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Forensic Ballistic Notes

A Simplified Guide To Firearms Examination

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FORENSIC BALLIST IC BALLISTICS – is the science of the motion of projectile

ORIGIN OF BALLISTIC – The word “BALLIST ICS” originated from the Greek word “Ballein” which means “to throw” and from the Roman word “Ballista” which is machine to hurl a stone


) INTERIOR BALLIST ICS – traits of the motion of the projectiles while still in the firearm,

namely the studies of combustion of the powder,

pressure developed and velocity

) EXT ERIOR BALLIST ICS – traits of the motion of the projectiles after leaving the muzzle namely trajector y,

) T ERMINAL BALLISTICS – traits of the effects of the projectile on impact on the target

) FORENSIC BALLISTIC – the science of firearms identification by means of the ammunition fired through them


) FIELD NVEST IGATION – refers to the work of an investigation in the field

It concerns mostly with the collection,

packing and transmission of firearms evidences

It include the study of class characteristics of firearms and bullets

) T ECHNICAL EXAMINATION – refers to the examiners who examine bullets/ or shells,

whether fired from also whether or not cartridges were loaded and ejected made by the suspected firearms submitted

Reports are made by the examiners and testif y in court regarding their reports

LEGAL DEFINITION OF FIREARM – “Firearms” or “Arms” are herein used includes rifles,

pistols and all other deadly weapons from which a bullet,

shell or other missile may discharge off by means of gunpowder or other explosives

The term also includes air rifles except such as being of small caliber and limited range used as toys

The barrel of any firearm shall be considered a complete firearm for all purposes hereof (Sec

Revised Administrative Code see also Sec

T ECHNICAL DEFINITION OF FIREARM – instrument used for the propulsion of a projectile by means of expansive force of gases from burning powder

AMMUNITION (defined) – under the National Internal Revenue Code the wor d'“Ammunition” shall mean loaded shell for rifles,

revolvers and pistols from which bullets,

shell or other missile may be ammunition for air rifles


No t wo barrels are microscopically identical as the surface of their bores all possesses individual characteristics markings of their own

W hen a bullet is fired from rifled barrel,

it becomes engraved by the rifling and this engraving will vary in its minute details with every individual bore

So it happens that the engraving on the bullets fired from one barrel will be different from another bullet fired from another barrel

Ever y barrel leaves its thumb mark or fingerprint on ver y single bullet fired through it just as every breech face leaves its thumb mark on the base of ever y fired cartridges case


T he breech face and striker of ever y single firearm leave microscopical individualities of their own

T he firearm leaves its “fingerprints” or “thumb mark” on ever cartridges case which it fires

T he whole principles of identification is based on the fact that since the breech face of every weapon must be individually distinct,

the cartridges cases which it fires are imprinted with this individualit y

The imprints on all cartridges cases fired from the same weapon are always the same

those on cartridges cases fired from different weapons are different

T YPES OF PROBLEMS: T here Forensic ballistic,

Type 1Given bullets,

to determine the caliber and type of firearm from which it was fired

Type 2Given a fired cartridge case,

to determine the caliber and type of firearm from which it was fired

Type 3Given a bullet and a suspected firearm,

to determine whether or not the bullet was fired from the suspected firearm

Type 4Given a fired cartridge case and a suspected firearms,

to determine whether or not the cartridge case was fired from the suspected firearm

Type 5Given t wo or more bullets,

to determine whether or not they wer e fired from only one firearm

Type 6Given two or more cartridges cases,

to determine whether or not they wer e fired from only one firearm

CLASS CHARACT ERISTICS – Those which are determine prior to the manufacturer of the firearm and are within control of man

These serve as basis to identify a certain class or group of firearm

Caliber (Bore Diameter) Number of lands Number of grooves W idth of lands

e ) W idth of grooves f ) Direction of twist g ) Pitch of rifling h ) Depth of grooves

INDIVIDUAL CHARACT ERISTICS – Those which are determinable only after the manufacture of the firearm

They are characteristics whose

existence is beyond the control of man and which have random distribution

Their existence in a firearm is brought about by the tools in their normal operation resulting through wear and tear,

erosion and other fortuitous causes

SMALL ARMS – firearms which propel projectiles of less than one inch in diameter


Smooth-bore – firearm which do not have rifling Ex: shotguns,

Rifled- bore – firearm which contain rifling marks

Ex: pistols,

SMALL ARMS AMMUNITION – small arms ammunition consists of cartridges used in rifles,

sub-machineguns and shell used in shotgun


About 6

RIFLING – consist of a number of helical grooves cut in the interior surface of the bore

The rifling in firearms may be divided into the following types: a ) Small type – four grooves,

grooves and lands of equal width

(4R G-L) b ) Smith and W esson type – five grooves,

grooves and lands of equal width (5R G-L) c') Browning type – six grooves,

narrow lands and broader grooves (6R G2X) d') Colt type – six grooves,

narrow lands and broader grooves (6L G2X) e ) W ebley type – seven grooves,

narrow lands and broader grooves (7R G3X) f ) Arm y type – four grooves,

narrow lands and broader grooves (4R G3X) PURPOSE OF RIFLING – is to impact a motion of rotation to a bullet during its passage inside the barrel in order to insure gyroscopic in the flight,

and so that it will travel nose-on towards the target


a ) Pin- fire – the pin extends radically through the need of the cartridges case into the primer

b ) Rim- fire – the priming mixture is placed in the cavity formed in the rim of the head of the cartridges case

