This presentation is a study of Non-Standard Firearms with respect to Standard Firearms
commonly used in crime and Forensic Significances. It undertakes a detail critical
discussion on important ethnical aspects and related issues which leads to a better
understanding of the forensic importance of non- standard firearms satisfying the court’s
STANDARD SMALLARMS are the Factory made firearms which strictly follow the standard
specifications. The NON-STANDARD FIREARMS do not conform to any specifications.In this part of the study focus is laid on the barrel and chamber, the most important part of any
firearm which play an important role in controlling the Quality of Ballistics of a firearm.
Therefore, utmost attention and care are taken in manufacturing barrels of Standard Firearms
strictly following the specifications, any deviation from which makes the firearms disqualified
for use. Standard Barrels ,therefore, necessarily require to pass the Quality Control Test which
is popularly termed as Proof Test and every firearm passing the Test gets Proof Mark stamped
before the same is assembled or integrated as one of the most important component of the
Constructional material of barrel requires some technical considerations. The most important
consideration is that the material must have the ability to withstand high temperature and pressure developed inside the barrel during firing. The material must satisfy the long lasting requirement of the barrel. It must be cost-effective, affordable, available and technically suitable to become manufacture friendly.
2.CONSTRUCTION OF SMOOTH BORE AND RIFLED BARRELS :
Standard Barrels are constructed by boring Solid Steel steel bars of suitable diameters. The inner surface of the barrel walls are made perfectly smooth and are used as the barrels of Smooth Bore Firearms and the firearms are designated in accordance with the bore diameters which are measured at the muzzle ends.
3.BARREL WALL THICKNESS:
Constructional Material and appropriate Thickness of barrel walls play important role to
determine the strength of the barrel. The pressure developed inside the barrel during firing
depends on type and caliber of the firearm where as it is low in case of low caliber short barrel
rifled firearm, it is high for long barrel high caliber rifles. Barrel walls require strength
accordingly. So the thickness is determined and specified for each type and caliber of firearm to
meet the constructional requirements.
ON-STANDARD FIREARMS : (Improvised, home-made ,Country made)
Firearms are the choicest weapons for commission of crimes. In our country, however, firearms are not easily available to the common citizens .one requires legal permission (license) for possessing firearms usually for self defense purposes. A few low caliber and low velocity (subsonic) handguns and smooth bore guns are allowed for the purpose. Higher caliber
handguns and rifles are mostly prohibited for common people. With the few exceptions, such
as, caliber rifles and sporting rifles, high velocity rifles and other rifled firearms are used by
service people. Besides self defense purposes, people can posses firearms legally for sporting and shooting
practice purposes. Carrying firearms without legal permission and unnecessary exhibition in
common places (appearing threats) are also strictly prohibited. Manufacturing firearms,
ammunition and also parts come under Arms Act. Smuggled standard firearms are mostly used in organized crime and these are usually not
affordable to ordinary criminals who ever to procure locally made firearms at much cheaper
rate directly from the illegal gun makers or through local underground network involving
affordable less money and risk.
Cheap and easily available constructional materials are used in manufacturing country made
firearms. For example, iron pipes used for domestic purposes such water pipes, gas pipes, pipes
used in common machinery and other household work and are commonly used asbarrel
materials. Scrape materials of iron or steel, even obtained from Ordnance factories, are also
used (if found suitable).
Barrels are often manufactured by casting iron (metal), that is giving shape of barrel by pouring
cheap iron metal in to a mold while molten. Such constructional materials of inferior quality.
Manufacturing Barrels at home do not conform to any specifications as well. Depending upon
the availability of ammunition iron pipes are made available or manufactured in accordance
with the facilities available to the manufacturers suitable for accommodating and firing them
3.BARREL WALL THICKNESS:
Thickness of barrel walls and constructional material are the two most important components
responsible for the barrel strength. The ordinary iron pipes commonly used in household work
or for commercial purposes are crudely manufactured often in high quantities to meet the
market requirements. They are so designed with the Wall thickness that they are sufficiently
capable of withstanding low to moderate pressures of flowing materials like water, gases etc.
Thicknesses are not required to maintain strictly uniform all along the pipe, instead, average
thickness is considered technically suitable for the purpose. They vary widely not only in a
single product but also among the products of same batch and model of same make.
Such an expanded cartridge case as a physical evidence assumes great forensic significance. It
signifies the fact that the cartridge case has been fired through an over bore country made
firearm. This forensic inference is an important clue regarding the type of firearm involved,
particularly at the initial stage of investigation when the firearm is not recovered.
During its motion down the bore (barrel) the bullet being smaller in diameter does not get
thorough touch of the barrel walls. The bullet gets barrel marks in the form of patches at one or
two places where the bullet touches the barrel walls. The nature of barrel marks thus imprinted
on the bullet surface depends upon its movement inside the barrel. It often does not move
straight along the barrel axis. Usually it follows a zigzag path or a hopping motion and gathers
barrel marks accordingly in the form of random patche(s).Such motion may or may not be
exactly repeatable It may vary from one firing to another. The barrel patch marks imprinted on
the bullets become similar only if all the bullets touch the same point in every subsequent
firing, which depends on several factors such as angle of firing, the resting position of the
cartridge in the over bore Chamber, burning of propellant and development of pressure acting
on the bullet, the barrel diameter in respect of the bullet. The overall Interior Ballistics is
complex which is conditioned by various factors resulting the bullet motion random in nature.
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