Ballistics by the inch

“It’s already been done.”

I just do not understand the mindset that some people have.

OK, let me explain. Monday I posted an excerpt about our upcoming “Cylinder Gap” tests to several of the gun forums I frequent, because I thought it would be of interest to some people who hang out at such places. And, for the most part, that proved to be correct.

But one place I got a response from one guy who said “it’s already been done”. See, he had done these sorts of tests using one brand of revolver which allows you to adjust the cylinder gap, in both a smaller and a larger caliber than the .38/.357 we’re testing. And the difference wasn’t that big a deal. Oh, he had the data somewhere, but he didn’t have it readily available. There was no real reason for us to conduct the tests.

OK, so here’s a guy who tested something different than we did (different calibers, and I guess only one barrel length in each). And he never published the data, though he says he’ll dig it up. Nor did he document the process he used.

Doesn’t sound to me like “it’s already been done.”

Now, I don’t mean to single this guy out, and if you go looking for the post don’t mangle him for his comment. Well, not too badly, anyway. Because I’ve run into this kind of mindset a lot in regards to the BBTI project, both in posts I’ve seen online in various places and in private emails I’ve received. People who think that just because they have done something a bit similar, and drawn their own conclusions, that therefore there is no value in what we’ve done or are planning to do. It’s like they resent the very idea that someone else might do more than they did, either in scope or in results. And so they try and either claim that they had the idea for the project first, or did some part of it first/better, or just try and belittle the results.

This sort of thing happens all the time, not just regarding the BBTI project. You see it with people grousing about invention and innovation, about movies and books, about blog posts or government or relationships. They seem to think that just the idea is what matters, not any effort or final product to bring that idea into reality.

Thomas Edison famously said that “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” A related quote from him perhaps sums up my attitude even better:

I am much less interested in what is called God’s word than in God’s deeds. All bibles are man-made.

Yeah, that’s it.

Jim Downey

(Cross posted to my blog and UTI.)

December 2, 2009 - Posted by | .357 Magnum, .38 Special, Anecdotes, Data


  1. Anecdotal evidence is one thing, scientific, repeatable tests are another

    (unless you are discussing to warming science – then anything goes)

    Comment by Steve | December 3, 2009 | Reply

  2. Steve, it always surprises me how many people don’t get that very basic idea. Sheesh – enough to drive one nuts.

    Cheers –

    Jim D.

    Comment by James Downey | December 3, 2009 | Reply

  3. Thank you guys!

    I don’t care what some dude who did some back yard testing in unspecified calibers with unspecified bbl lengths or cyl gaps found in his unpublished results from who knows when. I can bring up this website and refer to the data anytime. That is priceless to me. Thank you for all the hard work.

    Now, when are you going to do some rifle data? 🙂

    How about (for starters):
    The current common military calibers which are always up for discussion. Start with a 30″ bbl and work down to 7″ SBR (or shorter).
    A) .223/5.56 – 55gr M193, 62gr M855, 69gr SMK match, 77gr MK262 MOD1, plus maybe the TAP loadings
    B) 6.8SPC (5 or 6 representatives between 85gr and 115gr)
    C) 6.5 Grendel (90-130gr)
    D) 7.62X39mm
    E) 5.45x39mm
    D) .308/7.62 NATO – M80, M118LR, 155 gr Scenar, 168SMK

    It would be really fascinating to see how these calibers fare as they go from std 20-24″ test bbl length down to SBR lengths.

    Any chance of you guys doing some rifle/carbine cartridge testing?

    Thanks again guys,

    Comment by SB_Pete | December 8, 2009 | Reply

  4. Pete, thanks – it is good to get the kudos. I try to not let complainers bug me, but . . .

    Anyway, as you’ll note in the post below this one, we’re not currently planning on doing rifle cartridges. But we have talked about it enough to have some preliminary ideas on the matter (along the lines of what you suggest) for sometime down the line. 🙂

    Jim D.

    Comment by James Downey | December 8, 2009 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: