Winchester took over operations at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant earlier this month and has already made its first shipment of cartridges for use by United States warfighters. Semitrailers left the facility on Oct. 13, fully loaded with .50 BMG and 5.56 NATO cartridges, destined for issue across the globe.
“This is an important milestone for Winchester, our first shipment to the U.S. government after just assuming management and operational control of Lake City,” said Brett Flaugher, president of Winchester. “Our ability to execute through this transition process and make our first delivery within two weeks is a testament to our dedicated work force.”
The U.S. Army selected Winchester to operate and manage the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in September 2019. The contract has an initial term of seven years and may be extended by the U.S. Army for up to three additional years. The agreement made Winchester the world’s largest small arms ammunition manufacturer.
The Lake City plant, which began production in 1941, provides small-caliber military ammunition for both training and combat purposes. Nearly 2,000 people work there, most of them civilians. Winchester previously operated it from 1985-2000. The facility, encompassing nearly 4,000 acres, also serves as a national and regional test center for ammunition performance and weapons firing.
Winchester is one of the world’s most recognized brands. It’s currently in its 154th year of operation, 90 of them as part of Olin, and has been providing ammunition for the U.S. military since World War I. Even before the company took over Lake City operations it was the Army’s largest outside source of small-caliber ammunition. The firm is a premier developer and manufacturer of cartridge for domestic and international militaries, as well as law enforcement agencies and a favorite among civilian gun owners.
U.S. Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr. observing small caliber ammunition at the Lake City plant. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army.