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  2011 Armorer's Courses and Workshops

Unless designated otherwise, workshop times are as follows:

Full Day:  8AM - 5PM
1/2 Day Morning: 8AM - 12PM
1/2 Day Afternoon: 1PM - 5PM
 

1. Metallurgy Seminar: Materials Selection, Manufacturing Processes and Performance of Firearms, Ammunition & Accessory Items as Related to Firearms Examinations

Instructor: Frederick Schmidt, Ph.D., P.E., AFTE Technical Advisor, and Past Chief Metallurgist Remington Arms
½ Day - Sunday Morning

This seminar will be a practical exposé of how classic materials and manufacturing methods relate to witness mark identification in the broadest sense. Our speaker aka “Mur Doc”, after he retired from DuPont Remington, has been an independent forensic investigator focused on explosions, fires, firearms, ammunition. The ASTM methods for preserving, harvesting, and matching physical evidence to clarify issues will be taught. Dr. Schmidt has testified in city, state, federal courts, in civil, criminal, military and arbitration proceedings.

The seminar will include:

• a short introduction to metallurgy & tool mark science
• A detailed review of actual Mis-Adventures of Firearm & Ammo catastrophic failures
• Types of Design & Manufacturing limits and examples that prove the “Root Cause” of the incidents
• Each attendee will use ASTM E-1351 to make an Acetate Replica of forensic evidence to take home
• Individual case history investigations will be reviewed where the class will select from a list the type of investigation and subject

Students are encouraged to bring written questions, items of evidence, and mystery questions for evaluation i.e. “stump the expert” genre. Handouts will be provided.

Maximum of 40 participants.  Cost $50
 

2. Talking Bullets and Talking Cartridge Cases - FULL

Instructor: Lucien C (Luke) Haag
All Day - Sunday

“The gun speaks - - - and the message of the gun is there to read by one who knows the language.” G.G. Kelly 1963
This workshop addresses the multitude of marks on cartridge cases beyond the firing pin and breechface marks that have a story to tell to those that are thoughtful and attentive to the issues in the case. These marks include slide drag marks, slide scuffmarks, magazine lip marks, three types of extractor marks, ejector marks and ejection port marks. While they are seldom used for identification purposes, these marks do have a significant, often definitive ability to reveal how a firearm was or was not used. In some cases this may be more important than the routine identification process.
The location, nature and sequence of damage suffered by bullets during such events as ricochet, perforation of one or more intermediate objects and/or impact with bone in a gunshot victim is often considered a hindrance to identification efforts. Just as with cartridge cases, these areas of damage and any associated trace evidence embedded in them can provide critically important reconstructive information.

This 1-day workshop will provide multiple case examples of bullets and cartridge cases whose stories resolved critical issues in the shooting incidents from which they came.

Waitlist  Cost $70


3. History of Ammunition

Instructor: George Kass - Forensic Ammunition
½ Day - Thursday Morning

This workshop will address the history of various types of current and obsolete ammunition. Current manufacturing and production trends will also be discussed.

Maximum of 30 participants.  Cost $35


4. Magna Flux Serial Number Restoration/Deciphering Barcodes

Instructors: Sheila Hopkins, Jodi Marsonopoli and Kristen Gerber - BATFE (Ammendale)
½ Day - Thursday Morning

This workshop will address the theory and practical application of the Magnaflux technique for visualizing obliterated serial numbers. Time will also be spent discussing and deciphering “Barcode 39” type barcodes.  Participants are required to bring their own lab coat and eye protection.

Maximum of 40 participants.  Cost $35


5.
Ammunition Identification Using CartWin Pro

Instructor: Axel Manthei - Manthei Mess Systeme
½ Day - Thursday Morning

This workshop is designed to introduce the novice user with the features and capabilities of the CartWinPro software with regard to identifying unknown ammunition. CartWinPro is a software for the quick and professional identification of cartridges and calibres. It is designed for the use by police/forensic experts, military specialist, government facilities, firearms and ammunition experts, museums or other institutions. The database contains a huge number of calibre measurements, color code, headstamp, manufacturer and complete cartridge records. New records for all four databases can be entered by the user. 

Maximum of 30 participants.  Cost $35


6. Chicago True Crime – Case Studies - FULL

Instructors: Bill Sherlock – Illinois State Police (Ret.), Chicago Police Department (Ret.)
                 Chris Bily – West Virginia University
½ Day - Thursday Morning

St. Valentine’s Day Massacre & The History of the Chicago Police Crime Laboratory 1938 to 1996

This portion of the workshop gives a history of the Chicago Police Crime Laboratory as a result of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. This gives some insight as to what was going on in Chicago before the massacre and the investigation that followed after the massacre. The workshop will give the attendees a look at some of the individuals that played a big part in the events of the roaring 20's.

