With the implementation of new technologies like 3D virtual microscopy, updates to the language used in testimony and reporting, and new research including black box studies, it is a pivotal time for the forensic pattern disciplines, especially firearm and toolmark examination. The virtual Firearm and Toolmarks Policy and Practice Forum on January 11-14, 2022 will explore these new developments, discuss the foundations of firearm and toolmark examination, and address the implementation of new technologies into workflows. Leading up to the Forum, the FTCoE is hosting a Firearm and Toolmarks Webinar Series to jump-start the discussion.
Exploration of Breech Face Subclass Characteristics
Thursday, December 9th, 2021 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET
Presenter: Veronica Franklin, M.S.
This study assesses the production of subclass characteristics during the manufacturing of breech faces. Observations on how well subclass characteristics persist on manufactured breech faces with and without any finishing methods as well as the effect of the primer on the quality/quantity of the breech face impressions will be discussed.
Glock Pistol Toolmarks: A Literature Review and Introduction of Undocumented Toolmarks
Tuesday, December 14th, 2021 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET
Presenter: Mateo Serfontein, B.S.
This webinar will discuss two previously undocumented toolmarks observed in Glock pistols. These new toolmarks will expand an examiner’s ability to compare fired and unfired ammunition components to each other or to a suspect firearm.
Two-Pronged Study of Bullets Fired by Consecutively Rifled Barrels
Thursday, December 16th, 2021 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET
Presenters: Dr. Heike Hofmann & Melissa Nally
In this study, examiners used traditional microscopic methods to identify unknown bullets to the appropriate barrels, and 3D scans of the bullets were used in a matching algorithm to find similarity scores. Error rates and the potential for subclass carry-over were evaluated.
The Effect of Time on Rusted Firearm Identification
Thursday, January 6th, 2022 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET
Presenter: David Glatter
Although iron-based metals are popular for making critical parts of firearms, they are susceptible to corrosion. There is currently little research on how long a firearm can be left to rust before an identification is no longer possible. This project evaluates the effects of rust on Glock and Smith & Wesson Sigma firearms.
Funding for this Forensic Technology Center of Excellence event has been provided by the National Institute of Justice.
Each of our webinars is archived within about two weeks of the live date and will be posted on our website.
Please contact us at ForensicCOE@rti.org for any questions.
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