Ammunition & Firearms Testing Process - Camden, AK| NTS (2023)

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Ammunition and Firearms Testing

Ammunition & Firearms Testing Process - Camden, AK| NTS (1)

With one of the nation’s largest networks of ISO/IEC 17025 accredited test laboratories, NTS has been providing MIL-STD turnkey testing solutions, includingammunition testing and firearm testing, to the U.S. military, government, and commercial enterprises for more than 50 years. All of our facilities are state-of-the-art, and our personnel — always willing to share their knowledge and insights to determine the right tests for your needs — are among of the best in the industry.

At our NTS facility inCamden, AR, you’ll find one of the most extensive weapons and ordnance testing labs in the entire country, where we can help you efficiently navigate the steps and processes that comprise MIL-STD testing. NTS Camden features a drop tower and a 3,000-meter firing range, as well as vibration testing systems capable of producing 40,000 force pounds with hazardous material shakers that can operate at temperatures ranging from -150° to 300°F.

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For quality small arms and body armor testing — including indoor and outdoor ranges, X-ray CT scanning, Doppler radar, FARO laser scanning and Phantom high-speed cameras — ourWichitaandChesapeakeNTS facilities are great resources. Each facility has a staff of engineers and experts in ballistics testing for law enforcement and defense applications.

Developing custom ordnance requires strict testing protocols. If you’re looking for reliable test results in this field, the team at ourDana Point, CAfacility is ready to share its expertise.

Testing the Forces of Ballistics

Time, experience, and a continual evolution of knowledge has rendered our engineers innately familiar with the field of ballistics. We’re keenly aware of the extreme physical forces involved in testing, as well as the high standards of safety expected for members of the military, law enforcement, and others tasked with operating firearms and ammunition.

To better understand ballistic testing’s unique thermodynamic release of energy, we’ll dive into pressure, velocity, accuracy and dispersion. These are some of the key forces and areas of performance examined by firearms and ammunition testing that produce such accurate results.

Ballistics Testing: Pressure

In the simplest view, a firearm can be considered a highly specialized form of a piston engine, in which the bullet becomes the functioning piston. Of course, with a firearm, the delivery of the force produced by the ignition of fuel is a firing pin striking a cartridge, which should be focused on the intended target. Simultaneously, the minimum amount of energy — or recoil — should be felt by the shooter.

To accomplish this task, the pressures exerted inside the barrels and cartridges of firearms and ammunition are considerable. Precisely why need to be tested under controlled lab conditions when new forms of either one are being developed. The pressures inside firearms are measured in pounds per square inch (PSI) and are extremely high.

Let’s compare such elevated levels of internal PSI to other physical objects. The average toy balloon has an internal pressure of roughly 15 PSI, an unopened champagne bottle comes in at about 90 PSI, and a high-performance rocket engine can exceed 3,500 PSI. Yet these numbers pale in comparison to the average .22 caliber long rifle that’s expected to operate under a pressure of 25,000 PSI with a cartridge that can exceed 60,000 PSI.

Ballistics Testing: Velocity (SAAMI)

Pinpointing the speed or velocity of ammunitions is critical for a number of reasons — not the least of which is the fact that gravity can pull a bullet downward and off its intended target. All the more reason ammunitions and firearms manufacturers rely on NTS’ quality testing to inform them about important measurements like muzzle velocity — or the speed of a bullet as it leaves the barrel of a gun.

Want to be on the edge of new in the field of ballistics in ballistics? Partner with NTS. We make it our top priority to stay informed of new developments and all standards issued from the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI ) especially as they relate to emerging trends in ammunition velocity rates.

Ballistic Testing: Accuracy

In military and law enforcement, lives, missions, and outcomes often wholly depend on accuracy of firearms, ammunition, missiles, and other trajectory delivery systems. Testing experts typically employ the Ballistic Accuracy Classification (BAC) system to validate the accuracy of firearms and related components to hit an intended target with flawless precision.

