Tactical

First Breach, A Brand-New U.S. Ammunition Manufacturer

I recently visited something surprising: a brand-spanking-new ammunition manufacturing facility located only about an hour or so from Washington, D.C. First Breach, a completely new, independent company, owns and operates out of a facility just off the Hagerstown, MD, airport. That detail is interesting, because the building First Breach occupies was where A-10 Warthogs were assembled by Fairchild until the mid-1980s. It sat vacant for more than 30 years until First Breach moved in.

And move in First Breach did. This is not merely a place where ammunition is loaded from third-party-built components. No, First Breach builds every component of its ammo in house apart from the primer and the powder. Cases, cups, bullets—everything is built in this state-of-the-art facility. Even the lead for the bullets is smelted on site, which, having visited many ammunition factories, I can say is a true rarity.

In those plant visits, I have never come across a factory as clean or as clearly efficient as First Breach’s. Now, the cleanliness might be due to its relatively young age—the company completely gutted the Fairchild facility and replaced just about everything apart from the walls—but the efficiency is unlike anything I’ve seen, to include some of the largest ammunition-making facilities in the world. Each manufacturing line is just that; a line. Raw materials enter at one end, follow a straight path the various machines to extrude, anneal, machine, etc., until a loaded round comes out at the other end. And that finished product is outstanding.

I’ve tested a few boxes of First Breach’s 9mm and 5.56 NATO loads, and they functioned flawlessly in a Glock G19, a Springfield Armory Hellcat and multiple AR-pattern rifles, respectively. The company currently offers two 9mm loads: a 115-grain FMJ load at $18.99 per 50-round box and a 124-grain FMJ load at $19.49 per 50-round box. It also offers a 55-grain FMJ .223 Rem. load at $14.49 for a 20-round box, and a 55-grain FMJ 5.56 NATO load at $14.99 per 20-rounds. These are very competitive prices for 100-percent U.S.-made FMJ loads in those calibers, and their quality makes them a great value. First Breach also sells components—unprimed and primed cases, case cups, bullets and primers—all made in house (apart from the primers themselves) for reloaders and handloaders. 

Beyond the excellent products currently on offer, the company is exploring loading hollow-point bullets and potentially building its own primer-making facility. With demand for ammunition—particularly 9 mm and 5.56 NATO—remaining incredibly high, First Breach’s arrival can only be an excellent development for consumers. The fact that it is a true ammunition manufacturer and not merely an up-jumped reloader is both exciting and important, since such facilities are few and far between as the ammunition-making business consolidates. With its outstanding factory and room to expand, there could be another major player in the market soon, and that can only be good for shooters.

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