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Thread: Paper patching and Forensic Ballistics

  1. #41
    Boolit Master
    JBinMN's Avatar
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    I am chuckling over the "criminal masterminds on this forum" comment.


    Interesting & entertaining topic for sure.

    Thanks for the fun!
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  2. #42
    Boolit Master

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    I have watched enough of those to know i wouldnt get away with it. The one with the shot gun almost got away with, but again it was the case that got him busted. They matched the breach face. I have seen alot of things tried. One guy even replaced his barrel untill they found his new barrel receipt and they built the case off that.

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  3. #43
    Boolit Buddy John Van Gelder's Avatar
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    Definitely cases, not too long ago you used to get a fired casing with a new firearm, another casing went into a national database. So at the end of the day pick up your brass, it will be good for another "project"..!

  4. #44
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBinMN View Post
    I am chuckling over the "criminal masterminds on this forum" comment.


    Interesting & entertaining topic for sure.

    Thanks for the fun!
    True. I guess I must be easy going as I can't think of a single person I would put on a list that I would even dream of killing. However if a number of politicians were to choke while having supper I would think the world would be a better place for it.
    NRA Endowment member, TSRA Life member, Distinguished Rifleman, Viet Nam Vet

  5. #45
    Boolit Master
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    I’ve got a little list!

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  6. #46
    Boolit Buddy John Van Gelder's Avatar
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    I worked on a multiple homicide case, two victims both shot with a .45ACP, five shots were fired all of the bullets were recovered, and three of the cases. The shooting was inside of a house, so it seems that the shooter found two cases. The most compelling evidence was the retrieved cases, that matched with other fired cases found at the suspects residence.

    A strong case for the revolver..

  7. #47
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Van Gelder View Post
    I worked on a multiple homicide case, two victims both shot with a .45ACP, five shots were fired all of the bullets were recovered, and three of the cases. The shooting was inside of a house, so it seems that the shooter found two cases. The most compelling evidence was the retrieved cases, that matched with other fired cases found at the suspects residence.

    A strong case for the revolver..
    Now if that ain't a double barreled shot pun....

    It's only evidence if they can find and test it.

    However, places like this are usually filled by the law abiding, and we generally will aid our local law enforcement if they run across something that is making 'em scratch their heads.

  8. #48
    Boolit Buddy
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    my vote (in this hypothetical business) goes to a hardcast .690 ball loaded inside a 12 gauge shotcup. Booger the ball up real good by rolling it around on a sidewalk before you load it, and burn the plastic shell after the shooting, or ditch it at your local skeet club.
    That ball will fly right through the victim, and have next to no forensic evidence on it if it's ever found. There'll be a wad left behind though, unless you find and burn that too.
    you better have a good alibi
    nobody better see you anywhere near the scene.
    you better not have a history with the victim.
    you better never let anything slip.
    Nobody should ever know you're a reloader.
    bottom line is you gotta try really hard and/or be uncommonly lucky to get away with shooting somebody.
    by writing this, I've already disqualified myself from being the hypothetical hitman.

  9. #49
    Boolit Master

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    Personally, I find it difficult to believe that using a cartridge case for 'ballistic fingerprinting' is particularly useful - by itself, anyway. The state of Maryland was one of the first to require a fired case be provided by the manufacturer with a new handgun so that they could establish a database. Decades later, the Maryland State Police admitted that they had solved exactly ZERO homicides with this database. Yet they continued to require submission of a fired case with the sale of new handguns.

    There would have to be additional evidence linking the shooter to the victim. And as stated, all it takes is one hair or fiber linking the two people to reveal the murderer's guilt. I suppose that committing the 'perfect murder' is technically possible - just highly unlikely.
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  10. #50
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    If your assassin's bullet is PP, make sure the paper used doesn't have your name or SSN on it.
    Whatever!

  11. #51
    Boolit Man
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    I just stumbled on this thread and had to chuckle at the idea that we could outsmart the ballistic trail. I know the folks here are probably among those least likely to ever kill someone, but we're still missing the forest for the trees. Of all the people the victim knew, YOU are likely to be the only reloader, and likely the only one remotely knowledgeable enough to even understand some of the details of the ballistic evidence. Before they try to narrow down what killed the guy, they will try to narrow down who killed the guy, and all those fancy ballistic work arounds point right to you. I have the same imaginary ideas, but I know I wouldn't get away with it.

  12. #52
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    If your assassin's bullet is PP, make sure the paper used doesn't have your name or SSN on it.
    Criminals by nature are fools, Your post reminds me of the fool who handed a hold up note to bank teller, which was written on the back of self addressed envelope. Why would one would use a gun to murder when a burnable 2x4 would work. Regards Stephen

  13. #53
    Boolit Buddy
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    If the paper patches are made with cheap paper and shot on a wet day they might disintegrate. Or they might just be wet evidence.

