Calibers / Cartridges

Here is a list of all 23 different data sets we have tested.  Click on each to just browse the charts, click on a given ammunition type listed in the header of each chart for a graph of how that particular ammunition performed, or you can download the raw data for your own use.  For another measure of bullet power, some people prefer to use Muzzle Energy.  You can find the Excel data sheets, with the muzzle energy calculations added in red, on the raw data page, and a link to a muzzle energy graph on each caliber page.

If you think that you discover an error (perhaps a typo) in the data, just drop us a tweet/email or post a comment on the blog - one of us will double-check the original recording sheets.

One note:  in every case with the T/C Encore the length of the barrel was measured from the end of the barrel back to the breech face.  This is how semi-auto pistols are measured, but revolvers are measured as the length of the barrel in front of the cylinder gap.  Take this into consideration when comparing calibers using our numbers.

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.

Acknowledgements

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.

Disclaimer

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.