How to recognize the traces left on a crime scene by a 3D-printed Liberator?: Part 1. Discharge, exterior ballistic and wounding potential

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Serval ID
serval:BIB_CDF5FD5104B5
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
How to recognize the traces left on a crime scene by a 3D-printed Liberator?: Part 1. Discharge, exterior ballistic and wounding potential
Journal
Forensic Science International
Author(s)
Honsberger Hanna, Rhumorbarbe Damien, Werner Denis, Riva Fabiano, Glardon Matthieu, Gallusser Alain, Delémont Olivier
ISSN
0379-0738
Publication state
Published
Issued date
05/2018
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
286
Pages
245-251
Language
english
Abstract
The Liberator is a firearm that can be manufactured from its blueprints, using a 3D-printer. This weapon made of nineteen pieces – eighteen in printed plastic and one metallic nail – raises questions such as its ability to fire a round, its wounding potential and the traces produced by its discharge. In particular, knowledge must be gained to infer that a 3D-printed handgun was used, reconstruct the shooting event involving such handgun, and gather information related to the type of 3D-printed handgun used. This study focused on the traces that could orientate forensic investigations when the use of a 3D-printed Liberator is suspected. In a first step, the Liberator was investigated to study its behaviour during the discharge and characterize traces produced by the discharge. To fulfil this goal, some Liberators were printed and assembled. Six Liberators fired a round. The discharge of the weapons was done under specific conditions allowing to collect ballistics data and traces produced by the shooting.
The results showed that the barrel tended to break between the ignition of the primer and the moment the projectile exited the muzzle. The speed of the projectiles reached 140 m/s when the barrel broke, while it was about 170 m/s when barrel remained intact. The trajectory of the projectiles was sometimes disrupted, and the projectile tumbled on itself. It was thus very difficult to characterize the trajectory. The cavity wound caused by the fastest bullet was typical of a handgun wound firing a FMJ projectile (penetration of 21 cm in ballistics soap). On the other hand, the cavity caused by the slowest bullet was more representative of a splinter wound (penetration of 14 cm in ballistics soap). The study of gunshot residues collected on adhesive targets showed the presence of unburnt particles and small perforations caused by polymer pieces that concentrated around the entry holes.
Keywords
Additive manufacturing, Homemade firearm, Handgun
Pubmed
Web of science
Create date
06/03/2018 12:15
Last modification date
22/12/2020 7:25
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