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And we thought we had it bad here during the Great Ammo Panic of 2013 following the Sandy Hook shooting. That shortage was due to excess demand. It looks like western Europe’s post-war cradle-to-grave welfare state spending is finally catching up with them and crimping their already meager military efforts. It’s come to this: Dutch soldiers don’t have enough ammunition for training and have simulate the sound of firing their firearms during exercises . . .

But the Dutch high command can’t let their dogfaces sit around all day just because they’re out of gun food. Here’s Jean Debie of the military union VBM:

“Even if you have no bullets, you have to train with your weapon. That means, as a soldier, you say ‘bang, bang!’

We’re guessing ‘bang, bang’ is used to simulate rifle fire. If they’re getting in some range time with their handguns, the Netherlands’ best are probably saying ‘pew, pew.’ There’s no word as to whether tank crews have been reduced to shouting ‘KA-BOOM!’ yet.

As advises, the Dutch brass are hoping to re-supply the troops soon.

“The ministry understands troops are not always happy with this.

“Once funding is available, stockpiles will be replenished.”

But having to generate their own sound effects isn’t making the average grunt happy.

“This is disastrous for the morale of the military. You do not want to do this to a professional.”

But you have to wonder how long Dutch soldiers will be considered professionals if they can’t actually fire their guns.

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  1. I remember being given two 20 round boxes of blanks and told to make it last a week. This was in the year 2000. My 1SG, an infantryman, was reduced to “bang, bang” in the late 90s. I have a feeling we will be revisiting this article in a few more years, but the country will be ours.

    • That’s weird. I remember having so many $&@ing 5.56 blanks as an 0311 that I buried them in the ground. By that I meant – disposed of in a safe and tactical manner. I could make 20 blanks last 2 weeks like a champ!

    • We already only get live rounds only once a year, at Rifle Qualification. The rest of training is “bang bang” “pew pew,” or “budget cuts, budget cuts.” I’ve been in the infantry (Nat. Guard) for 4 years and can’t remember the last time I even used blanks, but it was probably in OSUT. As I understand it, this isn’t an uncommon problem, and I doubt it will go away.

    • Ha Ha Ha…Deja vu, all over again…I was 19D (Cav) in the NJNG in the ’70s and ’80’s, with Jimmy Carter as POTUS/CIC. No ammo, no blanks, little food (we had to bring our own), even had to dig into my own pocket (paygrade E-2) to buy gas at a civilian station because there wasn’t enough to get our M151A1s to Ft. Drum one summer. Hindsite is 20/20, but anybody joining the military with the likes of BHO, or any other Liberal, Democrat as POTUS/CIC…is a DAMN Fool!

  2. At least they have rifles to train with. There have been plenty of times when the US military handed out wooden dummies to trainees and said, “Close enough for now.”

    • When you’re going from an army of a couple hundred thousand troops to 8 million you’ll have that problem. I don’t think the Dutch have that excuse. They’ve just been wasting their money elsewhere because they have us to protect them.

    • I never have read about our armed forces using politicians as weapons. Oh, sorry, I understand now, you meant they were using wooden rifles.

    • Besides Gov’s point, a wooden rifle in training is one thing – get used to the weight, balance, etc., while moving around and living with it generally, doesn’t require a live weapon.

      It’s a different situation when you’re at the rifle range or on an exercise, and you need the thing to actually do something.

      • I sincerely hope, for the sake of the Dutch, that they don’t go to the rifle range, lay down, take aim and say bang, bang…….

        • But the great part is they can have a man stand by the targets with a pencil and poke holes in the bull’s eye.

        • If they’re fully-qualified Commando Speciale Operaties, I think they’re authorized to say “pfffft, pfffft” instead.

  3. Meanwhile, in the “so much ammo we don’t know what to do with it” USA, our armed forces are destroying surplus ammo.

    • only to keep prices high volumes low…. the government does not care about prices. they just tax more while we the people end up with higher and higher prices and shortages.

  4. wow they really are in socialist nightmare. first disarm the civilians then the military. but militarize the cops to the hilt. turn your actions away from your enemies and in on the people.

    same thing is happening here.

      • I was thinking along those same lines. They better home the Germans don’t come and want to play war with them again. Think their bang bang would change to O shirt O shirt

      • Probably. Germany was, to some extent, disarmed by the Treaty of Versailles. They may not have even had a real army, I don’t remember the terms exactly.