Under the BAC system, firearms may be categorized according to the ability to repeatedly and meticulously hit the same target. In theory, a perfect shot would go through the same hole as the previous shot; scoring a BAC rating of 0. For this reason, in real-world conditions, the lowest BAC rating possible is 1, with higher ratings indicating a less accurate firearm.

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Ballistics Testing: Dispersion

Just like the energy from a beam of light is dispersed over the area it’s cast upon, firing a projectile results in it hitting a target. Once it hits the target, the degree to which it deviates from its intended contact point is known as dispersion.

Ammunition can be fired from any number of stationary or mobile pieces of equipment — from a prone sniper with a long-range rifle to a fighter pilot seated in a supersonic jet equipped with a high-velocity missile system. The results of testing for the dispersion of projectiles reveals critical information for ammunition and firearms manufacturers.

Ammunition & Firearms Testing Process - Camden, AK| NTS (2)

NTS: Full-Service Ammunition and Firearms Testing

At NTS, you’ll find air-conditioned ammunition firing on our fully instrumented 300-meter and 3,000-meter ballistic test ranges against a full spectrum of range and engagement azimuths. Weapons can be fired from a wide variety of advanced, fully instrumented firing positions.

Multiple high-speed digital video cameras with typical framing rates to 160,000 frames per second (fps) are available at each range. Our engineers have the technology and knowledge to execute:

  • Characterization, penetration, performance, and functional arena testing, including ITOP 4-2-813 and FM 101-51-3 Z-data to determine fragment mass and velocity spatial distributions to support lethality assessment.
  • Comprehensive environmental testing IAW MIL-STD-810 of component and full scale all up rounds, including vibration, shock, temperature, humidity, altitude, blowing rain, sand and dust, fungus, and pyrotechnic shock.
  • MIL-STD-331 Fuze and Fuze Systems testing, including Jolt, Jumble, Environmental, and ESD.

Types ofAmmunition Testing

Our state-of-the-art facilty includes in-house case calibration for greater repeatability, more accurate data sets, and faster turnaround time. It also features Piezo-electric transducers for pressure measurement, and various SAAMI and NATO compliance test barrels. Ammunition testing is conducted in accordance with SAAMI, FBI, and NATO protocols. We can provide customized test plans upon request. NTS engineers expertly perform the following ammunition tests:

  • Pressure and velocity measurement
  • Proof testing
  • Cook-off testing
  • Less-than-lethal testing
  • Projectile characterization
  • Quality control inspection
  • Performance evaluations for accuracy and dispersion
  • Corrosive primer testing
  • Primer sensitivity testing
  • Environmental testing

Types ofFirearms Testing

NTS testing IAW test standards and test methods, including:

  • California Department of Justice
  • Massachusetts Handgun
  • NIJ 0112.03
  • TOP-3-2-045

Firearm Tests Include:

  • Accuracy & Dispersion
  • Rate-of-fire
  • Barrel erosion and barrel life
  • Weapon endurance
  • Trigger pull
  • Recoil
  • Shock transmittance
  • Proof testing
  • Indoor and outdoor range options

Firearm Safety Device (FSD) Testing For:

  • Lockboxes
  • Gun cabinets
  • Gun safes
  • Cable locks
  • Chamber locks
  • Magazine blocks
  • Padlocks
  • Trigger locks

State-of-the-art instrumentation and measuringequipmentincluding:

  • FARO laser scanners and point probles
  • Doppler Radar System for continuous velocity measurements
  • High-speed video cameras (color and monochrome)
  • – 1ms exposure, up to 100,000 frames per second
  • – 2D & 3D videoanalysis(velocity tracking)
  • Highly accurate and calibrated velocity measurement equipment
  • – Optical Screens
  • – Magnetic Screens (for small fragments)
  • – Paper break screens for special requirements
  • Ballistic clay and gel testing (US Army, FBI, DEA, DHS)
  • Various environmental chambers
  • Accelerometers and force transducers
  • X-ray computed tomography
  • Digital radiography
  • Ultrasound
  • Dye penetrant
  • Magnetic Particle Inspection

NTS: For the Best in Ballistics Testing

Technical competency. Well-calibrated equipment. State-of-the-art facilities. NTS is the leader in providing specifically designed, reliable, and consistent testing services.

