National Weather Service buying hollow point bullets?

UPDATE: Via Business Insider, my posit that this was a typo is confirmed. See below.

At first I didn’t believe this, but there it is on the Federal bids page, screencap and link below. See the screencaps for an explantion. – Anthony

Via Drudge and Infowars:

National Weather Service Follows DHS In Huge Ammo Purchase

Hollow point bullets designed to cause maximum organ damage

Paul Joseph Watson

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why would the National Weather Service need to purchase large quantities of powerful ammo? That’s the question many are asking after the federal agency followed in the footsteps of the Department of Homeland Security in putting out a solicitation for 46,000 rounds of hollow point bullets.

A solicitation which appears on the FedBizOpps website asks for 16,000 rounds of .40 S&W jacketed hollow point (JHP) bullets, noted for their strength, to be delivered to locations in Ellsworth, Maine, and New Bedford, Mass.

A further 6,000 rounds of S&W JHP will be sent to Wall, New Jersey, with another 24,000 rounds of the same bullets heading to the weather station in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The solicitation also asks for 500 paper targets to be delivered to the same locations in Maine, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

The National Weather Service is is one of six scientific agencies that make up the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The solicitation requires a response by August 21.


At first I thought maybe this was for bear/elk protection of technicians when they go to service some of those remote weather stations in the Maine woods. The bid solicitation has the Marine Fisheries Service listed as the buyer. NOAA does have game wardens for commercial ocean fishing and game fishing, but why would they route it through the National Weather Service, which has no such programs? This is either a typo, or one of those convoluted government tree structures.


UPDATE: Business Insider, who reported on the issue last night, has the story (h/t to WUWT reader Timothy Ray Erney). As I noted above, it was a typo.

We talked to Scott Smullen, the Deputy Director of NOAA Communications & External Affairs who says the announcement is a mistake and is apparently being corrected at the time of this writing.

From Scott’s email:

Due to a clerical error in the federal business vendor process, a solicitation for ammunition and targets for the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement mistakenly identified NOAA’s National Weather Service as the requesting office.  The error is being fixed and will soon appear correctly in the electronic federal bidding system.  The ammunition is standard issue for many law enforcement agencies and it will be used by 63 NOAA enforcement personnel in their firearms qualifications and training.


newest oldest most voted
Notify of




Former Forecaster

Perhaps in response to the ‘climate wars’ heating up?
Seriously, I can’t imagine what the NWS needs with any ammunition. Their security, where needed, should be carried out by specialized police forces.


Yeah, I don’t get it. If they were shooting birds you wouldn’t use those bullets.


My guess is that they have their own site security for different places – do you know which facilities they own in the towns mentioned?


Department of Homeland Security in putting out a solicitation for 46,000 rounds of hollow point bullets.

The DHS solicitation was much larger. 750 MILLION rounds following an earlier order for 450 MILLION rounds coming to over a billion rounds just this year. Why would DHS use that much ammo? Hollow points are not used for training. Much cheaper “wad cutters” are generally used for that.

The chipmunks near the weather stations can be dangerous when provoked.


Well, NOAA *is* one of the seven uniformed services. [Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, US Public Health Service, and NOAA; as a kid, I used to argue that the Postal Service should be one, but Kevin Costner’s movie made that idea seem stupid.], and its commissioned corps does operate it’s own aircraft and ships.

Rob Crawford

Meh. 16,000 rounds? Sounds like a long weekend at the range.
(What? This is for more than one person? Do they ever practice?)


I would not want to use a .40 for a bear. .44 mag as a minimum. shotgun or rifle would be better. So if not for a bear what then?

Bill Yarber

Because the terrorists Tea Party Patriots are expected to riot after stealing of the next election. That’s why the military is training riot control units for deployment in the US. And I’m an AGW climate skeptic but not a conspiracy nut.


I have a funny feeling that my tax dollars are paying for a few NOAA guys to go plinking at the range on the weekends.


Hollow points are the preferred self-defense round by both civilians and law enforcement, primarily because of their stopping power, and because the chances of overpenetration and subsequent harm to an innocent party are greatly reduced. The fact that they ordered hollow points is not noteworthy in and of itself.
If purchased for target practice, though, it’s simply a waste of money (welcome to govt purchasing). FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) rounds are substantially cheaper.
Though I support folks being armed, why the NOAA as an entity is arming employees is peculiar, especially with a strongly anti-gun administration.