  5. “There’s no word as to whether tank crews have been reduced to shouting ‘KA-BOOM!’ yet.” That is because we sold all our remaining Leopard 2 A5/6 NL to Finland. The role of the tanks has been filled by crappy Swedish built CV90’s.

        • Hey those were nice little sports tanks. Probably built about 10 years before the technology to make everything inside the turret ring work existed. And during the Peanut6 administration yes, we walked about in groups of 4 simulating our AR/AAV’s. No fuel does that to ya.

    • So the Dutch army could keep, maybe, a single mechanized regiment in the field during a crisis? That’s not very reassuring. NATO really has become hollow.

  6. We did this in the 1990s in Canada. Considering how dirty those blanks were, I can’t say I was always sad. Of course, I was in a combat support unit (Engineers, and I think our CO preferred to spend our ammo budget on C4) – when I went out with the Infantry we usually had ammo coming out the @ss.

  7. That’s the Ray Magliozzi method; absolves you of cleaning the rifle before inspection.

  8. Now you’ve done it. 0bama heard about this and is going to help the Dutch. He’s holding a private conference….

    “I, me, I, the one, the only, Barack Hussein 0bama decree – by executive order – that from this day forth, all ammunition made in the United States will be sent to the Dutch. No one in the USSA will oppose my will, as that would be RACIST. And all you stupid whites that voted for me will have no ammunition for your guns. So, cling to your bibles as my “sons” pillage and destroy your white privileged homes, cities, and civilization. You brought this on yourselves.”


  9. How is this news? We do that here in America too. It’s called “Crawl Walk Run”. Saves the gov money, lets us see where people are screwed up before they graduate to blanks, then live ammo.

    If you are going to hand live ammo to someone who has never rehearsed a live fire shoothouse with his team and expect some delta force high speed stuff, then you are okay with the inevitable investigation and court martial.

  10. It’s funny, I was an infantryman between 2008-2013 in the Marines and we did this kind of training all the time. Sure we shot all the time too, but training mount, doing machine gun drills, etc a lot of times we said bang bang

    • This. Infantrymen go “bang bang” in the rear all the time. It’s not because our chain of command hates us (although they have other ways to express their disdain of our antics), its a cheap way to maintain skills outside of marksmanship involving arms.

    • Yes. You don’t need blanks and lasers and whatnot for every training event. In fact, in some ways it can be a distraction to certain training events.


  11. If this sort of simulation extends to the bedroom, it might explain their declining population (unless you count the Muslim influx).

  12. If I remember correctly, at Benning in the ’90s, they issued so much blank ammo and it was such a pita to return in that many just tossed the extra into the woods. We had 113s so full of blanks once that not only couldn’t we fit everyone who should have been in them, folks were overheating barrels and tossing it overboard by the belt to get rid of it. I even saw belts of blue 25mm in woods at least once. When it was dry and you tossed smoke you’d start small fires and hear popping sounds of blanks going off.

  13. When I was in an infantry company in the First Cav, in the late 90s, training with empty guns and sound effects was quite common.

    • We used to try to avoid blanks as much as we could because all they really did was get your weapon dirty.

      • You could get the MILES laser to fire with out expending a blank. Positioning it close to another weapon firing blanks – an M60 especially, for instance.

  14. When I was at Ft Bragg in 1998 we said bang bang also. President Clinton said we had no enemies so our training was made less accurate to save money. At the same time there were people planing to crash airplanes into buildings in New York City. I guess president Clinton was wrong about American having enemies.

      • The Clinton administration did indeed drop thousands of bombs on Serbia. A country that did not attack the USA. Many thousands of innocent people were killed. But it’s ok for a democrat to kill people in an undeclared war, isn’t???

        • It’s as acceptable as Democrat presidents getting the U.S. involved with two of the most devastating declared wars in modern history.

  15. They should still be able to practice with bayonet and hand to hand. Also surrendering drills.

  16. For most units, even in the US, there is never enough ammunition (or time) available to achieve the level of proficiency you’re looking for, so you do what you can with what you have.

  17. This is nothing. In some places right here in the USA, kids have to chew Pop Tarts into the shape of guns before they can say “bang bang!” Let’s see those Dutch pussies do that.

  18. Staging Battalion (pre-Viet Nam training), Camp Pendleton 1971, 40 rounds of blanks, yell bang, bang when you run out. Some areas, Marines would just yell bang, bang & toss the blanks. Camp Fuji Japan, 1972 – night training two of my guys ran out of blanks & starting singing “Bang, Bang, You shot me down. Bang, Bang, I hit the ground.” They said they heard the opposing forces Sgt screaming at his people trying to get them to jump into an intervening gully in the dark. They refused.

