Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Place of Publication

Perth, Western Australia


Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering


Australian Institute of Security and Applied Technology


Mehnert, A., Cross, J., Smith, C., & Comber, G. (1995). Image matching of firearm fingerprints. Perth, Australia: Edith Cowan University.


A spent cartridge case exhibits characteristic markings (firearm fingerprint) that can be used to identify the type and possibly make of weapon in which the cartridge was fired. This report details research into the use of discriminant analysis for the purpose of matching spent rim-fire cartridge cases to specific make and model firearms. The discrimination and classification are based on several scalar shape parameters for the two-dimensional silhouette of the firing pin (FP) impression-- shape factor calculated from the second order moment of inertia, G factor calculated from the distance transform, and the P2A factor- as well as the distance between the centre of the cartridge case and the centroid of the FP impression, and the orientation of the principal centroidal axes associated with the FP impression. Classification results for two case studies are detailed: (i) 3 different make/model weapons producing different shaped FP impressions, and (ii) 5 different make/model weapons each producing a rectangular FP impression.