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Forensic Ballistics Definition Paper

Words: 2151, Paragraphs: 20, Pages: 8

Paper type: Essay, Subject: Forensic Science

This essay sample on Forensic Ballistics Definition provides all necessary basic info on this matter, including the most common “for and against” arguments. Below are the introduction, body and conclusion parts of this essay.

Paper Ballistics Bullets traveling over two thousand feet per second and having more energy than one normal person can perceive. Can you imagine tracking where, how, when, and what from angle this bullet was shot. Ballistic scientists can. Ballistics is the study of any projectile used as a weapon. This can certainly make or break a case Involving a guru Great ballistic scientists can even provide how far the bullet was shot from before It makes contact with the target. To me this is one of the most Important tools in a case where a firearm is used.

The definition of ballistics is very simple, the study of projectiles from a weapon, mainly referring to bullets out of a gun. That Is a dulled down definition. My definition is a little lengthier in depth. Forensic ballistics includes the examination of bullets and firearms in an attempt to identify particular weapons used at any particular time. Guns and bullets leave small signs behind when fired, which professional ballistic scientists can pick apart and define what gun, bullet, energy, and even charge of the casing. This makes ballistic scientist one of the most important keys on a law enforcement agency.


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Pistols and rifles are categorized by what the inside diameter of the barrel measures. This is called caliber. An example would be, a 22 caliber rifle has a much smaller diameter barrel than a . 370 caliber rifle does. In turn, the bullet of a . 22 caliber is going to be considerably smaller than that off . 370 caliber, Pistols are categorized the same way. A . 40 caliber is much smaller than a . 460 caliber. Shotguns, however, are not categorized Like this. Shotguns are categorized by gauge. Unlike the rifle, the smaller the gauge of a rifle the bigger the inside diameter is.

Such as, a twelve gauge has a much larger barrel than a twenty-eight gauge. Now that I have explained sizes and categorization to the guns, next Is the operation of the guns. When a gun is fired it takes many parts to make the gun fire and also for the bullet to hit Its target. When you pull the trigger on a gun, the firing pin strikes the bullet to set tot the gunpowder. That leaves a mark on the casing as unique as a fingerprint–no two guns strike the bullet in exactly the same way. Furthermore, the barrels of every gun are rifled, which means they contain grooves, wanly Nell ten Dulled spun Ana make It more accurate.

In turn, ten Dulled NAS ten marks from the rifling in the barrel, which can be matched up to the weapon that fired it. There is one exception to the rifling in the barrel. That exception is smooth bore shot guns. They are smooth, Just like the name implies. Now to talk about the term most people deem as ballistics, the speed, drop, and energy off bullet. Charge, weight, and muzzle length are three things that affect the speed and drop off bullet. Something most people don?wet know is that a bullet does not shoot straight horizontally. When I bullet is shot it is shot at a raising angle.

Which means the bullet breaks the plane of the muzzle once before hitting the target. A . 22 caliber rifle breaks the plane of the muzzle at twenty-five yards, if the rifle is zeroed at 100 yards. Not all rifles cartridges cross at these measurements. That all depends on the weight, charge, and velocity of the bullet. Weight can also be described as knock-down power. A high caliber rifle will shoot heavier bullets and have more knock-down power. The more weight means that there is more kinetic energy. For example, a . 357 caliber rifle shoots a lighter, much faster bullet than that off . 5 caliber. Although the . 57 is faster and more flat shooting, the . 45 caliber has more knock-down power because of the weight of the bullet and the kinetic energy. Although this information is more helpful too hunter, it is useful to any shooter. Charge is described as the amount of black-powder used to fire the bullet. The more the charge, the bigger the bang. Every gun uses black-powder to be fired. Black-powder was the first explosive, and used in every gun in the history of fire- arms. From the oldest muskmelons to the most high tech sniper rifles used today.

Now that the velocity of the gun is covered, next will be to explain what happens o the bullet once it hits the target. There are many different types of bullets. Such as soft tip, hollow point, and wad cutters. There are also a few types of hollow points. Hollow points are bullets that expand, (or mushroom) once they have impacted the target. These are most common and also the most harmful. Not only do you have a bullet traveling at over 1 500 feet per second, but they also expand and leave gaping entry and exit wounds, and can also leave trace amounts of the bullet inside the target.

One type of hollow point is a slow expanding bullet. It works exactly like it is babbled, it is a harder bullet that still expands, but may not fully expand until it is very far into the target. These do a lot of damage, but not as bad as a fast expanding bullet. Fast expanding bullets expand as soon as contact is made with the target and is the most lethal type of bullet. Because they open so quickly you get the mushroom effect completely through the target. Wad cutters are nothing more than a solid piece of lead.

