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Development of NIST Standard Bullets and Casings Status Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2000
23 pages
Two prototype standard bullets were developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in April 1998, and prototype standard casings were also developed at NIST in October 1999.
The standard bullets and casings are intended for use in Federal, State, local, and international crime laboratories as reference standards. The implementation of standard bullets and casings will help verify that computerized optical imaging equipment used in laboratories is operating properly. The standard bullets and casings are being developed to enable nationwide and worldwide ballistics measurement traceability and unification. Test results at NIST indicate the prototype standard bullets have essentially identical signature marks and minimal geometric non-uniformity. Additional testing performed at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms National Laboratory Center and at Forensic Technology in Canada has also shown the prototype bullets have unique properties, specifically repeatable and reproducible signature marks. The digitized bullet signature is stored in a computer and can be used to reproduce the same bullet signature. The report addresses the prototype design, manufacturing technique, testing results, potential enforcement impact, and continued development of the standard bullet. 5 references and 8 figures

Date Published: November 1, 2000