We exist to support and partner with manufacturers that serve the vital needs of the U.S. military, government, and law enforcement organizations. Together, we supply ultimately safe and consistently compliant products. You’ll always find us ready to help on your next project in a respectful, professional and creative manner that provides you with tailored and timely solutions.

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Contact us today to learn more about NTS ammunition and firearms testingservices, orrequest a free quote for your upcoming project.

  • More Ballistics/MIL-SPEC
    • Arena Testing
    • Armor
    • Ballistic Materials
    • Ballistics
    • Explosives
    • Forced Entry
    • Insensitive Munitions
    • Ordnance Science
    • Trigger Safety
  • Locations
    • Belcamp, MD
    • Wichita, KS
    • Camden, AR

Associated Testing

  • Ballistics Testing
  • Barrel Life Endurance
  • Explosives
  • Insensitive Munitions

Approvals & Accreditations

  • A2LA
  • US Department of Justice, NIJ
  • Defense Logistics Agency
  • US Coast Guard
  • Naval Sea Systems Command
  • US Army Aberdeen Test Center
  • US Department of State
  • CA DOJ and Massachusetts Firearms

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How are ballistics tests performed? ›

For roughly a century, forensic ballistics experts have been comparing bullets and cartridge cases by visually examining them under a split-screen microscope. After comparing the bullets, the examiner can offer an expert opinion as to whether they match but cannot express the strength of the evidence numerically.

How long does it take to do a ballistics test? ›

Our standard turn around time to perform ballistic testing is usually within 7 to 10 days.

How are firearms tested? ›

A comparison microscope is used for the examination of fired bullets, bullet fragments and cartridge/shotshell cases. Equipment used for the examination of firearms include the above items plus special equipment to measure the trigger pull of the firearm and examine the interior of the barrel.

What do ammunition testers do? ›

Small arms ammunition pressure testing is used to establish standards for maximum average peak pressures of chamberings, as well as determining the safety of particular loads for the purposes of new load development.

Can a bullet be traced back to a registered gun? ›

Almost every bullet fired from a gun, can be traced back to that gun using a microscope. “When a bullet is fired from a firearm, when it travels through the barrel, the barrel leaves microscopic markings on the bullet that are unique to that specific firearm,” Jessica Wade, forensics firearms examiner, said.

What is the difference between ballistics and firearms examination? ›

In addition, scientists examined firearms to determine if the weapon functions properly and can restored obliterated serial numbers. Firearms Identification is not ballistics, which is the study of projectiles such as bullets in motion. Some aspects are similar but ballistics are not the firearm examiner's main focus.

How long does a basic ammunition check take? ›

How long does it take to get a determination from the Department for each type of eligibility check? Certificate of Eligibility Verification Checks – A determination may be completed in approximately 2 minutes. Standard Ammunition Eligibility Check - A determination may be completed in approximately 2 minutes.

How far can a 9mm shot be heard? ›

A handgun shot can be heard about a mile away. At that distance, though, it might sound “almost like somebody tapping on a table,” Beisner says. In cities that deploy ShotSpotter, the company installs 20 to 25 sensors per square mile, to more accurately pinpoint the location of a shooter.

How accurate is ballistics testing? ›

The Findings. The examiners correctly matched the spent bullet to the barrel that fired it 98.8 percent of the time.

How many questions can you miss on firearm safety test? ›

To obtain an FSC you must score at least 75% (23 correct answers out of 30 questions) on the FSC Test covering firearm safety and basic firearms laws.

