FRS 403: Forensic Ballistics


Learning Outcomes
At the end of the course, students should be able to:
1. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of history, nature, parts and classification of firearms, weapon types and their operations;

2. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of history and components of ammunitions, propellants, non-toxic shots, primary compounds and primers; and head stamp markings on ammunitions;
3. describe different types ballistics and their forensic significance;
4. describe velocity and theory of recoil, ballistic coefficient, barrel pressure measurements, and angle elevation of the barrel;
5. reconstruct sequence of events in a shooting case; and,
6. present evidence on use of ballistics in court.

Course Contents
Firearms: introduction, brief history of fire arms, weapon types and their operations, proof marks. Ammunition: a brief history, components, non-toxic shots, propellants, priming compounds and primers, head stamp marking on ammunition. Bullet comparisons, cartridge case examination, class and individual characteristics of identification. Firearms: nature, parts and classification. Uses of standard firearms data bases and automated search systems (DRUGFIRE and IBIS). Ballistics: definition and forensic importance. Types of ballistics: internal, external and terminal ballistics. velocity and theory of recoil, barrel pressure measurement, ballistic coefficient, angle of elevation of the barrel. Range of fire. Muzzle pattern, scorching, blackening, tattooing, wad distribution, pellet patterns, GSR analysis, and primer residues. Reconstruction of the sequence of events in a shooting case. Presentation of evidence in the court. Ricochet: critical angle for ricochet for the bullet and the surface, relationship between the angle of incidence and ricochet, stability in flight after ricochet, and Lethal effects of ricochet bullet.