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Thread: Paper patching and Forensic Ballistics

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Paper patching and Forensic Ballistics

    As most of us know firing a bullet through a barrel leaves a unique "fingerprint" from microscopic striations in the bore transferring to the bullet.
    This enables experts to use a comparison microscope to match a sample bullet to an unknown bullet to determine if they were fired by the same gun.
    By paper patching this paper jacket would seem to isolate the bullet from the bore and prevent the transfer of these striations.
    Also as this paper jacket removes itself from the bullet upon exit from the muzzle (unlike a copper jacket) it also prevents comparison with any imprints.

    I wonder if any homicides were committed with paper patched bullets?
    Just a thought from a sleepless night.

  2. #2
    If a person was of interest there would be tons of other forensic evidence they could reference. If it were a cast paper patching bullet they could reference metals of what the bullet was made of and other cast bullets (or even uncast ingots) to see if the composition was the same. It would take a significant lab to run those tests and of course all this is hypothetical...but your alloys are just as much of a finger print as your rifling.

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master dbosman's Avatar
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    My murder mystery scenario uses .30 sabots to shoot a previously fired .22 j bullet. One that has the framee's fingerprint on it. Law would jump on the obvious finger print solution.
    Or not.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master kens's Avatar
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    How can they prove the gun the bullet came from when all the major barrel makers use button rifling.
    The same button makes untold numbers of barrels that would all share the same button.

    Same can be said for hammer forged process. No ???

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Rcmaveric's Avatar
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    As the button is used it wears. Each barrel will have its own finger print. I think the alloy sitting under your bench would give you away. Dont forget the bolt face has its owne unique print on the brass they can match aswell. Saw that on Forensic Files. Honestly now adays, they will find you. All it takes is one hair.

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  6. #6
    PAPERPATCH MASTER


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    Sounds like there is an interest in the movie `Shooter` here.Robert

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    Use a Savage . Choose a cartridge like the 6.8 SPCII . Form 10 cases from 22 NOS . Install a 223 bolt head . Cast 1# of one time alloy with isolated alternative source metal bullets . Use 1 sheet of random source paper . Dry wrap in tight nitrile gloves from the Drs office . Same for any contact with cases , primers or the bullet . Do the shoot . Swap the bolt head out dispose of it in a corrosive environment . Dump the brass separately far away from the bolt in a range box . Dispose of the left over bullets and paper before the shoot where berms are mined . Patch long over the nose . Don't use a ported or suppressed rifle . Shoot a box of jacketed . Don't talk about it to anyone ever . Don't be a serial . One and done . Oh yeah dump the mould and sizer if you used a sizer . Do it from way off or way close to mimic a long shot .
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I would think that if one was to use a gun for murdering, then to remove the evidence it would be as easy as
    fire lap the bore, And lightly use some 1500 grit sandpaper in the chamber and on the breech face.

    Id also think that if they used some range brass... it'd have enough marks to cause forensic problems in itself. And if a person was into salvaging range lead, a lot of those FMJs could be reloaded with other rifling marks already imprinted, that'd boggle some minds.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    How about black powder sabots to run a previously fired .40 out of a .45. Fake can or a taped on bottle to catch the sabot maybe?
    "In God we trust, in all others, check the manual!"

  10. #10
    Boolit Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    But does the bore leave a fingerprint on a patched boolit? Mine do. The patch wears through in places. So the investigators would need to do is fire an identical patched boolit in my gun at the same velocity and they would have me. All of which would be moot since they would have to first catch me to even start testing my gun.

    Then again, I do have a particular patched boolit that when fired in a particular gun, stays on right to the target so that boolit will have no core to bore contact at all. All I'd have to do then is make sure there is no evidence of me doing paper patching. That could be a challenge.

    I once paper patched a jacketed bullet and fired it and the rifling land impressions were there but then the bullet was larger than bore diameter. The patch disappears from between the lands and the jacket.




    The top photo shows boolit core to bore contact and the bottom photo shows only impressions. Those two bottom boolits were of different hardness but same load, hence the fill out of the waist in the lower one. Higher velocity breaks through the patch.

    The patched jacketed bullet.


    It would be hard to match this boolit to any bore. It was patched.

    Last edited by 303Guy; 07-09-2018 at 12:43 AM.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master AllanD's Avatar
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    If I recall correctly from past performance law enforcement is between 5 & 7 more likely to get a conviction based upon examples of Virgin brass cartridge cases than from bullets, bullets tend to run into things damaging any information the rifling may contain about the firearm that launched it.