What is a rattle test for ammunition? ›

The test involves 1,750 repetitive shocks to an item in three different orientations, such as sending a shock and vibration from the side of a fuse versus from above.

What is the process for comparing bullets and firearms evidence to a suspected weapon? ›

The science that deals with the scientific analysis of fired ammunition is called Ballistic Analysis, or simply Ballistics, which Oxford Dictionaries Online define as “the science of projectiles and firearms” or “the scientific study of the effects of being fired on a bullet, cartridge or gun.”

How long is ammunition technician school? ›

Technicians assist with all types of ammunition and toxic chemicals. This MOS requires secret security clearance and additional prerequisites. Marines in this MOS attend 13 challenging weeks at recruit training then head to Fort Lee for course work.

How do you become a weapons tester? ›

  1. Must be comfortable with firearms and live ammunition. Firearms handling experience a plus. ...
  2. Education. High school diploma or GED, or equivalent education and 2 years work experience. ...
  3. Communication Skills. ...
  4. Mathematical Skills. ...
  5. Reasoning Ability. ...
  6. Work Environment.

How long is AIT for ammunition specialist? ›

Job training for an Ammunition Specialist requires 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training and eight weeks of Advanced Individual Training with on-the-job instruction.

Are bullets registered to your name? ›

They can be matched to another projectile, fired from the same firearm, by a trained individual. No because there is no registry of guns in most of the United States and definitely no registry of bullets from the guns to match them up to.

Do guns leave serial number on bullets? ›

Sometimes, even bullet casings have serial numbers on them, and this has been a useful tool for tracking down criminals. There are many pros and cons to requiring serial numbers on ammunition, and both sides are worth exploring. Currently, there are no strict laws in America requiring ammunition to have serial numbers.

Do fingerprints stay on bullets? ›

Fingerprints are rarely recovered from fired cartridge casings due to the factors a casing sustains during the firing process. One factor affecting the likelihood of developing a fingerprint from a casing is the friction between the casing and the gun through the firing process.

What are the 3 main types of bullets? ›

Ammunition: One or more loaded cartridges consisting of a primed case, propellant, and projectile(s). Three main types are rimfire, centerfire, and shotshell.

How do police trace bullets? ›

A barrel will produce individual markings in addition to a bullet's land and groove impressions as the bullet passes through, and it is these unique markings that an examiner evaluates to determine whether a given bullet was fired from a particular firearm.

What are the 3 types of ballistics? ›

The science of projectiles and firearms is defined as 'ballistics' and it can be divided into three distinct categories: internal, external and terminal.

Do they track ammunition purchases? ›

After a yearslong fight and even more decades of gun violence, major financial institutions now have a way to track and flag suspicious purchases of firearms or ammunition. A new merchant code for firearm and ammunition retailers has been introduced by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

How many rounds of ammo do cops carry? ›

Firearm Capacity

Police service revolvers hold 6 rounds; semi-automatic pistols can hold more than 12 rounds of ammunition. This argument, however, is countered by a Department regulation that allows officers to carry a back-up revolver with 5 additional rounds of ammunition.

Does ammo get sent to your house? ›

Ammunition cannot be shipped directly to your home. However, it can be shipped to a licensed firearms dealer in your state. You will need to provide the dealer with a copy of your driver's license or other government-issued photo ID and complete a background check before taking possession of the ammunition.

What is the loudest gun? ›

The loudest gun in the world is the 460 Weatherby Magnum with an 18″ barrel and a muzzle brake at around 170–180 decibels.

How many walls can a 9mm penetrate? ›

Handgun rounds (9mm and . 45 ACP) all penetrated at least six walls of sheetrock and, in the case of 10mm, over 10 walls.

How far can a 9mm be accurate? ›

And while a 9mm bullet may travel three miles under optimal conditions, whatever it actually hits at that distance is totally up to chance. The longest confirmed sniper kill in history was 2.199 miles.

