Mention has already been made of weapons class characteristics, for example, end milling on the standing breech face of Chinese type 54 pistols (Section 4.4). However, one should also be aware that manufacturing marks also exist on unfired ammunition as well.
An example of how confusing ammunition manufacturing marks can be came to light in a laboratory accreditation examination. A number of cartridge cases were submitted and the examiners were asked to determine how many weapons had been used. The problem appeared to be very simple and everyone returned the same results, four cartridges in one gun and two in another. The examiners had, however, been rather unfair and obtained two batches of the same make of ammunition, one of which had very pronounced manufacturing marks and the other none. Four cartridges had been fired from one batch and two from the other, and, as the breech face marks were extremely faint and the firing pin featureless, the mistake was easy to make. The test was eventually withdrawn as every participating laboratory returned the same results.
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