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  2012 Armorer's Courses and Workshops

Please check back frequently for additional workshops, tours and armorers courses.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Subclass-The Firearm and Toolmark Examiner’s Worst Problem…..Or is it? - FULL

Instructors: Nancy McCombs
All Day - Sunday 8AM-5PM

This workshop will explore the historical development and evolution of “Subclass Characteristics”, will look critically at the use and definition of the term, will evaluate a wide variety of firearm and tool manufacturing processes for subclass potential, and examine methods of recognizing potential subclass characteristic influence on tooled surfaces. Laboratory practices, interpretation, and legal challenges will also be discussed. Participants are encouraged to bring subclass or potential subclass examples to present and discuss with the group. Emphasis will be on recognizing or eliminating the potential of subclass involvement, strategies to ensure identifications are not subclass in nature, and discuss reporting methods if subclass influence is suspected.

Shooting Incident Reconstruction: 3D Laser Scanning, Uncertainty, and Experimental Setup -

Instructors: Mike Haag/Tony Grissim
All Day - Sunday 8:30AM-5PM

This class will begin with field work at the Lewiston Police Department Firearms Training Facility. This first half of the day will be a live fire session covering basic crime scene procedures and shooting incident specific techniques. This portion of the day will also heavily investigate the concepts of uncertainty of measure / variance, experimental design and procedures, and 3D laser scanning of crime scenes. Data will be collected from both “blind” and “known” experimental designs. Students will be able to conduct hands on measurement of various trajectories from impacts on a wide variety of materials.

After the morning’s live fire and data collection session, the class will reconvene in a classroom to review and analyze the experimental data. In this setting, students will be able to see 3D representations of the shooting scene, and evaluate multiple different methods of trajectory documentation and presentation. Time will be allotted for discussion, questions, and case presentations.

The class with depart the Hyatt at 8:30am to go to an off-site range for the first half of the workshop.  After stopping for lunch, the bus will return to the hotel for an afternoon classroom session.

Waitlist  Cost: $75 (Transportation & Lunch is Provided)

Ricochet Workshop

Instructor: Luke Haag
All Day - Sunday 8AM-5PM

This workshop is a concentrated effort to provide the participant with some definitions, and some general expectations for the behavior of projectiles upon impact with a variety of surface types. The importance and reconstructive value of the appearance of ricochet damage on recovered bullets and their post-impact behavior will be discussed and demonstrated as well as that of the impact sites.

Some suggestions for relatively inexpensive yet effective testing methods to measure projectile behavior before and after impact with a selected surface or material will also be presented.

Attendees are asked to bring portable electronic storage devices (thumb drives, portable hard drives) if digital copies of course work is desired.

Waitlist Cost: $60

Colt AR-15 Armorers Course

Instructor: Allan Offringa
All Day - Sunday 8AM-5PM

Each attendee will gain an understanding of the design theory, nomenclature, dynamics, compatibility, interchangeability, disassembly, assembly, maintenance and trouble-shooting of the M16/AR-15 family of weapons.

Note: Only U.S. Citizens are eligible for this workshop

Waitlist Cost: $100 (Armorer Certificate Included)

Ruger LCP Armourer Course

Instructor: Bob Wood
All Day - Sunday 8:30AM-3:30PM

The Ruger LCP Armourer course will cover complete disassembly, reassembly and function of the LCP pistol. Students will be provided a comprehensive list of Ruger serial number ranges, rates of twist, firearms markings, trigger pull rates, etc. to assist them in their forensic work. Discussions will be open to the manufacturer and function of all product lines as well.

Note: Only US Citizens are eligible for this workshop.

Waitlist  Cost: $60 (Armorer Certificate Included)

IBIS Correlation Review Workshop

Instructor: Joe Zorola, IBIS Trainer
½ Day - Sunday Morning 10AM-12PM

The purpose of this workshop is to help IBIS users (both Heritage and TRAX-3D) from technicians to firearm examiners to better understand, sort, and expedite correlation reviews. The workshop will address Cartridge Case scores, Centerfire scores, and correlation results filtering. 

