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The Second National Ballistics Imaging Comparison (NBIC-2)



Theodore V. Vorburger, James H. Yen, Jun-Feng Song, Robert M. Thompson, Thomas Brian Renegar, Xiaoyu Alan Zheng, D Ott, Martin G. Ols


In response to the guidelines issued by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB-International) to establish traceability and quality assurance in U.S. crime laboratories, NIST and the ATF initiated a joint project, entitled the National Ballistics Imaging Comparison (NBIC). The NBIC project aims to establish a National Traceability and Quality System for ballistics identifications in crime laboratories within ATF's National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN). The original NBIC was completed in 2010. In the second NBIC, NIST Standard Reference Material (SRM) 2461 Cartridge Cases were used as reference standards, and 14 experts from 11 U.S. crime laboratories each performed 17 image acquisitions and correlations of the SRM cartridge cases over the course of about half a year. Resulting 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 accordance with the ISO 17025 Standard.
Journal of Research (NIST JRES) -


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


Vorburger, T. , Yen, J. , Song, J. , Thompson, R. , , T. , , X. , Ott, D. and Ols, M. (2015), The Second National Ballistics Imaging Comparison (NBIC-2), Journal of Research (NIST JRES), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed April 12, 2024)
Created January 4, 2015, Updated November 10, 2018