How far out is 9mm accurate? ›

"The effective range of the 9mm is about 100 m although the bullet does travel and is lethal at longer ranges." If your talking about a 9mm rifles but we're talking about a pistols. 100 m is a little far for the average GI to shoot with a pistol making 100 m the Maximum Effective Range. Diameter of bore .

How many bullets actually hit the target? ›

Bullet-level accuracy.

Overall, about one-third (35%) of all officers' rounds hit the targeted suspect.

Can a gun safety fail? ›

The safety is intended to prevent the firearm from being fired accidentally. However, safeties should never be relied on totally to protect against accidental shooting. Safeties are mechanical devices subject to mechanical failure from wear and other factors, and they can fail when least expected.

What kind of questions are on the FSC? ›

The examination is 30 questions and covers firearm safety as well as basic firearm laws. All questions are formatted as either true/false or multiple choice. In order to pass, you must score at least a 75%, equating to 23 correct responses out of 30.

How much is a firearm certificate? ›

Usually, the fee for the competency certificate is R70,00 while that of the firearm licence which you are renewing is also R70,00.

Can ammo jam your gun? ›

Revolvers are not immune to ammunition-related stoppages, either: if the overall length is excessive, cylinder binding can occur, and if there are case bulges or expanded brass from excessive pressure, extraction can become difficult or even impossible without gunsmith assistance.

What are the three types of ammunition malfunctions? ›

There are three basic malfunctions that can be attributed to ammunition specifically: the misfire, the hangfire, and the squib load.

What does slap stand for in bullets? ›

The saboted light armor penetrator (SLAP) family of firearm ammunition is designed to penetrate armor more efficiently than standard armor-piercing ammunition. In the US it was developed by the Marine Corps during the mid/late 1980s and was approved for service use in 1990 during Operation Desert Storm.

What is firearms and ammunition evidence? ›

This evidence includes fingerprints, blood, hair or fibers, cylinder "halos", and debris in the barrel and/or cylinder. The weapon should be handled on those areas least likely to retain latent fingerprints such as knurled or checkered areas.

What is the first step for collecting firearms evidence? ›

Firearms should be unloaded and placed in a safe condition at the point of collection. If the collector is unsure of the proper procedure, assistance should be sought from a competent source such as a firearms instructor, departmental armorer, or an on-site firearm examiner.

What type of evidence is ammunition? ›

Ballistic evidence—including gunshot residue, angle of trajectory, distance from the target, bullet entrance and exit marks, and damage—are often used to reconstruct the events that transpired in the commission of a crime.

How much do ammo makers make? ›

As of Nov 5, 2022, the average annual pay for a Work From Home Ammunition Manufacturing in the United States is $59,210 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $28.47 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,138/week or $4,934/month.

Do ammo techs see combat? ›

Duties of Marine Corps Ammunition Technicians

This isn't a combat job, where you'll be handling improvised explosive devices (IEDs), but rather will be keeping track of and organizing ammunition where and when it's needed by various platoons and missions.

Do ammo techs get deployed? ›

Job on deployment

Ammunition Technicians also deploy overseas in support of exercises and operations.

How long does weapons Qualification last? ›

Soldiers assigned to an organization without weapons can use their latest qualification as an exception to the 24-month limit. However, once assigned to an organization with weapons, the Soldier will have 12 months to qualify with assigned weapon or will lose their most recent score.

How can I be a tester? ›

To become a software tester, you'll need a degree in engineering, math, or computer science. You can also attend a coding bootcamp or become certified by national organizations. Skills and test and automation tools, Linux, SQL, and analytics are important for this role.

Do weapons engineers make a lot of money? ›

Weapons Engineers in America make an average salary of $99,077 per year or $48 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $150,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $65,000 per year.

How much does the Army pay for ammo? ›

The Army's budget calls for sweeping cuts to its ammo budget. Overall ammo spending in 2022 could be $2.1 billion, down sharply from $2.8 billion this year. from the $470 million it spent this year. Spending on mortar rounds could drop by $13 million.

