Ballistics Laboratory

Much evidence can be gained from ballistic examination within a criminal investigation and ballistics experts are in great demand to help solve crimes.

Every firearm has its own kind of fingerprint, producing a distinct and unique pattern on the shell casing it fires. The bullet also imprints the same pattern on everything it hits.

Our ballistics laboratory is used to train students to recognise these different types of ammunition using a large reference collection of spent and inert:

  • shotguns
  • rifles
  • pistols
  • revolvers.

Comparison microscope
This piece of equipment is used to identify the unique characteristics of spent cartridge cases and bullets recovered from crime scenes so that they can be matched to a particular firearm.

Ammunition and firearms databases
Students have access to ammunition and firearms identification databases used by UK ballistics experts and firearms examiners. These databases contain information from previous investigations and can be used to trace the owner of a weapon and establish whether the weapon has been used in a previous crime.

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