National Academies Press: OpenBook

Forensic Analysis: Weighing Bullet Lead Evidence (2004)

Chapter: Appendix D: Glossary

« Previous: Appendix C: Committee Meeting Agendas
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Glossary." National Research Council. 2004. Forensic Analysis: Weighing Bullet Lead Evidence. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10924.
×

D
Glossary

Acronyms and Terminology


AAS

Atomic Absorption Spectrometry

Ag

Silver, a metallic element sometimes present as an impurity in bullet lead

Ammunition

The loaded “round” commonly consisting of a primed case, propellant (powder), and bullet

As

Arsenic, a semi-metallic element sometimes present as an impurity in bullet lead


Bi

Bismuth, a metallic element sometimes present as an impurity in bullet lead

Billet

A cylinder of lead, usually weighing about 70 lbs, that is used as the stock for an extrusion press to make wire for the production of lead bullets

Blast furnace

A large vertical furnace used to reduce lead ores to molten lead in which hot coke reduces the sinter roast through the formation of CO2; the necessary heat is produced by the reaction of the coke with air forced into the furnace from below

Bullet

The lead-based projectile in small-arms ammunition

Bullet caliber

The diameter of the bullet, which may be expressed either as a fraction of an inch, e.g., .22 caliber means 0.22 inch diameter, or in millimeters


CABL

Compositional Analysis of Bullet Lead

Cartridge

A term used to refer either to the completely assembled ammunition or to the brass case that holds the primer and powder and is pressed onto the bullet

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Glossary." National Research Council. 2004. Forensic Analysis: Weighing Bullet Lead Evidence. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10924.
×

CCI

CCI, bullet manufacturer

Cd

Cadmium, a metallic element sometimes present as an impurity in bullet lead

CIVL

Compositionally Indistinguishable Volume of Lead

Compositional group

A set of bullets determined to be compositionally similar via use of the FBI’s “chaining” technique

COV

Coefficient of Variation

CS

Crime Scene (bullet)

Cu

Copper, a metallic element used in jacketing high velocity ammunition and sometimes present as an impurity in bullet lead


Extruder

The machine that forces lead from a billet through an orifice or die to form a wire (much like squeezing toothpaste from a tube)


FBI

Federal Bureau of Investigation

FED

Federal, bullet manufacturer


Hog

A one ton casting of lead


ICP-MS

Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry

ICP-OES

Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectroscopy

Ingot

A 65–125 lb casting of lead; more generally, a casting that has solidified after having been poured from a vessel in the form of molten metal


Jacket

A metal external shell, often copper, surrounding the lead core of a bullet, frequently used for high velocity ammunition


LA

Laser Ablation


MC-ICP-MS

Multi-Collector-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry

Melt

A quantity of molten lead

Mold

The container into which molten metal is poured to allow it to solidify


NAA

Neutron Activation Analysis


Pb

Lead, a metallic element used to form bullets

PCA

Principal Components Analysis

Pig

A 65–125 lb. casting of lead

Pot

A vessel within which lead is melted

Pour

The action of transferring a molten metal from a vessel into an ingot mold, in which it will solidify

Primary lead smelter

A facility that transforms lead-bearing ore, normally a sulfide, into nearly pure lead by the steps of sintering, reduction, and refining

PS

Probable Suspect (bullet)

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Glossary." National Research Council. 2004. Forensic Analysis: Weighing Bullet Lead Evidence. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10924.
×

Reduction

The chemical process of converting the lead ore into molten lead

Refining

The process of removing unwanted contaminants by various treatments carried out on a bath of molten lead

REM

Remington, bullet manufacturer

RF

Radio-Frequency

RSD

Relative Standard Deviation


Sb

Antimony, an element used to harden lead for bullets.

SD

Standard Deviation

Secondary lead smelter

An organization that remelts scrap lead from various sources and carries out refining and alloying operations to produce lead ingots, pigs, billets, etc. of specified composition for further processing and/or product formation

Slug

A cylinder of lead that has been cut for an extruded wire and that approximates the size (length and diameter) of the finished bullet

Sn

Tin, a metallic element also used for hardening lead, but it is more expensive and less effective than antimony. Also a metal sometimes present as an impurity in bullet lead

SRM

Standard Reference Material

SSMS

Spark Source Mass Spectrometry

Suspect bullet

Unused cartridges in the possession of a suspect

Swage

An operation that involves rotary forging, employing rotating dies that periodically open and close, used to reduce the diameter of rods, wires, or tubes. (Often used in the firearms industry to mean pressing of a slug into a bullet.)


TIMS

Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry


WDXRF

Wavelength Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence

WIN

Winchester, bullet manufacturer

Wire

A long piece of lead of the correct diameter used to produce a desired caliber bullet, formed by extrusion

Statistical Terminology

Ka

critical value

ta

critical value

σ

within-bullet standard deviation

Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Glossary." National Research Council. 2004. Forensic Analysis: Weighing Bullet Lead Evidence. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10924.
×
Page 130
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Glossary." National Research Council. 2004. Forensic Analysis: Weighing Bullet Lead Evidence. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10924.
×
Page 131
Suggested Citation:"Appendix D: Glossary." National Research Council. 2004. Forensic Analysis: Weighing Bullet Lead Evidence. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10924.
×
Page 132
Next: Appendix E: Basic Principles of Statistics »
Forensic Analysis: Weighing Bullet Lead Evidence Get This Book
×
Buy Paperback | $64.00 Buy Ebook | $49.99
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

Since the 1960s, testimony by representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in thousands of criminal cases has relied on evidence from Compositional Analysis of Bullet Lead (CABL), a forensic technique that compares the elemental composition of bullets found at a crime scene to the elemental composition of bullets found in a suspect’s possession. Different from ballistics techniques that compare striations on the barrel of a gun to those on a recovered bullet, CABL is used when no gun is recovered or when bullets are too small or mangled to observe striations. Forensic Analysis: Weighing Bullet Lead Evidence assesses the scientific validity of CABL, finding that the FBI should use a different statistical analysis for the technique and that, given variations in bullet manufacturing processes, expert witnesses should make clear the very limited conclusions that CABL results can support. The report also recommends that the FBI take additional measures to ensure the validity of CABL results, which include improving documentation, publishing details, and improving on training and oversight.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  9. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!