Manufacturing of firearms parts: relevant sources of information and contribution in a forensic context


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Manufacturing of firearms parts: relevant sources of information and contribution in a forensic context
WIREs Forensic Science
Werner Denis, Berthod Romain, Rhumorbarbe Damien, Gallusser Alain
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In the context of forensic cases involving firearms, a major issue to address is the identification of the firearm used to discharge questioned elements of ammunition – bullets or cartridge cases – found during the scene investigation. When a questioned firearm is available, reference bullets and cartridge cases are produced through controlled test-fires. The marks left on both the questioned and reference elements of ammunition are analysed before being compared. The processes used to manufacture the firearms tend to influence the type and frequency of some of these marks. Knowing how the questioned firearm was produced is a key element to identify the relevant marks for comparison purposes. Finding this information can be challenging, as it is not necessarily publicly available. After presenting the manufacturing processes used to produce the main parts of firearms in contact with the elements of ammunition, this review includes an updated list of processes used by specific manufacturers, relying not only on the literature. The results highlight the necessity to consider a wide range of sources when gathering information about the manufacturing processes. Apart from general and specialized forensic literature, the online content made available by the manufacturers themselves is also a valuable complementary source of information. Contacting the manufacturers or visiting their premises is sometimes necessary to understand the full extent of the processes and how they can influence the marks of forensic interest.
Sub-class characteristics, Rifled barrel, Breech face, Firing pin, Extractor
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03/10/2020 8:15
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27/11/2020 7:10
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