The Real Crime of the Century: The Richard Speck Case Revisited

In 1966 Richard Speck murdered 8 student nurses on the south side of Chicago. Crimes of this nature were unheard of at this time. These murders not only shocked the city of Chicago, but also the nation and the world. The mass murder of 8 nurses robbed this country of its innocence, introduced the term mass murder, and forever changed the landscape of crime in the United States. This presentation was put together based on the case files of the Assistant State’s Attorney that was charged with bringing Richard Speck to justice. It contains all original photographs, documents, and video clips.

Waitlist  Cost $35


7. Firearms Markings - What Do They Indicate?
- FULL

Instructor: Allan Offringa - Savage Range Systems
½ Day - Thursday Afternoon

This workshop will address the various manufacturer markings found on both domestic and imported firearms and just what information can be gleaned from them.

Waitlist  Cost $35
 

8. Imaging and Metrology for Forensic Applications - FULL

Instructors: Bob Cowden – Leica Microsystems
                 Bill Henderson – Leica Microsystems

½ Day - Thursday Afternoon

Imaging

This portion of the workshop will cover general concepts regarding imaging within Forensic Applications including:
- Important optical considerations in designing microscopes and digital imaging systems.
- Selecting and optimizing illumination sources for a variety of applications.
- Digital imaging - camera components and features - are more megapixels always better?

Metrology
This portion of the workshop will cover general concepts regarding metrology within Forensic Applications including:
- Obtaining microscopic measurements on macroscopic surfaces.
- Repeatability of confocal microscope for forensic analysis.
- Mathematical comparison of surfaces with complex form removal.

Waitlist  Cost $35

9. Contemporary Issues in Firearms Identification - FULL

Instructors: Ron Nichols - BATFE (Walnut Creek)
                 Andy Smith - San Francisco PD
All Day - Thursday

In recent years firearms identification has come under increased scrutiny from various sources including academics, courts, newspaper articles, magazine articles, and federally funded studies. It is important to be aware of these areas of concern being addressed because these criticisms and critiques are being brought up in court proceedings across the country. This workshop is designed to give the attendee an overview of the most contemporary issues facing the firearm and tool mark examiner community. The workshop will be constructed in a lecture and question / answer format. The attendees will receive instruction and materials on four (4) different contemporary issues. During each of the four separate lectures class participation and discussion periods will be integral to the success and knowledge gained from the workshop. 

Waitlist  Cost $70


10. BATFE Machine Gun Conversions/Silencers for Experts - FULL

Instructors: Max Kingery and Rick Vazquez - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
                
All Day - Thursday (8:30AM-4:30PM)

Machine gun conversions
This class will instruct the student on what constitutes a “machinegun” according to the federal definition. It will also provide PowerPoint and hands on examples of common conversion methods. The class will not teach you how to conduct a conversion; but, assist the examiner in identifying a potential machinegun or attempted machinegun conversion(s). Class will be given by means of lecture, PowerPoint presentation and hands-on training samples.

Silencers for Experts
This class will instruct the student on what constitutes a “silencer” according to the federal definition. Topics concerning methods of testing and classification; testifying in court; and assisting in developing search warrants, will also be discussed. The class will be given by means of lecture, PowerPoint presentation and hands-on examples.

This workshop will be held off-site at the Illinois State Police Forensic Science Center at Chicago (FSC-C). Round trip transportation between the Drake Hotel and FSC-C is included in the cost of the workshop.  Please assemble in the lobby of the Drake Hotel at 7:45AM.  The busses will depart promptly at 8:00AM.

Waitlist  Cost $85
 

11. Source Tool Recognition Identification Approach (STRIA) For Cartridge Case Comparison – Workshop I - FULL

Instructor: Beta Tam - Independent Firearms Examiner and Instructor, Hong Kong
                
All Day - Thursday

This one day workshop is designed to provide some ideas to firearms examiners to articulate how and why identifications can be formed. The workshop includes practical exercises & reading materials. Topics covered include:

  1. Introduction
    1. Metallurgy & Mechanical Engineering Concepts Related to Cartridge Case Identification
    2. The Source Tool Recognition Identification Approach
  2. Tool Marks on Firearms
  3. Tool Marks on Fired Cartridge Cases
    1. Non-Firing Marks
    2. Firing marks
  4. How marks are made on Fired Cartridge Cases

Waitlist  Cost $70
 

12. FAL SA58 Rifle Armorer's Course (1-Day Course)

Instructors: Mike Keefe and John Krupa III - Spartan Tactical Training Group
                
All Day - Thursday or Friday (8:30AM-4:30PM)

The DS Arms FAL SA58 rifle Armorer’s Course is specifically designed for current and prospective department armorers involved in field repair and maintenance of the DS Arms FAL SA58 rifle. This hands on course provides the student with detailed information covering nomenclature, cycle of operation, basic and detailed disassembly & reassembly, function checking, troubleshooting, basic field repair and preventive maintenance. Students receive a 3 year armorer certification upon completion of this course.

