Ballistics

Ballistics

Ballistics

In line with Lawrence Kobilinsky

about Ballistics in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

Ballistics is the area of forensic science that deals with the study of firearms, ammunition, and bullet trajectory (flight path). Firearms include handguns (revolvers or semiautomatics), rifles, and shotguns. Much of ballistics involves what happens when a weapon is fired. Pulling the trigger of a firearm causes its firing pin to strike the primer that is located at the base of the cartridge. The ignition of the primer detonates gunpowder within the cartridge, resulting in its conversion into a gas. The rapid increase in pressure within the cartridge causes the bullet to simultaneously expand and be propelled through the barrel of the gun. The barrel of a firearm is manufactured with helical grooves carved into its inner surface. As a result, most of the barrel contains lands and grooves. Lands refer to the high points of the inner surface between adjacent grooves.

Ballistics Recognition and Identification Systems

In line with Adina Schwartz

about Ballistics in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

Ballistics identification, more properly known as firearms identification, is part of the forensic science discipline of toolmark identification. The premise underlying toolmark identification is that a tool, such as a firearm barrel, leaves a unique toolmark on an object, such as a bullet, with which it comes in contact. Firearms examiners deal with the toolmarks that bullets, cartridge cases, and shotshell components acquire by being fired and also that unfired cartridge cases and shotshells acquire by being worked through the action of a firearm. Comparison microscopes are used to compare evidence toolmarks on ammunition components recovered from crime scenes with test toolmarks that examiners produce on other ammunition components by firing or otherwise using a particular gun. A firearm is identified as the one firearm, to the exclusion of all others, that produced the evidence toolmark, if the examiner decides that the evidence and test toolmarks are sufficiently similar.

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