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Are .22s Untraceable?
#1
Are .22s Untraceable?

To hear one of Jeff Johnston's favorite (non-fiction) TV shows tell it, .22-caliber bullets can't yield forensic data. The BullShooters couldn't help but take a closer look.

By Jeff Johnston (RSS)

March 12, 2014

I was watching Investigation Discovery’s non-fiction crime show series, Nightmare Next Door, when my BullShoot-O-Meter wanged red. During one of the homicide detective’s interviews, Detective Sgt. Ben Benson of the Pierce Co. (WA) Sheriff’s Department said the following about crime scene evidence:

The Suspect Statement
“Twenty-two caliber bullets are such that they don’t give you [the forensic investigator] ballistics off of them.” http://www.americanhunter.org/blogs/are-...omeDefense
das, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#2
I'm not a forensics expert, I don't play one on TV, I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn and I don't even watch CSI. So this is just my reasoned speculation.

My understanding of forensic ballistics is that it has to do with the pattern the rifling of the barrel leaves on the projectile. I can't think of any reason why a .22LR bullet wouldn't have these marks other than due to it's small size there isn't sufficient surface area to observe a clear pattern. Another problem might be the small size of the projectile (30-40 gr.) might cause problems with it being easily deformed even in soft tissue which would obscure the rifling marks.
Ammunition, it's the new lead bullion. Buy it cheap and stack it deep.
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#3
Does it matter? You can alter your barrel enough after a shot with abrasive cleaners... enough to stop a match, anyway. If you were intent on such a thing, you could buy a new barrel just for that purpose, then chuck it.

I have always felt that if you are going to really try and commit an intentional homicide, you should use something outrageous... like a grand piano or an anvil dropped from several floors up.
tolerance for failure meter... LOW
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#4
Only pure hearsay, with not one traceable ounce of fact, but here it goes... I have often HEARD that the surface area, of a .22, is so small and the bullets tend to fracture into smaller pieces, and that it makes tracing them NEARLY impossible. As a result, they were often preferred for MOB hits, up close, two to the back of the head. Also, I have often heard, that unlike the TV shows depict, they are NOT going to be able to trace YOUR weapon down anyway. Only be able to track down the make, model, and maybe the series and lot number of a group manufactured during a certain run, before the barrel tooling changed, or wore differently.
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DeadEye, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Jun 2013.
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#5
Ten*K;137932 Wrote:Does it matter? You can alter your barrel enough after a shot with abrasive cleaners... enough to stop a match, anyway. If you were intent on such a thing, you could buy a new barrel just for that purpose, then chuck it.

I have always felt that if you are going to really try and commit an intentional homicide, you should use something outrageous... like a grand piano or an anvil dropped from several floors up.
That never worked for Wyle E. Coyote.Tongue
das, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#6
Now ponder the sabot.Ninja
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#7
P89;137953 Wrote:Now ponder the sabot.Ninja
Rifled slug out of smooth bore? Buck shot?
das, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#8
das;137959 Wrote:
P89;137953 Wrote:Now ponder the sabot.Ninja
Rifled slug out of smooth bore?

No, think The old Remmy Accelerator rounds.
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#9
I've also heard that Glocks are particularly hard to match up. Apparently all the fired rounds from a glock of a particular caliber look pretty much the same under a microscope. Something about the polygonal rifling. Not sure if its true though.
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#10
Gun forensics are bullshit. The marks left on a bullet change every time you fire it, if only by a tiny bit. You cannot trace it back from the initial bullet fired from the manufacture unless the second bullet was the one used to kill and even then I don't think anyone even contemplates going through all those first bullets fired. The whole thing is just to scare confessions out of people and to try, rather effectively, to convince a jury a gun is a specific gun. If you have a good counter argument, that evidence will never be entered into a trial..
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