The flame produced is in direct communication wit h the powder charge

Used in the calibers

c') Center-fire – the primer sup is forced into the middle portion of the head of the cartridges case and the priming mixture is exploded by the impact of the firing pin

The flame is communicated to the powder charge through the vents leading into the powder charge

T YPES OF CENT ER-FIRE CARTRIDGES: a ) Rimmed type – the rim of the cartridges case is greater than the diameter of the body of the cartridges case

Ex: Cal

38 and Cal

Ex: Cal

38 auto,


Ex: Cal

30 carbine

he is usually confronted by a condition of utter confusion

Neighbors and onlookers are crowded around the place

relatives are weeping and hysterical

In his career as an officer he will meet with other situations which require as much as much poises tact and common sense when he appears upon the scene of homicide

His first dut y is to clear the premises of all persons so that an intelligent investigation is not a matter of five or ten minutes,

but it requires that a definite routine shall be followed,

Things should be done,

which may appear wholly unnecessar y at the time,

but only to become vitally important later

One can never forces the angels that will develop and it is far better to do a hundred things unnecessarily than to miss doing one that might mean the solution of the case

T he victim is dead and will stay dead

The officer may be important by reporters or other to do things which he is not yet ready to do – to give statement to the press or to draw conclusion

In spite of all persuasions,

he should bear in mind that there is one purpose and one purpose only,

and that is to carry out an intelligent investigation

Upon receiving a cell to the sense of a shooting case,

the officer should always take along with him a loose- leaf notebook and fountain pen to make notes at the time and on the place and not trust to his memory to reconstruct the situation at his convenience

W hen the officer is should follow a writing at the references and as follows:

His observation should be put in time of his investigation to keep for future to produce in court if necessary

These steps are

Note accurately in wr iting the time he received the call and by whom it was sent

Note accurately the time he arrive at the scene and the correct address

T hese first t wo items seem to be trivial,

but it is amazing how often in court they become of vital importance

It is not uncommon that the officer is unable to fix the time accurately within an hour to the satisfaction of a jur y

He should ascertain if the victim is dead,

and if not non-medical aid or remove the body to a hospital,

other wise the body should not be disturbed

Immediately clear the premises of all bystanders and under no circumstances allow anyone to touch or remove anything in the vicinit y

Use ever y effort and means to identify the deceased

Does the body lie where the shooting took place

before the officer arrives the body will be moved by a bystander

Frequently it will be picked up off the floor and put a bed or taken from one room to another

Take the names and addresses of all witnesses and take wr itten notes on the statement of as many persons as practicable

Photograph the body from all angels to show its relationship to doors,

furniture’s and other objects in the room

Measure with a tape the exact distance of the body with relation to the previously mentioned fixtures of the premises

Note in writing the exact position where he found the body whether he found it lying on the side,

back or abdomen that objects if any,

reports what was the conditions of the clothing and the amount of bleeding

Examine the ceiling,

floor and furniture for bullet holes,

fired shell or shotgun wadding

If there is a firearm at the scene,

he should mote in writing the following observations: a

Exactly where found

Type of weapon – automatic pistol,

Make and serial numbers and at that time he should mark his initials on the butt or frame of the weapon for future identification

Other distinct features

At the crime scene note down where the empt y shells,

bullets and/ or firearms where found and make a diagram to

to show their relatives distances from the body of the victims,

Photograph if possible

Be careful in handling a firearm found at the scene of the crime for they may have latent fingerprint on the parts of the firearm

Note down the type,

make caliber and serial number

If there are fingerprints,

submit said firearm to a fingerprint technician but be sure that the firearm should not be disturbed

Mark the empty cartridges cases inside or near the mouth by scratching the initials to the investigation or the initials of the victims

Mark the bullets at the give (or nose) by scratching the investigation’s initials of the victim but definitely NOT at the rifling marks (landmarks and groove marks)

Mark the empty shotgun shells with indelible ink at the body

T he barrel of the firearms must be marked too

After marking the empt y shells and bullets,

wr ap them separately and individually with soft tissue paper and note down on the wrapper where each was found the time and date

The purpose of wrapping them separately is to avoid being scratched

W hen a lead bullet is found at the scene of the crime the body of the victim,

the presumption is that a Revolver was used

W hen a jacketed bullets is found at the scene of the crime or in the body of the victim,

it can be measured that a presumed that a Automatic Pistol or Automatic W eapon was used

W hen an empty shell is found at the scene of the crime,

the presumption is an Automatic Pistol or W eapon was used

W hen one empty shell is found at the scene of the crime,

the presumption is a Revolver was used

In the bore of a barrel,

the depressed portions are the grooves,

On a fired bullet,

The landmarks are the depressed portions,

and the groove marks are the raised portions

To determine the real direction of the rifling twist in a rifled barrel,

place a land or groove in inclines to the right,

then it has a right t wist and if it inclines to the left,

then the rifling t wist is left

To determine the direction of the twist of a bullet,

look on the bullets in an elongated position

If the landmarks and groove marks incline to the right,

then it has a right t wist and if it is inclines to the left,

then the rifling twist is right

If the inclination is left then it is a left twist

A fired bullet will acquire the class characteristics of the bore of the barrel from which it was fired

