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Old 08-29-2013, 10:15 PM
shawn mccarver shawn mccarver is offline
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Default FBI Request for Proposal for 9mm Ammo

I have just finished reading the 113 page FBI Request for Proposal of December 2012, wherein the FBI was seeking to buy service, training, reduced lead training and frangible 9mm ammo.

I understand why the RFP has to be the way it is, but dealing with the government is obviously a big pain in the rear. If you don't think so, read the contract IN ITS ENTIRETY.

Highlights of the RFP are that the 9mm must be between 120 and 147 grain JHP of no greater pressure than SAAMI +P and it penetrate ballistic gelatin between 12 and 18 inches, and it must pass all of the FBI barrier tests. No failure to penetrate at least 12 inches is permitted. EVER.

The ammo must work and not cause damage or excessive wear to the following pistols: Any generation of the following models: Glocks 17, 19 and 26, SIG Sauer 226 and 228 and the HK MP5 and its variants.

It must have a power factor of between 135 and 155 (bullet weight in grains x velocity at 15 ft measured in ft. per sec. / 1,000).

The service ammo must have a bullet weight of between 120 and 147 grains. Training ammo bullet weight must be between 115 and 147 grains, and the frangible is between 80 and 100 grains.

This is rich: The ammo must not penetrate the FBI body armor.

In reading vendor questions and answers, it seems that the contract specifies materials required for testing that are not readily identified (i.e. no item number for a specified material to be used in the barrier test), and in one case, the instructions given in response to a vendor question was to call "Sandi Flowers at Dominion Steel" and order the "FBI bullet testing steel," and in yet another case, the denim specified in the contract (a specific type FBI obtains from a "JoAnn Fabrics" store) was apparently discontinued and is unavailable.

Merely reading this contract will make your blood pressure go up as you understand that it takes a year for these morons to decide on new 9mm ammo using our tax dollars, and it sounds like the specs were written by the Marx Brothers when you see the questions asked for clarification by the expert chemists and ballisticians employed by the ammo companies, and the government issuing revised contract specs at every turn.

Truly, it would be the equivalent of me trying to issue specs to build a nuclear reactor. I am just not qualified to do it, and the people who are would obviously think my "attempt" at doing so would be like "amateur night out."

Oh, and after 113 pages of contract BS, the contract says it has to be off-the-shelf production item.

Now, perhaps I am a simpleton, but it seems a better use of limited tax dollars would be to have some secretary at the office go to the nearest hardware store and buy a case of so of each brand, run it on the chronograph and the firing range and in the gelatin with the barriers and make a decision. Imagine how many millions it takes these creeps to decide what to spend some more millions on to buy for new 9mm ammo.

And, what is really wrong with the current off-the-shelf 9mm ammo that requires all of this effort to re-test 9mm ammo? I mean the testing protocol takes up dozens of pages, and is obviously a big pain to carry out.

Reading one of these ignoramus federal contracts will really convince you that the people who work at these places are "just not right," which would be ok IF they were not spending OUR money.

This is the RFP number:

RFP-OSCU-DSU1301

The award was finally issued in August 19, 2013 and Federal, Winchester and Hornady were given contracts.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:29 PM
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Why should the FBI be any different than any other federal organization? You think they waste money, you should look closer at any of the military branches. I spent a decade wondering about similar things before giving up.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:32 PM
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Having worked on a nightmare government project I'll never make that mistake again.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:01 PM
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Thanks for a great post, Shawn. Great to lift the veil . . .
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:07 PM
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If you think these people working for the government is less than efficient, belong to a gun club where the same people sit on the executive board. The "Scope of Work" to grade a new 300 yard rifle range is in Revision 8 and still isn't in the hands of any interested bidders.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:34 PM
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What do you expect? The FBI is run by a Ship of Fools.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:36 PM
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Why any firearm company would sell any firearm to the government? They demand low price, EXTREMELY difficult to work with, and can penalize you for whatever ridiculous reasons? I mean the rifles sold to DOD by H&K is way cheaper than the semi on the civilian market. I know big purchase (such as F-35, nuclear boat) works in the favor of the contractor since they are usually the sole provider. Shall I remind you Obama administration recent 1.6 billion round purchase mandate a fixed price for the next 4 years. WTH
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:25 AM
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Just idle curiosity, but when and why did the Bureau start using 9mm weapons with frangible ammo? Does this mean they need or have obtained new duty weapons again?

