Firearms and Toolmarks

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Centre of Forensic Sciences

Physical Sciences Section

Firearms & Toolmarks

Photo of bullet casings

Firearms and ammunition are examined to:

  • identify the type of weapon that fired a bullet or cartridge case
  • relate a bullet, slug or cartridge to a specific weapon
  • determine the mechanical condition of a firearm
  • measure muzzle velocities
  • establish if a weapon can be classified as a "firearm", a "restricted" or a "prohibited" weapon, and
  • cross-reference firearms, fired projectiles, fired cartridge cases with items in unsolved investigations

A toolmark, the characteristic mark left by a tool such as a hammer or a wrench on an object, can be related to a type of tool or, in some cases, to a specific tool.