Support for Ukrainians fighting against the Russian invasion of their country is pouring forth from all over the United States, including the ammunition industry. Two major US ammo producers have pledged to support the resistance — with bullets. Combined, the manufacturers will be delivering 2 million rounds of ammunition Ukraine desperately needs, as stated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a now-famous video response to President Biden’s offer of evacuation assistance.
Ammo giants Federal, Remington, CCI, and Speer (all part of Vista Outdoor’s Sporting Products division) recently announced a collective donation of 1 million rounds of ammunition to the Ukraine Armed Forces.
“The war in Ukraine has displaced millions of citizens and exposed average people to the horrors of war,” said Jason Vanderbrink, president of the four ammo companies, in the release. “Supporting the relief effort is a crucial element of the global response, and we are proud to do our part. It underscores how critical the Second Amendment is in America and highlights the importance of the ability of American manufacturers to supply our allies with ammunition.”
“We have long supported Ukrainian armed forces, and we will continue to do so in this global cause to unite for democracy,” he added.
The companies will also sell special edition T-shirts with all profits going to “refugees in the war-torn country. The shirts will supplement the company’s donation and maintain awareness of the need for global support of Ukraine,” the ammo makers said in a release.
Ukraine’s military has been a customer of Federal, CCI, and Speer since 2015, “and this donation is meant to meet the call from President Zelenskyy for more ammunition,” the release says.
When Biden offered to get President Zelenskyy out of Ukraine to safety soon after the invasion, Zelenskyy responded with, “I need more ammo, not a ride.”
Vista representatives told Free Range American that the ammo brands are currently working to identify the specific small-caliber products that will be sent to Ukraine “to ensure we supply items that will be in need.”
While it is difficult to gauge how much ammunition is being used in Ukraine or what the overall needs are, Vista says 1 million rounds “is a significant amount and one we felt confident we could fulfill in a timely manner.”
Proceeds from the T-shirt sales on the Remington and Federal websites will go to Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund through the Global Giving organization.
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Ukraine Ammunition: 2 Million Total from the US
AMMO, Inc., an ammunition company based in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the owner of Gunbroker.com, first announced last week that it was sending a million rounds to Ukraine, also in an effort to answer Zelenskyy’s call.
During a recent Fox News interview, AMMO, Inc. board member and Hall of Fame NASCAR team owner Richard Childress said he is leading the donation effort after being inspired by Zelenskyy’s video. (Dale Earnhardt Sr. drove Childress’ No. 3 Chevy for most of his career.) Childress reportedly reached out to AMMO, Inc. Chairman and CEO Fred Wagenhals to get the ball rolling.
“I was listening the other day to President Zelenskyy say he didn’t want out, he needed ammunition,” Childress said in the interview. “I called my good friend Fred Wagenhals […], and I said, ‘Fred, we have to help these people. They need ammunition.’ And he stepped right up.”
“To see the people in Ukraine fighting, it’s terrible to see the lives that are being lost over there. We have to do all we can, and I felt with AMMO Inc. and myself, we were doing the right thing,” he added.
Wagenhals, who also achieved fortune and fame in NASCAR, told Free Range American that the entire shipment will consist of 7.62x39mm cartridges. He said members of Congress told the company that’s what Ukraine needs the most. The ammo has an approximate value of $700,000.
“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,” Wagenhals said in a statement. “We recognize that events are unfolding rapidly on the ground in Ukraine, and we are prepared to move [as] quickly as possible to support Ukraine as it continues to defend itself and its freedom.”
AMMO, Inc. spokesperson Victoria Welch said in an email that the ammunition was pulled directly from the production line.
Wagenhals told FRA that his company has received an overwhelmingly positive response since the announcement was made, along with a deluge of inquiries about donating to the cause. AMMO, Inc. has since created a charitable organization in response, Care.org, to allow individuals to make donations.
“We’ve probably gotten over 3,000 inquiries right now that we’ve answered,” Wagenhals said. “We have staff answering them as they come in. I’ve seen some offers for $25,000, I’ve seen some for $5,000, and I’ve seen some offers for $100. [The support] is pouring in.”
He said he and Childress are continually working with US officials to keep supply lines open and that, if this conflict drags out, the company may make additional ammo donations in the future.
“Richard is also working with Johnny Morris at Bass Pro, so we’ll see what comes out of this. But we’re all-in for this cause,” he said. “It’s unbelievable what’s happening in this world.”
Wagenhals added that the million-round donation will not affect domestic ammo deliveries, nor will it make the perceived ammo shortage in the US worse for AK owners.
“We’re building a brand new factory in Manitowoc, Wisconsin,” he said. “We’re [producing] half a billion rounds a year now — our new factory will produce a billion rounds plus a year, and we open that factory July 1.”
Childress, whose grandson, Austin Dillon, now drives the No. 3 car for Richard Childress Racing, told Fox News that the current situation in Ukraine is a “wakeup call for Americans on why we have to have our Second Amendment.” Wagenhals agreed, saying, “Nobody’s ever just going to land on our shores and take this country over, as many guns and Second Amendment people we have. But the biggest thing I think Americans should take away from this is this guy (Putin) is not going to stop with Ukraine. If he gets away with this, he’ll keep going.”
Childress told USA Today that AMMO Inc. is working with a private company to ensure the ammo gets to Ukraine as soon as possible. Welch said the shipment of 7.62 is expected to be delivered this week.
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ATN Corps. Collecting Donations
Meanwhile, ATN Corps., a popular manufacturer in the electronic optics space, has created a page on its website for direct donations to help the Ukrainian people receive humanitarian supplies and equipment for its fighters — a cause naturally close to the California company’s roots.
“This is my first time writing for help from our friends and customers, but I believe the urgency of today’s situation calls for it,” says company founder Marc Vayn in a statement he wrote with CEO James Munn, ATN co-founder and a US Army veteran. “Although I grew up in the US and am an American first, I was born in Kyiv, Ukraine, and our company also has an office in Odesa, Ukraine.”
“Over the past three days, our team has worked tirelessly to get as many of our staff and their families to either our office in Bulgaria or to a safe place in the mountains far from the fighting. Now, however, we are focused on bringing desperately needed supplies in to help Ukrainians fight,” the statement continues. “There are so many who have volunteered and are ready to fight to the end it makes your heart weep. Many have nothing more than a rifle with a few bullets.”
“We have staff on the ground near the border and in Bulgaria and are able to bring shipments in quickly through the Ukrainian borders where they are met by volunteers to drive the goods into the fighting zones,” he said.
When the site was launched, Vayn personally donated $100,000. At the time of this post, the ATN site has collected $153,000 in donations for Ukraine.
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