Once people began to realize the significance of Balthazard's paper, the field of firearms identification began to emerge. Probably the most significant individual to put his shoulder to the task was Calvin Goddard, an American physician. Goddard is considered responsible for perfecting the comparison microscope, a mainstay in the comparison of firearms ammunition components.
Goddard worked with a team of other American scientists in developing the science of firearms identification: Phillip Gravelle, Charles Waite, and John Fisher. Following Waite's death in 1926, Goddard became the leader of the group and is recognized as the Father of Firearms Identification. Waite made a very significant contribution himself, however. He visited various firearms manufacturers to get exemplar weapons and to catalog data associated with the various weapons. Ultimately, he put together the first firearms reference collection of significance in this country.
A firearms reference collection is an essential part of the resources needed in firearms examinations. Such a collection allows the examiner to replace missing parts from evidence firearms so that test-firing may be accomplished. It also permits the examiner to verify when modifications have been made to evidence firearms.
Was this article helpful?