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Statistics for Ballistic Identification


NIST is making advances in the science and technology of ballistics identification of firearms; SED provides statistical analyses and designs as a vital part of this project.


SED continues to be part of a multi-OU effort at NIST to advance the area of ballistics identification.
This effort is funded by NIST's Office of Law Enforcement Standards, using funds provided by the Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice.
The results have provided a more scientific basis for ballistics identification of firearms, helped ballistics analysts improve their procedures, and explored a topographic approach to ballistics identification that improves on current image-based approaches.

Major Accomplishments:

  • Standard Bullet Reference Materials
  • Standard Casings on track for later certification and release
  • Major experimental and analytical study on feasibility of a national ballistics database using current technology
  • Collaborative effort with ballistics operators across the country to find proposed control procedures and limits using experiments data involving NIST's standard bullets and casings

Lead Organizational Unit:


Source of Extramural Funding:



Ted Vorburger, John Song, Brian Renegar, Alan Zheng, Wei Chu, Rick Silver (Precision Engineering Division, MEL)
Robert Thompson, Susan Ballou (Office of Law Enforcement Standards, EEEL)
Martin Ols (ATF)


Related Programs and Projects:

Forensic sciences at NIST


James Yen
100 Bureau Drive, M/S 8980
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8980