I must have missed that somehow.
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:41 AM
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Have been around a few govt. contracts. They tend to know what they want and who they wish to purchase from. Then they style the specs to scare off most and award to the ones they wanted in the first place. When buying vehicles they require a Framis valve that is only on the brand they want. (meaning the one the boss drives) Then its a no brainer to get the vehicles they want. And all of them will have a very expensive Framis valve mounted even if they do not need such a part. Once when upset with my dept. The powers that be ordered us vehicles and specified ours would go to a certain dealer and have the AC system removed. Shortly after an accident occurred due to the defoggers not working right. They were made only to function with AC installed. So the vehicles went back to the dealer for aftermarket refitting of the AC units. All on the publics dime. Nobody lost their job.
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:23 AM
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Not just ammunition, but many government solicitations are so unclear there will be dozens to hundreds of questions directed to the contracting officer by prospective bidders submitted for clarification. In fact I have seen the Q&A routine repeated 3 or 4 times, because the answers provided are themselves unclear, misleading, or just don't make any sense. My all-time favorite answer from the contracting officer is the always helpful "see the solicitation."
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:24 AM
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In my limited experience in such matters I found many such contracts are written in such a manner that only the vender, or contractor they want can comply. Seen this time and time again, and, in hiring as well.
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Old 08-30-2013, 01:59 AM
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So, this adds credence to the rumor that the G-Men are dropping the G23 .40 S&W in favor of a 9mm(?). Jesus, Joseph & Mary, they spent a boatload of taxpayer money on testing that!! Winchester alone supposedly spent over a million on R&D in developing the 180 gr. Ranger Bonded JHP for the FBI. Wonder if they'll ask for a refund. LOL!!

The Gov't is totally out of control regarding spending. This is insanity!! Why the Hell are they going BACK to 9mm after they screamed & hollered for a .40 S&W??!! There needs to be a serious house cleaning and the budget/staff cut to bare bones as we as a country are beyond broke!!
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Old 08-30-2013, 02:04 AM
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Per DWalt: "Not just ammunition, but many government solicitations are so unclear there will be dozens to hundreds of questions directed to the contracting officer by prospective bidders submitted for clarification. In fact I have seen the Q&A routine repeated 3 or 4 times, because the answers provided are themselves unclear, misleading, or just don't make any sense. My all-time favorite answer from the contracting officer is the always helpful "see the solicitation.""

Try bidding on a contract where 90% - 100% of the RFP has been redacted. Happened to me on MULTIPLE occasions.

Try bidding on a contract where the gub-mint is buying direct from supplier or manufacturer on a GSA price list that hasn't been updated since 1998, 14 years at the time. Happened to me last year. My GSA contact TOLD me the customary ballpark price that I could charge to install the material they would be purchasing direct from the manufacturer at 1998 pricing. The customary labor price was taken directly from the 1998 GSA Labor Rates Chart. Needless to say I did not submit a bid based on 1998 pricing. In fact I did not bid.

Try gaining access to a secured gub-mint site to survey a job so you can submit a bid and being told "No Entry Beyond This Point without Escort" and the "Escort Point of Contact" listed in the RFP for site survey is on maternity leave and won't be returning until four weeks after bids are due.

Ta'int nuttin like dealins wit da GUB-MINT.

Class III
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Old 08-30-2013, 09:23 AM
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Hum... so the fbi is going full circle back to the 9mm. Why not? It's an excellent round. And given that fbi has to employ men and women... some of whom are of small stature, the 9mm and the weapons for which it is commonly chambered is a good choice. Also... for those times when something like a Uzi or HK is needed, they won't be fooling around with different calibers.

As to the requirements... well, the folks who write such things really must find something to do with their time. After all, they aren't paid to hunt criminals on the govt. dime now are they?
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:16 AM
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It's just the federal guvmint that we all dearly love and support with our hard earned tax $$.
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:28 AM
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Gov contracts are usually required to be filled by an open bid process.
If that were not the case, everyone would be in here whining about how the Gov just spends money without trying to obtain the best possible price on a competitive basis.
The Gov will always be railed against no matter what- damned if they do, damned if they don't.

