CFS - Physical Sciences: Firearms/Toolmarks
What We Do
Examine firearms, ammunition, target surfaces, toolmarks and related evidence found at crime scenes and during search warrants. For example, firearms and ammunition are examined to identify the type of weapon that fired a bullet or cartridge case to relate a bullet, slug or cartridge case to a specific weapon. Toolmarks are examined in relation to a specific tool.
- Determine the mechanical condition of a firearm, measure muzzle velocities, and establish is a weapon can be classified as a “firearm”, a “restricted” or a “prohibited” weapon.
- Cross-reference firearms, fired projectiles, fired cartridge cases with items in unsolved investigations.
- Determine the trajectory of a fired projectile by analyzing the bullet impact site at the crime scene or in the laboratory.
- Determine muzzle to target distance by examining firearms discharge residues.
- Conduct toolmark analysis by relating the characteristic mark left by a tool (such as a hammer or a wrench) on an object to a type of tool or, in some cases, to a specific tool.
The Canadian Integrated Ballistics Identification Network (CIBIN), maintained by the RCMP, is an important investigative tool for investigators. Information from bullets and cartridge/shotshell cases acquired on the Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS) in the laboratory is sent to the national server in Ottawa to assist police agencies in linking crime scenes, or crime scene items to firearms. In relevant cases, this information can be searched on an international level, against the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN) in the United States, to identify possible linkages.