Ballistics and Firearms

Ballistics and Firearms

Firearms examination is a highly specialized field of forensic science. These well-trained examiners can help detectives and criminal investigations get important information about how gun crimes were committed and help identify the weapon used.

With computer-aided design programs, photogrammetry and laser measuring tools, ballistics experts can determine the trajectory of a bullet, the distance a shooter was from the target, whether or not a discharge was accidental, the position a shooter was in when he fired a weapon, and – perhaps most importantly – pinpointing the exact weapon used in a crime by comparing a fired bullet to the barrel of a specific gun. These crime scene maps can be used to create diagrams for police reports or courtroom presentations.

Forensics ballistics experts specialize in looking at anything that has to do with firearms, from identification of a specific round or weapon to determining the trajectory of a bullet. Ballistics experts can identify the calibre of a round and, with the help of national databases, can learn where the bullet was manufactured and possibly even the gun that fired it.

Ballistics experts may be called to lift fingerprints from spent shell casings or help collect DNA samples from expended rounds.

Our firearms and ballistics experts

Click on the names below to read the profiles of our firearms experts

Philip Boyce

What does a ballistics and firearms expert do?

A ballistics and firearms expert is a forensic specialist who analyses and interprets physical evidence related to firearms and ammunition. This may include analysing bullets and cartridge cases recovered from crime scenes, determining the type of firearm used, and identifying the trajectory of bullets.

Ballistics and firearms experts may also be called upon to testify as expert witnesses in criminal trials. In addition to analysing physical evidence, ballistics and firearms experts may also be responsible for conducting research on firearms and ammunition, including evaluating new technologies and testing the performance of various types of firearms and ammunition under different conditions.

They may also be responsible for maintaining and calibrating the specialised equipment and instruments used to analyse physical evidence. Ballistics and firearms experts typically have a strong background in forensic science, engineering, or a related field, and may hold advanced degrees in these areas. They also often have extensive experience in handling and analysing firearms and ammunition, and may have received specialised training in this area.

How can a ballistics expert help me?

A ballistics expert can help you in a variety of ways depending on your specific needs. Some examples of how a ballistics expert may be able to assist you include:

1. Analysing physical evidence related to firearms and ammunition: If you have bullets or cartridge cases that need to be analysed, a ballistics expert can help identify the type of firearm used and provide other important information about the evidence.

2. Testifying as an expert witness: If you are involved in a criminal trial and need an expert to testify about firearms or ballistics evidence, a ballistics expert can provide valuable testimony to support your case.

3. Conducting research on firearms and ammunition: If you are a manufacturer, law enforcement agency, or other organization with a need for research on firearms and ammunition, a ballistics expert can help design and conduct research projects to meet your needs.

4. Providing consulting services: If you have questions or need advice related to firearms and ammunition, a ballistics expert can provide expert consultation to help you understand complex issues and make informed decisions.

It is important to note that ballistics experts are typically hired on a case-by-case basis, and the specific services they provide will depend on the needs and goals of the individual or organization seeking their assistance.

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