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Old June 20, 2019, 06:56 AM   #1
Bart B.
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SAAMI Load Specs?

Should SAAMI list cartridge load data for case, primer, powder and bullet used to establish pressure and velocity standards?
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Old June 20, 2019, 07:59 AM   #2
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No, their standardization of external dimensions and pressures is a logical stopping point. For them to add the virtually infinite variables of components, lot numbers, even variations within lots, would be chasing ghosts in the machine.
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Old June 20, 2019, 08:01 AM   #3
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IMHO, no. Those standards don't depend on any particular case, primer, powder or bullet. There should be no inference in the standards that they apply for specific components or recipes, or that they would be different had different components or recipes been used. It doesn't matter what components one uses to load a certain caliber, Pmax for that caliber doesn't change. A standard is a standard. Again, just MHO. ymmv
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Old June 20, 2019, 10:03 AM   #4
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SAAMI establishes dimension and pressure standards for the industry. It is then up to each ammunition manufacturer to manipulate their choices of components to ensure that their ammunition remains within the industry standards. It would be exceeding their role and purpose to start interfering in the choices the ammo makers face when building ammunition.

So, to answer your question directly ... no.
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Old June 20, 2019, 10:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by higgite View Post
IMHO, no. Those standards don't depend on any particular case, primer, powder or bullet. There should be no inference in the standards that they apply for specific components or recipes, or that they would be different had different components or recipes been used. It doesn't matter what components one uses to load a certain caliber, Pmax for that caliber doesn't change. A standard is a standard. Again, just MHO. ymmv
SAAMI pressure and velocity standards are also based on a particular test barrel with bore and chamber dimension specs with tight tolerances. Specific pressure and velocity measuring systems are also required.

Last edited by Bart B.; June 20, 2019 at 10:43 AM.
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Old June 20, 2019, 11:31 AM   #6
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No. SAAMI stands for Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturer's Institute. It is a manufacturing standards organization and not a handloading organization. Handloading data uses canister grade powders that are held to a tighter burn rate tolerance than the less expensive bulk powders normally used by manufacturers are. Bulk powder burn rates are not consistent enough from lot to lot for recipes to remain valid with them, and thus can only have loads determined by pressure testing each lot. Sometimes a lot can be so different from the previous lot that it is no longer a good choice for all the same cartridges.

Manufacturers also use many powders not familiar to handloaders. We all know 748 is canister grade St. Marks WC748, but who here is familiar with WC750, a later development for military ammunition? Who has seen a can of SR7970 on the shelf? It was military .45 Ball ammunition powder for a long time.

The bottom line is that SAAMI has no clue what powder a manufacturer will use. Someone on another board Remarked they had pulled down Remington Core-Lokt .30-06 Ammunition periodically since the 1970's and at different times found stick, spherical, and even flake powders in the cases. The choice often depends on what the maker has in stock at the time that is in the right burn rate range. Nor does SAAMI know what powders are going to become obsolete, or when. The canister grade IMR SR powders are now discontinued. Hodgdon said they've decided to discontinue 800X after their current stock is gone, too. Meanwhile, the last SAAMI standard for rifle cartridges was unchanged for 23 years, and anything stated in it had to remain valid for that long.
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Old June 20, 2019, 12:40 PM   #7
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All you have to read is this.

https://saami.org/technical-informat...ami-standards/
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Old June 20, 2019, 01:14 PM   #8
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Cases and bullets have nothing to do with pressure or velocity. There are no standards, with or without tolerances, for velocity.
SAAMI only sets the dimensions of cases with tolerances so every American manufacturer has a standard so that every American rifle made chambered in a particular cartridge will have the same dimensions. SAAMI also sets the tolerances for both cartridges and chambers. SAAMI also sets maximum pressures for cartridges.
The reloading industry tests their data to SAAMI pressure spec tolerances. Manuals are different because the data in 'em are averages of all the tests done on a particular day using exactly the same components under the conditions on the day of the test. Aside from them being a good read, this is why you need to read the reference chapters in your manual.
"...SAAMI stands for..." And it's voluntary. There's no law at at level that requires a manufacturer to comply with SAAMI specs.
Those powders used by the 1970's manufacturers were used to give a specific range of pressures. How it got there didn't and doesn't matter.
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Old June 20, 2019, 03:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart B.
SAAMI pressure and velocity standards are also based on a particular test barrel with bore and chamber dimension specs with tight tolerances. Specific pressure and velocity measuring systems are also required.
Understood, but your opening post only addressed case, primer, powder and bullet, as did mine. I personally don't care what test barrel(s) they use. I don't use test barrels, but I do expect my firearms to meet SAAMI standards. The standards are the standards, regardless of how SAAMI arrived at them.

