COVID-19 Update: We are currently shipping orders daily. However, due to transit disruptions in some geographies, deliveries may be delayed. To provide all customers with timely access to content, we are offering 50% off Science and Technology Print & eBook bundle options. Terms & conditions.
Firearm and Toolmark Examination and Identification - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128005668, 9780128006221

Firearm and Toolmark Examination and Identification

1st Edition

Editor: Max Houck
Hardcover ISBN: 9780128005668
eBook ISBN: 9780128006221
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 17th October 2015
Page Count: 226
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out Price includes VAT/GST
Price includes VAT/GST

Institutional Subscription

Secure Checkout

Personal information is secured with SSL technology.

Free Shipping

Free global shipping
No minimum order.

Table of Contents

  • Editor: Biography
  • List of Contributors
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Overview
  • Section 1. Introduction
    • Introduction
    • Basic Principles of Forensic Science
      • What Is Forensic Science?
      • The Trace As the Basic Unit of Forensic Science
      • Two Native Principles
      • Nonnative Principles
      • See also
    • Forensic Classification of Evidence
      • Introduction
      • Methods of Classification
      • Class Level Information
      • Uniqueness and Individualization
      • Relationships and Context
      • See also
    • Interpretation/The Comparative Method
      • Introduction
      • Analogy and Comparison within a Forensic Process
      • The Comparative Method within Forensic Science
      • See also
    • Key Terms
    • Review Questions
    • Discussion Questions
  • Section 2. Analysis
    • Introduction
    • Laboratory Analysis
      • Examination of Firearms
      • Uncertainties and Limitations
      • Examination of Fired Ammunition Components
      • Level-One Analysis: Class Characteristic Marks
      • Level-Two Analysis: The Microscopic Comparison
      • Recent Developments
      • See also
    • Analysis, Comparison, Evaluation, and Verification (ACE-V)
      • Introduction
      • History and Etiology
      • The Process
      • Quality and Quantity of Detail
      • Testing
      • Forensic Disciplines that Have Not Adopted ACE-V
      • Conclusion
      • See also
    • Range
      • Introduction
      • See also
    • Shotgun Ammunition on a Target
      • Introduction
      • The Shot Shell
      • The Barrel
      • Shooting Range Estimation
      • Adaptations
      • Some Misconceptions
      • See also
    • Physical Match
      • Introduction: What Is a “Physical Match”?
      • The Uniqueness of a Fracture Line
      • Obstacles to Performing a Physical Match
      • Mathematical and Statistical Evaluation
      • On “Identification” and “Degree of Certainty”
      • Summary
      • See also
    • Tools
      • Introduction
      • Definitions
      • Brief History of Toolmark Identification Applied to Forensic Science
      • Application of Toolmark Identification in Forensic Science
      • Important Considerations
      • Casework Examples
      • Future of Toolmark Identification
      • See also
    • Humane Killing Tools
      • Introduction
      • Captive-Bolt Humane Killers
      • Injuries from Captive-Bolt Narcotic Devices
      • Fatalities from Humane Killers
      • Stud Guns
      • See also
    • Key Terms
    • Review Questions
    • Discussion Questions
  • Section 3. Interpretation
    • Introduction
    • Sequential Unmasking: Minimizing Observer Effects in Forensic Science
      • The Concept of Sequential Unmasking
      • The Foundational Basis for Cognitive Effects
      • Support for Blind Testing in Forensic Science
      • Arguments against Blind Testing in Forensic Science
      • Sequential Unmasking in Forensic Science
      • Domain-Relevant (and Domain-Irrelevant) Information
      • Exemplar Lineups
      • Conclusion
      • See also
    • Overview and Meaning of Identification/Individualization
      • The Identification Process: A Reduction Process to a Single Source
      • The Inferential Schemes
      • Relationship with Probabilities
      • The Bayesian Framework for Evaluating Identification Findings
      • Conclusion
      • See also
    • Sharp Trauma
      • Introduction
      • Epidemiology
      • Wound Morphology and Biomechanics
      • Sequelae and Causes of Death
      • Homicide, Suicide, and Accident
      • Capability of Acting
      • See also
    • Gunshot Wounds
      • Introduction
      • Wound Ballistics
      • Criminalistic Aspects
      • Entrance and Exit Wounds
      • Classification of Entrance Wounds in Relation to the Range from Muzzle to Target
      • Shotgun Injuries
      • Internal Findings
      • Forensic Examination and Documentation
      • Manner of Death
      • Injuries Caused by Explosives
      • See also
    • Key Terms
    • Review Questions
    • Discussion Questions
  • Section 4. Other Methods
    • Introduction
    • Residues
      • See also
    • Overview, Analysis, and Interpretation
      • Introduction
      • The Ammunition for Firearms from the Chemical Point of View
      • Looking for FDR on Surfaces
      • See also
    • Plastic Bag Striations
      • Introduction
      • Background
      • Physical Features
      • Methods for Visualization of Physical Features
      • Chemical Methods
      • Protocol for Forensic Examination of Plastic Bags and Films
      • Value of Plastic Bag Evidence
      • See also
    • Serial Number
      • Introduction
      • Methods of Application
      • Removal Methods
      • Restoration Methods: Metals
      • Reagent Recipes
      • Photography
      • See also
    • Footwear Marks
      • Introduction
      • Types of Footwear Marks
      • Recovery of Impressions
      • Examination Process
      • The Footwear Expert
      • See also
    • Vehicle Tire Marks and Tire Track Measurement
      • Introduction
      • Sidewall Information
      • Tire Construction
      • Tire Designs and Databases
      • Original Equipment Tires versus Replacement Tires
      • Noise Treatment
      • Tread-Wear Indicators
      • Known Standards of Tires
      • Examination of Tire Impressions
      • Vehicle Dimensions and Turning
      • Recovery Methods Specific to Tires
      • Retreaded Tires
      • See also
    • Crime Scene Analysis and Reconstruction
      • Crime Analysis and Reconstruction
      • Phases of a Crime
      • Evidence Dynamics
      • Role of Physical Evidence
      • Reconstruction—Historical Perspective
      • Who Does Reconstruction?
      • Methods of Reconstruction
      • See also
    • Key Terms
    • Review Questions
    • Discussion Questions
  • Section 5. Professional Issues
    • Introduction
    • Crime Scene to Court
      • Introduction
      • Task
      • Models
      • Forensic Strategies
      • Integrated Case Management
      • Summary
      • See also
    • Forensic Laboratory Reports
      • Contents of a Report—A “Science” Standard
      • Contents of Report: Legal Standards
      • Reports: Stand-alone Evidence or Support for a Testifying Expert
      • Ethical Considerations and Forensic Reports
      • Conclusion
      • See also
    • Health and Safety
      • Occupational Health and Safety Policy
      • Specific Laboratory Hazards
      • Hazards in the Field
      • See also
    • Measurement Uncertainty
      • Glossary
      • Measurement
      • Measurement to Meaning
      • Measurement Uncertainty
      • Meaning Requires Uncertainty
      • See also
    • Key Terms
    • Review Questions
    • Discussion Questions
  • Index