True, some specs are skewed in some bid solicitations, but a huge percentage are not. They just spec an item they need ranging from screwdrivers to multi-floored buildings and solicit bids.
Would you prefer they just get with a bureaucrat's BIL to buy a million screwdrivers or get a 10 story building built?

They are not allowed to simply buy off the shelf in most cases. They MUST solicit bids by law.
Could it be done more efficiently? Perhaps.
But labeling Gov employees "creeps" and "morons" for performing their jobs as directed is really uncalled for.

The larger something gets and the more resources it has, the more waste it will create.
That is simply a law of nature that applies to anything from a large family to a large corporation to a huge Gov.
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:15 AM
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If anyone thinks government is wasteful, inefficient, or some other negative adjective, go work to change it.

I'm serious.

If someone here thinks they could do a better job in government than those in it, go do it already. I hope you can, because we need the best government we can get, and complaining about it doesn't make it better.
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:18 AM
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If you want a real education, take the "Bidding and Winning Government Contracts" training offered by a prominent group that I refuse to advertise.

Rule One is that if you weren't involved in helping draft the RFP/RFQ, you will not win the bid, and that it is best to get in bed with the personnel at the agency who draft the RFP at least 6 months before it issues. I pointed out that this was a clear violation of the Federal Acquisition Regulations and was greeted with a loud shrug.

Rule Two was that technical compliance with the formatting specs for the proposal were more important than the content, since the initial review would be conducted by a GS2 clerk with a checklist and having any text in a font other than that specified would send your proposal to the "unresponsive" graveyard before anyone could consider its technical merits.

These folks (and their students) have an impressive track record in winning government contracts.

When gov't RFPs call for square circles, the correct term is not "moron" but "oxymoron".

I am currently reviewing an RFQ to provide unicorns to draw the carriage in the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:25 AM
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The procurement rules in city, county, state & federal government are so onorous that the silly RFPs have to speak to all these rules. I can assure you that no one who works for any of these agencies wants to go through all this BS, and they would much rather go somewhere and buy different brands for testing on their range, as was suggested in a previous post.

It's good to be retired!
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:41 AM
shawn mccarver shawn mccarver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handejector View Post
But labeling Gov employees "creeps" and "morons" for performing their jobs as directed is really uncalled for.
"it takes a year for these morons to decide on new 9mm ammo using our tax dollars"

I meant to say that "it takes a year for these efficient government employees to decide on new 9mm ammo, which exemplifies everything that I have come to expect from these nice folks with their years of government training and experience."

"Imagine how many millions it takes these creeps to decide what to spend some more millions on to buy for new 9mm ammo."

I meant to say "Imagine how many millions of dollars it takes for these efficient and well-trained government employees to test a bunch of off-the-shelf ammo that has all been tested before so that they can decide - again - which new off-the-shelf 9mm ammo on which to spend our millions of tax dollars."

Sorry about that. Now, I am the creep and the moron.

Shawn
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waywatcher View Post
If anyone thinks government is wasteful, inefficient, or some other negative adjective, go work to change it.

I'm serious.

If someone here thinks they could do a better job in government than those in it, go do it already. I hope you can, because we need the best government we can get, and complaining about it doesn't make it better.
Actually I did after finishing my education. Went in thinking I was going to change the system one day. Big mistake... I became the nail sticking out of the board so every hammer around wanted to pound me in to get in line with others. When you go in with the idea of messing with the "system" you will be put back in line or put out of the system.

The sole purpose of government bureaucracy is the survival and enlargement of the bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is like a living entity seeking to survive and grow and anything thing and anyone who tries to disrupt that will be eliminated.

Most government bids are just a show anyway, they already know who will get the contract but they have to go through the process.
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buford57 View Post
Rule Two was that technical compliance with the formatting specs for the proposal were more important than the content, since the initial review would be conducted by a GS2 clerk with a checklist and having any text in a font other than that specified would send your proposal to the "unresponsive" graveyard before anyone could consider its technical merits.
*
Some of the reasons for bid specs are so stupid you would scream. Some are necessary, but not obvious. There is a whole spectrum.