Maximum of 30 participants.  Cost: FREE

Triumph and Tragedy: McKinley and the Pan-American Exposition

Instructor: Doug Kohler, Erie County Historian
½ Day - Sunday Afternoon 1PM-3PM

The presentation is a multimedia look at Buffalo’s Pan-American Exposition using maps, images and video from the world’s fair held in Buffalo, NY in 1901. There will also be an examination of McKinley’s assassination at the Temple of Music and the events that followed. We hope to have the Iver Johnson revolver that was used in the assassination on display.

Maximum of 25 participants. Cost: $15

Redding: Reloading for the Firearms Examiner - FULL

Instructor: Robin Sharpless
½ Day - Sunday Afternoon 1PM-3:30PM

A general overview of metallic reloading for firearms examiners. Will cover the steps and techniques used in handloading ammunition and what steps and tools can impact identification work.

Waitlist Cost: $25

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

SIG SAUER P229 DAK Armorers Course

Instructor: Rich Verdi
All Day - Tuesday 8:30AM-5PM (This workshop runs during the Tuesday morning technical session)

One day armorer certification for the P229 DAK Classic Pistol.

Note: Only US Citizens are eligible for this workshop. College students registering for this course must possess a valid pistol permit from their home state.

Maximum of 20 participants.  Cost: $60


Hi-Point Firearms Familiarization/Armorer’s Course

Instructor: Tom Deeb
½ Day - Tuesday Afternoon 1PM-5PM

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

Cost: $30

Interactive Session on IBIS

Instructor: Michael Paradis, IBIS Product Manager
½ Day - Tuesday Afternoon 2PM-4PM

IBIS technology continues to evolve, and much of its progress is based on feedback from experts who need it to do their work more effectively. This workshop consists of presentations and discussions on recent and upcoming IBIS imaging and correlation capabilities for cartridge cases and bullets, as well as how IBIS fits in the overall workflow toward final confirmation of evidence on the conventional comparison microscope, and the potential for international sharing between IBIS networks.

Maximum of 35 participants.  Cost: FREE

Magna Flux Serial Number Restoration/Deciphering Barcodes - FULL

Instructors: ATF
½ Day - Tuesday Afternoon 2PM-5PM

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.

Waitlist  Cost: $25


Machine Gun Conversions - FULL

Instructor: Richard Vasquez
½ Day - Tuesday Afternoon 1PM-3PM

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, will assist the examiner in identifying a potential machinegun or attempted machinegun conversions. (Attendees are asked to bring portable electronic storage devices if a copy of the presentation is desired).

Waitlist  Maximum of 40 participants.  Cost: $25

Friday, June 29, 2012

History of Ammunition

Instructor: George Kass
½ Day - Friday Morning 8AM-12PM

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: $30

Ammunition Identification and CartWinPro

Instructor: Axel Manthei                
½ Day - Friday Morning 8AM-12PM

A common task for the firearm examiner is to identify the origin of a cartridge by the headstamp. A headstamp can be more than just the usual letters and numbers. It can contain abbreviations in foreign languages and Arabic numbers as well as symbols. But beyond this the arrangement of the information on the head stamp might be of importance. Special or meaningful codes may also be hidden on the headstamp amongst the more obvious information.

There are many caliber designations, and the difference in measurements can differ only by fractions of an inch. The determination of the correct caliber is, in many cases, easy by reading the headstamp.  However, in some cases, even with readable information on the case head, it can be a difficult task. Demonstration will show how CartWinPro is applied in these cases.

Color codes will be discussed as an important means to describe the nature of the cartridge, and they may also be of importance in determining if the cartridge should not be fired in a particular type of range. Coding is usually standardized within a country or an organization, but may have a completely different meaning if it is from another source. Color codes are not only encountered on the bullet itself, but also in other locations such as the primer annulus, head stamp, or case mouth. Combinations of these codes may also be used to designate the type of cartridge.