    The FBI lab in a statement long ago said ballistics from soft alloy bullet engraved markings lead to false leads as often as they reveal anything useful. Jacketed bullets are another story.


    remember though overlaid tool-marks from bolt face impressions and magazine lip scrapes from previous markings can be separated by microscopic examination, but this may or may not result in findings to a scientific certainty.


    As far as fingerprint information according to the RCMP convictions based on shoe or footprints are eight times more
    common than those from fingerprints.

    So If you murder someone BURN YOUR SHOES!

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    This is all premised on ballistic fingerprinting being reliable. Like regular fingerprinting, it's really only useful for exoneration (e.g. determining that two samples could not have the same origin) but not for confirming conclusive evidence of an exact match (e.g. two fired projectiles must have come from the same origin). Even DNA "matching" is largely about key genetic factors.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith View Post
    I wonder if any homicides were committed with paper patched bullets?
    .
    Probably some buffalo shooters or others accquanted with the art up until around 1910 or so.
    After they stopped producing store bought projectiles.
    Who knows.
    People have been patching a long time.

    Now patching a used jacketed bullet from a left hand twist barrel in a right hand twist barrel could be intriguing.

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
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    Why would you want to keep a murder weapon? A souvenir?


  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbosman View Post
    My murder mystery scenario uses .30 sabots to shoot a previously fired .22 j bullet. One that has the framee's fingerprint on it. Law would jump on the obvious finger print solution.
    Or not.
    I like your evil sense of humour, well I assume your joking LOL. Regards Stephen

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by one-eyed fat man View Post
    Why would you want to keep a murder weapon? A souvenir?
    I suppose because people know you've got it. An off-the-record gun which you might not even have the opportunity to test, puts you in a situation where informing is a legal and remunerative business.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harter66 View Post
    Use a Savage . Choose a cartridge like the 6.8 SPCII . Form 10 cases from 22 NOS . Install a 223 bolt head . Cast 1# of one time alloy with isolated alternative source metal bullets . Use 1 sheet of random source paper . Dry wrap in tight nitrile gloves from the Drs office . Same for any contact with cases , primers or the bullet . Do the shoot . Swap the bolt head out dispose of it in a corrosive environment . Dump the brass separately far away from the bolt in a range box . Dispose of the left over bullets and paper before the shoot where berms are mined . Patch long over the nose . Don't use a ported or suppressed rifle . Shoot a box of jacketed . Don't talk about it to anyone ever . Don't be a serial . One and done . Oh yeah dump the mould and sizer if you used a sizer . Do it from way off or way close to mimic a long shot .
    Oh, and do it to someone you don't have the sort of motive to murder, which sends the police to you first. There are a lot of sleepless nights in the complications you describe. Psychopaths don't show nerves like us boring old normals, and perhaps neither would a robber who has suddenly had a liquor-store proprietor go for his hardware. But a planned and motivated murder is different. The sort of police interrogator that gets you, would detect things in your manner and voice that would justify a massive reallocation of manpower.

    I've got a couple of Martini-Henry bullets I picked up on a long-forgotten battlefield of 1929, in central Saudi Arabia - the one where they got on top of Islamic fundamentalism for a few decades. The twisted tail of paper is imprinted in the concave base, and I sometimes think an individual can leave his own distinctive style there, recognisable by the expert in the way other experts authenticate valuable paintings.

    Robert Churchill of the gunmaking family, and a long-term consultant to Scotland Yard, said that nobody with the brains to get away with murder would ever do it with a gun.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master KVO's Avatar
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    If the ballistics lab finds some residual patch material and Googles "green bar printer paper" that'll narrow down the suspect list pretty quick

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Forensics are only good for proving that someone could or could not have done something. Most people get caught because they could not keep their big mouths shut. For example: I could tell you several ways to smuggle drugs into LA Harbor. The chances of getting caught would be next to nill but, that isn't where you get caught from. You have to sell the the stuff. Whoever buys it has to sell it, and so on. Eventually someone down the chain gets into trouble and guess who they rat on to get their sentence reduced, and so on and so on.

    You might also consider just how many law enforcement people (and ex law enforcement) enjoy this forum.

    All that being said, and we have only been speaking hypothetically here; I am sure just about everyone has a list of folks they believe would make the world a better place by their absence. It is kinda fun to think about these things, but who would really want to do them.

    By the way the .....22 sabot for 30cal cartridges was dropped because they were horribly inaccurate. Brodie

  20. #20
    Boolit Master


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    I was involved in compiling evidence and investigating exactly one murder in 34 years, two rounds of 40 to the back of the head. The case was solved the old fashion way. The perp was drinking in a local bar and started bragging about it.
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check