Smith And Wesson Year Of Manufacture By Serial Number latest 2023

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Ballistics in Forensics – What Are Rifling Patterns on a Bullet?

When a bullet is fired from a firearm, the weapon leaves unique marks, or grooves, on the surface of the bullet as it travels through the barrel. These grooves help forensic firearms examiners determine a match between the bullet and the type of firearm and possibly the actual weapon used in a crime.

What is a striped pattern?

A spinning ball is a more accurate ball. Therefore, many firearms have spiral grooves cut into their barrels to spin bullets as they leave the barrel of the gun. The procedure for cutting grooves in the barrel of a firearm is called grooves. Cutting the grooves leaves high parts, or land, intact between them. The grooves catch the bullet when it goes through the barrel and spin it and thus increase its accuracy to hit the intended target. Older shotguns were not accurate beyond 100 feet or more, but today’s rifled firearms are very accurate to several thousand yards.

Accuracy is not at the top of the list of Calleigh Duquesnes (a character on Expert: Miami) firearms forensic examiners. Their interest is how the lands and grooves of the scratch procedure mark the ball.

When making a gun barrel, the rifling is etched inside it. The depth of the grooves, the width of the lands, and the degree and direction of the spiral vary with different types of firearms and different manufacturers. These qualities help forensic scientists identify the type of weapon that fired a bullet found at the crime scene and its manufacturer.

For example, say a Smith & Wesson .32 caliber handgun has five lands and grooves with a right (clockwise) twist, and a .32 caliber Colt has six lands and grooves with a twist to the left (counterclockwise). Browning firearms also have six grooves, but have a clockwise twist. Marlin guns use a method known as microgrooving. Microgrooving leaves between 8 and 24 narrow grooves in the barrel. Suppose a firearms examiner receives a .32 caliber bullet taken from an autopsy, and finds grooves consistent with a bullet having traveled through a barrel with five lands and a clockwise twist. Clockwise, the murder weapon was likely a Smith & Wesson, and forensic investigators can rule out all other types of handguns and target Smith & Wesson .32 caliber handguns.

To facilitate the work of the firearms examiner, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) maintains a database known as the General Scratch Characteristics File to aid in making decisions. It delineates the pitch, groove, and torsion qualities unique to known firearms. Similarly, bullet and shell casings can be matched with bullets and casings from other crime scenes listed in other databases.

Since smoothbore firearms like shotguns and older model firearms are unrifled, their bullets will show no trace of markings caused by flats, grooves, or twists. This makes the job of the forensic firearms examiner much more difficult.

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#Ballistics #Forensics #Rifling #Patterns #Bullet

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