Our network of partners provides access to hundreds of firearms ranging from 25 ACP to 50 BMG. Testing through a wide variety of test guns, helps us ensure that our ammunition will function flawlessly in the vast majority of makes and models.
During production, we perform a battery of tests to ensure that only the highest quality product reaches your firearm. The frequency with which we halt production to perform this battery of tests would put most manufacturers to shame. This battery includes primer seating depth, overall cartridge length (or ogive to rim base where applicable), powder charge, crimp diameter, shoulder bump (where applicable), and the always-critical case gauge. Depending on the caliber, we may check as frequently as every 20 rounds! Lastly, our tolerances are incredibly tight. This allows us to make any necessary press adjustments while rounds are still within SAAMI spec.
Pistol cartridges intended for self-defense are tested at 21 feet. Rifle cartridges intended for hunting, tactical applications and target shooting are tested at a minimum of 100 yards. Pistol cartridges used primarily for hunting are tested at 50 yards.
Penetration and Expansion
At Steinel, we do not test penetration by shooting through water jugs, newspaper, or phone books. We take the time and expense to prepare proper ballistics gel with Type A Ordnance Gelatin. We also take the time to calibrate each batch to ensure that the standard FBI density is achieved. When loading our ammunition into your self-defense or hunting firearm, rest assured that the product you are touching has passed OBJECTIVE, STANDARDIZED, and MEANINGFUL tests on both penetration and expansion. After all, either someone’s life (self-defense) or a humane kill (hunting) depends on this performance.
Velocity and Pressure
Any old combination of powder, bullet, case, and primer will not suffice. Consistent, clean powders with optimal burn rates make up each load, along with tried and trusted bullet weights for each caliber. When it comes to very heavy-for-caliber or light-for-caliber bullet weights, we would rather follow the guidelines established originally by those who designed each caliber.
For any of our new caliber introductions, we leverage available reference material by trusted sources—primarily Hornady, Speer, Lyman, Nosler, Alliant, and Hodgdon. SAAMI specs are treated as gospel, and our chronographs are used extensively. Average, standard deviation, extreme spread, and minimum and maximum velocities are closely monitored throughout testing. Our team has the experience with both statistics and Six Sigma techniques to draw meaningful conclusions on test data. We continue to build upon our inventory of pressure barrels to improve our load development and testing processes.