Ballistics by the inch: a $15,000 ballistics experiment

    Ballistics by the inch is an exhaustive ballistics experiment done by Jim Kasper, Jim Downey and Steve Meyer.

    We decided to test thirteen common pistol calibers, each over a range of barrel lengths from 18″ down to 2″, and each using a variety of ammunition (most of it “premium” ammo made for self-defense purposes). In each case we fired three rounds of a given ammo at a given barrel length, recording the velocity of the bullets at 15 feet with two commercial chronographs. If we did not get two reliable readings for each of three rounds, we repeated the process until we did. Altogether we fired over 6,000 rounds of ammunition.

     Images Scope
    Thousands of rounds waiting to be shot in the name of science.

    They throughly documented the results which are available on the website online and as Excel and PDF documents.

    Picture 14-12

    Jim Downey told me the project cost in excess of $15000, not including the man hours put into it. I asked Jim if they were going to do the same for rimfire and centerfire rifle cartridges, his reply: “Heh – we’re all too exhausted by doing this one . . . but talk to me again in a couple of years. :)”.

    These guys have created a great resource that will likely settle some bets, resolve some arguments and be referenced by gun blogs, magazines and books for many years, maybe even decades!

    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!