RIO celebrates Anniversary with commitment to customers

RIO Cartridges celebrates its 125th year of existence in 2021, since 1896 the company, situated in the north of Spain has been closely linked to the explosives and powders industry through the Spanish Powder and Dynamite Society, famously founded in 1872 by Alfred Nobel. Nowadays, RIO Cartridges has become a key manufacturing and distribution brand within the shotgun shell industry. With its state-of-the-art manufacturing process and cutting-edge technology, it has managed to earn the trust of the most demanding shooters and hunters in more than 100 countries.

Over these past 125 years, RIO has been developing one of the most complete ranges of shotgun ammo. The shooters who trust the brand highlight the reliability and regularity of RIO products, which have become a favourite in the highest levels of shooting and hunting competitions as well as at the Olympic Games.

“This anniversary fills the entire RIO Cartridges family with pride,” says Eduardo Hernando, Commercial and Marketing director of RIO cartridges.

“It is an honour to maintain historic continuity to this rich heritage and all the people who have been part of this company. This milestone could not have been reached without the millions of shooters who were and still are loyal ambassadors of RIO.

“We remain as enthusiastic as ever to continue for many years to come on the forefront of this industry we hold so dearly and in order to commemorate this milestone we have planned a complete activities calendar that we will be revealing throughout the year.”

A journey of growth

Rio has come a long way in its 125 years, as Isabel Cívico, Outdoors Strategic & Business Intelligence Specialist explains:

“We have been selling cartridges since our company was founded in 1896, however not only our company and brands have changed, also the shot shells we sell nowadays are different from 19th and 20th century shotshells, we changed paper cases for plastic, improved our powders to make them more suitable to the different features of each cartridge (grams, velocity, pressure…), primers, which currently are absolutely reliable and regular and of course our industrial process and industrial capabilities, which are more efficient, secure and allow us manufacture more than 400 million cartridges per year.”

The pace of growth began to quicken during the last decade of the 20th century.
“It started in 90’s when the company initiated a fast-growing decade by acquiring other companies such as GB, Pardo, SAGA, Eley Hawk… until 2012, we acquired nice companies national and internationally,” continues Isabel.

“It also was during those years when the company focused the efforts on selling its products abroad, and currently we are present in more than 100 countries in the world, including the very important US market.”

Key Products

Star Team EVO range (Target Shooting)


  • Star Team EVO PLATINUM, the shotshell which Rio says is revolutionizing competition at the highest level. With nickel-coated super-magnum shots, it pulverizes each target. Perfectly combines a high velocity with ultra-smooth recoil.
  • Star Team EVO, the shotshell which has inspired a complete range. Tested by the best shooters, it ensures efficiency on every target. The maximum speed for a high competition cartridge.


  • Star Team Training, includes the efficiency of a whole range of top-quality cartridges designed for everyday training. Get ready for maximum competition without giving up on the best.


ROYAL Hunting loads

Available in 32, 34, 36, 40 and 50 grams, offers to hunters the full range for the perfect hunting day. 


RIO is fully committed with each ecosystem and its preservation, that’s the reason it offers one of the most complete range of steel and bismuth products, the company is exceptionally proud of including the new Eco wad to its ROYAL product portfolio. First completely water-soluble wad which allows shotgun shooters shooting without trace in nature.

It’s the first totally eco-friendly first ever wad with zero impact in environment. Completely biodegradable and water-soluble. Integrates completely in nature as a natural fertilizer as it becomes compost. The product has several benefits, which include better performance, improved efficiency of shot patterns and it actually makes soil richer. 

Commitment to its customers

The company now employs around 400 staff in Spain, France, USA and the UK with its products manufactured and designed between Spain, UK and USA.

“We can offer our customers and consumers lot of advantages,” says Isabel. 

“Firstly, vertical integration. We manufacture our own shotshells components, which allows us to guarantee the best quality and performance.

“Secondly, service / Logistic Platform. We are selling to more than 100 countries, with a high-quality logistic service and proving that we can serve our products around the world.

Lastly, manufacturing capabilities and state of the art facilities. Our manufacturing plant in Spain is probably the biggest shotgun shotshell facility in the world.”

It is clear that the team at Rio are committed to continuing to provide high quality ammunition at a global level and to develope new solutions for upcoming challenges within the industry.

“We are focused on adapting the shotgun ammunition market to new requirements and consumer needs and we see a market full of opportunities and growth and we are sure that RIO is more prepare for them than ever,” Isabel said.