OTOH, I do care what barrel a reloading manual publisher used to arrive at their recommended loads. But, that's a different ball game for a different thread.

Last edited by higgite; June 20, 2019 at 03:43 PM.
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Old June 20, 2019, 03:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by higgite View Post
Understood, but your opening post only addressed case, primer, powder and bullet, as did mine. I personally don't care what test barrel(s) they use. I don't use test barrels, but I do expect my firearms to meet SAAMI standards. The standards are the standards, regardless of how SAAMI arrived at them.

OTOH, I do care what barrel a reloading manual publisher used to arrive at their recommended loads. But, that's a different ball game for a different thread.
Velocity and pressure for a given load will vary a lot if the load development barrel groove diameter is .3090" and your barrel's is .3070" with a bullet diameter of .3092"
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Old June 20, 2019, 04:49 PM   #11
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Yep.
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Old June 20, 2019, 08:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart B.
Velocity and pressure for a given load will vary a lot if the load development barrel groove diameter is .3090" and your barrel's is .3070" with a bullet diameter of .3092"
I think you'll find that SAAMI takes that into account by using test barrels made to the minimum acceptable dimension, thus maximizing the pressure.

From there, the assumption is that gun makers will produce barrels and chambers that are winin the specified maximum and minimum dimensions, and that ammunition makers will produce ammunition that is within the specified maximum and minimum dimensions and does not exceed the specified maximum pressure when tested in accordance with SAAMI test protocol.

The bottom line is that SAAMI exists to serve the commercial firearms and ammunition industry. The SAAMI standards are not intended as a guideline for home reloaders, and that seems to be what your opening post is wishing they were.
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Old June 20, 2019, 09:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. O'Heir
Cases and bullets have nothing to do with pressure or velocity. There are no standards, with or without tolerances, for velocity.
See pages 11-33 of the SAAMI Centerfire Rifle Standard. The second column after the cartridge names contains the velocity standards for the bullet weights shown in the first column.

If you believe bullets have no effect on pressure, read The Practical Effects of Bullets on Pressure.

If you think cases can have no effect on pressure, put your favorite .308 load together in a .30-06 case and see if you can tell the performance difference. Case-to-case variation within a cartridge type (different headstamps) is usually, but not always, too small to have any effect. Especially not in .300 WM. The Winchester .308 case design for the 1992 Palma matches was specifically to provide enough added powder capacity (about 2 grains) to increase muzzle velocity in a Palma barrel.
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Old June 20, 2019, 09:31 PM   #14
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Good read Uncle Nick. I would go as far as to say every component will have a change on the pressure to one degree or another. From the SAAMI webpage

Quote:
The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute traces its roots to 1913 and the Society of American Manufacturers of Small Arms and Ammunition (SAMSAA). During the lead up to World War 1, SAMSAA was created at the encouragement of the United States War Department as a way to establish an exchange of technical information between U.S. factories producing military arms and ammunition. This information exchange allowed firearms to accept ammunition made by a wide variety of both civilian manufacturers and government contractors, which previously had not always been the case.
https://saami.org/about-saami/history/


I don't think it was ever intended to be used as a reloading source
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Old June 20, 2019, 09:33 PM   #15
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The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) is an association of the nation’s leading manufacturers of firearms, ammunition and components.

SAAMI also well defines, just as an example their testing methods and procedures. That includes, as mentioned, their pressure testing methods and procedures right down to test barrel actual dimensions.

I think it should also be noted that SAAMI list their membership and that compliance to any of their published standards is voluntary.

