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  2013 Armorer's Courses and Workshops

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

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Subclass Workshop - FULL

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

This one day workshop will explore the historical development and evolution of “Subclass Characteristics” and will look critically at the use and definition of the term. A wide variety of firearm and tool manufacturing processes will be evaluated for subclass potential. Methods of recognizing potential subclass characteristics on tooled surfaces will be examined. Lab practices, interpretation, and legal challenges will be discussed. 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.

Cost: $70

3D Laser Scanning for Bullet Path Reconstruction -

Instructors: Tony Grissim/Chris Coleman
All Day - Sunday 8AM-5PM

The practical use of 3D laser scanning for bullet path reconstruction will be demonstrated through a combination of an outdoor live-fire shooting exercise where students will witness shooter positions and impacts followed by near real-time laser scanning of ballistic trajectory rods (1/2 day in field). The afternoon classroom portion will focus on data processing and analysis of laser scan data with emphasis on accuracy, NIST traceability and actual case studies.

The class with depart the Hyatt at 7:30am 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. Cost includes transportation and lunch.

Cost: $70 (Transportation & Lunch is Provided)

Courtroom Testimony - FULL

Instructors: Evan Thompson/Allison Hedgecock
All Day - Sunday 8AM-5PM

Giving you the skills needed to articulate and be a better presenter in court for what you already do best.         

Workshop Objectives:

1.   Clear Overall Organization

2.   Excellent Physical Skills

3.   Audience Understanding, Connection, and Positive Response

4.   Professional Use of Visuals

5.   Handling Questions Effectively

6.   Poise and Confidence

7.   Success in Achieving Intended Results

Cost: $70

ASCLD/LAB Level 100 Measurement Confidence Course (Combined A, B & C)

Instructors: Laurel Farrell                
All Day - Sunday 8AM-5PM

Fundamental to all measurements made in forensic testing are the concepts of measurement traceability, measurement assurance, and uncertainty of measurement. For each topic a basic foundation will be presented, the interrelationships between the topics will be explored and the applicable accreditation requirements will be reviewed. 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. This combined course is a pre-requisite for the ASCLD/LAB Level 200 Measurement Confidence Course.

Maximum of 30 participants. Cost: $70

Scientific Working Group for Firearms and Toolmarks (SWGGUN) – Admissibility Training Workshop

Instructors: SWGGUN                
All Day - Sunday 8AM-5PM

As part of a continuing effort to provide resources to the firearm and toolmark examiner community, SWGGUN has developed a workshop to assist the attendee in better preparing for questions pertaining to admissibility and admissibility hearings. Questions regarding the admissibility of the firearms and toolmarks discipline, and requests for evidence admissibility hearings, are fairly common practice in today’s legal system. The intent of this workshop is to provide firearm and toolmark examiners the tools necessary to successfully defend themselves when addressing admissibility requirements.

This workshop covers a variety of topics as it relates to evidence admissibility hearings. The topics covered include:

  • Overview of SWGGUN and the Admissibility Resource Kit (ARK)
  • Daubert and Frye admissibility standards
  • Review of recent admissibility hearings and judges motions to include/exclude testimony
  • Systemic issues in firearms and toolmark examination
  • Review of current critiques of firearms and toolmark examination
  • General question and answer session

Maximum of 40 participants. Cost: $25

The IBIS Confirmation Station

Instructor: Paul Murphy and Serge Levesque
½ Day - Sunday Morning 10AM-12PM

In order to expedite the comparison microscopic confirmation of ballistic hits, Forensic Technology has developed the IBIS Confirmation Station as a tool to help forensic firearm examiners streamline their work. This versatile tool incorporates Projectina’s Universal Comparison Microscope and IBIS Matchpoint+, thus enabling forensic firearm examiners to view IBIS hit images in conjunction with comparison microscope images on the same screen. Microscopic regions of interest (ROI) images on evidence and test fired components can be viewed simultaneously. In turn, examiners not only benefit from a faster workflow, but from expedited confirmations of IBIS hit images. Join us at this no-cost workshop to get a sneak-peek at this technology. 

Maximum of 20 participants.  Cost: FREE

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Instructor: George Kass
½ Day - Tuesday Afternoon 1PM-5PM

The course will cover development of the cartridge, headstamps, reference material, bullets, color codes, reference collections, etc.

Maximum of 35+ participants.  Cost: $35

Barrel-Making - FULL

Instructor: Allan Offringa
½ Day - Tuesday Afternoon 1PM-5PM

This workshop will cover the processes used to make barrels from start to finish.

