North Carolina sheriff has new way of tracking firearms with forensic ballistics tube.

Capt. Pat Garvey shoots a Colt 45 handgun into a…

Capt. Pat Garvey shoots a Colt 45 handgun into a new forensic bullet catch chamber that will be used to begin a Firearms Forensic Identification Program at the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office.
Don Bryan/The Daily News

A newly purchased forensic ballistics tube allows deputies to safely fire a round to begin the tracking. The tube, a four-foot long metal casing filled with Kevlar fiber can stop rounds from an M-16.

The tube, which cost $3,000, was paid for by monies from concealed handgun permit fees, Sheriff Ed Brown said.

Demonstrating how the bullet catch chamber works Tuesday, Sheriff’s Capt. Pat Garvey fired a round from a .45-caliber Colt Defender pistol into tube. He then opened a side hatch on the tube and removed the bullet, which was marked by the unique rifling in the gun barrel.

Brown likened the grooves, called striations, to fingerprints. He said that each set of markings are unique to a certain firearm and can be matched by a ballistics expert.

Garvey said the bullet and its shell casing — which has identifiers of its own including extractor and firing pin marks — will be clearly marked as to which firearm they were fired from, and the identifying information will be entered into a national ballistics databank.

Source: Lindell Kay for JDnews.com.

Load Comments
  • Chad

    Shh! They don’t know that!

  • Rodger Young

    It’s been said before, the marks on the bullet are not “fingerprints” more like a snapshot. They change over time with shots fired.