Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Mexican Bandits Steal 7 Million Rounds of Ammunition

On 10 June, 2021, it was reported that 7,114,500 rounds of sporting ammunition was stolen in the state of Guanajuato. The value of the ammunition was reported to be over 2.7 million dollars.  This correspondent checked the reported value with market conditions in the United States. The value falls within retail prices during the current ammunition bubble.

The ammunition was manufactured by industry giant Aguila, in its main plant about 90 miles south of Mexico City. The ammunition was in two tractor trailers en route for export to the United States.

The ammunition was being transported inside two semi-trailers, as partial loads in each vehicle. The weight of the ammunition was about four or five tons. A semi-trailer can easily carry 10 tons. 

A Mexican source, reported the following quantities of Ammunition were stolen:

  • 4,872,000 rounds of high velocity Long Rifle cartridges, solid point
  • 1,230,000 rounds of high velocity Long Rifle hollow point cartridges
  •  295,000 rounds of .40 S&W pistol cartridges
  • 215,000 rounds of .22 caliber L.R. Super Colibri garden loads
  • 117,000 rounds of .45 auto cartridges
  • 100,000 rounds of .38 special revolver cartridges
  • 99,000 .410 7.5 shot cartridges
  • 87 thousand 7.62x51 NATO fmj cartridges f
  • 71,500  12 gauge mini-shells
  • 25,000 .38 super +p handgun cartridges
  • 3,000 12 gauge mini-shell slug loads

All of the cartridges listed are in high demand on the black market in Mexico, and in the legal market in the United States. With the ammunition bubble ongoing in the United States, is is not clear if the ammunition will be smuggled north of the border or sold on the black market inside of Mexico. As in the United States, the .22 rimfire cartridges are the most common, as they are the least expensive for target shooting, small game hunting, and pest control.

They are powerful enough to be used for defensive purposes, but are not the primary choice for self defense.

Both .22 rimfire and 12 gauge shotguns are commonly used by the spontaneous militias which have been formed in some Mexican states to battle with forces of the various drug cartels.

The theft of the ammunition may have been based on inside information. The thieves seem to have known what they wanted and where it was located. No shotswere fired during the encounter, and no one was killed.

Aguila has become a major player in the global market. During the .22 ammunition bubble from 2012 to 2016, Aguila doubled its production to take a greater share of the market, especially in the United States.

Industry insiders have told me the regulatory environment inside the United States was a major obstacle which prevented expansion of American production of rimfire ammunition.

©2021 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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Anonymous said...

Maybe those ammo thieves think they have stolen enough ammo to assault me, but they have to get close enough to use it.

Anonymous said...

My small community has a selection of Army , navy and marines with experience in shooting wars we are not very happy with the current state of affairs. note the military style hair cuts on most of the military age illegal crossers of late. I have heard that China has a large number of combat troops south of our border . Could those illegal crossers be military trained and filtering in?