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Ballistics (gr. ba'llein, "throw") is the science that deals with the motion,
behavior, and effects of projectiles, especially bullets, gravity bombs, rockets, or
the like; the science or art of designing and hurling projectiles so as to achieve a
desired performance. A ballistic body is a body which is free to move, behave,
and be modified in appearance, contour, or texture by ambient conditions,
substances, or forces, as by the pressure of gases in a gun, by rifling in a barrel,
by gravity, by temperature, or by air particles.

Firearm ballistics information is used in forensic science. Separately from

ballistics information, firearm and tool mark examinations involve analyzing
firearm, ammunition, and tool mark evidence in order to establish whether a
certain firearm or tool was used in the commission of a crime.

Ballistics is sometimes subdivided into:

1. Internal ballistics, the study of the processes originally accelerating the

projectile, for example the passage of a bullet through the barrel of a rifle;
2. Transition ballistics, the study of the projectile's behavior when it leaves
the barrel and the pressure behind the projectile is equalized.
3. External ballistics, the study of the passage of the projectile through
space or the air; and
4. Terminal ballistics, the study of the interaction of a projectile with its
target, whether that be flesh (for a hunting bullet), steel (for an anti-tank
round), or even furnace slag (for an industrial slag disruptor).

“Ballista” is a gigantic bow or catapult which was used to hurl large objects
such as stones at a particular distance to deter animals or enemy forces.

Today, the word Ballistics is frequently used synonymously in the press

and in the Police Parlance to Firearms Identification.


It is a science in itself because it evolved from systematic knowledge,

research and development, training, experience and education of those who
pioneered in this field.

Technically speaking, it refers to the "science of firearms identification

which involves the scientific examination of ballistics exhibits such as: fired
bullets; fired shells; firearms; and allied matters, used in crime.

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Legally speaking, ballistics is the microscopic examination of fired
cartridge cases and bullets together with the recording and presentation by
means of photography of what is revealed by the microscope.


Ballistics is the scientific study of the propulsion and motion of projectiles

such as bullets, artillery shells, rockets and guided missiles. Also includes the
study of the destructive action of such projectiles.

The drag of a projectile moving head on is now usually divided into three

1. bow resistance - due to air pressure at the head of the projectile;

2. skin friction - caused by the friction of air moving along the middle portion
of the body; and
3. base drag - due to the under-pressure and disturbance of the air behind
the base.

The following are pioneers in the study of force and projectiles:

1. GALILEO, NEWTON, and LEIBNIZ established the principles of

dynamics and the methods of calculus, studies which helped the rapid
development of external ballistics.
2. GALILEO and NEWTON were both interested in the force called air
resistance, now usually called aerodynamic drag, which reduces the
speed of a projectile.
3. In 1707, CASSINI, an astronomer suggested measuring firearm’s muzzle


It is the study of motion of projectiles within the gun barrel. The time during
which the projectile is influenced by Interior Ballistics is very short. From the
release of the firing pin to the moment the sound of the shot can be heard as it
leaves the muzzle occupies only about 0.01 seconds, in a modern rifle.

Interior ballistics involves:

1. Ignition of the primer.

2. Flames is produced
3. Combustion of the gunpowder
4. Energy that is generated
5. Force/Pressure developed
6. Velocity of the bullet (from the chamber to the muzzle)
7. Rotation of the bullet

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8. Engraving of the cylindrical surface of the bullet.

Interior ballistics deals with the temperature, volume, and pressure of the
gases resulting from combustion of the propellant charge in the gun; it also deals
with the work performed by the expansion of these gases on the gun, its
carriage, and the projectile. Some of the critical elements involved in the study of
interior ballistics are the relationship of the weight of charge to the weight of
projectile; the length of bore; the optimum size, shape, and density of the
propellant grains for different guns; and the related problems of maximum and
minimum muzzle pressures.

Note the following:

The British engineer Benjamin Robins conducted many experiments in

interior ballistics. His findings justly entitle him to be called the father of modern

Late in the 18th century the Anglo-American physicist Benjamin

Thompson made the first attempt to measure the pressure generated by
gunpowder. The account of his experiments was the most important contribution
to interior ballistics that had been made up to that time.

About 1760 French ballisticians determined the relationship of muzzle

velocity to length of barrel by measuring the velocity of a musket ball and cutting
off a portion of the barrel before taking the velocity of the next shot. By using the
results of these experiments and advances in chemistry and thermodynamics,
ballisticians developed formulas showing the relationship between muzzle
velocity and weight and shape of projectile; weight, type, and grain size of
powder charge; pressure and temperature in the barrel; and the size of the
powder chamber and the length of the barrel.

Related Terms in Interior Ballistics

1. Action – term referring to the mechanism of a firearm.

2. Burning Rate - An arbitrary index of the quickness that burning
propellant changes into gas. Burning rate is controlled by the chemical
composition, the size and shape of the propellant grains, and the pressure
at which the burning takes place. IMR 5010 powder is very slow burning
and Bulls eye is fast burning.

3. Bulk Density - The ratio of the weight of a given volume of powder vs.
the weight of the same volume of water.

4. Chamber Pressure – the pressure generated within the chamber

erroneously called breeched pressure.

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5. Charge Weight to Bullet Weight ratio - This is the ratio of the weight
of the powder charge to the weight of the projectile.

6. Detonation – Chemical rearrangement of molecules into gas instead

of solids to cause the high explosives to exert full power of shock. The
speed of detonation varies in different explosive but in some it is as high
as 7000 yards in a second.
7. Energy - is measured in foot-pounds, and one foot-pound means that
amount of energy, which would be capable of lifting a weight of one pound
through a distance of one foot Drop-Block Action- That type of action in
which the breechblock rises and forces vertically in cuts in the receiver
side walls. Lever actuated as a rule.
8. Expansion Ratio - The ratio of the capacity of the powder chamber
plus bore (in grains of water) to the capacity of the powder chamber (in
grains of water).

9. Foot – Pound - the amount of work required to raise one pound one
foot high against the force of gravity.
10. Foot second - velocity expressed in foot per second.
11. Gas - a fluid resulting from the combustion of gun powder with a
relatively great expansion and spontaneous tendency.
12. Hangfire - Occurs when a cartridge fails to explode on time or delayed
in firing.
13. Knocking Power - the power of the bullet which delivers a very heavy
paralyzing blow that put the victim down and may then recover if the
wound inflicted upon is not fatal.
14. Loading Density - The ratio of the weight of the powder charge to the
capacity of the powder chamber (case). It is usually expressed as the
ratio of the charge weight to the capacity the powder chamber in grains of
water. (See below.) Generally, the more fully the powder charge fills the
case the more consistent and accurate the load will be. On the other hand
if the loading density is too low, (too much free space in the case) it can
cause erratic ignition, change in the pressure curve (moving the peak
towards the muzzle), or even overly rapid burning ("detonation") of the
powder charge. (One reason manuals list minimum or starting loads.)

15. Misfire – total failure of a cartridge to discharge. This is different from

hang fire which merely a delayed combustion, while misfire a complete
failure eve to start combustion.
16. Powder Chamber Capacity - As with most interior ballistics capacity
measurements it is usually expressed in grains of water. It is determined
by measuring the weight of water that a fired case from the test firearm
can contain with a bullet seated to its normal depth. Note that this varies
with different bullets or seating depth as well as the dimensions of the
chamber, and the brand of case.

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17. Pressure – Outward push of gases from powder combustion against
cartridge case, chamber and bore.
18. Sectional Density - The ratio of the bullet's weight (in pounds) to its

19. PSI - Pounds per square inch. It is often seen designated as PSIA.
This designation is now used to signify a measurement of chamber
pressure taken with a piezo-electric device. Piezo-electric units operate in
a similar fashion to the copper crusher units but use a reusable crystal
"crusher" that changes its electrical properties in response to pressure.
When connected to suitable recording equipment the entire pressure
pulse history can be recorded or displayed. The peak pressure recorded
by a piezo-electric peak device usually reads about 5,000 psi higher than
the figure determined by the copper crusher method.

20. Recoil – the equal and opposite reaction of the gun against the
forward movement of the bullet during the explosions.
21. Residual Pressure – the pressure remaining in the chamber after the
bullet has left the barrel.


Exterior Ballistics deals with the motion of projectiles from the time they
leave the muzzle of the firearm to the time they hit the target. The flight of most
bullet or projectile does not exceed 30 seconds at maximum range, which for
almost any firearms is obtained at an elevation of about 33.

CONDITIONS - refers to the natural laws.

a. velocity - speed per unit of time ex. M16 - 3,300 ft/sec.
b. energy - fatal equivalent of a bullet.
c. yaw - the unstable rotating motion of a bullet.
d. gyroscopic action - refers to the stillness of its rotating motion and
attained its highest momentum or stability in flight and penetrating

In exterior ballistics, elements such as shape, caliber, weight, initial

velocities, rotation, air resistance, and gravity help determine the path of a
projectile from the time it leaves the gun until it reaches the target.

Until the middle of the 16th century it was believed that bullets move in
straight lines from the gun to the target and that shells fired from mortars
describe a path made up of two straight lines joined by an arc of a circle. The
Italian mathematician Niccolò Tartaglia, in a published work on gunnery,
claimed that no part of the path of a projectile could be a straight line and that the
greater the velocity of the projectile the flatter its path. Tartaglia invented the
gunner's quadrant used to determine elevation of the muzzle of a gun. He is

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and Italian scientist who a book in which he said that the trajectory of a bullet was
really a continuous curve. He directed some firing tests to determine this angle,
and discovered that it was near 45 degrees and he noted that the trajectory was
continuously curve.

Galileo proved that in a vacuum a projectile describes a parabolic arc.

The description of the law of gravitation by the British scientist Sir Isaac Newton
made plain the cause of the curvilinear motion of projectiles. By the use of
calculus he determined the momentum transferred from the projectile to the
particles of air at rest; this method of calculating air drag has been superseded
by the use of tables prepared from experimental firings.

Two methods have been used to determine the velocity of a projectile after
it leaves the gun. One method measures the momentum of the projectile; the
other measures the time required for the projectile to travel a given distance. The
first method is the older, and in the past, when guns and projectiles were small,
velocities low, and ranges short, the results were sufficiently accurate for most
practical purposes. The ballistic pendulum and gun pendulum were used to
measure projectile momentum, but these devices have been supplanted by
cheaper and more accurate machines working on the principles of the second

The ballistic pendulum was developed about 1743 by Robins, who was
the first to undertake a systematic series of experiments to determine the velocity
of projectiles. The principle of the ballistic pendulum, as well as of the gun
pendulum, which was developed by Thompson, is the transfer of momentum
from a projectile with a small mass and a high velocity to a large mass with a
resultant low velocity.

The ballistic pendulum consisted of a massive plate of iron to which was

bolted a block of wood to receive the impact of the projectile; the pendulum was
suspended freely from a horizontal axis. The block, when struck by the projectile,
recoiled through a certain arc that was easily measured. Knowing the arc of
recoil and the masses of the projectile and the pendulum, the velocity of the
projectile could be determined by calculation. The ballistic pendulum was able to
withstand the impact of musket balls only; however, by determining the relations
that should exist between the caliber, length of barrel, and charge of power,
Robins substantially advanced the science of gunnery.

By the second method, the velocity of a projectile is determined by

measuring the time required for it to travel a known length of its path. Numerous
machines have been devised for this purpose; in 1840 the British physicist Sir
Charles Wheatstone suggested the use of electricity for measuring small
intervals of time. This suggestion led to the development of the chronograph, a
device for recording, by electrical means, the time required for a projectile to
pass between two screens of fine wire.

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The formulas and tables for the exterior ballistics of each new type of gun
or cannon are more or less empirical and must be tested by actual experiment
before the aiming devices can be accurately calibrated.

Further, exterior (external) ballistics refers to the attributes and

movements of the bullet after it has left the gun muzzle. It includes:

1. Muzzle blast - the noise created at the muzzle point of the gun due
to the sudden escape of the expanding gas coming in contact with the air
in the surrounding atmosphere at the muzzle point.
2. Muzzle energy - energy generated at the muzzle point.
3. Trajectory - the actual curved path of the bullet during its flight from
the gun muzzle to the target. The following are the kinds of trajectory:
straight horizontal line - parabola-like flight - vertical drop
4. Range - the straight distance between the muzzle point and the
a. Accurate (effective) range - the distance within the shooter
has control of his shots, meaning he can place his shots at the
desired spots.
b. Maximum range - the farthest distance that a projectile can be
propelled from a firearm.

* While the range at which the ordinary pistol and revolver are
supposed to be effective in only 50-70 yards, all of them can send their
bullets much further than that and are capable of inflicting fatal wounds at
distances up to one mile, depending on the caliber and gunpowder content.

5. Velocity - rate of speed of the bullet per unit of time.

Long barrel rifle – up to 3,000 yards accurate range and its hinge muzzle
velocity of 1000-4000 ft./sec.

* Bullets from rifled weapons spin at 2000-3000 revolutions per

second, but over the first few yards of trajectory – distance varies with the
weapon – their flight is slightly unstable; the end of the projectile wobbles
before it picks up a smooth flight path. This phenomenon is called
“TAILWAG”, and is of considerable important in evaluating gunshot wounds.
A bullet with “tailwag” does not strike its target clearly.

6. Air resistance - resistance encountered by the bullet while in flight.

7. Pull of gravity - downward reaction of the bullet while in flight.
8. Penetration - depth of entry on target.

Note on the following Contributors:

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1. 1707 - Cassini. Suggested measuring of firearms muzzle velocity
2. 1857 – Monsieur Noiles. Published a thesis titled ‘Les Plaies Feu
Courtes’. His thesis dealt with the subject of wounds made by small
3. 1748 - Henry Shrapnel. He invented the shrapnel, which disperse its
load of case shot with a small bursting charge, increasing the effective
range of case.
4. 1898 – Mr. Corin in Paris, France. Published an article titled “La
Determination de La Distance a’Laguelle un Coup de Feu a e’te’ Tire”
(Determination of the distance at which a shot has been discharged from a
5. 1900 – Dr. Albert Llewellyn Hal in Buffalo, New York (USA). A very
significant article entitled “The Missile and the Weapon” was published in
the June issue of the Buffalo Medical Journal.
6. 1903 – Mr. E.J. Churchill in London, England (uncle of Robert
Churchill of later fame as a firearms examiner for the United Kingdom).
He provided testimony as to some experimentation that he had performed
involving the distance of which a shot had been fired into a human skull.
7. 1900 - Dr. Albert Llewellyn. He wrote an article entitled “The Missile
and the Weapon”, which dealt with a variety of issues to include how
measurement of land and groove markings are made on bullets. He also
discussed the examination of gunpowder residues in barrels of firearms
and the changes that take place over time after the weapon is fired.
8. 1921 - Mr. Jorge T. Filho. He published an article entitled “Estimation
of Distance from which a Bullet was Fired” (“Da Diagnose da Distance nos
Tiros de Projecteis Multiplos Chumbo de Caca”).
9. Emile Monnin Chamot. He authored a 61-paged monograph entitled
“The Microscopy of Small Arms Primers”.

Note on the following Terms in Exterior Ballistics:

1. Accuracy Range – The maximum distance at which a particular gun and

cartridges will consistently place all shots in the standard target for that
2. Accurate Range – The distance within which the shooter has control of
his shots.
3. Back Curve - This is that portion of the bullets trajectory that drops below
the critical zone beyond the point blank range. Past this point the
trajectory begins to drop off very rapidly with range and the point of impact
becomes very difficult to estimate.

4. Ballistic Coefficient – The means that the bullet may lose its speed very
rapidly during its flight the air. This is a number that relates to the effect of
air drag on the bullet's flight and which can be used to later predict a
bullet's trajectory under different circumstances through what are called
"drag tables."

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5. Bullet Energy – the power possessed by a moving bullet, or in other
words, its ability to keep going when it meets an obstacle and to do work
on the obstacle is immense importance, for obviously the more power a
bullet has an the harder it is to stop the more effective it can be as a
6. Bullet Trajectory - This is the bullet's path as it travels down range. It is
parabolic in shape and because the line of the bore is below the line of
sight at the muzzle and angled upward, the bullet's path crosses the line of
sight at two locations.

7. Critical Zone - This is the area of the bullet's path where it neither rises
nor falls greater than the dimension specified. Most shooters set this as ±
3" to 4" from the line of sight, although other dimensions are sometimes
used. The measurement is usually based on one-half of the vital zone of
the usual target. Typical vital zones diameters are often given as: 3" to 4"
for small game, and 6" to 8" for big game and anti-personnel use.

8. Drift - is the curve taken by the bullet while in flight. A right hand rifling
curves to the right while that of the left and rifling curves to the left.
9. Effective Range- The maximum distance at which a bullet may
reasonably be expected to travel accurately and kill a particular type of live
10. Extreme Range – The greatest distance the bullet will travel when the
cartridge is fired.
11. Flat Trajectory - A comparative term used to indicate very little curvature
in the flight in the bullet from muzzle to point of impact. When the velocity
is high, comparatively flat trajectory.
12. Gallery Range - The indoor target range. National rifle association of
America, gallery rules required stance from firing point to target of 50 feet
or 75 feet for.22 rim fire riffle; 50 feet or 60 feet for .22rim-fire pistols. On
properly constructed indoor ranges, firing may be conducted with center
fire pistol and revolvers at ranges of 25 yards and 50 yards. Such
installation are generally referred to as “indoor range” the term “gallery”
being applied usually only to the short range .22 caliber installation.
13. Gallery Range - The indoor target range. National rifle association of
America, gallery rules required stance from firing point to target of 50 feet
or 75 feet for.22 rim fire riffle; 50 feet or 60 feet for .22rim-fire pistols. On
properly constructed indoor ranges, firing may be conducted with center
fire pistol and revolvers at ranges of 25 yards and 50 yards. Such
installation are generally referred to as “indoor range” the term “gallery”
being applied usually only to the short range .22 caliber installation.
14. Initial Point - The range at which the bullet's trajectory first crosses the
line of sight. This is normally occurs at a range of about 25 yards.

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15. Instrument Velocity - the velocity of a projectile measured by the
scientific instrument called chronograph, at a specified point on its
trajectory. Always lower than the muzzle velocity.
16. Key-hole Shot – the tumbling of the bullet in its flight and hitting the target
sideways as a result of not spinning on its axis.
17. Maximum Point Blank Range - This is the farthest distance at which the
bullet's path stays within the critical zone. In other words the maximum
range at which you don't have to adjust your point of aim to hit the target's
vital zone. Unless there is some over riding reason to the contrary shots
should not generally be attempted much past this distance. In the words of
the Guru, "It is unethical to attempt to take game beyond 300 meters." If
you do, you should write yourself a letter explaining why it was necessary
to do so. An approximate rule of thumb says that the maximum point blank
range is approximately your zero range plus 40 yards.

18. Maximum Range – the farthest distance that a projectile can be propelled
from a firearm.
19. Maximum Ordinate - This is the maximum height of the projectile's path
above the line of sight for a given point of impact and occurs somewhat
past the halfway point to the zero range and it is determined by your
zeroing range.

20. Mid-range Trajectory - This is the height of the bullets path above the line
of sight at half way to the zero range. It does not occur at the same range
as the maximum ordinate height which can be greater.

21. Minute of Angle (MOA) - A "minute" of angle is 1/60 of a degree which for
all practical purposes equates to 1 inch per 100 yards of range. Thus 1
MOA at 100 yards is 1 inch and at 300 yards it is 3 inches. The term is
commonly used to express the accuracy potential of a firearm.

22. Point Blank Range – Popularly used to indicate the distance the bullet
will travel before it drops enough to require sight adjustment. A short fired
so closed to the target that no sighting is necessary for effective aiming.
23. Ricochet – The bouncing off or deflection of a bullet from its original
trajectory (normal path) after striking a resistant surface.
24. Shocking Power – the power of the bullet that results in the
instantaneous death of the victim.
25. Stopping Power – the power of the bullet that put the victim out of action
instantly. So it should be understood that stopping power is not
necessarily the same thing as killing power. However, stopping power
depends very largely on the location of the sot.
26. Target – an object at which the firearm is aimed and discharged.
27. True Drop – the actual distance the bullet falls during the time of flight to
the target. This is not the same as what we speak of when we discuss

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drop in the ordinary sense, which is more properly termed effective or
apparent drop
28. Zero Range - This is the farthest distance at which the line of sight and
the bullet's path intersect.


It is the study dealing with the effect of the impact of the bullet on the
target. Penetration of the bullet is of prime interest. Penetration is important also
in determining safety requirements for target backstops. They are important to
both sportsman and military.


1. Terminal accuracy - size of the bullet grouping on the target.

2. Terminal energy - energy of the projectile when it strikes the target. Also
known as striking energy.
3. Terminal penetration - depth of entry of the bullet in the target.
4. Terminal velocity - speed of the bullet upon striking the target.

Terminal ballistics also deals with the destructive actions and effects that
occur at the end of the projectile's flight as an integral and un-deformed body.
The flight may end in one of two ways:

1. the projectile may strike a solid obstruction, or

2. its metal case may be broken by the explosion of a bursting charge

SHOTS BALLISTICS - deals with the attributes and properties of shots and

CHOKE - When the diameter of a barrel of a shotgun is the same throughout the
bore, it is called true cylinder.

The bore of the gun is sometimes constricted near the muzzle end. That
is, the diameter near the muzzle end is slightly smaller than the diameter of the
bore of the rest of the barrel. The barrel is said to be choked.

Full – if reduced by one mm; half if reduced by one-half mm; quarter if

reduced by ¼ mm; and improved cylinder if reduced by about 1/10 mm.

The amount of spread in the shot is controlled by the choke. If a barrel will
put 70 percent of its shot charge in a 30-inch (76-centimeter) circle at 40 yards
(37 meters), it is called full choke. Modified choke will deliver about 60 percent;
improved cylinder about 50 percent. A full choke 12-gauge gun will kill ducks that
are about 60 to 65 yards (55 to 59 meters) away.

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Chilled Shot – shotgun pellets made from lead especially hardened by the
addition of a slight amt. of antimony.

WOUND BALLISTICS – It is the study of the effects of projectile to human body.

Gunshot Wound (GSW). It is an open wound produced by the

penetration of bullet slug within the tissues of the body. The bullet which was pro-
pelled from the gun as well as the flame from the heated expanded gases in
short range fire is the one that produces injury.

Three Basic Kinds of GSW Distinguished by the Proximity of the Weapon

1. Contact – gun muzzle pressed against, or within an inch or two, of the

2. Close discharge – 6 inches to 2 ft.
3. Distance Discharge – over 2 ft. or 3 ft.

Range of Fire - an important aspect of forensic ballistics.

1. Muzzle Pattern – indicates contact wound and are often observed in

suicide cases. The whole charge (projectile, wads, if any, smoke, unburnt
or semi-burnt powder particles and hot gases) enter into the target. No
burning, blackening and tattooing are observed. Instead, they are
observed inside the hole through careful examination. The edges are
found ragged (torn in star shape) and the wound is like an exit wound.
2. Scorching – caused by the flame or hot gases not by the hot
projectiles as is commonly believed. It is also known as burning or
3. Blackening – caused by the deposition of smoke particles by all types
of powders at close ranges. Being light particles, they soon lose their
velocity and get deposited on any material available in the path.
4. Tattooing (a.k.a. peppering) – caused by the embedding of unburnt
and semi-burnt powder particles into the surface of the target. These
particles are slightly heavier than the smoke particles. They retain motion
to somewhat longer intervals and consequently cause tattooing to a
distance of about one and a-half times blackening range.

Other GSW Characteristics

1. Pink Coloration – caused by absorbed carbon monoxide in the skin

and flesh.
2. Dirt Ring – deposited by some projectile (which carry greases on
them) around the wound. Existence of this indicates the entrance side of
a firearm injury & does not indicate range.

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3. Contusion – caused by the impact of the projectile (reddish dark to
bluish black - varies somewhat with the age of the injury). It takes the
form of a belt around the wound. It is of uniform in thickness.
4. Foreign Materials – Their presence not only permits the identification
of the firearms injury but they also permit a fairly reliable guess of firearm.

Factors influencing entrance and exit gunshot wounds

1. Kind of weapon - The higher power the weapon is the more destructive to
the tissues of the body.
2. Caliber of the weapon - The higher the caliber of the wounding bullet, the
greater will be the size of the wound of entrance, hence, greater
destruction to the tissues.
3. Shape and composition of the missile - The conical shape free end of
the bullet slug has more penetrating power but less tissue destruction,
while bullet slug with hemispherical free end had less penetrating but
more destruction to the tissues.

* Some bullets were made to be deformed upon heating the

target like the hallow point, dum-dum and soft point bullet. Bullets
made of hard metals like the magnum 44 and the armor-piercing bullet are
not usually deformed upon hitting the target. Other bullets and the
fragments may cause further injury to the body. The tracer bullet is in
flame during its flight to the air and may caused burn upon hitting the body
and this bullet is also used in targeting the low flying airplane.

4. Range of fire - the injury is not only due to the missile but also due to the
pressure of the heated expanded gases, flame and articles of gunpowder.
However, in long range fire, the characteristic effect of the bullet alone will
produce the injury.
5. Direction of fire - A right angle approach of the bullet to the body will
produce a round shape wound of entrance in short distance fire, while in
acute angle of approach the bullet will produce an oval shape wound of
entrance with contusion collar widest on the side of the acute angle of
approach and a tendency for the bullet to deflect to another direction upon
hitting the target.
6. Part of the body involved - When the bullet hit the soft tissues of the
body; the bullet penetrates and usually without any change in direction,
however upon hitting the bones and other hard body structures the bullet
may fracture the bones causing further injury or may deflect to another

Description of the wound of entrance is based on the distance of the body

from the fired gun

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1. Contact fire. This is burst due to the explosion of the powder which
produces the heated and expanded gases. There is burning of the
tissues because it is within the flame zone; singeing of the hair; and
particles of gunpowder in and around the wound of entrance; skin is
separated from the underlying tissues in the affected area and the blasted
tissues are cherry red in color because of the presence of carbon
monoxide; pressure of the bullet will caused caving-in or excavation of
tissues and the contusion collar is seen around the wound of entrance.
The size of the wound is rather small.
2. Near contact up to six inches distance. There is bursting of tissues,
burning and blackening of the skin as in contact fire but the particles of
gunpowder are present inside as well as around the wound of entrance.
The shape of the wound maybe lacerated or slit-like and the size is larger
than the diameter of the missile. The excavation of tissues due to the
pressure of the penetrating bullet slug but it can be severe as in contact
3. Distance above six inches up to 24 inches. The size of the wound
gradually approximates the size of the missile. The farther the target, the
lesser the burning or blackening of tissues, gun powder tattooing, singeing
of the hair and excavation of tissues and lesser until they disappear
beyond the 24 inches distance.

Differentiation between gunshot wound of Entrance and Wound of Exit

Differential points Wound of Entrance Wound of Exit

1. Size of the wound  smaller than the  bigger than the

2. Edge of the wound missile missile Everted
3. Shape of the wound  Inverted  no definite shape
4. Contusion collar  Round or oval  absent
5. Gunpowder tattooing  present in contact  absent
6. Presence or absence  and near contact  maybe absent if
7. Protrusion of tissue fire the slug is lodged
8. Paraffin test  always present inside the body
 Absent  maybe present
 + in contact and  negative
near fire

Determination whether the gunshot injury is Suicidal, Homicidal or


A. Evidence to prove that gunshot wound is suicidal

1. Accessibility of the involved part to the hand of the victim

2. Usually only one gunshot wound
3. Usually the distance is short range or class range

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4. Presence of suicide note
5. History of frustration or despondency of the victim
6. Presence of cadaveric spasm on the hand of the victim
7. Exclusion of other evidences to prove that it is not suicide

B. Evidence that the gunshot wound is homicidal

1. Wound is located at any part of the body

2. Victim usually at a certain distance from the assailant
3. Signs of struggle (Defense wound) maybe present in the victim
4. Disturbances of the surroundings.
5. Wounding weapon usually not found at the scene of the crime
6. Testimony from the witnesses

C. Evidence that gunshot wound is accidental

1. Usually only one gunshot wound

2. Wound located at any part of the body
3. Absence of personal grudge between the victim and the one who fired
the gun
4. Testimony from witnesses

Take note:

Shotgun Wound - It is an open wound produced by the penetration of

pellets or shots within the tissues of the body. In shotgun fire, the pellets
penetrate and usually lodged inside the body and a tendency for a wider
dispersion of pellets at a certain distance except in contact and near contact

Characteristics of the Shotgun Wound of Entrance

1. Contact fire - irregular with bursting of the affected tissues due to

explosion of the heated and expanded with accompanying flame causing
burning of the skin and the tissues. There is singeing of the hair;
presence of wads and particles of gunpowder inside the wound of
2. Near shot up to six inches distance. There is marked laceration of the
skin and destruction of tissues due to the pressure of explosion. The
burning on the surface of the skin and particles of gunpowder are present
inside and around the wound of entrance. There is singeing of the hair as
well as pieces of wads inside and outside the wound of entrance.
3. Distance about one yard. The pellets penetrate the tissues as one
mass making the wound with irregular edge of the wound of entrance.
There will also be blackening of tissues with slight burning, singeing of the
hair or gunpowder tattooing.

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4. Distance about two to three yards. The wound of entrance has a big
central hole with ragged edges and a few stray wounds of entrance
around the central hole. At this distance, there will be no more blackening
or burning of the skin, gunpowder tattooing, singeing of the hair and
pieces of wads or near the wound of entrance.
5. Distance of four yards. A small group of pellets may penetrate the
tissues producing a central core, although plenty of pellets in a
wider dispersion may produced separate wound of entrance. The pellets
dispersed about one and a half the distance in yards in non-choked barrel
while in full-choked bore the dispersion is one half less but there is a wider
dispersion in short barrel shotgun.

Points to consider in the reporting of gunshot and shotgun injuries

1. Detailed description of the gunshot and shotgun wound

2. Location of wound in the body
3. Measurement of the wound as to diameter and depth
4. Number of wound of entrance and exit
5. Direction and length of the bullet tract
6. Organs or tissues involved
7. Location of the slug if lodged in the body
8. Diagram, photograph, sketch or drawing of the gunshot or shotgun wound
Effects or complications of wound

1. Hemorrhage – Bleeding. It is the loss of blood from the ruptured vessel

secondary to trauma or existing pathology.
2. Direct mechanical injury - This is the direct damage to the tissues
3. Shock - It is disturbance of the balance of fluid in the body characterized
by fall in blood pressure, decreases blood flow or blood volume in the
4. Infection. It is the appearance, growth and multiplication of the micro-
organism in the living tissues.
5. Embolism. It is the clogging of the blood vessel by foreign bodies such
as air or bits of fats or septic embolus causing blocking to the blood flow to
the distal tissues supplied by the blood.

Points to consider in the reporting of wound:

1. Character of the wound
2. Location of wound in the body
3. Measurement of the wound - It is declared in inches, centimeters and
a. Length
b. Width
c. Depth
4. Number of wound
5. Direction of wound

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6. Organs involved
7. Severity of the wound
8. Period of healing or incapacity of the victim.

Other pieces of evidence in dealing with the wound

1. Evidence from the wounding weapon

a. Presence of blood stains, bits of tissues and other body fluids on
the wounding weapon.
2. Evidence from the victim as well as the assailant
a. Presence of blood stains, bits of tissues and other body fluids on the
victim or assailant
b. Presence of wound on the victim as well as the assailant
c. Effects or complications of wound such as found in the clinical
manifestations on the victim
3. Evidence from the scene of the crime
a. Presence of blood stains or drops of blood on the streets or flouring,
walls, furniture and other materials at the scene of the crime
b. Presence of bits of tissues, torn clothing and other body fluids at the
scene of the crime

Take Note:

SIR SYDNEY SMITH – founder of the Medico-Legal Faculty at Cairo

University and later Regis Professor of Forensic Medicine at Edinburgh, was one
of the leading exponents in studying entrance and exit wounds, powder burns
and powder “tattooing” on human skin and other medical phenomena associated
with gun fire.

Studies involving Terminal and Wound Ballistics

 1857 – Monsieur Noiles. He published a thesis titled ‘Les

Plaies Feu Courtes’. His thesis dealt with the subject of wounds made by
small firearms.
 1889 – Mr. A. Lacassogne of Lyon, France. He published
a paper tided “La Deformation Des Balles de Revolver” (Deformation of
Revolver Bullets) in Volume 5. Archives de l’Antropologie Criminelle et
Des Sciences Penales.
 1748 - Henry Shrapnel. He invented the shrapnel, which
disperse its load of case shot whit a small bursting charge, increasing the
effective range of case.
 Anomynous author. Published a thesis an article entitled
“Entrance Wounds and Powder Markings”.
 Mr. Louis B. Wilson. He published an article entitle
“Dispersion of Bullet Energy in Relation to Wound Effects”.

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 P. Chavigny and E. Gelma. They authored an article
entitled “Fissures of the Skull by Revolver Bullets at short-range”.
 J. Howard Mathews. Chairman of the Department of
Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin. In this first criminal case, he
was involved on the metallographic analysis of bomb parts used to kill an


It is the study of Firearm Investigation and Identification of firearms by

means of ammunition fired through them. This is the real branch of the science
which the police use as their guide in field investigations. This includes the

1. Field Investigations - conducted by the first officers on the case in the

field when they investigate a case or cases wherein firearms have
been used. This is a routine job of the investigating officers, and this
involves recognition, collection, marking, preservation, and transmittal
of ballistics exhibits like fired bullets, fired shells, firearms and allied
2. Technical examinations of the ballistics exhibits - This is the job
performed by the firearms examiners in the laboratory. It involves
marking of the evidence firearms, test firings of evidence firearms to
obtain test bullets and test shells for comparative purposes,
photomicrography under the bullet comparison microscope,
preparation of comparative charts, and the making of reports on the
findings and observations of the firearms examiners.
3. Legal proceedings - Court Trials - wherein the ballistics report of the
firearm examiner and the ballistics exhibits are presented during the
trial of the case in a court of justice.

Take Note:

FORENSIC - As applied to ballistics, or to any other subject, suggest a

relationship to Courts of Justice and legal proceedings.

FORUM – It is a Latin word from which forensic was derived, meaning a

marketplace, where people gather for "public disputation" or "public discussion".
Thus, the title "Forensic Ballistics" aptly describes the subject under
consideration - the science of investigation and identification of firearms and
ammunitions used in crimes. The terms "Ballistics", Forensic Ballistics" and
"Firearms Identification", have come to mean one and the same thing in the
minds of the public, and they can be used interchangeably.

Studies concerning Forensic Ballistics

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 1835 - Henry Goddard. In one of his case in England, where a
homemaker was shot and killed, he was able to identify the mold mark –
the mold is used to manufacture lead balls from molten leads – on the field
projectile. He was the bullet, which could be traced back to the mold. He
also examined the paper patch – the paper patch provides the seal
between the ball gunpowder firearms – was able to identify it as having
been torn from a newspaper that was found on the room of the guilty
 Paul Jesrich. He took photomicrographs of two bullets to compare, and
subsequently individualize them through the minute differences.
 1905 - Mr. Kockel. He published an article entitled “The Expert
Examination of Fired Bullets”.
 1912 - Professor V. Baltahazard. He devised a series of procedures to
identify fired bullets to the firearms from which they were fired. He studied
the firearms by taking an elaborate series of photographs of test fired
bullet from the firearms as well as evidence bullet. He also applied these
same specilalized photographic techniques to the examination and
identification of cartridge casings using firing pin, breech face, ejection and
extractor marks.
 1913 - Professor Balthazard. Published the first article individualizing
bullet markings.
 1922 - Mr. C. Williams. He wrote an article entitle “Fingerprints on
Bullets” which appeared in Outdoor Life magazine.
 1920 - R.E. Herrick. He published an article entitled “Ballistics
 November 1924 – Dr Sydney Smith. He wrote an article concerning the
details of the investigating that appeared in the British Medical Journal in
January 1926. He relates that he believes that scientific examination of
firearms and projectiles in Great Britain had its beginning as a result of the
publication of his report on the case.
 1920 - COL CALVIN H. GODDARD (M.D., U.S. ARMY) pioneered the
introduction of this science in Criminology courses in the different
 1947 - Col Goddard came to the Philippines when Gen. Castaneda
was ambushed together with his aid, Col Salgado in Kamias, Quezon City,
both died.
 1924 – Captain Edward C. ‘Ned’ Crossman. A well-known shooter and
sports writer, examined firearms evidence for the Los Angeles County
Sheriff in April 1925, in New York City, New York (USA), THE Bureau of
Forensic Ballistics was established by C.E. Waite, Major (later Colonel)
Calvin H. Goddard, Philip O. Gravelle and John H. Fisher.
 1934 - Major Sir Gerald Burrard. He wrote a book entitled “The
Identification of Firearms and Forensic Ballistics”, which discussed many
early cases that occurred throughout the British Empire.

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 1935 Major Julian S. Hatcher. He wrote and published; “Textbook of
Firearms Investigation, Identification and Evidence” together with the
“Textbook of Pistols and Revolvers.”
 1944 – John E. Davis. He joined the Police Department in Oakland,
California establishing its first criminology laboratory.
 Derechter and Mage. They wrote an article entitled “Communication on
the Identification of Fired Bullets and Shells”.
 Arthur Lucas. He published an article entitled “The Examination of
Firearms and Projectiles in Forensic Cases”.
 Jack D. Gunther & Professor Charles O. Gunther. They published the
entitled “The Identification of Firearms”, which provided additional
information about the principles of firearms identification with
approximately one-half of the book discussing in great detail the Sacco-
Vanzetti case to include reprinting large portions of the actual court
transcript. They also discussed the need for the science of firearm
identification to utilize the scientific methodology.
 1958 – John E. Davis. An eminent criminals and Director of the Oakland
Police Department (CA) Criminalistics Section (Crime Lab) wrote a book
titled “An Introduction to Tool Marks, Firearms and the Striagraph”. In his
book, Davis provided excellent information about the examination and
identification of firearms and tool mark evidence.
 1996 – Tom A. Warlow. He published a text on firearms identification
titled “Firearms, the Law and Forensic Ballistics”. Warlow has written a
useful text that contains excellent information for firearm and toolmark
 1997 – Brian J. Heard. He published a text on firearms identification
titled “Handbook of Firearms and Ballistics Examining and Interpreting
Forensic Evidence”.



A firearm is a weapon that fires either single or multiple projectiles

propelled at high velocity by the gases produced through rapid, confined burning
of a propellant. This process of rapid burning is technically known as
deflagration. In older firearms, this propellant was typically black powder, but
modern firearms use smokeless powder or other propellants.

The term gun is often used as a synonym for firearm, but in specialist use
has a restricted sense—referring only to an artillery piece with a relatively high
muzzle velocity and a relatively flat trajectory, such as a field gun, a tank gun, an
anti-tank gun, or a gun used in the delivery of naval gunfire.

Firearms are sometimes referred to as small arms. Small arms are

weapons which can be carried by a single individual, with a barrel bore of up to

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approximately 0.50 inch (12.7 mm). Small arms are aimed visually at their targets
by hand using optical sights. The range of accuracy for small arms is generally
limited to about one mile (1600 m), usually considerably less, although the
current record for a successful Sniper attack is slightly more than 1 1/2 miles.

Firearm (Technical) is an instrument that is used for the propulsion of

projectile by means of the expansive force of gases of burning gunpowder.

Firearms or Arm (legal – Sec. 877 of the RAC and Sec. 290 of NIRC) –
includes rifles, muskets, carbines, shotguns, pistols, revolvers and all other
weapons from which a bullet, a ball, a shot, a shell or missiles may be
discharged by means of gunpowder or other explosives. The term also includes
air rifles, except that are in small in caliber and usually used as toys. The barrel
of any firearm is considered a complete firearm for purposes of Section 877 of
the Revised Administrative Code.

Take Note:

 Rifle – long rifle bored firearm designed to hit targets at a greater or

longer distance, with spiral grooves to fire only a single shot.
 Musket – long smooth bored firearm that is designed to prepare a single
 Shotgun – long smooth bored firearm having a barrel of 25-30 inches
long and designed to shot birds in flight; long smooth bored firearm and
breech loading designed to fire a number of lead pellets or shot in one
 Carbine – s short barrel rifle, having a barrel not longer than 22 inches
and it is designed to fire a single shot through a rifled-bore, either semi-
automatic or full automatic, for every press of the trigger.
 .22 – minimum caliber - .19 - .18 – if only used as toys, could not be
considered as firearm.
 barrel of any firearm - Possession of any part of a firearm is considered a
violation of illegal possession of firearm (SCRA Dec. 11, 1992).


Firearm is any weapon that uses gunpowder to fire a bullet or shell.

Generally, the term is used for light firearms, such as rifles, shotguns, and pistols.
They are often called small arms. Heavier firearms are generally referred to as


Any firearm, large or small, has four essential parts:

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1. Barrel – It is a long tube. It may be smooth, as in a
shotgun, or with spiral grooves on the inner surface, as in a rifle.
2. Chamber - It is a widened hole at the breech (rear)
end of the barrel. It holds the cartridge (explosive charge).
3. Breech mechanism - The breech mechanism closes
the rear end of the barrel, holding the cartridge in the chamber.
4. Every up-to-date firearm has some way by which the
breech can be opened for loading and locked for safety in firing. Artillery
uses screw plugs or breechblocks. Machine guns, rifles, and other small
arms usually have a metal cylinder, or bolt, that is locked when the gun is
fired, and drawn back to eject (force out) the empty cartridge case and to
5. Firing mechanism - The firing mechanism may be
electric, as in some large artillery pieces. In small arms, a spring drives a
pointed firing pin through the breech bolt against a sensitive primer in the
cartridge. The firing pin is cocked (drawn back) against a hook called the
sear. When the trigger is pulled, the sear releases the firing pin, which in
turn leaps forward to strike the primer. A jet of flame from the primer
ignites the rest of the powder, forming a gas. This explosive gas propels
the bullet from the barrel.


1. Pistol – a handgun that is magazine feed. It is said that pistols were

invented in the Italian town “PISTOIA.” Hence, the name pistol – arrived
in Britain about 1515 as German import.
2. Revolver – A handgun with a corresponding cylinder that revolves before
the barrel which consist of different chambers.


 13th Century – development of firearms followed the invention of

gunpowder in Western Europe.
 BERTHOLD SCHWARTZ – a German monk, and Roger Bacon, an
English monk – are both credited with gunpowder invention.

* Most reference books credit Roger Bacon, English monk and

scientist, with the invention of gunpowder in 1248, and Berthold
Schwartz, with the application of gun powder to the propelling of a
missile in the early 1300’s. This powder was that we now call “black

 1118 – Moors used artillery against Zaragoza. Early manuscripts tell o

fseveral Moorish campaign in which artillery was used all dating prior to
Bacon and Scwartz.

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 1245 – Gen. Batu, the Tartar leader used artillery in Liegnitz when he
defeated the Poles, Hungarians and Russians.
* It is also often stated that gunpowder was first invented by
Chinese were aware of gunpowder and its use as a propellant long
before its advantage became recognized in Europe. It may also assume
the Arabs with their advance knowledge of chemistry at that time.

 1247 – one of the earliest recorded uses of firearms in warfare was that o
fan attack on Seville, Spain.
 1346 – Cannons used by King Edward III of England at Crecy
 1453 – Mohammed II of Turkey in his famous conquest of Constantinople.
 1500 AD - French Artist LEONARDO DA VINCE as can be gleaned in his
sketch of steam powered cannon to his primitive wheel lock firearm.

* First firearms were inefficient, large and heavy and were not
capable of being carried by an individual soldier hence; the development
of cannons preceded that of small arm weapons by almost 50 years.