However: one thing I'll tell you about the format issue. Having been involved in some hiring matters, I opposed interviewing or contacting or having anything else to do with people who could not follow the directions. I already know they are flawed enough that I don't want their product associated with my name. On at least one occasion, I vigorously opposed interviewing someone because her resume was a complete soup sandwich. About 3 weeks after she was hired, they had to fire her for security reasons (associated and lived with a real undesirable), and it was a miserable experience that caused some preliminary litigation even though she was a probationary employee. I may have said a couple of things to the boss that rhymed with "I told you not to do that".
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:12 PM
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"This is rich: The ammo must not penetrate the FBI body armor."

So if I'm a bad guy I'm going to look up the RFP for FBI body armor and get me some........!
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
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"This is rich: The ammo must not penetrate the FBI body armor."

So if I'm a bad guy I'm going to look up the RFP for FBI body armor and get me some........!
This is pretty standard, the reason for it is in case a perp gets ahold of the officers weapon and it ends up being fired at the original carrier of the pistol.

Probably ends up meaning Level II body armor, maybe Level IIIa at the most.

I'm pretty sure the only reason this is even being discussed here is because of a lack of understanding.
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:19 PM
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Shawn, you forget the first requirement of a RFP: justifiy the positions of the persons crafting said document and those who certify compliance with same.

I read a hysterically funny story in a professional journal about an FBI RFP for shotgun ammo "back in the day". Some outfit no one had ever heard of won it. Extremely puzzled, the FBI contacted the local field office and had them visit the concern. It turned out to be a couple of Bubbas in a garage with a MEC jr, who had no possibility of being able to actually deliver the product in the quantities required. After that, the RFP process was upgraded, probably including the phrase "lowest responsible bidder" or "qualified bidder".

And yes, the rules have gotten worse, including provisions for special consideration to various firms owned/operated by various ethnic, sexual and other .....out of the mainstream peoples who may or may not operate in special economic zones that require subsidation.
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Old 08-30-2013, 06:30 PM
Stephanie B Stephanie B is offline
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Almost all of the contracting rules exist because people did **** to get around them, or get a little "taste" of the revenue stream or whatnot.

The companies willingly comply with what the FBI wants, for they know that there will be hundreds of smaller departments and hundreds of thousands of citizens and individual officers who will buy X gun or Y ammo because the FBI does, or because DoD does. How may cop shops still use the Beretta 9mm because the Army went to it thirty or so years ago?

(If nobody bid on the FBI's work, then it'd be a different story.)
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
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...And yes, the rules have gotten worse, including provisions for special consideration to various firms owned/operated by various ethnic, sexual and other .....out of the mainstream peoples who may or may not operate in special economic zones that require subsidation.

Whudda thunk it!!
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  #28  
Old 08-30-2013, 11:54 PM
shawn mccarver shawn mccarver is offline
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Shawn, you forget the first requirement of a RFP: justifiy the positions of the persons crafting said document and those who certify compliance with same.

I read a hysterically funny story in a professional journal about an FBI RFP for shotgun ammo "back in the day". Some outfit no one had ever heard of won it. Extremely puzzled, the FBI contacted the local field office and had them visit the concern. It turned out to be a couple of Bubbas in a garage with a MEC jr, who had no possibility of being able to actually deliver the product in the quantities required. After that, the RFP process was upgraded, probably including the phrase "lowest responsible bidder" or "qualified bidder".

And yes, the rules have gotten worse, including provisions for special consideration to various firms owned/operated by various ethnic, sexual and other .....out of the mainstream peoples who may or may not operate in special economic zones that require subsidation.
As I said in my original post, I know WHY they have to do it that way, but it is absolutely infuriating.

One of the big problems which did not come through in my original post, perhaps, is that it took the better part of a year for them to make a decision on OFF THE SHELF 9mm ammo.

The free market comes up with a better product in the meantime and the officers are deprived of it because the bid process takes so long. It is especially bad with computers and other types of electronic devices. The technology goes much faster than the bid process.

With ammo, that is a matter of officer/agent safety. The silly rules impair officer safety and there should be exceptions allowing them to really buy off the shelf products without going through the nonsense. I realize also that it is not the fault of the hapless secretaries or clerical people who type up the RFPs. They are merely following crazy rules put into place by lawmakers or bureaucrats who are more concerned about political correctness and other factors than about officer/agent safety.