The Advanced Forensic Science Series grew out of the recommendations from the 2009 NAS Report: "Strengthening Forensic Science: A Path Forward." This volume, Firearm and Toolmark Examination and Identification, will serve as a graduate-level text for those studying and teaching firearm and toolmark examination and identification. It will also prove an excellent reference for forensic practitioner’s libraries or use in their casework. Coverage includes a wide variety of tools and toolmarks, analysis of gunshots, ammunition, gunshot wounds and professional issues they may encounter.

Key Features

  • Provides basic principles of forensic science and an overview of firearms and toolmarks
  • Contains information on a wide variety of tools and toolmarks
  • Covers the analysis and interpretation of gunshots, ammunition and gunshot wounds
  • Includes a section on professional issues, such as: from crime scene to court, lab reports, and health and safety
  • Incorporates effective pedagogy, key terms, review questions, discussion question and additional reading suggestions


Graduate level forensic science students and educators, as well as entry level forensic professionals


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2015
17th October 2015
Academic Press
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

Ratings and Reviews

About the Editor

Max Houck

Max Houck

Dr. Max M. Houck is an international forensic expert with over 25 years of experience. Houck has experience in the private sector, academia, local government, and worked at the Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory Division. He has worked as a forensic anthropologist, a trace evidence analyst, a researcher, and has managed millions of dollars in grants and awards. Most recently, he was the inaugural Director of the Department of Forensic Sciences in Washington, D.C., overseeing 150 employees and managing the forensic science laboratory, the public health laboratory, and crime scene sciences for the nation’s capital. Houck has worked on a number of mass casualty scenes, including the Branch Davidian Investigation and the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon. Widely published, Houck has dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles and is the author and editor of numerous books. He is co-author of the best-selling Fundamentals of Forensic Science, Science of Crime Scenes, and Success with Expert Testimony, among others. He is the editor of the Advanced Forensic Science series of books. Houck is also founding co-editor of Forensic Science Policy and Management (the official journal of ASCLD), the only journal that addresses the management, policy, and administration of forensic science. Houck has served on numerous committees, including for the National Academies of Science, NIST, Interpol, The Royal Society, the Director of the FBI, and the White House. He is a popular public speaker and has given presentations at NASA, the Max Planck Institute, an Oxford Roundtable, as well as keynote talks at numerous international conferences. Houck has taught at several universities, including West Virginia University and University of Tampa. His research topics include management, leadership, and policy implications for forensic organizations. Houck has a Bachelors and Masters degree in anthropology from Michigan State University. He received his Ph.D. in Applied Chemistry Summa Cum Laude from Curtin University in Perth, Australia. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Affiliations and Expertise

Vice President, Forensic and Intelligence Services, LLC, Virginia, USA