During the past few days, there has been a firestorm of questions and panic on the Internet forums regarding the US government banning all Wolf ammo from being imported into the United States. A lot of the information thrown out there is incorrect. To make it perfectly clear:
The US government ban on Rosoboronexport does not apply to the consumer importation of Wolf-branded ammunition.
Here is what is going on…
On August 4, 2006, the U.S. Department of State announced sanctions against Rosoboronexport, because the Russian government, who controls Rosoboronexport, violated the Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000. In December 2006, the ban was confirmed and extended two years. The ban prohibited the United States government, not its citizens, from doing business with Rosoboronexport.
On October 23, 2008, the U.S. government announced a new two-year ban that prohibits itself from doing business with Rosoboronexport. This ban relates to Russia selling anti-air missles to Iran, presumably to defend against air-raids on the Iranian nuclear programs. The new ban is, in effect, simply an extension of the old ban that is set to expire in December 2008. Again, this ban only prohibits agencies of the U.S. government from doing business with Rosoboronexport.
Wolf-branded ammunition made for military purposes is exported by Rosoboronexport. This is the only Wolf branded ammunition that Rosoboronexport deals with. All other Wolf ammunition is not exported by Rosoboronexport.
So, unless you are (1) looking to buy Wolf ammo as an agency of the United States, and (2) wanting to buy the military ammunition exported by Rosoboronexport, this ban does not directly affect you.
I have also read that the ban applies to all Wolf-branded ammunition from the Tula arsenal. Not true according to the Wolf PR folks at the Tula Cartridge Works. After conversing with the people actually at Tula (their English is better than my Russian), they confirmed that only military manufactured ammo (regardless of which factory) is affected by the Rosoboronexport ban. The Wolf staff said the civilian ammunition made at Tula is unaffected.
Indirectly, the ban may affect you because a lot of people: read a post at one of the forums, thought the sky was falling, and ran out to buy up all of the Wolf ammo they could find. This certainly cannot help ammo prices.
One last thought… the executive branch can place a large variety of import bans in place that DO affect the supply of foreign made ammunition and firearms. These bans do not go before Congress and can be made at any time without any real “due process.” So, if you have a firearm that depends on imported ammunition or uses imported magazines, I humbly suggest stocking up prior to January 20, 2009.
Here is more information:
Russia Criticizes US Sanctions on Arms Trader from the Washington Times
Rosoboronexport Views U.S. Sanctions As “Unfair Competition” from iStockAnalyst
Rosoboronexport from Wikipedia