ATTENTION:  Effective Sept 1, 2020, the BBTI Project is in "Archive Status."  No further tests will be conducted, but we will maintain this site and data for the use of the firearms community.  Thank you.

Cylinder Gap Test


barrel length Buffalo Bore hvy, .38 special +P, 158 gr. LSWHC-GC
.006" cylinder gap .001" cylinder gap no cylinder gap
18" 1271 1285 1274
17" 1215 1256 1277
16" 1218 1252 1253
15" 1209 1257 1281
14" 1223 1248 1270
13" 1213 1245 1273
12" 1211 1227 1260
11" 1198 1223 1242
10" 1180 1202 1242
9" 1170 1188 1230
8" 1175 1195 1216
7" 1163 1168 1186
6" 1140 1148 1171
5" 1101 1122 1155
4" 1084 1078 1106
3" 1030 1042 1066
2" 964 968 986

Other Resources

BBTI is not the end-all of ballistics testing, just one more component available for the common good.  In addition to extensive discussion about ballistics to be found at many gun forums, here are some other great resources pertaining to ballistics testing you should check out.  (And if you would like to recommend a site to list here, please send an email.)
  • BrassFetcher:  excellent resource, with an emphasis on bullet performance in ballistic gelatin
  • The Box O' Truth:  testing ammo penetration through various barriers
  • Terminal Ballistics Research:  Specializes in the research of cartridge & projectile performance, using hard data gathered from 20 years of hunting game.


We'd like to personally and specifically thank Pat Childs at Fin & Feather in Iowa City, as he not only helped get most of our ammunition and other supplies, he was the brilliant gunsmith who worked with us to make this insane project much more practical.  Without his help all of this would have been much more difficult and perhaps impossible.  Anyone who uses our data owes him a debt of gratitude.

And thanks to our spouses, who were not just tolerant but enthusiastically supportive of this rather nutty project.


This project, and all of its results, is only our fault.  We (well, Jim K, mostly) paid for everything ourselves, and we did not receive any kind of sponsorship or remuneration from anyone.  We did all the work.  We used products we were either familiar with, or because they were what was available, and mentioning them by name does not constitute an endorsement of any kind.  Furthermore, the data is provided purely for entertainment purposes - to better facilitate arguments over what ammo or caliber or gun is "best."  How you use the data is entirely up to you.  And if you think you could do better, feel free to spend the money and do the work and publish your own results.  Or not.  Your choice.