    All your reloading tools probably mark the cases in unique ways.

  14. #54
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    When Col. E.H. Harrison was doing his experimentation with full-charge paper patched bullets in the .308 Winchester, the Technical Staff also worked with the FBI Laboratory in providing test samples of ammunition and having evidence techs gather debris from the floor of the test range.

    Shards of shredded paper patch material yielded identifiable rifling characteristics, as well as specifics to the type of paper used. While bullets did not bear identifiable tool marks from the rifling, they did upset sufficiently upon firing to identify general rifling characteristics as to the number and width of grooves and pitch of rifling, sufficient to identify the make, model and caliber of rifle.

    These tests were replicated several times, by having multiple samples submitted to the FBI Washington Field Office, the FBI Academy at Quantico, VA and also to the ATF Firearms Technology Branch.

    Nuclear analysis of the bullet alloy can identify projectiles having originated from the same source of lead, and electron microprobe analysis of powder residues on the paper shards can identify the specific propellants. This all occurred in the late 1980s. The technology available to law enforcement and military is very much better now and I have not kept up with new developments in common use after about 2000. Evidence-quality assessment can be performed now with much smaller samples than were required to stand scrutiny in court 20 years ago. The database of identified known samples is also profoundly expanded since 9/11.

    I would view use of paper patched bullets to hinder forensic analysis as a wonderful "Dumb Crook of the Month" technique which should be widely encouraged in movies and comic books where the gang bangers learn their tradecraft.
    Last edited by Outpost75; 12-20-2020 at 09:28 PM.
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  15. #55
    Boolit Buddy Huvius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    ...This all occurred in the late 1980s.
    You mean back when law enforcement actually tried to solve crimes?

    A friend's truck was stolen last month and found about 25mi away from his home.
    It was eventually found abandoned at a hospital and returned.
    In the cab was a baggie of drugs and the prison release papers of the car thief!
    There were numerous phone numbers in marker on the headliner.
    The police didn't even search the truck!

  16. #56
    Boolit Buddy
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    Matching alloy to your stash would be icing on the cake but would not prove you or your gun fired the bullet.

  17. #57
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    Well judging by this thread if most of us on the forum were taken if for questioning and the detective started talkin about a cast bullets we would all be like , So what alloy is that ? Air cooled or water quench ? Bet I can tell the lube if you let me sniff it ! Lol and I can tell that was cast with a Lee mould but there's some wrinkles so the mould or alloy probably was too cold . Yep that gas check was made from a beer can . Ok just cuff me and read me my rights
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

  18. #58
    Boolit Master
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    Interesting thought experiment, and while this is fun in terms of if one of us was writing a mystery novel, in practice, it's a crapshoot. For example, I have friends in different agencies, and depending on which agency we are talking about, you wouldn't believe the difference in resources available. I have seen cases solved that I wouldn't have believed solvable if I hadn't read the reports on all the testing and everything myself, and then on the other end of the spectrum, is the report of a suicide where the guy shot himself twice in the back of the head with a shotgun, left much of the contents of his skull in his living room, and then got up, walked to his bedroom, tucked himself into bed, and then died. No, I didn't work that suicide case, and neither did my agency, but the DA signed off on the report. You would have a hard time making up some of the crap some of us have seen solved, or not solved. Either way, I wouldn't try it, because I have learned that most people who would tempt you to kill them are the same people that will amaze you with the kind of misery they will bring on themselves, so why would I risk prison when all I have to do is sit back and wait, and they will do MUCH worse to themselves than I possibly could have. I'm talking about the kind of misery where killing them would have been doing them a favor, and instead, I have my freedom, and they have the kind of self-inflicted misery that I probably wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Sun Tzu said that if you wait by the river long enough, you will see the bodies of your enemies floating past you. Just be patient instead of being stupid.
    I passed my last psych eval, how bout you?

  19. #59
    Boolit Master
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    [QUOTE=DIRT Farmer;4409300]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.[/QUO
    A woman I worked with told me about her aunt and uncle that were murdered by a burgler when they returned home from an evening out and surprised him. Many years later she said "Hey, they caught the guy that murdered my aunt and uncle. Do you know how they caught him?" I said "Yeah, bet he finally got to running his mouth and somebody ratted him out". She got a surprised look on her face and said "How did you know?" Told her "Debbie, that's how it usually happens. You keep your mouth shut and you will very likely never be caught". The forensic shows are interesting to watch but only show the successful ones. Have had federal agent's tell me the same thing.

  20. #60
    Boolit Master
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    I suspect that firing pin marks and then bolt face stirations are number one and two where it comes to casing forensics.

    Three44s
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    “There is more to this than dumping lead in a hole.”

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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