Stages of development of man’s weapon:


Contributors in Firearms Development

 Col. Calvin H. Goddard, Md., OS, U.S. Army – Father of Modern

 Horace Smith – Founded the great firm Smith & Wesson and pioneered
the making of breech-loading riffles.
 Daniel B. Wesson – An associate or partners of Smith in revolver making.
 John M. Browning – Wizard of modern firearms and pioneered the
breech loading single shot riffle.
 John T. Thompson – Pioneered the making of Thompson Sub-machine
 David “Carbine” Williams – maker of first known carbine.
 Alexander John Forsyth – Father of the percussion ignition.
 Elisha King Root – Designed machinery of making Colt firearms.
 Eliphalet Remington – one of the first riffle makers.
 John Mahlon Marlin – founder of Marlin Firearms Company.
 James Wolfe Ripley – Stimulated the development of the Model 1855
 Samuel Colt (1814-1862) - of Hartford, Connecticut, produced the first
practical revolver bringing it to what most gunsmiths would agree was its

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perfect form in the Colt Army 1873 model, which became famous for its .
45 caliber.
 Other manufacturers followed Colt’s lead: Remington and Smith and
Wesson in the US., Adams and Scott-Webley in BRITAIN, Star, Luger,
Browning and Beretta on the CONTINENT, until revolvers were in used
in every part of the world.
 Henry Derringer – He gave his name to a whole class of firearms (Riffles
and pistols)
 John C. Garand – Designed and invented the semi-automatic US Riffle,
Cal. .30 MI
 Oliver F. Winchester – one of the earliest riffles and pistol makers.
 John Dreyse (1841) - Invented a breech-loading infantry rifle, the so
called needle gun because of its long sharp firing pin.
 Maj. Cavalli of Sardina (1845) - He develop a serviceable breech loading
artillery rifle.
 Carl Walther (1866) - Develop a reliable small caliber automatic Pistol.
 Paul Withelm Mauser (1871) - Produced parts of the rifle which had been
adopted by the German government.
 Sergei Mossin (1891) - Designed the Russian Service rifle.
 Kijiro Nambu (1904) - An army gun designer whose design was first
produced by the Kayoba factory.
 Charles Dorchester & George Sullivan (1950) - Formed the Armalite


1313 – Gunpowder as a Propellant. The age of gunpowder began with its

first use as a propellant for a projectile. Such use has been recorded as
early as 1313.
1350 – Small Arms. Gunpowder was first used only in cannons. It was in
the middle of the 14th century that portable hand firearms were introduced.
These guns were ignited by a hand-held hot wire or lighted match.
1498 – Riflings. The first reference to riffled barrels appeared. Although it’s
important as an aid to accuracy was recognized by some, it was a year
after before riffling was generally used.
1575 – Cartridge. Paper cartridge combining both powder and ball were
developed. This greatly speeded loading and reduced the hazards of
carrying loose powder.
1807 – Percussion System. The discovery of Forsyth in 1807 that certain
compounds detonated by a blast would be used to ignite the charge in a
firearm, for the basis for all later percussion and cartridge to come into
general use.
1845 - Rimfire Cartridge. In France, Flobert developed a “bullet breech cap”
which was in reality the first rim fire cartridge.

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1858 – Center fire Cartridge. The Morse cartridge o f1858 marked the
beginning of the rapid development of the center fire cartridge.
1884 – Automatic machine-gun. Hiram Maxim built the first fully automatic
gun, utilizing the recoil of the piece of load and fire the next charge.
1885 – Smokeless Powder. In France, Vieille developed the first satisfactory
smokeless powder, a new propellant which not only lacked the smoke
characteristic of black powder, but also more powerful.


Generally, the principles involved in all firearms action are the same.
When the firearm is cocked and ready to fire, a pull on the trigger will cause the
firing pin of the hammer to hit the percussion cap of the cartridge in the firing
chamber which is aligned with the rear portion of the barrel. The hit by the firing
pin on the percussion cap will cause generation of a sufficient heat capable of
igniting the primer.

The primer will in turn ignite the gunpowder or propellant which will cause
evolution of gases under pressure and temperature. The marked expansion of
the gases will force the projectile forward with certain velocity.

Owing to presence of the rifling at the inner wall of the bore, the barrel
offers some degree of resistance to the projectile. In as much as the riffling is
arranged in a spiral manner, the projectile will produce a spinning movement as it
comes out in the muzzle.

Together with the bullet passing out of the barrel are high pressure heated
gases, unburned powder grains with flame and smoke.

During explosion, there is a backward kick of the firearm which in

automatic firearm cause the cocking and the cartridge cause thrown out by the
ejector. The backward movement is called recoil of the firearm.


Rifling refers to spiral grooves that have been formed into the barrel of a
firearm. It is the means by which a firearm imparts a spin to a projectile to
gyroscopically stabilize it to improve accuracy. Most rifling is created by either
cutting with a machine tool, pressed by a tool called a "button" or forged into the
barrel over a "mandrel". The grooves are the spaces that are cut out, and the
resulting ridges are called 'lands'. These lands and grooves can vary in number,
depth, shape, direction of twist ('right' or 'left'), and 'twist rate' (turns per unit of
barrel length). The spin imparted by rifling significantly improves the stability of
the projectile, improving both range and accuracy.

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It consists of the number of the helical grooves cut on the surface of the
bore, it includes the lands and grooves are running parallel with one another

* Sporting Rifle
As a bullet is fired from a rifle, grooves in the interior of the barrel cause it to spin.
The spinning motion stabilizes the bullet and increases its distance and accuracy.
This illustration shows a modern hunting rifle and highlights its main components.

Take Note:

Recent developments - The grooves most commonly used in modern

rifling have fairly sharp edges. More recently, polygonal rifling has become
popular, as it seems to produce better accuracy due to the fact that it does not
damage the bullet as badly as conventional rifling. Polygonal barrels also tend to
have longer service lives because the reduction of the sharp edges of the land
reduces flame erosion. Higher velocities may be generated due to a reduction of
friction and an improvement of the gas seal between the bullet and barrel. A
disadvantage of polygonal rifling is that if simple lead bullets are used, lead from
the bullet tends to accumulate in the barrel (called leading) resulting in a dirty
barrel, poor accuracy, and if the leading becomes severe, excessive chamber
pressure which could cause a barrel or locking failure. Polygonal rifling is
currently seen on most pistols from GLOCK and Kahr Arms.


The caliber of the firearm is the diameter of the bore of the barrel
measured from land to land in rifled firearm. It is expressed in inches or fraction
of an inch by the American and English manufacturers and millimeters or in
centimeters there by manufacturers in Continental Europe.


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The rifle, invented about 1500, had spiral grooves in the barrel that made
it more accurate than any previous firearm. Smokeless powder was developed in
the 1800's. Breechloading systems replaced dangerous muzzle loading. Many
improvements since have resulted in high-powered firearms.

Rifle is a gun with spiral grooves in its long barrel that spin the bullet as it
is shot. Rifles are usually held against the shoulder when firing. Soldiers use
rifles in battle. People also use rifles to hunt game and to compete in shooting

The parts of a rifle - All rifles have four basic parts:

(1) the barrel,
(2) the stock, (3) the action, and
(3) the sights.

How a rifle works. A rifle is ready to be fired when a cartridge has been fed into
the firing chamber. Then the rifle is aimed and the trigger squeezed. The rifle's
hammer or firing pin strikes the rear end of the cartridge and ignites the primer.
The primer in turn ignites the propellant powder in the cartridge. The powder
burns rapidly, creating pressure that drives the bullet down the barrel.

The rifling in the barrel makes the bullet spin. Without spin, a bullet would
not stay pointed forward in flight, but would tumble over and over. The spinning
motion increases the accuracy of a bullet.
Kinds of Rifles

Rifles are classified by:

 type of action: (manually operated, automatic, or semiautomatic);

 the name of the designer or manufacturer (for example, Remington or
Winchester); or
 caliber. Caliber may refer to the inside diameter of the barrel or the
diameter of the bullet. The caliber is measured in millimeters or in decimal
fractions of an inch.

There are three kinds of repeating rifles with hand-operated actions-bolt-

action, lever-action, and slide-action. These rifles have magazines (cartridge
holders) that feed cartridges into the firing chamber.

The action on two other kinds of rifles-automatic and semiautomatic-is

operated by forces caused by the burning of the propellant powder in the firing

1. Bolt-action rifles have an action that resembles a bolt used to lock a

door. When the bolt on the rifle is pulled back, the used cartridge is thrown

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out and the hammer is cocked. When the bolt is moved forward, it pushes
a new cartridge into the firing chamber.
2. Lever-action rifles are loaded by moving a lever under the breech
down and back up. The down movement throws out the used cartridge
and cocks the hammer. The up movement inserts a new cartridge into the
firing chamber.
3. Slide-action rifles, also called pump-action rifles, are loaded with a
back-and-forth movement of a rod and handle beneath the front part of the
barrel. When the handle is pulled back, the breech opens and the used
cartridge is thrown out. A live cartridge is inserted when the handle is
pushed forward.

Automatic and semiautomatic rifles are used mainly by soldiers and police
officers. When a rifle is fired, gas is formed by the burning powder in the firing
chamber. The expanding gas drives the bullet out of the barrel. In most modern
automatic and semiautomatic rifles, some of this gas operates the action. When
a cartridge is fired, a fresh cartridge is moved out of the magazine into the firing
chamber, and the firing mechanism is cocked.

The M16A2 is the automatic rifle used by the U.S. armed forces. It weighs
8.9 pounds (4 kilograms) when loaded with a 30-cartridge magazine. The M16A2
can fire one shot at a time, or three shots in a single burst. It uses a 5.56-
millimeter cartridge.

Rifle cartridges are enclosed in a casing (metal covering) made of brass or

steel. Cartridges vary in size according to the caliber of the rifle. The names of
some cartridges include the year the cartridge was put into use. The .30-06 is a .
30-caliber cartridge chosen for use by the U.S. Army in 1906. The classification
of some cartridges includes the caliber and velocity (speed) of the bullet. The
bullet from a .250-3000 cartridge has a velocity of 3,000 feet (910 meters) per

Take Note:

Modern rifles developed from the crude, muzzle-loading firearms of the

1400's. Rifling of barrels was invented in Europe about 1500. Smooth-bore
firearms (weapons without rifling) could not be depended on to hit targets more
than 100 steps away.

The jaeger rifle of central and northern Europe was the first accurate rifle.
It was developed about 1665. German immigrants brought jaegers to
Pennsylvania in the early 1700's and gave them new features, including longer
barrels. The Pennsylvania-made Kentucky rifle developed from the jaeger. Some
Kentucky rifles were used in the Revolutionary War in America (1775-1783).

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Rifles used round bullets until the 1850's, when more accurate Minie
bullets became popular. Minie bullets had hollow bases and pointed tips and
were used in the U.S. Civil War (1861-1865). Improvements of the late 1800's
included repeating rifles, smokeless explosive powder, and jacketed bullets,
which have a tough metal cover over a lead or steel core.


Handgun is a firearm that can be operated with one hand. Other types of
guns, such as rifles and machine guns, require the use of both hands, a tripod
(three-legged stand), or a shooting rest.

Parts of a handgun (the frame, the grip, the barrel, the sights, and the action)

The frame is the main body of the gun that connects the other parts. The
grip is the handle of the gun, and the barrel is the metal tube through which the
bullet is fired. The lands and rifling (grooves) are alternating raised surfaces and
channels inside the barrel. They cause the bullet to spin and thus make it travel
in a direct path.

The shooter uses the sights to line up the handgun with the target. Some
sights can be adjusted to help aim the gun more easily. All handguns made for
target shooting have adjustable sights.

The action includes the main working parts of the handgun. It consists of
such parts as the trigger, the hammer, and the cartridge chamber. The type of
action determines how the handgun is loaded and fired. The action of every
handgun includes a safety, a mechanism that prevents the gun from being fired
unintentionally. The safety ensures that the gun fires when the shooter squeezes
the trigger, but not, for example, when the gun is dropped to the ground.

Types of handguns - There are five main types of handguns:

1. single-action revolvers,
2. double-action revolvers,
3. single-action semiautomatic pistols,
4. double-action semiautomatic pistols, and
5. single-shot pistols.

Revolvers carry ammunition in chambers in a rotating cylinder. Most

pistols are loaded with a magazine containing the ammunition. The magazine is
a metal holder inserted in the gun's butt (thicker end).

Single-action revolvers typically hold six cartridges. An arm near the

hammer rotates the cylinder one-sixth of a turn when the hammer is cocked. This
movement puts a cartridge into line with the barrel and the firing pin (part that

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strikes the primer to fire the cartridge). After cocking the hammer, the shooter
pulls the trigger. The hammer unlocks and falls, exploding the cartridge. The Colt
single-action Army revolver, first produced in the 1870's, is the most famous
firearm of this type.

Double-action revolvers, like single-action revolvers, typically hold six

cartridges. But, unlike single-action revolvers, double-action revolvers do not
require the user to manually cock the hammer before firing. Instead, the gun is
fired by only pulling the trigger. When the trigger is pulled, a lock that holds the
cylinder in place is released, revolving the cylinder and cocking the hammer.
When the next chamber is lined up with the barrel, the cylinder locking bolt is
raised into the locking notch, securing the cylinder. The hammer then falls and
fires the cartridge. The cycle is repeated for the next shot.

The main advantage of the double-action revolver over the single-action

revolver is that it can be fired rapidly. The Smith & Wesson military and police
revolver is one of the most popular double-action revolvers. This firearm was
introduced in 1905.

Single-action semiautomatic pistols are fired by first pulling back a

device called a slide to cock the hammer or the firing pin, which is sometimes
called a striker mechanism. When the slide is released, it moves forward and
feeds a round from the clip into the cartridge chamber. When the shooter pulls
the trigger, the hammer falls or the striker mechanism is released, impacting the
primer and exploding the gunpowder in the cartridge. The explosion causes the
slide to move backward. This recoil automatically ejects the empty cartridge and
recocks the gun. When the slide moves forward again, it reloads the chamber.
The most famous single-action semiautomatic is the Colt .45 automatic pistol. It
served as the standard sidearm of the U.S. armed forces from 1911 until 1985.

Double-action semiautomatic pistols operate somewhat like double-

action revolvers. When the trigger is pulled, the hammer goes through the firing
cycle and fires the cartridge. After the initial shot, the pistol begins to operate like
a single-action semiautomatic pistol. The recoil of the first shot forces out the
empty cartridge case, cocks the hammer, and inserts a new cartridge from the
clip into the cartridge chamber. Double-action semiautomatics are widely used by
sports enthusiasts and police officers. In 1985, the 9-millimeter Beretta, a double-
action semiautomatic pistol, became the standard sidearm of the U.S. armed
forces. Other popular models include the Smith & Wesson Model 39 and the
Walther PPK.

Single-shot pistols are used chiefly in international target-shooting

competitions. To load a single-shot pistol, the user moves the operating lever
(part that opens and closes the action) forward and down to lower the breech
block and to cock the firing pin. The breech block closes the breech of the gun-
that is, the part behind the barrel. After the breech block has been lowered, the

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cartridge chamber is exposed. The user then inserts a cartridge into the
chamber. Next, the operating lever is pulled up and back to close the chamber
and move the cartridge into the closed position. The pistol is then ready to fire.
When the trigger is pulled, the firing pin drops, exploding the cartridge. The
procedure is then repeated to remove the cartridge and reload the pistol. Famous
single-shot pistols include the Hammerli Free Pistol, the Walther, and the Martini.

Take Note:

The first gun operated with one hand was the matchlock gun, which
appeared in the 1400's. It was fired by attaching a burning cord or match to an S-
shaped holder called a serpentine. In the early 1500's, the wheel-lock gun was
invented. Its metal wheel struck a spark when it revolved against a piece of
pyrite. With the wheel lock, soldiers no longer had to carry flames to ignite the

During the mid-1500's, snaphance pistols, which were easier to operate

than the wheel lock, came into widespread use. In the 1600's and 1700's, many
kinds of gunlocks were developed, including the flintlock.
In 1807, Alexander Forsyth, a Scottish inventor, introduced the percussion
system. Percussion-system pistols were loaded from the muzzle, with a sliding
can of priming powder on the breech. Small handguns called derringers are
descended from percussion-system pistols, but are breech loaded. They are
named for Henry Deringer, Jr., a U.S. pistol maker of the 1800's.
Rapid-fire handguns - One of the first practical revolvers was the Colt
Paterson, patented in England in 1835 by Samuel Colt, a U.S. inventor. In 1857,
the U.S. inventors Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson began producing revolvers
that used cartridges.

The Borchardt, the first self-loading semiautomatic pistol, appeared in

1893. It had an eight-cartridge clip placed in the hollow of the grip. George Luger,
an Austrian-born inventor, improved the Borchardt in the early 1900's. In 1897,
John M. Browning, a U.S. inventor, patented an automatic pistol that became the
basis for later automatics, including the Colt .45.


1. Machine gun is an automatic weapon that can fire from 400 to 1,600
rounds of ammunition each minute. Machine gun barrels range in size from .22
caliber to 20 millimeters. Ammunition is fed into the gun from a cloth or metal
belt, or from a cartridge holder called a magazine. Because machine guns fire so
rapidly, they must be cooled by air. Machine guns are heavy weapons and are
usually mounted on a support.

Operation: In all machine guns, extremely high gas pressure provides

the operating energy for the firing cycle. The cycle begins when the propellant

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charge in the cartridge case burns. This combustion creates the gas pressure
that is used in the blowback, gas, and recoil operating systems. All three
systems fire the projectile through the bore of the barrel, eject the cartridge case,
place a new cartridge in the firing chamber, and ready the mechanism to repeat
the cycle.

In the blowback system, the operating energy comes from the cartridge
case as the case is forced to the rear by the gas pressure. The case moves
against the bolt (a device that opens and closes the bore), driving the bolt
backward against a spring. The case is ejected, and the compressed spring
drives the bolt forward. As the bolt moves forward, it cocks the firing mechanism,
picks up a new cartridge, carries it into the chamber, and the cycle begins again.

In the gas system, the gas pressure drives a piston against the bolt. The
bolt is driven to the rear, providing energy for a cycle like that of the blowback

In the recoil system, the bolt locks to the barrel when the gun is fired.
These parts remain locked together as they are forced to the rear by the gas
pressure. This movement provides energy to operate the gun.

2. Ground weapons. The 7.62-millimeter M60 machine gun is a major

infantry weapon. It is air-cooled and gas-operated, and fires about 600 rounds a
minute. The M60 replaced the Browning machine gun, an important weapon in
World Wars I and II, and the Korean War.

3. Aircraft weapons. By the close of World War I, several types of

machine guns were mounted on airplanes. These types included the Vickers,
Maxim, Hotchkiss, Colt-Martin, and Lewis. Some machine guns were
synchronized to fire in between the blades of propellers.

During World War II, fighters and bombers carried machine guns as
armament. They also carried automatic cannon up to 20 millimeters in size.
During the Vietnam War, airplanes and helicopters called gunships carried
machine guns or cannon. Today, most fighter planes and gunships carry rockets
for air-to-air and air-to-ground use. Bombers use machine guns mounted in
groups of two or four in power-driven turrets. The Vulcan 20-millimeter aircraft
cannon has six rotating barrels. It can fire more than a ton of metal and
explosives each minute.

4. Anti-aircraft weapons. The .50-caliber Browning machine gun was

used as an antiaircraft weapon during World War II. It was used alone, or in
groups of two or four. Large-caliber automatic cannon that fired explosive shells
were also developed as antiaircraft weapons. The 20-millimeter, Swiss-made
Oerlikon gun was used on U.S. Navy ships. It was a self-fed, self-firing cannon
that could fire 600 rounds a minute.

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Take Note:

A type of machine gun appeared as early as the 1500's. It consisted of

several guns bound together in a bundle or spread out in a row. A device that
was fitted to the gun barrels caused them to fire simultaneously or in series. But
little success was achieved until the Civil War, when many quick-fire guns
appeared. Practical, rapid-fire, mechanical guns were used in the Franco-
Prussian War, when soldiers operated them with a crank or lever. The French
Montigny mitrailleuse and the American Gatling were among the more successful
of these guns.

In 1883, Hiram Maxim, an American-born inventor, developed the first

entirely automatic machine gun to gain wide acceptance. By the time of World
War I, many different types of machine guns had come into use.



1. Rifled Bore Firearms - those that contain riflings inside the gun barrel.
Riflings refers the lands and grooves such as the following: Rifle – Pistol -
2. Smooth Bore Firearms – those that have no riflings inside the gun barrel
for the breech end up to the muzzle of the firearm. Such as the following:
Shotguns - Muskets

SHOTGUN – it is smooth bore firearm designed to shoot a number of lead

pellets one discharge.
GAUGE – as applied to shotgun indicates that the bore diameter is equal
to the diameter of lead ball weighing in pounds.

B. MAIN TYPES OF FIREARM (according to caliber of projectile)

1. Artillery – propelled projectile is more than one inch in diameter.
Ex. Cannons, mortars, bazookas
2. Small Arms – propelled projectile is less than one inch diameter.
Ex. Machine guns, shoulder arms and handguns/arms


1. Single Rifle Firearms – type of firearm designed to fire only
one shot for every loading. Example: Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun
2. Repeating Arms – type of firearm designed to fire several shots in one
loading. Example: Automatic pistols, Revolvers, Rifles, Shotguns
3. Bolt Action Type – reloading is done by manipulation of the bolt.
Examples: Rifles, Shotguns.

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4. Automatic Loading Type – after the first shot is fired, automatic loading
or feeding of the chamber takes place. Examples: Rifles, Shotguns
5. Slide Action Type (Trombone) – loading takes place by back and forth
manipulation of the under forearm of the gun. Examples: Rifles and
6. Lever Type (Break-type) – loading takes place by lever action on the
firearm. Examples: Rifles, Shotguns.


1. Military Firearms
a. Pistols d. Shotguns
b. Revolvers e. Machine guns
c. Rifles
2. Pocket and Home Defense Firearms
a. Pistols c. Rifles
b. Revolvers d. Shotguns
3. Target and Outdoorsman known as Sporting
a. Pistols b. Revolvers c. Rifles

E. UNUSUAL/MISCELLANEOUS TYPES – those that are unique in mechanism

and construction.
a. Paltik pistols b. Paltik rifles c. Paltik revolvers d. Paltik shotguns

Section 1. Unlawful Manufacture, Sale, Acquisition, Disposition or

Possession of Firearms or Ammunition or Instruments used or intended to be
used in the Manufacture of Firearms or Ammunitions. The penalty of prision
correctional in its maximum period and a fine of not less than Fifteen thousand
pesos (P15,000.00) shall be imposed upon any person who shall unlawfully
manufacture, dealt in, acquire, dispose or possess any low-powered firearm,
such as rimfire handgun, .380, .32 and other firearm of similar firepower, part of
firearm, ammunition or machinery, tool or instrument used in the manufacture of
any firearm or ammunition: provided, that no other crime was committed.

The penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period and a fine of thirty
thousand pesos (P30,000.00) shall be imposed in the firearm is classified as high
powered firearms which includes those with bore bigger in diameter than caliber .
38 and 9mm such as caliber .40, .44, .45 and also lesser caliber firearms but
considered powerful such as caliber .357 and caliber .22 center fire magnum and
other firearms with firing capability of full automatic and by burst of two (2) or
three (3): Provided, however, that no other crime was committed by the person


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1. Revolver 3. Rifle – Cal. .30
a. barrel assembly a. barrel assembly
b. cylinder assembly b. magazine assembly
c. frame or receiver c. stock group

2. Pistol 4. Shotgun
a. barrel assembly a. barrel assembly
b. slide assembly b. magazine assembly
c. frame or receiver c. stock group


1. Revolver 2. Pistol
1. Barrel Assembly a. Barrel Assembly
(1) breech end (1) breech end
(2) muzzle end (2) muzzle end
(3) bore (3) bore
(4) riflings (4) riflings
(5) front sight (5) chamber
(6) make (6) interlocking ribs
(7) barrel lug
(8) barrel link
(9) barrel link pin
(10) barrel lead (leed)

2. Cylinder assembly b. Slide Assembly

(1) chambers (1) front sight
(2) extractor (2) top strap
(3) extractor rod (3) ejection part
(4) racket (4) rear sight
(5) cylinder grooves (5) breech block
(6) yoke (6) breech face
(7) cylinder locking notches (touch holes) (7) extractor
(8) firing pin
(9) firing pin stop
(10) serrations
(11) trademark
(12) model
(13) interlocking lugs

3. Frame or Receiver c. Frame or Receiver

(1) top strap (1) ejector
(2) rear sight (2) hammer
(3) breech face (3) spur
(4) hammer (4) grip safety

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(5) spur (5) disconnector
(6) thumb latch (6) thumb safety
(7) side plate (7) back strap
(8) back strap (8) butt
(9) firing strap (9) lanyard loop
(10)butt (10) front strap
(11) front strap (11) magazine well
(12)trigger guard (12) right side stock
(13)trigger (13) left side stock
(14)cylinder lock (14) trigger
(15)right side stock (15) trigger stock
(16)left side stock (16) modes
(17)trade mark (monogram) (17) plunger
(18)serial number (18) serial number


The following parts must be removed first before disassembly of the weapon:
- recoil plug - recoil spring - barrel bushing - recoil spring guide - slide stop


1. Revolver

 almost everyone knows something about how to handle it.

 safer for inexperienced people.
 the mechanism allows the trigger pull to be better.
 a misfire does not put the revolver out of action.
 Can handle satisfactory old or new or partly deteriorated ammunition
which reduces velocity.

2. Automatic pistol

 has a better grip, fits the hand and points naturally

 more compact for the same fire power
 easier to load, easier to clean
 barrel when worn or corroded can be replaced without sending the gun to
the factory
 gives greater number of shots
 gives greater fire power and greatest ease in firing
 no gas leakage during firing


1. Revolver

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 bulkier to carry
 grip or handle is generally not as good as that of pistol
 hard to clean after firing
 slower to load
 harder to replace worn out parts – it’s a factory job
 worn out or poorly made weapon is subject to variable accuracy to
improper lining up of cylinder

2. Automatic Pistol

 ammunition must be perfect – it causes jam

 misfire stops the functioning of gun
 when kept loaded for long period of time – magazine spring is under
 has poorer trigger pull
 magazine requires jacketed bullet
 more dangerous to handle especially for inexperienced people
 usually not adopted for reloading
 possible ejection of empty shell towards the face of the firer causing
 throws out empty shell on the ground to remain as evidence
 cannot be fired from the pocket without jamming


Every police officer should frequently check his revolver for:

1. obstruction in the barrel
2. bulging or swollen barrel
3. firing pin protrusion through recoil plate when trigger is in rearward
4. on older revolvers, the imprint of the primer on the recoil plate in relation to
the firing pin hole (insures blow in the center of primer)
5. evidence of “splitting lead” around breech of barrel or for complaints of
fellow shooters
6. tightness of all side plate screw
7. tightness of ejector rod head if the weapon is S & W
8. cleanliness and protective film of oil to prevent rust


LEGAL DEFINITION – it maybe found in Chapter VII, Sec. 290 of the

National Internal Revenue Code as well as in Sec. 877 of the Revised
Administrative Code. It refers to ammunition as s “loaded shell” for rifles,

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muskets, carbines, shotguns, revolvers and pistols from which a ball, bullet, shot,
shell or other missile may be fired by means of gunpowder or other explosives.
The term also includes ammunition for air rifles as mentioned elsewhere in the

TECHNICAL DEFINTION – Technically speaking, the term ammunition

refers to a group of cartridges or to a single unit or single cartridge – meaning a
complete unfired unit consisting of a bullet, cartridge case, gunpowder and
primer. The term may also refer to a “single round”.


The term “cartridge” evolved from about the turn of sixteenth century. The
earliest small arms ammunition or cartridge consisted of a pre-measured charge
of powder wrapped in a paper. In Webster’s later edition, a cartridge is defined as
“A case capsule, shell or bag of metal, pasteboard, of the like, containing the
explosive charge and in small arms and some cannon, the projectile to be fired.
The term cartridge is derived from the word “charta”, the Latin word for paper.
Later on, it came through the French word “cartouche”, meaning a roll of
paper, which indicates that the original cartridges were not the brass gilding-
metal tipped units which we are familiar with today.

The use of paper-wrapped powder charged greatly speeds the loading of

military weapons, avoided waste of powder from spillage, and provided a uniform
charge from shot to shot. In time, the bullet was either attached faster or more

Take Note:

 “ammunition” means any unfired assembly of cartridge case, powder,

primer and projectile which may be used in a firearm. Today, it refers to a
“file of assembled cartridges” in bulks as in boxes or lots & also used to
refer to the supply a person may be carrying with him.
 “round” refers to a single cartridge.
 shotgun cartridges are commonly referred to as “shell” or “shotshell”
 rifle ammunition is referred to as “metallics” or “cartridges”.
 When an investigator uses a term “cartridge” he invariably refers to
revolver, pistol, or rifle cartridges.
 The layman uses the abovementioned terms indiscriminately, although as
general rule he speaks of “cartridges” when referring to a pistol, revolver,
rifle ammunitions and “shells” when referring to shotguns.
 Among the uniformed, the word “bullet” as often misused, as it is
commonly used to apply to any sort of any unfired cartridge. Actually, it is
that solid portion of the cartridge which leaves the muzzle of the gun and
does the “striking” or “killing”. The word can properly be used in
connection with pistol, revolver or rifle ammunition but other common

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designations for the bullet are “projectile” or “ball” is a relic of old muzzle-
loading days when all rifle projectiles were round lead balls.


1. BULLET – the projectile propelled through the barrel of a firearm by

means of expansive force of gases coming from burning gunpowder.
2. CARTRIDGE CASE – the tubular metallic container for the gunpowder.
Sometimes called ”shell” or “casting”.
3. GUNPOWDER – It is the propellant which when ignited by the primer flash
is converted to gas under high pressure and propels the bullet or shot
charge through the barrel and on to the target.
4. PRIMER – the metal cap containing the highly sensitive priming mixture of
chemical compound, which when heat or struck by firing pin would ignite.
Such action is called “percussion.”


1. Revolver cartridges
2. Pistol cartridges
3. Rifle cartridges
4. Shotgun cartridges

1. PIN FIRE CARTRIDGE – the first cartridge of a self –exploding type which
enjoyed any real general use was the type called the “pin fire” commonly
attributed to Monsier Le Facheux of Paris, around 1896. Pin-fire
cartridges were made for all types was small arms in appearance to a
modern shotgun shell wherein it had a head of the cartridge and a
percussion fixed by a wad or metal cup. The percussion had a pin resting
on its detonating compound. The end protruding of the e pin is hit by a
hammer coming down vertically from the side of the cartridge instead of
penetrating horizontally from its fear. This type of cartridge is no longer
2. CENTER FIRE – priming powder is located at the center.
3. RINGFIRE CARTRIDGE – A type of cartridge used only on sabotage
cases. The chattel cartridges of Steyr advance combat rifle and Steyr
anti-material squad machine gun. This is a special type of cartridge
wherein the priming mixture is placed in a circular hollow ring about 1/3 of
the base of the cartridge.
4. RIM FIRE CARTRIDGE – The simplest form of modern cartridge is the
“rim-fire cartridge”. The name “rim-fire” is derived from the fact that this
type can be fired only if the cartridge is struck by the hammer of firing pin
on the rim of he case. In this type, the priming mixture is contained or
located in a cavity inside and around the rim of the cartridge which is a
very sensitive area. If a rim fire cartridge is struck anywhere in the

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sensitive area, the priming substance is crushed between the front and
rear of the case rim. This denotes or ignites the priming mixture, causing
a flash of flame.

Rim-fire cartridges may be identified by the smooth base of the

cartridge case, which may or may not have a head stamps are merely letters
or design found on the base of the cases that identifies the manufacturer.
These rim-fire cartridges are generally found in caliber .22s. They can be
fired in either caliber .22 pistols, caliber 22. revolvers and caliber .22 rifles.
Rim-fire cartridges can be further classified into:

a. rimmed type – used in revolvers .38 and .357

b. semi-rimmed – used in super .380
c. rimless - .45 pistols, Thompson, grease gun, submachine guns


1. Caliber .22 – used in revolvers, pistols, rifles

2. Caliber .25 – used in pistols and rifles
3. Caliber .30 – used in carbines and other rifles
4. Caliber .32 – used in automatic pistols and revolvers
5. Caliber .380 – used in pistols
6. Caliber .38 – used in revolvers
7. Caliber .357 – used in .357 revolvers (Magnum)
8. Caliber .44 – used in Magnum revolvers
9. Caliber .45 – used in Automatic pistols
10. Caliber .50 – used in caliber .50 machine guns

The abovementioned different classes of small arms cartridges are

generally encountered by the Police in the field of firearms investigation in our
jurisdiction. These are commonly used by criminals because they are used in
firearms that are easy to carry, conceal, fire and dispose of.


1. Penetrators - pierce targets using a single bullet,

2. High explosives - burst before hitting their target, fragmenting into
thousands of penetrating pieces or becoming a high-speed jet of molten
metal, and
3. Carrier projectiles - break open near the target to deliver leaflets, radar-
deceiving materials, or submunitions (small ammunition).


Artillery includes rocket launchers and such mounted guns as howitzers,

mortars, antiaircraft guns, and naval guns. Most types of field and naval artillery

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ammunition are called shells. A single shell, like a single cartridge, is known as a
round. Field artillery projectiles range in size from 50 to 240 millimeters and can
weigh over 200 pounds (90 kilograms). Most artillery shells taper to the rear, a
shape that gives them greater range. Some have streamlined ogives (nose
shields). Others, known as base-burner shells, have a small amount of propellant
burning in the tail during flight. This reduces drag (air resistance).

Some shells are high explosives, which detonate on impact and damage
or destroy the target. Detonating the shell's explosive filler shatters the shell into
thousands of fragments. High explosives include TNT; RDX, also known as
cyclonite or hexogen; composition B, a mixture of RDX and TNT; PETN; and
pentolite, a combination of PETN and TNT. Other shells contain mines or small
shells that can be expelled at intervals over a specified area or during a certain
period of time.

Still other shells are filled with a non-explosive substance, such as a

chemical that is poisonous or that produces smoke or fire. Illuminating, or star,
shells light up the battlefield or seascape. A shell with a chaff warhead expels
strips of aluminum, which produce images on a radar screen similar to those
caused by aircraft. Such images confuse radar operators and thus help protect
aircraft from enemy attack.

There are five main types of artillery shells

1. Fixed ammunition fired by artillery consists of a projectile, a casing, a

primer, and a propellant. Like small-arms cartridges, fixed artillery
ammunition shells are manufactured as complete units.
2. Semifixed ammunition resembles fixed ammunition. However, the
projectile fits loosely into the casing so that the sections can be separated.
Thus, the amount of propellant in the casing can be increased or
decreased, depending on how far the shell is from the target.
3. Separate loading ammunition, also called bag ammunition, consists of
separate sections for the projectile, the primer, and the propellant. The
propellant is packed into bags that are placed behind the projectile. The
number of bags used depends on the distance the shell must travel. This
type of ammunition is used to fire the heaviest artillery shells over great
4. Separated ammunition consists of two sections. One section is the
projectile. The other includes the primer, the casing, and a fixed amount of
5. Guided ammunition can correct its flight in the air after being fired. It
often uses pop-out tail fins to steer itself. Most guided ammunition finds its
target by tracking a laser spot on the target. This spot is usually produced
by a forward observer, a person or object forward of the line of fire. Some
shells known as smart shells have small radars and computers in them.

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These shells can search for and find such targets as armored vehicles or
trucks without help.


Armored-vehicle ammunition consists of projectiles fired by guns mounted

on tanks and other armored vehicles. They have diameters from 20 to 125

A common armored-vehicle penetrator is a projectile with a nose cap of

tungsten or another heavy metal. The cap helps the projectile penetrate opposing
vehicles. A high explosive projectile is a hollow-charge warhead. This warhead is
hollow in the front and has an explosive charge in the back. Its explosion
converts a copper cone in the warhead to a molten, high-speed jet. The jet
penetrates the target. Another armored vehicle projectile is a long dart made of
tungsten or depleted uranium (uranium with most of its radioactivity removed).
The dart travels on a device called a sabot, which breaks away after the dart
leaves the gun's barrel.


This is used by law enforcement officials to subdue rioters without causing

serious injury. Most of this ammunition consists of hard rubber bullets. Another
type is made of soft rubber rings that look like doughnuts and may contain tear
gas. These rings cause less damage than do the rubber bullets.


Shotgun is a shoulder gun that fires a cartridge that contains a powder

charge and a load of metal pellets, called shot. The shot spreads over a wide
area. This makes it easier to hit a moving target with a shotgun than with the
single bullet from a rifle or a pistol. The shotgun is chiefly a hunting gun.

Kinds of Shots:

1. bird shot - small shotgun pellets

2. buckshot – larger ones are used to shoot such animals as deer
3. single shot – consist of single unit of projectile

Shotgun cartridges consist of a plastic or paper tube with a brass or

steel case at one end. They contain lead or steel shot instead of bullets.

The caliber of a shotgun is measured by bore, or gauge. The weight of the

lead shot required to fit the muzzle of the gun is the standard of measurement for
the bore. If a bullet weighing 1/12 pound (38 grams) fits the bore, the shotgun is

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called a 12-bore, or a 12-gauge, gun. Popular gauges are 10, 12, 16, 20, 28, and

Some shotguns are named by caliber, as for example, the one that is
called .410 gauge shotguns which actually means .41 caliber. A 12-gauge
shotgun has a caliber of .729 inch.

The first shotgun, developed in 1537, was loaded with small shot instead
of one round ball. In 1831, Augustus Demondion patented a cartridge that held
small shot. Modern shotguns are single barrels, double barrels, or single barrels
with automatic repeating magazines that hold several cartridges. Repeating
shotguns are popular in the United States with hunters as well as with many law
enforcement officers.

SHOT WADS. At a distance of 5-8 yards or more from the place of firing in
the approximate direction of fire, one can sometimes find wads.

The life of well made metallic small arms ammunitions perhaps 10 years
on the average. Some last 5-6 years, however, ammunitions may lose some
of its strength in 5 or 6 years. Some may last 25 years or more depending on
the conditions storage. Damp, and warm climates are worst.

In order to prevent the entrance of oil or moisture, it is common practice to

varnish the mouth of the case before the insertion of the bullet and to put a
ring of waterproofing around the joint between the primer and the primer


It is a tubular metallic or non-metallic container which holds together the

bullet, gunpowder and primer.

It is the portion of the cartridge that is automatically ejected from the

automatic firearm during firing and this remains at the scene of the crime. This is
firearm evidence that can help trace a particular firearm from which it was fired.


The function of cartridge case is basically the same whether it is fired in

revolvers, pistols, rifles, shotguns, or machine guns. These include:

1. It holds the bullet, gunpowder and primer assembled into one unit.
2. It serves as a waterproof container for the gunpowder.

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3. It prevents the escape of the gases to the rear as the sidewalls of the
cartridge case are forced against the walls of the chamber by the
pressure. It serves as a “gas seal” at the breech end of the barrel.


1. RIM – the projecting rims of rimmed and semi-rimmed cases serve the
purpose of limiting the forward travel of cartridges into their chambers and
thus also limit the clearance, if any between the head and the supporting.
2. PRIMER POCKET – performs three functions:
a.) holding primers securely in certain position;
b.) providing a means to prevent the escape of gas to the rear of the
c.) providing a primer support for primer anvils, without which the latter
could not be fired.
3. VENTS ORFLASH HOLES –the “vent” or “flash holes” is the hole in the
web or bottom of the primer pocket through which the primer “flash”
provides ignition to the powder charge. It is the “opening” or “canal” that
connects the priming mixture with the gunpowder.
4. THE HEAD AND BODY – the “head” and “body” constitute the “cork” that
plugs the breech of the barrel against the escape of the gas.
5. NECK – applied to that part of the cartridge case that is occupied by the
bullet to prevent the bullet from being push back or loosened.
6. CANNELURES – shell cannelures are the serrated grooves that are
sometimes found rolled into the neck and body of cases at the location of
the cases of the bullet to prevent the bullet from being pushed back or
7. CRIMP – is that part of the mouth of a case that is turned in upon the
bullet. It works two ways a) it aids in holding the bullet in place; b) it offers
resistance to the movement of the bullet out of the neck which affects the
burning of gunpowder.
8. BASE - the bottom portion of the case which holds: a)the primer which
contains the priming mixture; b) the shell head which contains the head
stamp, caliber, and year of manufacture.
9. SHOULDER –that portion which supports the neck.
10. EXTRACTING GROOVE – the circular groove near the base of the case
or shell designed for the automatic withdrawal of the case after each firing.


1. Straight – all rimmed shell and most centerfire revolver

cartridges. Ex. Cal. 38 special
2. Tapered – very rare but being used in so-called “magnum
jet” Cal. .22.
3. Bottleneck – ex. 5.56mm cartridge cases
4. Belted – ex. .30 magnum

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1. Rimmed – diameter of base is very much bigger than of the body
2. Semi-rimmed – diameter of base is slightly bigger than of the body
3. Rimless – diameter of base is the same as of the body


1. RIMMED – It has a flange at the base which is larger than the diameter of
the body of the cartridge case. This flange is to enable the cartridge to be
extracted from the weapon in which it is used.
2. SEMI-RIMMED – It has a flange which is slightly larger than the diameter
of the cartridge case and a groove around the case body just in front of
the flange.
3. RIMLESS – The flange diameter is the same as the body and there is, for
extraction purposes, a groove around the case-body in front of the flange.
4. REBATED – It has an extractor flange which is less than the diameter of
the cartridge case.
5. BELTED CASE – It has a pronounced raised belt encircling the base of
the cartridge, the belt is for additional strength in high pressure cartridge.


1. Straight cased – where the case diameter is approximately the same
along its length.
2. Bottled-necked – where a wide bodied case is, just before the case
mouth, reduced in diameter to that of the bullet.
3. Tapered case – where a wide based cartridge case is gradually reduced
in diameter along its length.


1. Serves as container for bullet, powder charge and the primer
2. Prevent the escape of gases
3. It serves as the waterproof container of the powder charge.

Take Note:

 Annealing – is the process of making cartridge case by heating a brass to

become very soft and ductile and very weak: when it is drawn or otherwise
worked, it becomes hard, strong and elastic.
 Belted Cartridge – A cartridge, which has a raised belt before the
extractor groove. The cartridge seats on this belt, most “Magnum”
cartridge case. Also called a European type primer.
 Blank Cartridge – Is a cartridge consisting of the case with its primer,
powder charge and a wad to train the powder.

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 Blank Cartridge Pistol – A firearm without opening in the muzzle, the gas
may escape through the hole in the top of the frame.
 Center Pin – serve us a locking device for the cylinder.
 Drawing – a machine operation in manufacturing cartridge cases. Is the
process of making case by punching discs from a sheet of brass and then
making these discs out into tubes closed to one end.
 Guard Cartridge – one loaded with buckshot or a reduced charge ball.
 Rolled Crimp – One in which the mouth of the cartridge case is turned
inward into a cannelure on the bullet all around its circumference to retain
the bullet at the proper seating depth.
 Round – One single complete cartridge.
 Ruptured Case – Any cartridge case, which has been split in firing so that
the gas has escape.
 Short Cartridge – a metallic cartridge loaded with a small shot.
 Signal Cartridge – one containing vari-colored luminous balls of the
“roman candle” variety.

BULLETS (Projectiles)

Bullet is also knows as PROJECTILE – is a metallic or non-metallic body

usually referred to as a bullet that is completely dependent upon an outside force
for its power.
Under this definition, the term may also include projectiles propelled from
shotguns although strictly speaking these projectiles designed for shotguns are
called “shot”, “slug” or pellets. In a layman’s viewpoint, a projectile fired from a
firearms is called slug, although what be actually meant is a “bullet”.

The term “bullet” originated from the French word “boulette”, a small
ball. In common Police parlance, a bullet may be called “slug” which is a
colloquial term.



Basically there are two (2) kinds of bullets:

1. Lead Bullets – those which are made of lead or alloy of this metal such
as lead, tin and antimony.
2. Jacketed Bullets – those with a core of lead alloy covered a jacket of
harder metal such as guiding metal and copper zinc.

Purposes of the jacket

1. keep the bullet intact and from not breaking up when it strike the target.
2. prevent damage while in the weapon

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3. control expansion

Take Note:

 copper plated steel maybe used instead of gilding metal for the jacket of
caliber .45 - jacket of metal patch made of cupro nickel or gilding metal.
 If jscket bullets are used in revolvers, the gun barrel will be loosened or


1. Pointed bullet
2. Round Nose bullet
3. Wad Cutter bullet
4. Semi-Wad Cutter bullet
5. Hollow Point bullet
6. Boat Tailed bullet

* Another improvement in bullets was the boat-tail in which the name

became .30 M1. The “M” stands for Mark but some contend stands for


1. solid lead point

2. solid hollow
3. solid paper patch
4. metal cased
5. soft point
6. metal cased hollow point
7. metal point
8. rifled slug
9. glycer type bullet
10. quadraximum

1. .38 – disability purposes

2. .45 – knocking power – subduing a maniac or amok
3. M16 – fatal effects
4. Garand and Carbine – penetration and long range shooting


1. Ball Bullets – have a soft cores and are used against personnel.
2. Armor Piercing Bullet – have hardened steel cores and are fired against
vehicles, weapons and armored targets in general.

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3. Tracer Bullets – contains compound usually similar to barium nitrates
which is set on fire when the bullet is projected. The flash of this smoke
from this burning permits the flight of the bullet to be seen.
4. Incendiary Bullets – contains a mixture such as phosphorous or other
materials, that can be set on fire by impact. They are used against target
that will burn readily such as aircraft.
5. Explosives Bullets – contains a high charge of high explosive and
because of their small size it is difficult to make a fuse tat will work reliably
in small arms ammunition. For this reason the use of high explosive
bullets is usually limited to 20mm and above.


Cartridges used in weapons other than shotguns are measured by caliber

(the diameter of the bullet). Manufacturers and users of ammunition in the United
States have traditionally specified caliber in decimal fractions of an inch. For
example, a .30-caliber cartridge has a diameter of 30/100 inch (7.6 millimeters).
However, it is becoming customary to use millimeters instead. The U.S. armed
forces specify caliber in millimeters. Small-arms cartridges are less than 20
millimeters or .78 caliber.