With only a bullet from the crime scene, identifying the caliber and cartridge can be a difficult task. Measurement, documentation, and entry of a few parameters in CartWinPro can narrow down the possibilities to a small number, and might also point out some not so obvious ones.

In this workshop we will try to sharpen the eye for hidden details of cartridges, and how one can identify them using CartWinPro.

Maximum of 35+ participants.  Cost: $30

Smith & Wesson M&P Pistol

Instructor: Troy Imes                
½ Day - Friday Morning 10AM-12PM

This lecture based workshop will review distinguishing marks in the slide assembly, trigger assembly, frame assembly and internal parts to make a possible age determination to the age range of the M&P pistols. The instructor will also review the disassembly of the entire pistol and the various features available on the M&P pistol to help determine what channel the gun came from: LE versus commercial

Cost: $25

Contemporary Issues in Firearms Identification - FULL

Instructor: Ron Nichols and Andy Smith                
All Day - Friday 8AM-5PM

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. It behooves any practicing firearm and tool mark examiner to be intimately aware of these issues and be prepared to discuss what impact they have or do not have on their daily work.

This workshop is designed to give the attendee an overview of the most contemporary issues facing the firearm and tool mark examiner community. Not all issues will be discussed, only the ones that are most frequently seen being brought up in court proceedings and in the literature. 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: current critiques and criticisms, subclass characteristics, statistics and objective/subjective conclusions and bias. During each of the four separate lectures class participation and discussion periods will be integral to the success and knowledge gained from the workshop.

Workshop Abstract

Waitlist  Cost: $60

Introduction to Kimber 1911 Pistols

Instructor: Ronald Dudzic                 
All Day - Friday 8AM-5PM

This is an eight (8) hour course which introduces the student to Kimber’s 1911 pistols (full size, Pro, and Ultra variants). This class covers the function of the 1911, field stripping, complete function checks, and detail stripping. Firearms, parts and tools are included for use in the class.

Note: Only U.S. Citizens may register for this workshop.

Cost: $60

Measurement Traceability, Measurement Assurance, and Uncertainty of Measurement Concepts & Applications (Equivalent of ASCLD/LAB 100 A, B & C) - FULL

Instructors: Laurel Farrel and Mark Ruefenacht                
All Day - Friday 8AM-5PM

Fundamental to all forensic testing, measurement, and calibration activities is measurement traceability, measurement assurance, and uncertainty of measurement. A basic foundation will be presented describing the concepts and interrelationships between traceability, measurement assurance, and uncertainty. Participants will be introduced to the ISO Guide to the Uncertainty of Measurement (GUM), the International Vocabulary of Metrology (VIM), and other pertinent reference documents.

At the end of this workshop, using notes and workshop materials, participants should be able to: 1) explain the concepts of traceability, measurement assurance, and uncertainty in court testimony or to forensic laboratory colleagues; 2) describe the interrelationships between traceability, measurement assurance, and uncertainty; 3) apply these fundamental principles and concepts in the forensic and calibration laboratory as a basic foundation to meeting the related requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2005; and 4) provide examples of measurement and testing traceability in the forensic and calibration laboratory.

This workshop will combine the curricula of the three ASCLD/LAB web-based training sessions, Measurement & Testing Traceability (100A), Measurement Assurance (100B), and Uncertainty of Measurement (100C) which are prerequisites to attend the 200 level Uncertainty of Measurement classroom-based training. Hands-on exercises and group activities will be used throughout the workshop to reinforce the concepts. The workshop is appropriate for forensic laboratory management, quality managers, technical managers, calibration technicians, and analysts.

Waitlist Cost: $60

The Cutting Edge in AFTE Tours - FULL

All Day - Friday 8AM-5:30PM

Three knife manufacturing facilities will be toured. Ontario Knife Company/Queen Cutlery Company, Ka-Bar Knives/Cutco Cutlery, and W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company factories are located within 30 miles of each other and about 1 ½ hours from the Buffalo Hyatt hotel. Attendees will be able to observe contrasting manufacturing methods and materials as they relate to target markets. Lunch will be provided.

Waitlist Cost: $60






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