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Establishment of Ballistics Measurement Traceability Using NIST RM 8240 Standard Bullets



Jun-Feng Song, Theodore V. Vorburger, Robert A. Clary, Eric P. Whitenton


The NIST RM (Reference Material) 8240 standard bullets are being developed to support the traceability of ballistics measurements nationwide. Six master bullets from ATF and FBI are measured at NIST using a stylus measurement system. The resulting set of six digitized 2D profile signatures is used as a 2D virtual bullet signature standard for the production of RM bullets using a numerically controlled diamond turning machine at NIST. These RM bullets are designed to have nearly identical 2D signatures, and will be measured by IBIS (Integrated Ballistics Identification System) at ATF under standardized measurement conditions. A set of 3D digitized images from these measurements can be used as 3D virtual bullet signature standards, and transferred to local IBIS sites. Meanwhile, the NIST RM bullets can be distributed to local IBIS sites. By measuring the RM bullets at the local IBIS sites, and comparing the images with those of 3D virtual bullet signature standards measured at ATF under the standardized IBIS measurement conditions, ballistics measurements at local IBIS sites can be quality controlled, and traceable to the ATF''s National Laboratory Center.
Conference Dates
August 4-8, 2002
Conference Location
San Diego, CA, USA
Conference Title
National Conference of Standards Laboratories International


ballistics measurement, bullet signature, reference material, RM, standard bullet, traceability


Song, J. , Vorburger, T. , Clary, R. and Whitenton, E. (2002), Establishment of Ballistics Measurement Traceability Using NIST RM 8240 Standard Bullets, National Conference of Standards Laboratories International, San Diego, CA, USA (Accessed June 19, 2024)


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Created July 31, 2002, Updated October 12, 2021