1. Caliber .22 about 5.56 mm

2. Caliber .25 about 6.35 mm
3. Caliber .32 about 7.65 mm
4. Caliber .30 about 7.63 mm (Mauser)
5. Caliber .30 about 7.63 mm (Luger)
6. Caliber .38 about 9mm
7. Caliber .45 about 11.43 mm


1. cm to mm - 10.0
2. mm to inch - 0.03937
3. inch to mm - 25.4
4. meter to yard - 1.094
5. grain to gram - 0.06480
6. gram to grain - 15.43
7. gram to kg - 0.001

Take Note:

 .0002 second – explosion of a bullet by means of tremendous

explosion of burning gases.

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 Resistance of .38 is 15,000 to 45,000 ft./found.
 Buck-shot – it ranges 50 yards

Take Note:

 Ball Bullet – Bullets have soft

lead cores inside a jacket.
 Cannelure (bullet) – A
knurled ring or serrated grooved around the body of the bullet which
contains wax for lubrication in order to minimize friction during the
passage of the bullet inside the bore.
 Dumdum Bullet – an out-
moded and generally misused term – hollow point bullets manufactured in
Dumdum, India.
 Explosive (Fragmentary)
Bullets – Contain a high charge explosive, because of heir small size, it is
difficult to make a fuse that will work reliably in small arms ammunitions.
For this reason the use of high explosive bullets is usually to 20 mm. and
 Hollow Point – designed to
increase expansion (sometimes called “express bullets”)
 Iced Bullets or solidified
bullets – super cooled water made as a projectile.
 Lead Bullets - Actually a
mixture of lead and one or more hardening ingredient.
 Metal Cased Bullet –
colloquially used to indicate either a metal patched of full patched bullet.
 Metal Patched Bullet – any
metal-jacketed bullet. Technically, it is a bullet having a metal cup over the
base and extending forward over that portion of the bullet which bears
against the rifling, the lead core being exposed at the nose of the bullet.
 Mushroom Bullet –
colloquially. Any bullet designed to expand on impact. Technically, a metal
patched bullet with exposed round nose.
 Ogive – the curved portion of
the bullet that is symmetrical and forms the head of the projectile of ogival
 Plated Bullet – a bullet
covered with a thin coating of a copper alloy to prevent leading on the
inside of the barrel.
 Pointed Bullet – more
effective ballistically because there is less surface resistance to air, thus
the speed is less retarded and greater velocity.
 Soft or Drop Shot – shotgun
pellets made of ordinary soft lead made into round pellets.

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 Soft Point Bullet – expands
on striking hence it produces more serious damage and have greater
stopping power: from a high velocity rifle, it will expand upon striking a
flesh until it looks like a mushroom, hence, they are often called
mushroom bullet. Such bullets are of little effect than a full-jacketed bullet
in revolvers or automatic pistols, because the velocity is too low to cause
the bullet to expand.
 Steel Jacketed Bullet –
bullet having soft steel jacket, often clad or plated with gliding metal to
prevent resting and reduce frictional resistance in the bore.
 Tracer Bullet – a bullet
containing a substance inside the jacket at the base of the bullet which is
ignited when fired showing a brilliant “tail light” during its flight. It has an
incendiary effect if they strike before the “tail light” base burned put.


It is a substance or a mixture of substances which upon suitable ignition

releases a large amount of chemical energy at a high and controllable rate, the
energy liberation is to convert the propellant into a high of gas.


Generally, there are two types of powder in small arms. These are:

1. Black Powder (Europeans) – the standard ingredients are: Potassium

nitrate 75%, Sulphur 10% and Charcoal 15%. It’s characteristics are:
a. oldest propellant powder
b. consist of irregular grains and have either a dull or shiny black
c. produces grayish smoke and considerable residue is left in the
d. burns with reasonable great rapidity when ignited
Qualities (typical to all explosives)

a. when ignited, it will burn by itself without aid from the

outside air
b. in burning, it gives off large amount of gas
c. a considerable amount of heat is evolved

2. Smokeless Powder – Nitrocellulose and Nitroglycerine as the major

ingredients, mixed with one or more minor ingredients such as centralite,
Vaseline esters, inorganic salts and etc.


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1. Single based (Nitrocellulose) – pure nitroglycerin gelatinized with
2. Double based - Nitrocellulose and Nitroglycerine with the following minor
a. centralite
b. Vaseline phthalate esters
c. Inorganic salt

Purposes of the minor ingredients:

a. insure stability
b. reduce flash or flame temperature
c. improve ignitability

a. gray green to black in color and grains are similar in size and shape to
the single-base propellants
b. almost all have a perfectly definite shape such as: small squares;
discs; flakes; stripes; pellets; and perforated cylindrical grains

3. Triple based – Nitrocellulose, Nitroglycerine and Nitroguanadine - It was

devised in an attempt to compromise between the low power single based
powders and high power but excessive heat of double based powders.
The percentage of nitroglycerin is small, but sufficient to give added
power. The nitro-guanidine lowers the flame temperature while still adding
active explosive constituent. One of its virtues is that it is entirely flashless
though it does not generate rather more smoke than the other types.

4. High ignition temperature propellant – Its main constituent is from RDX

group of high explosives. It was moderated to the process of
gelatinozation and was then developed by Dynamite Noble of Germany in
conjunction with Heckler and Koch for the latter’s G11K2 rifle. This is a
caseless cartridge.

Take Note:

 Cordite – A British propellant

made by dissolving gun cotton and nitroglycerin and adding 5% of
 Gun Cotton – A very powerful
explosive, like nitroglycerin which is a chemical compound and not a
mixture. This is formed by the action of nitric and sulfuric acid on cotton or
any other kind of cellulose.


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It is an assembly which ignites the propellant. The primer assembly of
center fire cartridges consists of a brass or guiding-metal cup that contains a
primer composition pellet of sensitive explosive, a paper disc (foil), and a brass

A blow from the firing pin of a small arms weapon on center of the primer
compresses the primer composition violently between the cup and the anvil, thus
causing the composition to explode. The hole or vent in the anvil allows the
flame to pass through the primer vent in the cartridge case, thereby igniting the

Rimfire ammunition, such as the caliber .22 cartridge does not contain
primer assembly; the primer composition is spun into the rim of the cartridge
case and the propellant is in intimate contact with the composition. In firing, the
firing pin strikes the rim of the case and thus compresses the primer composition
and initiates its explosion.

Take Note:

1807 – Alexander John Forsyth conceived the percussion ignition

system. He was a Scotch Presbyterian Minister, chemist and hunter.

First successful priming mixture was one composed of potassium chlorate.


1. Boxer primer (one flash hole) – favorite in U.S. invented by Col. Edward
Munier Boxer in 1869.
2. Berdan (European Type) – two flash holes or vents invented by Hiram
Berdan of New York in 1850’s.


1. Primer Cap – it is the soft guiding metal which serves as the container of
priming mixture, paper disc and anvil.
2. Priming Mixture – contains a small amount of explosive mixture which is
sufficiently sensitive to result of chemical reaction being set up by the
caused by a sudden blow.
3. Paper Discs – this is made of thin shellacked paper disc that protects the
priming mixture that will cause its disintegration. Its two-fold purposes:
a. help hold the priming mixture in place and
b. exclude moisture
4. Anvil – it is made of spring tempered brass place inside the primer and it
is on this side or point which the priming mixture is crushed.

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5. Battery Cap – battery cap as applied to shotgun primer serves as the
main support for the whole primer components.


1. Corrosive – it has potassium chlorate – IF ignited produces potassium

chloride which draws moisture from the air and this moisture speeds the
rusting and corrosion in gun barrels.

CORROSION – chemical wear and tear of the inside of the barrel due to
rust formation or chemical reaction by products of combustion during firing.

EROSION – mechanical wear and tear of the inner surface of the gun
barrel due to mechanical abrasion or sliding friction.

2. Non-corrosive
Mixture 25 yrs. ago:
a. potassium chlorate (initiator & fuel) – 45%
b. antimony (element & fuel) – 23%
c. fulminate of mercury (initiator) – 32%

WWII – Frankford Arenal (FH 42)

sulfur – 21.97% ; potassium chlorate – 47.20%; antimony sulfide – 30.83%

Typical rimfire (Cal. .22) – Frankford Arsenal

potassium chlorate – 41.43%; antimony sulfide – 9.53%; copper sulpho-
cyanide – 4.70%; ground glass – 44.23%

fulminate of mercury – 39%; barium nitrate – 41%; antimony sulfide – 9%;
picric acid – 5%; ground glass – 6%

Swiss by Ziegler – 1911

fulminate of mercury – 40%; barium nitrate – 25%;
antimony sulfide – 25%; barium carbonate – 6%; ground glass – 4%

Take Note:

 Match Slow – a slow burning fuse or twisted cotton soaked in a solution

of saltpeter or hemp or on matchlock weapons.
 Maynard Primer – another form of percussion cap. Explosive pellets were
sealed at proper intervals between two strips of paper. This primer tape
was then rolled and inserted in guns of suitable design. The action of
cocking the hammer pulled the primer tape until a primer pellet lay under

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the hammer and over the ignition vent into the chamber ready for firing.
Similar forms are used in cap pistols.


It is the study of recovered projectiles to identify the firearms which fired

them. It would be better termed firearms identification. The evidence thus
obtained is generally accepted in criminal Courts trials to establish use or
possession of a certain weapon.

Formerly, all that an “expert” could testify in Court concerning a bullet

recovered from the scene of a crime was that it was a certain type and caliber.
Thus a caliber .38 bullet could not have fired in a caliber .45 revolver. Linking a
bullet to a specific revolver was not then possible. About 1920, great advances
began to be made in identifying firearms by their fired bullets and/or cartridge
cases, and for the first time, formed criminology courses were offered by
universities to train individuals in the techniques of Forensic Ballistics. Colonel
Calvin H. Goddard was the leader in this effort. The most important tools used
was the Comparison Microscope, a binocular instrument so arranged that two
similar objects can be compared in detail simultaneously, with corresponding
surfaces adjacent.

When bullet is fired, it acquires marks or scratches from the bore surfaces.
These marks, from irregularities left by the tool cuts or caused by wear and rust,
by reproducible by firing another bullet through the same barrel. The bullet is
evidence and the second bullet can then be compared for match. The pattern
obtain is comparable to a fingerprint, thus making coincidence of identical
patterns from two different guns most unlikely if not impossible. A composition is
that, was yet, there has been no system devised to classify such patterns, as
there is with fingerprints.

When a cartridge is fired it is pressed forcibly against the breechface of

the firearm, there receiving an impression of any tool marks. The firing pin also
leaves its marks can be compared by the microscope, and a fired cartridge case
thus be linked to a specific weapon.


How a firearm is manufactured?

The first thing which is of importance for the Firearms Examiner is the
understanding of the construction of a gun barrel and to be sufficiently familiar
with the various steps in the manufacture of firearms which may influence the
investigation of the crime. There should always be sound reason for all

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markings, scratches or dents visible or firearms evidence and it is the function of
the firearms examiner to determine how and why they were made and also to
interpret their significance both to himself as well as to the Court of Justice.

The process of manufacture starts with a solid steel bar which, when
drilled from end to end makes it is steel pipe. The interior surface at this stage
bears numerous scratches resulting from irregular cutting of the drill and the
metal chips which mark the finish. For smooth bore barrels, after the drilling
process the inside of the barrel is made very smooth by a process known as
“lapping”. In barrels intended for rifles the next steps after drilling consists of
“reaming” and drilled hole for its entire length, this removes some of the sears
and scratches. The reamer removes metal from the entire surface because it is
slightly larger in diameter than the drill.

If the barrel is to be rifled it is done with the use of modern tools which
automatically cut the spiral grooves on the inside the barrel and impart to every
firearms characteristics which are peculiar to the barrel. Each manufacturer has
its own characteristics designed for the lands and grooves. It has its individual
patterns which determine whether the grooves are inclined to the left or to the
In addition to these peculiarities there are other markings left by the rifling
tools which cuts the grooves that is as the rifling cutter wears small imperfections
on its surface are transmitted to the surface of the barrel and in similar manner
the accumulation of metal chips remove by the cutter will scratch the barrel as it
passes along. Even in the button system imperfection will remain after the
lapping and finishing operations are completed. These microscopic scars will
make a series of striations on every bullet which passes through the barrel. It is
the comparison of these bullet striations which is the basis of examination.

Another phase of firearm manufacture which is of great importance to the

identification of firearms is finishing operations of the breechface of the
breechblock of the firearm. It is that portion of the firearm against which the
cartridge is fired.



1. CLASS CHARACTERISTICS – are those characteristics which are

determinable even before the manufacture of the firearm. It is categorized into
the following:

a. Caliber
b. Number of Lands and Grooves
c. Width of Lands and Grooves
d. Twist of riflings
e. Pitch of the rifling

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f. Depth of grooves


a. Colt Type ---------------------------------------- .45 6L G2X

b. Grease Gun ------------------------------------- .45 6R G+
c. Smith and Wesson Rev. ---------------------- .45 6R GL
d. Smith and Wesson Rev. ---------------------- .38 5R G=L
e. Colt Revolver ---------------------------------- .38 6L G+
f. Colt Pistol Super-------------------------------- .38 6L G+
g. Colt Revolver ----------------------------------- .32 6L G+
h. Colt Pistol --------------------------------------- .32 6L G+
i. Colt Pistol --------------------------------------- .25 6L G2X
j. Colt Revolver ----------------------------------- .22 6L G2X
k. Colt Revolver ----------------------------------- .357 6L G2X
l. Smith and Wesson Rev. ---------------------- .32 5R G=L
m. Smith and Wesson MRF Rev. ---------------- .22 6R G=L
n. Enfield Revolver -------------------------------- .38 7R G2X
o. US Carbine -------------------------------------- .30 4R G3x
p. Browning Pistol --------------------------------- 9mm 6R G=L
q. Star Pistol ---------------------------------------- .380 6R G+
r. Llama Pistol ------------------------------------- .380 6L G+
s. Beretta Pistol ------------------------------------.32 6R G2X
t. Astra Pistol -------------------------------------- .32 6R G2X
u. Arminius Revolver ------------------------------ .22 6R G2X
v. Burgo Revolver --------------------------------- .22 8R G+
w. Marlin M57 Rifle -------------------------------- .22 2OR G+

2. INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERISTICS – are those characteristics which are

determinable only after the manufacture of the firearm. They are characteristics
whose existence is beyond the control of man and which have a random
distribution. Their existence in a firearm is brought about by the tools in their
normal operation resulting through wear, tear, abuse, mutilations, corrosion,
erosions and other fortuitous causes. These are the irregularities found on the
inner surface of the barrel and on the breech face of the breechblock of the
firearms as a result of the failure of the tool beyond the control of the
manufacturer to make them smooth as a minor.


a. No two barrels and microscopically identical as the surface of their

bores all posses individual characteristics markings.
b. When a bullet is fired from a rifled barrel, it becomes engraved by
the riflings and this engraving on a bullet fired from one barrel will be
different from that on a similar bullet fire from another barrel. And

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conversely,. The engraving on bullet from the same barrel will be the
c. Every barrel leaves its “thumbmark” on every bullet which is fired
through it, just as every breech face leaves its “thumbmark” on the
base of the fired cartridge case.


a. The first thing to do in the examination of bullets is to conduct a

visual examination of the bullets in order to familiarize with all markings
appearing on it.
b. Conduct examination of the bore of the firearm.
c. Determine the conspicuous characteristics appearing on the
bullet or any markings appearing therein.
d. Markings appearing on the test bullet No. 1 and does not
appear on the succeeding test bullet such markings should be
disregarded. Consequently, such markings are called accidental
markings which came from foreign substances.
e. If the bullet is undersized or the bore of the firearms is badly
worn out there will be a cylindrical passage of the expending gas will
appear dark or black in the picture.


1. Evidence Bullet
2. Test/Standard Bullet

Before proceeding in the examination of the firearm by means of

the fired bullets, first identify the particular firearm through the class
characteristics appearing on the cylindrical surface of the bullet.

Manufacturers of firearms make certain marks which may

distinguish firearms manufactured by them from that of other
manufacturers. Each manufacturer makes specific number of spiral
grooves and direction of the twist of rifling. A bullet recovered at the crime
scene or from the body of the victim may show those marks and on
examination, the examiner may presumptively state from what make of
firearm it came from, thus, if one examination or recovered bullet, it was
found out that there are six (6) grooves and the rifling marks are twisted to
the left, then it is possible that it came from a Colt firearm. Smith and
Wesson manufacturer has five (5) lands, five (5) grooves and with right
hand twit of rifling. Other class characteristics varied from one
manufacturer to another.

3. SHELL Identification

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a. The breechface and the striker of every single firearm leave
microscopically individualities of their own. The firearm leaves its
“fingerprint” or “thumbmark” on every cartridge which is fires.
b. The whole principle of identification is based on the fact that since the
breechface of every weapon must be individually distinct, the cartridge
case which it fires is imprinted with this individuality.
c. The imprints on all cartridges fired from the same weapon are the
same and those cartridges fired from different weapon must always be


a. By means of fire bullet you can determine the particular barrel of

firearm used.
b. Recovered bullet can tell the type, caliber and make of firearm from
which it was fired.
c. Can determine also the condition of the firearm us

Before proceeding in the examination, conduct a preliminary examination

on the cartridge case having a visual examination on the condition of such
cartridge case. Determine whether or not it came from a revolver or from an
automatic pistol and sub-machine guns. Examine those markings that are
present on the base portion, the breechface marks, firing pin impression, the
location of the extractor and ejector markings. Check also the markings caused
by the chamber of the firearm. The magazine and the ejector port markings must
also be taken into consideration particularly those cartridge cases from gums
having full automatic mechanism.


1. Breechface marks
2. Firing pin impression
3. Ejector mark
4. Extractor mark
5. Chamber mark


1. Impression type – those markings caused by direct pressure contact. (ex.

Breechface mark)
2. Striated mark – those markings caused by sliding contact. (ex. Minute
striations on the cylindrical surface of the bullet)

Take Note:

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 Abrasion (in the bore) –
Scratches caused by using improper cleaning materials, or by firing
ammunition with bullets to which abrasive material was adhering. Normal
enlargement of the bore and wearing away of lands due to the abrasive
action of the bullets.
 Accidental Characteristics -
Those ate characteristics or marks left by some individual gun that
occurred on that particular shot and may or may not reproduced on any
other shots. For example, a grain of send of shaving of steel happened to
be in the barrel when a shot was fired.
 Ballistician – Person whose
knowledge in firearms identification is accepted by the courts and other
investigation agencies.
 Definitive Proof – after the
gun is finally completed, it is again fired with a heavy charge to ensure
against accident. This is the definitive proof and guns passing this test are
stamped with still another marked.
 Expert - As used in courts
includes all witnesses whose opinions are admitted on grounds of
specialized knowledge, training and experience.
 Fouling - The accumulated of
a deposit within the bore of a firearm caused by solid by-products
remaining after a cartridge of is fired.
 Heavy Rusting - Usually
called corrosion rather than fouling.
 Proof Marks – It is the
examination and testing of firearms by a recognized authority according to
certain rules and stamped with a mark to indicate that they are safe for
sale and used by the public.
 Provisional Proof – the
testing of the rough gun barrels and fired with a heavy charge of powder to
see if they are strong enough to be finished and assembled into gun. This
provisional proof and a certain stamp are placed on barrels so tested.
 Secondary Firing Pin
Impression – Is a mark on the side of the regular impression usually
found in pistols.
 Shaving Marks – a shaving
on the ogive portion of the fired bullet due to poor alignment of the cylinder
with the barrel. This shaving is often found in the revolver.
 Skid Marks – When the bullet
first starts forward without turning, that before the bullet can begin to turn,
it moves forward a small distance and this makes the front of the groove in
the bullet wider than the rear part. This skidding is more pronounced in
 Slippage Marks – Scratches
of the fired bullet due to badly worn rifling or when the bullet is small or too

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soft for the velocity used, there is a tendency for it to go straight forward
without turning and it jumps the rifling or slips.
 Stripping Marks – scratches
on the fired bullet due to worn out barrel.


1. Physical – Evidence bullets, cartridge cases and suspected firearm

once submitted by the requesting party will be physically examined to determine
its markings or initials made by the investigator for identification purposes. If no
identifying marks were found the firearms examiner will, before anything, affix his
own identifying markings or initials derived form the names of the requesting
party, victim or suspect in that order of priority. The firearm will also be physically
examine to determine its safety devices seeing to it that there is no cartridge
inserted in the chamber that will cause accidental firing. Likewise, it will be
examined of its vital parts whether or not it is in operating condition and a tag will
be attached for distinction.

Bullets of different class characteristics will be segregated from one

another especially the determination of caliber, number of lands and grooves,
twist of rifling, etc. to facilitate its easy final microscopic examination.

Cartridge cases will also be segregated to determine the caliber, type and
make of firearm from which they were fired. Misfired or dud cartridges will also be
taken into consideration. Although they may not have any ballistics probative
value, yet, they may give a clue to the solution of a crime.

2. Test Firing – The firearm is test fired before a bullet recovery box in
order to obtain test bullets and test cartridge cases for comparison with the
evidence bullets and cartridge cases, respectively,. But before firing, the cartridge
will be marked at the side of the case and on the nose portion of the bullet with
letter “T” (to represent test) followed by the last two digits of the serial number of
the firearm of the test to be made (eg) T-77-1 to T-77-3 in their order of firing to
distinguish the number 1 test from the number 2 or 3 as the case may be.

3. Microscope Examination – After the recovery of the test bullets and

cartridge case, they will be compared with the evidence cartridge cases under
the Bullet Comparison Microscope to determine whether or not the have the
congruency of striations or the same individual characteristics.


Toady, the most widely and reliable instrument in Firearms Identification is

the Bullet Comparison Microscope. With this instrument, the firearms examiner
can make a complete examination and comparison of the so called Class and

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Individual characteristics that appears on the fired bullets and fired cartridge

This instrument consists of two single tubes fitted with a cross arm and
comparison eyepiece, in which the images of two objects held on its two
adjustable stages are fused into one, forming a single image as can be seen on
the comparison eyepiece. The microscope tubes are built as a unit with the
comparison eyepiece which has a prism arrangement that brings the images of
the specimen held under the microscopic tubes into a side by side position in the
left and right side of the eyepiece field the eyepiece is threaded for focusing on
the dividing line between the two fields.

Under the microscope the two fired bullets or fired cartridge cases can be
examined in a “juxtaposition” and whatever the observation and findings obtained
during the examination can be photographed for court presentation and also to
give the Court a better understanding and good appreciation of how he came to
that conclusion.


Place the two objects on the two adjustable stages under the two
microscopic tubes and peep through the comparison eyepiece. If the objects
cannot be seen, adjust the stages through the rock and pinion mechanism. Once
the two objects focused, the next step is to find the similarities existing between
the objects either shifting them vertically or horizontally.

Every examiner, no matter how experienced or expert he may be, has had
the experience of spending many hours in the attempt to get the satisfactory and
convincing matching in cases where there was every reason to believe that the
has the gun that fired the evidence bullet or shell.

Obtain matching as many as possible, because convincing one’s self and

convincing the Court “beyond all reasonable doubt” are two quite different
matters. Te expert must always keep in mind the fact, judges are always keep in
mind the fact, judges are always unpredictable: if some pairs of grooves (or
lands) match and others do not, the expert must be prepared to explain why they
do not.


Findings are the bases of conclusion. A conclusion cannot be made

without the findings. A good conclusion is always based on good findings. In
comparative examination of the evidence bullet that are found on the periphery
running from the forward shoulder to the base portion (these are surface of the
barrel), are discernible with the test bullet or if they have the congruency,
correspondence or intermarriage, then the evidence bullet and the test bullet

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were fired from one and the same firearm. For conclusive of findings, there
should be at least three (3) tests that should be compared. The first is for
preliminary, the second is for confirmation and the third is for conclusion. This is
also true for fired cartridge cases. Although the individual characteristics of the
cases may be found at the base portion where breechface, ejector, extractor
markings are found on the sides that are in contact with the inner surface of the

Clip or magazine markings may also give discernible markings. Like the
ejector or extractor markings if considered singly may not be a basis for
conclusion. These only serve as corroborative characteristics but certainly lack
legal significance. This is so because the case may have these markings even if
they were unloaded from the firearm without firing. As a rule, the point of the
examination and comparison is at the area of the primer proper where
breechface markings together with the firing pin impression are located. Primers
are softer metals and receive more prominent striation than any other portion of
the base.

Conclusion is the opinion gathered from the finding. This is the end result
of the examination and should be taken seriously as it involves the life and liberty
of the suspect. When the evidence and the test bullets or cartridge cases have
the same individual characteristics, the competent examiner will conclude that
they were fired from one and the same individual characteristic; the competent
examiner will conclude that they were fired from one and the same suspected
firearm. If they have different individual characteristics, certainly, the evidence
bullet or case was not fired from the suspected firearm. Where the evidence has
prominent or minor striations that the three tests, it calls for uncertainty and doubt
for a positive or negative conclusion. Only those evidence bullets or cases that
have the same individual characteristics may be taken of photomicrograph for
Court presentation.


1. PROMINENT – Standing out or projecting beyond a surface or line, readily

2. CONSISTENT – Possessing firmness. The impression or striation found
on the evidence bullet or cartridge case appearing in every test bullets and
cartridge cases.
3. SIGNIFICANT – The markings have meaning or capable of being
interpreted by the Firearms Examiner or Ballistician.


1. Analytical or Torsion Balance – Used for determining weights of bullets

and shotgun pellets for possible determination of type, and make of
firearm from which it was fired.

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2. Bullet Comparison Microscope – This valuable instrument is specially
designed to permit the firearms examiner to determine the similarity and
dissimilarity between two fired bullets or two fired shells, by
simultaneously observing their magnified image in a single microscopic
3. Bullet Recovery Box – Consist of a wooden box, 12 “x”12”x 96, with a
hinged to cover and with one end open. This long box is filled with
ordinary cotton and separated into sections by cardboard petitions.
4. CP–6 Comparison Projector – An instrument very much similar with the
bullet comparison microscope, where 2 fired bullets or shells can be
compared in one setting of the firearms examiner. Also in one sitting, the
evidence fired shell can b4e immediately compared with the test fired shell
with the use of this equipment is absolutely no strain of any kind. No eye
strain because the magnified image appears on a large screen and is
observed as a vertical and comfortable viewing distance. No back strain
from stooping over a microscope several hours a day. No mental strain
because comparison of evidence is faster, easier and less tiresome, thus
allowing a more efficient and productive of investigative time in the crime
laboratory with method that can be seen in the screen can be
photographed by any kind of camera.
5. Filan Micrometer Eye Piece - a measuring microscope to read the width
of the land and groove marks and to obtain the pitch of the rifling in turns
per inch.
6. Helixometer – Type of instrument used in measuring pitch of rifling
firearms. This instrument is generally used in high advanced ballistic
laboratory. It is not very much needed in a typical police ballistic
laboratory. With the use of this instrument it is possible to measure the
angel of twist in a rifle, pistol, or revolver barrel. It is used by the insertion
of a telescope aligned with the axis of the bore. There is an eyepiece and
an objective. The scope is mounted on a routable bearing with graduated
discs that permits reading circular measurements, there is a scale
graduated in inches. From the discs we can get the angel of the pitch, this
can be combined with the scale reading to compute how many inches of
barrel length would be needed for one complete turn of the rifling.
Comparing this figure with those in tables of manufacturers’ specifications,
we can often identify the making and the model of a weapon whose other
features have been destroyed already.
7. Machine Rest - A machine use for testing the accuracy of a firearm.
8. Caliper – an instrument used for making measurements such as bullet
diameter and bore diameter.
9. Micrometer – similar in use as caliber.
10. Onoscope – a small instrument sometimes used in examining the internal
surface of the gun barrel in determining the irregularities inside the bore of
the gun barrel. It has a tiny lamp at the terminal portion and this is inserted
inside the bore for internal examination.

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11. Optical Sight – sight containing series of lenses to form an optical system
being contained in one unit. Optical sights do not necessarily have
telescopic properties. The optical system may merely include range
indicating, or range estimating devices, plus the necessary means of
adjusting for elevation and wind age.
12. Shadow Graph – Equipment used in firearms identification. It contains a
series of microscopic lenses of different magnification that can be used in
examining fired bullet or fired shells to determine their class characteristics
and also for orientation purposes. It greatly differs from the bullet
comparison microscope and stereoscope microscope, that this instrument
contains a large ground glass, 14 inches more or less in diameter, wherein
the observation and comparison of the class characteristics is done by the
firearm examiner. Similarly with the bullet comparison made in the circular
ground glass.
13. Stereoscopic Microscope – unlike the bullet comparison microscope
does not have any camera attachment and no photomicrograph can be
taken for court presentation. It is generally used in the preliminary
examination of fired bullets and fired shells to determine the relative
distribution of the class characteristics or for so-called orientation
purposes. It can be used also in the close-up examination of tempered
serial numbers of firearms. It has two eyepieces and the lenses and
objectives can be manipulated vertically with a series of magnifications. It
is one effective instrument for firearms identification.
14. Taper Gauge – It is used primarily for determining bore diameter of
firearms. This instrument is very useful for giving quick idea as to the
caliber of a gun.
15. Telescope Sight – an optical employing the principle of the telescope to
enlarge the image of the target.


1. Accelerator – A device used in some automatic and semi-automatic

weapons to accelerate the rearward travel of the bolt of breechblock by
applying leverage at the critical point in the bolt’s travel. Any device of
linkage designed to speed the movement of some portion of the
mechanical train.
2. ACP – Arms Corporation of the Philippines.
3. Barrel Length - In interior ballistic work this differs from the "barrel length"
use in general measurements. It is measured from the face of the muzzle
to the base of the seated bullet or base of the case neck.
4. Barrel Telescope – Instrument used to make a visual inspection of the
inset of a gun barrel to see a sign of having been fired recently, to look for
leading or metal fouling and to see how distinct the lands and grooves
5. Blow back – As pertains to automatic and semi-automatic arms, a
weapon in which no mechanical locking system is employed. The breech

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is held closed at the moment of firing by the action of recoil springs and
the weight of the slide, hammer and other moving parts. The weight of
these parts is so much greater than the breech action has been
appreciably overcome; then the breechblock action is blown backward, by
residual pressure. A term commonly used to describe the backward
escape of powder or primer gases from the chamber around the
breechblock or bolt due to split or fractured cartridge case or punctured
6. Blow Forward – An automatic of semi-automatic firearm having a
standing breech, in which the barrel is blown to open the action and eject
the fired cartridge case. The barrel is then forced back against the
standing breech by a powerful spring. The gun is cocked and reloaded as
the barrel is forced to the rear.
7. Bore Centerline - This is the visual line of the center of the bore. Since
sights are mounted above the bore's centerline and since the bullet begins
to drop when it leaves the muzzle the bore must be angled upwards in
relation to the line of sight so that the bullet will strike where the sights

8. Breech Block – The steel block which closes the tear bore against the
force of the charge; or the face of the block.
9. Burr Hammer – An expose hammer having a serrated knob at the top to
provide a griping surface for cocking.
10. Camming – lug bolts – that type which employs one or more bolt locking
logs which are cammed outward from the interior of the bolt cylinder to
unlocked the action.
11. Chamber – the rear portion of the barrel where the cartridge is inserted.
12. Cylinder – serves as chamber and magazine and a revolver.
13. Cylinder Stop – stops and holds the cylinder in alignment for firing.
14. Delayed Blowback – Sometimes called hesitation locking the breech,
although not positively locked, must overcome a mechanical
disadvantage, such as knuckle joint, to open.
15. Disconnector – The lever in the gunlock which prevents the release of
the hammer unless the slide and barrel are in forward position safely
16. Double – Set Triggers – A pair of triggers so arranged that pressure on
one trigger engages the sear in such fashion that the slightest tough on
the second trigger will then discharge the gun.
17. Double Action Sear – Built into weapon to allow double action fire.
18. EC- Evansille Chrisler
19. Ejector - The mechanism in the firearm which causes the cartridge case
or shell to be thrown out from the gun.
20. Extractor – That mechanism in a firearm by which the cartridge case or
shell is withdrawn from the chamber mechanism in a revolver that pulls
the empty shells simultaneously.

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21. Extractor Rod – That mechanism in revolver that activates the extractor
and is a locking device.
22. FA – Frankford Arsenal.
23. Falling Block Action –That type of action, which the breechblock is
pivoted at the rear of the receiver so that the face of the breechblock
swings down below the chamber to open the action.
24. FCC- Federal Cartridge Company
25. Firearm (Other Definition) - Means any pistol or revolver with a barrel les
than 12 inches, any riffle with a barrel less than 15 inches, other weapon
which is design to expel projectile buy the action of explosion.(Uniform
firearms act of Pennsylvania)
26. Flying Firing Pin – A firing pin shorter that the length of its travel in the
breechblock. A spiral spring coiled around the pin forward compressing the
spring and exploding the primer, the compressed spring immediately
draws the firing pin back into the breechblock. This is a safety feature
since the firing pin is not in contact with the primer except when driven
forward by the hammer at the instant of firing. Also known as rebound type
firing pin Ex: Colt Government Model Caliber. 45 and Tokarev 7.62 mm.
27. Folding Trigger - A trigger hinged so that it can be folded forward close to
under side of the frame. Ex: Italian 10:35 mm Bodego.
28. Frame - Part of the firearm that houses the internal parts.
29. Front sight - A protrusion or attachment above the barrel near the muzzle.
It may be fixed or adjustable.
30. Grip or Automatic Safeties - Flat lavers of plungers normally protruding
from some portion of the grip such position that when the hand firing the
piece is squeezed around the grip, by the firer, automatically releasing the
firing mechanism. In most cases, when pressure on the grip is relaxed the
safety automatically resets itself, In a few instances, it must bee usually
31. Hair Trigger – A term loosely applied to any trigger which can be release
by very light pressure.
32. Hammer – mechanism in a firearm that strikes the prime.
33. Hammer Block - Safety device that prevents hammer blow to primer.
34. Hand (Pawl) - Mechanism of a revolver which rotate the cylinder.
35. Hanged Frame - A weapon in which the barrel including the cylinder in the
case of revolver is pivoted to the forward end of the frame. Closing the
gun swings the barrel into firing position where the chambers are firmly
locked against the standing breech.
36. Headspace - The distance between the breech of the gun and the support
for the cartridge rim; in other words, it is the space occupied by the head
of the cartridge when the gun is loaded.
37. Head stamps - Merely the letters or design placed on the base of the
cases by the manufacturer to identify his product.
38. Inertia Firing Pin - A firing pin assembled into the breech block and free
to move forward and backward. It is impelled forward by the blow of the
hammer or striker and backward by the explosions of the primer.

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39. LC- Lake City Arsenal
40. Leaf Sight - Any metallic sight which is hinged at the base to permit
raising it to a vertical position sighting and lowering it to a horizontal
position to avoid damage and carrying leaf sight. Principle is usually
applied to rear sight only.
41. Line of Sight - This is the visual line of the aligned sight path. Since
sights are mounted above the bore's centerline and since the bullet begins
to drop when it leaves the muzzle the bore must be angled upwards in
relation to the line of sight so that the bullet will strike where the sights

42. Mainspring – mechanism in a firearm that provides energy to the hammer

to activate firing mechanism.
43. Metallic Sights – normally consist of a pair of front sight and rear sights.
44. Muzzle Brake – a device attached to the muzzle of a gun designed to
deflect the propelling gases emerging from the muzzle behind the bullet
and to utilize the energy of these gases to pull the gun forward to counter
the recoil of the weapon.
45. Open Sight – any sight in which there is to tube or aperture through which
aim is taken.
46. Paradox Gun – a shotgun having the last few inches of the muzzle rifled
so that it will impart a spin to the patented slug that is used with it when it
is desired to fire a large single projectile instead of a charge of shot.
47. Parker size – a Gray rust preventive finish for metal.
48. Post Sight – A front sight resembling a post or one of generally
rectangular of quadrilateral design.
49. Pump Action – Popular term for slide action.
50. Pyramidal Sight - a front sight of generally pyramidal design.
51. RA or REM – Remington arms company.
52. Ramp Sight – A front sight mounted at the ramp, which inclines upward
and forward, a rear sight having a sliding member, which may be moved
up and down a ramp to change the elevation of the sight.
53. Rear Sight – The rear-most of a pair of metallic gun sights. It may be
mounted on the barrel, receiver, frame, slide, tang, cocking piece, bolt
sleeve or stock; may be fixed or adjustable.
54. Receiver Sight – Any type of sight fastened to the receiver bridge.
55. Recoil Operated – Pertains to automatic and semi-automatic arms, a
weapon in which the barrel and breechblock are locked together at the
instant firing. As the bullet leaves the barrel, the rearward thrust of the
powder gases starts the locked barrel and bolt to the rear.
56. Repeater – Any firearm holding more than one round at a time.
57. Rolling Block Action – that type of action in which the breechblock
rotates its about an axis pin downward and backward from the chamber.
58. RPA – Republic of the Philippines Arsenal
59. Sear – The lever in the gunlock, which hold the hammer until the released
by the trigger.

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60. Semi-Automatic Revolver – are those in which the recoil from one shot
plus spring action revolvers, the cylinder aligns a chamber and cocks the
hammer ready for firing the next shot.

61. Set Trigger – An adjustable trigger design to operate reliable with a very
light trigger pull. Colloquially a “hair trigger”.
62. Shoat Trigger – An absolute form of trigger in which no trigger guard was
used. The trigger was mounted in and projected only slightly from the
frame just forward of the grip.
63. Shoulder – Portion of a shell that support the neck.
64. Slide Action – That type of breech closure, which is moved forward and
backward along guide ways paralleling the lower side of the barrel. The
operating rod is properly linked to the breechblock to provide the desired
and closing action.
65. Slide Plate – Part of the revolver that provides access to the internal part.
66. Signal Radius – the distance between forward and rear sight.
67. Silencer – A device intended to be attached to muzzle of a firearm to
prevent or reduce its noise.
68. Single Action Revolvers – Are those in which the hammer must be
manually cocked.
69. Solid Frame – in a revolver, a swing-out cylinder or rod ejector type.
There is a break or hinge in the frame.
70. Spur Hammer – a hammer having a cocking spur.
71. Stab Crimp – a series of small indents at intervals around the cartridge
case, engaging a cannelure in the bullet jacket. Both types of crimp are
also used on high-pressure cartridge to hold the primer in the pocket.
72. Standing Breech – when a receiver is not cut away at its rear to a point
below the line of the gun bore, the solid rear wall of the receiver is the
“standing breech”. In the case of hinged frame weapons the solid rearward
portion of the frame (receiver) against which the heads of the chambered
cartridge rest after the gun has been closed and locked is the “standing
breech”. In a revolver or single shot pistol that section of the frame that
supports the head of the cartridge in the cylinder or chamber is the
“standing breech”.
73. Straight-line Hammer – a metal forced straight back by bolt action during
bolt reciprocation to cocked position. When released it drives straight
ahead to fire. Found on reising and similar guns.
74. Straight-pull Action – that type in which the rotary motion required to turn
the bolt locking lugs into or out of engagement with their locking recesses
is applied by the action of studs on the bolt sliding in helical grooves cut
inside a bolt cylinder.
75. Sub caliber Barrel – a barrel of small caliber inserted down the bore or
mounted over the barrel of a large caliber gun, permitting it to be used for
practice work with less powerful, cheaper ammunition. Generally, it is
called a “Sub-caliber tube”.

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76. Thumb latch – mechanism in a revolver that actuates bolt to release the
77. Thumb trigger – a button design on or near the tang. It fines the rifle
when depressed normally by thumb pressure. Tang-rear-ward projecting
arms of the receiver into which the butt stocks is fastened.
78. Trigger – the lever operated by the shooter which releases the firing pin
and allows it to discharge the cartridge.
79. Trigger Guard – the bent strip of metal that protects the trigger from
accidental discharge.
80. Trigger Lever – mechanism in a revolver that contacts the rebound slide
to return the trigger forward.
81. Trigger Spring – spring that provides energy for return movement of
rebound slide.
82. Trigger Stop – mechanism in a revolver that prevents excessive rearward
movement after hammer release.
83. Tube Sight – a tube in which front and rear sights are mounted.
84. Turn-bolt Action – that type of firearm which locked by the turning one or
more bolt locking lugs into locking recesses cut into the receiver.
85. U or UT – Utah Ordinance Company
86. Vernier Sight – metallic sights which may be adjusted for elevation or
wind age by the action of a vernier screw. Also called a micrometer sight.
Screw having a head calibrated to indicate the amount of movement
transmitted to the sight.
87. WCC – Western Cartridge Company
88. Wedge-type Bolts – that type which employs a ramp or camp
arrangement raise lower, or move to either side, one end of the bolts so
that the end of the bolt or lug thereon is wedged against a supporting
surface in the receiver to lock the action.
89. WRA – Winchester Repacking Company
90. Yoke – mechanism in a revolver that connects pivot between the frame
and cylinder.


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Photography is an invaluable aid to modern day scientific crime detection

and investigation as well as crime prevention. Perhaps it could be stated that
without photography our law enforcement officer in the so-called modern day
scientific crime detection would still be lagging a hundred years.
The year 1839 is considered generally as the birth year of photography. Its
first landmark in police history is generally confined to its application to the
problem of personal identification. In those days the Bertillon system of the facial
features of the criminal were measured, as well as the bone structures of the
various parts of the body. These measurements were worked into a classification
system and the photograph of the criminal was used to supplement the
classification. Later, the Bertillon system was superseded by the fingerprint
system of personal identification. Under the fingerprint system the photograph of
the subject is still placed on his finger print chart, not to supplement the
identification system but to have available photograph if needed for investigation

This course is divided into two main topics: TECHNICAL PHOTOGRAPHY AND

TECHNICAL: technical concepts and principles which includes characteristics of

photographic rays, the use of camera, lenses, filters, structure of film and
photographic papers, chemical processing and others.

FORENSIC: covers investigative photography, preparation of mug file and crime

scene photography.


The objective of this course is to help the students become aware of the
basic principles and concepts of photography. Although this course is not
intended to make the students become professional photographers, it is
designed to give them enough information for them to realize the vital use of
photography as a significant tool in law enforcement and criminal investigation.
As future law enforcers and criminal investigators, they must be knowledgeable
on how to utilize effectively and efficiently photographic evidences during court

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The usefulness of Forensic Photography in criminal investigation is very

extensive. Small objects but of great importance in a crime committed may
escape in the first phase of examination by the investigator but may be seen
and recovered, only after closed examination of the photographs of the crime
Investigators are sometimes compelled to reconstruct or describe in court
some of the details of the crime scenes they investigated several months
ago. With the bulk of cases the investigator handle, perhaps he would be
confused or may not exactly recall some of these details or exact location of
objects. However, with the aid of photographs taken from the crime scene,
investigator will not find hard time to refresh in their minds and will be able to
describe or explain exactly the details in court.
A good photograph of the scene is a permanent record, which is always
available, especially in court presentation. In court proceedings, judges,
prosecutors and defense lawyers have generally never visited the scene of the
crime. Therefore, photographers should bear in mind to obtain a normal, sharp
and free of distortion photograph. As a general rule, take many photograph of the
crime scene and select the best.
A photograph of the crime scene is a factual reproduction and accurate
record of the crime scene because it captures TIME, SPACE AND EVENT. A
photograph is capable of catching and preserving the:
SPACE - the WHERE of the crime (Locus Criminis)
TIME – the WHEN of the crime
EVENT – the WHAT of the crime – what is the nature or character of the

Uses of photography in police work

1. Identification files- Criminals missing persons, lost property, licenses,

anonymous letters, bad checks, laundry marks, and civilian of personal
fingerprint IF In the case of atomic attack or a catastrophe such as an
airplane crash, the fingerprints from a civilian file are proving helpful in
making positive identification
2. Communication and microfilm files- Investigative report files, Accident files
transitions of photos (Wire Photo) Photographic supplements to reports.
With modern day electro photography machines accident reports can be
made in seconds and sold to insurance adjusters for nominal fees. An
excellent source of revenue for department is the sale of photographs of
traffic accidents to insurance companies and lawyers.
3. Evidence- Crime scenes, traffic accidents, homicides suicides, fires,
objects of evidence, latent fingerprint traces. Evidence can be improved by
contrast control, by magnification and by visible radiation.

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4. Offender detection – Surveillance, burglar traps, confession, reenactment
of crimes intoxicated driver test. One of the newest applications of police
photography is to record on motion picture film arrests in which the
suspect offers resistance. The practice has been instituted by at least one
metropolitan law enforcement agency to counter charges of police
5. Court exhibits- Demonstration enlargements, individual photos, projection
slides, motion pictures.
6. Reproduction or Copying – Questionable checks and documents,
evidential papers, photographs, official records and notices.
7. Personnel training- Photographs and films relating police tactics,
investigation techniques, mob control, and catastrophe situations.
8. Crime and Fire prevention – Hazard lectures, security clearance, detector
devices, photos of hazardous fire, conditions made when fire prevention
inspection are made.
9. Public relations – Films pertaining to safety programs, juvenile
delinquency, traffic education, public cooperation, and civil defense.

*Four primary ways of using photography in Police Work:

1. As means of identification.
2. As a method of discovering, recording and preserving evidence.
3. As a way to present, in the courtroom, an impression of the pertinent
elements of a crime.
4. As a training and public relations medium for police programs.


