Why Do Guns Work?

posted on August 26, 2009
ii2015_fs.jpg

Why do guns work?

It seems like such an obvious question, but the answer isn’t as simple as you might think. Clearly, the reason that guns work is because a cartridge of the same caliber as the firearm reliably fires when the action is operated. If the cartridge and the firearm are of the same caliber, when you pull the trigger, it goes bang.

But how does that happen? How do the ammo companies and the gunmakers get on the same page?

If you think about it, there’s no reason why any company except Remington Arms, which is the only ammunition and gunmaker, should ever tell each other anything. For instance, it’s asource of huge frustration for holster makers to constantly have to modify their holsters when handgun makers implement either new models or changes to existing models.

Why do ammo and gun companies talk when holster and handgun companies don’t?

The answer is found in five letters: SAAMI.

The Sporting Armsand Ammuntion Manufacturers Institute (SAAMI) is a private association with no government oversight, yet it was established in 1926 at the request of the federal government to:

• Create and publish industry standards for safety, interchangeability, reliability and quality
• Coordinate technical data
• Promote safe and responsible firearms use

It’s because of SAAMI that if you buy a box of .30-’06 Sprg. cartridges from any SAAMI member — and all the major U.S. ammunition companies are members — that they’re all working from exactly the same specifications, dimensions, pressure standards and so forth. At the same time, all the major U.S. gun manufacturers are chambering their firearms to SAAMI specifications for chamber size, rifling and other technical details.

SAAMI is run by a board of directors composed of the top executives from the firearms industry. Currently, Steve Sanetti, formerly the president of Sturm, Ruger & Co., is the chairman. ATK President Mark De Young is the vice chairman and board members include Steve Hornady.

What makes SAAMI unique in the overall global firearms industry is that it’s non-governmental. In other countries, government-approved “proof houses” set the technical requirements for manufacturers and then proof all firearms to meet the basic safety standards by firing an over-pressured “proof round” in every gun. The firearm is then stamped with a “proof mark” to verify that it’s been tested.

In America, we police our own guns. And for coming up on 90 years, the industry group that handles this incredibly complicated task is called SAAMI.

Perhaps one day we’ll see a HAAMI to get holster makers and handgun makers on the same page!

Latest

The Armed Citizen
The Armed Citizen

The Armed Citizen® Jan. 27, 2023

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

NRA Gun Of The Week: Browning Citori Hunter Grade II

Follow American Rifleman staff on this “Gun Of The Week” with the Browning Firearms Citori Hunter Grade II, a field-ready, 16-gauge shotgun that sure doesn’t disappoint. In fact, this boxlock shotgun has everything you need and nothing that you don’t.

Rifleman Q&A: U.S. Model Of 1928 Thompson Variants

I was reading an auction catalog, and a reference was made to an American military Thompson submachine gun. It stated it was a “1928 Colt Navy overstamp, not a Savage.” The catalog made that verbiage seem important. What’s the significance of the “overstamp,” and were there other military 1928 Thompsons besides the Navy guns?

New For 2023: Benelli Montefeltro

Benelli’s Montefeltro, a go-to favorite for many discerning shotgunners, has been redesigned for 2023, making the sporting classic an even more rigid backbone of the company’s upland and clay-target shotgun lineup.

Buy A Trijicon Thermal Optic, Get A Free Tenmile Riflescope

Purchase a new Trijicon REAP-IR 3 or IR-HUNTER 2 scope through one of the company’s Electro Optics retailers before February 1, and you qualify to receive a select model of a Trijicon Tenmile riflescope.

5 Hot New Airguns For 2023

This year at SHOT Show 2023, there is an exciting corner of the marketplace that, given the economic downturn, should be one of the most appealing. Here are some of this year’s hottest airguns.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.