1. Enhance the objectivity of firearms and ammunition examinations and comparisons.

  2. Use 3D Imaging Technology to improve workflows and create efficiencies in the Firearms Unit.

  3. Evaluate the impact of additive manufacturing processes (e.g., 3D Printed Firearms) on public safety in Ontario.

  4. Enhance the objectivity of handwriting analysis and comparison.

Physical Sciences Project Proposals

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Evaluation of General Rifling Characteristics

DetailsProject Title:

Comparison of three methods for measuring land and groove widths of fired bullets. [(a) comparison microscope and stage micrometer, (b) 3D microscopy, (c) an Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS)]


A conventionally rifled gun barrel will have grooves that have been cut or impressed, and this imparts a spin to a bullet when fired. Each cut, or groove, is separated by a ridge of metal called the land. Together, these grooves and lands define the type of rifling inside the bore. The direction, width, and number of lands may vary by manufacturer. The rifling characteristics of a barrel are transferred to the bullet during the firing process.

Research Objective:

PAttempt to establish whether or not one of the three methods can be objectively shown to produce superior results in the measurement of land and grooves.

Partnership Opportunity:

The CFS is seeking a partner to design and conduct the experiment; statistically evaluate the results and publish the work. The land and groove impressions of approximately 100 bullets are to be measured using the Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS), Comparison microscope using a stage micrometer and a 3D microscope.

Resources Required:

None, but prior experience with microscopy, experimental design and statistical evaluation of data sets is valuable.

Resources Available:

The CFS will supply all needed material, training, SOPs and access to required instrumentation. Analyses will be conducted on 100 bullets, which have already been test fired from handguns and rifles. A general rifling characteristics (GRC) database is available to evaluate the data-sets produced by the three analytical methods.

Date PostedCFS Project LeadPartner AgencyAgency LeadStatus
14-02-2019Caitlin GallagherOntario Tech UniversityKimberly NugentAssigned