With the world watching the events unfolding in Ukraine, many people around the world are trying to find ways to help the people there who are facing an invasion by Russian military forces.
The people at AMMO, Inc. (“AMMO”) were no exception. Fueled by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after he was offered a way out of the embattled country by President Joe Biden, he reportedly responded, “I need ammunition, not a ride.” That started the wheels in motion
AMMO’s CEO, Fred Wagenhals, was approached by fellow AMMO Board member and NASCAR Hall of Fame Team Owner Richard Childress (who appeared on Fox News https://video.foxnews.com/v/6299394753001?playlist_id=930909787001#sp=show-clips) about donating ammunition to Ukraine.
Wagenhals told Childress that “I think we should donate.”
“Richard called me and said ‘What can we do about that?’ I said, ‘We’ll donate some ammo.’
He said, ‘How much do you want to donate?’ I said, ‘How about half a million rounds?’ Richard said, ‘Let’s make it a million rounds.’”
To put the 1 million rounds of 7.62mm ammunition into perspective, the standard infantry rifle of the Ukrainian forces is the AK-74, which carries a 30-round magazine. AMMO’s donation would load, 33,333 magazines for Ukrainian forces, which is no small number when ammunition is getting harder to come by.
Asked about the donation, Wagenhals told SOFX, “Well, first of all, we believe in the Second Amendment. We also believe in freedom and democracy,” he said, in a teleconference call earlier this week.
“We’ve already got the million rounds of ammo sitting on the ground somewhere in Europe,” Wagenhals said. “The next step is to get the proper clearance paperwork to get it to the right people and the people in the Ukraine government that will put it out in the proper hands.” He added, “…right now, we’re just waiting on that.”
AMMO’s website posted a press release announcing their donation. “Ammo Inc., and we as Americans stand firmly in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence, as we stand for freedom and democracy everywhere. While we fervently hope for a quick and peaceful resolution to the crisis and that diplomacy will win the day, we condemn the Russian aggression and its threat to Ukraine’s territorial integrity and freedom. We recognize that events are unfolding rapidly on the ground in Ukraine, and we are prepared to move quickly as possible to support Ukraine as it continues to defend itself and its freedom.”
Under Wagenhals leadership, the company which he acquired in 2016, has gone from a revenue of $2 million that year to a public company (Nasdaq: POWW/POWWP) with an estimated annual revenue of$250 million.
While there is a global shortage of ammunition, AMMO is finishing construction of a new 160,000 sq. ft manufacturing facility in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, around the corner from their current plant that produces about 750,000 rounds of ammunition a day – that number is going to increase substantially with the planned July opening of the new facility. The company has all of their sales, and accounting offices in Scottsdale, Arizona and all production, engineering, and research and design in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
The company announced this past year that they had been awarded two DOD contracts with the Irregular Warfare Technical Support Directorate to design and manufacture (1) ballistic match multi-purpose (BMMPR) and (2) signature-on-target rounds (SoT) in support of U.S. military operations.
The company’s press releases describe these awards as follows: BMMPR – “… BMMPR ammunition is being developed to provide snipers with the ability to switch from standard issue match-grade ammunition to BM-MPR, without re-zeroing (or readjusting the scope on) their weapon. BM-MPRs, by design, deliver superior performance in the field against a wider variety of targets. This new, higher performing BM-MPR will be ballistically matched to current sniper match-grade ammunition, providing snipers with this seamless capability and therefore increasing lethality”; SoT – “… SoT ammunition is being developed to provide warfighters with the ability to see the impact of rounds fired from their weapon systems on a wider variety of targets, both day and night. The SoT ammunition allows the machine gunner to see bullet impacts without a visible signature in flight exposing their firing location in the manner which occurs with currently utilized tracer ammunition. This advanced capability will increase survivability by reducing firing position identification and increase lethality by supporting the shooter’s ability to place more rounds on target and in the beaten zone.”
AMMO was also able to acquire Gunbroker.com about a year ago in a cash/stock transaction valued at approximately $240 million. Gunbroker.com is the world’s leading online marketplace for the legal sale of firearms, ammunition and accessories with over 6.0 million registered users. Their 2020 revenue was about $60 million.
“GunBroker.com is a perfect fit and supports AMMO’s mission across many levels. Steve Urvan had the foresight and entrepreneurial drive to start GunBrokers.com more than 20 years ago,” Wagenhals said last year.
He told SOFX that his goal was to make AMMO, a “marketplace facility.” He added that the company was “in the right place, at the right time, with the right ideas.”
For more information about the company, including their /steLTH/ subsonic ammunition that burns cleaner which reduces suppressor erosion and prevents jams, as well as their Streak ammunition, which has the company’s exclusive patented technology allows the shooter to visually see the projectile’s path toward its target. STREAK rounds are nonincendiary. They do not generate heat so they are safe to use in environments where tracers are prohibited and can become a serious fire hazard, see the website.