In photography, the light writes when it strikes minute crystals of light

sensitive surfaces (films and photographic papers), a mechanical device
(camera) and chemical processing (film development and printing). As a process,
photography is the method of using light to produce identical image of an object
that can be preserved permanently by employing:
a. camera: camera use to regulate, absorb and filter light
b. film and any sensitized material to record light

Photograph is a mechanical result of photography. To produce a

photograph, light is needed aside from sensitized material (films and
photographic papers). Light radiated or reflected by the subject must reach the
sensitized material while all other lights must be excluded. The exclusion of all
other lights is achieved by placing the sensitized material inside a light tight box.
The light maybe visible or invisible.
The effect of light on the sensitized material is not visible in the formation
of images of objects. The effect could be made visible with the aid of chemical
processing of the exposed sensitized material called development.

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Photography is the production of visible images by using the action of light
on a sensitized material. The word photography was derived from two Greek
terms PHOTO which means light and GRAPHY which means to write. Thus,
literally, photography means to draw with light.


What is light? Many as good while darkness the opposite as bad have
associated light. In case of anxiety, fright, severe mental disorders and
depression many experienced dream like apparitions. In states of religious
ecstasy, visions and hallucinations occur which can be attributed to the high
sensitivity of the retina. Many frequently perceived light impressions, which
cannot be attributed to external stimuli of an altogether different kind, such as
pressure, impact and functional disturbances in our body and nervous system.
Everyone also knows light. It excites the retina of the eye. Light makes
things visible. There is no exaggeration to say that man cannot live without light.
Same things are true in photography, because light is needed to produce a


Our eyes are sensitive to light, which give us information about the
shapes, colors and movements of objects around us. Light is a form of
electromagnetic radiation and we know it travels in the form of waves. The
complete range of electromagnetic spectrum and our eyes are capable of seeing
only part of the spectrum. We can see a large part of the wavelengths emitted by
the sun, that is white light but the sun also emits other waves, which we cannot
Infra red is a wavelength emitted by the sun which cannot be seen, though
we can feel it in our bodies as warmth or heat. Ultra violet is another form of light
we cannot see, but we know about it because it tans our skin in summer.


Light moves in straight lines from its source, but it can be bent and
scattered by objects placed in its path. We see rays of sunlight streaming through
a window on a sunny day because some of the light is scattered by dust particles
in the air. We can only see a ray of light when it strikes the eye directly. Then it
forms an image of the object from which it has come, either the light source itself,
or something from which it has been reflected, such as a motorcar. Non-luminous
objects are one, which are only visible when they reflect the light from a light
source. In a totally dark room, you would not be able to see a desk, but you
would be able to see the hands of a luminous clock. If the totally black room had
no dust particles floating around it, you would not able to see the beam of light,
but only the light source itself and any object that reflects the light.

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Even an electric light appears to glow immediately it is switched on, a

small but definite time lag occurs between the light coming on and the
electromagnetic radiation entering our eyes. In a room, this time lag is too short
to be noticeable, but for distant objects like stars, the lag is thousand of years.
Even light from the moon, which is relatively close to earth, experiences a time
lag of one second. The speed of light, measured in a vacuum is 299, 792.5
km/sec (approximately 186,281 miles/sec / 186,000).


INTERFERENCE - Any phenomenon having a periodic disturbance of

some sort and travels outward from a source is called a wave. To understand
how energy can travels in waves, think of a wooden log floating in the ocean.
Light maybe visualized as such as the high points are called crest while the low
points are called troughs. The distance between two successive crest and
troughs is called a wavelength.
When two light beams cross, they may interfere in such a way that the
resultant intensity pattern is affected. When two waves meet or interfere, they
reinforce one another (crest form a higher crest than either) at some points and
annul one another (crest of one wave interfere with the trough of the other) at
other points.
The crest of one wave meets the trough of another wave. The
phenomenon is called annulment of waves. The British physicist Thomas Young
in the experiment illustrated first demonstrated such an interference pattern.
Light that had passed through one pinhole illuminated an opaque surface that
contained two pinholes. The light that passed through the two pinholes formed a
pattern of alternately bright and dark circular fringes on a screen. Wavelets are
drawn in the illustration to show that at points such as A, C, and E (intersection of
solid line with solid line) the waves from the two pinholes arrive in phase and
combine to increase the intensity. At other points, such as B and D (intersection
of solid line with dashed line), the waves are 180° out of phase and cancel each

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DIFFRACTION – light in space and not within the gravitational field of any
object travels in a straight line. The bending of light around an object gives rise to
the phenomenon called diffraction. This phenomenon is responsible for the
partial illumination of object parts not directly in the path of the light.


Materials, which allow light to pass through so that objects on the other
side can be distinguished, are called transparent.
Those that allow light to pass through but diffuse the flow of light so that
objects on the other side cannot be distinctly seen are called translucent.
Materials, which allow no light to pass through, are called opaque. When
light strikes an object such light is absorbed, transmitted and or reflected
practically. The amount of light transmitted or reflected depends upon the
characteristics of the material, the quantity and quality of the light the angle of the
source etc.

THE LAW OF REFLECTION – refers to the rebounding or deflection of

light. The angle of reflection depends upon the angle of the light striking the
material, which is referred to as the angle of incidence.

THE LAW OF REFRACTION – when the material in the path of the light is
transparent a change in the direction of the light occurs.

The change in the direction of light when passing from one medium to
another is called the phenomenon of refraction. The change in the direction of
the light is due to the change in the speed of light when passing from one
medium to another. The displacement depends upon the angle of incidence, the
kind of material and its thickness.


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By using a prism made of glass or plastic, it is possible to see the colors
that made up the sunlight. The colors separated in this way are called a
spectrum. Another way to see the spectrum of sunlight is to look at a rainbow.
The light is bend as observed, and because some of wavelengths bend more
than others, the colors are separated. The violet rays are bent the most, and the
red rays least.
The prism experiment shows how white light is made up of a combination
of wavelengths of different colored lights. To make colors it would seem that we
would need paints or dyes of every possible colors and shade to get exactly what
we want but in fact any color can be made by combining various proportions of
the three basic colors. These are called the primary colors.
The whole range of radiant energy that includes radio waves, microwaves,
infrared light, visible light, ultra violet lights, x-rays and gamma rays. Visible light,
which makes up only of a tiny fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum, is the
only electronic radiation that humans can perceive with in their eyes.


There are two sources of light, they are known as natural and artificial.
Natural lights are lights which come to existence without the intervention of man
and artificial lights are lights which are man made. In photography natural light is
used for outdoor photography and artificial lights are utilized in indoor
photography to augment the adverse lighting condition.


The source of all daylight is the sun. The combination of color and
contrast ascertains the quality of the daylight. The lighting contrast depends upon
the sunlight available in the daylight, when clouds do not cover the sun. Then,
the contrast is high on the contrary; if clouds cover the sun the contrast is low. In
the process of photographing and object; the lighting contrast must be
considered in the exposure of the film. It is suggested that the
recommendations, given by the manufacturer of the film be observed religiously
to produce good and presentable photographs.

Color of the daylight will also affect the appearance of the objects being
photographed specially in color photography. Some of the factors affecting the
color of the daylight:

a) atmospheric vapor
b) atmospheric dust
c) reflected light reached the objects and directly coming from the source.

Daylight maybe classified according to its intensity. They are:

a) Bright sunlight
b) Hazy sunlight

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c) Dull sunlight.

These classifications are modified by the film manufacturers like

a) Open bright sunlight
b) Under shade bright sunlight
c) Hazy sunlight
d) Cloudy bright sunlight
e) Cloudy dull sunlight.

To distinguish this classification of daylight according to intensity, the

appearance of the shadows of the objects must be considered. In bright sunlight,
the subject will produced a strong shadow, because the source of light in not
covered and the objects or subjects appear glossy in open space due to direct
sunlight and reflected light coming from the sky which act as a reflector.
In Hazy sunlight, the sun is covered by thin cloud and the shadow appears
bluish because of the decrease of light falling on the subject in open space. The
shadow cast is transparent to the eye and more details are visible under this
lighting condition than a bright sunlight.

In dull sunlight, the sun is totally covered by thick clouds. No shadow is

cast to the uniform illumination of lights all around the subjects in open space.


Almost all artificial light sources can be used in photographing of objects,

as long as the light is capable of exposing the sensitized materials (film). Some
of the artificial lights are electronic flash, photoflood lamp, fluorescent lamp, and
Infrared and Ultra-Violet lamp.


Visible Spectrum - a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum where the

visible light is found, the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that affect the
human sense of sight. Visible light includes all those radiation having a
wavelength ranging from 400 – 700 mu.


Primary Colors Approximate Wavelength

A. Red (longest wavelength) 700 mu

B. Blue 450 mu
C. Green 550 mu

Complementary Colors

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A. Magenta (shortest wavelength) 400
B. Cyan 500
C. Yellow 590

Neutral Color

A. Gray
B. White
C. Black


1. Color Addition
R+B+G = W
R+B= M M+Y= R
R+G= Y Y+C= B
B+G= C Y+C= G

2. Color Subtraction
W-R= C W-C=R C-G=B


The three primary colors in light are red, green and blue. White light can
be made by mixing red, blue and green. The process of making colors by mixing
primary colors of light is called addition, because one color is added to another.
Colors made by combining two primary colors are called secondary colors.
They are yellow (red and green), cyan (blue and green) and magenta (blue and
red). When the primary colors are mixed in different proportions any color at all
can be produced.
Painted objects do not produce their own light, they reflect light, when
objects look red, because it is reflecting only red light to our eyes. To do this, it
absorbed the other primary colors in the white light it is reflecting. It absorbed
green and blue and reflects red.


Optics is the study of light. It is concerned with the nature of light and the
way it behaves in optical instruments. Light is a form of energy and so an object
may only produce light when there is energy present. A red-hot piece of metal
receives energy in the form of heat and converts some of it into red light.


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Radiant energy within a limited frequency range has the property of
stimulating the retina of the eye to create color sensation, which the brain
interprets. Radiant energy, which has this property, is called light, the physical
stimulus of vision.

Color can be defined in qualitative terms according to certain

psychological attributes. These attributes are hue, brightness and saturation. Hue
is the attributes of chromatic colors, which distinguishes them from achromatic
colors. Brightness is the attributes of colors, which allows the relation of colors in
it to be related to given tones of gray ranging in a series from white to black.
Saturation is the attribute of a chromatic color, which designates to which the
color differs from a gray of the same brightness. Brightness and saturation can
be understood in a practical sense from the following, take a very vivid red
(single saturation) and either a small amount of white or black. The color will
change to lighter or darker. In both instances, the vividness of the color is
lessened (decreased saturation). The purity of the color is then affected. By
adding at the same time small amount of white and black, the brightness can be
held constant and only saturation is affected. When sufficient amount of white
and black are added the hue becomes no longer recognized from the gray tone
to which it was originally related in brightness.


Absorption refers to the taking in of light by the material. Following the law
of conservation of energy, such light taken in is not lost but merely transformed
into heat.
Materials in their appearance are sometimes deceiving when light strikes
them. For instance, when light strikes a material and all the light is practically
reflected, it will appear white. However when red light strikes the same material,
it will appear red. And green light of the same material it will appear green. Such
material exhibits what is called non-selective absorption.
There are other materials, which behave differently as stated above, when
light incident upon other such material they appear red, or blue or green but not
white. With green or blue light the same material appears black because
practically all lights are absorbed. A material appears red under white light
because only red light is practically reflected while all other wavelengths are
absorbed. Such materials which selectively reflects and absorbed others
wavelength exhibits selective absorption characteristics.


Objects that influence the intensity of light as they may reflect absorb or

Mediums of light maybe classified as:

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TRANSPARENT OBJECTS – mediums that merely slow down the speed
of light but allow to pass freely in other respects, transmit 90% or more of the
incident light.

TRANSLUCENT OBJECTS – mediums that allow light to pass through it

in such a way that the outline of the source of light is not clearly visible, transmit
50% or less of the incident light.

OPAQUE OBJECTS – A medium that divert or absorb light, but does not
allow lights to pass though, they absorb most of the light while reflecting some of


When incident light hits a medium, three things might happen, the light

A. Reflected
B. Absorbed
C. Transmitted


The principle of photography are derived from science and the images on
the film or paper made by the rays or light through the camera are dependent on
the same general laws which produces images upon the retina through the lens
which produce images upon the retina through the lens of the eye.

A camera basically is nothing more than a light tight box with pinholes or
lens, a shutter at one end and a holder of the sensitized material at one end.
While there is various kind of camera from the simplest in construction (the box
type) to the most complicated, all operate in the same principle. The exposure of
the sensitized material to light is controlled by the lens and its aperture and the
shutter through its speed in opening and closing the lens to light.

The essentials of any camera, therefore, are light tight box, a lens, a
shutter, and a holder of sensitized material. All other accessory of any camera
merely makes picture taking easier, faster, and convenient for the operator and is
call accessories.

Light tight box suggests an enclosure devoid of light. An enclosure is one

which would prevent light from exposing the sensitized material inside the
camera. This does not necessarily mean that the box or enclosure be always
light tight at all times because if it does, then no light can reach the sensitized

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material during exposure. Light tight box means that before and after the
exposed to extraneous light which is not necessary to form the final image.

The lens, which must be focus at the object at the time of picture taking, is
one of the most important parts of any camera. The function of the lens is to
focus the light coming from the subject. It operates more or less the same way as
the lens of the eye. It is chiefly responsible for the sharpness of the image formed
through which light passes during the exposure of the sensitized material inside
the light tight box. The area of the lens may large or small during the exposure of
the sensitized material depending upon the light coming form the subject to be
pictured. The quantity and quality of the light coming from the subject depend
upon the light source. As a rule the more light we have from the source the more
light will be reflected and vice versa. Should the light be too great the area of the
lens maybe reduced with the focal number adjustment. The smaller the area of
the lens the greater is the numerical value of the focal number. The greater the
focal number numerically the less light will pass through the lens but more
distance will appear in reasonable sharpness.

The shutter has for its function through its action called shutter speed the
control of the duration of the exposure of the sensitized material to light. The
higher the numerical value of the shutter speed the shorter will be the duration of
the opening and closing of the lens. As an effect only a small amount of light will
pass through the lens.

Thee holder of sensitized material located at the opposite side of the lens
has for its function to hold firmly the sensitized material in its place during
exposure to prevent the formation of a multiple or blurred image of the subject.


Frequently it asked, “What is the best camera?” The answer would be the
best camera is the one that takes the best pictures. Regardless of the type or
kind of camera, a good operator will get results even with a cheap one.

THE PINHOLE CAMERA - The simplest camera is a pinhole camera,

which consists of a box with a small hole in one of its sides. To produce a sharp
image, the hole must be very small and this restricts the amount of light entering
the camera. Quite a long time may be necessary to let enough light through to
affect the film and this causes problems because if the subject moves the picture
will be blurred. It is impossible to photograph anything like a moving car or a
galloping horse with a pinhole camera.

CAMERA OBSCURA - Is a box used for sketching large objects? The

term means dark chamber. The box contains a mirror set at 45-degree angle.
Mounted in the front end of the box is a double convex lens like that in a
photographic camera. Light from the object or scene is transmitted through the

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lens. The mirror reflects this light upward to ground glass screen on the top of the
box. There the light forms an image of the object or scene that can be sketched

FIXED FOCUS CAMERA - The most basic of all camera, have a non-
adjustable lens. Most models have a single diaphragm setting and only one or
two shutter speeds. Most fixed focus cameras, including many inexpensive,
pocket-sized models, use 110 or 126 size film. The negative of such film require
considerable enlargement, which may produce a fuzzy image.
In general, a fixed focus camera can take satisfactory photographs in
ordinary daylight but not in dim light, because its lens does not admit much light.
The camera may produce a blurred picture is moving or less than two meters
away. Many fix-focused cameras can take flash pictures.

Disposable cameras are a kind of fixed - focus camera that combine a

plastic lens, a shutter, a film in one small box. The entire camera is taken to the
photo laboratory when the roll of film has been exposed.

POINT AND SHOOT CAMERA - Have many automatic features that

make them easy to use. Electronic devices inside the cameras automatically
adjust the focus, set the light exposure and the shutter speed and advance and
rewind the film. A built in electronic flash automatically supplies light when too
little light reflects from the subject. The cameras are equipped with high quality
lenses that produce a sharp image. Some of them have a zoom lens. Point and
Shoot cameras use films that measure 35 mm. Since their introduction in 1970’s
theses cameras have gained wide popularity among amateur’s photographers.

SINGLE LENS REFLEX CAMERAS - Appealed to skilled amateur

photographers and to professional photographers. The camera’s name refers to
its viewing system. The photographer views the subject through the camera lens
rather than through a separate viewing lens. A mirror between the lens and the
film reflects the image onto a viewing screen. When the shutter release button is
pressed to take a picture, the mirror lifts out of the way to allow the light to
expose the film. Thus the photographer sees almost the exact image that is
recorded on the film. SLR cameras use 35 mm film. The photographer can adjust
the focus, select the shutter speed, and control the opening of the diaphragm.
Many new models can also adjust the focus and control the light exposure

The standard lens of the SLR camera can be replaced by special purpose
lenses that change the size and depth relationship of objects in a scene. These
lenses include wide-angle lens, telephoto lens, and zoom lenses. A wide-angle
lens provides a wider view of a scene than a standard lens does. A telephoto lens
has a narrow angle of view and makes objects appear larger and closer. A zoom
lens combines many features of standard, wide angle and telephoto lenses. With

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other accessories, many SLR cameras can take pictures through a microscope,
telescope or underwater.

Reflex cameras, both the SLR and the TLR types, are equipped with
mirrors that reflect in the viewfinder the scene to be photographed. The twin-
lens reflex is box-shaped, with a viewfinder consisting of a horizontal ground-
glass screen located at the top of the camera. Mounted vertically on the front
panel of the camera are two lenses, one for taking photographs and the other
for viewing. The lenses are coupled, so that focusing one automatically focuses
the other. The image formed by the upper, or viewing, lens is reflected to the
viewing screen by a fixed mirror mounted at a 45° angle. The photographer
focuses the camera and adjusts the composition while looking at the screen.
The image formed by the lower lens is focused on the film at the back of the
camera. Like rangefinder cameras, TLRs are subject to parallax.
In the SLR type of reflex camera, a single lens is used for both viewing
the scene and taking the photograph. A hinged mirror situated between the lens
and the film reflects the image formed by the lens through a five-sided prism
and on to a ground-glass screen on top of the camera. At the moment the
shutter is opened, a spring automatically pulls the mirror out of the path
between lens and film. Because of the prism, the image recorded on the film is
almost exactly that which the camera lens “sees”, without any parallax effects.
Most SLRs are precision instruments equipped with focal-plane shutters.
Many have automatic exposure-control features and built-in light meters. Most
modern SLRs have electronically triggered shutters; apertures, too, may be
electronically actuated or they may be adjusted manually. Increasingly, camera
manufacturers produce SLRs with automatic focusing, an innovation originally
reserved for amateur cameras. Minolta's Maxxum series, Canon's EOS series,
and Nikon's advanced professional camera, the F-4, all have autofocus
capability and are completely electronic. Central processing units (CPUs)
control the electronic functions in these cameras. Minolta's Maxxum 7000i has
software “cards” which, when inserted in a slot on the side of the camera,
expand the camera's capabilities.
Autofocus cameras use electronics and a CPU to sample automatically
the distance between camera and subject and to determine the optimum
exposure level. Most autofocus cameras bounce either an infrared light beam
or ultrasonic (sonar) waves off the subject to determine distance and set the
focus. Some cameras, including Canon's EOS and Nikon's SLRs, use passive
autofocus systems. Instead of emitting waves or beams, these cameras
automatically adjust the focus of the lens until sensors detect the area of
maximum contrast in a rectangular target at the centre of the focusing screen.
TWIN LENS REFLEX CAMERAS - Have a viewing lens directly above the
picture - taking lens. The image in the viewfinder appears on a flat screen on top
of the camera. Photographer found such a viewing screen helpful in composing a
picture. Photographers do not hold the viewfinder to the eye, as they do with a

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fixed focus, point and shoot, and single lens reflex camera. They usually hold the
camera at the chest or waist and look down into the viewfinder. The image
appears reversed from left to right. In most models, nearby subjects appear lower
in the picture area of the viewfinder than they appear in the photograph. Most
twin lens reflex cameras use film that produces negatives measuring six by six

VIEW CAMERAS - View cameras are generally larger and heavier than
medium- and small-format cameras and are most often used for studio,
landscape, and architectural photography. These cameras use large-format films
that produce either negatives or transparencies with far greater detail and
sharpness than smaller format film. View cameras have a metal or wooden base
with a geared track on which two metal standards ride, one at the front and one
at the back, connected by a bellows. The front standard contains the lens and
shutter; the rear holds a framed ground-glass panel, in front of which the film
holder is inserted. The body configuration of the view camera, unlike that of most
general-purpose cameras, is adjustable. The front and rear standards can be
shifted, tilted, raised, or swung, allowing the photographer unparalleled control of
perspective and focus.

It is the largest and most adjustable type of camera. Most have accordion
like body, with a replaceable lens in front. They have a large viewing screen
instead of a viewfinder. Most models have an adjustable diaphragm and shutter
speed. View cameras must be mounted on a stand for efficient operation.

A photographer focuses a view camera by moving the lens end or the

back end of the camera forward or backward to produce a sharp image. A view
camera can provide artistic distortions of subjects more effectively than any other
kind of camera.

Many professional photographers use view camera for portraits and other
subjects. A view camera uses sheet of film that range in size from 60 to 90 mm to
280 by 360 mm. The picture is often contact printed. A contact print is a
photograph made to exactly the same size a negative. It is made by shining light
through the negative, which is held in contact with light sensitive paper.

INSTANT CAMERAS - Use film that provides a print without first being
developed into a negative. The cameras produce a print 15 seconds to 2 minutes
after the photographer takes a picture. The time varies according to the camera
and to the type of film. Instant camera use film that provides pictures ranging in
size from 73 by 94 mm to 508 by 610 mm. Special types of film for instant
camera also provide negatives. Some instant cameras can take flash pictures
and focus automatically as the photographer lines up a subject in the viewfinder.

ELECTRONIC CAMERA - Create pictures that can be viewed on a

television screen. The lens in most electronic cameras focuses light on light

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sensitive mechanism called CHARGED COUPLED DEVICE OR CCD. The CCD
changes the light into electronic signals. The electronic pictures can then be
stored on small magnetic discs similar to those I=used in computers. With
additional equipment, electronic images can also be sent over telephone lines or
printed on paper.
FILM CAMERAS - Takes pictures that re-create the motion of a subject
when they are viewed. Professional filmmakers generally use large cameras that
take 35 or 16 mm film. Most amateur’s records on 8 mm film called super 8.
Today, many amateur filmmakers use portable video cameras called
CAMCORDERS. These cameras convert light reflected by the subject into
electronic signals that are recorded on magnetic tape. Most film cameras and
camcorders can record sound at the same as they record images. Most of them
also have a zoom lens.

STEREO CAMERAS - Have two identical picture taking lenses with

matched shutter. When a stereo camera takes a picture, each lens photographs
the same subject, but from a slightly different angle. When shown to a device
called a stereoscope or seen through glasses that polarize light, the two images
blend in one picture that seems to have depth. Stereo cameras are made for
taking photographs or for making films.

SPECIAL PURPOSE CAMERA - Have been designed for industrial,

medical, military, and scientific uses they include aerial cameras used in space
and underwater cameras.
Folding cameras favored for their compact design and movable
bellows, have been in use for many years. The camera’s lens is
incorporated into the bellows, which is slid back and forth along a rail to
change focus. The dark clothe covering the photographer and the box
body of the camera blocks out undesirable light, which might otherwise
interfere with the picture.
Box cameras like this “Brownie” were the earliest cameras used by the
general public. Relatively simple in design and operation, they consisted
of a wooden or plastic box, a drop-blade shutter, and a holding device
for the film. Modern box cameras are similar to early models, generally
featuring only one shutter speed and one opening; the very easy
operation makes it a popular camera among casual photographers.
The Polaroid, or instant, camera delivers a finished print directly
following exposure. Although most models are somewhat larger than
the standard personal camera, the advantage of this system is the
convenience and speed of the results. Special film used in conjunction
with the camera is designed to develop itself, and represents one of the
more recent chemical revolutions in photography.
Reflex cameras use mirrors to form an image of the scene to be
photographed in the viewfinder. The 35-mm single-lens reflex (SLR)

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camera is one of the most popular cameras on the market today
because of its compact size, speed, and versatility. Most models offer a
combination of automatic and manual options.

Single-lens reflex, or SLR, cameras are among the most common in use
today. Single-lens reflex means that the same lens is used for viewing and
taking the photograph. The movable mirror between the lens and the film
reflects the image on a ground-glass viewing screen while the user adjusts
the focus. When the shutter release button is depressed, a spring pushes the
mirror out of the way, and the image is recorded on the film. The cameras
are popular because users often have the option to control elements such as
shutter speed, focus, and aperture manually or automatically. This option
allows photographers to achieve a wide variety of effects with relative ease.
The quality of SLR camera pictures is generally superior to that of the so-
called point-and-shoot camera.
© Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.


A lens can be used to focus the light onto the film to produce a bright,
clear image. The hole behind the lens is called the aperture and on many
cameras the size of the hole, or aperture can be altered. The length of time that
light is allowed to enter the camera is called the exposure and is controlled by the
shutter. In its normal position the shutter is closed and prevents light entering the
camera. When the button is pressed, the shutter flies open for a pre -
determined length of time, depending on the light conditions in which the
photograph is being taken. This can be as long as one second or as short as

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1/1000 second or even shorter. On a dull day you need a longer exposure than
on a sunny day.

Both the diaphragm and the shutter need to be adjusted according to the
amount of light that is available for taking a photograph. At midday in summer
there will probably be plenty of light. On a winter afternoon there may not. In a
living room at night, the light maybe quite good for the eye, but not enough for
the camera.

A camera is essentially a sealed with an opening at one end to admit light

and a device at the other end for holding photographic film or other light sensitive


LENS – The lens of a camera consist of one or more glass or plastic disk
with flat, concave, or convex surfaces, each disk is called element. The purpose
of the lens is to focus light on the film. The focal length of the lens is the distance
between the optical center and the film. For any given film size, the shorter the
focal length is, the greater the field of view – that is, the greater the area covered
in the picture. Focal length also affects depth of field – the amount of the
foreground and background that will be in sharp focus in the picture. The shorter
the focal the greater is the depth of field.

Lenses of various focal lengths can be used interchangeably on some

cameras, allowing the photographer to vary the field of view without taking the
camera to a different position. A zoom lens has an adjustable focal length and
stays focused on one object as its focal length is change.

The light power of the lens is determined by the ratio of its focal length to
its effective diameter (the effective diameter is equal to the diameter of the
aperture - the circular opening that controls the amount of light that passes
through the lens). The ratio expressed with the symbol f/, is called the f- number.
The larger the aperture in relation to the focal length, the smaller is the f- number.

SHUTTER – The shutters on most cameras can be adjusted to different

shutter speeds. The shutter speed means the length of time the shutter is open.
This might be several seconds ( or even hours if you are photographing a night
sky ) or one thousandth of a second or even less with special cameras. Most
cameras have a shutter speed dial showing speeds from one second to, for
example, one thousand of a second. The dial is set to the speed the
photographer wants. Of course, the faster the shutter speeds the shorter the time
the shutter is open and the smaller the amount of light let in. Shutter speed are
arrange so that each setting will let in half the amount of light let it half the
amount let in by the one below it and twice the amount of the one above it. There

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is usually also a time exposure setting so that the shutter can be left open for
minutes or even hours in certain conditions.

The shutter is a device that prevents light from reaching the film until the
photographer is ready to take a picture. When a lever or button is released or
button is pushed, the shutter is released, and a spring or magnet snaps its aside,
exposing the film to light for a certain light of time. The length of time is
adjustable on all but the simplest camera,, it ranges from one second to 1/1000
of a second or less. Most adjustable cameras are capable of making time
exposure – exposure of more than one second. Typically, time exposure is made
by using a special shutter setting marked “T “(FOR TIME) or “B’ (FOR BULB)
referring to a shutter release device used with early cameras.

An adjustable speed shutter is one of two devices a camera has to permit

the photographer to regulate the amount of light reaching the film ( the
diaphragm is the other ) At a given aperture setting, a small shutter speed will let
more light reach the film than a fast shutter speed. However, the lower the
shutter speed, the greater is the chance that the image on the film will be blurred
by the movement of the subject or camera. Some cameras have electronic
shutter control. After the shutter is released the control uses a light sensing
device called a photocell to determine when enough light has been received for a
proper exposure and it then it closes the shutter automatically.

The shutter is located behind the lens, between the elements of the lens
(between the lens shutter) or immediately in front of the films (focal plane

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The shutter is a sliding door that allows light to pass through the aperture
(opening) onto the film. Different settings on a small dial on the top of the camera
determine how long the shutter will remain open. The aperture selector is on the
body of the lens. The numbers that indicate the size of the aperture are called f-
numbers or f-stops. The f-stop is equal to the ratio of the focal length of the lens
to the diameter of the opening. The shutter speed and f-stop determine the
exposure—that is, the overall amount of light that will reach the film. However,
even when the amount of light is constant, the effect may be different.
Photographers experiment with different combinations to achieve various effects.

The shutter, a spring-activated mechanical device, keeps light from

entering the camera except during the interval of exposure. Most modern
cameras have focal-plane or leaf shutters. Some older amateur cameras use a
drop-blade shutter, consisting of a hinged piece that, when released, pulls across
the diaphragm opening and exposes the film for about 1/30th of a second.
In the leaf shutter, at the moment of exposure, a cluster of meshed blades
springs apart to uncover the full lens aperture and then springs shut. The focal-
plane shutter consists of a black shade with a variable-size slit across its width.
When released, the shade moves quickly across the film, exposing it
progressively as the slit moves.

DIAPHRAGM – The diaphragm changes the size of the aperture of the

lens. Like a shutter with valuable speed, a diaphragm regulates the amount of
light reaching the film. The diaphragm also affects depth of field – the smaller the
aperture the greater the depth of field.

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The diaphragm controls the size of the aperture in the same way as the
iris of the eye, if you look at a cat’s eye when it comes in out of the darkness you
will that the irises have contracted to make the pupils bigger. After a few
moments in a bright light the irises expand and cause the pupils to become much
smaller. The aperture of the camera must also be larger in dim light and smaller
in bright light.
The diaphragm is usually a ring of overlapping metal leaves, which can be
adjusted. The control settings for the diaphragm are referred to as f – stops and
going from one f – stop to the next reduces the amount of light by one half. The
common setting are f /2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16 and f/22.

The diaphragm usually consists of a series of movable blades attached

to a supporting ring. Its various positions are called stops, or f – stops. The
diaphragm is controlled by a hand operated ring or lever, or by automatic
electromechanical device. Simple cameras do not have diaphragm, so the
aperture can not be changed.

Most cameras with diaphragms have a series of standard f- stop numbers

marked on the lens mount, in some cameras, theses numbers are also visible in
the viewfinder. At each succeeding stop, the lens admits half as much light as at
the previous one.

As the shutter speed is increased, the aperture must be larger, if the same
amount of light is to reach the film. The amount of light reaching the film is the
same at f/8 and 1/500 of a second as at f/11 and 1/250 ( the setting of f/8
provides twice as much light f/11, but the shutter speed of 1/500 provides half as
much light as 1/250).

In taking pictures, a photographer will often select a particular shutter

speed and then adjust the f – stop for getting the proper exposure or the
photographer will select a particular f-stop and then adjust the shutter speed.

The diaphragm, a circular aperture behind the lens, operates in

conjunction with the shutter to admit light into the light-proof chamber. This
opening may be fixed, as in many amateur cameras, or it may be adjustable.
Adjustable diaphragms are composed of overlapping strips of metal or plastic
that, when spread apart, form an opening of the same diameter as the lens;
when meshed together, they form a small opening behind the centre of the lens.
The aperture openings correspond to numerical settings, called f-stops, on the
camera or the lens.

The function of the Diaphragm (F/Number)

1. By expanding or contracting the diaphragm or increasing or

decreasing the F/ number numerically it is possible to regulate the

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amount of light passing through the lens reaching the sensitized

2. By expanding or increasing or decreasing the f/number numerically

it is possible to control the depth of field.

3. By expanding or contracting the diaphragm, it is possible to control

the degree of sharpness due to lens defects.

VIEWING AND FOCUSING DEVICES – The viewfinder shows the

photographer the scene being photographed. It maybe a viewing screen, a
miniature lens system, or a sample wire frames.

Most modern cameras also have some sort of viewing system or

viewfinder to enable the photographer to see, through the lens of the camera, the
scene being photographed. Single-lens reflex cameras (SLRs) all incorporate this
design feature, and almost all general-use cameras have some form of focusing
system as well as a film-advance mechanism.

LENS APERTURE – Adjustable cameras are equipped with an iris

diaphragm, a device located in or near the lens and consisting of thin overlapping
leaves that fold together to create a hole of continuously variable size. In this way
the aperture or lens opening, can be adjusted to admit more or less light as
required. The diaphragm is usually marked with a series of settings called
STOPS, which are designated by F- NUMBERS, such as f/5.6 or f/5.8. The f/
number expresses the ratio of focal length to aperture. The larger the number,
the smaller the aperture.

To “stop down” or “close one stop” is to set the diaphragm control at the
next smaller marked stop, for instance from f/4 to f/6, or from f/6 to f/11. This
reduces the amount of light admitted by one half. To open up one stop, means to
set the diaphragm control at the next wider aperture.

DEPTH OF FIELD - The lens aperture not only controls the amount of light
entering the camera, it also affects another fundamental aspect of the
photograph – depth of field. Depth of field is the range in front of and behind a
sharply focused subject in which details also look sharp in the final photographic
image. It depends on lens aperture, the focused distance, and the focal length of
the lens. A small lens aperture, great camera to subject distance, and focal length
result in greater depth of field.

SHUTTER SPEED AND MOTION – Shutter speed determines how

effectively a moving object can be stopped, that is, how sharply it can be
reproduced without blurring, or streaking in the final image. With a fast shutter
speed, the shutter is opened only briefly and the moving object has little time to
change its position before exposure is completed. With a slow shutter speed, on

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the other hand, the shutter remains open for a relatively long time. Thus, the
faster the shutter speed, the sharper the moving object will appear on the final
image, and the slower the shutter speed, the more blurred object will appear.

The camera shutter must stop the subjects’ apparent speed or the speed
at which its image move across the film, regardless of the subjects’ actual motion
through space. Factors such as distance, direction of motion, and focal length of
the lens must all be taken into consideration. Generally, the closer the moving
subject is to the camera, the greater it’s apparent, motion will be. Thus, if they
wish to get sharp image, most photographers avoid extreme close – ups of
moving subjects.

FILM TRANSPORT MECHANISM – Moves new, unexposed film into

position for the next picture.

FILM ADVANCER – Necessary so that the exposed film can be

transferred to the take up spool while the unexposed film remain on the opposite
side of the lens for another exposure.



SHUTTER SPEED DIAL – Controls the opening and closing of the

shutter, regulates the quantity of light that reaches and affects the sensitized
material, a dial which sets the length of time in which the light is allowed to enter
the camera.

SHUTTER RELEASE BUTTON – The “click” of the camera that releases

the shutter

FOCUSING MECHANISM – The mechanism that estimates the

appropriate objects distance from the camera to form a sharp or clear image on
the photograph.

FOCUSING RING – The outer ring of the lens which is rotated or adjusted
to obtain a clear and sharp photograph and it enables the photographer to adjust
focal range.


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DAYTIME EXPOSURE (Outdoor) – Without Flash

Bright Sunlight – SS – 125 or250

LO – F5.6 or F8
Hazy Sunlight - SS – 125

Bright Hazy -LO – F5.6 or F4

Low Hazy -LO – F2 or F4
-LO – F5.6 or F4
Low Shaded -SS – 30 or 125
-LO – F2 or full open





LENS OPENING - F5.6 orf4




Distance of the Subject :

1-6 ft = F8
6-10FT = F5.6
10-15FT = F4
15FT and above = full open


Shutter Speed is = B
Lens Opening is full open


EX. SS = B
LO = F1.2
TIME = 90 seconds (Depends upon the available light)

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A camera lens is a transparent material made of glass or plastic, which

has two opposite symmetrical and spherical surfaces. A lens is also a piece of
transparent material that has at least one curved surface. The lenses refract
(bend) light rays and in doing so can form images of an object. The image maybe
larger, smaller or the same as the object itself.

The lens, which must be focus at the object at the time of picture taking, is
one of the most important parts of any camera. The function of the lens is to
focus the light coming from the subject. It operates more or less in the same way
as the lens of the eye. It is chiefly responsible for the sharpness of the image
formed through which light passes during the exposure of the sensitized
materials inside the camera. The area of the lens may large or small during the
exposure of the sensitized materials depending upon the light coming from the
subject to be pictured. The quantity and quality of the light coming from the
subject depend upon the light source. Should the light be too great, the area of
the lens maybe reduce with the focal number adjustment. The smaller the area of
the lens the greater is the numerical value of the focal number. The greater the
focal number numerically the less light will pass through the lens but more
distance will appear in reasonable sharpness.

The higher the numerical value of the shutter speed, the shorter will be
the duration of the opening and closing of the lens. As an effect only small
amount of light will pass through the lens.

Artificial lenses are made of various transparent materials such as glass,

plastics or crystals. Quartz crystals are used to refract ultra violet light, which a
very short wavelength.

Interchangeable lenses allow a photographer to capture a variety of

pictures that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to obtain with a single
camera. For instance, a zoom lens may be used to photograph individual drops
of dew on a spider’s web. A telephoto lens might be used to shoot a close-up
view of a dangerous or easily frightened wild animal. Other options provided by
special lenses include wide-angle lenses such as the fisheye lens, which curves
outward to show a view of 180 degrees or more.

The lens is as important a part of a camera as the body. Lenses are

referred to in generic terms as wide-angle, normal, and telephoto. The three
terms refer to the focal length of the lens, which is customarily measured in
millimetres. Focal length is defined as the distance from the centre of the lens to
the image it forms when the lens is set at infinity. In practice, focal length affects
the field of view, magnification, and depth of field of a lens.

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Cameras used by professional photographers and serious amateurs are
designed to accept all three lens types interchangeably. In 35-mm photography,
lenses with focal lengths from 20 to 35 mm are considered wide-angle lenses.
They provide greater depth of field and encompass a larger field (or angle) of
view but provide relatively low magnification. Extreme wide-angle, or fisheye,
lenses provide fields of view of 180° or more. A 6-mm fisheye lens made by
Nikon has a 220° field of view that produces a circular image on film, rather than
the normal rectangular or square image.

Lenses with focal lengths of 45 to 55 mm are referred to as normal

lenses because they produce an image that approximates the perspective
perceived by the human eye. Lenses with longer focal lengths, called telephoto
lenses, constrict the field of view and decrease the depth of field while greatly
magnifying the image. For a 35-mm camera, lenses with focal lengths of 85 mm
or more are considered telephoto.
A fourth generic lens type, the zoom lens, is designed to have a
variable focal length, which can be adjusted continuously between two fixed
limits. Zoom lenses are especially useful in conjunction with single-lens reflex
cameras, for which they allow continuous control of image scale.
History of Lenses

The early history of lenses is unknown. In 1845, an archeologist

uncovered in what is now Iraq an ancient rock crystal ground to form a small
convex lens, but there is no evidence that lenses were widely known or used in
ancient time. An early investigation of the principles of lenses was made in the
11th century by Alhazen, a Persian physicist. Spectacles with convex lenses were
in common use both in Europe an din China as early as the 13 th century.

Zacharias Janssen, a Dutch optician, is credited with combining lenses to

make a compound microscope about 1590. Galileo improved the telescope in
1609. The art of designing and manufacturing lenses has progressed steadily
since that time.

How Lenses Are Made

The refraction of light is always the same under identical circumstances,

allowing physicist to draw up mathematical laws of optics. These laws are use in
determining the shape of a lens for a particular purpose. The shape is computed
mathematically and is expressed by a formula that guides the lens maker in his
or her work.

The glass used for a lens is of the highest quality. It is first molded into
blanks, which are disk about the size of the finished lenses. A lens is formed by
grinding and polishing a blank into shape. Grinding operations are performed by
revolving dish-shaped devices coated with abrasives. The first grinding, with a

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carborundum abrasive, gives the lens its general shape. Later, grindings with
finer and finer abrasives give it its final shape. The lens is then polished with
rouge (fine ferrous oxide) and cut to the proper size.

Principles of Lens Action

The ability of a lens to bring light to a focus or make it diverge derives from
the fact that the velocity of light changes as the light passes through different
materials. Thus when a ray of light leaves the atmosphere and enters a lens, it
slows down. According to the angle at which it strikes the lens surface, it is
refracted – that is, it changes direction. The ratio of velocity of light in air to its
velocity in the lens material is called the index of refraction of the material.

A lens refracts light rays in such a way that on of three things will occur:
1. The rays will come together at a point.
2. The rays will produce an image.
3. The rays will move in parallel lines or in diverging lines.

A LENS can be used to focus the light onto the film to produce a bright,
clear and sharp image. The hole behind the lens is called the aperture and on
many cameras the size of the hole or aperture can be altered. The length of time
that the light is allowed to enter the camera is called the exposure and is
controlled by the shutter. In its normal position the shutter is closed and prevents
the light entering the camera. Both the diaphragm and the shutter need to be
adjusted according to the amount of light that is available for taking a

All photographic lenses do the same basic job. Collect light rays from a
scene in front of the camera and project them as images unto the film at the
back. However, the choice of lenses also plays a very important role in the
creative aspects of photography.


1. Amount of light that reaches the film.

2. Magnification of the image.
3. Lastly, area of the image to be recorded on the film.


The focal length of a single lens is the distance from the lens to the point
at which incoming parallel rays focus. Light converged in the manner can
produce a real images, that is, an image that can actually be projected onto
screen. In a negative lens, rays do not actually come to a real focus but appear
to originate from a point called the virtual focus.

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There are two types of lenses, the converging and diverging lens. As to
converging lenses we have the double convex, Plano convex and the concavo-
convex. Under diverging lenses we have double concave, Plano concave and the
concavo concave.


A convex lens causes light rays to converge, or come together, and is

called a positive lens. A positive lens focuses light form a distant source into
visible image that appears on then opposite side of the lens to the object.

A convex lens is thicker in the middle than at the edges. When parallel
rays of light pass through this type of lens, they are bent inward and meet at a
point called the focus. The distance from the center of the lens to the focus is
known as the focal length.
The size, position, and type of image produced by a converging lens vary
according to the distance of the object from the lens. If an object is more than
one focal length from the lens, an inverted real image of it is formed on the
opposite side of the lens. Light rays from the object pass through a real image
and can be focused on a screen. When an object is located a distance of two
focal lengths on a converging lens, the image is the same size as the object and
is located on the opposite side of the lens. A smaller image of the object can be
obtained by moving the objects by more than two focal lengths from the lens.
Placing the object between one and two focal lengths from the lens can produce
a larger image.

If the object is less than one focal length from the lens, no real image can
be formed. Instead a magnified virtual image is formed behind the object and is
right side up. Light rays from the object do not pass through a virtual image, and
such an image cannot be focused on the screen.

A convex lens has a thick centre and thinner edges. Light passing
through a convex lens is bent inward, or made to converge. This causes an
image of the object to form on a screen on the opposite side of the lens. The

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image is in focus if the screen is placed at a particular distance from the lens
that depends upon the distance of the object and the focal point of the lens.
This diagram shows how rays of light starting from a point, O, on the object,
strike the lens and are then brought to focus at another point, I. The same
applies to every point on the object, as is shown by the pair of points P and J;
thus an image, exactly similar to the object is built up.

1. SIMPLE CONVEX – convexo – convex

2. SPECIAL CONVEX – special positive lens
a. – Plano – convex
b. – convexo – concave


Concave lens or negative lens spreads the light depends on the amount
of curved on the faces of the lens. The distance between the lens and the image
it produces is called the FOCAL LENGTH. The shorter the focal length, the
smaller the image. The greater the curvature of the faces of the lens, the shorter
its focal length will be. Lens that posses at least one surface that curves inward.
It is a diverging lens, spreading out those light rays that have been refracted to it.
Concave lens is thicker at the edges than they are at the center. Light rays
passing through a diverging lens are bent outward. Diverging lens form only
virtual image.

1. SIMPLE CONCAVE – concavo – concave - Biconcave lens (with both

surfaces curved inward)
2. SPECIAL CONCAVE – special negative lens
a. Plano - concave – lens with one flat surface and one concave.
b. Concavo – convex

A concave lens is curved inward; it is shaped like two dishes placed

back-to-back. Light passing through a concave lens bends outward, or
diverges. Unlike convex lenses, which produce real images, concave lenses
produce only virtual images. A virtual image is one from which light rays only
appear to come. This one appears as a smaller image just in front of the actual
object (in this case a shamrock). Concave lenses are generally prescribed for

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myopic, or short-sighted, people. Concave lenses help the eyes to produce a
sharp image on the retina instead of in front of it.
© Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.


Simple lenses generally produce aberrated (imperfect) images. This

imperfection in image formation can be reduced using compound lenses.