As far as one poster said, instead of complaining, do something. Well, I am doing something. I am exposing this nonsense for what it is. Every officer/agent and their representatives should be screaming to the legislature to mandate changes.

I mean it gets crazy. FBI tests pistols and adopts new .40 caliber Glocks. Other federal agencies test pistols, and the Glock doesn't pass and they adopt SIG, or S&W, or HK, etc.

Now, why that is so remains a mystery, but the part I fail to understand is why it is necessary for each agency to re-invent the wheel with its own expensive testing process.

Homeland Security has a big weapons test. FBI has a big weapons test. Secret Service, DEA, ATF, all have a big weapons test.

Then FBI has a few ammo tests. Then Homeland Security. Then Secret Service. Then ATF and LAPD and NYPD, etc.

Are all of their needs so different that they have to do it all over again, costing us millions in the process.

Don't red flags go up when the "best LE pistol in the world" suddenly doesn't even finish the test when conducted by another agency.

All the while the poor officers/agents on the street are waiting and waiting and waiting while the bureaucrats do their thing.

Remember when NYPD said their Glock mags had to hold 10. Then an officer ran out of ammo and got killed. Then, it was ok to have 15? Did we really have to sacrifice that officer for the sake of the bureaucratic cowards who will not go on the record to demand what the officers need for fear of offending some loud, angry group?

Whether the FBI goes back to 9mm pistols across the board (there is serious talk of that) and whether they stay with Glock (there is also serious talk of that) and whether they need 9mm or .40 or 10mm or .45 ACP is academic if the agents cannot get the best equipment NOW because of a contracting process that takes a year to complete, all the while the FBI's 9mm previous choice (Q4364) has a projectile that has become outdated and is not as effective as the newer projectile in RA9B.

I am screaming about this because this is a life or death matter, and it is not the same as hammers, toilet seats, ash trays and other stuff the government buys on bid.

There ought to be a fast track for this type of safety equipment and I am doing the only thing I can, which is to go to the trouble of reading the RFP (every word of it) and then expressing my disgust with the process by apparently unhappy or, to some, offensive terms.

It is all I can do. But, if enough people do it, hopefully someone listens.
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  #29  
Old 08-31-2013, 12:46 AM
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I'm an FBI agent.

This isn't a matter of life and death. We have plenty of perfectly good 9mm ammo right now - 147 grain Gold Dot, I think. I gave my 9mm back and have carried a .45 and a .40 for 22 and 17 years, respectively, so I'm not 100 percent sure. Our suppressed MP5s are 9s, and Glock 26s are approved as personally owned weapons, so we've always had 9mm ammo available.

Every X number of years the contract runs out and we have to do another contract for more ammo. It will probably be either exactly what we have now or something equally good. The request is long because millions of dollars are involved and whoever doesn't win the bid will sue us. No one is going without good ammo because of this cumbersome process.

There is a rumor we are going back to the 9mm as a standard issue. It has nothing to do with it being better - if the 9mm performs in our tests and is cheaper, we'll get it.

This really isn't worth getting a case of the vapors. The people who write these proposals aren't taking time out from chasing bad guys since they aren't agents and probably work for GSA anyway. Most of the costs will be borne by the ammo companies trying to land the contract.

I've been called a lot worse than moron, idiot, and ignoramus, so it doesn't bother me. Take a look at some military procurement stuff sometime. It will make this little 9mm proposal look like the Magna Carta.
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:55 AM
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...There is a rumor we are going back to the 9mm as a standard issue. It has nothing to do with it being better - if the 9mm performs in our tests and is cheaper, we'll get it...

As a taxpayer, I get the "vapors" by seemingly redundant testing costing millions of tax dollars. Any Cheetos crunching basement dweller can Google ATK or Winchester tests on their respective LE websites and see the results.

No offense, but this is just total BS forced upon the taxpayer by a bunch of Poindexters who have to justify a big budget as well as their positions. There needs to be a serious house cleaning and dead timber felled. Gov't spending is entirely out of hand!!
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  #31  
Old 08-31-2013, 02:10 AM
shawn mccarver shawn mccarver is offline
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I'm an FBI agent.

