Ballistics by the inch

I’d call that success.

This is going to become a post to track the coverage of Ballistics by the inch as it propagates through the gun world and around the web.  As such, I’m going to move some comments I made in another post to here.  Feel free to post any links or information you have about where you’ve seen Bbti.

Jim K this morning sent me the results of Google searches he did, just to see what turned up a week after we’d set up the site.  My response to him:

Did just poke around the stats site.  Still dropping off from Sunday’s high.  But we’re at 80k hits in just five days (well, 4.5, since it didn’t go public until about 11:00 AM CST).  Another big aggregator site is going to link it today.  Looking at just yesterday’s numbers, it is interesting to see how it is still spreading to lots of small blogs and whatnot.

What we have is good initial penetration into the gun world, with the possibility of it going further afield.  But even if it doesn’t explode much farther out, we’ve accomplished a very good launch.  The project is known now among those who most want the information, and it will quickly (if it hasn’t already) become the “gold standard” data source for the ballistics we tested.  From now on if people need the data, they’ll start with our project.

I’d call that success.

Here’s something I noted on my personal blog yesterday:

An update to this post…  In the four days since the site went public, we’ve had almost 75,000 hits.  That’s more hits than I’ve had to the Communion of Dreams site this entire year.  I’d say it’s off to a good start.  Interesting that it has already started to propagate beyond the usual gun forums and whatnot – we got a lot of hits from a link on SomethingAwful, and we’re seeing some links from people’s Facebook and Myspace pages.

So, yeah, the initial launch has been a success.  And the comments and discussions I’ve seen around the net so far have been very positive, appreciating the amount of work and the care with which we conducted our testing.  Nice to have accomplished what we set out to do.

Jim Downey

December 4, 2008 - Posted by | Data, Discussion., Links


  1. 11/29/08

    Got a nice review of the whole project by The Firearm Blog – be sure to check it out.

    Jim D.

    Comment by James Downey | December 4, 2008 | Reply

  2. 12/3/08

    So, some updates & stats . . .

    In the four days since the site went public we’ve had almost 75,000 hits. Off to a good start, I’d say!

    There have been some good discussions on several gun forums, but please feel free to help spread the word to any boards you may be part of.

    We haven’t yet been contacted by any of the firearms or sporting magazines/websites yet, but I figure that we will be before too long. Got an interesting comment on THR from the national sales manager for Corbon, saying that they would be using the site as a resource. I’d think they’d want to take the next step and make their own data available and transparent, but that’s just me.

    Jim D.

    Comment by James Downey | December 4, 2008 | Reply

  3. One week in . . .

    Due to some glitch in the traffic stats on the site (we lost an entire day for some reason), I don’t have complete numbers, but it looks like we’ll have closed out the week with something on the order of 100,000 hits. The vast majority of those are from the US (not too surprising), but we’ve had a respectable amount of interest around the world.

    News of the site continues to spread widely in the gun community, and I’ve had some interest expressed by sites with a more general-interest coverage which may also run something. It seems that a fair number of people are coming to appreciate the amount of work we did, but also that three (more or less) normal guys can do some pretty decent ‘backyard science’. I think that is something of a revelation for some people.

    Jim D.

    Comment by James Downey | December 6, 2008 | Reply

  4. Further and wider…

    As I mentioned in the previous comment, news of the site continues to spread, and be well received, in the gun community. We had some 20,000 hits this past weekend, and this blog had its best day ever – a whopping 27 visits! Woo-hoo! 😉

    But a link to the Bbti site was finally posted by Dark Roasted Blend, the news/site aggregator I mentioned in the body of the post.

    And I posted a piece at the left-wing blog Daily Kos about the project which you might find interesting. I know that generated some additional hits and even this comment here. Yeah – surprise, surprise, not all liberals are anti-gun.


    Jim D.

    Comment by James Downey | December 8, 2008 | Reply

  5. Huh.

    Just posted an item over on my blog about this, it came as such a surprise this morning: we did over 60,000 hits on Bbti yesterday.


    From all over the place. And almost universally positive comments, along the lines of what Pax said here.


    Jim D.

