Buying surplus military ammo is often times a good way to get large qualities of high-quality ammo at cheap prices. No one wants to pay any more for range ammo than they have to so bargains can be pretty attractive. However, some dealers push some pretty shady crap as “surplus.” Stuff you wouldn’t want anywhere near your gun. Here is my ammo-buying nightmare story…
Back in 2009, during the height of the Obama gun buying frenzy, I purchased 1000 rounds of what was advertised by R-Guns as being “Surplus Israel Military Industries 7.62 NATO 147 Grain M-80 Ball.” The price was $430 plus $45.00 shipping. That was a good price (for that time), but not so good that one might have reason to suspect something was amiss.
Everything looked good when the package arrived. But upon closer inspection, things started to go downhill rapidly. About 20-30% of the ammo was badly tarnished and corroded. Even worse, about 50 of the rounds had obvious defects. There were dented rounds – one of which even had a hole drilled in the side and the powder removed:
Soft points that had been sent through a tumbler:
Cracked case necks:
Bent case necks:
I decided to shoot 30 rounds from the remaining batch, just as a test. I chose the rounds at random from those that had no glaring defects. Of the 30 rounds, only 24 fired. Of those 24 rounds, two exhibited ruptured case failures:
So what do you do in a situation like this? Laws may vary from state to state, so you may need to get legal advice, but here’s what I did.
First, I always pay with a credit card. That way, if the shipment is not as advertised, I can call the credit card company and get the charges reversed (including shipping). Second, I wrote a letter to the company, sent certified, return receipt requested, and told them that I was rejecting their shipment.
I explained the reasons why in a few paragraphs. I let them know that the shipment was boxed up and available for pickup by the commercial carrier of their choice. I gave them the pick-up address and the times at which the shipment would be available for return. And I let them know that if the shipment wasn’t picked up with a reasonable time (10 business days from the date of receipt of the letter), I’d dispose of the shipment in whatever manner I saw fit and wouldn’t be responsible or liable for it.
I also let them know that their act of picking up the ammo constituted acceptance of the terms specified in my letter, and would fully resolve the issue. Otherwise, the ammo would be retained to be inspected by an expert, in accordance with the credit card’s dispute resolution policies.
In my case, all worked out well, and the company picked up the ammo and my credit card was credited $475. But how about you? Have you ever had a situation like this? How did you handle it? The Armed Intelligentsia wants to know.