Utah Department of Public Safety

Forensic Services - Firearms and Tool Mark Analysis

The Firearms and Tool Marks Section is responsible for the comparison of firearms, casings, projectiles and other evidence that may be associated through tool marks. Tool marks result whenever two items come into contact with sufficient force, such that one or both of the items bear markings resulting from the other item.

slugThe most important method utilized in Firearms and Tool Marks Section is microscopy. The comparison Microscope allows two items to be viewed simultaneously. Evidence projectiles, casings, and other items bearing tool marks are compared to known items in order to determine consistency or inconsistency, both in class characteristics and individual characteristics.


The Firearms / Tool Marks section of the laboratory is located at the Northern Utah Crime Laboratory. Evidence can still be submitted at the Central Laboratory, as periodic transfer of evidence (between laboratories) will be maintained.

[Last Update - Friday, 08-Mar-2013 16:25:37 MST]