    Comment by James Downey | December 9, 2008 | Reply

  6. And so it continues. Tuesday saw another 33,000 hits, for a total of almost 100,000 in just two days. And we’ve been invited to write up the project as an article for a major gun magazine (details later when everything is finalized).


    Jim D.

    Comment by James Downey | December 10, 2008 | Reply

  7. We’re getting right at 20,000 hits a day, a total of over 170,000 this last week alone. And this blog is getting more traffic than my personal one (as I ‘grump about’ here). We’re also rising fairly quickly to the top in various search engine listings, as well – an indication that this will not stop anytime soon.


    Jim D.

    Comment by James Downey | December 13, 2008 | Reply

  8. Now at 300,000 hits since the launch. It slowed down a bit over the weekend – total of ‘only’ 21,000 hits – but still spreading well. And the blog keeps getting more traffic.

    Jim D.

    Comment by James Downey | December 15, 2008 | Reply

  9. Just an update –

    Things have slowed in terms of hits to 2-5,000 a day. I think what has happened is that the initial news has spread fairly thoroughly into the gun world, and our project is now just becoming a resource rather than a topic for conversation. It’ll be interesting to see how it continues to evolve. Now that I have finished a big work project, I’ll be able to spend a bit of time doing some follow-up on some of the sites where Bbti has been mentioned.

    Jim D.

    Comment by James Downey | December 19, 2008 | Reply

  10. Hits are holding steady at about 3,000 per day for the last few days. As I mentioned in my last comment, the site is now being cited as a resource rather than just a novelty – saw on one of the big gun forums a discussion about whether a snub-nosed revolver was better than one with a 4″ barrel for personal defense, and several people chimed in with the Bbti site right off the bat, and the information that it provides. Cool!

    I’ve also had a chance to poke around some of the referring sites that I hadn’t seen before. Interesting to see that the site is getting discussion elsewhere around the world, in languages I don’t read. Here’s one that looks kinda interesting: FEU LIBRE !

    And here’s a thread on a site dedicated to handloaders, guys who are usually pretty obsessive about getting the best performance out of a given caliber, about the implications of some of the results we found.

    Lastly, I have to share this paragraph about the project from this site:

    Today’s find was Ballistics by the Inch. A physicist, a book conservator and a gun geek don’t walk into a bar. But they do test out a variety of ammunition in over a dozen calibers and barrel lengths from two to eighteen inches answering the question “How much does barrel length matter?” They document their experiments. They describe their protocols. They make their datasets available. They use ammunition that a real person might put in a self defense pistol. And they compare their idealized test gun (Thompson Contender with interchangeable barrels) to regular carry pieces. It isn’t world-shaking. But it does answer a couple important questions with good science.


    Jim D.

    Comment by James Downey | December 23, 2008 | Reply

  11. Just thought I’d post a link to an entry over on my blog, about finding the Bbti project cited on a Pandemic Flu discussion forum. A bit wild.

    We started the site a month ago today – didn’t go “live” with it until two days later. I’ll probably have a full post about this on Tuesday, but thought that I would mention here that we’ll break one third of a million hits to the site sometime today. Pretty cool.

    Jim D.

    Comment by James Downey | December 28, 2008 | Reply

  12. […] in discussions pertaining to ballistic performance of a given caliber, as I noted the other day in comments to this post.  This is what I find most rewarding – because we did the project not in order to just shoot up a […]

    Pingback by One month in. « Ballistics by the inch | December 29, 2008 | Reply

  13. Progress report: hits continue to go up and down, usually within a range of 2,000 – 5,000 daily. And as noted previously, Bbti gets cited a lot now in discussions about ballistic performance. Yesterday, for example, three of the top four referrers were different gun forums dedicated to one brand/type of handgun – and the fourth was a citation in the newsletter of a Self-defense training academy, which said:

    Methodical tests of what you lose or gain in velocity for different barrel lengths in 13 popular calibers. Uses a variety of ammunition you might actually load. Includes methods, documentation, and honest-to-Browning data sets.


    Jim Downey

    Comment by James Downey | January 9, 2009 | Reply

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