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Spotlight: Rio Law Enforcement Ammo delivers protection in harm’s way

Backing LEOs with an advanced arsenal of lethal and less lethal shotshells

Company Name: Rio Law Enforcement Ammunition
Headquarters: McEwen, Tennessee
Signature Product: Rio LE Lethal Cartridges
Website: http://www.rioammo.com/

500 million cartridges – that’s how many Rio Ammunition manufactured just last year, making them the largest shot shell producer in the world. Learn more about Rio LE, including why they’ve moved so aggressively into less lethal shotshell manufacturing for law enforcement.

Where did your company name originate from?
Our name derived from our parent company, MAXAM Corporation, which is based in Spain and was originally founded by Alfred Nobel in 1872. Rio Ammunition was formed in 1896 and the name “Rio” refers to the Rio Tinto River Province in southwestern Spain.

Rio Law Enforcement buck and slug cartridges, in 12 and 20 gauge chamberings.
Rio Law Enforcement buck and slug cartridges, in 12 and 20 gauge chamberings.

What was the inspiration behind starting your company?
Rio/MAXAM is currently conducting business in 97 countries and constantly evolving to meet the needs of our customers while seeking out new markets to distribute our vast line of products. The U.S. and International Law Enforcement program was a joint adventure by team members in the United States and our Spanish counterparts.

Why do you believe your products are essential to the Police community?
Currently, we are the only manufacturer that offers a large range of both lethal and less lethal shotgun projectiles. These cartridges offer Police, Military and Security agencies a broad response option with regards to the amount of force needed to incapacitate an aggressor. Our direct involvement with agencies and secondary manufacturers allows us to bring together the needs and desires of a particular department with the innovative concepts developed in-house or through one of our partner companies.

What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?
Our primary challenge is respectfully introducing ourselves into a market that has been dominated by a very small group of manufacturers over the past two decades. Although, Rio Ammunition has been manufacturing cartridges and components for over 117 years, our U.S. division introduced these products just over 10 years ago. The law enforcement specific program was launched in May of 2011 and has since become a better known cartridge manufacturer offering a wide range of products, extremely competitive pricing and strong, timely delivery to the end-user.

What makes your company unique?
Rio LE is supported by a large corporation with a foundation of building civil and military explosive-based products. Ammunition manufacturing makes up only a small percentage of the total output as a whole. The technical experience of 6,500 employees based throughout the world provides a wide array of knowledge and ability to effectively respond to the ultimate needs of the consumer. Rio Ammunition and the MAXAM Corp. have the production capabilities to produce 90 percent of the components needed for each cartridge we make with the additional backing of R&D, world-wide marketing and distribution.

What do your customers like best about you and your products?
Rio LE was created with the basic principle of listening to the end-user and meeting their needs today and in the future. The program offers each requesting agency the necessary material and information to make a well informed purchasing decision. Typically, the representative you’re speaking to from Rio LE is the one responsible for development of either the product or the program and can answer questions without delay, creating a more one-on-one sales experience.

What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?
Rio prides itself on being able to service both our commercial and government market customers with 100 percent satisfaction of our products. The law enforcement division, while still growing, has already seen deployment in both large and small agencies throughout the United States and Canada. While our popularity is increasing, we also see the positive impact we have already had with these departments. Personally, I am rewarded by the feedback from our customers and the confidence we have developed over our short time as an agency supplier. Our relationship with our public safety clientele is one of our main priorities and we are available 24/7 to answer questions, conduct demonstrations and provide specialized training.

Do you support any charitable organizations with public safety?
Rio LE as a whole supports a wide range of charitable organizations throughout the world. In the U.S., we focus on groups such as the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP), Boy Scouts of America, San Antonio Sports – “Shoot for a Cure”, Central Piedmont (NC) Community College – 1st Responder Charity Clay Target Event, the Craig Morgan Charity Fund and the Tug McGraw Charity Foundation, just name a few. We review our charity program annually and seek out new opportunities to provide for these deserving communities.

Is there any fun fact or trivia that you’d like to share with our users about you or your company?
Rio and our sister cartridge companies combined produce well over 500 million shotgun cartridges annually, which makes us the largest shot shell producer in the world. Chances are if you have shot a shotgun before, you have used one of our cartridges or components.

What’s next for your company? Any upcoming projects or initiatives?
We have several new projects in the works, which includes a line of frangible projectiles. Additionally, we will introduce never before seen cartridges to both the U.S. and world markets in the coming months. Information on these cartridges can first be seen on our Facebook page and website. www.rioammo.com/law_enforcement

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