April 16th, 2010

ATK Halts Controversial Military Brass De-Milling Program

Some weeks ago we reported that ATK was involved in a program with military-base commanders, under which one-fired cartridge brass was “de-milled” and then sold as scrap metal to ATK. The unit commanders then retained the proceeds for “discretionary use” at their bases. This procedure drew flack from gun owners and various members of Congress who believed the brass should be sold in reloadable condition — thereby returning its “highest use value” to the U.S. Treasury.

Lake City Arsenal surplus brassApparently ATK has abandoned the process of purchasing, at scrap value, demilled once-fired brass from military base commanders. According to Jim Shepherd’s Shooting Wire: “Montana Congressman Denny Rehberg has been ‘personally assured’ by Alliant Techsystems (NYSE:ATK) that the company’s controversial purchasing of demilled, once-fired military brass from individual military post commandants was ‘done’. That program launched a firestorm of protest from ammunition reloaders toward the small arms ammunition manufacturer after Montana Shooting Sports Association president Gary Marbut alleged ATK was trying to ‘pull an end-run’ around a Congressional directive to stop the process of destroying once-fired military brass.”

We hope that ATK has abandoned the de-milling program for good, and that once-fired military brass will, without exception, be made available to surplus vendors through public auctions. This was the intent of a Congressional Directive which stated that once-fired brass should be sold in reloadable condition. The U.S. government should certainly receive the highest value for surplus cartridge brass which the taxpayer paid to produce in the first place. Once-fired military brass is a popular resource for recreational and competitive shooters nationwide.

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