So therefore if a bore has class characteristics of

6 lands,

6 grooves,

each characteristics will be marked on the bullet it fires

It is the rifling of the bore that marked a fired bullet

So if a fatal will have the same class characteristics as the bore of the suspected gun,

then it is possible that the bullets could have been fired from the suspected gun

To determine definitely if the bullet above was fired or not from a suspected gun,

then the case must be sent to a Forensic Ballistics Experts who will conduct the proper examinations

If two bullets do not have the same class characteristics,

definitely and conclusively they were NOT fired from the same barrels

If a fatal bullets does not have the same characteristics as the suspected firearm (barrel),

conclusively the bullets was not fired from said barrel

T he following are suggestions for the investigator to observe in testifying in courts of justice: 1

Be prepared

Be calm and well poised

Tell the truth,

Be courteous

Be natural and sit straight forward

Do not volunteer

Keep your temper

Listen to the question asked before giving your answer

Speak loud enough to be heard

Watch your personal appearance and conduct in the courtroom

Answer only what you are asked,


PERCUSSION – Action when the priming mixture of chemical compound hit or struck by firing in would ignite

JUXTAPOSITION – Two objects is evidence bullet and test bullet are examined and compared under the bullet comparison microscope

Includes also the examination of fired shells

BALLO or BALLEIN – Greek wor ds where Ballistics was derived from which means “to throw”

BALLISTA – The early Roman was Machine – a gigantic bow or Catapult

BALLISTICS – Science of the motion of projectiles

FORUM – A Greek word of forensic which means debatable,

argumentation in relation to the court of justice

FORENSIC BALLIASTICS- The study of firearms identification by means of ammunition fired from them

BALLISTICIAN – Person whose knowledge in identification is accepted by the courts and other investigation agencies

ABRASSION – (in the cleaning materials,

or abrasive material was and wear ing away of bullets

wor ld) Scratches cause by using improper by firing ammunition with bullets to which adhering

Normal enlargement of the bore lands due to the abrasive action of the

BLACK POW DER – A mechanical mixture of charcoal,

Burned wit h considerable white smoke

CARTRIDGE – is a complete unfired unit of bullets,


revolvers and pistols which a ball,

bullet shot shell or other missile maybe discharges by means of gunpowder or other explosive

The term includes ammunition for a rifles as mentioned else where in the code

Ammunition (technical) – refers to a group of cartridge or to a single unit cartridge,

meaning a complete unfired unit consisting of bullets,

The term may also refer to a single round

BALL BULLET S – Bullets have soft lead course inside a jacket

ROUND – one single complete cartridge

BULLET ENERGY – the powder possessed by a moving bullet,

or in other wor ds its abilit y to keep going meets an obstacle of immense importance,

the more powder a bullet has and the harder it is to stop the,

more effective it can be as a weapon

BULLET RECOVERY BOX – consist of a wooden box,

with the hinged to cover and with one end open

This long box is filled with ordinary cotton and separated into section by card board partitions

CALIBER – is the diameter of the inner surface of the barrel that is measured from land to land

DUMDUM BULLET – “Dumdum” is an out molded and generally misused term

It was an unofficial name first applied hallow point bullets maid at the British arsenal at Dumdum,

EROSION – the mechanical wear and tear of the inner surface of the gun barrel due to the mechanical abrasion or gliding

CORROSION – the mechanical wear and tear of the inside of the gun barrel due to rust formation or chemical action of the by products of combustion after firing

CANNELURE (bullet) – A knurled ring or serrated grooved around the body of the bullet which contains wax for lubrication in order to minimize friction during the passage of the bullet inside the bore

CALIPER – an instrument used for making measurement such as bullet diameter and bore diameter

CHILLED SHOT – shotgun pellets made from lead especially hardened by the addition of a slight amount of antimony

CLASS CHARACT ERISTICS – are those that are determinable even before the manufacture of the firearm

It is categorized into caliber or gauge number of lands and grooves,

patch of rifling and depth of grooves

RANGE – the straight distance between muzzle and target

POINT BLANK RANGE – popularity used to indicate the distance the bullet will travel before it drops enough to require sight adjustment

A shot fired so closed to the target that no sighting is necessar y for effective aiming

MAXIMUM RANGE – the farthest distance that a projectile can be propelled form a firearm

GALLERY RANGE – the indoor targets range on properly constructed indoor ranges,

firing maybe conducted with center fire pistols and revolvers at range of 25 years and 50 years

Such installation are generally referred to as indoor ranges the term gallery being applied usually only to short range 22 caliber installation

EXT REME RANGE – the greatest distance the bullet will travel the cartridge is fire

EFFECTIVE RANGE – the maximum distance at which a bullet may reasonable be expected types of live target

ACCURATE RANGE – the distance with in which he shoots has control of his shots


GUM COTTON – a very powerful explosive,

like nitroglycerine which is a chemical compound and not a mixture

This is formed by the action of nitric and sulfuric acid on cotton or nay other kind of cellulose

