Forensic Ballistics

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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

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