First it was Winchester ammo produced by Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, now from Sweden.
Cartridges made abroad for Winchester is not a particularly new situation. Their 9 x 18 mm Makarov Ammo. 7.62 x 25 mm Tokarev, and 7.62 x 54R cartridges, and perhaps others, are made by Sellier & Bellot. Sellier & Bellot also made some .45 Auto rounds for Winchester, standard 230 grain FMJ RN.
I am sure there are other examples.
I also wonder if the ones above are actually made in Sweden completely or just have been loaded there.
I never had a problem understanding why a brand like Winchester would have calibers such as 9x18 or 7.62x25 made for them since they are low production number cartridges for a niche market, but why on Earth would they need to even consider having 5.56 loaded elsewhere? Were their 5.56 lines down in production capacity or something? Even if another manufacturer was trying to dump several million rds of excess production for somebody to private-label as their own, you’d think Winchester would pass on the offer due to liability / legal reasons.
Or is this just Winchester using outsourced cases the way Hornady often does?
It may depend on what contracts Winchester has running like with the military.
When their full capacity is booked for about 1 year and they get more contracts in it is easier to outsource rather than loosing a client who may also return in future. And after all it will be earned money.
This ammunition was made in Sweden by Nammo Vanäsverken. During the last seven years, they have been supplying ammunition components to both Olin and Lake City, but you won’t find this indicated in boxes because they are all military contracts with “LC”, “WCC” and “WMA” lot numbers. For example, you can find 7.62 mm M62A1 cartridges made by Olin, when this company is not manufacturing this type of projectile; their source is Nammo Vanäsverken.
Another interesting remark about the Winchester USA3162W cartridges, is that the image in the back of the box depicts a 62 gr Open-Tip bullet -as used in FBI contracts-, but this cartridge is loaded with something else.
It is my understanding that Llake City is run by/owned by Federal Ammunition, so are they loading for Winchester, or are they now also the same conglomeration?
The very basics-
Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (LCAAP) is a contractor run U.S. Government owned facility.
Remington Arms was the contractor for many years. In 1985 the Olin Corporation won the contract to run LCAAP.
In 2001 ATK/Orbital ATK (now Northrup Grumman) won the contract to run LCAAP. ATK was the parent company of Vista Outdoor-Federal (Federal Premium Ammunition) and that is why people often associate Federal with LCAAP.
In 2014 ATK spins off Vista Outdoor.
Northrup Grumman buys ATK in 2018.
Last year (2019) the Olin Corporation again won the contract to run LCAAP. Olin (Winchester) will take over LCAAP in October, 2020. Supposedly the Olin contract lasts through 2029.