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The National Ballistics Imaging Comparison (NBIC) Project



Jun-Feng Song, Theodore V. Vorburger, Susan M. Ballou, Robert M. Thompson, James H. Yen, Thomas Brian Renegar, Xiaoyu Alan Zheng, Richard M. Silver, Martin Ols


In response to the guidelines issued by the ASCLD/LAB-International (American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board) to establish traceability and quality assurance in U.S. crime laboratories, a NIST/ATF joint project entitled National Ballistics Imaging Comparison (NBIC) was initialized in 2008. The NBIC project aims to establish a Nationwide Traceability and Quality System for acquisitions of bullets and cartridge cases in U.S. crime laboratories within the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN). NIST Standard Reference Material (SRM) 2460 Bullets and 2461 Cartridge Cases are used as reference standards. 19 ballistics examiners from 13 U.S. crime laboratories participated in this project. They each performed 24 periodic image acquisitions and correlations of the SRM bullets and cartridge cases over the course of a year. The correlation scores were collected by NIST for statistical analyses, from which control charts and control limits were developed for the proposed Quality System and for promoting future assessments and accreditations for firearm evidence in U.S. forensic laboratories in line with the ISO 17025 Standard.
Forensic Science International


Forensic science, ballistics identification, standard reference material, standard bullet, standard cartridge case, NIBIN, NBIC


Song, J. , Vorburger, T. , Ballou, S. , Thompson, R. , Yen, J. , , T. , , X. , , R. and Ols, M. (2012), The National Ballistics Imaging Comparison (NBIC) Project, Forensic Science International, [online],, (Accessed July 20, 2024)


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Created March 9, 2012, Updated November 10, 2018