Firearm Identification (Forensic Ballistics)
Firearms identification, more commonly referred to as forensic ballistics, has been around in some form or another since as early as 1835 when, in England, investigators were able to match the markings on a bullet taken from a victim’s body to the bullet mold owned by the suspect. Obviously this was back in the days before traditional rounds were invented, that is, when ball rounds were the type of ammunition available. As was to be expected, the murderer in this particular case confessed to the crime when confronted with the evidence.
But what is forensic ballistics exactly? What is included in this field?
The Rifling and the Scientist
In the field of forensic ballistics, studies have significantly shown that no two firearms are alike; that is, no two firearms when firing ammunition leave the exact same marks as another (on said ammunition), even if that other is an identical model from an identical manufacturer. This makes it very easy for experts in the field to differentiate between weapons in the same fashion that fingerprints differentiate between individual people.
How does this all work though i hear you ask?