  19. “Hey, I shot you! You’re dead!”
    “Nuh-uh, I shot you first! You’re dead!”
    “No, you’re dead!”
    “No, you’re dead!”

  20. Joe joins the Army and gets sent to war. When he gets there, he’s told that they have run out of rifles. They say just act like you’re holding a rifle and yell “bang”.

    He’s not too sure about this but heads off to battle.

    He see an enemy soldier across the field. He holds up his arms like he’s holding a rifle and the soldier falls down. He does this at three other soldiers and they all fall down when he yells “bang”.

    He see a soldier walking calmly across the field not ducking or hiding at all. He points his “rifle” at him and yells “bang”.

    The soldier keeps walking calmly towards Joe. Joe “fires” over and over with no reaction from the walking soldier. The walking soldier gets about 10 feet from Joe and knocks him over.

    As Joe is crushed by an unseen force, the last words he hears is the walking soldier saying…

    “tank tank tank”

  21. A lot of folks are mocking the mighty “bang, bang”. FYI “bang, bangs” are in fact deadly, as evidenced by the sevens year olds being sent home from the school playgrounds every month.

  22. We were doing this in the (American) Army as recently as 2010. We called them “hooah bullets”.

  23. I recall in 1999 when I was at MCT (Marine Combat Training) at Pendleton we had blanks issued for the first day of our field exercises. Apparently we started some brush fires and they made us turn in all our banks. This was after a forced march out of the fire zone in full gear. I don’t recall the size of the fire but from what i do remember it was not small. After that is was all butter, butter, Jam.

    Humping a 240 Golf sucks sucks even without carrying all the ammo, of course the Sgt. Instructors decided that carrying enough rocks in my ruck was enough to simulate the extra weight.

    Respectfully Submitted

  24. What’s amusing here is that a couple of years ago (I think?), AIM Surplus was selling cheap Dutch and Swedish milsurp M855, complete in original ammo cans, on stripper clips, sealed in plastic. I still have a few hundred rounds stashed away. Wonder if that’s why they ran out 😉

  25. At least they’ll be prepared if the Netherlands is ever invaded by an army of seven-year-olds with sticks.

  26. But you have to wonder how long Dutch soldiers will be considered professionals if they can’t actually fire their guns. I wonder if a lot of the super soldiers in Europe would be able to fight off Putin and his pals if push came to shove. We have the German Army incapable of hitting the broad side of a barn with their current rifle, and they are probably the military backbone of Western Europe. I have heard from Germans that their Army is not quite what it used to be.

    • Push come to shove? I doubt it would even come to push. Europe likely wouldn’t last past a light tap from Putin.

  27. I have done this many many many many times in my Army training. This is not unusual, and certainly not newsworthy.

  28. If they don’t have ammo for the rifles, then how to do they have gas for the chopper? Or is that a green screen on a sound stage? Possibly a mural?

  29. Nonsense, you should do a bit more investigating before posting. The news item originated at RTL News.

    And the news item is about this general notice e-mail:

    There is a shortage of munition for small caliber firearms, not all munition is affected only certain types. The reason cited is because there’s shortage at the manufacturer. The manufacturers have said this shortage will continue into 2016.

    The email says the army has made an inventory of all the munition they have right now and have rationed it out, todo this they’ve taken a few measures:
    * They’ canceled live firing exercises and replaced them with the SIM.
    * Soldiers who are being deployed will get a minimal series of live firing exercises.
    * Students at the military academy will get a minimal series of live firing exercises.
    * Critical companies have a priority.

    The “peng, peng” myth (as seen in the video) originated from an interview given by a person at the military union. When asked what they should do the person said they should shout: “peng, peng”.

    The reality is much different, instead of live firing they’re using the sim.

    Other countries are facing the same problems, the problem isn’t money but production. The army can buy extra munition. At an increased price they can get priority from the manufacturers, but they choose not todo this. There’s an increased demand for munition because there’s a lot of troops deployed in the middle east and around Ukraine. If they choose to pay the price and buy the munition then they would take away munition from other countries and thus even take away munition from soldiers deployed in hazardous area’s. This is the last thing anybody wants.

    So for the sake of international safety the army chooses to ride this one out and ration the stocks they have. Simple as that.

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