Lens speed refers to the largest opening of the diaphragm that the light
can pass through it determines the maximum intensity of the light entering the
light tight box.

A. FAST LENS – Lens with high lens speed, a high lens speed is used
during nighttime or in dark room.
B. SLOW LENS – lens with low lens speed, used during daytime or where
the room is very bright.


Focus: the means by which the object distance is estimated or calculated

to form sharp images.
It also refers to the point at which light rays converge. It is the point where
a set of lights rays converges after passing through a lens or other optical
arrangement. It also refers to the point from which rays appear to diverge, the
place where the visual image is clearly formed, as in the eye or a camera. The
point of principal focus is called focal point.

Focusing is the process of changing the distance between the centers of

the lens to the focal plane. It is the technique of adjusting the focal length to get
the sharp image of the object or scene to be photographed.

Infinity refers to the distance so far removed from the observer that the
rays of light reflected to a lens from a point at the distance maybe regarded as
parallel. It is a distance setting on a camera focusing scale, beyond which all
objects are in focus.

REAL FOCUS – the point of convergence of the light rays.

VIRTUAL FOCUS - the point where diverging rays would meet if their
direction were reversed.

In terms of focus, there are two types of lenses sold today:

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1. AUTO FOCUS – are the predominant types to the market. AFLSR’s focus
using a phase detection system that slits the incoming light into two or
more parts and compares them to determine the amount of DEFOCUS.
AF is not perfect, but the technology has greatly improved since the first
AF lenses made their appearance. As it is, sometimes this phase
detection system can have difficulty with dim lighting and fast – moving
objects, but they are more accurate than the infrared systems found on
point and shot cameras.
Although AF lenses dominate the market today, nearly all interchangeable
AF Lenses allow the user to over ride the AF mode with the manual focus
option. These lenses usually have a switch on the barrel, so that you can
choose one or the other to suit the shooting circumstances.


The most important way lenses differ is in their FOCAL LENGTH.

FOCAL LENGTH – the distance between the lens and the film plane
when the lens is focused on infinity. Focal length controls magnification (the size
of the image formed by the lens). A lens is also described in terms of its view
angle, the mount of the image shown on the film.


1. Normal Lens – A lens with a focal length equal to the diagonal measure
the image area. The image area of 35 mm camera is 24x36 mm, thus a
normal lens for any 35 mm SLR is 50 mm international standards, 50 mm
lens may have an actual focal length of 48 – 52 mm, and the normal lens
has a picture angle of 5 degrees that correspond to the viewing angle of
the human eye.

 Optimum area coverage than
any lens type.
 Minimum distortion and fewer
common lens defects.
 Angle of view equal to 75
degrees but not less than 45 degrees.

2. Wide Angle Lens – The wide-angle lens has a shorter focal length than
the normal lens. As a result, it covers a picture angle of 60 – 90 degrees. It
enables photographing a widely extended scene from a close proximity or
within a confined area. The range for wide angles for 35 mm SLR cameras

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includes 8mm, 24mm, 28 mm, and 35 mm. The 28 mm and 35 mm are the
most important for general wide angle for police work.

 Reduced scale but increases
area coverage compared with any lens at the same distance.
 Increased deep perception at
a given scale.
 Increased distortion toward
the edges of the negative material.
 Reducing illumination from the
center toward the edges of the negative material.
 Angle of view exceeds 75

3. Telephoto Lens – as telephoto lens, or long focus lens has a longer focal
length and provides a close up image of a distant object. In contrast to the
wide-angle lens, the telephoto lens covers a small field of view and a
shallower depth of field. Because of shallow depth of field, there will be
lack of sharpness of the subject focus areas in the photograph to be
produced. Another characteristics of the telephoto lens is production of flat
composition, far objects appear enlarged while near objects do not appear
proportionally large.
 Increase scale but reduced
area coverage compared to any lens type.
 Decreased depth perception.
 Image quality usually
deteriorates which is apparent when subject is in great motion.
 Angle of view less than 45

Lenses beyond 58 mm are included in the group of telephoto lenses. For

identification shots in police works, lenses of 85 to 135 mm focal length are
frequently used. Long tele lenses are those beyond 200 mm.

4. Super wide Angle Lenses – In this category are fish eye lenses with a
180 degrees angle of view. Focal lengths run from an amazing 6 mm to
about 18mm. F stop ranges begin at F 1.8 but average f 3.5 and f 4.

5. Macro Lenses – The word macro is derived from the Greek word and
means, “ to enlarge “. In photographic terms, a macro lens is designed
with extended focusing capabilities to shoot a few inches from a subject. A
lens used for close up photography particularly in taking pictures in minute
objects. Using a macro lens, the subject being photographed will appear

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bigger than its actual size. This group of lens is most helpful in fingerprint
work, in recording evidences such as pollen grains, hair, fiber and the like.

Two Main Types of MACRO LENS:

- One is meant to be used on a held tripod mounted camera and ranges

from 40 mm to about 90 mm with the average about 25 mm.
- The other type is either a wide angle or a lens with a focal length with 100
mm or more and is designed with a close up bellows attachment to the
camera. The longer lenses give a larger image and are most suitable for
static subjects and painstaking photography.

6. Zoom Lenses – The macro zoom is relatively new in both long and short-
range classes. By turning a ring on the lens barrel, you are able to focus
as close as three four inches and still use zoom capability. Such lens gives
you close – ups as well as variable focal lengths. and the macro zoom is
taking this field. A final zoom category is the variable- focal length lens that
operates in the same manner as the zoom.

7. Special Purpose Lenses – Two special- purpose lenses in particular

should be familiar to you. The first is adjustable through movement of the
front portion up and down for perspective control (PC). Architectural
photographers benefit using a PC lens that offers some control of
perspective similar to the using the tilting front and back of a view camera.

The other lens, a guide-number (GN) lens, includes a diaphragm

mechanism that changes aperture as the lens is focused to synchronize
exposure and distance with specific flash attachment on the camera. A GN
lens can be handy, but the use of automatic electronic flash unit would
make the GN lens unnecessary.

Incidentally, a number of compact 35 mm range finder cameras with fixed

(non interchangeable) lenses are guide- number equipped. As a flash unit
slips into the accessory shoe on top of the camera a small pin is activated
that synchronizes change of aperture with focusing. In this way distant
subjects are photographed through wider f tops than close ones, giving
the effect of exposure automation.

8. Add – On Teleconverter Lenses – Add-on lenses. Principal among add-

on lenses is the fishnet lens that is screwed into the front of a normal 35
mm camera lens, offering a super wide effect for less cost than a separate
fisheye lens.


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It is important to have the lens at the right distance from the film otherwise
the image of an object point will be seen as a circle which is blurred in
appearance. The permissible diameter of this circle or disc must be small enough
under certain viewing condition to make impossible to distinguish it from a point.
The image will be seen sharp as long as this circle appears to the eye as a point.
The diameter of the circle that can be accepted varies with the application. The
acuity of the vision of the eye and the condition under which the print is viewed
(contact or enlargement or projected).

For a pinhole camera no focusing is required because the aperture is too

small that such produces a point image of an object point. The image is almost
equally good over a very wide range of positions of the film.

For a lens camera to produce a sharp image must be focused at the

subject. When the camera lens is being focused at the subject one can observed
that the lens travels back and forth from the film. The lens must be focused at the
object point to produce an image point instead of a visible circle of light.

The question is how an object point pictured as an image point by

focusing the lens? Why are not all objects at different distances from the lens
sharp in the picture? The light bending ability of any one lens is constant that is
the light is bending to the same degree.


The light gathering power of lens that is express F/ number system is

equal to the ratio of the focal length of the lens to the diameter of the aperture. It
is otherwise called the relative aperture. A lens does not perform the same at all
apertures. If an f/2 lens is being used its widest aperture, it will have less depth,
poorer resolution and coverage at the corners that if this same lens were field
stopped down to the point of best resolution.

It is important to differentiate between sharpness at the corners of the field

and illumination at these same points. Some lenses will give a needle-sharp
image across the entire slide, but lack of coverage will cause a darkening at the
corners. Conversely, there are those lenses that will give unsharp images at the
corners although the illumination supplied by the lens is absolutely uniform and
no darkening will take place.

In most modern high-quality cameras performance at the center of the

field is a seldom a problem at any aperture; it’s the edges that make the
difference. In the case of both illumination and sharpness, the point of best
performance usually occurs when a lens is stopped down from two to three
stops. Actually, this optimum diaphragm setting gives the greatest amount of
sharpness, brilliance, and gradation over the entire field.

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When a lens, even a fine lens is used at its widest aperture, the extreme
edges of the lens are being used to form part of the image. These edges are
major source of aberrations. Stopping down prevents these aberrated rays from
reaching the film; it might seem logical, then, that the further the lens is stopped
down, the better. This is not the case, here’ what actually happens. As the lens is
stopped down, further and further, the opening gets smaller and smaller. When
the opening gets so small two things happen. First of all the opening gets so
small that the thickness of the diaphragm leaves approach the diameter of the
opening. When this happen, the edges of the diaphragm become a refractive unit
and a general loss of sharpness occurs. A second phenomenon of a completely
stopped down lens is shift of focus. Since the image that strikes the film is made
up of light from all portions of the lens, and the lens is actually set for the focus of
the rays passing through an area about 1/3 from its center. In many lenses the
point of focus between these extreme central rays that provides most of the
illumination (1/3 from the center) fall at different points, hence a loss of
sharpness due to apparent shift of focus.


No lens is perfect in every respect. Usually a lens maker tries to find the
best compromise among such qualities as sharpness of definition, speed of light
transmission, simplicity of construction and others. Special purpose lenses
however are computed for a single purpose only and in order to achieve the
maximum of usefulness in one special field, other qualities are sacrificed.
Except, the very finest lenses, traces of the following common lens defects
will be found in all, such as chromatic aberration, spherical aberration, curvilinear,
distortion, curvature of field, astigmatism and others. No camera lens will
produce defects so exaggerated as the ones which will be demonstrated.
However, even considerably less pronounced fault manifestation maybe enough
to produce fuzziness, which usually becomes more severe toward the edges of a

ABERRATION in optics, is the failure of light rays to focus properly after

they pass through a lens or reflect from a mirror. Proper focus occurs when the
light rays cross one another at a single point. ABERRATION occurs because of
minute variations in lenses and mirrors, and because different parts of the light
spectrum are reflected or refracted by varying amounts.

ABERRATION also defined as an optical imperfection responsible for

image distortion. It can be avoided by combining several lenses and by
elimination of marginal rays refracted through the outer edges of the lens. Lenses
or mirrors that are sections of spheres produce spherical aberrations. If a beam
of parallel rays reflects from a concave mirror, the rays that reflects from the
center of the mirror cross one another at a single point. The rays that reflects far
from the center cross at points closer to the mirror surface. The imaginary line
connecting these points of focus is called a CAUSTIC.

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A CAUSTIC appears as a bright line if it shines on a surface. For example,
when sunlight shines through the open top of a glass of milk and onto the curve
interior acts as a mirror. Consequently, the light reflects onto the milk in a caustic
curve. Without aberration, a bright spot would appear on the milk. Convex lenses
also produce spherical aberration. The light rays that pass through the middle of
the lens focus farther from the lens than do the rays that pass through the lens of
the edges. If the lens is in a camera, the image on this is blurry. To sharpen the
image, a camera has a small opening called a stop. The stop allows only the rays
passing through the center of the lens to reach the film. Thus, the rays focus at
one spot on the film, and the picture is clear.

There are six ( 6 ) types of optical aberrations:

1. Spherical Aberration
2. Chromatic Aberrations
3. Astigmatism
4. Coma
5. Curvature of Field
6. Distortion


Aberration Geometrical optics predicts that rays of light emanating from

a point are imaged by spherical optical elements as a small blur. The outer parts
of a spherical surface have a focal length different from that of the central area,
and this defect causes a point to be imaged as a small circle. The difference in
focal length for the various parts of the spherical section is called spherical

Spherical Aberration is found in all lenses bounded by spherical

aberration / surfaces. The marginal portions of the lens bring rays of light to
shorter focus than the central region. The image of a point in space is therefore
not a point, but a blur circle. Spherical aberration is the focusing at the different
parts of spherical lens. This aberration occurs because light hitting the outer
parts of the lens is bent more sharply and comes to a focus sooner than that
passing through the middle. In spherical aberration, the image is blurred because
different parts of a spherical lens or mirror have different focal lengths.

When parallel marginal rays and axial rays passing through a simple lens
focus at several planes along the optical axis.


All lenses (single) made of one material refract rays of short wavelength
more strongly than those of longer wavelenght and so brings blue more to a

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shorter focus than red. The result is that the image of a point white light is not a
white point, but a blur circle bordered with colors.

Chromatic aberration is the failure of different colored light rays to focus

after passing through a lens, focusing of light of different colors at different points
resulting in a blurred image. When white light, which consists of colors, passes
through a lens, the lens bends the rays. The rays then cross one another on the
other side. The violet rays bend more than the other colors and focus close to the
lens. The red rays bend the least and focus farther from the lens. Rays on the
other colors focus at points between these two points. In chromatic aberration the
image is surrounded by colored fringes, because light at different colors is
brought to different focal points by a lens.

The inability of a lens to bring the different wavelengths (colors) of white

light to a focus on the same plane. Because the index of refraction varies with
wavelength, the focal length of a lens also varies and causes longitudinal or axial
chromatic aberration. Each wavelength forms an image of a slightly different size,
giving rise to what is known as lateral chromatic aberration. Combinations of
converging and diverging lenses and of components made of glasses with
different dispersions, help to minimize chromatic aberration. Mirrors are free of
this defect. In general, achromatic lens combinations are corrected for chromatic
aberration for two or three colours.


Astigmatism is the defect in which the light coming from an off-axis object
point is spread along the direction of the optic axis. If the object is a vertical line,
the cross section of the refracted beam at successively greater distances from
the lens is an ellipse that collapses first into a horizontal line, spreads out again,
and later becomes a vertical line

Astigmatism is the failure of a lens to produce a point image of an object

point. Such condition occurs when the lens surfaces are not symmetrical with
respect to the principal axis of the lens. An extreme example would be one
surface is spherical and the other is cylindrical, or when the lens surfaces are
perfectly spherical but the beam of light from the object point passes through the
lens very obliquely.

In astigmatism, the image appears elliptical or cross shaped because of

an irregularity in the curvature of the lens. This is the inability of the lens to bring
horizontal and vertical lines in the subject to the same plane of focus in the

The inability of the lens to project a sharply focused image of both vertical
and horizontal lines upon the same plane, at one lens to image distance.

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The result of differences in lateral magnification for rays coming from an

object point not on the optic axis is an effect called coma. If coma is present,
light from a point is spread out into a family of circles that fit into a cone, and in a
plane perpendicular to the optic axis the image pattern is comet-shaped. Coma
may be eliminated for a single object-image point pair, but not for all such points,
by a suitable choice of surfaces.

A pear – shaped image of small circle or point near the edges of the image

Coma occurs when light falling obliquely on the lens and passing through
different circular zones is brought to a focus at different distances from the plane
film. A spot of light appears to have a tail, rather like a comet. In come, the
images appear progressively elongated toward the edge of the field of view. The
term Coma was coined 1733 by French mathematician Alexis Clairaut ( 1713 –
1765 ).


A curved, concave, or saucer – shaped image of an object which has a flat

surface produced by simple lens.
In curvature aberration the relation of the images of the different points are
incorrect with respect to one another. In curvature, the images of the different
points of the plane image lie on a curved surface, with points at the edge of the
field lying nearer to the lens than those at the center. In curvature, the images
distance is different for different points of the same object due to their differing
distance from the axis.

The fuzziness increases toward the edge of the film. Refocusing brings
different circle into focus but others now are blurred.


Distortion arises from a variation of magnification with axial distance and

is not caused by a lack of sharpness in the image.

When there exists a different magnification for rays at different angles

distortion exists. Any straight light extending across the field is considered curved
and for different lenses the curvature maybe from or toward the center. The
distortion is called barrel distortion (in the first case). It is the common type of
curvilinear defect. The second distortion is the pincushion defect.

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For correction two similar lenses, each of half necessary power are placed
a short distance apart, with a diaphragm between. Such a lens is called


These defects are usually corrected when the lens is designed; however,
they can occur if the lens is misused or through normal wear.


In a result of double reflection from inner lens surfaces. It exhibits itself as

a misty haze, or a cloudy semicircular patch of light, which may cover part or the
entire image. This doubly reflection may form an image called a ghost image.


Are bright spots on the film caused by stray light from worn shiny parts of
the lens such as the stop, shutter lens mount, or from the camera itself.


Most corrected lenses is coated with a substance which will reduce one
type of flare ( optical ) and which will also increase the optics ability to transmit
light thus reducing light loss.

Can be reduced or eliminated by using the proper lens shade placed on

the front of the lens as shield.


What is focal length?

It is usual to think of the focal length of the lens as the distance from the
lens center or the position of the image it forms of a distant object. It is important
to know that it is the focal length that determines how large an image is formed
by the lens. All lenses of the same focal at the same distance produce the same
of size; whether they are called wide angle, or by any other names.

The focal length of a lens can be define as the distance from the optical
center of the lens to its focal plane, when the lens is focused upon an object at
infinity in practical terms, means focused on a subject a great distance away
( 200 ft. or more ) the light rays reflected by that the subject will be traveling on
parallel paths, for all practical purposes, when they reach the film. The

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photographer seldom or need not measure the focal length of a lens, for this
characteristic is almost always marked on the front of the lens mount.

The focal length is a fixed value of a lens that cannot be changed. It is an

inherent factor determined by the thickness of the lens and curvatures of its
surface. The focal is frequently employed to indicate the size of the lens in
millimeter or inches. Thus, a lens labeled as F.L 50 mm. Indicates that when it is
focused on a point at infinity, the distance from the optical center to the focal
plane is 50 mm. And it is also the nearest distance at which such a lens will
sharply focuses an image.
The focal length also controls the image brightness, speed of the lens and
the image size of the focal plane; IMAGE SIZE, the focal length determines the
size of the image at the focal plane, the longer the focal length, the greater the
size of the image on the film when the subject remains at the given distance. In
fact, image size and focal are directly proportional, doubling the F.L. results in
doubling the image size. Because the image size increases with focal length, it is
logically to follow that the longer the focal length the less of the subject the lens
will include on the negative, that is the negative size remains constant. Or, to
state it another way, the greater the lens focal length, the narrower its field of
view (often called angle of view). A short focal length produces smaller image.

LENS SPEED, the largest opening of diaphragm (aperture) at which a

lens can be used is also known as the speed of the lens. Hence the light
gathering capability of a lens is called lens speed. Speed here refers to intensity
of light reaching the film, and not to any movement. Thus, an F/2 lens is faster
than F74, because an F2 has a larger aperture and will admit more light at a
given time. Lenses having a large aperture are called “fast” lenses because their
large aperture makes it possible to take photograph at a very short exposure
interval or under very dim light conditions. The closer this largest aperture to one
(1) or to being equal in diameter to the focal length of the lens, the faster the


Sensitized Material refers to films and papers that are composed of

emulsion containing SILVER HALIDE crystals suspended in gelatin and coated
on a transparent or reflective support.


A film consists basically, of a random scattering of light sensitive silver

halides suspended in a layer of animal gelatin which is coated onto acetate
support or base.


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1. TOP COATING (TOP LAYER) – scratch resistant coating also called

gelatin coating, an over coating composed of a thin transparent layer of a
hard gelatin which help protect the silver halide emulsion from scratches
and abrasions. The hard gelatin, which is derived from cows, contains
SULFUR. The SULFUR is very much compatible with silver halides.
2. EMULSION LAYER – SILVER SALT + GELATIN – A layer composed of
silver compounds which are light sensitive and halogens (such as
bromide, chloride and iodide bromide in fast film emulsion). A silver
compound when combined with a halogen becomes SILVER HALIDE.
Silver Halides are rare compound that are responsible in forming the so
called the LATENT IMAGE in the photographic film.
3. FILM BASE – commonly made of cellulose or other material such as
paper, plastic, or glass, which supports the emulsion layer and is coated
with a non-curling antihalation backing.
4. ANTIHALATION BACKING – a black dye applied on the rare surface of
the film. Its function is to absorb light that may penetrate the emulsion thus
making the image sharper since it suppresses double image. It prevents
halo formation in the photograph. The black dye is removed during
processing by one of the chemicals in the developer. Its second function is
to control the film from curling inwards. (Towards the emulsion surface).


1. TOP LAYER – sensitive to blue light only, green and red light passes
through it without exposing the color halide.

a. Blue filter
b. Yellow filter – CAREY LEA silver suspended in gelatin, it is coated
between the top and second layer to absorb any penetrating blue
light but allowing green and red light to pass through.
c. Green filter – a layer that is orthochromatic, the layer sensitive to
blue light (which can not reach it) and green, but not to red light
pass on to the bottom of the emulsion layer.
d. Red filter – a panchromatic layer, sensitive to blue (which can’t
reach it) and red. It is also sensitive to green light but to a slight
degree that is insignificant.


4. FILM BASE – Plastic film base
Emulsions are thin, gelatinous, light-sensitive coatings on film that
react chemically to capture the color and shadings of a scene. The four layers
pictured above show the same image as it would appear on different
emulsions in photographic film after the first stage of developing. For black-

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and-white photographs, only one emulsion is required, because it is the
amount of light, not the colour that activates the chemical reaction. Color film
requires three layers of emulsion, each of which is sensitive to only one of the
primary colors of light: blue, green, or red. As light passes through the layers,
each emulsion records areas where its particular color appears in the scene.
When developed, the emulsion releases dye that is the complementary color
of the light recorded: blue light activates yellow dye, green light is magenta,
and red light is cyan (bluish-green). Complementary colors are used because
they produce the original color of the scene when the film is processed.
Color films are more complex than black-and-white films because they
are designed to reproduce the full range of color tones as color, not as black,
white, and grey tones. The design and composition of most color transparency
films and color negative films are based on the principles of the subtractive
color process, in which the three primary colors, yellow, magenta, and cyan
(blue-green), are combined with their complements to reproduce a full range of
colors. Such films consist of three silver halide emulsions on a single layer.
The top emulsion is sensitive only to blue. Beneath this is a yellow filter that
blocks blues but transmits greens and reds to the second emulsion, which
absorbs greens but not red. The bottom emulsion records reds.
When color film is exposed to light by a camera, latent black-and-white
images are formed on each of the three emulsions. During processing, the
chemical action of the developer creates actual images in metallic silver, just
as in black-and-white processing. The developer combines with dye couplers
incorporated into each of the emulsions to form cyan, magenta, and yellow
images. Then the film is bleached, leaving a negative image in the primary
colors. In color transparency film, unexposed silver-halide crystals not
converted to metallic silver during the initial development are converted to
positive images in dye and silver during a second stage of development. After
the development action has been arrested, the film is bleached and the image
fixed on it.


Exposure is made simultaneously in the three layers. Each layer

responding to only one of the additive primary colors (red, blue and green). After
exposure and during the film processing, the yellow color of the filter layer is

Films maybe classified according to their forms and types. Basically, films
that are available in the markets today are in various forms. They can be in rolls,
in cartridges and cut sheets. Light sensitivity of the film can be ascertained
through its various types.

There are some films that are sensitive to all colors while there is some
that are sensitive only to one or specific set of colors.

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Classification according to USE

1. BLACK and WHITE FILM – for B and W Photography

2. COLOR FILM – films that have names ending in COLOR
- Color negatives for prints
The negative in this type of film is divided into blocks and is color positive.
It is composed of hue dyes. In between the blue and green hues, yellow gelatin is
placed so that the blue rays of light would not affect the green hue and in
between the green and the red dye, magenta gelatin is placed so that the green
rays of light would not affect the red hue dye of the emulsion.

3. CHROME FILMS – films with names ending in CHROME

- For color transparency (slides); films that are exposed by slides,
mounted in a cardboard for slide projectors: reversal type.
4. X – RAY FILM – films that are sensitive to X- radiations

Types based on FILM SPEED (according to light sensitivity)

1. FAST FILM – contains numerous number of large grains of silver halides

that usually develop in groups; film that are very sensitive to light. When
the available is dim, this type of film is the best choice because of the low
reflection power of the subject against a background. It is low in contrast
but high in brightness. However, the use of fast speed film is not advisable
due to its graininess result.
2. SLOW FILM – film that require longer period of time to completely expose
their emulsion to light; film with fine grains of silver halides.

Film Speed Film is classified by speed as well as by format. Film speed is

defined as an emulsion's degree of sensitivity to light, and determines the
amount of exposure required to photograph a subject under given lighting
conditions. The manufacturer of the film assigns a standardized numerical rating
in which high numbers correspond to “fast” emulsions and low numbers to “slow”
ones. The standards set by the International Standards Organization (ISO) are
used throughout the world, although some European manufacturers still use the
German Industrial Standard, or Deutsche Industrie Norm (DIN). The ISO system
evolved by combining the DIN system with the ASA (the industry standard
previously used in the United States). The first number of an ISO rating,
equivalent to an ASA rating, represents an arithmetic measure of film speed,
whereas the second number, equivalent to a DIN rating, represents a logarithmic

Low-speed films are generally rated from ISO 25/15 to ISO 100/21, but
even slower films exist. Kodak's Rapid Process Copy Film, a special process
film, has an ISO rating of 0.06/-12. Films in the ISO 125/22 to 200/24 range are
considered medium speed, while films above ISO 200/24 are considered fast.

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In recent years, many major manufacturers have introduced super fast films
with ISO ratings higher than 400/27. And certain films can be pushed well
beyond their ratings by exposing them as though they had a higher rating and
developing them for a greater length of time to compensate for the
DX coding is a recent innovation in film and camera technology. DX-
coded cartridges of 35-mm film have printed on them a characteristic panel
corresponding to an electronic code that tells the camera the ISO rating of the
film as well as the number of frames on the roll. Many of the newer electronic
cameras are equipped with DX sensors that electronically sense this
information and automatically adjust exposures accordingly.
Differences in sensitivity of a film emulsion to light depend on various
chemical additives. For example, hypersensitizing compounds increase film
speed without affecting the film's color sensitivity. High-speed film can also be
manufactured by increasing the concentration of large silver-halide crystals in
the emulsion. In recent years, a generation of faster, more sensitive films has
been created by altering the shape of crystals. Flatter silver-halide crystals offer
greater surface area. Films incorporating such crystals, such as Kodak's T-grain
Kodacolour films, have a correspondingly greater sensitivity to light.
The grain structure of faster films is generally heavier than that of slower
films. Grain structure may give rise to a mottled pattern on prints that have
been greatly enlarged. Photographs taken with slower-speed film appear less
grainy when enlarged. Because of the small size of their silver-halide grains,
slow-speed films generally have a higher resolution—that is, they can render
fine details with greater sharpness—and can produce a broader range of tones
than fast films. When tonal range and sharpness of detail are not as important
as capturing a moving subject without blurring, fast films are used.

Types based on SPECTRAL SENSITIVITY (color sensitivity)

Spectral sensitivity – responsiveness of the film emulsion to the different

wavelength of light source.

1. MONOCHROMATIC FILM – film that is sensitive to a single color of light

(for white and black)
a. BLUE SENSITIVE FILM – a film specially treated that makes it
more sensitive to blue rays of light
b. ULTRA-VIOLET SENSITIVE FILM – sensitive to UV rays only

2. PANCHROMATIC FILM – sensitive to ultra-violet rays, and all light found

in the visible spectrum, especially to blue and violet light. It is suitable for
general use in the preparation of black and white photography because it
produces the most natural recording of colors.

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Panchromatic films are further sub classified according to their degree of
sensitivity to each primary colors or light. There are three classes of
panchromatic film. They are the following:

a. Process Panchromatic Film – permit short exposures under

average lighting condition and has the advantage of fine grain
b. Grain Panchromatic Film
c. High Speed Panchromatic Film – designed originally for
photographing objects under adverse lighting condition.

Contrast of the panchromatic film usually varies with the color of the light
and using filters can attain proper contrast in photograph.

3. ORTHOCHROMATIC FILM – film that is sensitive to UV rays, blue and

green colors, but not to red. Red portions are recorded as dark tones,
while green and blue parts appear as light tones when printed. This type
of film is popular in the market as the KODALITH FILM.
4. INFRARED FILM – a special type of film that is sensitive to infrared and
ultra-violet radiation (radiation beyond the human eye’s sensitive). It is
also sensitive to all the colors found in the visible spectrum. Although the
infrared film is sensitive to blue color, a red filter can exclude the blue
color. The red filter transmits only long red and infrared radiation. IR film
is useful in penetrating haze because of its longer wavelength. In
Investigative Photography, it is useful in laboratory analysis of questioned
documents, in discovering old ( or faded ) tattoos under the skin, and in
the construction of camera types.


EMULSION SPEED – the sensitivity of the film to light; the extent to which
emulsion is sensitive to light.
The light sensitivity of the film is also known as the FILM SPEED. Speed of the
film is determined through the numerical film speed labels given by the film
manufacturer. There are two classical speed ratings that became popular:

1. ASA (American Standard Association) rating - This is expressed in

arithmetical value system. The speed in numbers is directly proportional to
the sensitivity of the material. A film with an arithmetical value of 400 is
four times as fast as one with a speed of 100.
2. DIN (Deutche Industrie Norman) rating – This is expressed in logarithmic
value system. In this system, an increase of 3 degree doubles the
sensitivity of the film.

 ISO rating (International Standards Organization) – combination of

ASA and DIN rating. The higher the ISO number, the more sensitive

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the film to light and the pictures can be taken indoors or in dim light
 ISO 100-200 – film for general purpose

One film maybe rated ISO – 100, and another film ISO- 200. This means
that the 200 films are twice as fast ( twice more sensitive to light ) than the ISO-
100 film. Hence, it would only require half the amount of light to produce a
satisfactory negative. Each time the film speed is doubled, it is equal to one f /
stop higher. For instance, in the example given, if ISO-1 is exposed at f / 8, then
ISO-200 should be exposed at f / 11 to produce the same negative image quality.
Any film above ISO-200 can be considered grain. The suggested uses of the
following film exposure under varying conditions are:

1. ISO – 25 – slowest speed that natural condition will permit, for best color
and sharpness.
2. ISO – 100 to ISO – 200 – for general purpose
3. ISO – 100 – slow speed film; needs sufficient light and low shutter speed;
has fine grains of silver halides; produce sharp image.
4. ISO – 200 – twice as fast and as sensitive as ISO – 100; has large grains;
produce large sharp image.
5. ISO – 400 – for dim light or with moving subject
6. ISO – 1000 and up – for extremely low light conditions or for fast moving

 When DX is attached to the film speed, it means that the film

automatically sets the film speed dial (ASA dial).

1. 110 – for cartridge loading pocket cameras

2. 126 – for older and larger cartridge loading type
3. 120 – variation of the 2.25 inch-wide roll film that was first introduced for
box cameras a decade ago and now used in professional medium format
cameras like the Hasselbald or Mamiya.
4. 135 – commonly known as the mm. so named because the film is 35 mm
5. 220 – the same with 120 but twice as many exposure


An alteration in the spectral response of a photographic material brought

about by a change in the spectral distribution of energy in the light source used
for exposure is a difference in a relative brightness in which different colors are
reproduced by the photographic material.

A comparison of the relative brightness in which the different colors of the

original are produced by two light sources shows that the employment of

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tungsten illumination with its greater abundance of long wave radiation, has
resulted in yellow, orange and red being produced relatively lighter, and violet
and blue darker, than with sunlight. The relative brightness in which different
colors are reproduced depends on the distribution of spectral sensitivity with the
particular light source used for the exposure. The greater the effective sensitivity
in any particular part of the spectrum, the greater the density of the negative and
the lighter the tone of gray in which the corresponding color sensation is
represented in the print.


Photographic exposure is defined as the product of illumination and time.

The unit of exposure is usually in meter candle second which is equivalent to
exposure produced by a light source of one candlepower, in the second at a
distance of one meter from the surface of the sensitive material.

When light is brought in its focus by the camera lens and strikes the front
surface of the film emulsion, a number of tiny crystals of light sensitive silver
halide rendered developable forming later the image is known as the latent
photographic image. This image becomes visible by chemical development. This
image conforms to the shape of the object points in the subject according to the
capability of the lens and film.

While at this point the light had done all that it has to do, however it
continue to penetrate the emulsion layers throughout whose depth lie suspended
millions of other light sensitive halide crystals. As the ray moves deeper and
deeper into the emulsion, it moves farther and farther away from its original point
of entry into the emulsion, and parts are scattered off in every direction. During
this travel it has struck and therefore made developable, many more light
sensitive crystals than it originally affected to form the latent image at the surface
of the emulsion. Finally, it bumps into the anti- halation backing and is absorbed.


Filters made of gelatin or glass; filters are used in front of a camera lens to
alter the color balance of light, to change contrast or brightness, to minimize
haze, or to create special effects. In black-and-white photography, color filters are
used with panchromatic film to transmit light of the matching color while blocking
light of a contrasting color. In a landscape photograph taken with a red filter, for
example, some of the blue light of the sky is blocked, causing the sky to appear
darker and thereby emphasizing clouds. Under a blue sky, a yellow filter
produces a less extreme effect because more blue light is transmitted to the film.
The No. 8 yellow filter is often used for outdoor black-and-white photography
because it renders the tone of a blue sky in much the same way that the human
eye perceives it.

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Conversion filters, light-balancing filters, and color-compensating filters
are all widely used in color photography. Conversion filters change the color
balance of light for a given film. Tungsten films, for example, are designed and
balanced for the color temperature of amber tungsten light. Exposed in daylight,
they will produce pictures with a bluish cast. A series 85-conversion filter can
correct this. Daylight film, on the other hand, balanced for sunlight at noon, which
has a greater concentration of blue wavelengths than tungsten light, will have a
yellow-amber cast when exposed under tungsten light. A series 80-conversion
filter corrects this problem.
Light-balancing filters are generally used to make small adjustments in
color. These pale-toned filters eliminate undesirable colorcasts or add a general
warming hue. Color-compensating (CC) magenta filters can balance greenish
fluorescent light for daylight or tungsten film. Another type of filter, the polarizer,
is used primarily to reduce reflection from the surface of shiny subjects.
Polarizing filters are also used in color photography to increase color
Photographic filters maybe divided into four classes: a) color filters b)
viewing filters c) neutral density filters and d) polarizing filters
COLOR FILTERS – Are used to control the relative tone values in which
colors are rendered by the photographic process, to lighten or darkened
particular colors or to obtain color separation records for color photography

A color filter maybe defined as an optically homogenous filter in which the

absorption of light and transmission of light varies with the wavelength.

 Blue Filters – A blue filter can be used effectively when photographing

blood in black and white. When used outdoors as blue filters will make the
sky, or any blue object appears white in photograph.
 Green Filters – Are now used in place of blue filters for photographing
 Yellow Filters – Yellow filters cut through haze to certain extent and can be
used with good results to photograph an accident on a hazy day.

VIEWING FILTER – Are designed to show by direct observation the

relative values in which colors will be reproduced by a particular type of
sensitized without or with a given filter.

NEUTRAL DENSITY FILTER – Are used to reduce the light intensity to

prevent over exposure.

POLARIZING FILTER – Are used primarily to control light reflected from

highly polished surfaces, metallic objects and others.

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The Principle of Color Filters

Objects are distinguished from their surroundings by the contrast, which

may be the result of a difference in brightness or color. At times parts of a subject
may differ slightly in brightness yet the contrast due to difference in color is very
marked to the eye. For example red and green colors show a striking difference
to the eye yet when photograph on a panchromatic film the brightness difference
is very slight to be notice by the eye. To show the difference the use of a green
filter will render the green color lighter and the red color darker (in the print or
To render a color lighter in effect than it would appear, a filter, which
selectively transmits light of the same color, should be used. To render a color
darker a filter, which absorbs the color, should be used. To transmit means to
allow or to pass through while to absorb means to stop partially or wholly.

Filter Factor

A photographic material exposed to such filtered radiation will receive a

small amount of light than one without any filter. To compensate for the loss of
radiation because of the absorption of the filter, the shutter speed should be
increased or a longer time in opening and closing or wider lens aperture, or an
increase in the intensity of the light source is necessary. Filter factors depend
1. Absorption characteristics of the filter.
2. The subject
3. The spectral sensitivity of the emulsion
4. The processing conditions.

The general effects of filter may be given as below:

Color of Subject Rendered Lighter Rendered Darker

Red Filters F, A or G Filter B or C-5

Green G, X-1, X-2 Filter A or C-5
Blue Filter A A, F, G, or B
Magenta Filter F or A Filter B
Yellow Filter F or G Filter C-5
Orange Filter G or A Filter C-5

Filter Guide

G---- Deep Yellow

B---- Green
X-1, X-2 - - - Lighter Green
A or F - - - - Shades of Red

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The result of photography in its final form is the photograph. The materials
necessary to produce a photograph (POSITIVE PRINT) are a sensitized paper. It
has emulsion that is coated with opaque material like paper.


After the process of producing the negative image is produced from the
negative, which is a true presentation of the relative brightness of all parts of the
object and is now called a print. A print is ordinarily made on paper that is coated
with light sensitive emulsion. This emulsion is similar to the. Basic layers of
printing paper are:
1. Emulsion Layer – the layer containing minute silver suspended in gelatin;
the layer of chemical needed to reproduce the opposite tone of the
negative print.
2. Baryta Layer – a gelatin layer containing Baryta crystals (barium oxide
particles) to increase the reflectivity of the paper.
3. Base – made of hardened white paper, which must be chemically pure to
ensure that it will not interfere with the chemical processes to which the
emulsion is subjected. Available either in single or double weight paper.

In the preparation of photographic papers, there are three important

factors to be considered, the:
1. Type of emulsion
2. Contrasting light rays and
3. Physical characteristics

Each type of emulsion has its own substance and use in the preparation of
photographs. The types of emulsion use in photo papers are:
1. Silver Chloride emulsion
2. Silver Bromide emulsion
3. Silver Chlorobromide emulsion



1. SILVER CHLORIDE PAPER – contains silver chloride emulsion; grained

and produce deep black images; used for contact printing. Its sensitivity to
light is low. Generally, the size of the positive print is the same as the size
of the negative used and usually it will give blue-black tone if properly
2. SILVER BROMIDE PAPER – contains silver bromide emulsion. Light
sensitivity of this type is faster than the silver chloride paper. This

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photographic paper is used for projection printing or enlarging process
wherein the negative image is projected or enlarged. If properly
developed, the silver bromide paper will give a black tone.
3. SILVER CHLOROBROMIDE PAPER – contains a combination of silver
chloride emulsion; its emulsion speed lies between that of chloride and
bromide papers; used both for contact and projection printing. The
sensitivity of this paper is either slow or fast. The slow emulsion is used for
contract printing while the fast emulsion is used for projection printing.
4. VARIABLE CONTRAST PAPER – combines the contrast ranges in one
paper, it uses a special Chlorobromide emulsion that produces varying
contrast responses upon exposure to different colored light.

The manufacturer of the films according to their own ideas classifies the
contrast range of photographic paper. They produce different photographic
papers intended for the specific contrast of the negatives to be printed. Generally,
this contrast range is classified into four: They are the following:
1. Low Contrast
2. Normal and Medium Contrast
3. Hard Contrast
4. Very Hard or Extra Hard Contrast

The low contrast paper is usually suitable to a very contrast negative to

produce a normal print or photograph. On the other hand, the high or hard
contrast is suitable to a very low contrast paper is suitable to a very low contrast
negative to compensate for lack of brilliance and produce a normal print or

Photographic papers are made with different characteristics. They are the
combination of thickness and finish. The texture maybe smooth, rough or linen,
its finest maybe glossy with a very smooth surface texture. Other type of textures
may produce a mate or semi-glossy finish in rough or linen texture.

The paper base of the photographic paper maybe either white or tinted. Its
weight or thickness maybe either lightweight or single-weight or double-weight.

The choice of photographic paper for printing will depend upon the
purpose of the photographs to be made. Black and White object are usually
printed in a white base photographic paper. Reproduction of photographs would
give satisfactory results if printed on glossy white photographic paper. For portrait
photograph, a cream paper base photographic paper is recommended and for
law enforcement photography, the smooth photographic paper is necessary so
that the detail of the image appear and appreciated by the viewers.

No. 1 ---- No. 2 ---- No. 3 ---- No. 4

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Photographic papers are supplied in different grades. Numbers and or
descriptive names, # 4 or hard, # 3 or medium, # 2 or normal, # 1 or soft contrast
designates them. The type of paper to be used is frequently the opposite in the
name to the type of negative. For instance, hard paper is used for thin, and
normal paper is used for the so-called normal negative.


Photographic paper is made with different characteristics. They are the

combination of thickness and finish. Photographic papers are supplied according
to weight or thickness of the base, surface, color and contrast.


A. Light Weight – are used when the thickness of the paper is

not a consideration and high degree of flexibility is necessary.
Intended for purposes, which involve folding.
B. Single Weight – are paper used for small print or print
which need to be mounted on solid and fine details are
necessary in the production. Used only for ordinary
photographic purposes.
C. Double Weight – generally used for large prints because
they stand up better under rough treatment.


A. Glossy Papers – are preferred where fine detail and brilliant images
are required.
B. Semi – mate Papers – are with decided textures which obscure fine
C. Rough Papers – used for large prints or where breadth rather than
detail is necessary.


A. White – are preferred for cold effect

B. Cream – are preferred for pictorial effect, portraits, landscapes or
when warmth effect is desired.
C. Buff Papers – are preferred for tone prints.

The choice of photographic paper for printing will depend upon the
purpose of the photographs to be made. Black and White object are usually
printed in a white-based photographic paper. Reproduction of photographs would
give satisfactory results if printed in glossy white-based photographic paper. For
portrait photograph, a cream based photographic paper is recommended. For

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law enforcement photography, the smooth photographic paper is necessary so
that the details of the image appear and appreciated by the viewer.


Because of the fact that all negative do not print best on one kind of paper,
and in order to permit printing for special effects, photographic papers is made in
several different grades of contrast and surface texture. Velox paper made by
Kodak offers six degrees of contrast and glossy surface.

VELOX No. 0 – used for printing from extremely contrast negatives, the
low contrast in the paper sensitizing counteracts the high contrast in the negative
to give a new print.
VELOX No. 1 – used for high contrast negative
VELOX No. 2 – a paper for normal contrast used with normal negatives
VELOX No. 3 – used for negatives that have weak contrast
VELOX No. 4 – provides for sufficient contrast to compensate for very thin
or weak negatives. It is useful in printing pictures which high contrast is desired
VELOX No. 5 – for flat negative that is unprintable




A. DOCUMENT. Any material containing marks, symbols, or signs either

visible, partially visible that may present or ultimately convey a meaning to
someone, maybe in the form of pencil, ink writing, typewriting, or printing on
The term “document” applies to writings; to words printed, lithographed,
or photographed; to maps or plans; to seals, plates, or even stones on
which inscriptions are cut or engraved. In its plural form, “documents”
may mean; deeds, agreements, title, letters, receipts, and other written
instruments used to prove a fact.
 Latin word “documentum”, means “lesson, or example (in
Medieval Latin “instruction, or official paper”), OR
 French word “docere”, means to teach.

According to Microsoft Encarta Reference Library (as a noun):

1. formal piece of writing
2. object containing information
3. computer file

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As a verb, Microsoft Encarta gives the following definition:
1. record information in or on media
2. support a claim with evidence

B. QUESTIONED. Any material which some issue has been raised or which
is under scrutiny.
C. QUESTIONED DOCUMENT. One in which the facts appearing therein
may not be true, and are contested either in whole or part with respect to
its authenticity, identity, or origin. It may be a deed, contract, will, election
ballots, marriage contract, check, visas, application form, check writer,
certificates, etc.
D. DISPUTED DOCUMENT. A term suggesting that there is an argument or
controversy over the document, and strictly speaking this is true meaning.
In this text, as well as through prior usage, however, “disputed document”
and “questioned document” are used interchangeably to signify a
document that is under special scrutiny.
E. STANDARD a.k.a. STANDARD DOCUMENT - Are condensed and
compact set of authentic specimens which, if adequate and proper,
should contain a cross section of the material from a known source.
"Standard" in questioned documents investigation, we mean those
things whose origins are known and can be proven and which can be
legally used as examples to compare with other matters in question.
Usually a standard consist of the known handwriting of a person such
case, "standard" has the same meaning as is understood by the word
"specimen" of handwriting.
F. EXEMPLAR. A term used by some document examiners and attorneys to
characterize known material. Standard is the older term.
G. HOLOGRAPHIC DOCUMENT. Any document completely written and
signed by one person; also known as a holograph. In a number of
jurisdictions a holographic will can be probated without anyone having
witnessed its execution.
H. REFERENCE COLLECTION. Material compiled and organized by the
document examiner to assist him in answering special questions.
Reference collections of typewriting, check writing specimens, inks, pens,
pencils, and papers are frequently maintained.



1. In the case of People vs. Moreno, CA, 338 O.G. 119: any written
document by which a right is established or an obligation is extinguished.
2. In the case of People vs. Nillosquin, CA, 48 O.G. 4453: every deed or
instrument executed by person by which some disposition or agreement is
proved, evidenced or setforth.

