Evidence submitted for analysis varies widely for firearm related cases. Most commonly these cases include: recovered rifles, shotguns, pistols, revolvers, cartridge magazines, and a variety of fired and/or unfired cartridges. Bullets, bullet fragments, shot wads, shot cups, and other firearms related evidence are also received from submitting agencies across the state.
Each gun submitted is test fired and the recovered bullets and cartridge cases are retained for use in further analysis.
The foremost question normally asked in most shooting investigations is if a questioned firearm was the gun that fired the bullets and/or cartridge cases that have been recovered. For this question to be properly answered, the questioned evidence is compared with test-fired bullet and cartridge cases from the submitted firearms. By use of the Comparison Microscope, the minute individual markings that have been placed on the bullet as it passed down the barrel can be microscopically compared and an identification made.