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Development of NIST Standard Bullets and Casings Status Report



Jun-Feng Song, Theodore V. Vorburger, Alim A. Fatah


In April 1998, two prototype standard bullets were developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In October 1999, prototype standard casings were also developed at NIST. The standard bullets and casings are intended for use in federal, state, local and international crime laboratories as reference standards. The implementation of standard bullets and casings will help verify that the computerized optical-imaging equipment used in those laboratories is operating properly. These standard bullets and casings are being developed to enable nationwide and worldwide ballistics measurement traceability and unification. Test results at NIST indicate that the prototype standard bullets have essentially identical signature marks and minimal geometrical non-uniformity. Additional testing performed at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) National Laboratory Center and at Forensic Technology Inc. (FTI, Canada) have also shown that these prototype bullets have unique properties, specifically, repeatable and reproducible signature marks. The digitized bullet signature is stored in a computer and can be used for reproducing the same bullet signature anytime. This project report addresses the prototype design, manufacturing technique, testing results, potential enforcement impact and continued development.
National Institute of Justice (U.S.) Technical Reports 603-00


bullet signature, diamond turning, electro-formation, NC, numerical control, random profile, standard bullets


Song, J. , Vorburger, T. and Fatah, A. (2000), Development of NIST Standard Bullets and Casings Status Report, National Institute of Justice (U.S.) Technical Reports 603-00 (Accessed June 17, 2024)


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Created November 1, 2000, Updated February 19, 2017