Shooter's Glossary: CIP Organization

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Shooter's Glossary: CIP Organization

The Commission internationale permanente pour l'épreuve des armes à feu portatives" (C.I.P.) is often referred to in English as the "Permanent International Commission for the Proof of Small Arms."

In the context of firearms, ammunition, and the shooting sports world, the C.I.P. plays a crucial role.

As of 2015, its members are the national governments of 14 countries, of which 11 are European Union member states.

The C.I.P. safeguards that all firearms and ammunition sold to civilian purchasers in member states are safe for the users.

Commission Internationale Permanente Logo

Here's a detailed breakdown:

Founded in 1914, the C.I.P. is an international organization that sets standards for the safety testing of firearms and ammunition.

Its main purpose is to ensure that all firearms and ammunition sold in member countries are safe for use.

Member Countries

Many European countries are members of the C.I.P., and they have agreed to adopt the same standards and marking system for firearms and ammunition. This helps standardize safety requirements and facilitates the trade of firearms and ammo among these nations.

Proof Houses and Markings

Within C.I.P. member countries, certain recognized establishments, known as "proof houses," are authorized to conduct the standardized tests on firearms and ammunition.

Once a firearm or batch of ammunition passes the testing, it is marked with a specific proof mark that indicates it has met C.I.P. safety standards.


The C.I.P. sets detailed specifications for various aspects of firearms and ammunition, such as chamber dimensions, maximum allowable pressures, and cartridge nomenclatures.

Their standards help ensure that ammunition and firearms from different manufacturers are compatible and safe when used together.

Comparison with SAAMI
In the United States, a similar role is played by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute (SAAMI).

While both the C.I.P. and SAAMI aim to ensure the safety and compatibility of firearms and ammunition, they might have different standards or testing methods.

As a result, ammunition that meets C.I.P. standards might not necessarily meet SAAMI standards, and vice versa.

CIP Chart

In essence, the C.I.P. is pivotal in maintaining safety and standardization in the firearms and ammunition industry within its member countries.

Its standards, testing, and markings are widely recognized and respected throughout much of the world.

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