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3. In relation to Criminal Jurisprudence under the Best Evidence rule: any
physical embodiment of information or ideas; e.g. a letter, a contract, a
receipt, a book of account, a blur print, or an X-ray plate (Black’s Law

1. PUBLIC DOCUMENT - notarized by a notary public or competent public
official with solemnities required by law.(Cacnio vs. Baens, 5 Phil. 742)
2. OFFICIAL DOCUMENT - issued by the government or its agents or its
officers having the authority to do so and the offices, which in accordance
with their creation, they are authorized to issue and be issued in the
performance of their duties.
3. PRIVATE DOCUMENT -executed by a private person without the
intervention of a notary public or of any person legally authorized, by
which documents, some disposition or agreement is proved, evidenced
or set forth (US vs Orera, 11 Phil. 596).
4. COMMERCIAL DOCUMENT - executed in accordance with the Code of
Commerce or any Mercantile Law, containing disposition of commercial
rights or obligations.

Take Note:

A private document may become a public or official document when it

partake the nature of a public or official record. So if the falsifications committed
on such document that is, when it is already a part of the public record,
falsification of public or official document is committed. However, if such private
document is intended to become a part of the public record, even though falsified
prior thereto, falsification of a public document is committed.


Supreme Court Rulings.
1. A draft of a Municipal payroll which is not yet approved by the proper
authority (People vs. Camacho, 44 Phil. 484).
2. Mere blank forms of official documents, the spaces of which are not filled
up (People vs. Santiago, CA, 48 O.G. 4558).
3. Pamphlets or books which do not evidence any disposition or agreement
are not documents but are mere merchandise (People vs. Agnis, 47 Phil.


1. Documents with questioned signatures.
2. Questioned documents alleged to have been containing fraudulent
3. Questioned or disputed holographic wills.
a. HOLOGRAPHIC WILL - will entirely written in the handwriting of the

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b. NOTARIAL WILL - signed by the testator acknowledge before a notary
public with 3 witnesses.
4. Documents investigated on the question of typewriting.
a. with a view of ascertaining their source
b. with a view of ascertaining their date
c. with a view of determining whether or not they contain fraudulent
alterations or substituted pages.
5. Questioned documents on issues of their age or date.
6. Questioned documents on issues of materials used in their production.
7. Documents or writings investigated because it is alleged that they identify
some persons through handwriting.
a. anonymous and disputed letters, and
b. Superscriptions, registrations and miscellaneous writings.


ADDITION - Any matter made a part of the document after its original
preparation may be referred to as addition.

CONCLUSION - A scientific conclusion results form relating observed facts by

logical, common-sense reasoning in accordance with established rules or laws.
The document examiner's conclusion, in legal term is referred to as "opinion".

DOCUMENT EXAMINER. One who studies scientifically the details and

elements of documents in order to identify their source or to discover other
facts concerning them. Document examiners are often referred to as
handwriting identification experts, but today the work has outgrown this latter
title and involves other problems than merely the examination of handwriting.

ERASURE - The removal of writings, typewriting or printing, from a document is

an erasure. It maybe accomplished by either of two means. A chemical
eradication in which the writing is removed or bleached by chemical agents
(e.g. liquid ink eradicator); and an abrasive erasure is where the writing is
effaced by rubbing with a rubber eraser or scratching out with a knife or other
sharp with implement.

EXAMINATION - It is the act of making a close and critical study of any

material and with questioned documents, it is the process necessary to
discover the facts about them. Various types are undertaken, including
microscopic, visual photographic, chemical, ultra violet and infra-red

EXPERT WITNESS. A legal term used to describe a witness who by reason of

his special training or experience is permitted to express an opinion regarding
the issue, or a certain aspect of the issue, which is involved in a court action.

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His purpose is to interpret technical information in his particular specialty in
order to assist the court in administering justice. The document examiner
testifies in court as an expert witness.

INSERTION OR INTERLINEATION - The term "insertion" and

"interlineations" include the addition of writing and other material between
lines or paragraphs or the addition of whole page to a document.

NON-IDENTITIFICATION (Non-identity) – as used in this text it means that the

source or authorship of the compared questioned and standard specimens is

OBLITERATION - the blotting out or shearing over the writing to make the
original invisible to as an addition.

OPINION. In legal language, it refers to the document Examiner's conclusion.

Actually in Court, he not only expresses an opinion but demonstrates the
reasons for arriving at his opinion. Throughout this text, opinion and conclusion
are used synonymously.

QUALIFICATION. The professional experience, education, and ability of a

document examiner. Before he is permitted to testify as an expert witness, the
court must rule that he is qualified in his field.


Generally, examination of questioned documents is restricted to

“Scientific Comparison” which means that determination of authenticity,
genuineness, falsification or forgery lies on the availability of known standards for
comparison. After thorough comparison, the following principle of
identification is applied:

“When two items contain a combination of corresponding or similar

and specifically oriented characteristic of such number and significance as
to preclude the possibility of their occurrence by mere coincidence and
there are no unaccounted for differences, it may be concluded that they
are same in their characteristics attributed to the same cause.”


A. Criminalistics Examination. This involves the detection of forgery,

erasure, alteration or obliteration of documents.

Dr. Wilson Harrison, a noted British Examiner of questioned documents

said that an intelligent police investigator can detect almost 75% of all

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forgeries by careful inspection of a document with simple magnifiers and
measuring tools.

B. Handwriting Investigation/Analysis. This is more focused in determining

the author of writing. It is more difficult procedure and requires long study
and experience.



A. Handwriting Examination (Graphology/Graphoanalysis)

1. examination of signatures and initials
2. examination of anonymous letters
3. hand printing examination
B. Examination of Typewritings and typeprints.
C. Examination of Inks
D. Examination of Erasures, alterations or obliterations, etc.
1. Detection of alteration
2. Decipherment of erased writings
3. Restoration of obliterated writings
E. Counterfeiting
1. Examination of currency bills and coins and the like.
2. Examination of fake documents
F. Miscellaneous aspects
1. Determination of age of documents
2. Identification of stamps
3. Examinations of seal and other authenticating devices


1. In the commission of a crime, the criminal often finds it necessary to employ
one or more documents in furtherance of his act.
2. In some crimes, such as forgery, the document is an integral part of the
3. In others, such as false claims against government, documents often play
an important part in proving the commission of the crime.
4. Proof of the fact that a document was altered or made by a particular
individual may show that:
a. He committed the crime.
b. He had knowledge of the crime.
c. He was present in a certain locality at a specified time.

B. PURPOSE - A document may be examined to know the following:

a. Identity of the author.
b. True contents of the document.

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c. Origin of the instrument or paper used in making the document.
d. Alterations or erasures which have been made.
e. Authenticity of the document.



"ADMITTED", "AUTHENTIC", and "DOUBTFUL" documents.

1. Concerning the Document in Questioned.

a. Is only one signature in questioned?
b. Is any part of the document in question?
c. Is the date of the document in questioned?
d. Is the paper or the typewriter used in the document in questioned? Etc.

2. Regarding the Standards:

a. Make sure that there are sufficient numbers of authentic documents for
comparison submitted. If there are inadequate standards, obtain more.
b. Determine whether the standards are authentic ones, on which a
foundation can be built for admitting them in evidence.

B. SECOND - ANALYZE THE DETAILS: Synthesize the elements, date,

circumstances, conditions, technical problems and the like.
1. The examiner after ascertaining the facts, should have detailed
information as to the circumstances of the document in questioned, the
condition of an alleged writer, or of any condition that may have affected
the writing or typewriting or any facts that are part of the technical problem
with the document that is submitted to the expert.
2. He should inquire about the circumstances and conditions as far as the
client knows, such as; was the document signed sitting on the wall, on the
lap, or lying in bed? Sitting on bed, lying on his back or side? For example,
a document could have been signed in a moving automobile or while
having a drink at the bar.


1. How much time is needed for the examination?
2. Is it possible to complete the study from the original papers, or is it
necessary to make special photo-enlargements for proper examination?
3. If it is possible to make arrangements with the client for photo-
enlargement, is it advisable to do so?
4. Photo-enlargements are always useful for demonstrating the reasons on
which the opinion is based, especially in Court.


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A. Analysis (Recognition) - properties or characteristics, observed or
B. Comparison - Properties or characteristics of the unknown determined
thought analysis are now compared with the familiar or recorded
properties of known items.
C. Evaluation- Similarities or dissimilarities in properties or characteristics will
each have a certain value for identification, determined by its likelihood
of occurrence. The weight or significance of each must therefore be

The criteria of scientific examination of documents are:

A. Accuracy – correspondence between results obtained and the truth.

B. Precision – measure of the consistency of results obtained in repeated
study or experimentation.

“In scientific study of signatures/handwritings, we learn the basic facts

and then reason carefully and logically from these facts according to
established and recognized rules in order to form an opinion or conclusion
as to whether a questioned signature/handwriting is genuine or forged”


It is the initial examination conducted on a document to determine whether

it is genuine or not. It is not a misnomer, for in reality it consists of painstaking
analysis more than looking at a document and expressing an off-hand opinion.


1. ensures preparedness;
2. avoidance of delay; and
3. ensures success of the case.

B. Principal points for consideration in the PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION

of questioned documents. Please note that these questions may not be
applicable in every case.
1. Is the signature genuine?
2. Is the signature in a natural position?
3. Are the signatures of the witnesses genuine and were they written in the
order as they appear?
4. Does the signature touch the other writings? Or was it written last?
5. Are there remains of pencil or carbon marks which may have been an
outline for the signature of other writings?
6. Is the signature shown in an embossed form on the back of the sheet?
7. Is the writings written before the paper was folded?
8. Is the signature written before or after the paper was folded?

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9. Is more than one kind of ink used in the preparation of the document?
10. Are the several sheets of the document exactly the same sizes, thickness
and colors?
11. Is the paper torn, burned or mutilated in any way, and if so, for what
12. Is the paper unnecessary soiled or crumpled?
13. Does the document contain abrasion, chemical/pencil erasures, and
alterations/substitutions of any kind?
14. Does the document show abrasion, erasure or lack of continuity when
viewed by transmitted light?
15. Has the document been wet in any way and if so, for what purpose?
16. If typewritten, are the contents of the document all written on the same
17. Was each sheet written continuously at one time without being removed
from the typewriter?
18. Are there added figures, words, clauses, sentences, paragraphs or pages
written on a different typewriter?
19. Do the perforations agree with the stubs from which the alleged document
20. If the document is a carbon copy, does it conform in the size, position, and
arrangement of matters with original letterheads?
21. If the document is a letter, does postmark, postage stamps, manner of
sealing and opening of envelope have any significance?
22. Are there indentations in the paper from handwriting or typewriting on a
sheet placed above the paper examined?
23. Is the rubber-stamp impression if any appears made from a genuine
24. Is the attached seal of proper date or the seal impression made from a
genuine seal and is it made in proper sequence?

C. Who Conducts the Preliminary Examination? – It should be conducted


D. Who is a Questioned Document Expert? A Questioned Document Expert

is one who has:
1. Attained the appropriate education and training;
2. Sufficient knowledge on the technical, scientific, and legal aspects of
document examinations; and
3. A broad experience in handling questioned document cases.


1. Assurance of preparedness;
2. Trial fiscal or judges are infrequently confronted with document cases;
consequently, they do not possess the knowledge of the documents
expert's ability of the various methods that exist for determining forgeries.
3. Avoidance of an “OFF-HAND” opinion.

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F. What is an “OFF-HAND OPINION”? Off-hand opinion is usually a
conclusion that is not based on thorough scientific examination.

G. THE DANGER OF OFF-HAND OPINIONS - It has happened in some cases

that an off-hand opinion, has sent an innocent man to prison, while a
murderer was given a chance to escape.



A. MAGNIFYING LENS – Bank personnel and other people involved in

currency examinations usually use and ordinary hand-lens; the maximum
diameter of which is four inches, and this appears big with its wide frame it
has a magnifying power of two times the original only. Magnifying lenses of
five times or more magnifying power, with built-in-lighting are more useful.
B. SHADOWGRAPH – a pictorial image formed by casting a shadow, usually
of the hands, upon a rightful surface or screen.
enlargement is possible.
for signatures and typewritings.
used for controlled illumination; needed in sidelight examination wherein
light is placed at a low-angle in a position oblique to plane or document.
F. TRANSMITTED LIGHT GADGET – a device where light comes from
beneath or behind glass on document is placed.
G. ULTRA VIOLET LAMP – this is usually used in the detection of
counterfeited bills but can actually be used to detect security features of
qualified documents.
H. INFRARED VIEWER – primarily used to decipher writings in a charred
I. COMPARISON MICROSCOPE – similar to that of the bullet comparison


A. MICROSCOPIC EXAMINATION - Any examination or study which is made

with the microscope in order to discover minute physical details.
Stereoscopic examination with low and high power objectives is used to
detect retouching, patching and unnatural pen-lift in signature analysis. With
proper angle and intensity or illumination, it aids in the decipherment of
erasures, some minute manipulations not perfectly pictured to the unaided
eye and the sequence of entries done by different writing instruments.

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B. TRANSMITTED LIGHT EXAMINATION – In this examination, the
document is viewed with the source of illumination behind it and the
light passing through the paper. Documents are subjected to this type of
examination to determine the presence of erasures, matching of serrations
and some other types of alterations.

C. OBLIQUE LIGHT EXAMINATION - An examination with the illumination so

controlled that it grazes or strikes the surface of the document from one side
at a very low angle. Decipherment of faded handwriting, determination of
outlines in traced forgery, embossed impressions, etc. are subjected to this
type of examination.

D. PHOTOGRAPHIC EXAMINATION - This type of examination is very

essential in every document examination. Actual observations are recorded
in the photographs.

E. ULTRA-VIOLET EXAMINATION - Ultraviolet radiation is invisible and

occurs in the wave lengths just below the visible blue-violet end of the
spectrum (rainbow). These visible rays react on some substances so that
visible light is reflected, a phenomenon known as FLOURESCENCE. This
type of examination is done in a darkroom after the lamp has been warmed
up in order to give a maximum output of the ultra-violet light. Exposure to
the ultra-violet light should be to the minimum duration in order to avoid
fading of some writing ink and typewriter ribbon.

F. INFRARED EXAMINATION - This examination of documents employs

invisible radiation beyond the red portion of the visible spectrum (rainbow)
which is usually recorded on a specially sensitized photographic emulsion.



1. serve as record of the initial condition of a disputed document;

2. make clear what otherwise may be hidden or indistinct;
3. enlarge a writing in question so that every quality and characteristics of it
can be clearly and properly interpreted whether the facts so shown point
to genuineness or to forgery;
4. enable any number of accurate reproductions of document, thus
affording unlimited opportunity for study, comparison and evaluation by
any number of examiners, which would not be possible by using the
document alone;
5. allow cutting apart as may be desired and the various parts classified for

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6. can show delicate discolorations due to chemical erasures or other
fraudulent changes, which may otherwise be overlooked, or
7. can show very clearly any erasures by abrasions made by ordinary
rubber eraser and it can record in permanent form with the paper placed
obliquely to the plane of the lens and plate and inclined at just right angle
of reflection so as to show differences in the reflected light from different
portions of the paper surface; and

8. with transmitted light, photographs is useful in:

a. examination of watermarks
b. determining the identity, or the differences in paper by showing
arrangement of the fibers and the markings of the wire gauze and
dandy roll
c. showing the continuity of strokes and
d. determining retouching or patching of a writing by showing clearly the
presence of added ink film and the uneven distribution of ink in
interrupted strokes.

A. ERASURES - One of the common inquiries in questioned document is
whether or not an erasure was actually made on a document. In cases like
this, the following examinations are made:
1. Physical inspection: using ultraviolet light, observation with light striking
the surface at a sharp angle, and observation under the microscope
maybe considered.
2. Fuming with iodine may cause an almost negligible stain, but in most
instances not the slightest semblance of a stain remains.

B. INDENTED WRITING - Indented writing is a term usually applied to the

partially visible depressions appearing on a sheet of paper underneath the
one on which the visible writing appears. These depressions or indentation
are due to the application of pressure on the writing instrument and would
appear as a carbon copy if a sheet of carbon paper had been properly
inserted. Indentation may also appear on a blank sheet of paper if such is
used as a backing sheet while typing out a message on a typewriter.
Methods of examination are:
1. Physical methods maybe used by passing a strong beam of nearly
parallel light almost horizontally over the surface of the paper.
2. Fuming the document maybe of values in some cases.
3. Powders of various kinds maybe used without changing the document.

C. BURNED OR CHARRED PAPER - A piece of paper maybe subjected to the

action of a limited amount of heat, causing it to become scorched and
retaining a certain amount of its identity or it maybe subjected to intense
heat, reducing it to ashes and losing its identity. However, if the combustion

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is incomplete, a certain amount of success maybe realized provided the
pieces are large enough to form a coherent message.

The following methods maybe applied to decipher the original message

contained thereon:

1. Photographic methods, using various types of filters and different angles

of illumination may determine the writing contained thereon without
changing the appearance of the charred fragments.
2. Chemical methods, such as spraying, painting, or bathing charred pieces
with solutions of different chemical reagents.
3. Photographic plates maybe utilized by allowing the charred paper to
remain in contact with the emulsion sides in total darkness from one to
two weeks.

D. ADDING MACHINES - The construction of an adding machine differs

greatly from the typewriter but the methods and principles of identification
are related.

Manufacturers use different types of numerals and from time to time

change their design. The spacing between columns is also not standardized for
all machines. Those factors form the basis of determining the make of the
machine and for estimating the period in which it was built. Another kind of
approach is the ribbon impression, for the ribbon is made and operates very
similarly to the typewriter.




1. It is a basic requirement, that when a document becomes disputed and

deposited in court or with the attorney, in order to maintain its original
condition, it should be kept UNFOLDED AND IN A SEPARATE,
PROPER SIZE ENVELOPE OR FOLDER. This is true not only for the
disputed documents, but for many other important documentary evidence.
2. It is also advisable that right after the document becomes disputed, or
questioned, it is important to make not only the usual photo static copy
(Xerox), but also a proper photograph or photo-enlargement, done if
possible by the document expert or under the supervision of the
document expert.
3. When working in the preparation of case, it is often necessary for
the lawyer or court to handle repeatedly the disputed document. Should
this be necessary, instead of handling and working with the original
document, the photograph should be used.

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4. Every touching, folding, refolding or pointing to certain parts of a
document, can change the physical condition of the case. For example,
touching with wet hands or fingers can create smearing in the ink, pointing
with a pencil can leave marks that create a suspicion of previous pencil
marks, or experiments as proof of attempted forgery.
5. Pointing a document with any other instruments, such as sharp stick, can
cause slight damage which although it can not be seen by the naked eye,
can show definite marks under the microscope or on the enlarged
6. No test should be made to alter the conditions of the document; for
example, the old-fashioned ink test, which was used to determine the age
of the ink-writing.
7. Should any test be necessary, insist that it should be done in the presence
of a chemist, or in court, or in front of both parties involved the case.



1. “DO’S”
a. Take disputed papers to Document Examiner's Laboratory at the First
b. If storage is necessary, keep in dry place away from excessive heat
strong light.
c. Maintain in consequential document, unfolded and in transparent
plastic envelope or evidence preserver.

2. “DONT’S”
a. Do not underscore, make careless markings, fold, erase,
impress rubber stamps, sticker, write on, or otherwise alter any
b. Do not smear with fingerprints powder or chemicals.
c. Do not carry handwriting document carelessly in wallet, notebook or
brief case on grounds of interviews.
d. Do not handle disputed papers excessively or carry then in pocket for a
long time.
e. Do not marked disputed documents (either by consciously writing
instruments or dividers)
f. Do not mutilate or damage by repeated refolding, creasing, cutting,
tearing or punching for filing purposes.
g. Do not allow anyone except qualified specialist to make chemical or
other tests; do no treat or dust for latent finger prints before consulting
a document examiner.


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1. Those extremely fragile must be handled as little as possible and
transporting them to the laboratory requires extra-ordinary care. With
forethought and caution they can be brought from the distant fire scene to
the laboratory.
2. They should be moved in the container in which they are found whenever
possible. When the fragments are not packed tightly, they should be
padded with lightweight absorbent cotton. If jarring can not be entirely
eliminated jarring the box must be kept to a minimum.
3. Thus every precaution must be taken in handling and transporting the
charred residue in order to prevent the large pieces from becoming
unnecessarily and badly broken. The fragment must be held firmly without
crushing and prevent movement or shifting when finally packed in a sturdy


HANDWRITING - It is the result of a very complicated series of

facts, being used as whole, combination of certain forms of visible mental and
muscular habits acquired by long, continued painstaking effort. Some defined
handwriting as “visible speech.”


A. Cursive – connected; writing in which one letter is joined to the next.

B. Script – separated or printed writing.


A. In Wignore's Principles of judicial Proof, handwriting is defined as a visible

effect of bodily movement which is an almost unconscious expression of
fixed muscular habits, reacting from fixed mental impression of certain ideas
associated with script form.
B. Environment, education and occupation affect individuals so variously in the
formation of these muscular habits that finally the act of writing becomes an
almost automatic succession of acts stimulated by these habits.
C. The imitation of the style of writing by another person becomes difficult
because the other person cannot by mere will power reproduce in himself all
the muscular combination from the habit of the first writer.

Take Note:

Is handwriting/signature identification an “exact science”?

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In the hand of a qualified examiner operating under proper conditions,
identification by means of handwriting/signature is certain. Proper conditions
1. sufficient questioned writing
2. sufficient known writing
3. sufficient time
4. use of scientific instruments


In writing the pen functions as an extension of the hand. The fingers

transmit to the paper, the directive impulse and the variation in muscular tension
that according to the nature of tie writer's nervous organization occur during the
act or writing. This center near the motor area of the cortex is responsible
for the finger movement involved in handwriting. The importance of this center
is that when it becomes diseased as in a graphic, one loses the ability to write
although he could still grasp a fountain pen, ball pen or pencil. Thus, the ability
or power to hold a fountain pen or pencil to form symbols and words can be said
to emanate from its cortical center.

Two Groups of Muscles Involve in Handwriting:

1. extensor muscles - push up the pen to form the upward strokes

2. flex muscles which push the pen to from the downward strokes.

Generally speaking, four groups of muscles are employed in writing -

those which operate the joints of the fingers, wrist, elbow, and shoulder. The
delicate way in which the various muscles used in writing work together to
produce written form is known as motor coordination.


A more or less definite pattern for each is stored away in the subjective
mind but the hand does not always produce a stereotyped duplicate of that
pattern. The hand ordinarily is not an instrument of precision and therefore we
may not expect every habitual manual operation to be absolutely uniform. The
greater this skill in the art of penmanship, the less the variations there will be in
the form of individualize letters as well as in the writing as a whole.


1. Function of some external condition i.e. influence of the available space.

2. Abnormal conditions such as physical injury, toxic effects, inebriation's,
emotion and deception.
3. Position of letter - all the letters are to be found initially, medially, and
finally. The fact of a different position, especially in combination with

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another and particular letter, may modify any of them in some way or


1. Personal variation encountered under normal writing conditions is also a

highly important element of identification. The qualities of personal
variation include both its nature and its extent. It becomes necessary to
determine the amount, extent, and exact quality of the variations.
2. It is improbable that the variety and extent of the variation in handwriting
will be exactly duplicated in two individuals that such a coincidence
becomes practically impossible and this multitude of possible variations
when combined is what constitutes individuality in handwriting.
3. With a group of signatures of a particular writer, certain normal divergence
in size, lateral spacing and proportions actually indicate genuineness.
Variation in genuine writing is ordinarily in superficial parts and in size,
proportions, degree of care given to the act, design, slant, shading, vigor,
angularity, roundness and direction of stroke.

Take Note: “The most common error in the identification of handwriting is

due to the fact that the evidence of actual forgery is executed on the ground that
there is variation in genuine writing.”


1. Children learn writing by following the school copy or model.

2. After acquiring some degree of skill the children no longer follow the
school model.
3. As speed increases, conscious design and regularity begin to break down.
4. In the course of trial and error, modification are made, simplification and
elaborations, addition and omissions occur.
a. The writing pattern of each child embodies unique combinations of
such deviation from the standard letter forms or school model, and
becomes his personal habits.
b. Although thousands learn the same system and that the natural
result is identity, but facts show that it is not because those who were
taught the same system or school copy a class of writers, but such
impairs does not by any means produce a slavish uniformity.
c. Variation begins as soon as writing begins and continues until
each writer in the way that seems best and easiest to him.

VI. SCHOOL COPYBOOK FORM (school model) - refers to the standard of

handwriting instruction taught in particular school. Classes of copybook
depend on the standard school copy adopted by a writer.

A. SYSTEMS of Early American Handwriting

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1. Old English round hand - an Italian hand popular in 1840.
2. Modified round hand - early edition of the Spencerian, and the Payson,
Dunton, and Scribners copybook - 1840 -1860.
3. Spencerian - there is simplification by the omission of extra strokes and
flourishes. And a general tendency toward plainer letters than the
preceding system, some of which were very ornate - 1860-1890.
4. Modern Vertical writing 1890-1900
5. The arm movement writing - the manner or method of writing, instead of
the form alone is especially emphasized.

Out of these five divisions of early handwriting, the modern commercial

hand systems developed. This is characterized by free movement. And the
forms adopted are best suited to easy rapid writing. These are the Zaner and
Blozer system of arm movement writing and the Palmer system of American arm
movement. The last great revolution in American handwriting was the adoption
of vertical writing which was in fact a reversion to the old system of slow but
legible writing. The connecting stroke is based on the small circle and is the
most distinctive "round hand" ever devised. It was very slow compared with
writing based on the narrow ellipse like the Spencerian in which all connec-
tions were almost points instead of broad curves. Most commercial handwritings
tend toward straight connecting strokes and narrow connections.


1. Palmer Copybook
2. D’Nealian Copybook
3. British Copybook
4. French Copybook
5. German Copybook


as Basis in the Identification of Handwriting

1. Similarities of form are not indicative of identity unless they concern

unusual form or what are termed deviations from the normal.
Similarities are bound to occur in different writings but such similarities
exist only in letters which are normal in form, the fact bears no
2. All differences in form are indicated of non-identity
3. The likeness in form maybe general and simply indicate the class or
genus or the difference that does not differentiate maybe nearly
4. In many systems of writing, the date and influences of system of writing
have an important bearing on the question of genuine or of forgery and in

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other cases, the presence of European characteristics in handwriting is a
vital and controlling fact.


1. To the nationality of the writer.

2. To the system learned.
3. To the date when the writing was acquired and
4. To some of the influences that have surrounded the writer.



ALIGNMENT - Is the relation of parts of the whole of writing or line of

individual letters in words to the baseline. It is the alignment of words or the
relative alignment of letters.

ANGULAR FORMS – Sharp, straight strokes that are made by stopping the
pen and changing direction before continuing.

ARCADE FORMS – Forms that look like arches rounded on the top and open
at the bottom.

CHARACTERISTICS - any property or mark which distinguishes and in

document examination commonly called to as the identifying details.

COLLATION - side by side comparison; collation as used in this text means

the critical comparison on side by side examination.

COMPARISON - the act of setting two or more items side by side to weigh
their identifying qualities; it refers not only a visual but also the mental act in
which the element of one item are related to the counterparts of the other.

DISGUISED WRITING - A writer may deliberately try to alter his usual writing
habits in hopes of hiding his identity. The results, regardless of their
effectiveness are termed disguised writing.

DOWNSTROKE – The movement of the pen toward the writer.

FORM – The writer’s chosen writing style. The way the writing looks, whether
it is copybook, elaborated, simplified or printed.

GARLAND FORMS – A cup-like connected form that is open at the top and
rounded on the bottom.

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GESTALT – The German word that means “complete” or “whole”. A good
gestalt needs nothing added or taken away to make it “look right”. Also a
school of handwriting analysis that looks at handwriting as a whole picture.

GRAPHOANALYSIS - the study of handwriting based on the two fundamental

strokes, the curve and the straight strokes.

GRAPHOMETRY - analysis by comparison and measurement.

GRAPHOLOGY - the art of determining character disposition and amplitude

of a person from the study of handwriting. It also means the scientific study
and analysis of handwriting, especially with reference to forgeries and
questioned documents.

HANDLETTERING. Any disconnected style of writing in which each letter is

written separately; also called handprinting.

LETTER SPACE – The amount of space left between letters.

LINE DIRECTION – Movement of the baseline. May slant up, down, or

straight across the page.

LINE QUALITY - the overall character of the ink lines from the beginning to
the ending strokes. There are two classes: Good Line quality and Poor Line
quality. The visible records in the written stroke of the basic movements and
manner of holding the writing instrument is characterized by the term "line
quality". It is derived from a combination of actors including writing
skill, speed rhythm, freedom of movements, shading and pen position.

LINE SPACE – The amount of space left between lines.

MANUSCRIPT WRITING. A disconnected form of script or semi-script

writing. This type of writing is taught in young children in elementary schools
as the first step in learning to write.

MARGINS – The amount of space left around the writing on all four sides.

MICROSCOPIC EXAMINATION - Any study or examination which is made

with the microscope in other to discover minute details.

MOVEMENT – It is an important element in handwriting. It embraces all the

factors which are related to the motion of the writing instrument skill, speed
freedom, hesitation, rhythm, emphasis, tremors and the like. The manner in
which the writing instrument is move that is by finger, hand, forearm or whole

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NATURAL WRITING - Any specimen of writing executed normally without any
attempt to control or alter its identifying habits and its usual quality or

NATURAL VARIATION - These are normal or usual deviations found

between repeated specimens of any individual handwriting.

PEN EMPHASIS - The act of intermittently forcing the pen against the paper
surfaces. When the pen-point has flexibility, this emphasis produces
shading, but with more rigid writing points heavy point emphasis can occur
in writing w/out any evidence of shading; the act intermittently forcing the pen
against the paper with increase pressure.

PEN HOLD – The place where the writer grasps the barrel of the pen and the
angle at which he holds it.

PEN POSITION - relationship between the pen point and the paper.

PEN PRESSURE - the average force with which the pen contacts the paper.
Pen pressure as opposed to pen emphasis deals with the usual of average
force involved in the writing rather than the period increases.

PRINTSCRIPT – A creative combination of printing and cursive writing.

PROPORTION or RATIO - the relation between the tall and the short letter is
referred as to the ratio of writing.
QUALITY. A distinct or peculiar character. Also, “quality” is used in
describing handwriting to refer to any identifying factor that is related to the
writing movement itself.

RHYTHM – The element of the writing movement which is marked by regular

or periodic recurrences. It may be classed as smooth, intermittent, or jerky in
its quality; the flourishing succession of motion which are recorded in a written
record. Periodicity, alternation of movement.

SHADING - Is the widening of the ink strokes due to the added pressure on a
flexible pen point or to the use of a stub pen.

SIGNIFCANT WRITING HABIT – Any characteristic of handwriting that is

sufficiently uncommon and well fixed to serve as a fundamental point in the

SIMPLIFICATION – Eliminating extra or superfluous strokes from the

copybook model.

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SIZE – May refer to the overall size of the writing or the proportions between

SKILL - In any set there are relative degrees or ability or skill and a specimen
of handwriting usually contains evidence of the writer's proficiency; degree,
ability, or skill of a write proficiency.

SLOPE/SLANT - the angle or inclination of the axis of the letters relative to

the baseline. There are three classes: Slant to the left; Slant to the right; and
Vertical Slant.

SPEED OF WRITING - The personal pace at which the writer’s pen moves
across the paper.

SPEED (SPEEDY) WRITING - Not everyone writes at the same rate so that
consideration of the speed of writing may be a significant identifying element.
Writing speed cannot be measured precisely from the finished handwriting but
can be interpreted in broad terms of slow, moderate, or rapid.

SYSTEM (OF WRITING) - The combination of the basic design of letters and
the writing movement as taught in school make up the writing system. Writing
through use diverges from the system, but generally retains some influence
of the basic training.

TENSION – The degree of force exerted on the pen compared to the degree
of relaxation.

THREADY FORM – An indefinite connective form that looks flat and wavy.

VARIABILITY – The degree to which the writing varies from the copybook

VARIATION – The act or process of changing.

WORD SPACE – The amount of space left between words.

WRITING CONDITION – Both the circumstances under which the writing was
prepared and the factors influencing the writer’s ability to write at the time of
execution. It includes the writer’s position (sitting, standing, abed, etc.), the
paper support and backing, and the writing instrument; writing ability may be
modified by the condition of the writer’s health, nervous state, or degree of

WRONG-HANDED WRITING. Any writing executed with the opposite hand

that normally used; a.k.a. as “with the awkward hand.” It is one means of
disguise. Thus, the writing of a right-handed person which has been executed

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with his left hand accounts for the common terminology for this class of dis-
guise as "left-hand writing".

WRITING IMPULSE – The result of the pen touching down on the paper and
moving across the page, until it is raised from the paper.


1. Finger Movement - the thumb, the first, second and slightly the third
fingers are in actual motion. Most usually employed by children and
2. Hand Movement - produced by the movement or action of the whole hand
with the wrist as the center of attraction.
3. Forearm Movement - the movement of the shoulder, hand and arm with
the support of the table.
4. Whole Forearm Movement - action of the entire arm without resting. i.e.,
blackboard writing.

1. Clumsy, illiterate and halting
2. Hesitating and painful due to weakness and illness
3. Strong, heavy and forceful
4. Nervous and irregular
5. Smooth, flowing and rapid

C. SPEED - Slow and drawn; Deliberate; average; and rapid

Smoothness; Directness; Uniformity; Continuity of strokes; and Connecting
or curves between letters


It is the special way in which the various muscles used in writing work
together to produced written forms.

The Characteristics of Motor Coordination are:

1. Free, smelt rounded curves

2. Speed and gradual changes of directions
3. Pressure is always in a state of change, moving from light to heavy or
from heavy to light.
4. The shading impulse is distributed over a considerable length of the line
whereas in writing produced with a slow motion as in the finger movement,
the shading often has a "bunchy" appearance, in which the maximum
width of the shaded line is attained abruptly.

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Faulty motor coordination’s are characterized by the following:

1. Wavering and very irregular line or strokes with uncertain and unsteady
progress. There is no freedom of movement along the strokes of the letter-
forms. The writing is obviously very slow and is typical of the writing of a
young child or for any one who painstakingly draws a picture of
an unfamiliar form.
2. Angular Line - a very common fault of coordination. Curves, large and
small are not smoothly rounded and there is no gradual change of
direction. On the contrary, and angle marks almost every change are
direction in the line. Investigation has disclosed that angles
are accompanied by a lessening of writing speed.


Rhythm is a succession of connected, uniform strokes working in full

coordination. This is manifested by clear-cut accentuated strokes, which increase
and decrease in which like perfect cones. Pressure is always in a state of change
moving from light to heavy or from heavy to light.

A. LACK OF RHYTHM - Characterized by a succession of

awkward, independent, poorly directed and disconnected motions.

B. IMPORTANCE OF RHYTHM - By studying the rhythm of the succession of

strokes, one can determine if the writer normally and spontaneously or write
with hesitation as if he is attempting to for another signature.
C. LETTER OF CONNECTIONS - Determine the essential expression of
the writing pattern. It is a mean indicator of the neuromuscular function.
Words are formed by connection letters to one another. Even letters are
formed by the joining of the upward and downward strokes. These types of
connections are:

Arcade - a rounded stroke shaped like an arch. It is a slow mode of

connection resulting from controlled movements.
Garland - Links the downward stroke to the upstrokes with a flowing
curve swinging from left t right. It is an easy, effortless mode of
connection, written with speed.
Angular connective form- When the downward strokes and upward
strokes meet directly, angular connection is formed. This type of
connection imposes a check on the continuity of movement which is
characterized by an abrupt stop and start in each turning point.
The threadlike connective form - the joining of downward and upward
strokes is slurred to a threadlike tracing or where rounded turns used at
both top and bottom produce a double curve. These forms appear both
in the shaping of letters within the word.

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STROKE is a series of lines or curves written in a single letter; one of the

lines of an alphabet or series of lines or curves within a single letter; the path
traced by the pen on the paper.

1. ARC – a curved formed inside the top curve of loop as in small letters “h”,
“m”, “n”, & “p”.
2. ARCH - any arcade form in the body of a letter found in small letters which
contain arches.
3. ASCENDER - is the top portion of a letter or upper loop.
4. BASELINE - maybe actually on a ruled paper, it might be imaginary
alignment of writing; is the ruled or imaginary line upon which the writing
5. BEADED - Preliminary embellished initial stroke which usually occurs in
capital letters.
6. BEARD - is the rudimentary initial up stroke of a letter.
7. BLUNT - the beginning and ending stroke of a letter (without hesitation).
8. BODY - The main portion of the letter, minus the initial of strokes, terminal
strokes and the diacritic, of any. Ex: the oval of the letter "O" is the body,
minus the downward stroke and the loop.
9. BOWL - a fully rounded oval or circular form on a letter complete into "O".
10. BUCKLE/BUCKLEKNOT - A loop made as a flourished which is added to
the letters, as in small letter "k & b", or in capital letters "A", "K","P"; the
horizontal end loop stroke that are often used to complete a letter.
11. CACOGRAPHY - a bad writing.
12. CALLIGRAPHY - the art of beautiful writing.
13. DESCENDER - opposite of ascender, the lower portion of a letter.
14. DIACRITIC - "t" crossing and dots of the letter "i" and "j". The matters of
the Indian script are also known as diacritic signs; an element added to
complete a certain letter, either a cross bar or a dot.
15. ENDING/TERMINATE STROKE OF TOE - the end stroke of a letter.
16. EYE/EYELET/EYELOOP - a small loop or curved formed inside the
letters. This may occur inside the oval of the letters "a, d, o"; the small
loop form by stroke that extend in divergent direction as in small letters.
17. FOOT - lower part which rest on the base line. The small letter "m" has
three feet, and the small letter "n" has two feet.
18. HABITS - any repeated elements or details, which may serve to
individualize writing.
19. HESITATION - the term applied to the irregular thickening of ink which is
found when writing slows down or stop while the pen take a stock of the
20. HIATUS/PEN JUMP - a gap occurring between a continuous stroke
without lifting the pen. Such as occurrence usually occurs due to speed;

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may be regarded also as a special form of pen lift distinguish in a ball
gaps in that of perceptible gaps and appear in the writing.
21. HOOK - It is a minute curve or a ankle which often occurs at the end of the
terminal strokes. It also sometimes occurs at the beginning of an
initial stroke. The terminal curves of the letters "a", "d", "n", "m", "p", "u",
is the hook. In small letter "w" the initial curve is the hook; the minute
involuntary talon like formation found at the commencement of an initial up
stroke or the end terminal stroke.
22. HUMP - Upper portion of its letter "m","n","h" ,"k" - the rounded outside of
the top of the bend stroke or curve in small letter.
23. KNOB -the extra deposit of ink in the initial and terminal stroke due to the
slow withdrawal of the pen from the paper (usually applicable to fountain
24. LIGATURE/CONNECTION - The stroke which connects two stroke of
letter; characterized by connected stroke between letters.
25. LONG LETTER - those letters with both upper and lower loops.
26. LOOP - A oblong curve such as found on the small letter "f", "g", "l" and
letters stroke "f" has two. A loop may be blind or open. A blind loop is
usually the result of the ink having filled the open space.
27. MAJUSCULE - a capital letter.
28. MINUSCULE - a small letter.
29. MOVEMENT IMPULSES - this refer to the continuity of stroke, forged
writing is usually produced by disconnected and broken movements and
more motion or movement impulses than in genuine writing.
30. PATCHING - retouching or going back over a defective portion of a written
stroke. Careful patching is common defect on forgeries.

Take Note:

1. AIRSTROKE – The movement of

the pen as it is raised from the paper and continues in the same direction
in the air.
that unnecessarily covers another stroke in a concealing action.
3. FINAL – The ending stroke on a
letter when it is at the end of a word.
4. UPSTROKE – Movement of the
pen away from the writer.
order in which writing strokes are placed on the paper is referred to as
their sequence.
Upstrokes partially covering the previous down strokes. Originally taught
in European schools.

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7. TRAIT STROKE – a school o
handwriting analysis that assigns personality trait manners to individual
writing strokes.


1. Expansion - whether the movement is extended or limited in its

range with respect to both vertical and horizontal dimension.
2. Co-ordination - whether the flow of movement is controlled or
uncertain, smooth or jerky, continuous or interrupted.
3. Speed - whether the movement has been rapid or slow and whether
the pace has been steady or variable.
4. Pressure- whether the pressure exerted in the movement and its
upward and downward reach.
5. Direction- Left ward and right ward trend of they movement and its
upward and downward reach.
6. Rhythm - in the sequence of movements that weave the total pattern,
certain similar phases recur at more or less regular intervals.


1. A signature/handwriting contested by its author which in reality is

genuine and corresponds perfectly to the ordinary, and habitual
signatures of that person.
2. A signature/handwriting contested by its author which in reality was
written by him but in a way which was different from the ordinary manner
and which is more or less different from the common genuine signatures
of that person.
3. A signature/handwriting contested by its author which in reality was written
by a third person and which is a forgery written in an attempted imitation of
a model.
4. A spurious signature/handwriting written by somebody who did not attempt
to imitate the signature of a person and who uses a fictitious name and
this to give his work the appearance of a signature.
5. An uncontested signature/handwriting, in fact, genuine but written by an
unknown person whose name must be deciphered by the document

1. Forged or simulated writings in which the attempt is made to discard one’s

own writing and assume the exact writing personality of another person.
2. Those writings that are disguised and in which the writer seeks to hide his
own personality without adapting that of another.


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Writing Habits - Writing by all its thousand of peculiarities in combination is
the most personal and individuals thing that a man does that leaves a
record which can be seen and studies. This is what constitutes individuality in

A. GENERAL(CLASS) CHARACTERISTICS - These characteristics refer to

those habits are part of basic writing system or which are modifications of
the system of writing found among so large a group of writes that have only
slight identification value.

B. INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERISTICS - They are characteristics which are the

result of the writer's muscular control, coordination, age, health, and nervous
temperament, frequency of writing, personality and character. They are found
in Writing movement, Form and design of letters, Motor Coordination,
Shading, Skill, Alignment, Pen pressure, Connection, Pen hold, Rhythm,
Disconnections or pen lifts between letters, Speed, Slant as a writing habit,
Proportion of letters as an individual characteristic or habit, Quality of stroke
or line quality, Variation and Muscular control or motor control -
a. Loose writing - this is characterized by too much freedom of
movement and lack of regulation. This is noticed especially in
tall letters forms.
b. Restrained writing - there is lack of freedom and inhibited movements.
It gives you the impression that every stroke was made with great
difficulty. This writing is small. There is distortion of
letter forms which may lead to illegibility.

Indications of speed (speedy) writing

a. Smooth, unbroken strokes and rounded forms.
b. Frequent signs or tendencies to the right.
c. Marked uncertainty as to the location of the dots of small letters "I", "j"
& crosses of small letter "t".
d. Increased spontaneity of words or small letter "t" connected with the
following words.
e. Letters curtailed or degenerated almost to illegibility towards the end of
f. Wide writing - width of letters is greater than the connecting spaces
adjoining it.
g. Great difference in emphasis between upstrokes and down strokes.
h. Marked simplification of letters especially capital letters.
i. Rising line.
j. Increased pen pressure.
k. Increase in the margin to left at the beginning of the line.

Indications of slow writing

a. Wavering forms and broken strokes.
b. Frequent signs or tendencies to the left.

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c. Conspicuous certainly as to the location of the dots of small letters
"I","j","or "t" crosses with scarcely perceptible deviation from the
intended direction.
d. Frequent pauses by meaningless blobs, angles, divided letters and
e. Careful execution of detail of letters, toward the end or names.
f. Narrow writing.
g. No difference in emphasis in upstroke and down stroke
h. Ornamental or flourishing connections.
i. Sinking lines


1. Ordinary copy-book form
2. Usual systematic slant
3. Ordinary scale of proportion or ratio
4. Conventional spacing


1. Permanent characteristics - found always in his handwriting.
2. Common or usual - found in a group of writers who studied the same
system of writing.
3. Occasional - found occasionally in his handwriting.
4. Rare - special to the writer and perhaps found only in one or two persons
in a group of one hundred individuals.


1. Outgrowth of definite teaching
2. Result of imitation
3. Accidental condition or circumstances
4. Expression of certain mental and physical traits of the writer as affected by
education, by environment and by occupation.


1. Hook to the right and hook to the left
2. Shape, position, size and angle of "i" dots "t" crossing
3. Idiosyncrasies
4. Bulbs and distinctive initial and final pen pressure
5. Embellishment, added strokes and free movement endings
6. Abbreviation of letters
7. Simple and compound curves and graceful endings
8. Labored movement producing ragged lines
9. Terminal shadings and forceful endings
10. Presence and influence of foreign writing, with the introduction of Greek


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1. When any two specimens of handwritings contain a combination of
corresponding or similar and specifically oriented characteristics of such
number and significance as to preclude the possibility of their occurrence
by mere coincidence, and there are no unaccounted for difference, it may
be concluded that they are similar in writing characteristics and therefore
written by one and the same person.
2. Handwritings are fixed habits.
3. These writing habits like habits of speech become so automatic and
unconscious that even by the most strenuous effort, it is almost impossible
to change them. It is one of the most permanent of human habits.
4. No duplication of handwriting by two individuals.


