2 day - Introduction to Forensic Firearms Identification and Ballistics

2 day - Introduction to Forensic Firearms Identification and Ballistics
Course Title: Forensic Firearms Identification and Ballistics (FFIB)

Course Length: 2 days

Time: 9am – 5pm

Date: 12th & 13th September 2019

Location: TBC

Please see full description below.

Please note:
• Payment must be with the University no later than 15 days before the course starts.
• No refunds will be made within 14 days of the commencement of the course; however, substitutions can be made at any time.
• Staffordshire University reserves the right to cancel the course if unsubscribed.

* Due to the nature of the course, it is important that you disclose any required information below, as this may affect your involvement in practical work both outdoors or in the laboratory.


Brief Description:

This 2 day course aims to provide an understanding of the role of the firearms examiner in forensic firearms investigations and detail the underlying principles in the field of firearms identification and ballistics. 

Learning Outcomes:

  • Associate firearms manufacturing processes with the principles of firearms identification.
  • Differentiate between class and individual characteristics for firearms identification.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the construction of small arms ammunition.
  • Describe and apply the fundamental principles underpinning the comparison of fired bullets and cartridge cases.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the scientific theory underpinning internal, external and terminal ballistics.
  • Evaluate changes in projectile mechanics on its trajectory.

Module Details:

Indicative Content

In this course, students will expand their knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of firearms, firearm component manufacturing, and forensic firearms identification, internal, external and terminal ballistics.

Subject matter will include:

  • 1968 Firearms Act (amendment)
  • Types of firearms
  • Ammunition composition
  • Barrel manufacturing processes
  • Firearms evidence collection
  • Class characteristics for firearms identification
  • Individual characteristics for firearms identification
  • Introduction to internal ballistics
  • Introduction to external ballistics
  • Introduction to terminal ballistics

The first of three laboratory practicals will cover the collection of firearms evidence from a crime scene and the comparison of fired ammunition component(s).

Two further laboratory practicals to allow the students to experiment, interpret and critically evaluate the effect of physical mechanics by changing the projectile mass and angle of firearm inclination.

Learning Strategies

Lectures (6 hours)

Laboratory practicals (6 hours)

Analytical workshop (2 hours)

Resources Required 

Standard lecture theatre, criminalistics laboratory and gun room.

Special Admission Requirements

GCSE Mathematics (Grade C and above)

GCSE Science (Grade C and above)