Fired Cases that Come with Gun


February 21, 2012, 10:39 PM
Once upon a time I asked a gun-shop about the 2 empty brass that comes with all new guns. I was told that it was to show that gun had been fired, and only that. A couple of days ago I read that the FBI was using a recovered bullet to identify which gun it came from by using the files the keep on new handguns sold. Evidently these rounds that are fired by manufacturer are used to keep track of guns and who they belong to. Has anyone else heard of this?

If you enjoyed reading about "Fired Cases that Come with Gun" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
February 22, 2012, 12:29 AM
When buying a new handgun there are 2 empty brass that comes with gun. They tell you that is to show that weapon has been fired and works. However I read a news article within the last week about a shooting and it said that a bullet was recovered from the scene and was sent to FBI and ATF for them to check with their records to find out who bought the gun. This would lead me to believe that those shots test fired were sent to a federal agency as a means of tracking who has what guns (almost like gun registration). Can anyone shed any light on this?

Davey Wavey
February 22, 2012, 01:27 AM
Some states want the shell casing for ballistic finger printing or whatever they call it. If you don't live in those states you can just chuck the shells or reload them. Your pick.

February 22, 2012, 01:35 AM
That only applies to owners of Glocks. :)

Seriously, some states require the fired case as part of the gun's registration process. As far as I know, there is nothing that goes to the FBI or ATF, but I'm not going to swear to it. There are folks here on THR that are much more knowledgeable about it than me.

February 22, 2012, 07:52 AM
Would not surprise me, but have not heard that.................

February 22, 2012, 08:03 AM
i believe only one state requires a spent brass case to be on file with the police dept( NJ or NY i believe).....

and if recall correctly, a spent brass case has yet to be usefull in helping to solve a crime.

February 22, 2012, 08:03 AM
Some States like Massachusetts have a law requiring a fired case from a new handgun being submitted for registration, Supposedly their Law Enforcement folks can then match these with ones found at the scenes of shootings. Revolvers and single shot handguns are not exempt, and it is considered bad manners for bad-guy shooters to pick up their brass or "seed" the crime scene with brass from gun ranges.

highlander 5
February 22, 2012, 08:12 AM
Mass has no such registry for fired cases. I believe it's either Maryland or Virginia that has a registry for fired cases,cost some rediculus amount of money to maintain and as of this date hasn't solved a single crime. They also have a one gun a month program as well.
Never heard about the FBI keeping a data base so more than likely gun shop fairy tale.

February 22, 2012, 08:26 AM
MD requires the spent case to be shipped to the MSP for new handguns. Their tracking system has been in place for over 10 years.

February 22, 2012, 09:20 AM
NY and Maryland have fired case databases.
In NY it's called COBIS, and in the 10 years it's been in use (and $40 million dollars spent) there have been 2 "hits" but no arrests let alone convictions. I hear in the new state budget the governor proposes doing away with it as a waste of money.
And it makes it a PIA to buy a new semi auto handgun on line. If there's no fired case the FFL dealer has to have it tested by the State Police, adding another cost to the gun. BTW - change the firing pin and extractor, polish the bolt face, and you've defeated the system.

February 22, 2012, 09:28 AM
Bubbles and mbopp have the answer. MD and NY do keep fired cases for each handgun sold. The manufacturer provides them and the dealer forwards them to the state upon sale.

The FBI does not keep records of firearms sales.

February 22, 2012, 09:30 AM
Mass has no such registry for fired cases. I believe it's either Maryland or Virginia that has a registry for fired cases [...]They also have a one gun a month program as well.
Never heard about the FBI keeping a data base so more than likely gun shop fairy tale.
No way no how in Virginia. We're one of the more gun friendly states. (OC no permit, SBR/MG/Supressors)
And the one-gun-a-month repeal is on its way to the governor as we speak :D

February 22, 2012, 09:32 AM
The FBI line sounds like an internet rumor, and we all know what Abraham Lincoln said about those.

February 22, 2012, 10:15 AM
I believe it's either Maryland or Virginia that has a registry for fired cases

In Virginia, I add the cases that come with the gun to my collection, does that count as a registry?