LANDS – the raised portion between the grooves in the interior surface of the gun barrel

LAPPING – is the smoothening of the inner surface of the barrel

MACHINE REST – a machine used for testing the accuracy of a firearm

KNOCKING POW ER – power of the bullet which believer of a ver y paralyzing blow that put the victim down and may then recover if the wound inflicted upon is not fatal

STOPPING POW ER – power of the bullet which put the victim out of the action instantly

So it should be understood that stopping power is not necessarily the same thing as killing power


stopping power depends very largely on the location of the shot

PRIMER – the complete assembly of cup,


CHARTA – Latin word for cartridges which means PAPER

– French wor d'of cartridge which means ROOL

ORIGIN OF FIREARM 13 t h Centur y – development of firearms followed the invention of gunpowder in W estern Europe

Berthold Schwartz – a German monk,

an English monk are both credited with gunpowder invention

English monk and Scientist with the invention of gunpowder in 1248 and Berthold Schwartz,

with application of gunpowder to the propelling of a missile in the early 1300’s

This powder was that we now call “Black Powder”

The Tartar leader,

used artiller y in Liegnits when he defeated the poles Hungarians,

were of gunpowder and its use as propellant long before its advantages became recognized in Europe

Mohammad II of turkey in his famous conquest of Constantinople

large and heavy and were not capable of being carried by an individual soldier

the development of cannons preceded that of small arm weapons by almost 50 years

Man never satisfies to himself

He is always trying to improve himself and his surrounding

He created some rule crude or primitive weapons which wer e subsequently developed into sophisticated firearms of modern times

T he following are the stages of development of man’s weapon: 1

Stones Cubs Knives Spears and Darts Sling shots to hurl objects Bows and arrows Cross – bows Guns Missiles

Calvin H

Goddard M

OS Army – Father of Modern Ballistics

Horace Smith – Founded the great firm Smith and Weapon and pioneered the making of breech – loading regales

Daniel B

W esson – An associate or partner of smith in revel verb making

Browning – W izard of modern firearms and pandered breech loading single shot rifle

Thompson – pioneered the making of Thompson subMachine

David “Carbine” W illiams – maker of first know carbine

Alexander John Forsythe – Father of the percussion system

Elisha King Root – Designed machinery of making colt firearms

Eliphalet Remington – One of the first rifle makers

John Malon Martin – Founder of martin Firearms Company

James Wolfe Ripley – Stimulated the development of the model 1855 riffled – musket

Samuel Colt revolver

Henr y Derringer – He gave his name to a whole classes of firearms

Garand – Designed the semi-automatic US Rifle,

Oliver F

W ichester – One of the earliest rifles and pistol makers



Te age of gunpowder began with outs first use as a propellant for a projective

Such use has been recorded as early as 1313

Gunpowder was first used only in cannons

It was in the middle of the 14 t h century that portable hand,

A was introduced

These guns were ignited by a hand-held wire or lighted match

The first reference to rifled barrels appeared

Although its important as an aid to accuracy was recognized by some,

it was many years after before rifling was generally used

Paper cartridges combining both powder and ball were developed

This greatly speeded loading and reduced the hazards of carr ying loose powder

the discover y of Forsythe in 1807 the that certain compounds detonated by a blow would be used to ignite the

for the basis for all later percussion and cartridges development


Developed by Le Faucheux in 1836,

was probably the first self really the first rim fire cartridge

The Morse Cartridge of 1858 marked the beginning of the rapid development of the center fire cartridge

Hiran Maxim built the first fully Automatic gun,

utilizing the recoil of the piece to load and fire the next charge

In Frnece,


Developed the first satisfactory smokeless powder,

a new propellant which not only lacked the smoke characteristics of black powder,

In France,

Florbert develop a “bullet” “breech cap” which was in really the first rimterfire Cartridge


Smooth-bore firearms – fire arms the have no rifling (land and grooves) inside their gun barrel

Shot guns and muskets

Rifled- the bore Firearms – Firearms that have rifling inside their gun barrel




(According to Caliber of Projectiles Propelled)

Artillery – Those types of firearm that propel projectiles more than one inch in diameter



Bazookas B

Small Arms – Propel Projectiles less than 1 inch in diameter,

Can be operated by one man

Machines guns Shoulder arm and hand arms III

T YPES OF FIREARMS According to Mechanical Construction A

Single Shot F

A – t ype of firearms designed to fire only one shot for ever y loading



Shot guns – single shots B

Repeating Arms – Fire several shots in one loading Ex


Shot guns C

Bolt Action Type – Reloading is done by manipulation of the bolt


Shot guns,

Machine guns D

Automatic Loading Type –After the first shot is fired,

automatic loading or feeding of the chamber takes place


Shot guns

Slide Action Type (Trombone) –Loading takes place by back and forth manipulation of the under forearm of the gun


Shot guns F

Lever Type (Break Type) –Loading takes place by lever action of the Firearm


Shot guns IV


Militar y Firearms Ex

Pistols 2


Rifles 4

Machine Guns

Pocket and Home Defense F

Pistols 3

Rifles 2

Revolvers IV


Paltik Pistols Paltik Revolvers PaltikRifles Paltik Shot Guns THE THREE MAIN PARTS



