FBI Test Protocol

Bullet Velocity

All trajectories and associated velocities are from SAAMI minimum specification test barrels. An Oehler 83 model 35 P with model 55 skyscreens was used for velocity measurements. Bullet velocity was measured at a distance of 15 feet from the muzzle. Down-range velocities shown in the ballistic tables are calculated with an exterior ballistics computer program.

Trajectory Tables

Trajectories are calculated using a computer program. A (-) sign indicates the trajectory of the bullet is below the line of sight. A (+) sign indicates the trajectory of the bullet is above the line of sight. All trajectories were calculated for standard atmosphere (Sea level, 59º Fahrenheit, 29.92" Hg, .07647 lb./cu ft. density).

  • Location: Hornady Manufacturing Ballistic Laboratory, Grand Island, Nebraska
  • Elevation: 1,800 feet ASL
  • Temperature: 74°

All terminal testing is from actual firearms. The gelatin images represent one fired test shot. The data represents an average of five fired test shots. Individual results may vary.

10% Ballistic Gelatin Tests

The tissue simulant utilized in FBI ballistic tests is Kind & Knox or Vyse 250-A ordnance gelatin. The mixture is 10%, by weight. Properly calibrated 10% ordnance gelatin is a reliable tissue simulant. Validation of ballistic gelatin is conducted by firing a .177" steel BB at 590 feet per second (fps), plus or minus 15 fps, into the gelatin, resulting in 8.5 centimeters (cm), plus or minus 1 cm, penetration (2.95" - 3.74"). All gelatin was stored at 40° F until just prior to testing. The gelatin was placed 10 feet from the muzzle of the test weapon (unless otherwise noted).

Barrier Testing

Standard FBI Protocol measures the penetration performance of a cartridge's projectile through a series of six tests. Measurements are taken of the depth of penetration to the nearest .25 inch, expansion of projectile, and retained weight of the projectile.

Tests One through Six are shot at a distance of 10 feet from the muzzle to the front face of the gelatin block, unless otherwise noted.

Barrier Substrates

1. Bare Gelatin

Made in accordance with standard FBI protocol (10% ordnance gelatin).

2. Heavy Clothing

The gelatin block is covered with four layers of clothing: one layer of cotton t-shirt material (approximately 5.25 ounces per yard, 48 threads per inch); one layer of cotton shirt material (approximately 3.5 ounces per yard, 80 threads per inch); one layer of Malden Mills Polartec 200 fleece and one layer of cotton denim (approximately 14.4 ounces per yard, 50 threads per inch).

3. Steel*

Two pieces of 20-gauge, hot-rolled steel with a galvanized finish are set three inches apart. The clothing-covered gelatin block is placed 18 inches behind the rearmost piece of steel. This test event simulates the weakest part of a car door.

4. Wallboard*

Two pieces of ½ inch standard gypsum board are set 3.5 inches apart. The gelatin block is placed 18 inches behind the rearmost piece of gypsum. This test event simulates a typical building interior wall.

5. Plywood*

One piece of 3/4 inch "AA" fir plywood is set 18 inches in front of the gelatin block. This test event simulates the resistance of typical wooden doors or construction timbers.

6. Automobile Glass*

One piece (15" X 18") of A.S.I. 1/4 inch laminated automobile safety glass is set at an angle of 45" to the horizontal and 15" to the side, resulting in a compound angle. The gelatin block is placed 18 inches behind the glass. This test event simulates a shot taken at the driver of a car from the left front quarter of the vehicle.

*Tests 3-6 utilize light clothing (e.g. the cotton t-shirt and dress shirt materials mentioned above), in addition to the mentioned intermediate barrier.