February 22, 2012, 12:03 PM
I was told by a LGS that it is not a requirement in all states, but some manufacturer's (like Glock) will do it anyways and provide them.

February 22, 2012, 12:11 PM
Bubbles and mbopp have the answer.

Taken out of context, this made me giggle. In context (obviously) it makes perfect sense.


The Lone Haranguer
February 22, 2012, 12:15 PM
And, to make sure a firearm is not inadvertently shipped to such a state, they put the case(s) in all of them.

Owen Sparks
February 22, 2012, 12:30 PM
Does this apply to REVOLVERS?

The Lone Haranguer
February 22, 2012, 12:34 PM
Does this apply to REVOLVERS?
IIRC, the last revolver I bought new had a fired case. But, they should have a fired case for each chamber.

February 22, 2012, 12:45 PM
a majority of the glocks are made for leo use.the dept armorers use it to keep on file via digital computer images of the catridge base for tracking purposes for shooting local pd fires all guns takin into custody and enters the rear of the cartridge into some sort of database

February 22, 2012, 01:20 PM
IIRC, the last revolver I bought new had a fired case. But, they should have a fired case for each chamber.

The last bolt action rifle I bought had a fired case.

highlander 5
February 22, 2012, 01:24 PM
Come to think of it the last pistol that I purchased which was a few weeks ago had no fired case. BTW my previous comment on the state requirement for empty cases did include the word "or" not "and". I was 90% certain it was Maryland,but in the recesses of my mind Virginia kept popping up. My apologies to those of you in Virginia.

February 22, 2012, 01:26 PM
The last revolver I bought only had 1 fired case.

Owen Sparks
February 22, 2012, 01:41 PM
Criminals could easily thwart this by switching firing pins and exreactors before using their guns in a crime. Or better yet use a revolver that does not eject the empties.
This is a silly law.

February 22, 2012, 02:26 PM
In NY the fired case requirement applies to semi-autos and revolvers. Yes - stupid.
What prevents someone from going to a range, picking up spent brass, and planting them at a shooting?
And I've got brass that's been reloaded so many times the headstamp is barely visible, can anyone definitively say this came from my gun?

Carl N. Brown
February 22, 2012, 02:38 PM
There is no solid guarantee that after a small amount of wear, tear and vigorous cleaning, the chamber will leave the same marks on the case, or that the case in the box came from the gun in the box.

There is a "ballistic fingerprint" system that has some valid law enforcement use: NIBIN or National Integrated Ballistic Identification Network. That's a data base of scanned crime scene ballistic evidence that can tie a weapon recovered in possession of a suspect to previous crime(s) committed with the same gun.

If you point out that the Maryland database of samples from all guns sold at retail has not solved a crime or convicted a suspect, its fans point out that it increased the cost of buying a gun in Maryland and therefore made guns less available to the average Maryland gun buyer. I suspect that is the real reason behind it.

The Canadian national gun registry is a source for some relevant analysis on systems aimed at gun owners supposedly to target crime. Canada has had registration of handguns since 1934 and of rifles and shotguns since 1997. Canada 2003 to 2009 had 4,257 homicides, of which 1,314 were with firearms (all types). The firearm was ID'd in less than 1/3 of cases. Of ID'd firearms, 3/4 were unregistered. Of the registered firearms, a total of 62 were registered in the name of the accused. Even in those 62, conviction did not hinge on registration data. Most of those were handguns.

Apparently in no case did the registration lead to identifying the suspect. First the suspect was identified by other evidence, such as motive and opportunity rather than means, then it emerged that the 62 of the 1,314 had a registered gun. And those 62 were the minority of gun homicides: in the majority, the gun was usually not identified. If identified, the gun was usually not registered. If registered, the gun was about half the time not registered to the suspect.

In the history of the Canadian long gun (rifle and shotgun) registry, a total of 3 (three) long guns were traced to the accused in murder cases. The trace information was of minor importance in prosecuting the crime, and of little or no importance in solving the crime. The long gun registry is scheduled to be dismantled: after 17 years and 2.7 billion dollars it has proven to be useless in fighting crime.

For similar reasons, there is a movement in Maryland to end their ballistic fingerprint database. The money spendt in Maryland could have fully funded a number of full time police, or been used to upgrade training or equipment for law enforcement.

