The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute (SAAMI, pronounced "Sammy") is an association of American firearms and ammunition manufacturers. SAAMI publishes various industry standards related to the field, including fire code, ammunition and chamber specifications, and acceptable chamber pressure. In the United States, firearms and ammunition specifications are not overseen by the Consumer Product Safety Commission or any other branch of government. Only manufacturers that are members of SAAMI are bound by the Institute's guidelines.
SAAMI was founded in 1926 at the behest of the US government, with a charter to create standards, coordinate technical data, and promote firearms safety. For example, they publish a list of Unsafe Arms and Ammunition Combinations which details situations where a smaller cartridge may fit in a firearms designed for a larger cartridge, but would be unsafe to use. For example a .44 Magnum cartridge will chamber in a .45 Colt firearm but operates at a higher pressure and would be unsafe. SAAMI is an accredited standards developer for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
SAAMI standards are voluntary, and are not incorporated into federal law in the United States.
SAAMI's work is broken up in various committees each with a specific charter.
The Technical Committee does the main work of SAAMI. It is their job to set standards for ammunition and firearms. They interface with their European counterpart C.I.P. to try to develop common, internationally-recognized standards. The technical committee provides an industry glossary to facilitate better communication.
Logistics and Regulatory Affairs
The Logistics and Regulatory Affairs committee (also called SLARAC) is responsible for helping create transportation and store regulations. This is done mostly through educating people and agencies on safe practices. They work with and are members of:
- International Code Council
- International Fire Code
- National Fire Protection Association
- Dangerous Good Advisory Council
- International Society of Explosive Engineers
Legal & Legislative
SAAMI Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee tracks and lobbies for and against legislation, and works with regulatory agencies such as the ATF to represent their member's interests.
The Environmental Committee works on science-based management of environmental issues such as wildlife, conservation, and human health as they relate to products produced by SAAMI member companies. Their goal is "A clean and healthy ecosystem."
Internationally, SAAMI is an accredited United Nations ECOSOC Non-Government Organization (NGO) with Consultative Status. It is their task to be a technical resource for various decision making groups inside the UN.
The following companies are voting members of SAAMI.
- ATK Ammunition
- Beretta USA
- Browning Arms Company
- Colt's Manufacturing Company
- Dakota Arms
- Federal Cartridge
- Fiocchi of America
- Hodgdon Powder Company
- Kahr Arms
- Marlin Firearms
- North American Arms
- O.F. Mossberg & Sons
- Remington Arms Company
- RUAG Ammotec USA
- Savage Arms
- SIG Sauer (formally SIGARMS until October 2007)
- Smith & Wesson
- St. Marks Powder, Inc.
- Sturm, Ruger
- Taurus International Firearms
Conflicting industry standards
The European equivalent of SAAMI is the Commission Internationale Permanente pour l'Epreuve des Armes à Feu Portatives (French for "Permanent international commission for testing portable firearms") commonly abbreviated as C.I.P.
Despite working together, the two main industry standards organizations SAAMI and C.I.P. have assigned different standards for some cartridges. This leads to officially sanctioned conflicting differences between European and American ammunition and chamber dimensions and maximum allowed chamber pressures.
Some cartridges with possible chamber and ammunition dimensional conflicts, similar to the unsafe combinations listed above, are listed in the Delta L problem article.
Proof test differences
Under SAAMI proof test procedures, for bottlenecked cases the center of the transducer is located .175 in (4.4 mm) behind the shoulder of the case for large diameter (.250 in (6.4 mm)) transducers and .150 in (3.8 mm) for small diameter (.194 in (4.9 mm)) transducers. For straight cases the center of the transducer is located one-half of the transducer diameter plus .005 in (0.13 mm) behind the base of the seated bullet. Small transducers are used when the case diameter at the point of measurement is less than .35 in (8.9 mm).
Under C.I.P. proof test standards a drilled case is used and the piezo measuring device (transducer) will be positioned at a distance of 25 mm (0.98 in) from the breech face when the length of the cartridge case permits that, including limits. When the length of the cartridge case is too short, pressure measurement will take place at a cartridge specific defined shorter distance from the breech face depending on the dimensions of the case.
The difference in the location of the pressure measurement gives different results than the C.I.P. standard.
- List of modern armament manufacturers
- Category:Firearm manufacturers of the United States
- Firearms ammunition
- Proof Houses
- Overpressure ammunition
- NATO EPVAT testing
- SAAMI web site home page
- Demystifying +P By Dan Johnson
- Unsafe Arms and Ammunition Combinations at SAAMI web site
- "Technical Committee" at SAAMI web site
- "Glossary of Industry terms" at SAAMI web site
- "Regulatory Affairs" at SAAMI web site
- Legal & Legislative committee at SAAMI
- Environmental Committee at SAAMI
- United Nations at SAAMI web site
- Member Companies of SAAMI
- Miscellaneous Questions #11
- C.I.P. CD-ROM edition 2003
- C.I.P. decisions, texts and tables (free current C.I.P. CD-ROM version download (ZIP and RAR format))
- ANSI/SAAMI Centerfire Pistol & Revolver | Z.299.3 1993
- ANSI/SAAMI Centerfire Rifle | Z.299.4 1992
- ANSI/SAAMI Rimfire | Z.299.1 1992
- ANSI/SAAMI Shotshell | Z.299.2 1992
- ANSI/SAAMI Abusive Mishandling | Z.299.5 1996
- SAAMI homepage
- Voluntary Guidelines For Ammunition and Firearms CARTRIDGES & CHAMBERS
- SAAMI Information and Specifications
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