2018 dated 9mm headstamp from Hornady

Found today in a 20rd box of Hornady Critical Duty 9mm is this 18 dated headstamp which I had not seen before. I suppose it must be at least 6 months old at this point, probably at least 7 or 8 months old. This particular lot of Critical Duty was something which had only recently showed up at the distributor Ellett Brothers, and so must have been sitting around for some months with Hornady earlier in the year? I know Hornady markets the Critical Duty for L.E. in 50rd boxes, and perhaps these are a remnant of that production where they wanted dated headstamps for some L.E. contract stuff? Hornady tries very hard to keep the 50rd boxes limited to L.E. distribution, but I occasionally find them for sale (the price per rd is much better). The 20rd box like the one I have is usually the only way civilians come across this ammo type.

hornady%209mm%2018%20hs

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Found today in a fresh box of 124gr+P XTP “American Gunner” ammo, this 2020 dated headstamp from Hornady. I guess they are doing this now for certain lots of what they consider might be L.E. ammo?

Hornady 9mm 2020 hs

I note a trend for what seems to be purely commercial ammunition showing up with commercial-style headstamps, but dated. Does anyone know the reason why this is being done. It kind of goes against long-held “rules” of mechandising, referring to “time on shelf” at retail dealers and in manufacturer’s warehouses awaiting future orders to be held.

Just wondered. No earth-shaking issue.

John Moss