Forensic Ballistics

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ballistics, Forensic


a branch of the science of criminal law in which are studied the technical questions arising during the investigation of crimes involving the use (as well as the carrying, storage, manufacture, and sale) of firearms and ammunition. The objects of study of forensic ballistics are hand guns and their parts, ammunition (used, unused, parts of ammunition), traces of a shot (traces of a shell), bullet holes, scratches, dents, and traces of a close shot (the mechanical and thermal effect of powder gases and of the flare; and deposits of soot, metals, unbumed grains of powder, and products of the lubrication of the barrel). Forensic ballistics is used to determine the category, model, and type of the firearm, its accuracy and suitability for firing; to identify the actual weapon used from the fired bullets and the cartridge cases that are found at the scene of the crime; to determine the types of ammunition and their parts, the direction and distance of the shot, and so forth. All of this is established by forensic ballistic examination.

For research in the field of forensic ballistics, methods are used that are based on the latest achievements of chemistry and physics, including microscopy, photography (micro-photography), X-ray photography, gamma-ray photography, spectrum emission analysis, and research in infrared and ultraviolet rays.

IU. G. KORUKHOV [2–1730–11

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(98) The court noted that phrases such as "absolute certainty" should be avoided, and that the phrase "reasonable degree of scientific certainty" should also be avoided because "it suggests that forensic ballistics is a science, where it is clearly as much an art as a science." (99) The Pytou Heang court also established other guidelines for admissibility, including "before trial, the examiner must adequately document the findings or observations that support the examiner's ultimate opinion," and "before an opinion is offered at trial, a forensics ballistics expert should explain to the jury the theories and methodologies underlying the field of forensic ballistics." (100)
Cheryl Forensic ballistics expert Ann Kiernan conducted a series of experiments using synthetic bone, skin and tissue and pig skin at various firing distances to simulate the injury and deposition of soot.

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