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"LE only" ammo

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by cowboy1964, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    Is there a web site somewhere that has a list of localities in the U.S. that have a law prohibiting civilian ownership of LE-only ammo?
  2. Glockdude1

    Glockdude1 Federal Member CLM

    May 24, 2000
    No such law exists.

    If it was illegal to own "L/E ammo", you could not buy it period. That is not the case. In fact you can buy it not only by the case, but by the PALLET if you so desire.


  3. Kegs

    Kegs Ol 8 fingers ;)

    Oct 26, 2009
    Cold side of conus
    Really? Show me a place you can buy five seven model SS-190 ammo without LE/military credentials.

    Good luck. :supergrin:
  4. Merkavaboy

    Merkavaboy Code-7A KUZ769

    The FN 5.7x28mm SS-190 load is defined as Armor Piercing handgun ammo by the Federal Govt. Thus, it is illegal for importers, distributors and dealers to sell such ammo directly to non-military or Law Enforcement personnel.

    That does not mean that civilians who already have such ammo cannot sell it to others, as long as their state and/or local laws do not prohibit the ownership or possession of armor piercing handgun ammo.

    And since you asked, here is one location that people can buy SS190 ammo:

    It will probably be very hard to find this ammo in shooting quantities as it is very expensive, hard to get and is basically a collector's cartridge right now.

    Like it has been written many times before here on GT and every single gun forum that exists, there is no federal law that exists that prohibits citizens from buying or using standard JHP or FMJ ammo that is labeled as L.E. Only.
    So far no website or gun forum that I know of has provided any substantiation of any state/local law that prohibits such ammo (excluding AP ammo). And even some of the most rarest of all AP and experimental rounds will find their way into the hands of civilians, especially cartridge collectors.
  5. Glockdude1

    Glockdude1 Federal Member CLM

    May 24, 2000
  6. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    I'm sure there must be some little podunk community out there that has a law stating civilians can't own ammo marked "LE only" by the manufacturer. Sort of like how civilians can't carry JHPs in New Jersey. But maybe there isn't.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2010
  7. sciolist


    Nov 11, 2009
    Since the LE-only designation is made by manufacturers and not the government, seems like legal restrictions would not reference it.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    The government might choose to restrict ammo with characteristics that manufacturers develop for LE or LE-only use, but I would imagine even the idiots in government would look for less arbitrary criteria than print copy on the side of a box.<o:p></o:p>
  8. Merkavaboy

    Merkavaboy Code-7A KUZ769

    The only time that the Feds would get involved in restricting small arms ammo (pistol/rifle) is if a manufacturer wants to develope and/or import AP ammo and that which is developed strictly for military use. Such examples would be like 9mm AP, the .45ACP 185FMJ-FP +P SOCOM (which I have YET to see for sale on the civilian market; my exemplar was obtained from an advanced .45ACP cartridge collector), the new 5.56mm Army/Marine SOST load (how Palmetto Armory got some of this ammo for sale is beyond me other than possibly military reject stuff), .300 Win Mag sniper ammo etc.

    But when U.S. manufacturers make special loads for LE, they have every right to restrict civilian sales due to product liability. Example is the 9mm +P+ loads. Back in the earily 80's when ISP went directly to Federal and Winchester requesting they develope the high pressure/high velocity 115JHP+P+ loads, there were written agreements between them acknowledging that these loads were way above pressures that they have ever loaded for the 9x19mm cartridge. This was not stuff that should be used by the general public as they have no way of controlling who used this ammo in what firearm. The same with the old 38Spl 110JHP+P+ "Treasury" or "CHP" load. This load had a way of destroying J-Frame revolvers in short order. When such loads came out, the only way to get this ammo is if you "knew someone". I recall gun articles from the 80's written by cops who had gotten their ammo just that way.

    Even in the mid 90's when Winchester stopped selling the Black Talon they were forced to sell the BT as LE only ammo. They then developed a civilian "de-clawed" version of the SXT style bullet and named it the Supreme SXT.

    Things have really changed in the last 20 years in the ammo industry. Manufacturers have lost control over their distributors, who now sell "restricted" ammo openly on the civilian market. And when manufacturers have overruns or ammo that is rejected by the end user (for what ever reasons), they tend to put that ammo right onto the civilian market via dealers who will eagerly buy it up and sell it off (and why not? Why destroy perfectly shootable ammo when there is a market for it right here in the states?).

    At one time there was a perfectly good reason for manufacturers to restrict their ammo to Govt and LE agencies only. But now, it seems that anyone can get almost anything they want on the open market, from the 9mm & 38Spl +P+ to the military designed 9mm 147JHP Type-L OSM load made for the SEALs and adopted by the FBI after their '86 Miami fiasco, the Belgium designed 5.7x28mm AP SS-190 and now the new U.S. Marine 5.56mm 62gr barrier defeating MK318 MOD O SOST round.

    But remember, availibility of high performance ammo can be a double-edged sword, depending on which end you're standing on.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010