Although I believe watching the Government should always be done to make sure things are done correctly, the only thing really “fishy” about this is the timing with the Republican National Convention coming up in Tampa and the order going out right now. But then again, this could be a coincidence since the budgets must be spent by September or be lost. So which is it? – notice destination of ammo as St Petersburg, FL and then you kind of get where I am heading. I tend to think that this is just one of those things we learn about and move on, seems that the NOAA does employ about 100 game wardens for the “high seas” and that they have bought this kind of ammo before. Why was it done through the NWS as the destination? Good question, perhaps budget issues in one department taking up the slack of another? I don’t know, it does not look completely kosher so to speak, but I would tend to think it might be ok…which lead me to say…
Something to watch nontheless. But I personally think this is a non-story at this point in time. Read the comments for some information on this:
From comments at infowars:
exfedagent says:
August 14, 2012 at 9:04 am
GUYS! THIS IS A NON-STORY! I am a former federal agent. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration has a SMALL (about 100) group of federal agents and officers who are GS-1811′s and GS-1801′s who enforce federal game laws on the high seas. They are ocean going federal game wardens enforcing the Lacy Act and the Magnison Conservation Act. It’s a great job. I personally know some of them and went to FLETC with one of them. They have been around since at least the mid-1980′s. Almost no one in the public domain and most of the people in federal law enforcement don’t know they exist BECAUSE THEY ARE SO SMALL. They carry .40 caliber handguns and have for many years. This is a routine ammo purchase. They are spending money they have left in their annual budget before the budget closes out at the end of September. Your reactions in your posts are understandable given that you didn’t have the facts!
“But why is the purchase being made by the NWS, rather than the NOAA? Does the NWS enforce anything?”
It isn’t. Click the “Solicitation and Buy Attachment” link for the full RFP listing.
Buyer : DOC NOAA-National Marine Fisheries Service
REPLY: I thought of that ahead of time. If the solicitation was simply NOAA, this would make sense for the argument that NOAA does indeed have some game wardens. But this specifically said NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE. Which has no such mission (at least none I’m aware of). So the question remains. Why NWS? – Anthony


NWS handles the river gauge network that tracks river levels throughout the country. Some of those gauges are in rather remote wilderness locations and there might be dangerous animals around. Hollow-points are good against animals as well as people, so that MIGHT be the reason.
But under those circumstances, a .308 would make a lot more sense.
Would be good to have a bit more info – such as exactly WHO in the NWS needs this.

Michael Parker

Sounds like they’re having security problems. That’s really not very much ammunition, actually. Also, hollowpoints are desirable because they put the bad guy on the ground ASAP, with a minimum number of holes in him, while minimising the risk to bystanders.

Theo Goodwin

Given that they ordered ammunition, do they have the weapons that can fire it? Do some NWS folks carry forty caliber automatic pistols?
Given that they ordered hollow points, maybe they are planning to hunt deer, boar, or some other large creature.

J Postma

So they’re getting ammo plus targets to train whomever with. Most of these facilities have light, although armed, security, and so this is likely for them.
But it is very disturbing that they use HP rounds. I guess the Geneva Convection only applies to international wars… Internally, the government can be as nasty to its own citizens as it wants to be. HP’s are for killing…none of this triage BS with wounds that might heal from FMJ rounds…they’re just going to blow you apart, so that FEMA doesn’t have to “take care” of you. As noted, HP’s maximize the damage, and thus death count.
Also note the DHS buying another 750 MILLION (yes, 750 million) rounds of the same ammo.
This is like the lead-up to one of those B-grade sci-fi disaster movies – I’m thinking “Stonehenge Apocalypse”, “Solar Attack”, “Arctic Blast”, “Alien Incursion”, etc.


Bears was my first thought too, but as noted, hollow points are the wrong item for bears (frankly I’d prefer a rifle, but a large caliber handgun would do). In particular, .40 JHP is common for police and carry enthusiasts. That’s a man-round, not an animal-round.

[snip over the top]


I did a search for one of the recipients: [ 24,000 rounds to: Jeff Radonski, A/DSAC DOC, NOAA, NMFS, OLE, SED 263 13th Avenue South, Suite 109, St. Petersburg, FL, 33701.,’]
Seems NOAA has like super cops ???
{[“VIMS helps fight illegal marlin trade
Improves test to differentiate between Atlantic and Pacific blue marlin
December 16, 2011|By Cory Nealon, | 757-247-4760
Revered by Ernest Hemingway and other anglers, Atlantic blue marlin is among the most sought-after fish in the sea.
It’s also traded on the black market at levels that federal investigators can’t define.
“We don’t know how big of a problem it is,” said H. Jeff Radonski, who is in charge of policing commercial and recreational fisheries from Texas to Virginia for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. ”]]