They are mainly used for target practice because they are very cheap and do not have the charge nor the velocity of a hunting load. Although they arena t as powerful they are Just as harmful. Since they do not expand they stay a solid completely through the target and also after if there is an exit wound. These are Just as deadly because they can ricochet inside off target such as a human. Wad cutters are used in a lot of gang fights because they will not kill someone, but they will penetrate the skin and once inside the person they will ricochet off of the ribs and sternum, doing much internal damage.

On each and every gun manufactured, there is a serial number stamped into it. It Is made Day pressing ten metal so even Day Telling Tontine serial under Trot ten inside, the scientist can still use ultra-sound to find out the serial number. Filing off serial number is a crime in itself and is very common in gangs, drugs, and acts of violence. By acquiring this serial number ballistic scientists can find out the caliber, make, model, store it was sold from, and even the owner. This is a huge factor in ballistic science.

If you can place a gun with an owner/operator, as a ballistic scientist you have won half the battle of solving the crime. Ballistic scientists not only work with the operation of the gun, but also the distance and angle the bullet was shot from. For instance, the entry hole on a target well be much smaller than the exit hole because of the expansion of the bullet and the velocity that it exited at. In this case if you can determine and entry and exit wound you can tell what angle the bullet was shot from and determine the vicinity that the shooter was when the bullet was fired from the firearm.

Distance is a huge key to figuring out what happened at a crime scene. A bullet fired from point-blank range out to a very close range will leave a black-powder burn on the target. A shot a point-blank range will have a tighter more distinct burn than en of a shot from a further distance. Another determining key to distance is penetration. If a bullet has not completely passed through a victim it could have been fired from a farther distance than what the proprieties of the scene allow. Some of the tests and examinations of ballistics include a few different types of test shooting.

The ballistic scientist will test shoot the gun to find out its markings and striations on certain types of bullets to try and match a bullet with a gun and even a gun with an owner. That type of test can obviously only be done if either remains of the bullet or the gun is found. If neither the gun nor bullet is found at the scene the scientist can shoot different types of guns into what is called ballistic gel. This gel is comparable to the skin, muscle, and fat off human. It is a clear gel so you can compare the wound channel of the victim to that of the gel.

This is also helpful with studying expansion of a bullet considering the gel is clear. Collecting evidence from a crime scene is very important. You do not want to hurt any evidence that could hinder the case. When collecting evidence such as a gun, never place a pencil inside of the barrel or trigger guard. Not only is that not proper rearm safety it is also harmful to any evidence that is located there. The firearms can be picked up by the textured part of the grip, while of course wearing rubber gloves to leave no extra fingerprints behind.

Before picking up the firearm, make sure it is pointing in a safe direction. Most criminals do not unload the firearm before they drop it at a crime scene. Keep notes on the condition of the gun, the location, and time it was found. These call all be key factors in telling when, where, why, and how the victim was shot. If the barrel is damaged in any way, it will affect the outcome of test shooting. The same goes for the firing mechanism. The firearm should be contained in either a large envelope or a paper bag. It should be kept separate from the bullets, casing, or magazine.

Putting all of these pieces of evidence in one container can lead to scratching and damaging any piece of evidence. As for collecting the bullet or casing from a scene, you must be very careful and collect it right or it will be no good as evidence. Since casings and bullets are metal, IT tenure Is any metal on metal contact ten specimen can De rule Ana scratches. This is why you would want to collect the evidence by hand with gloves on. Also one thing that most criminals don?wet think about is when you are loading your weapon you are leaving your fingerprints on the casings as you load them into the magazine.

This is why casing are very important to any case. You would not want to use metal tweezers. If the bullet is scratched it could lead to false reading in test shooting or examination. Bullets and casings should be placed in a separate small cardboard box or a small envelope at the least. When collecting a magazine you should take the same precautions as you do with the gun, bullets, and casings. The magazine can be a very important part of the rime scene. Let?was possible that the magazine that was left behind could still have cartridges in them that have not been fired.

If so that could narrow down the search for the caliber of gun and also the type of ammunition that was shot. Also with finding the magazine you can examine it for fingerprints from when the magazine was loaded and unloaded. With finding such things as the magazine, bullets, and casing you can determine many things such as, position, distance, caliber, gun, and even an escape route if the magazine was dropped. When I had first chosen the topic ballistics I thought I would be more focused on he science part of ballistics.

But once I researched and put some of my own knowledge to work I realized that I was more interested in the way guns work and the way bullets travel. Although I don?wet see myself as the laboratory type, if I could only work on firearms cases it would not be that bad of a Job. I know as a student I learned very much in my research of bullets, guns, and ballistics. ?catheter are hundreds of millions of gun owners in this country, and not one of them will have an accident today. The only misuse of guns comes in environments where there are drugs, alcohol, bad parents, and undisciplined children.

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Forensic Ballistics Definition. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from http://paperap.com/paper-on-ballistics/

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