Barrel assembly 2

Cylinder Assembly 3

Frame or Receiver

Barrel Assembly 2

Slide Assembly 3

Frame or Receiver


SHOT GUN – Gauge

Barrel Assembly 2

Magazine Assembly Assembly 3

Stock Group

Barrel Assembly 2

Magazine 3



Barrel Assembly a

Breech end b

Muzzle end c

Rifling (lands and grooves)


Barrel Assembly a

Breech end b

Muzzle end c

Rifling (land grooves) e

Chamber f

Interlocking ribs g

Barrel lug h

Barrel link i

Barrel link pin j

Barrel lead (lead)

Cylinder Assembly a

Chambers b

Extractor c

Extractor rod d

Racket e

Cylinder groove f

Cylinder locking Notches

Frame or Receiver a

Top strap b

Rear sight c

Breech Face d

Hammer e

Thumb latch g

Side plate h

Firing pin j

Front strap l

Trigger guard m

Trigger n

Cylinder lock o

Right side stock p

Left side stock q

Trade mark (monogram) r

Serial number

Slide Assembly a

Front sight b

Top strap c

Ejection port d

Rear sight e

Breech block f

Breech Face g

Extractor h

Firing pin i

Firing pin top j

Serrations k

Trade mark l

Model m

Interlocking lugs 3

Frame or Receiver a

Ejector b

Hammer c

Grip safety e

Thumb safety f

Disconnector g

Back strap h

Lanyard loop j

Front strap k

Magazine well l

Right side stock m

Left side stock n

Trigger o

Trigger guard p

Model q

Plunger r

Serial number

T he automatic Pistol- Caliber

Recoil Plug 2

Barrel Bushing 3

Slide stop pin

Recoil Spring 5


It is an old standard weapon,

and almost ever y one knows something about to handle it

T he revolver is safer for inexperienced people to handle and carry then an automatic pistol

T he mechanism of a revolver allows the trigger pull to be better then that of the average automatic weapon

A misfire does not put revolvers out of action

It will handle satisfactorily old or new or partly deteriorated ammunition which gives a reduced velocit y that would jam an average automatic pistols


It is more bulky to carry than that of an automatic pistol

Its grip on handle is generally not as good as that of pistol

It is hard to clean after firing

It is slower to load

It is harder to replace worn out or broken parts,

W orn out or poorly made weapon is subject to variable accuracy due to improper up of cylinder


It as a better grip fits the hand points naturally

It is more compact for the same fire power

It is easier to load than a revolver

In case of worn or corroded barrel a new one can be put in at little expense wit hout sending the gun to the factory

It gives a greater number of shots than revolvers

It is easier to clean than revolvers

It gives greater fire power and greater ease of firing

T here is no gas leakage in its operation


Ammunition must be prefect

Old and deteriorated ammunition will cause a jam

A misfire stops the functioning of the gun

W hen the gun is kept loaded for a long period of time,

the magazine spring is under tension and may deteriorate and cause trouble

T he automatic pistol can not use blank or reduced loads

It has a poor trigger pull than the revolver

T he magazines require a jacketed bullet which is not as good for practical use as that of lead bullet

T he automatic pistol is more dangerous to handle and fire especially for inexperienced people due to the fact that after one shot it is always cooked and loaded

It is not adapted to reloading

It throws away empt y shell at each shot

Its mechanical action ejects empty shell towards the face at each shot

Its throws out empty shells on the ground to remain as evidence

It can not be fired from the pocket without jamming

EVERY POLICE OFFICER should frequently check his revolvers for: 1

Obstruction in the barrel

Bulging or swollen barrel

Firing pin protrusion through recoil plate when trigger is in rearward position

On older revolvers,

the imprint of the primer on the recoil plate in relation to the firing pin hole (to insure blow in center of the primer)

Evidence of “spitting lead” around breech complaints of fellow shooters in the firing line

Tightness of all side plate screws

Tightness of ejector if the weapon is a Smith and W esson revolvers

Cleanliness and projective film of oil to prevent rust

NOMENCLATURE AND FUNCT ION BARREL – initiates the path of the bullet

FRAME – Houses the internal parts

YOKE – Connecting pivot between the frame and cylinder

EXT RACTOR – Pulls the empty shells from the cylinder simultaneously

EXT RACTOR ROAD – Activates the extractor and is a locking device

CENT ER PIN – Serves as a looking device for the cylinder

CENT ER PIN SRPING – Holes the center pin in a locked position

SIDE PLATES – Provides access to the internal parts

SIDE PLATE SCREW – Hold the side plate and yoke in place

HAMMER BLOCK – Safety device that prevents hammer blow to primer

DOUBLE ACTION SEAR – Built into the weapon to allow double action fire

HAMMER – Strikes the blow that initiates or ignites primer

BOLT – Disengage center prim to allow opening of cylinder and blocks hammer

T HUMBLATCH – Actuates bolt to release the cylinder

HAND (pawl) – Rotates the cylinder when the hammer is cocked

CYLINDER STOP – Stops and holds the cylinder alignment for firing

T RIGGER – Actuates the parts necessary to fire the weapon

T RIGGER GUARD – Guards the trigger from unnecessar y action to avoid accidental firing

