U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Second National Ballistics Imaging Comparison (NBIC-2)

NCJ Number
Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Volume: 119 Dated: January 2015 Pages: 644-673
Date Published
January 2015
30 pages

In response to the guidelines issued by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors/Laboratory Accreditation Board (ASCLD/LAB-International) to establish traceability and quality assurance in U.S. crime laboratories, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) initiated a joint project, entitled the National Ballistics Imaging Comparison (NBIC), which aims to establish a National Traceability and Quality System for ballistics identifications in crime laboratories within ATF‰s National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN).


In this second NBIC, NIST Standard Reference Material (SRM) 2461 Cartridge Cases were used as reference standards, and 14 experts from 11 U.S. crime laboratories each performed 17 image acquisitions and correlations of the SRM cartridge cases over the course of about half a year. Resulting correlation scores were collected by NIST for statistical analyses, from which control charts and control limits were developed for the proposed Quality System and for promoting future assessments and accreditations for firearm evidence in U.S. forensic laboratories in accordance with the ISO 17025 Standard. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2015