This isn't a matter of life and death. We have plenty of perfectly good 9mm ammo right now - 147 grain Gold Dot, I think. I gave my 9mm back and have carried a .45 and a .40 for 22 and 17 years, respectively, so I'm not 100 percent sure. Our suppressed MP5s are 9s, and Glock 26s are approved as personally owned weapons, so we've always had 9mm ammo available.

Every X number of years the contract runs out and we have to do another contract for more ammo. It will probably be either exactly what we have now or something equally good. The request is long because millions of dollars are involved and whoever doesn't win the bid will sue us. No one is going without good ammo because of this cumbersome process.

There is a rumor we are going back to the 9mm as a standard issue. It has nothing to do with it being better - if the 9mm performs in our tests and is cheaper, we'll get it.

This really isn't worth getting a case of the vapors. The people who write these proposals aren't taking time out from chasing bad guys since they aren't agents and probably work for GSA anyway. Most of the costs will be borne by the ammo companies trying to land the contract.

I've been called a lot worse than moron, idiot, and ignoramus, so it doesn't bother me. Take a look at some military procurement stuff sometime. It will make this little 9mm proposal look like the Magna Carta.
Those words (moron, creep, etc.) were directed not at agents, such as yourself, but at the bureaucrats and politicians who have basically made it so that a simple purchase of ammo (large quantity, yes, but not a complex purchase like building a nuclear reactor) must have an crazy long list of specs, test protocols, fixed pricing requiring the vendor to pay all shipping charges for all shipments even though the contract does not say how much will be shipped or where the shipments will go, in order to allow proper estimates to be made, etc., all of which means the bidder must over estimate to cover for those things, which means tax dollars are wasted OR that any loss on that deal is made up by selling to the public at a higher cost.

Remember the Beretta M9 contract back in 1985 or so? The M9s were sold to the government at under $200.00 per pistol, but the dealer price on the then-new 92F was $500.00 or so to make up for the loss incurred by Beretta on the deal.

It may not be that important in the whole scheme of things, but reading that document reveals a great deal about the way the government works. And it is not pretty.

As to switching calibers, while 9mm ammo may be cheaper, when you factor in new pistols to replace the entire fleet of Glock .40s, spare parts, magazines, etc., it seems like a waste of tax dollars, especially since the used pistols will be destroyed rather than sold. Glocks are known to last upwards of 75,000 rounds in .40 caliber, and I cannot imagine why those would not last an entire career for most agents.

Thank you for your thoughts and input.
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  #32  
Old 08-31-2013, 03:04 AM
jap85 jap85 is offline
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Originally Posted by sigp220.45 View Post
I'm an FBI agent.

This isn't a matter of life and death. We have plenty of perfectly good 9mm ammo right now - 147 grain Gold Dot, I think. I gave my 9mm back and have carried a .45 and a .40 for 22 and 17 years, respectively, so I'm not 100 percent sure. Our suppressed MP5s are 9s, and Glock 26s are approved as personally owned weapons, so we've always had 9mm ammo available.

Every X number of years the contract runs out and we have to do another contract for more ammo. It will probably be either exactly what we have now or something equally good. The request is long because millions of dollars are involved and whoever doesn't win the bid will sue us. No one is going without good ammo because of this cumbersome process.

There is a rumor we are going back to the 9mm as a standard issue. It has nothing to do with it being better - if the 9mm performs in our tests and is cheaper, we'll get it.

This really isn't worth getting a case of the vapors. The people who write these proposals aren't taking time out from chasing bad guys since they aren't agents and probably work for GSA anyway. Most of the costs will be borne by the ammo companies trying to land the contract.