Quote:
Should SAAMI list cartridge load data for case, primer, powder and bullet used to establish pressure and velocity standards?
No, would be my thinking. That said they may release that data to their membership upon request but I see no reason to release that data in their general data released to the general public. They list the data, just again using an example, as "Voluntary Industry Performance Standards for Pressure and Velocity of Centerfire Rifle Ammunition for the Use of Commercial Manufacturers".

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Old June 21, 2019, 08:16 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Reloadron
They list the data, just again using an example, as "Voluntary Industry Performance Standards for Pressure and Velocity of Centerfire Rifle Ammunition for the Use of Commercial Manufacturers".
Like many ASTM standards, SAAMI standards are voluntary. However, an ammunition manufacturer would have to be nuts to stray very far from the standards, because if someone were to blow up a firearm and suffer a serious injury (or maybe be killed), it would not play well in the ensuing lawsuit to have ballistics experts for the plaintiff (or his estate) testify in court that the ammunition produced by the XYZ Megablaster Corporation didn't conform to industry standards for pressure.
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Old June 21, 2019, 08:46 AM   #17
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Compliance with all industry standards is voluntary, except those that have been incorporated into regulations. That incorporation is more common than you might think. This is because, back in 1996, in a rare exhibition of fiscal good sense, Congress passed the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act, requiring all U.S. federal agencies to use industry voluntary standards to inform regulatory requirements rather than paying for their own laboratories and technocrats to create technical requirements for permits and licensing and inspection. That has saved a lot of money. For example, if you look at federal regulations for flame spread tests of exterior wall facing material, it will be found to copy the procedure and measurement methods outlined in an ASTM standard. That kind of thing.

I don't know how many of SAAMI's standards have been incorporated into regulations. Unlike the U.S., rather than relying on voluntary standards, the Europeans use the CIP for firearms standards and as a regulatory agency. In other words, the CIP standards are enforceable in Europe, where SAAMI's are not enforceable in the U.S.
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Old June 21, 2019, 09:14 AM   #18
Bart B.
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Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca View Post
The bottom line is that SAAMI exists to serve the commercial firearms and ammunition industry. The SAAMI standards are not intended as a guideline for home reloaders, and that seems to be what your opening post is wishing they were.
I was soliciting opinions, nothing else you might think.

Last edited by Bart B.; June 21, 2019 at 09:51 AM.
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Old June 21, 2019, 09:23 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Unclenick View Post
Compliance with all industry standards is voluntary, except those that have been incorporated into regulations. That incorporation is more common than you might think. This is because, back in 1996, in a rare exhibition of fiscal good sense, Congress passed the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act, requiring all U.S. federal agencies to use industry voluntary standards to inform regulatory requirements rather than paying for their own laboratories and technocrats to create technical requirements for permits and licensing and inspection. That has saved a lot of money. For example, if you look at federal regulations for flame spread tests of exterior wall facing material, it will be found to copy the procedure and measurement methods outlined in an ASTM standard. That kind of thing.

I don't know how many of SAAMI's standards have been incorporated into regulations. Unlike the U.S., rather than relying on voluntary standards, the Europeans use the CIP for firearms standards and as a regulatory agency. In other words, the CIP standards are enforceable in Europe, where SAAMI's are not enforceable in the U.S.
Well stated. Should help others understand what SAAMI is all about.
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Old June 21, 2019, 09:36 AM   #20
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Thanks. I'm a voting member of the ASTM's C16 committee, creating and setting thermal insulation standards, so this is familiar territory for me.
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Old June 21, 2019, 10:44 AM   #21
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Like many ASTM standards, SAAMI standards are voluntary. However, an ammunition manufacturer would have to be nuts to stray very far from the standards, because if someone were to blow up a firearm and suffer a serious injury (or maybe be killed), it would not play well in the ensuing lawsuit to have ballistics experts for the plaintiff (or his estate) testify in court that the ammunition produced by the XYZ Megablaster Corporation didn't conform to industry standards for pressure.
Absolutely!

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Old June 21, 2019, 10:46 AM   #22
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Thanks. I'm a voting member of the ASTM's C16 committee, creating and setting thermal insulation standards, so this is familiar territory for me.
I had you pegged as an EE.

