I have no idea how much of this common knowledge or has been researched elsewhere, but I have some findings I'd like to share from pumping lead into the training pole anyway. All tests were performed with the skills Weakness Exploit lv. 2 and Earplugs Lv. 1 from the Dragon King Eyepatch, I wanted to collect critical damage data and forgot I left an earplug jewel there.

Hypothesis: In previous Monster Hunter titles, bowgun damage used a damage multiplier equal to their display raw multiplier (LBG = 1.3, HBG = 1.5). This may have been changed with World.

Results:

LBG: Garon Rifle I: raw = 195, Normal 2 dmg = 24, crit = 30. True Raw = 150, N2D/TR = 0.16, N2C/TR = 0.2

HBG: Steel Assault I: raw =195, Normal 2 dmg = 21, crit = 26. True Raw = 130, N2D/TR = 0.161538, N2C/TR = 0.2

Conclusion: Bowgun damage is based on True Raw. Both bowguns experience similar multipliers to their true raw on their gunfire, the decimals from Steel Assault I are well within the what could be expected due to rounding. Additionally: World rounds damage dealt to whole numbers, but doesn't exclusively round down as experienced in previous titles.

Hypothesis: Smacking things upside the face with the gun is fun, is there a difference for each gun?

Results:

LBG: Garon Rifle I: Dmg = 30, Crit = 38

HBG: Steel Assault I: Dmg = 31, Crit = 39

HBG: Steel Assault III: Raw=225, True Raw = 150, Dmg = 36, Crit = 45

Assuming hitzone 100: LBG MV = 20, HBG MV = 24

Assuming hitzone 80: LBG MV = 25, HBG MV = 30

Conclusion: If you carry a heavier gun it does more damage. Who knew? The motion value is very low, but I've found when hunting monsters the HBG can pretty effectively land KOs without anything powering it up. I've no idea for the LBG, I don't hunt with that.

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Hypothesis: I felt like shooting the pole with elemental shots and noticed some strangeness with the damage.

Results:

HBG: Final boss gun: Exhaust 2 = 1, E2 Crit = 2, Water = 21, Wa Crit = 23. Sticky Ammo Latch = 1, SAL Crit = 2.

Sticky Ammo 3 Explosion on pole = 34, SA3E on Barrel = 33

Conclusion: Elemental ammo inflicts a small amount of ammo damage, larger than that of status shots. Explosive shots deal a small amount of fire damage. This is, to my knowledge, the same as previous games. I don't have enough data for the motion values, yet.

Hypothesis: Here's one extra: I was messing with Pierce Ammo.

Results:

HBG: Legia Shattercryst: Pierce 1 = 10+10, Pierce 2 = 10+10, Pierce 3 = 11+11+11.

Conclusion: Pierce 1 and 2 have the same motion value, pierce 3's motion value is not only higher but it also hits more across the same area. I'm unsure if the increase in hits is due to it actually hitting more rapidly or due to the bullet flying slightly slower to a degree I cannot measure.

tl;dr: I've highlighted anything I want you to learn from this post in bold. Just some interesting factoids I found while sciencing up an accurate damage calculator for bowguns that I thought I should share. I realise these aren't proper hypotheses, but I felt like people without a science background might get confused as several of my hypotheses were wrong.

Edit: Fret not, I was wise enough to empty my inventory and not eat before testing, unlike the earplugs jewel.