Ballistics: Firearms Identification Essay

1418 Words 6 Pages
Firearms identification is too often referred to as ballistics. The accurate definition can be referred to as, the identification of fired bullets, cartridge cases or other ammunition components as having been fired from a specific firearm. Due to the firearm being composed of hard metal like a tool, it creates markings on the cartridge components causing it to be more like Toolmark Identification. There are various items of evidence, other than the firearm itself, which the lab will use to aid in the investigation for identifying a firearm, including the wadding for the shell, fired cartridges and casings, and much more. Other identification processes examiners will use are tracing the firearm back to the manufacturer that will …show more content…
Firearms identification is too often referred to as ballistics. The accurate definition can be referred to as, the identification of fired bullets, cartridge cases or other ammunition components as having been fired from a specific firearm. Due to the firearm being composed of hard metal like a tool, it creates markings on the cartridge components causing it to be more like Toolmark Identification. There are various items of evidence, other than the firearm itself, which the lab will use to aid in the investigation for identifying a firearm, including the wadding for the shell, fired cartridges and casings, and much more. Other identification processes examiners will use are tracing the firearm back to the manufacturer that will produce a caliber and the available ammunition components, calculate the distance of the shot by lifting the residue off of the clothing evidence, and proper discharge of the firearm. As research has proved, there is no evidence that proves two firearms will create the same markings on the expended ammunition casings. Firearm markings are as unique as a human fingerprint that can’t be remade from a different firearm. Research done by Jeffery S. Doyle has shown that around 80% have produced what he calls a “mechanical fingerprint” on the ammunition projected from the fire arm. No matter how much time passes, an accurate identification can still be made from the shot shell because the firearm doesn’t typically alter, allowing numerous

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