Forensic Firearm Identification, Ballistics, and Tool Marks - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Forensic Firearm Identification, Ballistics, and Tool Marks

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  1. Forensic Firearm Identification, Ballistics, and Tool Marks

  2. Tool Mark Evidence • When a tool is used, a pattern can be left behind. • If the surface is soft, an impression might be left behind • Many times a tool will scratch the surface

  3. How a Firearm Works The firing pin hits the base of the cartridge, igniting the primer powder The primer powder sparks through the flash hole to the main propellant supply The pressure of the explosion pushes the bullet from the casing into the barrel The bullet follows the lands and grooves spiraling out of the barrel

  4. Lands and Grooves • Lands – raised areas on the bullets caused by indentations on the bore • Grooves – indentations on the bullet caused by raised areas on the bore • Lands and grooves will show evidence of a twist • The number of and direction of the twist are gun manufacturer characteristics (class evidence)

  5. Class Evidence • Come from process of making the weapon • Will remain constant with weapons of certain type

  6. Individual Evidence • Firing pin marks on the cartridge • Fingerprints on the cartridge • Scratches on a cartridge made when ejected

  7. Caliber of a Bullet • Bullets are named by caliber and length. • Caliber is the diameter of a firearm barrel or the diameter of the bullet shot in the firearm • in inches Ex: .44 caliber = 44/100 of an inch • In Europe, metrics are used Ex: 9 mm

  8. Test Fire-done in water tanks Comparison Microscope

  9. Comparison Microscope

  10. Firing Pin Marks • The individual evidence within the firing pin marks-impressions made on the bottom of the cartridge by the firing pin, as it strikes the bottoms of the cartridge when the firearm is shot • can be viewed with a comparison microscope

  11. GSR Stippling • Distance between the victim and shooter can be estimated by looking at the GSR pattern on the victim. • A person shot up close will have more stippling

  12. Determining Entrance and Exit Wounds • Entrance wounds are usually round and smaller than the bullet, and exit wounds are larger, and might be irregular shapes. • Fibers from clothing may show the direction the bullet traveled. • Only entrance wounds have GSR. • http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/TUTORIAL/GUNS/GUNINJ.html

  13. Serial Number Restoration • Most automobiles and firearms are etched with serial numbers. • When these numbers have been removed, it is sometimes possible to restore them by using acids to remove the filings.

  14. Gunpowder Deposits • Carefully preserve clothing of gunshot victim • Air dry clothing OUT of direct sunlight • Bag each item separately

  15. AUTOMATED FIREARM SEARCH SYSTEMS FBI and ATF had competing and incompatible computerized systems 1989 FBI = DRUGFIRE 1992 ATF = IBIS (Integrated Ballistics Identification System)-used to identify firearms

  16. Trajectory • Two reference points are needed to define the trajectory • Affected by forward force of gun and gravity. • Used to determine location of shooter.