the shooting and hunting American sporting public and be ready to fill the ever-growing needs of the nation and our military requirements who are using that same cartridge.
The new production plant will incorporate all the latest security features to protect the operation from the evils of the outside world.
A five-point, 25-yard underground range is being built along with a 200-yard underground rifle range. If you make ammo you have to be able to test it under real-world shooting conditions to prove you in fact do make excellent ammunition.
Wisconsin has two quality manufacturers in the firearms industry that are both making a difference. Henry Rifles of Rice Lake, Wisconsin, and now Ammo Inc of Manitowoc, Wisconsin are stellar assets to the state and the national hunting and shooting public. In times of crisis, both companies will quickly become national assets in the safety of our country.
“On Wisconsin”–firearms and ammo.
~ Major Van Harl USAF Ret.
About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:
Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force, was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School. A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI. His efforts now are directed at church campus safety and security training. He believes “evil hates organization.” [email protected]