Marks and Impression Specialist

Including Firearms

Gaining a Job in this Field

As forensic scientists, firearms/toolmark examiners must complete a formal course of study through a bachelor’s or graduate degree program from an accredited college or university. A number of degree programs may be suitable for work in this field, including:

  • Criminal justice
  • Forensic science
  • Criminology
  • Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Many employers require study in quantitative analysis and general chemistry.

This Field in Forensics

  • Firearm identification deals with the comparison analysis of projectiles and cartridge cases found at crime scenes to submitted suspect firearms.
  • Abuse, wear, and corrosion are imperfections caused by manufacture or over time are what make the tool surfaces in firearms unique.
  • Firearm examiners can also analyze for distance determinations, operability of firearms, and serial number restorations.
  • Connecticut careers trainee: $42,194 – $48,279
  • Forensic sciences examiner I: $60,735 – $82,234
  • Forensic sciences examiner III: $73,528 – $98,920
NCSTL Forensic Exclusive - Forensics of Firearms

Example Case

  • One of the earliest recorded cases involving simple firearms identification occurred in 1863, during the United States Civil War.
  • Confederate General Stonewall Jackson was fatally wounded on the battlefield and the bullet removed for examination.
  • Examination of the bullet revealed both the caliber and bullet shape, and it was determined that the bullet could only have been fired by one of his own men. The projectile, identified as a 67-caliber ball projectile typical of those used by his own forces. The Union forces used the 58 caliber Minnie ball projectile in their rifles.

Citations


"Marks of Firearms” - Google Search." Firearm+analysis - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Sept. 2015.

"Firearm analysis” - Google Search." Firearm+analysis - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Sept. 2015.

"The History of Firearm Identification by James Hamby - FirearmsID.com." The History of Firearm Identification by James Hamby - FirearmsID.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Sept. 2015.