I've been called a lot worse than moron, idiot, and ignoramus, so it doesn't bother me. Take a look at some military procurement stuff sometime. It will make this little 9mm proposal look like the Magna Carta.
************************************
My son has witnessed and participated in the spending of government money, $1 million to be exact, so I can add a few things:
1). Government rules are just too onerous, ZERO flexibility, in his case, private company got Army's money, but there is one unwritten rule: at the end of contract, you have to spend all the money awarded to you, or you will NOT get any awards EVER. Also there are many things totally unnecessary (often things aimed to cut waste, but turns out for $1 saved, $10 wasted), things cost money with ZERO benefits.
2). The country is highly polarized, so any waste caught by agenda-driven news media/politician and the general public would lead to backlash against the government, and backlash lead to STRICTER rules, leads to more bureaucracy and more waste. Let's be honest, ERRORS, WASTES, MISTAKES are part of any job, as long as the employee uses good judgement and learn from the lesson and the waste/mistake are minimized to a manageable level, there should be some tolerance/understanding.

In his case, the job can be performed with best possible results for $300K, in the end, $1 million was spent and the work was totally junk!

Even in the case of gun regulations, if the REAL intention is to reduce crime, especially put more legal burden on the bad guy while taking pressure off the good guy, there is a lot can be accomplished. For example, any gun-toting robber who get shot/killed by law-abiding folks, if he has prior convictions of gun crime/robbery, police should immediately terminate any investigation and take away legal recourse from his family. Also any teenager who gets caught with gun crime, his parents should be held liable and financially responsible for the incarceration of their kid (no money? Go and clean the dirty street or sewage system w/o pay). Prisoner should be doing some job (prison labor) to pay for his incarceration (partially).
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  #33  
Old 08-31-2013, 06:31 AM
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This is going to sound weird but here goes,
In order for the Government to purchase the best product it must be able to measure the products ability to do what is necessary. In order to do that there must bea measurement standard that all proposed products must meet. Now someone is given the job to come up with a measurement standard, an ashtray cannot break into more than 6 pieces and each piec must be no smaller than 1 square inch when dropped from a height of 3 feet. Why that standard? Someone was given the job to make one up so they can assure performance. Now the manufacturermust test their product to ensure it meets the standard and if it does not they must go back and remanufacture the product to meet the standard. The must also provide testing data to prove the product meet the standard. Then the government agency who approves the vendor must also test to make sure the vendor's testing is indeed accurate. All of this to make sure the government does not waste your tax dollars buying products that do not do the jog required of them.

Now you begin to understand why a toilet seat or a hammer can cost so darn much money to the government as opposed to the one you get at the hardware store.
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  #34  
Old 08-31-2013, 07:19 AM
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interesting read, thanks for passing the information on. I thought the FBI was using the Winchester PDX1? guess i was missed informed on that one.
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  #35  
Old 08-31-2013, 08:12 AM
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If the FBI did not do the ammo tests we would be no where close to where we are with the quality of the ammo currently available. As noted, there are people in places for the necessary documentation so as to be "fair" to ensure everyone capable of making the specified product be able to bid. Guess it has become the American Way... Now, if a major vendor needs to drop the price of ammo or guns to win a bid - then they are certainly entitled and if they want to add the cost back to the commercial side of the business then they are entitled to do that also. If someone does not like it - then don't buy the product. A major supplier winning a bid is like paying for advertisement. Guns, ammo, automobiles and related products all play into the lucrative LE market. How many gun guys walk into their LGS asking for
the FBI load or police ammo? They ask for these products because they feel those products are tested and proven. Why does Ford put an "Interceptor" decal on their police cars? Free marketing! And the marketing demonstrates a model that has won a bid to provide service to our government.

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  #36  
Old 08-31-2013, 11:02 AM
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It isn't just ammo, the gov't contracts specs on buying anything is that bad. My wife has a small business part time as a decorator. She does sell blinds, curtains, drapes, etc, custom designed, as well as consulting on the design and decoration of an entire home. A few years ago she was requested to bid on blinds for a Veterans home locally. This is a fairly large complex, including multiple buildings and cottages for retirement living, assisted living and nursing home. She got the contract specifications, somewhere around 20 pages for just blinds for windows. She is one of only two companies locally who could have ordered the brand specified, and after reading it she told them no thanks, I won't submit a bid, I can't meet the criteria, and the second company also wouldn't bid. It took a couple more years, and they finally got a company from 100 miles away to bid and got the contract, and it was close to 3 times what either my wife or the other local company could have furnished them for.
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  #37  
Old 08-31-2013, 12:20 PM
shawn mccarver shawn mccarver is offline
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interesting read, thanks for passing the information on. I thought the FBI was using the Winchester PDX1? guess i was missed informed on that one.
Per the National Sales Manager for Winchester LE, the FBI's Q4364 is a 147 grain bonded hollow point, but its spec, driven by previous government contracts, has stayed the same while Winchester made improvements to the bonded hollow point used in PDX1 and the same Ranger load RA9B, both of which are now better than Q4364. So, the orignal PDX1 was the same, but now it has been improved.

