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.

FAQ:  Frequently Asked Questions

You didn't test my favorite gun.  Why do you hate me/it?

The guns included in our "real world guns" list were those we had easy access to from our personal collections when we tested that specific caliber/cartridge.  No guns were intentionally excluded.

You didn't test my favorite ammunition.  Why do you hate me/it?

The ammunition included in our tests was what was readily available at the time of the test of that specific caliber/cartridge, and that we thought would give a good cross-section of what was commonly available.  No ammunition brand/manufacturer was intentionally excluded.

You didn't test my favorite caliber/cartridge.  Why do you hate me/it?

Stop being so paranoid.  This isn't all about you.  We started with the most common calibers/cartridges, and have been expanding our tests to include less common ones as we've gone on.  But each new caliber/cartridge test sequence has a significant cost associated with it, in terms of both financial outlay and labor.  If you want to know how your favorite caliber/cartridge tests, our standards and protocols are readily available - go ahead, knock yourself out, and do the tests.

You tested one primarily rifle cartridge (.223) - when are you going to test others?

There are several handguns guns readily available which shoot the .223, and Keith was particularly curious about how that would perform in handguns.  So we tested it.  We have no concrete plans to test other cartridges which are primarily associated with rifles.

Your data is skewed to favor @#!&&@ manufacturer.  I bet they paid you off.

That's not a question.  But no, nothing is "sponsored."  All expenses are paid out of pocket by us.

I have a great website.  You should link to it.  Want to exchange links?

Go away.

You guys are great!  I have been looking for this kind of information online for, like, forever.  Can I make a contribution or something to support your work?

Thanks.  Seriously, thanks.  We are no longer accepting donations.

There's a problem I've seen in your data . . .

Yup.  The data is as it was collected.  There are glitches here and there.  Might be due to a poor re-crowning.  Might be due to a malfunctioning piece of equipment.  Rather than fudge things to make the numbers all nice and tidy, we put the actual data out there, warts and all.

You guys should have tested more rounds with each test, you know that?  I mean, just three rounds isn't enough to get a good statistical model.

Yeah, we know.  The data is indicative, not conclusive.  Meaning that you should be able to draw some conclusions from it about general trends, but not consider it the 'last word.'  You want more definitive results, feel free to do the testing yourself.

Eh.  Why did you guys bother with this?  Everyone knows that the rule of thumb is about 50 f.p.s. for each inch of barrel length.  That's all you need to know.

Sure thing.  Except it's not.  Look at the actual data, for any caliber/cartridge, and you'll see your 'rule of thumb' isn't accurate.  At all.

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.