REBOUND SLIDE – Returns trigger,

actuates hammer block and locks hammer

T RIGGER SPRING – Provides energy for return movement or rebound slide

T RIGGER LEVEL – Contacts rebound slide to return trigger for ward

MAIN SPRING – Provides energy to the hammer to activate firing mechanism

STRAIN SCREW – Controls tension of the mainspring

T RIGGER STOP – Prevents hammer the release

RACKET – Helps in the wit hdrawal of the Cartridges or shells from the chambers of the cylinder

CYLINDER NOTCH – It helps hold the cylinder in place and aligned ready for firing


Bullet – A projectile propelled from a firearm by means of explosive force of gases coming from burning powder

Cartridge Case – A tubular metallic container for the gunpowder sometimes called shell

Gun Powder – Is the propellant which when ignited by the primer flash is converted to gas under high pressure and propels the bullet or shot charge through the barrel and on the target

Primer – The metal cap containing the highly sensitive priming mixture of chemical compound which when hit or struck by the firing pin would ignite,

such action is called “PERCUSSION”


According to the type of firearms asked 1

Revolver cartridges Pistol cartridges Rifles cartridges Shot Cartridges

Used in revolver Used automatic pistol Used in rifles Used in shot gun

According to location of primer 1

Pin fire cartridges no longer used (absolute) 2

Rim fire – the primer is located at the rim or the base portion

Canter fire – Priming powder is located at the center

Rimmed type – Used in revolvers cal

Semi- Rimmed – Used in super

Rimless – Used in 45 pistols,



A – Case B – Priming mixture C – Propellant powder/ gun powder D'– Bullet E – Sensitive Area According to Caliber 1

for shot gun It is usually larger used in smooth bores capable withstanding for less pressure

Paper Tube Metal base Base rod Battery cap Priming cap Anvil Priming Powder Propellant Over powder wad Filler wad Shot Closing wad 45-70 Cartridge Contains 70 grains of gunpowder Cartridge Life – a well made cartridges have a life of 10 years some have only 5

-6 years

Bullet / slugs Is a metallic or non-metallic cylindrical projectile propelled from a firearm by means of expansive gases coming from burning gun powder

Slugs – laymen’s term – use in court during proceedings Projectiles propelled from a shot gun are termed shots or pellets

Iced Bullet – Super cooled water made as a projectile of solidified bullets have a life of 3 minutes maximum Histor y – Bullet derive from a French word Boulette which means small ball In Government parlance a cartridges containing bullet is called Ball- Bullet Ball – Comes from terminology of bullet

Armor piercing bullet a core of tungsten chrome steel with continues to penetrate armor cars after the jackets and the filler have been striped away by contract with the resistance surface


According to mechanical construction 1

Lead Bullet – Those which are made of lead alloys of this mental – lead,

antonym—which is slightly harder than pure lead

Jacketed Bullets – Those which core of lead covered by jacket of harder metal

According to shape Flat Base

Boat Tailed

Square Base

Hollow Base

According to type/ common bullet type Solid Lead

Solid Hollow point Solid Paper Metal Case point Patched

Soft slug

Metal point Rifled Bullet

Hollow point Metal point rifled Gaypely Bullet

Quadraximun Slug

KEY HOLE SHOT – The tumbling of a bullet in its flight and hitting the target sideways as a results of spinning on its axis

(due to destroyed barrel or loose barrel) In generally

0002 sec

explosion of a bullet by means of a tremendous explosion of burning gases


----- 60%

------ 90%

1-3 inches

Gun powder

Powder Tattooing Ta

Priming powder powder


38 Bullet

45 Bullet

45 Bullet

Ball Bullets Armored Piercing Tracer Bullet Incendiar y Explosive (fragmentation)

All Bullets

Armored Piercing

Tracer Bullets

Explosive (Fragmentary)

because of their small size it is difficult to make a fuse that will work reliably in small size ammunition

For the reason the use of high explosive bullets is usually limited to 20 mm

Pointed Bullet

and have corresponding greater stopping power

Hollow Point Bullet

Metal Cased Bullet

Metal patched


This is a firearm evidence than can help trace particular firearms use


It serves as a means whereby the bullet,

gunpowder and primer are assembled into a unit

It serves as a waster proof contained for gunpowder

It prevents the escape of the gases to the rear as the sidewalls of the cartridges cases are forced against the walls of the chamber by the pressure

It serves as the “gas seal” at the breech end of the barrel


RIM – Serve the purpose of limiting the forward travel of the cartridges into their chambers and this also limit the clearance

If any between the heads and the supporting surface of the bolt or breech block

PRIMER POCKET – Performs tipple function: a

Holding primer securely in control position b

Providing or means to prevent the escape of jobs to the rear of the cartridges

Providing a solid support from primer anvil without which the latter could not be fired

VENT S OR FLASH HOLE – Is the hole in the web or bottom of the primer pocket thought which the primer “flash” impart ignition to the primer charges

T he “opening” or “canal” that connects the priming mixture with the gunpowder

T HE HEAD – THE BODY – constitute the “cork” that plugs the breech of the barrel against the escape of the gas

