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Interesting Article

Discussion in 'Legal' started by pwrstrkd, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. pwrstrkd

    pwrstrkd Well-Known Member

  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    I think you slightly misunderstood.

    "Scientists have developed a technique for retrieving fingerprints from bullet casings..." (Emphasis mine.)

    Sure you can lift prints off of fired brass. But you said fired bullets and that would be a definite NO.
  3. pwrstrkd

    pwrstrkd Well-Known Member

    Is that more likely because the bullet heating up and friction against the barrel or because of fragmentaion or both?
  4. CathyGo

    CathyGo Well-Known Member

    We've been getting fingerprints off of casings for awhile now. The press and roll motion of loading a casing gives a great print. Pick up some of your fired brass at the range next time. Roll a piece of clear shipping tape(not scotch tape that comes on the little dispenser) over it and voila you probably got a print off it.

    The technique the article talks about is more difficult but with enough brass you can normally find enough partials to get a good print or just find a good full one.
  5. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    I would say a barrel would do more than an adequate job of 'wiping' any prints.
  6. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    The barrel imparts a tremendous amount of heat and abrasion as well as displacing metal as it incises the rifling grooves into the jacket (but you probably didn't touch the driving band portion of the bullet anyway as it was inside the case since it left the factory. You may leave a print on the nose of the bullet, but that's the part that absorbs the enormous heat and energy of impacting a target (or a wall or tree or the landscape) and gets abraded and deformed so severely.

    A case just sits there inside the chamber, warms a bit, and then gets tossed aside.
  7. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    Fear, live in fear.

    Fingerprints are not only fallible, there is plenty of objective evidence that false positives occur a majority of the time because the examiner heard something before examining the fingerprints, and that biased the examiner to make the evidence fit the theory.

    And interesting example of what happens when your finger prints are in a data base is the unfortunate experience of Brandon Mayfield. Around three to four FBI fingerprint examiners were 100% positive that the fingerprints found in the Spain bombing were his. They were not, but it is highly probably that since the guy was a Muslim, and there were other factors, that these factors were the deciding issue, not the prints, because the identification process is in fact subjective. Fingerprint identification may be no more reliable than the witch hunting tests of yore.

    Lets see, we burn witches because they are made from wood. And since wood floats, and ducks float, if you weigh less than a duck, you must be a Witch! (According to the Monty Python movie "The Holy Grail")

    If your fingerprints on file, don’t be surprised if the Cops come knocking on your door because they found a fingerprint in Europe, and the fingerprint analyst decided you are the villain.

    After all, you own guns? That makes you prone to violence, prone to extremist behavior, anti social, question authority, capable of independent thought and action. Bet you have books on guns, machine guns, war, etc.


    This was an interesting listen on the reliability of finger prints. Not!

    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011
  8. pwrstrkd

    pwrstrkd Well-Known Member

    so basically the tramendous heat from the bullet being fired is hot enough to disform the oils left from a print is what your getting at?
  9. xcgates

    xcgates Well-Known Member

    Okay, so they are simply getting more precise with how long a fingerprint can be recovered after being placed.

    What I'm interested in is they say that do remove them, you have to clean abrasively, so as to actually smooth out the top layer, and does that mean tumbling would remove the traces?
  10. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Almost. My more pertinent point was that you're only likely to leave prints on the nose of the bullet (because the rest of it is inside the cartridge case) and that's the part that hits the target, gets squished, eroded, mangled, fragmented, and subject to lots of heat and sometimes (yuk) fluids. The only part of the bullet itself that you're able to touch is that part which will be least likely to still retain its surface topography, or even the material itself, after hitting something.

    Again, the cartridge cases, which this article seems to be discussing rather than the bullets, are a whole different story.
  11. dcdub

    dcdub Well-Known Member

    Didn't Batman get prints off of a bullet he extracted from a wall in The Dark Knight? It must be real if Batman did it!

    Now I don't know what to think :confused:

    When I load a round into a magazine the bullet itself only comes in contact with my ring finger between my 2nd and 3rd knuckle (intermediate phalanges) if that even. My prints are all over the casings though.

    I suppose you could load a mag with gloves if you were that worried about it.
  12. Dr-Science

    Dr-Science Well-Known Member

    I think what they might mean by bullet "casings" is bullet jackets. I mean, it's not like simply taking prints from brass would be groundbreaking news (or news at all).
    With modern science, I don't doubt that we could piece together a jacket from a fired bullet enough to get at least a partial print off of if it wasn't completely obliterated.
    I think the "Some metals corrode very well and some not at all. One metal that works very well is brass and gun cartridge cases happen to be made of brass" comment is just an additional method they found to take prints, and can be used on conjunction with any prints found on the bullet jacket.
    ...Maybe.... lol
  13. sohcgt2

    sohcgt2 Well-Known Member

    This is a new way to recover prints from spent brass regardless of how old the prints are. There is still no way to accurately retrieve prints from fired bullet.

    I can't change the beliefs of a conspiracy theorist but fingerprints are actually unique and not subjective.

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