NPR: ‘Ballistic Fingerprint’ Database Expands Amid Questions About Its Precision

NPR: ‘Ballistic Fingerprint’ Database Expands Amid Questions About Its Precision. “NIBIN was started in 1999 and has primarily been used by forensics examiners to testify at trial about the likelihood that a bullet was fired from a particular gun. But that’s all changing now. The Department of Justice is allocating money and resources to put NIBIN terminals into the hands of local police departments….But some defense attorneys challenge the notion that the markings are unique, and the FBI says even expert testimony can’t make that claim with certainty.”

Scientific American: Geologists Measure Bullet Damage to Ancient Middle Eastern Settlements

Scientific American: Geologists Measure Bullet Damage to Ancient Middle Eastern Settlements. “[Lisa] Mol, who specializes in rock art and rock deterioration, is now spearheading an initiative—the first of its kind—to quantify and catalogue the impacts of bullets in rock at a heritage site in the Middle East. The eventual goal is to inform efforts to conserve or repair such sites.”

New-to-Me: A Database of Bullet Types

New-to-Me: a database of bullet types. “Did you know that there’s a free online resource that lists weight, length, SD, and Ballistic Coefficient for thousands of bullet designs. That’s right, the ShootForum Website offers profiles of nearly 3900 bullet types from all the major manufacturers. You can access all this info for free. This is a great place to start when you’re considering bullet options for a new rifle, or a new chambering for an existing rifle. You should definitely bookmarke this resource for for easy access in the future.”

Database of Open-Access 3D Ballistics Research

Now available: a database of open-access 3D ballistics research. “To seed the database with data, [Xiaoyu Alan] Zheng went to forensics and law enforcement conferences asking agencies to test-fire every 9-mm firearm in their reference collection—9 mm being the caliber most commonly used in the commission of crimes. After completing the test fires, labs sent the bullets and cartridge cases to Zheng at NIST, along with data on the gun that fired it. At the lab, technicians scanned these samples using a microscope that produces a high-resolution, 3-D topographic surface map—a virtual model of the physical object itself. These surface maps produce more detailed comparison data than the two-dimensional images that are traditionally used to match bullets. For this reason, the field of forensic firearms identification is starting to make the transition to 3-D.”