There are many different methods used to recover a firearm from a crime scene. Most laboratories use the water recovery method, which involves filling a large tank with water and releasing a gun into the tank. Other systems include metal boxes with cotton waste material. These methods can be quite dangerous, and require specialized training. Fortunately, they are safe and provide superior documentation. But there are some things to keep in mind when examining a weapon.
Firearms can be identified by their serial numbers, and the serial number can be very helpful in identifying the gun used. The five identifiers are: the model of the firearm, the year it was manufactured, and the characteristics of the ammunition. Due to the variety of firearms manufacturers, it is difficult to identify a firearm from a bullet alone. Therefore, many manufacturers produce similar models of a specific firearm that have the same serial number. By using the serial number, the police can make a definitive identification based on its type.
Depending on the type of firearm, spent cartridge cases and bullets are most common at a crime scene. Their presence helps investigators determine the type of weapon. The UN Firearms Protocol defines ammunition as a complete round containing primers, propellant powder, and bullets. In this case, the projectile’s impact on a target is known as terminal/wound ballistics.
During a violent crime, spent cartridge cases and bullets are more likely to be found. By identifying these items, investigators can identify the type of firearm. The UN Firearms Protocol states that ammunition is defined as a complete round, including the primer, propellant powder, and bullets. The bullet is an item within the round of ammunition. For more information, see the section on terminal/wound ballistics.
In addition to the serial number, the year of manufacture and other specific characteristics help identify a firearm. With the wide variety of manufacturers and types of firearms, it is sometimes difficult to identify a firearm by its serial number, but if a bullet is in the right place, it may be a legitimate one. If a serial number is present, it is an indication of a particular model.
The gun may contain lead residues. The lead vaporized during the firing process is the result of a bullet that passed through a bullethole. This vaporous deposit is not of any great value in terms of size, but it is significant in terms of identifying a firearm. However, this method is often a good choice for a criminal case in which the gun was involved. In this way, investigators can pinpoint the exact bullet that was used in the shooting.