This workshop will be held off-site at the Illinois State Police Forensic Science Center at Chicago (FSC-C). Round trip transportation between the Drake Hotel and FSC-C is included in the cost of the workshop. Both sessions cover the same material. Please sign up for only one.  Please assemble in the lobby of the Drake Hotel at 7:45AM.  The busses will depart promptly at 8:00AM.

Maximum of 20 participants per session.  Cost $85
 

13. Integrity, Character, and Ethics in the Forensic Sciences

Instructors: Dan B. Gunnell - Illinois State Police, Joliet Forensic Science Laboratory
                 William E. Demuth II – Illinois State Police, Forensic Science Center at Chicago
                
½ Day - Friday Morning

Ethics is one of the greatest challenges facing law enforcement today. If possible, this is even more applicable to Forensics. Today, the Forensic Science community is increasingly under public scrutiny for all of its actions, making it essential that everyone is aware of the tremendous responsibility that they have and what is expected of them. The goal of this workshop is to provide individuals within the Forensic Sciences community a heightened awareness of both the ethical and value based issues that impact on their ability to perform their duties. Topics covered will include:

• Value Development
• The Ethical Continuum
• The Rationalized Left Shift
• Martin’s Law of Compounding Error
• The Hammer Model of Scientific Misconduct
• The DOOR Model for Issue Resolution
• Video Case Studies of Actual Forensic Misconduct Cases

Maximum of 40 participants. Cost $35
 

14. Critical Decision Making

Instructors: Dan B. Gunnell - Illinois State Police, Joliet Forensic Science Laboratory
                 William E. Demuth II – Illinois State Police, Forensic Science Center at Chicago
                
½ Day - Friday Afternoon

According to Rosenthal’s “Coping With Crisis”, a crisis is characterized by three elements: threat, urgency, and uncertainty. The ability to make correct and timely decisions during a crisis is critical, particularly for the forensic science leader. Poor crisis decision-making, or the absence of decisions, can potentially produce results that are highly undesirable. The decision-making process is further complicated by various sources of uncertainty, questionable information, compressed time frames, environmental distractions, and potential non-deterministic outcomes. This dynamic workshop is designed to provide professionals within the Forensic Science community a heightened awareness of the Critical Decision Making Process and thereby contribute to their ability to not only function, but excel in the current forensic environment. Topics covered will include:

• A Review of the Classical Definition of Leadership
• The Five Components of a Crisis
• The Ten Traits for Critical Decision Making

Maximum of 40 participants. Cost $35
 

15. Hi-Point Firearms Familiarization/Armorer's Course

Instructor: Tom Deeb - Hi-Point Firearms, Owner
½ Day - Friday Afternoon

This course will discuss the Hi-Point product line as well as the assembly/disassembly, serial numbering system, and the manufacturing processes utilized by the company. There will be a hands-on portion of the course using actual Hi-Point firearms.

This workshop will be held off-site at the Illinois State Police Forensic Science Center at Chicago (FSC-C). Round trip transportation between the Drake Hotel and FSC-C is included in the cost of the workshop.  Please assemble in the lobby of the Drake Hotel at 12:15PM.  The busses will depart promptly at 12:30PM.

Maximum of 40 participants. Cost $45


16. Scientifically Defensible Criteria for the Identification of Toolmarks - FULL

Instructors: John E. Murdock - Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff
                 Bruce R. Moran - Sacramento County District Attorney
All Day - Friday (7:30AM - 6PM)

This comprehensive workshop will begin with a discussion of the chronology of the history of criteria for identification of toolmarks to include time spent on subclass characteristics, Consecutive Matching Striae and how it applies to Frye and Daubert admissibility hearings, photographic documentation of identifications, and the defense of impressed toolmark identifications. Time will also be spent with the practical application of counting striae through a series of hands on exercises. The workshop will conclude with a general review and discussion of training protocols, casework examples, and courtroom testimony and preparation.

Waitlist  Cost $70
 

17. Source Tool Recognition Identification Approach (STRIA) For Cartridge Case Comparison – Workshop II

Instructor: Beta Tam - Independent Firearms Examiner and Instructor, Hong Kong
                
All Day - Friday

This one day workshop is Part II of the STRIA workshop series and is designed to provide advanced practical application of STRIA comparison including variations in firing marks and how to address subclass characteristics. Although this is considered a continuation of Part I, prior attendance in the STRIA Part I workshop is not required. Topics covered include:

  1. Variations in Firing Marks
  2. Subclass Characteristics
  3. Discussion on Interpretation of Significant Agreement of the Identification Theory

Maximum of 30 participants.  Cost $70



 

 

 

 

 

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Copyright � 2001 Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners (AFTE).
All rights reserved.  Revised: May 18, 2011.