February 22, 2012, 03:52 PM
And the one-gun-a-month repeal is on its way to the governor as we speak

And if I recall correctly that was only a one HANDgun a month rule and if you had a CCW (or maybe even a C&R) you were exempt anyways. I have definitely purchased more than one gun a month in VA.

February 22, 2012, 04:22 PM
CCW exemption is great.... if you're over 21.

February 22, 2012, 04:53 PM
With one round out of a revolver they can get firing pin, firing pin bushing, and possible recoil shield data (if the load is powerful enough and hasn't been reloaded) and that's all you need to ID a revolver. You don't need a case from each of six chambers.

By the way, there are other "tells" on fired cases from an auto. Like chamber markings from the pressure and extraction, and markings from the extractor and ejector themselves.

There were two fired cases in a nice carefully labeled little envelope in the box of the last auto I bought. Even had the tester's initials on it.

Terry, 230RN

February 22, 2012, 05:03 PM
The spent case is required in Maryland. It's a law that makes the anti-gunners feel a little warmer and fuzzier. It has accomplished nothing.

A spent case is not required to purchase a used handgun in Maryland.

February 22, 2012, 05:48 PM
reload them.

February 22, 2012, 06:15 PM
In NYS a LEO is supposed to fire a new hand gun before the owner gets it and keep the original shell casing as part of a ballistics program to identify the firearm in case of an incident with that particular weapon.

February 22, 2012, 06:25 PM
In NYS, an LEO must fire any new handgun before it's transferred to the owner. Supposedly it helps them identify the gun it came from in case of an incident. There are numerous ways around this though so it doesn't help anything except for the appeasing of some Libs who know nothing about guns.

February 22, 2012, 06:29 PM
The spent cases in Maryland have not been actively used since 2005, I believe, but the law remains in the books.

I've read that the Maryland Legislature stopped the funding for the system because it did not produce any result and the Maryland State Police wanted to use the money for other things. I've also read on line, for what that is worth, that all of those cases are now just dumped in 55 gallon barrels and there is no active entry of the case fingerprint into the system.

There has been some talk of revoking that law. But, this being a very gun-fearing state, I sort of doubt it will be done unless the Maryland State Police recommend it.

February 22, 2012, 06:34 PM
These programs are also imPlimented by those that think The 'science' in CSI is actually real.....

Because honestly, even under the best microscope..... You cannot tell fired brass from one glock from brass from another glock......

February 22, 2012, 11:05 PM
I don't really understand this concept anyways because it only somewhat proves that it came from a gun in question. It does not prove who shot it. And what if someone loses or has a gun stolen out of their car? Then you have a whole other situation on your hands and those little shells are going to be of little help then. I don't get the point. Also, who is to keep someone at the range from picking up your shells and reloading them thus shooting with the same cases again? I assume that would change some markings to some degree but you never know.

February 23, 2012, 04:03 AM
I've read that they can check the bullet marking and match it to the barrel

February 23, 2012, 06:59 PM
I also, saw something about the FBI receiving evidence from a shooting so they could search their database.
Got me wandering this: we get the spent casing and the FBI gets the bullet for a secret database that they have instituted without the public's knowledge.

BTW. My new Springfield 1911 RO contained an envelope containing all the info about the enclosed shell casing. Only thing is, the casing and info on the little envelope stated that it was from a Springfield 45 XD. Huh? what's up with that?

February 23, 2012, 07:02 PM's on file

February 25, 2012, 08:26 PM
Bought a Beretta several years ago. Had the fired case with it and when I got the gun home I reloaded the case.

February 25, 2012, 08:52 PM
Several of my Semi's have aftermarket barrels in them. What good would it do? I've also read somewhere, that primer strikes on spent casings (matching them to a gun) has been, or is being proven to be based on junk science.

Oh, btw, I've viewed this site many times, usually when I google or bing a question. Finally said the heck with it and registered.

Thanks for allowing me to participate in the forum.


February 25, 2012, 08:53 PM
hey free brass, I got no problem with it.

If you enjoyed reading about "Fired Cases that Come with Gun" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!