An Automated Firearms Identification System for Forensic Laboratories

Every firearm leaves unique, reproducible markings on expended bullet and cartridge cases that it fired. The barrel, firing pin, firing chamber, extractor, ejector and other parts of the gun leave these marks, called tool marks, on the bullet and cartridge case faces. Individually and collectively, these markings function as the “ballistic signature” of the firearm.

Automated Firearms Identification System (AFIS) are specialized computer hardware/so􀀁ware combinations designed to capture, store and rapidly compare digital images of bullets and cartridge casings.

Law enforcement agencies worldwide utilize AFIS to rapidly generate Candidate Lists of probable matches of a suspect bullet/cartridge against the ballistic database. Depending on the agency’s requirements, AFIS will generate the Top 10, Top 20, etc. list of probable matches. The Firearms Examiners then use these candidate lists to select the actual bullets/cartridges they will visually compare with the suspect bullet/cartridge.


  • High matching performance
  • User Friendly
  • Scalable
  • Capable of extracting and using 3- dimensional data.

Process Flow

  1. Data acquisition
    • Extraction of 3D data from 2D images
    • Cartridge case recording 1,5 minutes
    • One grove in bullet recording 2,5 minutes.
  2. Data Matching
    • Comparisons based on breech face, firing pin, ejector mark and combined evaluation
  3. Data Query and Visualization
    • Single or multiple data query units
    • Superior image quality
    • Virtual light over cartridge cases and bullets
    • Virtual comparison microscope interface
    • Dual monitoring.
  4. Database
    • Relational database linking bullets, cartridge cases, firearms, incidences and individuals.