NECK – That part of the cartridges case that is occupied by the bullet

CANNELURES – are the separate grooves that are sometimes found “rolled” into the neck and bodies of the cases at the location of the bullets bases to prevent the bullet from being pushed back or loosened

CRIMP – Is that part of the mouth of the cases tat is turned in upon the bullet

if aid in holding the bullet in place b

if after resistance to the movement of the bullet out of the neck which effects the burning of the powder

BASE – The portion of case which contains: a

T he primer which contains the priming mixture

T he shell head which contains the head stamp caliber and the year of manufacture

SHOULDER – That portion which support the neck

EXT RACTION GROOVE – The circular grooves near the base of the case of shell designed for automatic withdrawal of the case after each firing

mouth neck shoulder shell cannelure body gun powder vent extracting grooves rim primer shell head CLASSIFICATION SHAPES)


Since this case form provided the greatest powder capacit y commensurate with over all case length


RIMMED – designed to use in revolvers,

the diameter of the base of the cartridges is ver y much bigger than the diameter of the body of the cartridges

SEMI- RIMMED – designed to be used in automatic weapons like pistols and sub-inactive gums such as super

38 uz1,

RIMLESS – case within the diameter of the body of the cartridges is the same as the diameter of the cartridges case


which when struck by the firing pin would detonate or ignite

Such action is called Percussion

a blow from the firing pin on the primer cup compresses the priming mixture and this causes the composition to detonate on explodes

This detonating on explosion produces “flame” which passes through the “event” on “flash hole” in the cartridges case and this ignites the gunpowder

charcoal and sulfur in powder form

In a typical center fire cartridges have four parts

PRIMER CUP – container of the priming mixture made up of brass,

PRIMING MIXT URE – highly contained in the primer cups

ANVIL – that portion of the primer against which the priming mixture is crushed by a blow from the firing pin

To provide the resistance necessar y to fire the priming mixture

DISC – piece of small paper on disc of the pin,

foil which is pressed over the priming mixture

Two fold purposes a

to help hold the priming mixture in place b


Corrosive primers – e

g Potassium chlorate – if ignited produce potassium chloride,

draws moisture from the air and this moisture speeds the rusting and corrosion in gun barrel

Advances in chemistry produce new composition which potassium chlorate has been eliminated

Non- corrosive – ever y manufacture has his own formula mixture of the mercuric primers of 25 years ago


Potassium chlorate (initiator and fuel 45%) Antimony Sulfide (elements and fuel 23%) Fulminate way came the standard mixture by Frankford Arsenal known as FH-24 had the following composition:

- sulfur

German have their own composition barium nitrate in the place of Potassium chlorate together wit h some Picric Acid to strengthen mixture

T his formula: Fulmirate of mercur y

This was base on the formula of a Swiss inventor named ZIEGLER: Swiss formula

Fulmirate of mercur y Barrium nitrate Antimony sulfide Barrium carbonate Ground glass

GUN POW DER Is the propellant which when ignited by the primer flash is converted to gas under high pressure and this propels the bullet or shot changes through the barrel and on the target

Class or Composition: 1

BLACK Powder – although if features loss important still manufactured by the Europeans

In recent time has completely superseded by smokeless powder

Ingredients: Potassium nitrate

Burns with reasonable great rapidit y when ignited

Block Powder – relies for its explosive properties on 3 quantities which are typical of all explosives FIRST – when ignited it will burn by it self without aid from the outside air

SECOND – in burning,

it gives off a large amount of gas

T HIRD – a considerable amount of heat is evolved

SMOKELESS POW DER – terms smokeless powder is misnomer for the are neither powder nor they are smokeless

The letters terms term being applied to them only because they do not give off huge cloud of whit e smoke like the black powder

Two main Classes of smokeless powder 1




Vaseline Phthalate esters c

Inorganic salt Purpose of minor ingredients a: Insure stability b

Reduce flash or flame temperature (or both) Double – base Propellant are gray green color and the grains are similar in size and shape to the single – base propellants

Almost all smokeless powder grains have perfectly definite shape such as a

T he powder is made in different shapes to obtain certain types of burning


Bullet Comparison Microscope A piece of optical equipment frequently employed by firearms identification expert is the bullet comparison microscope,

Stereoscopic Microscope No camera attachment and no photomicrograph can be taken for court tampered serial number

Shadowgraph A series of microscopic lenses of different magnification use to determine class characteristics of fired bullets and shells

Also for orientation purposes

It can take phomigrograph of the observations and comparisons made in the circulation ground glass

CD- 6 Comparison Projector Ver y much similar with the bullet comparison microscope No eyestrain because the magnified image appears on the large screen

W hat can be seen in the screen can be photographed by any kind of camera

Bullet Recovery Box Long box (12” x 12” x 96”) filled with ordinar y cotton and separated into sections by and board partitions

Helixometer Used in measuring “pitch of rifling”

Distance traveled by the bullet in one complete rotation

Micrometer Similar in use as caliper 8

Caliper Use for making measurements such as bullet diameter barrel length

Analyt ical or torsion balance Use to determine weights of bullets and pellets for possible determination of type,

caliber and make from which fired

On scope Small instrument sometimes used in examining the internal surface of the gun barrel in determining the irregularities inside the bore of the gun barrel

