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Initial Measurement Results for 40  NIST RM 8240 Standard Bullets



Jun-Feng Song, Eric P. Whitenton, Li Ma, Theodore V. Vorburger, A Zheng


The RM (Reference Material) 8240 standard bullets are developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to support the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN), recently established by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  The RM bullets are designed as both a virtual and a physical bullet signature standard.  The virtual standard is a set of six digitized bullet signatures originally profiled from six master bullets fired at ATF and FBI using six different guns.  By using the virtual signature standard to control the tool path on a numerically controlled diamond turning machine at NIST, 40 RM bullets were produced.  A bullet signature measurement system based on a stylus instrument was developed at NIST.  A comparison parameter and an algorithm using auto- and cross-correlation functions were proposed for qualifying the bullet signature differences between the RM bullets and the virtual bullet signature standard.  When two compared signatures are exactly the same (point by point), their cross-correlation function (CCF) value will be equal to 100 %.  In this paper, initial measurement results for 40 RM standard bullets, each measured at six land impressions, are summarized.  The measurement results show that the CCF values for the 240 signature measurements are higher than 95 %, with most of them even higher than 99 %.  These results demonstrate the high reproducibility for both the manufacturing process and the measurement system for the NIST RM 8240 standard bullets.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of Measurement Science Conference
Conference Dates
January 15-16, 2004
Conference Location
Unknown, 1, USA
Conference Title
Measurement Science Conference


ACF, auto-correlation function, ballistics measurement, bullet signature, CCF, cross-correlation function, reference materials, RM, standard bullet


Song, J. , Whitenton, E. , Ma, L. , Vorburger, T. and Zheng, A. (2004), Initial Measurement Results for 40  NIST RM 8240 Standard Bullets, Proceedings of Measurement Science Conference, Unknown, 1, USA (Accessed June 25, 2024)


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Created December 31, 2003, Updated October 12, 2021