1. To reach the conclusion that two writings are written by the same hand,
characteristics or "dents" and scratches" should be in sufficient quantity to
exclude the theory of accidental coincidence; to reach the conclusion that
writings are by different hands, we may find numerous likeliness in class
characteristics but divergences in individual characteristics or we may find
divergences in both but the divergence must be something more than
mere superficial differences.
2. If the conclusion of identifying is reached, there must not remain
significant differences that cannot reasonably be explained. This ignoring
of the differences or the failure properly to account for them is the cause of
the errors in handwriting identification.
3. Although there is no specific approach, the document examiner always
observed: Analysis; Comparison; and Evaluation.


threat, poison letters)

1. Uniformity- Does the questioned writing have smooth, rhythmic and free-
flowing appearance?
2. Irregularities - Does the questioned writing appear awkward, ill-formed
slowly drawn
3. Size & Proportion- Determine the height of the over-all writing as well as
the height of the individual strokes in proportion to each other.
4. Alignment - Are they horizontally aligned, or curving, uphill or downhill.
5. Spacing - Determine the general spacing between letters, spacing
between words. Width of the left and right margins, paragraph
6. Degree of Slant- Are they uniform or not.
7. Formation and Design of the letters, "t" (-) bars, "i" dots, loops, circle
8. Initial, connecting and final strokes.

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The procedure and the principle involved are similar to that of cursive
handwriting. In block capital and manuscript writings, personal individual
rests principally in design, selection, individual letter construction, size ratios and
punctuation habits. The initial step in handwriting examination is to determine
whether the questioned handwriting and standards were accomplished with:

1. A fluency of movement and a certainty of execution indicative of familiarity

with and a measure or skill in handwriting of conversely.
2. A conscious mental effort and non-rhythmic execution denoting either
unfamiliarity with or disguise in the subject’s handwriting.


STANDARD - They are known writings, which indicate how a person writes.
A writer manifests fixed habits in his writings that identify him. This fact provides
the basis for an opinion of conclusion regarding any writing identification

EXEMPLARS - Specimen of the writing of suspects are commonly

known as exemplars. The term standards is a general term referring to all
authenticated writings of the suspects while exemplars refers more especially to
a specimens of standard writing offered in evidence or obtained or request for
comparison with the questioned writing.

SAMPLE - A selected representative portion of the whole is known as a

sample. In this text, the term "sample" follows closely the statistical usage.


1. Collected Standards are KNOWN (genuine) handwriting of an individual

such as signature and endorsements on canceled checks, legal
papers letters, commercial, official, public and private document and other
handwriting such as letters, memoranda, etc. Written in the course of
daily life, both business and socials.
2. Request standards are signature or other handwritings (or hand
printings) written by an individual upon request for the purpose of
comparison with other handwriting or for specimen purposes.
3. Post Litem Motan Exemplars - writings produced by the subject after
evidential writings have come into dispute and solely for the purpose of
establishing his contentions.

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1. Submit collected and request standards signature from both individual
2. When anonymous letter writings other than signature are in questioned:
a. Submit request standards writings of general nature from both victim
and suspect's (as much standards writing as possible to obtain within
b. Submit request standards of the questioned text written (or printed) - at
least 3 writings by the suspect/s and in some instanced by the victim.



1. Have subject seated in a natural position at table or desk having smooth

writing surface.
2. Furnish subject with paper and writing instrument similar to those used in
questioned writings, lie; paper should be same size, and ruled or unruled;
as questioned document: if questioned document is in written furnish
subject with pen and ink, etc.
3. Never permit the subject to see any writing on the questioned document.
4. Dictate material to be written (or printed, if questioned material is hand
printed): give no assistance in spelling or arrangement on page. Dictate
at a rate of speed, which will produce the subject natural writing habits.
5. Remove each specimen upon completion by subject number in
consequence, date, time and identify by initiating each, and request
subjects to sign each specimen.
6. Observe all writing done by subjects and indicate any attempt of disguise,
and whether subjects appears to be normally right or left handed, etc.



1. Furnish subjects with check blanks similar to the questioned check/s.

2. Dictate the entries to be made on specimen checks as follows:
a. Date - Same as shown on questioned check
b. Payee - - do -
c. Amount- - do -
d. Signature- - do -
e. Any other handwriting shown on questioned check
3. Give subjects to help or suggestions in completing specimen checks.


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1. The laboratory should be informed of the age apparent health and
physical condition of the time standards are written.
2. Do not fold, staple or pin document: handle questioned documents with
3. Indicate in the sample handwriting the time, place, date signature of writer
as well as witness of the handwriting.



1. Canceled Checks
2. Signature cards for saving, checking and charge accounts and safe
deposit boxes.
3. Credit applications and cards
4. Signature on sales slips, on job orders slips, requisition slips and purchase
5. Court records and affidavits, such as naturalization papers, bankruptcy
proceedings, divorce papers. Probated wills and estate files, powers of
attorney, etc.
6. Passports, marriage application, license and affidavits.
7. Driver automobile chauffeur, and other types of licensee applications
8. Application for gas, electricity, water and telephone services
9. Loan application and receipts
10. Records from currency exchanges, check-cashing agencies and
11. Time sheets, payroll, pay receipts and personal forms
12. Barangay registration, petitions
13. Signature for certain drug purchases, hotel registrations
14. Church, club and professional society record
15. Veteran records
16. Fingerprint records
17. School or University class records and cards
18. Application for firearm and licenses
19. Application for export and import and dollar allocations
20. ID cards


Factors to Consider in the Selection of standards


B. SIMILARLY OF SUBJECT MATTER. If the questioned writings are hand
printed, then get hand printed standard or exemplar.
C. RELATIVE DATES of the questioned and the standards writing standard
signatures or writing must be those written five (5) years before or five (5)
after the date of the questioned signature or writing.

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The importances of contemporaneous standards are:
1. Helps to determine or trace gradual changes on one’s handwriting or
2. Aids in tracing the development of any writing variation


STANDARD ARE PREPARED. Look for standards prepared under
comparable circumstances such as: paper rested on the knee; standing;
sitting; lying down; and/or while on moving vehicle.

E. WRITING INSTRUMENT AND PAPER. Same instrument used in the

preparation of the questioned document must be obtained in the standards


problems are complicated and harder to solve that includes:

Type of Signature Remedy (Required Standards)

1. Signature of the careless or highly Collected standards
erratic writer.
2. Receipt Signature. Other receipt signatures
3. Near - Illiterate Writer. Requested standards if writer is still
4. Signatures of Physical Impaired a. Collect standards written in the
Writer same situation
a. The intoxicated signature b. Collect 2 or 3 times more
b. Old age deterioration standards
c. The sick bed signature. c. Similar to old age deterioration
5. Disguised signature or writing Specimen written in normal
condition could not be used
therefore consider collected and
requested standards.

1. Abnormally large writing.
2. Abnormally small writing.
3. Alteration in slant (usually backhand).
4. Usually variation in slant within a single unit of writing (with in a single
5. Printed forms instead of cursive forms.
6. Diminution in the usual speed of writing.
7. Unusual widening or restriction of lateral spacing.

1. Change of slant - from right to left or vice versa.
2. Change of letter, either from cursive to block style or vice-versa.

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3. Change from cursive (conventional style) to block form or vice-versa.
4. Change of style from small to big or vice versa.
5. Deteriorating one's handwriting.
6. Using the wrong hand (AMBIDEXTROUS).


A. PHYSICAL AND MENTAL EFFECTS - Intoxication affects the physiological

being of an individual hence, the manner of handwriting is also affected.
letter forms, Greatly enlarged writing, Illegible forms and writing generally,
Uneven baseline, Meaningless blobs or extraneous strokes in the writing,
Inconsistency in slant of writing, Inconsistency in the form of repeated


The following are standard writings which are admissible for comparison

Standard writings witnessed, Standards writings admitted, Record

Maintained in Regular Course of Business as Standard Writings, Government
Document as standard Writings, Ancient writings, Other Writings Standards -
Among writings admissible as standard are signature on spelling motion or other
instruments, such as an appearance bond, which may without further proof of
genuineness be used as a standard. Familiarity sometimes establishes standard

Take Note

Opinion Evidence - The court seem to be in general agreement that proof

of the genuineness of a standard cannot be established by the opinion of
experts testifying from a comparison of the writing sought to be used as standard
with another writing.

Genuineness of standard decided by court - The sufficiency of the proof of

the genuineness of a standard of writing is a matter to be decided by the court.

SIGNATURE defined – It is the name of a person written by him/her in a

document as a sign of acknowledgement. Or, it is a name or a mark that a
person puts at the end of a document to attest that he is its author or that he
ratifies its contents. Microsoft Encarta Reference Library has these to say about
signature: signed name, signing of name, distinctive characteristic.


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A. CROSS MARK. Historically,
many who could not write signed with a cross mark or crude X. This
authenticating mark is still used today by illiterates, and if properly
witnessed, it can legally stand for a signature. Ballot marks are also
referred to as cross marks because of the common practice of marking with
an X.
Is not simply a signature - it is a signature, signed at a particular time and
place, under particular conditions, while the signer was at particular age, in
a particular physical and mental condition, using particular implements, and
with a particular reason and purpose for recording his name.
A forged signature. It involves the writing of a name as a signature by
someone other than the person himself, without his permission, often with
some degree of imitation.
fraudulent signature that was executed purely by simulation rather than by
tracing the outline of a genuine signature.
signature that is executed while the writer’s hand or arm is steadied in any
way. Under the law of most jurisdictions such a signature authenticates a
legal document provided it is shown that the writer requested the
assistance. Guided signatures are most commonly written during a serious
illness or on a deathbed.
Synonymous with freehand forgery.
genuine signature that has been used to prepare an imitated or traced
- The act of setting two or more signature in an inverted position to weigh
their identifying significance, the reason being that those we fail to see
under normal comparison may readily be seen under this theory.



1. A signature is a word most practiced by many people and therefore most

fluently written.
2. A signature is a means to identify a person and have a great personal
3. A signature is written with little attention to spelling and some other details.
4. A signature is a word written without conscious thought about the
mechanics of its production and is written automatically.

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5. A signature is the only word the illiterate can write with confidence.



correct signature for an important document such as will.

B. INFORMAL (CURSORY) - usually for routine documents and personal

1. Personalized
2. Semi-personalized

C. CARELESS SCRIBBLE - for the mail carrier, delivery boy or the autograph


Forgery is, strictly speaking, a legal term which involves not only a non-
genuine document but also and intent to fraud. However, it is also used
synonymously with fraudulent signature or spurious document.




simulation rather than by tracing the outline of a genuine signature can
be referred as freehand imitation or simulated forgery. Or it refers to the
free-hand drawing in imitation of model signature.


a. DIRECT TECHNIQUE - forger works directly with ink.
b. INDIRECT - forger works first with pencil and afterwards covers the
pencil strokes with ink.
who have a certain skill in writing? After some practice, the forger tries
to write a copy of the model quickly.


1. DIRECT TRACING - tracing is made by transmitted light.

2. INDIRECT TRACING - forger uses a carbon paper and place document
on which he will trace the forged signature under the document bearing
the model signature with a carbon paper between the two.
The types of Traced Signatures are:


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copy a model but writes something resembling what we ordinarily call a
signature. For this, he uses a false (spurious) name and makes a rapid
stroke, disturbing his usual writing by adopting a camouflage called





STEP 1 - Place the questioned and the standard signatures in the juxta-
position or slide-by-side for simultaneous viewing of the various elements and
STEP 2 - The first element to be considered is the handwriting movement or
the manner of execution (slow, deliberate, rapid, etc). The fundamental difference
existing between a genuine signature and an almost perfect forgery is in the
manner of execution.
STEP 3 - Second elements to examine is the quality of the line, the
presence or tremors, smooth, fluent or hesitation. Defect in line quality is only
appreciated when simultaneous viewing is made.
STEP 4 - Examine the beginning and ending lines, they are very significant,
determine whether the appearance blunt, club-shaped, tapered or/vanishing.
STEP 5 - Design and structure of the letters - Determine as to roundness,
smoothness, angularity and direction. Each individual has a different concept of
letter design.
STEP 6 - Look for the presence of retouching or patching.
STEP 7 - Connecting strokes, slant, ratio, size, lateral spacing.
STEP 8 - Do not rely so much in the similarity or difference of the
capital letters, for theses are the often changed according to the whim of the


1. Pen pressure
2. Movement
3. Proportion
4. Unusual distortion of the forms of letters
5. Inconspicuous characteristics
6. Repeated characteristics
7. Characteristics written with speed

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1. Carelessness
2. Spontaneity
3. Alternation of thick and thin strokes
4. Speed
5. Simplification
6. Upright letters are interspersed with slanting letters
7. The upward strokes to a threadlike tracing
8. Rhythm
9. Good line quality
10. Variation

INDICATIONS OF SIMULATED (Direct & Indirect Techniques) and TRACED


1. Tremulous and broken connecting strokes between letters, indicating

points at which the writer has temporarily struck.
2. no rhythm
3. carefulness or unusual care and deliberation
4. no contrast between upward and downward strokes
5. slow writing- angular writing
6. blunt beginning and endings
7. placement of diacritical marks just over the stem of letters
8. absence of spontaneity - lack of smoothness of letters
9. restrained writing - there is lack of freedom or "inhibited" movements
THAT gives the impression that every stroke is made with great difficulty.
This writing is small.
10. no variation


1. Writing habits of the writer (forger) is evident in the forged signature.



1. flat strokes
2. no contrast between upstrokes and down strokes
3. deposit of ink at the junction of two strokes or where two strokes cross
each other.
4. no variation - All signature will superimpose over each other.

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A. Genuine Signature which the writer refuses to admit not genuine.
Generally presence of tremors, remnants of carbon, retouching (patching)
indicates forgery. Produced, the probability of genuineness

B. Genuine Signature Deliberately Modified. Examination of this kind of

signature is confidently discover that the modification is only on the
prominent features of the letter designs that are pointed out by the
disclaimer, while the rest appear to be normal. There are unnatural tremors
and retouching. The minute details in genuine signatures are present.


A. COUNTERFEITING - It is the crime of making, circulating or uttering false

coins and banknotes. Literally, it means to make a copy of; or imitate; to
make a spurious semblance of, as money or stamps, with the intent to
deceive or defraud. Counterfeiting is something made to imitate the real
thing used for gain.

B. FALSIFICATION – The act/process of making the content/s of a document

not the intended content.

C. FORGERY – The act of falsely making or materially altering, with intent to

defraud, any writing which if genuine, might be of legal efficacy or the
foundation of a legal liability.

Take Note: In forgery, every person who, with intent to defraud, signs the
name of another person, or of fictitious person, knowing that he has no
authority to do so, or falsely makes, alters, forges or counterfeits any - checks,
drag - due bill for the payment of money or property - or counterfeits or forges
the seal forged, or counterfeited, with intent the same to be fake, altered
forged, or counterfeited, with intent to prejudice, damage or defraud any
person.... is guilty of forgery.


A. ENGRAVING – It is the process by which the line to be printed are cut into
pieces of metal by hand or with a machine. Ink is rubbed over the plate to
fill the cuts in the metal and the extra ink wiped-off the top. The pressure of
the paper on the plate causes the ink in the holes to be lifted on the surface
of the paper. The ink lines will be felt to be raised above the surface. The
engraving process is used for the production of all genuine bank notes.

B. LETTERPRESS PRINTING – is the most common form of printing books,

magazine, letterheads and the usual printing in common uses. In the
process, the letters are made on raised pieces of metal which covered with
ink and then impressed upon the paper in the same form as a rubber stamp

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or cliché. The serial numbers of a bank note are usually added by this
letterpress process after the note has been produced by an engraving.

C. OFFSET PRINTING – is the method a photograph is taken of the desire

material and a print is made on a specially prepared aluminum plate. The
plate is kept wet with water. When ink is applied, it sticks only these parts of
the plate where printing is desired. The aluminum plate is then put in
contact with rubber roller which transfers the ink to the papers. The offset
process is quite used in small printing plants. Because it was photographic
process, it is the most common modern used by counterfeiter to make false
paper money.


Paper bank notes get a lot of handling. If a good grade of paper is not
used, they would soon wear out and have to be replaced. Even with the best
paper, the old two peso bill usually wears out and has to be replaced at the end
of thirty days. Government buy the very best grade of paper they can get, in
order that the paper will last as long as possible. Special paper also makes it
difficult for the counterfeiter to duplicate it. It is usually the use of wrong paper
that causes the counterfeited bank note to be detected by ultraviolet light.

Take Note: In most modern printing, papers have chemicals added to

make look whiter. These chemicals cause brilliant fluorescence under ultraviolet
light. Bank notes paper does not have this filler and does not show.



Distinctive feel & embossed effect Generally smooth

1. The fingers will readily feel the the 1. The fingers will hardly feel the main
main print on the front & back on prints of the front & back even on new
fairly new notes. notes.
2. This is due to the measurable 2. This is brought about by offset print the
thickness of the ink deposited on most common process employed by
the paper which gives the prints an counterfeiters
embossed effect. 3. The prints are mere stains on the
coating of the sensitized paper which is

1. Appears life-like 1. It appears dead.
2. The eyes sparkle. 2. The eyes do not sparkle.
3. The tiny dots and lines (Vignette) 3. It appears blurred, dull, smudgy and

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forming the details of the face, poorly printed.
hair, etc. are clear, sharp and well 4. Hair is lifeless.
4. Each portrait stands out distinctly 5. The face and/or forehead are often
from background. This is naturally white or pale due to absence
noticeable along the shoulders. of most of the details.
5. The background is composed of 6. The concentric lines depicting the eyes
multi-colored fine pattern of lines often merged into solid printed areas.
in varying tones and shades 7. The background often blends with the
interlacing with each other. These portrait and is usually “scratchy.”
shadings or toning are intricately 8. The lines are thick with rough edges.
printed in such a way that the 9. The multi-colored prints on genuine
contrast or shifting of colors notes are extremely difficult to
creates the impression of life & duplicate and as a result, counterfeit
vividness to the notes. notes are usually off-color & not of the
right shade or tone.

1. The watermark underneath the 1. This is imitated by printing white ink or dry
security lacework on the right block on the finished paper.
hand side of the note is the
same on the colored portrait.
2. The design is placed by means 2. Sometimes wax or other oily medium is
of dandy roll during the stamped to give transparency to the
manufacture of the paper. portion where the designing appears.
3. Sharp details of the outline or 3. Printed outline is placed on the inner
the light & shadow effect are sheet where merely a paper cutout is
discernible when viewed with placed inside. As a result course or harsh
the aid of transmitted light. and occasional irregular lines &
4. The relief of the features can be sometimes-opaque areas are very
felt by running the finger on the obvious.

1. This is a special thread placed 1. Counterfeit by means of printing on the
vertically on the paper during back of the note, on the inner side of the
manufacture. paper, insertion of twin thread or simply
2. On the surface of the paper folding the note vertically where the thread
where this thread is located are appears on the genuine bill.
patterns of short vertical lines.


1. These fibers are scattered on On counterfeit, this is simulated by

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the surface of the paper (front printed lines, cannot be picked off, but can be
& back) at random & can be easily erased with ordinary rubber or by
readily picked off by means of agitating with wet fingers.
any pointed instrument.
2. The colors of these fibers are
red & blue.

The geometric pattern which On counterfeit, these geometric patterns
looks like a delicate lacework are often blurred, round on the edges & blotch
along the border on both surfaces, on the joints. Its continuity could not be
embellishing the portraits, value traced. The color appears faded.
panel & vignettes are multicolored
& composed of harp lines, which
are, continuous & traceable even
at the joints.


Genuine notes have polychrome background with one predominant color

for each denomination. You should know whose portrait is/are printed on each
PhP 1,000.00 - Blue - Jose Abad Santos, Josefa Llanes
Escoda, Vicente Lim
500.00 - Yellow - Benigno S. Aquino
200.00 - Green (Dark in one side and light in another side)
100.00 - Mauve - Manuel A. Roxas
50.00 - Red - Sergio Osmena
20.00 - Orange - Manuel L. Quezon
10.00 - Brown - Apolinario Mabini & Andres Bonifacio
5.00 - Green - Emilio Aguinaldo

1. The prefix letter/s & numbers 1. On counterfeit, the letters & numbers are
(Six of them except on poorly printed. They are usually of
replacement note) are clearly different style.
2. They have peculiar style & are 2. Most often, they are evenly spaced &
uniform in size & thickness. poorly aligned.
3. Spacing of the numbers is 3. The numbers are too big or too small, too
uniform & alignment is even. thick or too thin & in certain cases shaded
on the curves.

1. The lines & dots composing the 1. On counterfeit usually dull & poorly

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vignettes are fine, distinct & printed.
2. The varying color tone gives a 2. It appears dirty.
bold look to the picture that 3. The lines are comparatively thicker with
makes it stands out of the rough edges.
4. There is no variation in color tone so that
the picture appears flat.

The registry of the different In general, a spurious not exhibits a
printed features is perfect. The Second hand look. It is dirty due to the
lines are very clear & sharp. There sputtering of ink on the interior area. Over-
are no Burrs clinging to the sides. inked areas are visible instantly. The shadings
& ornamentations of the letters & figures are
thick & usually merged.


1. As well as inspection under ultraviolet light, the investigator should look at

the banknote with a hand lens.
2. He should pay particular attention to the quantity of the portrait in the bank
note. This is the one extremely fine detail of a good engraved plate.
3. The color of the ink should be compared with the color of a genuine
banknote. It is very difficult for counterfeiter to match exactly the same
shade of ink by a genuine manufacturer.



1. Federal Reserve note – with GREEN treasury seal and serial number.
2. United States Note – with RED treasury seal and serial number.
3. Silver Certificate – with BLUE treasury seal and serial number.

B. FEDERAL RESERVE NOTES - Each Federal Reserve Note also carries a

regional seal at the left of the portrait on the face of the bill. This seal is
printed in black and bears the name of the Federal Reserve Bank of issue.
Numbers and letters representing the Federal Reserve District in which that
bank is located, are:

1 - Boston - “A” 7 - Chicago - “G”

2 - New York - “B” 8 - St. Louis - “H”
3 - Philadelphia - “C” 9 - Minneapolis - “I”
4 - Cleveland - “D” 10 - Kansas - “J”
5 - Richmond- “E” 11 - Dallas - “K”

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6 - Atlanta - “F” 12 - San Francisco - “L”


denomination has the following

$1 - Washington $50 - Grant

$2 - Jefferson $100 - Franklin
$5 - Lincoln $500 - McKinley
$10 - Hamilton $1000 - Cleveland
$20 - Jackson $5000 - Madison


These are pieces of metal stamped by government authority, for use as

money or collectively referring to metal currency.


CASTING is the most common method of making gold coins. Plaster

molds bearing an image of gold coins are filled (within a low temperature) with
alloy made with lead or tin. Some molds are used for high temperature metal
such as copper or silver alloy.

STRIKING OR STAMPING is the making of an impression of a coin or

metal blank by pressure.


A. Genuine coins show an even flow of metallic grains. The details of the
profile, the seal of the Republic of the Philippines, letterings & numerals
are of high relief, so that it can be readily felt distinctly by running the
fingers on theses features. The beadings are regular & the readings are
deep & even.

B. Counterfeit coins feel greasy & appear slimy. The beading composed of
tiny round dots surrounding the genuine coin appear irregular & elongated
depressions & are not sharp & prominent as in the genuine. The letterings
& numerals are low & worn out due to the lack of sharpness of details. The
readings are uneven & show signs of filing.


1. Coin made of gold was to widely use but are not now often see.
Government kept their gold in the form of heavy bars called bullions and
then issue papers for the value of gold.

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2. Metal coins issued nowadays are mostly in amount for less than its face
value. In most countries, the possession of gold coins is now forbidden
except for coin collectors.

EXAMINATION OF COUNTERFEIT COINS – should be examined by a

magnifying lens; comparing it with a known coin


bubbles, or removal of small parts of the sole along with the coin. The best place
to examine a counterfeit coin is on the edge since there are usually special
milling marks or designs which are added to a genuine coin by machinery.


Passports are rarely counterfeit, because they are quite complicated in

design and manufacture. The most usual method of forgery is to steal a genuine
passport and make change in it. Many safety features are incorporated in
passport and are easily detected by close inspection. Ultraviolet light is very
useful in this type of examination. The investigator should look particularly at the
photograph in any passport as identification card. This is always necessary
because sometimes forgers remove and change or substitute the picture.
Hence, the position of perforation caused by staples and another pasting device
should be studied carefully.


(Pursuant to Title Four, Chapter One, Revised Penal Code – Crimes against
Public Interests)

A. FOREGERIES - What are the crimes called forgeries?

1. Forging the seal of the government, signature or stamp of the chief

Executive (Art. 161).
2. Counterfeiting coins (Art. 163).
3. Mutilation of coins (Art. 164).
4. Forging treasury or bank notes or other documents payable to bearer
(Art. 166).
5. Counterfeiting instruments not payable to bearer (Art. 167).
6. Falsification of legislative documents (Art. 172).
7. Falsification by public officer, employee or notary or ecclesiastical
minister (Art. 171).
8. Falsification by private individuals (Art. 172).
9. Falsification of wireless, cable, telegraph and telephone messages (Art.
10. Falsification of medical certificates, certificates of merit or service (Art.

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B. ACTS PUNISHABLE UNDER ART. 161: Forging the great
seal of the Government of the Philippines; Forging the signature of the
President; Forging the stamp of the President.

C. What are the crimes under counterfeiting coins? They

are: Making and importing and uttering false coins (Art. 163); Mutilation of
coins – importation and utterance of mutilated coins (Art. 164); and Selling of
false or mutilated coin, without connivance (Art. 165).

D. Reason for punishing forgery - Forgery of currency is

punished so as to maintain the integrity of the currency and thus insure the
credit standing of the government and prevent the imposition on the public
and the government of worthless notes or obligations.


1. Counterfeiting or imitating any handwriting, signature, or rubric;

2. Causing it to appear that persons have participated in any act or
proceeding when they did not in fact so participate;
3. Attributing to persons who have participated in an act or proceeding
statements other than those in fact made by them;
4. Making untruthful statements in a narration of facts; Altering true dates;
5. Making any alteration or intercalation in a genuine document which
changes its meaning;
6. Issuing in an authenticated form a document purporting to be a copy of an
original document when no such original exists, or including in such copy
a statement contrary to, or different from, that of the genuine original; or
7. Intercalating any instrument or note relative to the issuance thereof in a
protocol, registry, or official book.


A. ANACHRONISM – It refers to something wrong in time and in place. This

means that the forger has trouble matching the paper, ink, or writing
materials to the exact date it was supposed to have been written.
B. PAPER – These are sheets of interlaced fibers - usually cellulose fibers
from plants, but sometimes from cloth rags or other fibrous materials, that is
formed by pulping the fibers and causing to felt, or mat, to form a solid
C. WATERMARK - Certain papers are marked with a translucent design, a
watermarks impressed in them during the course of their manufacture.
D. WRITING MATERIALS – Any material used primarily for writing or
recording such as papers, cardboard, board papers, Morocco paper, etc.


(probable) questioned on paper is its age, whether the actual age of the

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paper corresponds with the alleged date of preparation of the questioned


A. PAPYRUS - This came into use about 3,500 B.C. - people of Egypt.
Palestine, Syria, and Southern Europe used the pith (soft spongy tissue of
the stem) of the sedge (grass-like herb) CYPERUS PAPYRUS to make a
writing material known as PAPYRUS.

B. PARCHMENT - writing material made from skin of animals primarily of

sheep, calves or goats - was probably developed in the Middle East more or
less contemporaneously with papyrus. It came into wide use only in the 2nd
century B.C. in the city of PERGAMUM in ANATOLIA.

C. VELLUM - writing materials from fine skins from young

calves or kids and the term (name) was often used for all kind of parchment
manuscripts, it became the most important writing material for bookmaking,
while parchment continued for special manuscripts. Almost every portable
surface that would retain the marks of brush or pen was also used as a
writing material during the early period.


1. It is widely claimed that invention of paper is generally attributed to a
Chinese court official, CAI LUN (TSAI LUN), in about A.D. 105. He is the
first to succeed in making paper from vegetable fibers, tree barks
(mulberry tree), rags, old fish nettings.
2. The art of papermaking was kept secret for 500 years; the Japanese
acquired it in the 7th century A.D.
3. In A.D. 751, the Arab city of Samarkand was attacked by marauding
Chinese and some Chinese taken as prisoners were skilled in
papermaking and were forced by the city Governor to build and operate
a paper mill and Samarkand soon became the papermaking center of the
Arab world.
4. Knowledge of papermaking traveled westward, spreading throughout the
Middle East, the Moorish invasion of Spain led to the invention (A.D. 1150)
or erection of the first European paper mill, at JATIVA, province of
5. Knowledge of the technology spread quickly and by 16th century, paper
was manufactured throughout most of Europe.
6. The first paper mill in England was established in 1495.
7. The first such mill in America in 1690.
8. The first practical machine was made in 1798 by the French inventor
Nicholas Louis Robert. The machine reduced the cost of paper it
supplants the hand-molding process in paper manufacture.

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9. Robert's machine was improved by the British stationers and brothers
Henry Fourdrinier and Sealy Fourdrinier, who in 1803 produced the first
of the machines that bear their name.
10. The solution of the problem of making paper from cheap raw material was
achieved by the introduction of the groundwood process of pulp making
about 1840 and the first of the chemical pulp processes approximately ten
years later.
11. CHLORINE - This was introduced in the 19th century for bleaching and
colored linen could already be manufactured for paper.
12. ESPARTO – This is a grass grown in Libya, also in Spain and North Africa
was first introduced in England in 1861.
13. STRAW – This was used to make paper in 1800.
14. SULPHITE – This is a paper from wood was not attempted until
1869 and paper called SULPHITE (modern type) was first used between
1880 and 1890.
15. OLDEST MANUSCRIPT - Letters dated A.D. 874 have been found in
Egypt and the oldest manuscript in England on cotton paper dated AD


The age of the document may be estimated from paper. Four cases were
reported by Lucas where the age of the document was established from the
compositor/composition of the paper. In one of these cases, a document dated
1213 A.H. (A.D. 1798) was found to be written on paper composed entirely of
chemically prepared wood cellulose. Considering that this type of paper was
not introduced not until about 60 years later, the document is obviously a fake


1. Definition – It is a term for a figure or design incorporated into paper

during its manufacture and appearing lighter than the rest of the sheet
when viewed in transmitted light. The earliest way of identifying the date
of manufacture of the paper is by the WATERMARK - a brand put on the
paper by the manufacturers.

2. How watermark is made? The watermark was made when the semi-fluid
paper pulp (mixture of cotton or other fibers) was being drained on a grid
of laid (warp) and chain (woof) wires. Fine wires forming the desired
design were tied on top of the grid and impressed into the pulp. This
impression made the paper thinner, and therefore, more transparent,
where it appeared.

3. Origin. Watermarks first appeared on papers produced in Italy around

1270, less than 100 years after the art of papermaking was introduced to

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Europe by Muslims from the Middle East. Early in the 19th century,
papermakers began to solder the watermark wires to the grid frame, thus
insuring uniformity of impression and aiding in the detection of
counterfeiting and forgery. The first British postage stamps of 1840 bore a
watermark, but stamps of the United States were not so marked until
1895. When paper began to be machine-made, the watermark wiring was
simply transferred to the grid cover of the dandy roll, a turning cylinder
that passed over the paper.

4. Concept of document’s age detection thru watermarks.

a. Sometimes a LIMIT may be placed to the age of the document
by means of watermark, the earliest known dating from 1282.
Unfortunately, however, not all papers contain watermarks.
b. It is impressed into the paper by wires on the rollers
called “DANDY ROLL” that make the paper, and these designs are
changed from time to time.
c. Usually watermarks are requested by their owners/manufacturers with
the patent office.
d. If present, watermark is one of the most reliable means of tracing the
age of the paper. However, the questioned documents examiner's
finding is limited only to the APPROXIMATE DATE (YEAR) of the
paper manufacture.
e. In determining the age of the paper by watermarks, it is necessary to
ascertain the owner of the watermark in question or its manufacturer.
f. In the FBI, this is done by checking the reference file of the laboratory.
Once the manufacturer is determined, then consideration is given to
changes in design and defects of individual design.
g. In recent years, some large manufacturers have cleverly
incorporated inconspicuous changes in their watermark design in order
to date their products.
h. Obviously, document is fraud if it contains a watermark that was not in
existence at the time the document purports to have been executed.

5. In case the watermark did not change, the following is applied:

a. Consider any defect in the individual design may furnish a clue as to
the age of the paper.
b. The dandy roll, through constant usage, will somehow be damaged.
This damage is also known as caused by WEAR AND TEAR which
becomes progressively more and more as time goes by.
c. The damage on the dandy roll will leave some peculiar markings on
the watermark of the paper manufactured or all papers that will pass
through the damaged dandy roll.
d. The investigator, carefully determining the distinct markings caused by
the dandy roll's damaged surface, will coordinate with the paper
manufacture regarding when such damage occurred on the dandy roll

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One way of tracing the age of the paper is through the observance of the
changes in its physical characteristics particularly DISCOLORATION. Naturally,
a paper will discolor after a passage of time due to numerous environmental
factors such as moisture, temperature, dust, etc. In case of papers out of wood
pulp, they start to discolor at edges from 2 to 3 years. While RUG-SHIP
QUALITY papers, they are very old before discoloration starts.


1. due to process of oxidation brought about by natural means.

2. brown spots due to mold that are very obvious characteristics both in
appearance and distribution.
3. exposure to dust and dirt.
4. occasional staining of fruit juice, grease.
5. excrete of rats, mice and other insects.
6. may also due to heat, partial burning, etc.


1. Collect standard document from the issuing institution, company or

individual and compare. Consider the physical characteristics of both
questioned and standard documents such as the size, the thickness, the
surface (glossiness, opacity, etc.) and the general texture of the paper.
2. Check with the issuing institution, company or individual about the
dissimilarity of writing material used in the questioned document.
3. Conduct further physical or chemical examination such as folding
endurance test, folding test, bursting test, etc.


A. FLEXIBILITY OF PEN POINT - One quality of the nib pen is its pliability.
This quality varies which different pens and can be measured by the amount
of pressure necessary to cause a spreading of the nibs or a given degree of
B. FOUNTAIN PEN - A fountain pen is a modern nib which contains a reservoir
of ink in a specially designed chamber. After complete filling the pen is
capable of writing a number of pages without refilling.
C. INK - is a fluid or viscous marking material used for writing or printing.
D. PEN - A tool for writing or drawing with a colored fluid, such as ink; or a
writing instrument used to apply inks to the paper is a pen. It came from the
Latin word "PENNA", meaning feather.
E. PEN NIBS - The tow divisions or points which from the writing portion of a
pen are its nibs.

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F. QUILL PENS - It is a hollow, horny part of large feather usually from
goose and was used for writing on parchment. Poland, Germany, Russia,
and the Netherlands were the largest producers of quill.
manual devices used to make alphanumeric marks on or in a surface.



1. It came from especially selected water grasses found in Egypt, Armenia
and along the shores of the Persian Gulf, were prepared by leaving them
under dung heaps for several months.
2. It was the first writing tool that had the writing end slightly frayed like a
brush. About 2,000 years B.C., this reed pen was first used in NEAR
EAST on papyrus and later on parchment.

1. Although quill pens can be made from the outer wing feathers of any
bird, those of goose, swan, crow and (later) turkey, were preferred. The
earliest reference (6th century AD) to quill pens was made by the
Spanish Theologian ST. ISIDORE OF SEVILLE, and this tool was the
principal writing implement for nearly 1300 years.
2. To make a quill pen, a wing feather is first hardened by heating or letting
it dry out gradually. The hardened quill is then cut to a broad edge with a
special pen knife.
3. The writer had to re-cut the quill pen frequently to maintain its edge. By
the 18th century, the width of the edge had diminished and the length of
the slit had increased creating a flexible point that produced thick and
thin strokes by pressure on the point rather than by the angle at which
the broad edge was held.


1. Although pens of bronze may have been known to Romans, the
earliest mention of "BRAZEN PENS" was in 1465. The 16th century
Spanish calligrapher JUAN DE YCIAR mentions brass pens for very
large writing in his 1548 writing manual, but the use of metal pens did
not become widespread until the early part of the 19th century.
2. The first patented steel pen point was made by the English engineer
3. The leading 19th century English pen manufacturers were WILLIAM

1. In 1884, LEWIS WATERMAN, a New York insurance agent, patented
the first practical FOUNTAIN PEN containing its own ink reservoir.

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Waterman invented a mechanism that fed ink to the pen point by
capillary action, allowing ink to flow evenly while writing.
2. By the 1920's, the fountain pen was the chief writing instrument in the
west and remained so until the introduction of the ball point pen after


1. JOHN LOUD, in 1888, patented the first ball point writing tool. A ball
point pen has in its point a small rotating metal ball that continually inks
itself as it turns.
2. The ball is set into a tiny socket. In the center of the socket is a hole that
feeds ink to the socket from a long tube (reservoir) inside the pen.
3. As early as the 19th century, attempts had been made to manufacture a
pen with a rolling ball tip, but not until 1938 did Hungarian inventor
brothers LADISLAO and GEORG BIRO invent a viscous, oil-based ink
that could be used with such a pen. Hence, they are attributed for the
invention of the first practical ballpoint pen.
4. Early ball point pens did not write well; they tended to skip, and the slow-
drying oil-based ink smudged easily. However, the ball-point pen had
several advantages over the fountain pen:
a. the ink was waterproof and almost un-erasable;
b. the ball point pen could write on many kinds of surfaces;
c. could be hold in almost any position for writing; and
d. the pressure required to feed the ink was ideal for making carbon
5. Ink formulas were improved for smoother flow and faster drying, and
soon the ball-point replaced the fountain pen as the universal writing


1. In 1963, fiber tip markers were introduced into the U.S. market and have
since challenged the ball point as the principal writing implement.
2. The first practical fiber tip pen was invented by YUKIO HORIE of Japan
in 1962. It was ideally suited to the strokes of Japanese writing, which is
traditionally done with a pointed ink brush.
3. Unlike its predecessors, the fiber tip pen uses dye as a writing fluid. As a
result, the fiber tip pen can produce a wide range of colors unavailable in
ball point and fountain pen inks. The tip is made of fine nylon or other
synthetic fibers drawn to a point and fastened to the barrel of the pen.
Dye is fed to the point by elaborate capillary mechanism.

G. Felt-tip markers are made of dense natural or artificial fibers impregnated

with a dye. These markers can be cut to a variety of shapes and sizes, some
up to an inch in width. A modification of the ball point pen using a liquid dye
fed to a metal/plastic ball was introduced in the U.S. from Japan in 1973.

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1. Indian Inks - The oldest form of Indian ink consisted of a suspension of

carbon black (soot or lampblack) in water to which glue or a vegetable
gum was added. Inks of these compositions are still on the market mostly
in the shape of sticks or cakes.
2. Log wood Inks - These inks which were used extensively about a century
ago, have now because obsolete and are no longer manufactured. They
were made from an aqueous extract of logwood chips and potassium
chromate. These inks will be found only on old.
3. Iron Gallotanate Inks - This ink has been used as writing for over a
thousand years. Formerly it was made of a fermented infusion of gall
nuts to which iron salts were added. The ink was composed of
suspension of the black, almost insoluble ferric tannate.
4. Fountain Pen Inks - These inks are regarded as special fountain pen
inks, and consisting of ordinary iron gallotannate inks with a lower iron
content in most cases but with a higher dyestuff content than normal
5. Dyestuff Inks - These inks are composed of aqueous
solutions of synthetic dyestuffs, to which a preservative and a flux are
6. Water Resistant Writing and Drawing Inks - These inks are special
group of dyestuff inks. They consist of a pigment paste and a solution of
shellac made soluble in water by means of borax, liquid ammonia or
ammonium bicarbonate.
7. Alkaline Writing Inks - These are quick drying inks which possess a ph
of from 9 to about 11. They penetrate quickly through the size of the
paper allowing the ink to penetrate quickly into the paper. The dyestuff in
these inks consists of acid dyes, sometimes combined with phthalo
cyanide dyes.
8. Ballpoint Pen Inks - The ballpoint pens did not appear on the European
market before 1945. The development of the present pen was
accomplished during World War II because the Army and the Air Force
needed a writing instrument which would not leak at high altitude and
which supplied quick drying water resistant writing.
a. In principle, the construction of all ballpoint pens is the same. The
differences are in the finish, the precision with which the instrument
is made, the size and the material of the ball, and the composition
of the ink.
b. As a rule, the diameter of the ball lies between 0.6 and 1.0 mm, the
cheapest makes having the largest diameter. The ball is made of
steel while the more expensive makes of sapphire.
c. The quality of the pen is chiefly to be judged by the writing angle.
The best writing angle for a ballpoint pen is 90 degrees, but a
normal hand of writing seldom uses this angle.

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d. The cheaper makes have a minimum writing angle of 55-60
degrees. If one writes at too small an angle, the brass socket
holding the ball will scratch a lined into the paper, parallel with
the ink line.
9. Stamp Pad Inks - They are made with the acid of substances such
as glycerol, glycol, acetin or benzyl alcohol and water. Airline dyes are
added as coloring matter. For quick drying stamp pad inks, more volatile
organic solvents are used as acetone, ethanol, etc. As a vehicle,
dextrine, gum arabic, or tannin is sometimes added. Through the addition
of tannin, the stamp impression becomes water resistant after drying.
10. Hectograph Inks - These inks very much resemble stamp pad inks and
are exclusively made with basic dyes. To the dyestuff solution several
other substances are added such as glycerol, acetic acid and acetone.
11. Typewriter Ribbon Inks - These inks are usually composed of a blend of
aniline dyes, carbon black and oil such as olein or castor oil. The two-
tone ribbons however contain no dyes, but pigments suspended in oil
base. This is necessary because aniline dyes tend to bleed and would
cause the sharp division between the differently colored halves of the
ribbon to merge.
12. Printing Inks - Printing inks often consist of a mixture of colored pig-
ments, carbon black and a "base" which may consist of oil, resins,
synthetic resins or a mixture of these. It is possible to remove printing ink
from a document by scrubbing the document with an aqueous solution of
a suitable detergent. The rubbing and breaking up of the surface of the
ink and the detergent facilitates the suspension and eventual removal of
the carbon and other ingredients by the water.
13. Canceling Inks - These inks often contain carbon and this fact should be
burned in mind when it is required to decipher faint cancellation
marks on a postage stamp and wrappers. Carbon is opaque to infra-red
sensitive plate and be relied upon to improve the legibility of any marking
affected by a carbon containing canceling ink. Erasure of canceling ink on
valuable stamps is usually affected by attack on the medium which bind
the carbon to the surface of the stamp and it is to be regretted that many
canceling inks are manufactured with media which offer resistance to
attack so that the resistant carbon can simply be swabbed off. This can
be usually be detected by infrared photography which will reveal the
traces of carbon, which almost invariably remain on the stamp.
14. Skrip Ink - These are manufactured by W.A. Chaffer Pen Company
since 1955. The inks contain a substance that is colorless in visible light
and has a strong affinity for the fibers of the paper, and yet is not bleached
by hypochlorite ink eradicators or washed out by soaking on water.


1. In most cases the inks to be examined are not available in liquid form.
One kind of examination centers on the question as to whether the ink of

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some writings or of alterations in a police blotter is identical with the ink
found in the possession of the suspect.
2. For this reason, the examination of questioned documents is restricted to
a comparative examination of certain properties of these inks. However
the examination carries with it certain difficulties as the quantity of
material available for examination is small and the examination can be
done only one.
3. It is necessary then that before a chemical examination is attempted,
which results in a partial destruction of writing, an exhaustive examination
by non-destructive methods be carried out.
4. These non-destruction methods include visual examination with the aid of
a binocular microscope as well as photographic examination.
They should be used first before any chemical examination is resorted to.
5. It is necessary therefore to be acquainted with the composi-
tion and developmental history, method of manufacture of the types of ink
most commonly used. Sometimes, antedating can only be proven by
identifying a component of the ink, which was not yet included in inks at
the alleged date of the document.




1. This is restricted to a comparison of the dyestuffs in the ink but

sometimes it is also possible to identify one or more of the components
of the dyes.
2. Regarded as the principal method of ink examination.
3. To identify a dyestuff, it is necessary to possess a collection as complete
as possible of the various dyes used in the manufacture of inks.
4. The chromatographic separation of the dyes maybe carried out by paper
5. Procedure:
a. Collection of the ink material
(1) Extraction of the inks stroke by scraping fragments from the ink
stroke. Dyestuff inks can as a rule can be extracted with water.
Ball point ink can be extracted with organic solvent such as
ethanol, acetone or butanone. Pyridine is the best solvent for
ball point inks.
(2) It is also possible to cut a small pocket at starting line in the
chromatographic paper into which the ink fragments are placed.
The pocket is firmly pressed.
b. The vessel which is a beaker or a flask is filled with the solvent; then
the filtered paper strip containing the ink material is lowered into the
vessel with the ends just touching the surface of the solvent and let it
hang on the side of the vessel for 15-20 minutes.

