DOD Can Save Millions by Using Less Expensive Packaging for Small Arms Training Ammunition

PLRD-81-53: Published: Aug 18, 1981. Publicly Released: Aug 18, 1981.

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GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) packaging of small arms training ammunition to determine whether such packaging costs could be reduced.

GAO found that, although DOD policy requires the use of the most cost-effective packaging, small arms training ammunition is bought with material that is not needed and used only occasionally for training purposes. Cost of this ammunition could be reduced by not including equipment such as metal stripper clips, loading adaptors, and bandoliers. While these items are crucial for combat, they are rarely used for training purposes. GAO believes that packaging ammunition without this equipment would permit savings without adversely affecting training. GAO also found that the wirebound wooden crates and metal containers provide training ammunition with packaging designed to last 10 years in outside storage. While combat stocks may require this level of protection, training ammunition does not. Furthermore, the wooden crates used to pack ammunition are treated with PCP, an environmentally hazardous chemical. GAO stated that the use of fiberboard for containers is more economical and would eliminate the health hazard associated with the chemically treated wooden crates. GAO concluded that, by repackaging small arms training ammunition without the combat extras, DOD could save $33 million.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should: (1) instruct the Army to use the available 5.56 mm. training pack; and (2) require the other services to requisition the training pack stock number.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the Army to have other types of training ammunition packaged in fiberboard containers without bandoliers, stripper clips, and magazine feeders.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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