August 02, 2012
By Marco Vorobiev
Marco Vorobiev was a member of the elite Soviet Spetsnaz in Afghanistan in the 1980s. He's a U.S. citizen now and conducts training courses that draw on his special forces training. He'll have a new installment every Wednesday.
During our recent visit to Barnaul Cartridge Plant we were presented with an opportunity to inspect their testing facility. We were accompanied by the plant's quality manager, Oleg Isayev. While there we were introduced to Barnaul's ammo testing procedures and their quality control practices.
I've been shooting Barnaul ammo for years, so their quality was never in question to me. However, shooters who are accustomed to shooting shiny brass-cased ammo might look with suspicion on "dull" grey rounds and immediately raise questions about the ammo's quality. Well, I am here to put those shooters at ease.
In fact almost 100% of Barnaul ammo is checked for defects. The Barnaul Cartridge Plant employs a staff to check quality and compliance of their ammunition by hand. When I saw several ladies sitting at the work tables with bunch of gauges, I had to take a second look. I wasn't mistaken, every round was checked for several parameters and it did not meet specifications it was simply discarded, while the rest of the checked ammo went into factory packaging. Not that I needed it, but this would definitely add another layer of assurance that the next Barnaul round you chamber will do what you wanted it to do.
Barnaul Cartridge Plant Offices
SGN field editor David Fortier, Vorobiev, Barnaul Export Marketing Manager Andrey Tsuprunov and SSI representative Roman Fridman pose in front of Barnaul Cartridge Plant Offices.
The Barnaul Cartridge Plan's quality control department employs a large staff of workers to check almost 100% of their ammunition by hand using several different parameters.
Vorobiev was told that 100% of the .223 ammo bound for the U.S. market is checked by the quality control personnel, showing the importance of the U.S. shooter to the Russians.
Pistol ammunition is also hand-checked before being packed and shipped to the USA. While U.S. makers manly use automatic and statistical inspection methods, hand-checking is common elsewhere.