The Pentagon recently announced that Mississippi-based Olin-Winchester was the winner of a large contract for small arms ammunition.
The U.S. Army Contracting Command at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, last week announced Oxford, Mississippi-based Winchester was awarded a $51,828,706 contract modification. The award includes the manufacture of 5.56 NATO, 7.62 NATO, and .50 caliber ammunition, with the funds obligated from current Army budgets to cover the entire award.
Rock Island said the work will be performed at Winchester's new state-of-the-art plant in Oxford, with an estimated completion date of Sept. 29, 2023.
Winchester's 200,000 square-foot facility in the Magnolia State has steadily expanded its workforce in the past decade, as Olin moved over 1,000 manufacturing jobs there from the company’s traditional Illinois location.
Olin dates to 1892, when it was originally formed as a small blasting powder supplier, and acquired Winchester's ammunition concern in 1931. According to company documents, they are the "Number one producer of small arms ammunition globally."
The company has been very busy when it comes to the military in the past few years.
In 2016, Olin was selected by the Army to supply as many as 100 million rounds of 9mm ammunition – M1152 Ball, M1153 Special Purpose, and M1156 Drilled Dummy Inert – to the Pentagon as part of Sig Sauer’s new M17/M18 System.
Finally, Olin won a 10-year contract in 2019 to run the Army's historic Lake City ammo plant and prepare it for the production of the new 6.8x51mm NGSW cartridge family.
While the military is constantly purchasing ammo to renew its stockpile – some of which date to WWII – it should also be noted that ongoing drawdowns direct from government stockpiles have been sent to Ukraine in the past two months to aid that country in its war with Russia. The Department of Defense has said at least 50 million rounds of small arms ammunition have been supplied to Kyiv in such a manner.