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Mexican Bandits Steal 7 Million Rounds of Ammunition

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Article first appeared on Ammoland.com

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U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- On 10 June, 2021, it was reported that 7,114,500 rounds of sporting ammunition was stolen in the state of Guanajuato. The value of the ammunition was reported to be over 2.7 million dollars.  This correspondent checked the reported value with market conditions in the United States. The value falls within retail prices during the current ammunition bubble.

The event took place near the town of San Luis de la Paz, according to Milenio, here is the translation:

In an unprecedented event, criminals in Guanajuato managed to steal such a quantity of ammunition when they attacked two cargo units that were circulating on Highway 57 near the municipality of San Luis de la Paz, according to information provided by the delegation of the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic in the entity.

The ammunition was being transported inside two semi-trailers, as partial loads in each vehicle. The weight of the ammunition was about four or five tons. A semi-trailer can easily carry 10 tons.  Some sources claimed 98.5% of the ammunition was .22 rimfire cartridges. A detailed list from a later source showed about 89% of the cartridges were .22 rimfire.

A Mexican source,  regeneracion.mx reported the following quantities of Ammunition were stolen:

  • 4,872,000 rounds of high velocity Long Rifle cartridges, solid point
  • 1,230,000 rounds of high velocity Long Rifle hollow point cartridges
  •  295,000 rounds of .40 S&W pistol cartridges
  • 215,000 rounds of .22 caliber L.R. Super Colibri garden loads
  • 117,000 rounds of .45 auto cartridges
  • 100,000 rounds of .38 special revolver cartridges
  • 99,000 .410 7.5 shot cartridges
  • 87 thousand 7.62×51 NATO fmj cartridges
  • 71,500  12 gauge mini-shells
  • 25,000 .38 super +p handgun cartridges
  • 3,000 12 gauge mini-shell slug loads

According to AP, a spokesman for Tecnos, which owns the Aguila brand, said the Mexican drug cartels are unlikely to use .22 rimfire.

“These will be of no use to them, given that they don’t use these weapons,” said security analyst Juan Ibarrola, who also acts as spokesman for the Tecnos Industries company

All of the cartridges listed are in high demand on the black market in Mexico, and in the legal market in the United States. With the ammunition bubble ongoing in the United States, it is not clear if the ammunition will be smuggled north of the border or sold on the black market inside of Mexico. As in the United States, the .22 rimfire cartridges are the most common, as they are the least expensive for target shooting, small game hunting, and pest control.

They are powerful enough to be used for defensive purposes but are not the primary choice for self-defense.

Both .22 rimfire and 12 gauge shotguns are commonly used by the spontaneous militias which have been formed in some Mexican states to battle with forces of the various drug cartels.

The theft of the ammunition may have been based on inside information. The thieves seem to have known what they wanted and where it was located. No shots were fired during the encounter, and no one was killed.

Aguila has become a major player in the global market. During the .22 ammunition bubble from 2012 to 2016, Aguila doubled its production to take a greater share of the market, especially in the United States.

Industry insiders have told me the regulatory environment inside the United States was a major obstacle that prevented the expansion of American production of rimfire ammunition.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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