Autoloading Pistols

The National Institute of Justice Compliance Testing Program (NIJ CTP) administers a product conformity assessment system for autoloading pistols to determine a specific pistol model’s compliance with NIJ Standard-0112.03, Revision A. This testing is conducted in accordance with the NIJ CTP Autoloading Pistols Inspection Scheme. This involves initial type testing and evaluation of a specific pistol model design, combined with surveillance activities (e.g., follow-up inspection and testing) of production autoloading pistols.

Because autoloading pistol performance testing can potentially be destructive in nature, testing each pistol before it is supplied to an end user is not possible. Therefore, end users gain confidence from surveillance of manufacturing activities that verifies production pistol models are manufactured consistently with the samples provided for initial type testing and evaluation.

Initial Type Testing

Important Note: Participation in this scheme requires the transfer of firearms between the applicant, the NIJ CTP, and the test laboratory. Participants are expected to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws. Additionally, the NIJ CTP will accept test items from locations within the United States only and is not authorized to accept test items from outside of the United StatesApplicants should not send test samples to the NIJ CTP until authorized to do so by the CTP.

Applicants should download, complete, and submit the following documents to the CTP at, with the subject line “[Your company name] application to participate in NIJ CTP”: 

Applicants should also contact an NIJ-approved laboratory to schedule a compliance test. Applicants select, and directly negotiate and pay for testing services to, the NIJ-approved laboratory of their choice. 

After the laboratory has been contacted and a test date has been scheduled, the applicant should contact the NIJ CTP to make arrangements to ship the documentation and test samples described in Sections 4 and 5 of the NIJ CTP Autoloading Pistols Inspection Scheme to the NIJ CTP. Once NIJ CTP authorization is received in writing (via email) to ship the samples to the NIJ CTP, the samples and documentation should be shipped (via a commercial shipper with a tracking number) to:

NIJ Compliance Testing Program (NIJ CTP)
c/o RTI International
P.O. Box 12194
3040 E. Cornwallis Road
Hermann Building, Room 216
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2194

Upon receiving the samples, NIJ CTP staff will inspect them to ensure that they meet the labeling/workmanship requirements and that the manufacturer has submitted all the required documentation. If the samples pass this inspection, the NIJ CTP will forward the samples for testing to the NIJ-approved test laboratory identified in the application package.

After completing the testing process at the laboratory, the samples are returned to the NIJ CTP, which conducts their own review of laboratory’s test report and tested samples to verify the test was performed correctly. Upon completion of the testing process, the NIJ CTP will return the test samples to the originating manufacturer.

After successfully meeting all NIJ CTP requirements, the NIJ CTP will present information about the model and a recommendation to NIJ about whether to approve the model. If NIJ approves the model, the applicant will receive an NIJ Notice of Compliance for the model and it will be added to the Compliant Product List (CPL). Once an applicant receives the Notice of Compliance and the model is added to the CPL, the applicant can begin producing the model.

For further information or assistance, please contact the NIJ CTP at 919.485.2717 or