Big cities, who can respond to these changes more efficiently than the FBI due to fewer issues with bids and RFPs have switched over to the newer generation bullets in the RA9B.

The new RA9B still does everything the FBI wants, including the penetration with all of the barriers, but it also expands better and dumps energy better, making it less likely to overpenetrate and waste energy on the other side of the target. The PDX1 now uses the newer generation bullet of the RA9B, whereas the Q4364 used by the FBI expands less and sacrifices energy dump for even greater penetration.

I have never been a fan of the 147 grain JHP in the 9mm - until now. St. Louis and Chicago are both now using the newer generation RA9B 147 grain bonded JHP load. Both cities are reporting one shot stops with the newer generation bullet used in RA9B. My St. Louis friends confirm what Winchester is saying.

The old Talon load, now called Supreme Expansion Technology (SXT) is used by LAPD and LASD and that is RA9T, and apparently it does very well also.

Bottom line: If you want the best 9mm 147 grain load, and you are concerned about barriers, get bonded (PDX1 or RA9B), not FBI's Q4364. If you are not concerned about barriers, then RA9T or the commercial equivalent if you cannot find Ranger loads.
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  #38  
Old 08-31-2013, 12:26 PM
shawn mccarver shawn mccarver is offline
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If the FBI did not do the ammo tests we would be no where close to where we are with the quality of the ammo currently available.
I agree, but that was started after the 1986 Miami shootout and the standards are now well known in the industry, and every ammo maker strives to make its ammo, for obvious reasons, so that it passes the now-standardized tests. So, while we owe them a debt of gratitude for thoughtfully analyzing the issues and challenges and coming up with a set of repeatable tests so that all ammo can be objectively measured, the ammo companies are now doing it on their own and we are far better off. In an efficient world, that should now mean the buying process should be simpler and less costly and time consuming. But, apparently not.
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  #39  
Old 08-31-2013, 08:52 PM
mkk41 mkk41 is offline
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As a taxpayer, I get the "vapors" by seemingly redundant testing costing millions of tax dollars.
You've obviously never heard of the US Governments "Department of Redundancy Department"
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:07 PM
fuzzybatman fuzzybatman is offline
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so now there will be a 9mm shortage
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:37 PM
R. G. Amos R. G. Amos is offline
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They are apparently concerned about someone shooting an agent with the agents own gun.
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  #42  
Old 09-04-2013, 07:37 AM
germansheperd germansheperd is offline
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I think you all miss the point. The U.N. and the NWO doesn't use .40 S&W they use................drum roll please-9mm. I believe there is a way bigger picture here.
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:46 AM
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having just supplied the local FBI field office with 28 flashlights, and 28 knives, won't ever try that again. un-realistic requests for discontinued items, and no understanding that it is the manufacturer not the seller that does the discontinuing, lumen requirement that makes no sense, serration request that doesn't exist, in blade length that made little sense. oh and the bid, re-bid, bid your re-bid, and oh by the way, we need those 3 days ago... we made about $4 each on the lights, and about $5 on the knives. when we figured out our cost in time and product, we made about $280. NOT worth my time, and wont do that again...
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Old 09-04-2013, 07:52 AM
Beemer-mark Beemer-mark is offline
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Have been around a few govt. contracts. They tend to know what they want and who they wish to purchase from. Then they style the specs to scare off most and award to the ones they wanted in the first place. .
Having worked for the government a long time ago there is a lot of truth in the above statement. However the reason is not as sinister as you think. The government goes with low bid. And unfortunately it doesn't matter if the product received is not up to the specification. And you cannot return it (or at least it almost impossible and probably costs more to return than what it cost in the first place). So you try to write the bid so that only a qualified bidder can win. As an Engineer (who does write nuclear design and purchase specifications) I can state that it takes a lot of imagination to write a government PO and get what you require.
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