It is not “powerful” ammo – it’s very typical of police issue and self-defense ammo. It’s good for people-sized and smaller critters (like dogs), but not appropriate for bears. The write-up hyping “for maximum organ damage” is just hyperbole. The purpose of hollow-points it to ensure maximum expansion, to limit over-penetration, to maximize the chance of a one-hit stop: basically, you want to dump the bullets’ energy into the intended target, not the backstop (or bystanders). Having to shoot someone multiple times to stop them increases their chance of dieing, and you getting hurt. That’s why the police carry them.
To non-shooters, 46k rounds sounds like a lot. Some top competitive shooters go through that much *per year, by themselves.* It’s less than a thousand rounds per week. So, if you need to train a bunch of non-shooters the basics of shooting and self-defense, it is really a fairly small purchase. The US civilian market is more than 10 BILLION rounds of manufactured ammo per year – heavy shooters often buy powder and bullets in bulk to load their own and save money.
But, yah, WHY? The WEATHER SERVICE?! It’s not like the FedGov is flush with extra money to prep for a Zombie Apocalypse, and while some don’t like their station-sitings, it’s not like they need to be defended from a frontal assault. If their employees need self-defense stuff, let them exercise their 2nd amendment rights and arm themselves on their own dime.

Tom in Florida

“So the question remains. Why NWS? – Anthony”
Localized cloud seeding?

Robert of Ottawa

Possibilities possibilities
1. They’re finally going to round up the climate deniers.
2. The federal government is paying off ammunitions suppliers who are donating to Obama’s election funds.
3. The Dept. of Homeland Security is putting in an order for thousands of weather stations and the Weather Service doesn’t like the competition.
4. What do they know that we don’t?
5. Who will defend the weather network if the Weather Service doesn’t?


From a comment at another site:
“NOAA has an enforcement section in national marine fisheries.NMFS…not the weather section. They are housed in the same place…read the acquisition contract and you will see the NMFS listed..Part of the enforcement is to keep foreign fishermen from raiding into US sanctuaries.
Has nothing to do with the weather.”
Don’t be a conspiracy kook – it drags down those of us who are climate skeptics and want to be taken seriously.


Why NWS? – Anthony

To shoot the breeze?


I stand corrected on the NOAA having a need for ammo – they apparently do have staff that are normally armed. This is a non-story. Other than possibly wasting money on expensive JHP for target practice.


Bob Tisdale says:
“The chipmunks near the weather stations can be dangerous when provoked.”
Thank you for providing a moment of mirth in what can be a crazy world! I’m picturing something from Monty Python’s “Holy Grail” – “That’s the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!” Naturally, only a JHP round will suffice.

Andrew Newberg

The bullets are for the Weather Underground not the Weather Service…


Its probably just for their security guards. Its no big deal, that isn’t that much ammo if they are training with their firearms regularly which they should be.
I’m looking for a good deal now on 5-10k .22lr. I can’t afford any .44-40 for my Winchester yellow boy.

G. Karst

Forecasters are missing their targets so often, it was decided to get everyone into the ZEN of accurate pistol target shooting. They hope to be able to claim they are now “on target”, most of the time. They just won’t tell anybody… it is only pistol shooting.
I think it will fail, as I doubt they can hit a target, without using a sawed off shotgun. LOL GK


Anthony, you have been (justifiably) beating up the NWS for poorly sited stations and urging them to put more stations in more remote areas. As Aaron suggests above, that means more exposure to wildlife – bears in the north country, alligators in the south, etc. Given the budget cuts, I imagine that means the researchers will be maintaining the sites unattended or in very small groups. If the government is finally recognizing that people need the ability to provide for their own protection, well, that sounds like a step forward to me.
Regarding caliber and bullet type – Sure, a rifle or even a shotgun would be better protection if you have it with you. Long arms, however, are clumsy and get in the way when you’re trying to carry two toolboxes and a stack of spare parts. It’s human nature – they’re going to get left in the truck. Maybe not the first day, maybe not the fifth. But after three months of lugging around a ten-pound piece of equipment that you’ve never used, having it snag on tree branches, fall off your shoulder at the worst possible times and generally getting in the way, there’s a huge temptation to leave it behind. That day of course will be the first day you need it. Pistols on the other hand fit in holsters and are easier to leave on than to take off. Even in the Army (where you’d think that the need to carry your rifle would be self-evident), it was a constant battle to keep soldiers prepared.
A less-effective weapon that you have at hand is vastly more useful than the perfect weapon that’s too far away to help.


They learned their lesson from the surfacestations project and are determined to keep volunteer data collectors away from their new, supposedly high-quality, temp collecting network?


Somethings up. Not cool.

I just reminded someone on another blog that NOAA said in its USGCRP 2012-2021 report that it will be using education, the social sciences, and communication to try to change filtering mindsets on what is going on with the Climate regardless of temperatures. It knows perceptions of reality guide personal behavior, not actual reality itself. Here’s a link to the original story and what a big change this is.
Can’t imagine what NOAA would have to fear from such disclosures becoming public. It’s not like there’s a tragic history to education pushing this transformative psychological and emotional emphasis.
I also wrote today about the Systems Thinking push and how violating that is. That’s what the social sciences and education emphasis looks like in practice. I did not get to it but the Systems Thinking/Dynamic Modeling Conference for K-12 education is pushing classroom teachers to use modelling software coming out of Forrester and Meadows “Limits to Growth” work.
More nonsense being pushed via education even though it has been factually discredited. Even the Club of Rome acknowledged it was over the top hype designed to push political change. But what teacher or student would know that?
Or most parents either.