Cost: $35

Image-Based Report Generation Using the Leica Application Suite (LAS)

Instructor: Wayne A. Buttermore
½ Day - Tuesday Afternoon 1PM-5PM

This is an interactive, hands-on workshop requiring a laptop computer with the ability to load software meeting the minimum specifications listed below. The work shop will cover the utilization of the LAS integrated report module to generate image-based reports through Microsoft Office Word Templates. The course will cover template modification to include meta data from the image, such as calibrated values for measurement, camera and image documentation.

Computer Requirements

Maximum of 12 participants.  Cost: $35

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: $35

Double Casting Firearm Evidence Workshop

Instructor: Paul Murphy
½ Day - Tuesday Afternoon 1PM-3PM

Demonstration of techniques on how to make microscopic quality resin replicas of fired bullets and cartridge cases. The purpose of double casting is to make replicas in order to exchange ballistic information across country/state/international borders without sending the original evidence/test fires. The technique is also used in Europe (ENFSI) to generate proficiency tests. The workshop will consist of a 30 minute PowerPoint presentation and a 90 minute practical demonstration (2 hours in total).

Cost: FREE

Microscopy Database Workshop

Instructors: Dr. David Howitt & Eric Collins
½ Day - Tuesday Afternoon 1PM-3PM & Friday 10AM-12PM

As part of an ongoing confocal microscopy database project funded through a NIJ grant at the University of California, Davis, this workshop is designed to give examiners a sense of the practical advantages of using a database to catalogue bullet identification casework. Since confocal microscopes are unavailable to most examiners, this workshop will describe how a series of photographs, taken on any comparison microscope, can be used in a similar manner as a confocal microscopy scan of a land impression. In this "hands-on" workshop, attendees will be shown how to use the software to process optical micrographs and how to build their own image databases for use at their laboratories. Computer software will be provided to all attendees. Participants in the workshop will need to bring their own laptops.

There will be two workshops. the first (Tuesday afternoon, 1-3PM) will introduce attendees to the use of the software and the second (Friday morning, 10am-12pm) will provide both a follow-up for anyone who has questions after working with the software and an introduction to the use of the software for attendees who were not able to attend the Tuesday workshop.

For more information and to download the software prior to the workshop, click HERE.

Please be advised that spots can be reserved for the Tuesday workshop only. The Friday workshop will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Maximum of 25 participants.  Cost: FREE

Friday, June 28, 2013

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: $35

The Science Behind Firearm Individualization

Instructor: Srini Rathinam                
½ Day - Friday Morning 8AM-12PM

In the recent case: US vs. Dore & Barrett, the judge made the following comments in his rulings (Dated March 11, 2013):
The judge ruled that the government:

1.  did not adequately establish ballistics ID as a science,
2.  failed to show that the underlying theory was empirically proven,
3.  did not establish a reliable basis for an identification, and
4.  that the government's witness was precluded from stating any level of certainty to the examination conclusions.

This workshop will address all of these points, with emphasis being placed on #2 and #3. The participants will learn how to articulate and defend the science behind the individualization process, using both theory and data with special emphasis on striated tool marks. SWGGUN's Admissibility Training workshop would be a preferred but not mandatory prerequisite.

Cost: $35

Ruger LCP Armorer Course

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

The Ruger LCP Armorer 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.

Cost: $70 (Armorer Certificate Included)

Wound Ballistics for Firearm Examiners

Instructor: Luke Haag
All Day - Friday 8AM-3PM

This 6-hr. workshop covers the use and calibration of tissue simulants, the wound ballistic behavior of a variety of projectiles, threshold velocities for skin perforation, penetration depth as an expression of impact velocity, injuries from ricocheted and destabilized bullets, and caliber and bullet type determination in living gunshot victims.

Cost: $70

Elysium Arms Tour

Tour the manufacturing facilities of Elysium Arms, located in Raton, NM.  While on-site, participants will be divided into two groups, with each group seeing the production of (2) consecutively manufactured Ruger 10/22 barrels from beginning bar stock through the testing phase.  Final output will be (4) consecutively manufactured barrels that the APD FA/TM Unit will use for a research project.  Attendees of this workshop will be encouraged to participate in the comparison phase of the project.  Cost includes charter bus transportation to Raton and back, a tour of Elysium Arms, as well as lunch and an afternoon snack.


8:00am                    Depart Hyatt Regency-Albuquerque
9:45am                    Rest stop in Las Vegas, NM
10:15am                   Depart Las Vegas, NM (Sack lunch provided on bus)
12:00pm                  Arrive and tour Elysium Arms
4:00pm                    Depart Elysium Arms (Snack provided on bus)
5:45pm                    Rest stop in Las Vegas, NM
6:15pm                    Depart Las Vegas, NM
8:00pm                    Arrive at Hyatt Regency-Albuquerque

Maximum of 30 participants.  Cost: $125



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