Estimations of caliber and number of grooves -

Ordinarily there is little difficulty in determining the caliber of a fired bullet and the number of grooves thereon but this is not invariably the case. Frequently a bullet will be found to be so badly mutilated, distorted, or even fragmented that the customary measurements and observations do not suffice.

If the bullet appears not to have lost any of its metal it can be weighed and from this an „educated guess" can be made as to its caliber and type. An extensive table of bullet weights for different types of bullets has been prepared by Munhall, and by permission this table is reproduced in Appendix No. III. While it cannot be expected to give the answer in every instance, due to the many variations in bullet weights (past and present) for bullets made by a host of manufacturers in many countries, the table may often prove to give a good lead and frequently the definite answer.

In those cases where a bullet has obviously lost some of its original metal, as very often happens, this procedure obviously cannot be used. In such cases a different procedure, also developed by Munhall, may be used. This is based on the measurement of the combined widths of a groove and an adjoining land, provided that one groove and land are in sufficiently good condition to be measured. Methods for making such measurements are described under Instrumentation.

The table prepared by Munhall for this procedure is reproduced (by courtesy) in Appendix No. IV, together with an explanation as to how the table was constructed and how it is to be used. While it may not be infallible, it will be found to be useful.

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