Gao, F., Jiang, Xiang and Blunt, Liam (2009) Automated ballistic and tool mark identification. In: University of Huddersfield Research Festival, 23rd March - 2nd April 2009, University of Huddersfield. (Unpublished)

Every firearm has individual characteristics that are as unique to it as fingerprints are to
human beings. When a firearm is fired, it transfers these characteristics in the form of
microscopic scratches and markings to the fired bullets and cartridge casings. Characterising these
marks is the critical element in identifying firearms. When bullets or cartridge casings are found at
a crime scene, firearms examiners can use the marks for comparison, to determine whether or
not the bullets or casings were expelled from a suspect’s firearm. If a firearm is recovered at the
scene, a test fire of the weapon creates example bullets and cartridge casings for comparison.
Bullets and cartridge casings found at one crime scene can also be compared with those found at
another in order to link the crimes. Traditionally the comparison of ballistic evidence has been a tedious and time-consuming process requiring highly skilled examiners. Traditionally evidence recovered at crime scenes or from recovered firearms is manually compared, piece by piece, to the vast inventory of recovered or test-fired projectiles and casings.

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