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By J. H. Mathews

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However, the impression of the firing pin made on a thin sheet of copper (shown at the left) shows that the pin actually has a rectangular striking surface, rounded at the lower end. Since only this lower portion of the pin strikes the rim of the shell a semicircular effect is produced. Such vagaries are frequently encountered. Fig. 23. Semicircular firing pin impressions. The two shells were fired in an Iver Johnson „Supershot Sealed Eight“ revolver. Impressions made by the same firing pin on a piece of sheet copper are shown below and demonstrate that the end of the pin is circular and flat.

Sometimes these marks are only bulges rather than marks that have distinctive character, but they should be looked for. On the other hand, marks which do have a distinct individuality are sometimes found. The imprints made by the lips of magazine clips in auto loading arms may at times be useful. Usually, however, the chief result of examining magazine clip marks is confusion. Occasionally a defect in the loading mechanism will produce a repetitive mark which will be useful in identification. Such a case is illustrated in Fig.

The expert must always keep in mind the fact that juries are always unpredictable! If some pairs of grooves (or lands) match and others do not, the expert must be prepared to explain why they do no . In the majority of cases the best matches of rifling marks are obtained nearer the base end of the bullets, but this is not always the case and actually the identification expert will look for matchings from one end of the „engraved“ portion of the bullets to the other to make certain that nothing is overlooked.

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