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BALLISTICS

by:Harris ROJAS
The big picture of ballistics

Because every contact leaves a trace


(Locard’s exchange principle) very
hard contacts (like a 180 mps to
1500 mps contact) will leave a big
trace
History of
Gunpowder and Firearms

 The Chinese invented gunpowder over a


thousand years ago.
 Muzzle-loading matchlocks used wicks to
ignite the gunpowder.
 The cartridge and breech loading followed.
 Rifling provided greater accuracy.
 Revolver, semi-automatic, and automatic
handguns were developed.
 Ballistics
– The study of projectiles, trajectories,
and the effect on the target
Firearms Identification
– A sub-discipline of ballistics that
determining whether a bullet or
cartridge was fired by a particular
weapon
Introduction

Ballistic evidence helps explain:


 What type of firearm was used.
 The caliber of the bullet.
 The number of bullets fired.
 Where the shooter was.
 Whether a weapon was fired recently.
 If a firearm was used in previous crimes.
A Internal ballistics
What happens in the weapon

B External ballistics
What happens after the bullet leaves the
barrel

C Terminal ballistics (wound ballistics)


What happens when the bullet hits the target
A Internal ballistics (1 of 3)

INTERNAL
BALLISTICS
SO WHAT’S A CARTRIDGE?
 a combination of:
– a projectile (the bullet)
– a propellant (gunpowder, for example)
– a primer (the explosive cap),

A
Cartridges Design

The bullet, usually made of metal, is out front


with the cartridge, holding the primer and
propellant powders, behind.
Watch this short video

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1VD1D1h
LsQ
How a gun
Works
1. The firing pin hits the base of the
cartridge, igniting the primer powder.
2. The primer powder sparks through the
flash hole to the main propellant supply.
3. The pressure of the explosion pushes
the bullet from the case into the barrel.
4. The bullet follows the lands and grooves
spiraling out of the barrel.
Land = high
 BACK OF BULLET
Groove = Low
ABROACH CUTTER USED
TO CREATE RIFFLING
IMPRESSIONS IN A
BARREL
As a result of rifling, a barrel will impress a
negative impression of itself on the sides of
the bullet like those seen below.

A
Matching
impressions

A
A fired bullet as class evidence

 Different gun manufacturers use different


rifling techniques. These techniques
impart the class characteristics on a fired
bullet.
– Number of impressions
– Width of impressions
– Depth of impressions
– Angle of impressions
Q: How are these 2 guns different

A: caliber
What is A
caliber?
 Caliber = the diameter of the bullet.
 Measured in hundredths of an inches.
– .22, .357, or .50
 Measured in metrics
– 9mm
Question: Why should the caliber of ammunition
match the firearm that shoots it? If they do not
match, what could go wrong?
Showing variation within caliber
INTERNAL BALISTICS (2 OF 3)

BREECH MARKS ARE


FOUND ON THE
REAR OF A FIRED
CARTRIDGE
A
A
Firing pin

Breech
A
 When a bullet is fired, the explosion forces:
1. the bullet down barrel
2. the cartridge back against breech
– Leaving a negative impression on the back of
the cartridge
Depending on the
make of gun & normal
wear and tear, the
breech markings will
pick up class, and
hopefully, individual
characteristics.
Examples of breech markings
How CSI determines if a recovered
bullet from a crime scene came
from a suspected gun
Disclaimer: this video is oooooold
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EJrbpg43
qM
 Shotguns have smooth barrels with no rifling.
– Are there lands or groves on the bullet(s)?
 How can a F.S. identify trace evidence left by
a shotgun?
– Only by marks on the spent shell casing(s):
Shotgun into ballistics gel
B
EXTERNAL
BALLISTICS
 External ballistics is
everything that happens after
the bullet leaves the gun to just
before the BULLET impacts its
target
GUN SHOT RESIDUE
GUN SHOT RESIDUE
(GSR)

 CAN BE DETECTED
EVEN AFTER WASHING
CLOTHING / HANDS
Gunshot Residues
 Particles of unburned powder and traces
of smoke are the residues of gunshots.
 They can leave a trace on:
– Shooter
 hand, arm, face, hair, or clothing
– Victim
 Chemical testing often can detect residue
even if removal is attempted.
 The distance from the victim to the
shooter can be determined by
examination of the residue pattern on the
victim.
Trajectory
Wind shield

Distance along path of Path of bullet


bullet to window, 23.9”

x
y

60 feet Horizon

Distance along
horizon to
window, 23.5”
Trajectory
 2 Reference points needed to
determine trajectory
– can be bullet holes in objects or victims.

 Investigators can use lasers to trace a


straight-line path to help determine the
position of the shooter.
http://www.glenbrook.k12.il.us/
http://www.glenbrook.k12.il.us/
External ballistics
Point of impact
Point of initial Point of secondary
intersection intersection
Maximum ordinate

Point of aim
5 Ballistic Terms
 PII – Point of Initial Intersect. Where the bullet crosses the
LOS (Line of Sight) for the first time.

 MO – Maximum Ordinate. The highest point the bullet


reaches during its parabolic flight path.

 PSI – Point of Secondary Intersect. The point where the


bullet crosses the LOS for the second time.

 POI – Point of Impact. The point where the bullet impacts the
target.

 POA – Point of Aim. Where the shooter was aiming the


weapon.
If the sights are properly adjusted:
POI = POA = DOA (dead on arrival)
C Terminal ballistics
Bullet Wounds
1. Why do entrance wounds tend to be smaller than exit
wounds?
2. If the bullet penetrates clothing, what can fibers
embedded in the wound indicate?
3. Where is gunshot residue usually found?
4. If the gun is fired with the muzzle touching the victim’s
skin, what telltale mark may show up?
5. Will larger or will smaller caliber bullets tend to lodge
within the body rather than passing through? Why?
GUN SHOT RESIDUE
Bullet wounds (4 kinds)

1. Barrel on skin
2. Barrel just off skin
3. Barrel inches away
4. Shot from a distance
Barrel on skin
Notice:
Distinctive star pattern, so…

energy from the gun shot


forced back out entryway
“blowback”

NO burnt gun powder marks


around entryway, so…

•ALL gunpowder delivered


inside entryway singing the
interior (black area)
Barrel inches away
 Notice:
 “stippling” of
the burning
powder around
the actual
bullet entry way
 No star pattern
– No “blow
back”
Barrel just off skin
Notice:
 - no star pattern so..
– not ON skin
 No stippling from g.p. so..
– TOO close for inches away
 Barrel burns like on skin
so….
– JUST off skin
 9mm to person’s back NOTICE:
– Lack of burnt gun powder burns on skin
– Lack of star pattern

Conclusion = shot from distance


(probably through clothes)
THE END
Shot from distance
(but photo shopped)