There are probably three dozen plus ballistic tables. The first were done around 1900 and based on earlier work with, if memory serves, one inch diameter cannon shells. The last I ever heard of were done by Winchester just after WWII.
The ballistic coefficient is kind of like trying to do a one dimensional curve fit. Using the Ingalls tables, for example, the ballistic coefficient is an attempt to explain what a new projectile will do in comparison to the one for which all the measurements were made.
In the late 1800's this was high science. Today it isn't. What isn't clear is if it is better than nothing. I know not!