It has a tiny lamp the terminal portion and is inserted inside the bore for internal examinations

Taper Gauge Use primarily for determining bore diameter

Electrical Gun Maker Used in the laboratory for making fired bullets fired shells and firearms submitted for examination


PHYSICAL: Evidence bullets,

cartridges cases and suspected firearms once submitted by the requesting part y will be physically examined to determine its markings or initials will be physically examined to determine its markings or initials made by the investigators for identification purposes

T EST FIRING: T he firearms is test fired from a bullet recovery box in order to obtain test bullets and test cartridges cases for comparison with evidence bullets and cartridge cases,

but before firing the cartridge will be marked at the side of the case on the nose portion of the bullet with letter T (test) followed (eg T-77-1 to T-77-3) in their order of firing to distinguish the number 1 test from 2 and 3

After the recover y of the test bullets and test cartridges cases,

they will be compared with the evidenced bullet and evidence cartridges cases,

under the bullet comparison microscope to determine whether or not they have the congruency of striations or the same individual characteristics

Under the bullet comparison microscope,

the two fired bullets or fired shells are examine in a JUXTAPOSITION

- That is,

the t wo objectevidence and the test bullet are examined and compared: 1

time place or level direction magnification image

For conclusiveness of findings,

there shall be at least 3 test bullets that should be compared First 1 for Comparison/ preliminary Second 1 for confirmation T hird 1 for conclusion PERIPHERY T hese are the sides of the bullet are in contact with the inner surface of the barrel

STRIATIONS A individual characteristics of the cartridges found at the base portion and of the side of the bullet come in contact with the inner surface of the barrel

T EST BULLET S Are those recovered from bullet recover y box for a comparison with the evidenced bullets under the bullet comparison microscope

A fired or evidenced bullets or cartridges cases are those recovered from the crime scene

Interconnected or intermarriages 8 or more striations can be accepted by the court

Prominent 2


Consistent Means of –test firing,

Water tank Saw dust wit h oil Sand Waste threads

Darak 6

Banana trunk 7

Rubber trips

PRINCIPLES IN FIREARMS IDENT IFICATION Two things mark by one and same tool will bear the same markings,

likewise t wo or more things mark by different tools will have the same markings

DEFINITIONS PISTOL – a hand firearm usually applied to simple sot and automatic loading

REVOLVER – a hand firearm in which a rotating cylinder successively

SHOTGUN – a smooth-bore weapon designed to shoot a number of lead pellets in one charge

RIFLE – a type of weapon designed to be fired from the shoulder

CARTRIDGE – term used to describe a complete unfired unit consisting of the bullets,

primer cartridges case and powder charge

BULLET – is a projectile propelled from a charge

AUTOMATIC – a weapon is automatic when its mechanism is so arranged that it will fire continuously while the trigger is depressed

DOUBLE ACT ION – weapon in which pressure upon the trigger both cocks and release the hammer

SINGLE ACTION – weapon in which pressure upon the trigger release the hammer that must be manually cocked

CALIBER – term used to indicate the bore diameter which is measured bet ween two opposite lands

GAUGE or GAGE – as applied to shotguns,

it indicates that the bore diameter is equal to the diameter of a lead ball whose weight in pounds is equal to the reciprocal gauge index

bore diameter of a lead ball weighing 1/12 of a pound

BORE – the cylindrical passage of the barrel through which the projectile travels

PITCH OF RIFLING – the distance that the rifling advances to make one complete turn

EXPERT – as used in,

court includes all witnesses whose opinions are admitted on grounds of specialized knowledge,

BREECHBLOCK – the steel block which closes the rear of the bore against the force of charge or that part in the breech mechanism that locks the action against the firing of the cartridges

the face of this block is known as the breech face

CHAMBER – that part of the weapon in which the cartridge is placed into position for firing

EJECTOR – that mechanism in a firearm which causes the empt y shell or ammunition to be thrown out from the gun

EXT RACTOR – that mechanism in a firearm by which the empty shell or ammunition is withdrawn from the chamber

GROOVES – the depressed channels cut in the interior of a rifled gun barrel

LANDS – that raised portion bet ween the grooves inside a rifled gun barrel

VELOCITY – is the for ward speed at which the bullet travels measured in feet per second

PRESSURE – the out ward thrust of the burning powder gases against the breechblock,

chamber and bore normally measured one inch from the breech and recorded in pounds per square inch

RANGE – the straight distance bet ween the muzzle of the gun and the target

PENET RATION – the depth to which a projectile sinks in the tar get

T RAJECTORY – in the actual pattern or curved path of the bullets in flight

FIRING PIN – that part of that firearm which strikes the primer causing the firing of the cartridge

HAMMER – that part of the firearm controlled by the trigger which causes the firing pin to strike the primer striking the gun

CORROSION – the chemical eating away of the bore of an arm due to rusting or the action of salts deposited from they cap or powder

EROSION – mechanical wear and tear of the bore of an arm due to sliding friction when the bullet passes through it

BERDAN PRIMER – a primer with t wo flash holes or vents

BOXER PRIMER – a primer with only one flash hole or vents

RIM – the projection edge of