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Guide to Forensic Investigations: Trace Evidence, Ballistics, Toxicology, and DNA

There are many experts deeply involved in this study, and they are frequently called upon to help solve crimes. Ballistics details are also commonly input into a large database that can be accessed by law enforcement agencies all across the country. When someone enters new data, the computer locates any relevant data from previous investigations. This information can lead to the discovery of the owner of a particular weapon, and assist in tracking down the guilty party who fired the gun.

Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS)

Back to Crime Library. Courtesy of Jack Dillon. Firearms evidence can be recovered in a number of ways and areas.


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Firearms themselves can be recovered at shooting scenes by crime scene investigators and sent to the laboratory. Bullets, bullet fragments, cartridge cases, shotshell wadding, etc. Bullet evidence can also be obtained at autopsy or in an emergency room setting. In these cases the sample should be marked as a biohazard and then sent to the laboratory. Each laboratory has written procedures for packaging and submitting evidence. This evidence is best gathered by cutting out a section of the material and submitting it to the laboratory to allow a firearms examiner to carefully extract it.

National Forensic Academy - Bodies, Bullets and Ballistics

This prevents adding or destroying any markings that could be crucial to identifying or matching the suspected firearm. A well-trained firearms examiner should perform the evaluation and comparison of this evidence.


  1. Progress in Speech Synthesis.
  2. Steps for Becoming a Forensic Ballistics Expert.
  3. Ballistics: The Use and Study of Firearms.
  4. Forensic firearm examination.
  5. DEPARTMENTS.
  6. Firearms & Ballistics;
  7. These examiners will have received extensive training on all matter of firearms and ammunition manufacturing; evidence detection, recovery, handling and examination procedures; comparison microscope equipment and procedures; courtroom testimony and legal issues; and casework. Most state crime laboratories in the US have a firearms examiner s on staff who can perform analysis for police departments within their jurisdiction if the need arises.

    Various reagents are available for restoring the serial number by the reacting them with the surface of the firearm. However, chemical restoration often ends up damaging the evidence to a great extent and is usually the last resort when magnetic inspection fails. A thorough examination of a firearm helps deduce whether it was actually used for firing the shots in question or not? Although a number of evidence recovered from the incident scene cartridge cases, spent ammunition, gunshot residues, wounds etc.

    Some suspects of shooting feign the discharge of the firearm as an accident or the result of a weapon malfunction. A careful examination of the firearm helps establish this claim, especially trigger pressure — the force required to pull a trigger. Certain firearms have light trigger pulls which may result in an accidental firing.

    Therefore, calculating the trigger pressure can actually help determine the possibility of an accidental discharge. Additionally, it is also essential to verify if the firearm had an option of selecting a normal trigger pull or a light trigger pull. In order to determine if the firing was accidental, the firearm is subjected to a jarring test.

    This involves subjecting it to a series of impacts involving various distance and surfaces to consider the possibilities of an accidental discharge. Sometimes, a test-firing into water or gelatin may also be required in order to obtain test bullets and shell casings.

    This helps in matching them with the recovered evidence.

    Having a repertoire of forensic experts handpicked from premier forensic institutes, it strives to stay a step ahead of the rest. IFF Lab has a state-of-the-art forensic laboratory and adopts the latest tools and techniques in conducting criminal investigations.

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    They have assisted law enforcement agencies across India in the investigation of complex and highly sensitive cases. Apart from criminal investigations, they have also emerged as the pioneers in cyber and digital forensics. A valuable addition to the forensic domain, IFF Lab stands by its commitment to provide selfless service to the nation. Get in touch with IFF Lab for criminal investigations. Contact us. Forensic Ballistics — Reconstructing a Crime using Bullets.

    Education/Training

    Ballistic Fingerprinting — The Science of Firearm Ballistics Ballistic fingerprinting involves the analysis of tool mark evidence, firearm, and ammunition. Remarkable ways of linking a Gun to a Crime Scene Although guns and bullets are associated with the most serious and deadly crimes, they also tend to leave behind the most explicit evidence.

    Firearms Examination: How It’s Done

    Patterns left by Gunpowder Residues Though it may seem that the bullet is the only object that leaves the barrel when a gun is fired. Analyzing Trajectory, Bullet Cavities, and Ricochet Tracing the flight path of a bullet significantly helps investigators recreate the events of a crime. Firing pin, Extractor pin, and Ejector Impressions When a gun is fired, the firing pin strikes the center of the cartridge to ignite the primer and it is only then that the bullet is released. Tissue damage due to the bullet Forensic examiners are quite skilled at uncovering a plethora of information from the wound s inflicted on the victim.

    Fingerprints It is but obvious that a gunman would be physically handling the bullets while loading them into a cylinder. Extraction of Serial Number Every legally produced firearm is etched with a unique serial number during its manufacturing. Thorough Firearm Examination A thorough examination of a firearm helps deduce whether it was actually used for firing the shots in question or not?

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