Paranoia is rampant in the current administration and there appears to be no moderating influence. You will find no statutory authority for the EPA, the DOE or NOAA being armed and having armed divisions for law enforcement and intervention, but they all do. Formally, investigation of crimes was left to the Federal agencies that are empowered by law for conviction.

After all, they do have to “maintain the species” and hollow points will do the trick, but hollow points for target practice? Isn’t that a bit of waste of the tax-payers dollars?



Anthony, It could be just that NWS funding was “borrowed” by NOAA though too. I eluded to this possibility and I still think this is the case….Why the destination in St. Pete? I can’t think of a good reason for that, but like I said before, something to watch nontheless, but probably just beauracratic mis-handling of something with funding is what it looks like. NWS had some money that the NOAA decided to steal. All money is fair game as they say in Government.
The bigger question of course would be why is the NWS not using their funding properly when they obviously do have important work to do and why doesn’t the NOAA have the money in their budget to cover one of their main objectives? Questions that are fair enough to ask, but you are hinting at something rather alterior in motive-wise. I wouldn’t go that far and that was kind of the point I was trying to make. Probably just Government inefficiency in action once again. So all jokes against the Government especially :
Bob Tisdale says:
“The chipmunks near the weather stations can be dangerous when provoked.”
Are so very appropriate here. I mean, you never know when those chipmunks are going to turn on ya.

B. Woo

As an avid target-shooter (and re-loader) – and a firm & informed climate “denier” (so I’m on your side) I can assert that this is not really not that much ammo. I often shoot 500-1000 rounds at a sitting. More with company! Practice, practice, practice. Hence the re-loading hobby. The choice of hollow-points is semi-justifiable, but also a bit exorbitant. Welcome to Big Gov’t.
As was said above, I humbly assert that this is really a bit of a non-story – the appearances notwithstanding.

B. Woo

Oops. Delete first “not” in first sentence.

John S

Crosspatch said:
“Hollow points are not used for training. Much cheaper “wad cutters” are generally used for that.”
That may have been true in the revolver days, but with a modern semiauto handgun you want to make sure your weapon will cycle your self defense ammo, so agencies usually train with their carry ammo.
Me, I’m not so fortunate as to have Uncle Sugar pay for my ammunition, so I do train with lower power FMJ “Winchester White Box” target ammo, and finish off with just a few of my carry loads.

North of 43 and south of 44

I guess none of you folks is aware of Wardens coming under fire.

ron in austin

Re: target practice with hollow points
Isn’t it a good idea to train with the exact ammo you will be using?

Reblogged this on danmillerinpanama and commented:
The National Weather Service desires to purchase 46,000 rounds of .40 S&W jacketed hollow point (JHP) bullets. [NB– this number was derived by adding those in three separate solicitations by the General Services Administration on behalf of the NWS for 16,000 rounds, 24,000 rounds and 6,000 rounds respectively, to be purchased along with 500 paper targets (the subject of a separate solicitation) and shipped to various addresses in Maine, Massachusetts, Florida and New Jersey.] Here is the link for the solicitation.
The .40 S&W jacketed hollow point (JHP) bullets are, according to the re-bloged article, “noted for their strength.” According to
an article in Business Insider, also noting the solicitations, hollow point bullets are designed to expand when they enter the body, causing as much damage as possible to internal organs and tissue. They’ve been illegal in international warfare since 1899.
Assuming that the National Weather Service proposes to use the desired hollow point bullets to combat the Demon Global Warming, the solicitation makes sense. The Global Warming Demon is too big and too powerful to kill with carbon exchanges, human sacrifices atop Mt. Gore or apparently even with ordinary ammunition. The big question is, shouldn’t the NWS be seeking Krypton cased bullets because the GW Demon has Superman-like capabilities? What else could the NWS intend to use them for? Target practice? Assuming that the 46,000 bullets hit the 500 targets, that’s ninety-two bullets per target. If I tried to hit such a paper target by firing my BB air pistol at it at five paces, there would be little left of the target after the first couple of dozen shots. And I am one of the world’s record-holding worst shots.
Kinda makes a fella wonder.


So the government can show an up-tick in ammo purchases in the United States; both in number of rounds and number of ‘end users’ . There will be no breakdown of either on the graphic in the press release.
As a bonus the graphic will show a tendancy trendint to hollow point.
Wait for the nylon/kevlar/teflon point governmant agency purchases to start, that press release graph would make for a ‘alarming’ trend.


The link on the original solicitation takes you here:
Where the buyer is listed as National Marine Fisheries Service.