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Handbook of Firearms and Ballistics


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Table of Contents

Developments in Forensic Science. Acknowledgements. Foreword. 1 Firearms. 1.1 A Brief History of Firearms. 1.2 Weapon Types and Their Operation. 1.3 Proof Marks. Further Reading. 2 Ammunition. 2.1 A Brief History of Ammunition. 2.2 Ammunition Components. 2.3 Non-toxic Shot. 2.4 A Brief History of Propellants. 2.5 Priming Compounds and Primers. 2.6 Headstamp Markings on Ammunition. 3 Ballistics. 3.1 Internal, External and Terminal Ballistics. 3.2 Internal Ballistics. 3.3 External Ballistics. 3.4 Terminal Ballistics. 4 Forensic Firearms Examination. 4.1 A Brief History of Forensic Firearms Identification. 4.2 Rifling Types and Their Identification. 4.3 Fluted, Annular Ringed, Helical, Perforated and Oversized Chambers. 4.4 Basic Concepts of Striation Matching. 4.5 Basic Methodology Used in Comparison Microscopy. 4.6 Mathematical Proof of Striation Matches. 4.7 Accidental Discharge. 4.8 Identification of Calibre from the Bullet Entry Hole. 4.9 Ricochet Analysis. 4.10 Bullet Penetration and Trajectory through Glass. 5 Range of Firing Estimations and Bullet Hole Examinations. 5.1 Introduction. 5.2 The Use of X-ray Photography. 5.3 Range of Firing Estimations for Pistols and Rifles. 5.4 Chemical Tests for Range of Firing Estimations and Bullet Entry/Exit Hole Identification. 5.5 Range of Firing Estimations for Shotguns. 6 Gunshot Residue Examination. 6.1 Introduction. 6.2 Formation of Discharge Residue. 6.3 Distribution of GSR Particles. 6.4 Identification of GSR Particles. 6.5 The Use of the SEM for GSR Detection. 6.6 Sample Collection. 6.7 GSR Retention. 6.8 Conservation of GSR Particles on the Hands. 6.9 GSR Distribution on the Hands. 6.10 Identification of Type of Ammunition, Country of Origin from GSR Analysis. 6.11 Environmental Contaminants. 6.12 Sources of Elements Commonly Found in Lead-Based GSRs. 6.13 Extending the Recovery Period for GSR. 7 Gun-Handling Tests. 7.1 Introduction. 7.2 Methodology for Ferrozine Use. 7.3 Case Notes. 8 Restoration of Erased Numbers. 8.1 Introduction. 8.2 Methods Used for Removal of Serial Numbers. 8.3 Theory behind Number Restoration. 8.4 Non-recoverable Methods of Number Removal. 8.5 Practice of Number Restoration. 8.6 Chemical Methods of Restoration. 8.7 Reagents Used for Various Metals. 8.8 Electrolytic Methods of Restoration. 8.9 Reagents Used. 8.10 Ultrasonic Cavitation for Restoration. 8.11 Magnetic Particle Method for Restoration. 8.12 Other Methods of Restoration. 8.13 Laser-Etched Serial Numbers and Bar Codes and Their Restoration. 9 Qualifying the Expert and Cross-Examination Questions. 9.1 Introduction. 9.2 General Background Questions. 9.3 Comparison Microscopy. 9.4 GSRs. 9.5 Ferrozine Test. 9.6 Standard of Review: ?Daubert Trilogy?. 10 Classification of Firearm-Related Death. 10.1 Multiple-Shot Suicides. 11 Glossary. Appendix 1 Important dates in the History of Firearms from 1247. Appendix 2 GSR results for Chinese and USSR ammunition. Appendix 3 Primer content of some cartridge-operated nail guns. Appendix 4 Commercial and General Abbreviations for Bullet Configurations. Appendix 5 Trade Names. Appendix 6 Gun Marks. Appendix 7 Powder Burn Rate. Appendix 8 Hearing Loss. Appendix 9 General Firearms Values Conversion Table. Index.

About the Author

Brian Heard began his career as an examiner in firearms and ballistics with the Metropolitan Police Forensics Firearms Laboratory at New Scotland Yard, London, UK. He rose to the level of Deputy Head of the Laboratory before joining the Royal Hong Kong Police as a ballistics officer. He is currently the officer in charge of the Ballistics and Firearms Identification Bureau for the Royal Hong Kong Police. He appears regularly in court as an expert witness in cases involving firearms, ammunition, tools and toolmarks, and has undertaken the research, development and implementation of improved techniques for the collection, examination and interpretation of gunshot residue particles via a scanning electron microscope. He also lectures to police training establishments and related organisations on all aspects of forensic ballistics, forensic firearms and toolmark examinations, gunshot residue analysis and the use of these techniques in criminal investigations.


"I would strongly recommend that this book be made available to practicing firearms examiners, laboratory directors, others interested in this field of science and attorneys." (AFTE Journals, 2011) "Brian Heard provides readers with a sophisticated forensic interest in firearms with a hugely detailed and authoritative ?state of the art' manual of all aspects of firearms and ballistics . . . Neil Davison also provides us with a detailed, thorough, and an authoritative manual on the huge variety of ?non-lethal' weapons that are available, in development, or whose development has been terminated or fallen into abeyance." (A Journal of Policy and Practice, 16 February 2011) "This second edition of the Handbook of Firearms and Ballistics is welcomed, particularly given the lack of collected research elsewhere." (The Howard Journal, February 2010)

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