Ballistics by the inch


Blimey. Just got the following email:

Someone directed me to this page from your site:

Now, I appreciate what you are doing, but how you are presenting it is not very helpful.

What a useless page that is. Hey, look, columns of unlabeled numbers! How exciting!

Is that velocity? Muzzle Energy? Momentum? Power factor? Drop over distance? What are the units?

It’s labeled at the top as “.357 Mag Results”. Why not “.357 Mag Muzzle Energy in ft-lbs”?

My response? This: “Sorry to disappoint you. We’ll be happy to completely refund your money.”

The guy wrote back, protesting that he meant it as “constructive criticism.” And then went on to protest that he *still* didn’t know what the data represented (in spite of the fact that it is listed on the Y-axis of every ammo graph and indicated elsewhere on the site).

Sigh. I wrote back the following:

From the homepage of the site, and also referred to in multiple locations elsewhere on the site: “Since we first launched BBTI three years ago, it has become a primary reference tool for firearms enthusiasts of all stripes and from around the globe. Our initial research data covered the relationship between barrel length and velocity for some 13 common handgun calibers/cartridges.”

But you’re absolutely correct, we didn’t spell out that the numbers were velocity in feet-per-second (the standard velocity measurement in the US). We’ll correct that to make it more explicit. The funny thing is that you are the very first person in 3.5 years to not understand that this was what was indicated. Probably because you came at it from someone else’s link direct to that one results page. At least that’s the most charitable conclusion I can come to.

And that, dear friends is why now each caliber/cartridge page now says .22 Results in fps. (or whatever the caliber/cartridge is). Never let it be said that we won’t go the e x t r a inch for the dimwitted and deliberately dense.

People really will always find something to bitch about, won’t they? Even if it is free & unencumbered research data that they can’t get elsewhere.


Jim Downey

(Cross posted to my personal blog.)

June 26, 2012 - Posted by | .22, Data, Discussion., Links


  1. […] posted from the BBTI blog, just to give you an idea of what my day has been […]

    Pingback by Blimey. « Communion Of Dreams | June 26, 2012 | Reply

  2. […] I said two months ago: People really will always find something to bitch about, won’t they? Even if it is free & […]

    Pingback by And once again… « Ballistics by the inch | August 29, 2012 | Reply

  3. well.. i actually miss joules instead of fps. would you be interested if i go though the data and translate it?

    Comment by bull | January 12, 2013 | Reply

    • Bull, since you’re talking joules – did you see that there are Muzzle Energy Graphs for each set of tests, linked off the page for each? Granted, those are in foot-pounds of force rather than joules, but the conversion is easy using any calculator or web site/app (such as this one ).

      If you want to convert, knock yourself out – and feel free to share it. I don’t think that we’ll be too interested in adding another layer to our site.


      Comment by James Downey | January 12, 2013 | Reply

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