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NIST Ballistics Toolmark Research Database



Xiaoyu Alan Zheng, Johannes A. Soons, Robert M. Thompson


The NIST Ballistics Toolmark Research Database (NBTRD) is an open-access research database of bullet and cartridge case toolmark data. The development of the database is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice. The database is being developed to: - foster the development and validation of measurement methods, algorithms, metrics, and quantitative confidence limits for objective firearm identification - improve the scientific knowledge base on the similarity of marks from different firearms and the variability of marks from the same firearm, and - ease the transition to the application of three-dimensional surface topography data in firearms identification. The database contains traditional reflectance microscopy images and three-dimensional surface topography data acquired by NIST or submitted by database users. The goal is a collection of data sets that: 1. represents the large variety of ballistic toolmarks encountered by forensic examiners, and 2. represents challenging identification scenarios, such as those posed by consecutively manufactured firearm components.
Forensics @ NIST 2016


Firearms, Toolmarks, Forensics, Database


, X. , Soons, J. and Thompson, R. (2016), NIST Ballistics Toolmark Research Database, Forensics @ NIST 2016, [online], (Accessed May 25, 2024)


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Created December 4, 2016, Updated June 24, 2021