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NCJ Number: 210835 Find in a Library
Title: Bullets and Guns: Get More Bang From Your Firearms Evidence
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:32  Issue:7  Dated:July 2005  Pages:46,48,50,51
Author(s): Kathy Steck-Flynn
Date Published: July 2005
Page Count: 4
Document: HTML
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Information forensic analysts can retrieve from a recovered weapon and live or spent bullets found at a crime scene is related to firearms operation, barrel markings, residue, ammo collection, weapon recovery, and packaging and shipping.
Abstract: The article first describes the operation of the three main types of firearms most likely to be involved in a shooting crime: handguns, shotguns, and rifles. Barrel markings and the direction of their twist, along with any barrel imperfections (striations), are unique to each manufacturer and model of firearm. Barrel markings and striations impressed on bullets found at a crime scene can be analyzed and compared with bullets test-fired from a suspect weapon to determine whether it fired the crime-scene bullets. Residue patterns can provide information on how a firearm was used. The distance a person or an object is from a gun when it is fired will determine whether or not residue from the firing will be deposited and in what pattern. Types of residue patterns based on this distance are described. Residue from the gun's firing can also be found on the suspect. Methods of testing for such residue are also explained. Bullets recovered from a crime scene should only be collected after their exact location has been recorded. The bullets or casings should be marked in a manner that leaves the striations and/or firing marks untouched. Recovered weapons at the crime scene should be picked up by the trigger guard; however, if evidence such as blood or tissue is on the trigger guard, the weapon can be picked up by the grip. FBI recommendations for the packaging of evidence to be sent to the laboratory for testing are outlined.
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Ballistics; Evidence; Evidence collection; Firearm tracing; Firearm training; Firearms identification; Gunshot residue; Investigative techniques
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