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Old June 21, 2019, 11:48 AM   #23
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I trained as a EE, but in designing temperature controls I got involved in high R-value insulation and wound up with 11 issued patents in that area. The transition from electrical to thermal is easier than a lot of other cross-overs I can think of. Resistance, conductance, flux. Thermal has it all.
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Old June 21, 2019, 12:17 PM   #24
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However, an ammunition manufacturer would have to be nuts to stray very far from the standards, because if someone were to blow up a firearm and suffer a serious injury (or maybe be killed), it would not play well in the ensuing lawsuit to have ballistics experts for the plaintiff (or his estate) testify in court that the ammunition produced by the XYZ Megablaster Corporation didn't conform to industry standards for pressure.
You'd think so, but I'd say it depends a lot on other things, as well.

Is Buffalo Bore nuts??? As I understand it, Buffalo Bore ammo does not conform to SAAMI specs, and its deliberate. They will NOT tell you their load particulars, and again, that is deliberate. They will not tell what powder is used, or how much or what pressure is developed. They consider that proprietary information, and, I think, rightly so.
They will tell you velocity, and they will tell you the firearms they have tested their ammo in, and that it is SAFE. they will also tell you not to use their ammo in firearms that they have not tested their ammo in.

It seems a lot of posting here lately considers SAAMI spec pressure & velocity as a load they need to or seek to duplicate. SAAMI specs are LIMITS that are used so that everyone making ammo (for sale to the public) produces ammo that will be SAFE in every gun (in proper working condition) chambered in that caliber.

SAAMI spec ammo will be safe in your gun. We accept that as a given, its the entire reason the specs exist to begin with. HOWEVER, ammo that is outside SAAMI (pressure, etc) spec MIGHT be safe in your gun. Or it might not. That part is up to you.

COAL is another point where it seems a lot of people are asking about, as if it were a requirement. CARTRIDGE Over ALL Length (aka Loaded length with bullet) is a standard, maximum limit not to exceed, if you want your ammo to work through the action of all guns in that chambering.

Again, let me repeat, SAAMI ammo specs are for industry use. You won't go wrong staying within them, but as a handloader, you have the option to tailor your ammo to the specific gun(s) you are using, and are not restricted to using only ammo with SAAMI spec, IF your gun is capable to safely handling ammo outside SAAMI spec in some particulars. And its entirely up to you to determine if your gun will be safe, if you do go outside SAAMI limits.

Many guns will safely handle pressures SLIGHTLY outside SAAMI specs. Some won't. If you go off the map, its entirely your responsibility.

As to the OP, I see the question as asking if SAAMI should list the components they used in their test ammo. I see no point to that, myself.
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Old June 21, 2019, 01:13 PM   #25
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Not to mention Garrett Ammunition and all the load recommendations in manuals and online data that say they are only for such and such a gun, like .45-70 data only for some lever guns and still hotter data only for bolt rifles or single-shot rifles.

SAAMI has no test ammo of its own. When pressures are established, for each standardized chambering they have one member manufacturer who is assigned to making and maintaining its reference ammunition. They then send samples of that lot around to a bunch of different member labs to measure on either copper crushers using slug tarage tables for calibration or with a piezotransducer calibrated by hydraulic pressure. They use them all at a standard temperature range and only after equalizing the ammo and test equipment to those conditions.

In the examples they published, 9 copper crushers disagreed about the peak pressure value of a particular reference lot of .30 Carbine by 23%. 7 transducers disagreed by as much as 11% measuring a particular lot of 357 Magnum ammo. They have a criterion for tossing out outliers, but none of those examples in those spreads qualified as outliers. The reference lot is simply declared to produce pressure equal to the average reading from all the labs. After that, everyone using that lot of reference ammunition uses it to scale their equipment readings. That is, if theirs reads 5% higher than the reference load's declared value, they adjust all their readings down by 5% to remain consistent with other test equipment in the industry.

The whole calibration process is repeated for every reference lot every two years to compensate for aging effects.

In general, standards organizations have small staffs and little or no lab facilities or equipment of their own. All the lab work and measurements are done by member companies.
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