Investigation of the variability in the tool marks produced by modified blank firing pistols on fired 7.65 mm projectiles


Science and Justice, vol.63, no.4, pp.542-550, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 63 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.scijus.2023.06.006
  • Journal Name: Science and Justice
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Criminal Justice Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.542-550
  • Keywords: 3D imaging, Blank firing modified pistol, Firearm identification, Fired cartridge case examination
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Firearms identification has an important place in forensic ballistic investigations since the weapons are widely used in criminal offences. Firearm examiners resolve many case files, through the use of automatic systems or comparison microscopes. Advanced forensic technologies like BALİSTİKA helps to record and analyze non standard ballistic evidence. In today's world, with the ease of access to materials and production technique information, pistols modified from blank firers are frequently encountered as crime tools. In this study, the characteristics of 7.65 mm fired cartridge cases obtained by controlled shots from blank firing modified pistols were examined, and their detection performances were compared by means of the Balistika system. Although distinctive differences are not expected after successive test shootings, balistically important changes were seen after the use of blank firing modified pistols and the 3D imaging system proved to be useful in observing such differences. The analyses showed that the modifications in weapons lead to variation in the ballistic characteristics and reduce the accuracy of the detection performance, which may result in flawed forensic decisions. It was also found that the deviations in ballistic impressions of modified blank firing pistols were greater than that of standard fabricated and hand-made pistols. This unique study contributed to the forensic sciences literature by focusing on the impact of modified weapons on ballistic characteristics.