What is the longest MOS AIT in the Army? ›

AIT, or Advanced Individual Training, is where new soldiers receive specific training in their chosen MOS. The length of AIT training varies depending on the MOS and can last anywhere from three weeks to nearly two years. The current longest AIT training lasts 84 weeks (1 year and 8 months).

What rank is a weapons specialist? ›

Special forces weapons sergeants are the weapons specialists. They're capable of operating and maintaining a wide variety of U.S., allied and other foreign weaponry.

What are ballistic tests? ›

What Is Ballistics Testing? Ballistics is defined as the study and science of projectiles and firearms. Ballistics testing is a standards-based process where products are tested to determine if they meet protection, safety and performance criteria.

How are ballistics Analysed in forensics? ›

Firearm and tool mark examinations, commonly referred to as “ballistic fingerprinting”, involve a firearm forensic expert witness analysing firearm, ammunition, rifling patterns, and markings upon projectiles in order to establish whether a certain firearm or device was used in the commission of a crime.

How are ballistics prepared for court trials? ›

Forensic Ballistics experts use markings on shell casings or bullets to determine the match to a particular weapon. Once the evidence chain of custody is proven a court is concerned with matching of markings to prove the identification of a weapon associated with the suspect.

How are gunshot residue exams conducted? ›

Scanning electron microscopy is the only available method to confirm the presence of GSR particles; other methods, such as atomic absorption, only measure the amount of bulk elements present and not their form.

What are the 3 types of ballistic? ›

The science of projectiles and firearms is defined as 'ballistics' and it can be divided into three distinct categories: internal, external and terminal.

How long does forensics take to come back? ›

A typical case with no surrounding factors could take anywhere between 6-12 months for results to be obtained. Once this has happened, they still have to be reviewed by the officer in the case and a decision made as to how the material will be graded.

What are the 5 stages of a trial? ›

The stages in a criminal trial are:
  • Jury Selection – which includes “voire dire” (literally to “speak the truth”)
  • Opening Statements.
  • Presentation of Evidence – also called “case-in-chief” which includes witnesses testimony and “examination” of those witnesses, both direct and cross-examination.
  • Closing Arguments.
29 Jun 2022

What are the 7 steps of a trial? ›

What Are The Steps in A Criminal Case?
  • Step 1: Bail. Arrest. ...
  • Step 2: Arraignment. Arraignment. ...
  • Step 3: Preliminary Hearing. Prelim. ...
  • Step 4: 2nd Arraignment (Superior Court) Arraignment. ...
  • Step 5: Pretrial Hearing & Motions. Pre-trial. ...
  • Step 6: Jury Trial. Trial. ...
  • Step 7: Appeal. Post.
30 Apr 2022

What are the 5 steps of a trial? ›

Trial Process
  • Step 1: Selection of the Jury.
  • Step 2: The Trial.
  • Step 3: Juror Conduct During the Trial.
  • Step 4: Jury Deliberations.
  • Step 5: After the Verdict.

How long does it take for gun residue test to come back? ›

You can get results with this test in 30 to 40 minutes with the new test. In addition you only need small amounts of evidence to run the test.” Many of the current methods are susceptible to outside interferences that can produce false positive or false negative results.

How long does gunshot residue stay on you? ›

Gunshot residue is the consistency of flour and typically only stays on the hands of a living person for 4–6 hours. Wiping the hands on anything, even putting them in and out of pockets can transfer gunshot residue off the hands.

What are the 2 most common elements found in gun shot residue? ›

Composition of Gunshot Residue

Primer cases are of similar composition (Cu-Zn). Bullet cores are most often lead and antimony, with a very few having a ferrous alloy core. Bullet jackets are usually brass (90% copper with 10% zinc), but some are a ferrous alloy and some are aluminum.


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