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The Effect of Time on Rusted Firearm Identification

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While past research has been performed on the possibility of identifying characteristics on rusted firearms after they have been restored, there is little research on how long a firearm can be left to rust before an identification is no longer possible.

Potential identification comparisons were performed on cartridge cases and projectiles after they were test fired through firearms that were left to rust for certain periods of time. This project evaluates the effects of rust on the common working surfaces of Glock and Smith & Wesson Sigma firearms that firearm examiners use to make an identification. The unpredicted data suggests that Glocks cannot be identified past three months of rusting while Sigmas can be identified at six months and possibly even longer.

Upon completion of this webinar, attendees will learn:

  1. The adverse effects of corrosion and rust on a firearm's operability and individual characteristics.
  2. The length of time a firearm, both with conventional and polygonal rifling, can rust before individual characteristics are altered or changed enough to where an identification can no longer be made.
  3. Whether the amount of time a firearm has been rusting can be estimated based on the condition in which it was found.

Date Created: November 24, 2021