To be fair, the 5.56mm ball ammunition purchased by the New Zealand military isn’t inherently defective. After all, “The bullets had worked well in the past,” reports, helpfully. “But when manufacturer FN Herstal changed the alloy content they could no longer be fired accurately because the bullets disintegrated as they came out of the barrel.” That would be the barrel of the Austrian-made New Zealand Defence Force’s IW Steyr assault rifle. “Army spokesman Kristian Dunne said the ammunition was bought for use on the Ardmore range, south of Auckland. The reduced range of the bullets – compared with the standard Steyr rounds – overcame the danger that a ricochet would fall outside the safety zone surrounding the range.” A clear case of “be careful what you wish for.” Only New Zealand taxpayers might have wished for something better. The Army resold the ammo for roughly $300,000 NZ dollars less than they paid for it.

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