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Wound Ballistics

NEW! Request Ballistics Data NEW!

For law enforcement agencies in the United States, we will consider requests to provide brief, no cost reviews of available test data to better inform decisions regarding ammunition selection. We may also be able to perform a modest amount of additional testing at no cost. Contact us to make a request or discuss possible testing.

BTG Research work in wound ballistics has focused on the forces present in projectile-tissue interactions. Some emphasis has been on quantifying remote neurological effects of shear and compressive stress waves (ballistic pressure waves, hydrostatic shock).   Beyond basic penetration data, post-penetration velocity, energy transfer, accelerations, and force of resistance can often be determined in conjunction with high speed video data. We have additional test capabilities in terminal ballistics suitable for testing armor and material samples.

We developed simple empirical models identifying remote neural effects in published data sets and in our own experiments. This work has implications for ammunition selection in law enforcement and military applications and also for understanding the propagation of pressure waves through the body, which is relevant to blast injury and behind armor effects as well as penetrating ballistic injury.

Current and future work focuses on selection criteria for more effective projectiles as well as development, selection, and testing of more effective body armor to reduce behind armor blunt trauma (BABT).


History and evidence regarding hydrostatic shock.

Links between traumatic brain injury and ballistic pressure waves originating in the thoracic cavity and extremities

Cerebrovascular injury caused by a high strain rate insult in the thorax

Comments on "Ballistics, a primer for the surgeon"

The ballistic pressure wave theory of handgun bullet incapacitation

Scientific evidence for hydrostatic shock

A review of criticisms of ballistic pressure wave experiments, the Strasbourg goat tests, and the Marshall and Sanow data

Ballistic pressure wave contributions to rapid incapacitation in the Strasbourg goat tests

Relative incapacitation contributions of pressure wave and wound channel in the Marshall and Sanow data set

Misleading reference to unpublished wound ballistics data regarding distant injuries

A method for testing handgun bullets in deer


External Links


Ballistic coefficient defined

JBM Ballistics calculators

2008 Stuhmiller summary of mathematical modeling of Blast Injury and Behind Armor Blunt Trauma

International Ballistics Society website