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Old 03-06-2012, 02:14 AM   #1
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Default Can ballistics tell you the make and model of the gun a bullet came from?

Can ballistics tell you the make and model of a gun?
I was watching The Lincoln Lawyer and in it a person is shot with a 22 pistol, Matthew M. Says "good, so and so owned a 22" the cop says, "yeah, but it wasnt a woodsman, ballistics says it was a colt woodsman, an antique job."

They had no shell, just the bullet in the guy's head, even with the shell, it is a 22 LR with a dimpled primer, how can they tell? Thinking Hollywood Bs, but I'm no expert.

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Old 03-06-2012, 02:31 AM   #2
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Yes, at least sometimes they can tell. Guns have many different kinds of rifling. Most often they can only tell the brand not the model.

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Old 03-06-2012, 02:45 AM   #3
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Well, you can tell Colt from S&W (right hand S&W, Left hand Colt) identify Glocks (polygonal rifling) Can recognize NEW Marlin (microgroove) and distinguish between 1903 Springfield and an 03A3 (different number of grooves) and MAYBE a Carcano (gain twist rifling). 12 lands and grooves on a .38 is an FIE Titan Tiger. But there ARE limits.

As far as a fired casing- the firing pin and extractor leave tool marks. You need a good microscope to see the variations that distinguish them, but it IS used in court- but not to say " This is from a 1937 Ferinshlurger .37 Magnamus" but to say "This cartridge was fired from this gun."

Please do not confuse TV with reality, that makes my head hurt. You rarely solve all the crimes in 24 minutes plus commercials, and rarely get detailed forensic information while you wait from your genius in the basement.

PS- .22 rimfire is a bitch to get ballistic info on. When it hits a bone, soft lead deforms really, I mean REALLY badly. Striations go bye-bye.

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Old 03-06-2012, 02:58 AM   #4
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Normally a ballistics report will give a short list of possible suspects (could be S&W or Sig, etc). Glock cases look similar to Sigma or M&P cases, but under a microscope the Glock is obvious (rougher marks). .22 in the head? A skull is pretty brutal on .22 bullets. Likely deformed pretty badly and not identifiable at all.

"CSI" type of BS is just BS

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Old 03-06-2012, 03:32 AM   #5
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Yeah, hollow wood gave us 'knock down power' also.

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Old 03-06-2012, 04:21 AM   #6
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An experienced forensics investigator can identify a spent bullet as being shot from a revolver because of the "skid marks".

What are skid marks?

A revolver fires a bullet that is not spinning, but is accelerating- until suddenly it encounters rifling- at that point, it is spun up rather abruptly, leaving a "skid mark" where the lands grab the bullet. However, pistols have a bullet sitting right at the start of the rifling. It does not have the distance to accelerate before encountering rifling. While the lands still grab the bullet, they spin it immediately.

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Old 03-06-2012, 04:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canebrake View Post
An experienced forensics investigator can identify a spent bullet as being shot from a revolver because of the "skid marks".

What are skid marks?

A revolver fires a bullet that is not spinning, but is accelerating- until suddenly it encounters rifling- at that point, it is spun up rather abruptly, leaving a "skid mark" where the lands grab the bullet. However, pistols have a bullet sitting right at the start of the rifling. It does not have the distance to accelerate before encountering rifling. While the lands still grab the bullet, they spin it immediately.
No, skid marks are what my wife complains about while doing my laundry.
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:26 PM   #8
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Here's some decent info...pgs 18-22

http://jpfo.org/pdf02/gun-facts-5.1.pdf

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Old 03-06-2012, 02:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincent View Post
Here's some decent info...pgs 18-22

http://jpfo.org/pdf02/gun-facts-5.1.pdf
Really good info. Thanks.
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:17 PM   #10
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I used to collect old military rifles years ago and still have about 100 more or less, but I lost interest in them and don't keep up them any more, so I have a question for c3Shooter. You said you could tell the difference between a Springfield 03 and a Springfield 03-A3. Isn't the Springfield 03-A3 the one marked USMC on the tip of the barrel.? I just checked both of my 03-A3's marked USMC and I've never noticed this before, but they are both Remington. My 03 is Springfield. I know all A3's were USMC, but did springfield make any A3 USMC's, and if so are the twist the same in both makers? I"ve not keep up with the old rifles or fired them in years so I don't remember. Thanks

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