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c. The chromatography should be carried out in shaded light.


1. In general, in order to determine the age of writing or the difference in

the ages of different writings, the document examiner makes use of a
property of the ink writing which changes in the course of time. This
selection of properties will be determined by the composition of ink and
the circumstances under which the writing ages.
2. Procedure:
a. Ball Point Pen Inks
(1) If a document has been written with a ballpoint pen, the writing in
question is bound to date in all probability from a point of time later
than 1945.
(2) The analysis of ballpoint inks may yield an important clue to the age
of the ink.
(3) The first ballpoint inks were practically without exception based on
oleic acid. These inks will flow out when a drop of benzene or
petroleum ether is applied to them.
(4) Not until 1950 were these inks made on a basic of polyethylene
glycols, which are resistant to treatment with benzene or petroleum
(5) However, the presence of oleic acid is not yet proof that the writing
in question is old for oleic acid is sometimes also used in modern
ballpoint inks.
(6) In the later case, however, the ink will as a rule not flow out with the
petroleum ether because these inks, no water soluble coloring
matter is worked out. Instead pigments and dyestuffs are used that
will not dissolve in petroleum ether.
(7) The presence of phthalocyanine dyestuff is an indication of an ink
produced later than 1954-1956.
(8) Thus it is not possible to determine the absolute age of ballpoint
inks. Neither it is possible to determine the relative ages of two
ballpoint ink writings, not even if they are of the same kind. The ink
dries rather quickly because the base is absorbed by the paper.
(9) Recent ballpoint writing can be offset, and efforts have been made
to use the copying power for age determination.

b. Dyestuff Inks
(1) The dyestuff inks lack properties that would permit age
determination but the presence of an obsolete or modern dyestuff
may indicate age of writing.
(2) If a phthalocyanine dye is found in the ink, it would be improbable
for the document to be dated prior to 1953.

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c. Iron Gallotannate Inks - These inks show a remarkable change of
color in maturing. This based on the chemical change of ferrous to
ferric in the course of time. The following are the methods used to
show the gradual change of inks:
(1) Method based on the change of the Color of the Ink –
This method is useful in those cases where the ink writing received
for examination is too recent that the process of maturing can be
observed visually. The kind of ink must be known and one or more
writings of known age must be available for comparison.
(2) Methods based on the Solubility of the Ink – The
solubility of iron gallotannate ink decreases considerably as the ink
matures. As with the color change, it can only be applied
successfully to a very recent writing. This method can establish a
difference in the age of writings on one and the same document.
The solubility is determined by a visual estimate of the quantity of
ink which can be withdrawn with a drop of water from a stroke. It is
necessary however that the drop of water be applied to ink stroke
of the same intensity.
(3) Method based on the amount of ferrous iron in the ink
– In iron gallotannate ink, the iron is mainly present in the complex
bound ferrous form. As the manufacturing process goes on, the ric
gallotannate is formed. A drop of aa 1-dipyridyl reagent (1% of aa1-
dipyridyl in 0.5N HCL (normal hydrochloric acid)) is applied to the
ink stroke. The reagent is left in contact with the ink for 1 minute
and then recovered with a piece of filter paper. If ferrous iron is still
present in the ink, the paper will show a red zone of ferrous aa1-
dipyridyl around the stain of blue dyestuff. By repeating this test
daily, it is possible to check the decrease in the ferrous iron in the
ink by the changes in the coloration of this red zone. However, this
method is applicable when the questioned writing is not more than
a few days old.
(4) Estimation of age based on the detection of the dyes –
Iron gallotannate inks contain an organic dye, (soluble blue) which
is oxidized or at least becomes insoluble complete or partially as
the ink ages. It is claimed that the organic dye becomes completely
insoluble in four to five years. However, the application of this
method appears to yield results in practice.


TYPEWRITER - A writing machine with a keyboard for reproducing letters,

figures, symbols and other resembling printed ones; a machine that can
reproduce printed characters on papers or that can produce printed letters and
figures on paper; a machine designed to print or impress type characters on
paper, as a speedier and more legible substitute for handwriting. .

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A. ALIGNMENT - Alignment defects include characters which write

improperly in the following respects: A twisted letter, horizontal mal-
alignment, vertical mal-alignment, and a character "Off its feet".
B. ALIGNMENT DEFECT - Include character which write improperly in the
following respects: A twisted letter, horizontal mal-alignment, vertical, mal-
alignment and a character special adjustment to the types block.
C. CARBON IMPRESSION- Any typewriting which is placed on the paper
by the action of the type faces striking thought carbon paper is
classed as a carbon impression. Generally, carbon impressions are
"carbon copies", but sometime original typewriting is made directly through
a carbon ribbon.
D. CHARACTER - In connection with typewriting identification, the term
"Character" is used to include letters, symbols, numerals, or points of
E. CLOGGED (DIRTY) TYPEFACES - With use the type faces becomes
filled with lint, dirty and ink, particularly in enclosed letters such as the
o,e,p, and g.
F. DEFECTS - The term defect describes any abnormality or maladjustment
in a typewriter which is reflected in its works and which leads to its
individualization or identification.
G. NATURAL VARIATIONS - These are normal or usual deviations found
between repeated specimens of any individuals handwriting or in the
product of any typewriters.
H. OFF ITS FEET - The condition of a typeface printing heavier on one side
or corner than over the remainder of its outline.
I. PERMANENT DEFECT - Any identifying characteristics of a type-writer
which cannot be corrected by simply cleaning the type
face or replacing the ribbon is classified as a permanent defect.
J. PLATEN - The cylinder which serve as the backing of the paper and which
absorbs the blow on the type face is known as a platen.
K. PROPORTIONAL SPACING TYPEWRITING - A modern form of typewrit-
ing which resembles printing in that all of the horizontal space as they do
with the conventional typewriter. For example, the "i" occupies two units.
The "o" - three and the "m" - five. A typewriter of this design is known as
a proportional spacing machine.
L. REBOUND - A defect in which a character prints a double impression with
the lighter one slightly offset to the right or left.
M. RIBBON IMPRESSIONS - Typewriting which is made directly through a
cloth ribbon is called ribbon impression.
N. RIBBON CONDITION - Typewriter ribbons gradually deteriorate with use
and the degree of determination is a measure of the ribbon condition.
O. TRANSITORY DEFECT - Any identifying typewriter characteristics which
can be eliminated by cleaning the machine or replacing the ribbon is

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described as a transitory defects. Clogged type is the most common
defects in this class.
P. TWISTED LETTER - Each letter and character is designed to print a
certain fixed angle to the base line, due to wear, and damage to the type
bars and the type block, some letters become twisted so that they lean to
the right or left of their correct slant.
Q. TYPE FACE - The printing surface of the type block is known as the type
face, with most modern typewriter this block is attached at the end of a
movable arm or type bar which propels the type face against the ribbon
and paper to make the typewriter impression.
R. TYPE FACE DEFECTS - Any peculiarity of typewriting caused by
actual damage to the type face metal is known as type face defect. These
defect may be actual breaks in the outline of the letter where the metal
has been chipped away sometimes referred to as broken type, or they
may be distorted outlines of the letter where the type face metal has
become bent or smashed, they can only be corrected by replacing the
type block.


1. The first patent, however, was granted by QUEEN ANNE of England to

HENRY MILL in 1714 for a machine designed to reproduce a letter of the
2. In 1829, WILLIAM AUSTIN BURT of Detroit, invented the TYPOG-
3. In 1833 a French patent was given to the French inventor Xavier Progin
for a machine that embodied for the first time one of the principles
employed in modern typewriters: the use for each letter or symbol of
separate typebars, actuated by separate lever keys.
4. In 1843, American inventor Charles Grover Thurber invented a
typewriter which prints through a metal ring that revolved horizontally
above the platen and was equipped with a series of vertical keys or
plungers having pieces of type at the bottom. The machine was operated
by revolving the wheel until the correct letter was centered over the
printing position on the platen, and then striking the key.
5. Several other inventors attempted to produce machines designed to make
embossed impressions that could be read by the blind. One such
machine, developed by the American inventor Alfred Ely Beach in 1856,
resembled the modern typewriter in the arrangement of its keys and
typebars, but embossed its letters on a narrow paper strip instead of a
6. A similar machine created by the American inventor Samuel W. Francis,
and patented by him in 1856, had a circular arrangement of typebars, a
moving paper holder, a bell that rang to signal the end of a line, and an
inked ribbon. The keyboard arrangement of Francis's machine resembled
the black and white keys of a piano.

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7. The development of the first practical typewriter begun in 1866 by
CHRISTOPHER LATHAM SHOLES and was patented in 1868. He
developed the first practical typewriter in cooperation with two fellow
8. Six years later (1874), Christopher Latham Sholes entered an agreement
MACHINES MANUFACTURERS, the company produced the
9. Four years later, REMINGTON MODEL II was introduced having both the
lower and upper case of the alphabet.
10. MARK TWAIN (Samuel Clemens) was among the first to buy a
typewriter and the first to submit a typewritten manuscript to a publisher.
11. GEORGE BERNARD SHAW recognized the importance of typewriter
when he became the first playwright to use it as a stage prop in Candida
in 1897.
12. When THOMAS EDISON visited Sholes to see his machine, he
forecasted that typewriters would one day be operated by electricity.
13. Soon afterwards, Edison built such a typewriter. He used a series of
magnet, which made the machine cumbersome and too expensive to be
14. The first practical electric typewriter was invented in 1914 by JAMES F.
SMATHERS of Kansas City.
15. In 1933, the International Business Machines, Inc. (IBM), introduced the
first commercially successful electric typewriter to the business world.
16. The latest development in electric typewriter is one which not only
eliminates type bars and movable carriages but can use six
interchangeable type of type faces.
17. The first basic change in typewriting operation appeared in 1961. Despite
of the revolutionary advances in typewriting capabilities, one essential
element has remained unchanged since the first Remington. The
keyboard arrangement, nicknamed QWERTY for the top line of letters,
was designed to make it easier for salesmen to use the machine.
18. A much more efficient arrangement was devised in 1936 by
AUGUST DVORAK. The process of changing over the DVORAK seemed
so difficult that it was never even begun.



HAGAN in 1894, made the first comment on typewriting examination. He

wrote that all typewriter machines even when using the same kind of type
become more or less peculiar by use as to the work done by them. These
peculiarities positively connect them with the printing done by the machine.

This exposition of the principles of typewriting identification was followed

in 1900 by AMES who wrote that the identity of writing by different operators as

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well as that done on different machines can be done with considerable degree -
Different operators have their own peculiar methods which differ widely in the
location of date, address, margins, punctuation, spacing, signing as well as
impressions from touch.

In several articles written between1901 to 1907, ALBERT S.

OSBORNE, the foremost document examiner of the early 20th century, defined
the principles of typewriting identification used today. He called it “THE


1. The type faces used by the different type

writer manufacturer can be differentiated on the basis of design and have
dating significance.
2. Through usage, typewriters develop
individuality which can serve to identify the typewriting of a particular type-
3. The gradual development
of typewriting individuality plus ribbon condition and typeface. Cleanliness
can be used to date a document of fix it written a period of time.
4. Horizontal and vertical alignment,
tilting characters, lack of uniformity of impression (off-footedness); type-
face score, breadths, defects and deformities all serve to identify the type
writing of a particular machine.
5. Peculiar habits of striking the type writer keys,
spacing, arrangement, punctuation, mistakes, corrections, can be used to
identify a typist or differentiate typists.
6. A sheet of paper cannot be reinserted in a
typewriter in exact register with previous typing done on the sheet of



1. Pica Type - 10 letter/inch
2. Elite Type - 12 Letters/inch
3. 6 Letters/inch
4. Teletype Machine
5. 14-16 letter/inch - specials typewriters


capable of typing 10 or 12 characters per inch. Change of horizontal
spacing is done easily by the flip of a switch.

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This has a disc type device called a print wheel, The printwheel contains all
of characters represented on the typewriter keyboard. This machine has the
capability of typing 10, 12 and 15 letters per inch.


A. The small “w” – depending on the presence or absence of a center serif,

height of central peak and design of the two central diagonals.
w-1 – central peak is the same height as the top of the outside stroke and
is capped by serif.
w-2 – same with w-1 but has no central serif.
w-3 – central joining is below the top of the sides.
w-4 – low center but the two central diagonals join the sides well above
the base of the letter.

B. Crossbar of small letter “t” – cross bar is either longer on the right or on the
left side and or equidistant on each side. The curved lower extension of the
“t” is either turn upward at a point the left of, to the right of, or about even
with the right terminus of the crossbar of the “t”.

C. The small letter “g” – upper oval is either much smaller or the same and/or
different or the same in shape than the lower oval. Upper and lower ovals
are either very closely spaced or not.

D. Small letter “r” – right arm is either long with very small curve at its end or a
long right arm with full curve at the end and/or the right arm is short with its
curve moderate to full.

E. Small letter “y” – has three distinctive designs:

lower stroke has a broad turn which forms a very shallow trough.
lower stroke has a deep full curve which clearly curves right ward.
Lower stroke turns sharply upward like forming a narrow trough.

F. Small letter “i” – has two distinctive designs:

center of the dot is aligned with the central line of the vertical staff.
Center of the dot is set off to the left of the central line of the vertical staff.

G.Upper and Lower Strokes of Capital Letter “E” – maybe equal or the bottom
stroke maybe longer than the upper stroke. The serif is either vertical or
oblique. The small “e” may have its straight stroke either horizontal or

H. Figure “7” – horizontal stroke is either straight or curve.

I. Figure “5” – horizontal stroke is either straight or slightly or fully curved.

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J. The comma “,” – tail may extend to the left of the dot or only very slightly to
the left of the dot.

K. Parentheses – may vary in curvature.

Take Note: Two typewritten documents are said to be typed from one and
the same typewriter if they agree in type face style, design, spacing, alignment
and three or four scars or damaged type faces.


Each typewriter has its own individual characteristics that enable one to
differentiate the typed characters from a similar machine of the same make.
Typewriter of the same make and model but of different age have differences
attributed to wear.


1. A typewriter coming out fresh from the factory has already some defects
which give its own personality. Whatever the quality of the manufacture, a
typewriter is never absolutely perfect.
2. Later, through faults of the typist and also by wear, the typewriter will
acquire a stronger individuality by new defects which become more and
more prominent and in time, progressively overcome the initial ones.


1. Conduct preliminary examination of the questioned document to

determine the make and model of the typewriter.
2. Then study the defects of the stroke which will distinguish the suspected
typewriter from the others.

The defects of the typewriter maybe compared to ailment or sickness

and congenital deformation while its translation on the paper be compared to
symptoms of the defects. This comparison has the advantage of sorting out the
exact conditions of the control of questioned typewritten documents as follows:

1. First, it will show the actual state of the typewriter and consequently that
the aspect of the stroke is not immutable but evolves progressively so
that a good identification needs the comparison of documents from
sufficiently adjacent period.
2. The health of a typewriter tends to change and the defect become more
and more numerous and characteristics. From time to time, an
overhead or repairs may help the ailment definitely or at least give a
temporary or partial healing.

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3. It will show that the expert does not see the defect of the
typewriter right away but only its translation on the paper by a writing
anomaly of which he must appreciate the cause
4. Lastly it will explain that certain anomalies are not even ascribable to an
organic cause of the type writer but to a phenomenon outside it. For
example, an error of manipulation by the typist may give some anomalies
of the stroke and have no connection with the mechanism of the typewriter
itself. Others are due to a temporary sickness such as a torn ribbon which
will give an incomplete impression of the character or dust which may
choke the mechanism of the stroke. It is only the permanent faults
which permit of a positive identification.


Defects of the Character

a The character may show a distortion in its engraving, a "break"

which is shown by an alteration of the design. Exceptionally, it means
a defect of manufacture. Most often, the break occurs when the
machine is working. The metal is locally damaged by the continued
striking of the letter against hard surfaces and according to the general
direction of the striking will dented or deviated. In the first case the
altered sign will print an incomplete design with broken or interrupted
lines, in the second case it prints a deformed sign. The predominant
cause of the defect is that corresponding bars one behind the other;
the character of corresponding bars strikes the back of the first and
crashes on it.
b Twist of the printing surface which comes in the course of
manufacturing. Irregular tempering gives an abnormal contraction of
the metal for the bearing of the character again the plated and gives a
local impression more intense and more heavily inked.
c Misalignment of the two signs engraved on the same character so that
they are not set exactly one under the other. This defect may be due
to a bad engraving of the mold.

Positioning of the Character on the Type-bar

a A bad position of the bar on the plate of the soldering apparatus,

results in a bad portioning of the character. It will be bent forward,
backward or sideways.
b Sometimes a solder fails in the course of typing. The character turns
over the slides along its support. The changes of alignment become
grater and greater growing in frequency in proportion with the collar of
the solder. This defect is detected in the writing by the fact that the
top and the bottom of the letter are not printed with the same
intensity and mostly, the vertical misalignment has a tendency to vary

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at each stroke and becomes so important that often a part of both
signs of the deficient characters are impressed at the same time.

Defects of the Type-bar - The deformations of a type-bar modify the

position of the character in connection with the platen and alter the originally
correct writing.

a Any error of place position of the bar in the basket gives an incline to
its head and to the character.
b The type-bars are outer sinuous. Under the effect of an intensive
working, the bends are modified, so that the type-bar elongates or
shorten and its head inclines forward or backward. This deformation
causes a misalignment of the character and no longer allows a uniform
impression of its surface.
c Twist of the type-bars is caused by mistakes of the typist. In
depressing, by error, two neighboring keys, two corresponding bars are
moved towards the type-bar guide 1, each bar undergoes the lateral
strike of the other and bends along its longitudinal axis. One error in
manipulation does not great damage but its repetition certainly
develops the defect. The type-bar thus bent no long offers a
perfectly vertical surface to the axis of the platen and the character
strikes the paper more or less off its feet.

Defects of the Ring - On a worn type writer it is not exceptional to find

that the more active type-bars have depressed the metal of the ring at their point
of contact. It no longer has any effect on the type-bars corresponding to the
depression, it no longer stops them in their travel and it does not send them back
to their original position.

These bars strike directly at the platen, stoop their momentarily and fall
back by their own weight giving by this very slow motion a vibration to the
character in the vicinity of the platen. At this time the escapement has
already moved and the character gives two impressions instead of one. The
second impression, displaced in connection with the first and much paler
seems to be its shadow. The name given to it is 'veiled stroke'.

Disorder of the Type bar guide - If the position of the type bar guide is
modified for some reason, the result is a complete disorder of the writing. A
guide moved to the right will raise all signs on the right of the keyboard and will
lower all the signs on the left. If it is moved to the left, it will cause the opposite

Alteration of the Platen - The rubber of the platen gets old and hardens,
the surface formally smooth becomes more and more irregular and rough and
does not offer anymore intimate contact with all surface of the sign. The writing
becomes inconsistent and the same sign will print itself partially or entirely and

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with a greater intensity and more intensively on the tight or the left, on the bottom
or the top.

General Wear of a Typewriter - The typebars are subjected to a lateral

play particularly felt at the top. This gives poor accuracy at the point of impact of
the character. The same signs print themselves on the right or on the left of their
theoretical point of impact.

TYPEFACE MISALIGNMENTS – synonymous to “alignment defects:

1. Vertical Misalignment - A character printing above or below its proper

position. Possible causes are:
a. a character soldered too high or too low on the typebar;
b. an unsoldered character;
c. a typebar having lost its correct curvature;
d. a type bar having an oval of axis bearing;
e. misalignment of the typebar guide to the right or to the left; and
f. disorder of the capital letter shift lock.
2. Lateral or Horizontal Misalignment - An alignment defect in which the
character prints the right or left of its proper position is known as horizontal
3. Oblique Misalignment – The character leans towards the right or towards
the left.


typewriting exemplars are grouped as follows:

1. Study of the questioned document by the investigator;

2. Procurement of the regular course of business typewriting;
3. Preparation of exemplar typewriting by the suspected writer;
4. Preparation of typewriting exemplar by the investigator on suspected
typewriter; and
5. The procurement of the suspected typewriter itself by the investigator.


typewriting samples not only facilitate the examination in the laboratory but they
aid immeasurably in the demonstration in the court room.


1. If the typewriter ribbon is obviously new, remove it from the typewriter and
send it to the laboratory with the typewriting exemplars prepared from
another ribbon.(the text of the material in question may still be discernible
of the ribbon)
2. Use paper of about of about the same size as the questioned material,
type out a full word for word copy of the message in question,

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typographical errors, using as nearly as possible the same degree of
touch as that used in typing the questioned material.
3. After placing the typewriter in a stencil position or removing the cloth
ribbon, obtain samples of each character on the keyboard by typing
through carbon paper which has been inserted carbon side down over a
piece of white bond paper.
4. Make certain that each specimen contain the make, model and serial
number of the typewriter from which it was produced as well as the date
and initials of the officer.
5. Typewriter specimens should be taken from suspected
typewriter/s. It is usually not necessary to forward the typewriter to the
laboratory if complete known exemplars are obtained.
6. If possible, after a typewritten exemplar is obtained from a suspected
typewriter, the investigation should insure that the typewriter is kept in its
current condition.
7. With evidence thus obtained from typewritten documents, the laboratory
experts is in position to lend valuable assistance to the solution and
subsequent prosecution of many cases.




In this method of printing, the image characters are raised above the level
of the non-printing areas. The ink is applied to a raised surface that in turn is
applied to paper. The letterpress process is the oldest of all printing
procedures. It prints with cleaner and sharper letters.
After the type has been set, the next step is the actual printing which is
made on one of three principles:
1. The platen or “flatbed press” opens and closes like a clam shaft; it has
raised type on one flat surface and paper on another flat surface and the
two are pressed together. Small hand presses are generally platen
2. Cylinder presses roll the paper around a cylinder and then across the flat
surface of inked type.
3. Rotary presses pass the paper between two cylinders, one of which holds
the curved printing plates.

B. INTAGLIO (GRAVURE PRINTING) – There are four types of printing which

employ the Intaglio principle of placing ink in an area, which has been cut
out or etched.

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1. Gravure – This is a process in which the ink in recessed or sunken letters
is drawn out or sucked out under pressure. The process produces high
quality reproduction of photographs and half-tone illustrations, but the
letters of type reproduced have slightly fuzzy edges. The printing is done
from large copper plates or copper covered cylinders on presses of two
kinds; sheet-fed gravure presses and web-fed rotogravure presses for
longer runs. The copper plates or cylinders are produced by making film
positives of the art work to be reproduced.
2. Engraving – The paper her is forced into the sunken areas of a metal
plate where the ink is. A special plate is made by the artist who removes
or scratches areas in the metal itself into which the ink is placed. The
actual printing process is very slow, and after the paper is removed from
the plate, time must be allowed for the drying of the ink to prevent
3. Planographic – Lithography is the most well known printing process
which employs the principle of putting ink on a chemically treated surface.
The commercial application of lithography is known as offset. In this
process, the copy is placed in front of a big camera and photographed so
that the film is the exact size that the final result is to be. The film is in turn
placed over a sensitized plate make of paper, albumen or chemically
treated metal) and exposed to a strong light.
4. Stencil – Stencil sheets on which the copy is typed or drawn are made of
a porous lease tissue, covered with a coating which is impervious to ink.
The typing or drawing pushes the coating aside and exposes the porous
tissue. This stencil wrapped around an inked cylinder and the cylinder is
rolled across the paper, forcing the ink through the porous parts of the


the image characters are in the same general plane as the non-printing
areas. The ink is applied to a dead level plate which has been chemically
treated such as lithograph and offset.
D. STENCIL – It is a process where the letters or image are holes cut in a
sheet, or a sheet is made more porous in the area of the letters and ink is
applied to paper through the holes or porous areas such as mimeograph.
E. HALFTONE BLOCK PRINTING – This is offset-related and is used for the
reproduction of pictures and illustrations in little covers. To prepare a
halftone block, the model is photograph and its image is transferred to a
metal surface by photo-printing.


1. Study of this printing shows that the edges of the letters are more sharply
defined than offset printing.

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2. Careful microscopic study and measurement may reveal different “runs” of
letterpress printing which have been made from the same set-up; the “y”
type face may exhibit evidence of damage and the spacing and alignment
may be different due to pressure applied by the frame.
1. The edges of the letters are more irregular than in letterpress;
2. The middle portion and the edges of the letters are more or less of the
same density; and
3. There is no indentation of the paper in the area of the printed letters as is
sometimes found in letter press printing.

IDENTIFICATION OF PRINTING – The identification of printing is based on the

general principles which consider the existence of an adequate combination
of class and individual characteristics exceeding the limits of an accidental

A. CLASS CHARACTERISTICS – maybe grouped under body size and type

face designs.
1. Body size of a type – responsible for the width of a line and depth of a
2. Unit measurement – six picas making an inch.
3. The body size in metallic type – varies from six points up to seventy
points, larger ones being made mainly in wood.
4. According to the type face – there are eight main designs

B. INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERISTICS – These come into existence as a result

1. Defective setting in relative space positioning, slant and weight of type
faces; or
2. Due to mutilations and imperfections in the type faces.



Graphology, the study of handwriting to determine one's personality traits,

is not handwriting analysis. It's not even considered a science; more like a parlor
trick. True handwriting analysis involves painstaking examination of the design,
shape and structure of handwriting to determine authorship of a given
handwriting sample. The basic principle underlying handwriting analysis is that
no two people write the exact same thing the exact same way. Every person
develops unique peculiarities and characteristics in their handwriting.

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Handwriting analysis looks at letter formations, connecting strokes
between the letters, upstrokes, retraces, down strokes, spacing, baseline,
curves, size, distortions, hesitations and a number of other characteristics of
handwriting. By examining these details and variations in a questioned sample
and comparing them to a sample of known authorship, a determination can be
made as the whether or not the authorship is genuine.

Graphology systems tend to be one of three (3) types: (1) those based on
individual letter formations; (2) those based on stroke analysis; and (3) those
based on an holistic/gestalt method. Over 3000 private business companies use
it routinely (to screen employees), and it enjoys a growing sense of scientific
respectability. The courts appear to be waiting to see college psychology
courses on it. It probably has the most validity with the following domains: (1)
intelligence; (2) attitude toward work; and (3) interpersonal skills. Recent
developments have focused on "profiling" of uncaptured criminals and sex
offenders (where handwriting analysts say they can spot a "perversion", not
exactly the best word for it).

There's some precedent in art therapy and projective psychological testing

for graphology. Many convictions of child sex offenders have occurred because
of what the child victim portrayed in a drawing, and with psychological testing,
there's the famous "Draw a Pig" assignment, which apparently contains
everything you need to make a subjective personality assessment from: where
placed on paper; the size of the pig; the pressure applied; the direction the pig is
facing; attention to details; line quality; angular or curved strokes; and emphasis
on head of pig.

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All typewriters of a particular make and model are pretty much the same
but, through use, the develop defects that translate to paper when the machine is
used. These defects on the typed page can be matched back to the typewriter
that was used to create it.

These defects in the type face are revealed in a number of ways. If the
type bar is bent (the bar on which the letter element is attached and hammered
down to the page) the letter is misaligned or 'off its feet.' Misalignments can also
cause non-printing areas of a specific letter, such as losing the loop on the
bottom of a ‘g.’ The letter can be displaced horizontally or vertically. Little clumps
of plastic can adhere to the type key during manufacture and are made
permanent by the coating process. This defect is called 'flashing.' As wear and
tear increases, the defects become more exaggerated.

Just looking at the type style, or font, the spacing (horizontal and vertical)
and type size allows for determining the make and model of the typewriter.
Ribbons are a major evidentiary component. It is possible to read a ribbon to see
what it has been used to type.

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Illustrations Concerning Forged Signatures in thumb impressions, typed

matter, alleged alterations & interpolations etc.

The upper disputed signature marked Q is a forged signature in

'Devnagari Script' of Hon'ble Ex-Prime Minister " Sh. Chandrashekhar" on a
cheque as compared with his admitted signature marked A-1.

The disputed signature marked Q-3 across the revenue stamp is a forged
signature as compared with the genuine signature marked A-1.

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The upper signature marked Q-2 is a forged signature as compared with
the admitted signature marked A-2.

The upper signature marked Q across the revenue stamp is a forged

signature in 'Telugu Script' as compared with the specimen signature
marked S-4.

The upper fingerprint marked Q is a latent fingerprint developed from the

object of burglary and found to be identical with the specimen fingerprint
(S-78) of the suspect on scientific comparison.

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The fingerprint marked X developed with Chemical Powders from the
object of burglary was found to be identical with the specimen fingerprint
D-5 of the suspect.

A highly enlarged photograph of a clear rolled fingerprint


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What is Polygraphy? It is the scientific method of detecting deception

with the use of a polygraph instrument. This is the new name of LIE

What is a Polygraph? It is a scientific diagnostic instrument used to

record physiological changes in the blood pressure, pulse rate, respiration and
skin resistance of an examinee under controlled condition.

What is Lie Detector? It is the popular but misleading name of the

Polygraph. In Greek, Polygraph means “many writings” and the instrument was
so named because it make various ink recordings of a person’s body functions.

What is the other name of the Polygraph? It is also called “Truth

Verifier” since statistics show that is the vast majority of the instances the
instrument verifies an innocent person’s truthfulness.

What are the Concepts of Polygraph Examination?

1. Used to test an individual for the purpose of detecting deception or

verify the truth of statement
2. Records identifiable physiological reactions of the subject, such as;
blood pressure, pulse rate, respiration and skin resistance.
3. The effectiveness of the polygraph in recording symptoms of
deceptions is based on the theory that a conscious mental effort on the
part of a normal person to deceive causes involuntary physiological
changes that are in effect a body’s reaction to an imminent danger to
its well being.

What are the objectives of a Polygraph Examination?

1. Obtain additional investigation leads to the facts of the case/offenses.

2. Ascertain if a person is telling the truth
3. Locate the fruits or tools of the crime or whereabouts of wanted
4. Identify other persons involved.
5. Obtain valuable information form reluctant witnesses
6. Eliminate the innocent suspects.

What are the Principal uses of the polygraph?

1. Aid in investigation
2. Speeds up processing of investigation

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3. Eliminates innocent suspects
4. Pre-employment screening
5. Honesty test (Periodic test)

What is the significance of understanding Lie Detection?

In every criminal investigation, the truth must be established to ensure

proper prosecution of offenders. Criminal investigators must exert all effort to
determine lying not only on the part of the suspect but as well as to everyone
involved in the criminal act – witnesses, victims, etc.

In establishing the truth, criminal investigators apply various methods such

as: observation; mechanical lie detection; use of drugs that inhibits the “inhibitor”;
hypnosis; and interrogation.

What is Lie? Any untruthful statement; Falsehood; Anything that deceives

or creates false impression; to make untrue statements knowingly, especially with
intent to deceive; To give an erroneous or misleading impression; Lie is also
synonymous to Deceit; deception; fabrication; falsehood; and untruth.

What is the meaning of Detection? The act of detecting, discovery,

perceiving, finding, or uncovering something obscure

What are the Kinds of Lie?

1. White Lie or Benign Lie - the kind of lies used to protect or maintain
the harmony of friendship or any relationship.
2. Pathological Lie - this is a lie made by persons who cannot
distinguish right from wrong.
3. Red Lie - this involves political interests and motives because this
is a part of communist propaganda strategy. This is prevalent in
communist countries or communist infested nation. Lies of
means of propaganda-brain-washing and blackmail via espionage
and treason.
4. Black Lie - a lie accompanies pretensions and hypocrisies, intriguing
to cause dishonor or discredit ones good image.
5. Malicious or Judicial Lie - this is very pure and unjustifiable kind
of lie that is intended purely to mislead or obstruct justice.

What are the Types of Liars?

1. Panic Liars - one who lies in order to avoid the consequences of a

confession, He/She is afraid of embarrassment to love ones and it is a
serious blow to his / her ego, He/She believes that confession will just
male the matter worst.

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2. Occupational Liars - Is someone laid for spare years, this person is a
practical liar and lies when it has a higher “pay off” than telling the
3. Tournament Liars - Loves to lie and is excited by the challenge of not
being detected, this person views an interview as another contest and
wants to win, this person realizes that he or she will probably be
convicted bur will not give anyone the satisfaction of hearing him or her
confesses, he wants that people will believe that the law is punishing
an innocent person.
4. Psychopathic Liars - the most difficult type, this person has no
conscience. He shows no regret for dishonestly and no manifestation
of guilt,
5. Ethnological Liars - is one who is taught not to be a squealer,
*squealer – to cry or to shrill voice, used by underworld gang in order
for their member not to reveal any secret of their organization.
6. Pathological Liars - A person who cannot distinguish right from wrong
(his mind is sick.), Is an insane person.
7. Black Liars - A person who always pretends, (What he thinks of
himself, what kind of person he is, and what he is.)


What is the theory of lie detection?

It must be recognized that there is no such thing as an instrument that will

detect lies. The popular name, Lie Detector, given to a collection of certain
medical instruments, is somewhat misleading. No collection of inanimate objects
including the very finest and complicated modern computers, can detect lies on
the part of any human being.

The students can understandably ask, “Well, what does this do called “lie
detector” do?” The answer to that question is that the lie detector records certain
physiological activities of the body. These activities are constantly in operation as
long as the person is alive. The student should be aware that the most common
lie detectors record a breathing pattern of inspiration and expiration, a continuous
pattern of relative blood pressure and pulse rate, and a pattern of electro dermal

It is well known that the body adapts itself as efficiently as possible to its
environment. If the environment changes, the body will rapidly adjust itself to
these changes. This is done by a complicated system of internal checks and
balance primarily involving the autonomic nervous system. This ability to adjust is
necessary if the organism if the organism or body is to survive in a constantly
changing world. Those organisms that cannot adjust rapidly die out.

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Historically, early human beings have their own way of determining lying
or guilt on the part of the accused and accuser. Their common method is thru
the application of “ORDEAL.”

What is Ordeal?

A severe test of character or endurance; a trying course of experience, A

medieval form of judicial trial in which the accused was subjected to physical
tests, as carrying or walking over burning objects or immersing the hand in
scalding water, the result being considered a divine judgment of guilt or

It is also a term of varying meaning closely related in the Medieval Latin

“Dei Indicum” meaning “Miraculous decision.” Ordeal is also an ancient method
of trial in which the accused was exposed to physical danger which was
supposed to be harmless if he was innocent.

What are the Early Methods of Detecting Lies?

1. Red hot iron ordeal - Practiced on the hill tribe of Rajhmal in the North
Bengal; Accused placed his tongue to a red hot iron nine times (9) unless
burned sooner; If burned, he is put to death. Not only that (licking the iron),
he is also made to carry the metal into his hands. It is doubtful whether the
ordeal is meant to determined the physiological changes occurring in
description for if this so, many false observations must have been made.
2. Ordeal by balance - Practiced in the Institute of Vishnu, India; Scale of
balanced is used; In one end of the scale, the accused is placed in the
other end, a counter balance; The person will step out of the scale listened
to a judge deliver an extortion is the balance and her back in. If he were
found to be lighter than before then he should be acquitted.
3. Boiling water ordeal - Used in Africa; the method was that the subject will
plunged their right arms into the boiling pot to the elbow and step into the
other side of the fire. All are told to undergo the test without a murmur.
And when all are finished, they are told to return at the same tine the next
afternoon. The one who by that time had lost some or showed blisters
would prove the thief (Point out who is the one who steal among his tribe
4. Ordeal by rice chewing - Practiced by Indians; It is formed with a kind of
rice called sathee, prepared with various incantations; The person on trial
eats, with his face to the and then spits upon an eyeful leaf; If the saliva is
mixed with blood or the corner of his mouth swell or he trembles, he is
declared then a liar.
5. Ordeal of the red water - Used in a wide region of Eastern Africa; The
ordeal of the “sassy bark” or red water is used; The accused is made to
fast for twelve hours; The swallow a small amount of rice; Then he will be
imbibed in dark colored water. This water is actually an emetic and if the

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suspects ejects all the rice, he is considered innocent of the chare,
Otherwise, the accused is guilty.
6. Combination of Drinks and Food Ordeal -The accused first fasted for
12 hours and the given small amount of rice to ear followed by large
amount of black colored water. If the concoction was vomited, the accused
was pronounced innocent; Otherwise, guilty. And practiced by “West
African Regions”.
7. Trial by Combat - A fight between the accuser and the accused, whoever
lost the battle will be the adjudged guilty. Originated from India and one of
the examples of this: a rich man or accuser could hire somebody or bigger
one to fight the accused. After the fight the loser is adjudged guilty of
8. Trial by Torture - The accused was put into a severe physical test.
9. Drinking Ordeal - The accused was given a decoction to drink by a priest
– if innocent; no harm befalls him, but if guilty, will die. Practiced in Nigeria
and India.
10. Trial of the Eucharist - This trial is reserved for the clergy, and
administered with pomp and ceremony. If the accused was guilty, the
Angel Gabriel will descend from heaven and prevent the accused from
swallowing the food given to him. Practiced in the European countries.
11. Ordeal by heat and fire - The accused was compelled to walk bare
footed through a fire; if he remains unhurt then he is innocent. Practiced in
East Germany, Early Scandinavian Countries and early England.
12. Ordeal of Boiling Oil or Water - The accused was forced to dip his hands
into the boiling water or oil and ask to pick up stone in it. If he remains
unhurt then he is innocent. Practiced in Asian Countries.
13. Ordeal of Red hot Needle - Red hot needle was drawn through the lips of
the accused, if innocent; no blood will be seen flowing out. Practiced in
Wanaka, East Africa.
14. Ordeal of the Tiger - Accuser and accused were placed together in the
same and a tiger set loose upon them. If both were spared, further
elimination followed. Practical in Siam.
15. Ordeal by Combat - Accuser and accused report to a duel where the
winner was adjudged innocent. Those not proficient in weapons and those
who could not afford to do so could hire champions in the field to do the
fighting for them. This type of ordeal is vividly dramatized in the movie
“Ivanhoe” based on the novel of the same title (became the only legal
ordeal). Practiced in England, time of “King Henry III”.
16. Test of the Cross ordeal - The accuser and accused each were made to
stand with arms crossed on their breasts. The one who endured the
longest was deemed to have told the truth, the other, is the liar. Practiced
in Europe.
17. Donkey’s Tail Ordeal - Psychological theory, the donkey placed in one
room alone and observed it, and if the donkey cried is a judged of guilty of
crimes, because deep in side and conscience he is guilty.

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What are the Common Countries that Practiced Ordeal?

1. Burma - The accuser and accused were given each identical candle and
both were lightened at the same time.
2. Borneo - The accuser and accused were presented by shell fish placed
on a plate. An irritating fluid was then poured on the shell fish and the
litigant whose shell fish moved first was adjudged the winner.
3. Greece - A suspended axe was spun at the center of a group of suspects.
When the axe stopped, whoever was in line with the blade as supposed to
be guilty as pointed out by the divine providence.
4. Nigeria - The priest greased a clock’s feather and pierced the tongue of
the accused. If the feather passed through the tongue easily, the accused
was deemed innocent. If not, the accused is guilty. Another Method (same
country) Pour corrosive liquid into the eyes of the accused who was
supposed to remain unharmed if innocent. Pour boiling oil over the hand
of the accused with he usual requisites for guilt or innocence (if remain
unharmed, he is innocent).
5. Europe and Early United States (17th Century) - Trial by water was
commonly used on those accused of witchcraft. The accused was bound
(hand and foot) and then cast into the body of water. If the accused sank,
he was hauled to the surface half-drowned and deemed innocent. If the
floated, he was deemed guilty and burned to death.

Detecting Lies through Observation Methods

1. Through Facial Expression

2. Blushing, paling or profuse sweating of forehead.
3. Dilation of the eyes, protrusion of eyeballs and elevation of upper eyelids.
4. Squinting of the eyes (showing envy, distrust, etc.).
5. Twitching of the lips.
6. Excessive winking of the eyes.
7. Failure to look the inquirer “straight into the eyes”.
8. Excessive activity of the Adam’s apple and the vein at the temple due to
dryness of throat and mouth.
9. Quivering of nose or nostrils.
10. A peculiar monotone of the voice.
11. A forced laugh.
12. Rolling of eyeballs from one direction to another
13. Through Postural Reaction
14. Fidgeting, tapping or drumming of fingers on the chairs or the other
15. Swinging of legs or one leg over the other.
16. Unnecessary movements of hands and feet (like scratching, nail biting,
thumb or finger sucking).
17. Pulsation of the artery in the neck.
18. Incoherence, trembling and sweating of the whole body.

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Detection through Regular Police Methods

Police methods sought to answer the legal investigative process to the

following: The “five Wives and One Husband” (5 W’s and 1H) which stand for:
WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHO, and HOW. The “Three Eyes” (3 I’s) which stands
for: Information gathering – through record Check, Surveillance and Intelligence
Check, Investigation – through Interrogation or Interview for Admission or
Confession, Instrumention or Criminalistics (Police Sciences) with the use of the
different Investigative Forensic Sciences such as Medico Legal or Forensic
Medicine, Forensic Chemistry, Police or Investigative photography, Forensic
Ballistics (Firearm Identification), Questioned Documents Examination,
Dactyloscopy, Police or Investigative Communication, Polygraphy


In the middle of the 19th century, Dr. Hans Gross, an Austrian known as the
“Father of Criminalistics”, defined search for truth as the basis and goal of all
criminal investigations. He asserted that “a large part of the criminalist’s work is
nothing more than a battle against lies. He has to discover the truth and must
fight the opposite. He meets the opposite at every step.

The searches for truth and attempts at uncovering falsehood have been a
universal and almost constant endeavor dating back at ancient times. In their
attempt to discover deception, primitive societies developed complex procedures
founded on magic and mysticism. The doors to the truth, divine creatures sent
messages through fire, boiling water and torture. In some instances, faith in this
powerful mysticism miraculously allowed the innocent to go unscathed while the
guilty bore the mark of guilt.

Some of these rituals were based on sound physiological principles.

Oriental people for example distinguished truth form lying by having the entire
accused chew dry rice and then spit it out. While this was a simple task for the
honest, those who were deceiving have difficulty in accomplishing this task and
were then judged to be guilty and punished accordingly. This practice recognized
that fear slows the digestive process, including salivation. Thus, the deceptive
were unable to spit out the dry rice, while the innocent, having faith in the power
of their deity to clear them of the unjust accusation, felt little fear in contrast to the
guilty who know they would be discovered.

Throughout the centuries, man continued to experiment with more

scientific methods in determining truth and deception with the following scientists
having contributed much in the development of the polygraph instrument:


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1. Studied fear and its influence on the hearth and his observations
subsequently formed the basis for the technique.
CRADLE, which he used in studying fear on the heart.


1. Employed the first scientific instrument to detect deception. This
instrument known as HYDORSPHYGMOGRAPH, measured
changes in pulse and blood pressure when suspects were
questioned about their involvement in or knowledge of a specific
2. Procedure on the use of the “HYDROSPHYGMOGRAPH” in
detecting deception: Subject’s hand placed in a water filed tank
sealed with membranes of rubber; Subject will be shown pictures
connected with the crime or mention will be made to relevant facts
of the crime; Pulsation of blood in fist was recorded on smoked


1. He dealt with the sphygmomanometer which was used to obtain
periodic discontinuous blood pressure readings during the course
of an examination;
2. He also experienced with and helped to develop the pneumograph,
which records breathing patterns, and the galvanometer, which
registers changes in skin resistance.


1. Developed the polygraph, an instrument capable of continuously
records blood pressure, pulse, and respiration.
2. The polygraph instrument which he developed was polygraphic
apparatus in a portable form. Had published more than anyone in
this field.

THE LARSON POLYGRAPH - This is the first assemblage of apparatus

and some of his co-workers in the Berkeley Police Department. A strip of paper
on which the tracings are recorded is mounted on two drums, which are turned
by a spring mechanism known as a kymograph. The paper is smoked to reduce
the friction of the styluses or recording levers which are actuated by Marey
Tambours. A manometer is placed on the right shoulder of the subject, the
function of whish is to indicate the pressure in the bag, the pressure bag,
encased in a leather cuff, is strapped pneumograph is strapped around the chest
to record respiration. This type of pneumograph or respiration applicator is sill
being used in some of the modern instruments. In a later model developed by
Larson, a Jaquet polygraph replaced the kymograph and smoked paper, and the
pens moved horizontally instead of vertically as in the original apparatus. In a

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further modification, metal tambour stacks were substituted for the Erlanger
capsule and rubber covered tambours.


1. Continued research and development of the polygraph. In 1949, he
invented the Keeler Polygraph with components that
simultaneously recorded changes in blood pressure, pulse and
respiration, as well as the newly developed galvanic skin reflex.
2. He devised the chart roll paper, a better method of questioning, and
incorporated the kymograh.
3. He also devised a metal bellows.

THE KEELER POLYGRAPH - In 1925, Keeler developed a compact

portal instrument using a modification of the Erlanger pressure reducer that
permitted the blood pressure changes to be recorded over a greater range. He
later made further improvement by substituting metal bellows or diaphragm
capsules in place of the Erlanger type pressure reducer. The instrument is
housed in a steel case with wrinkle finish and chromium trim. The cover is
attached to case by means of slip hinges and can be removed when the
instrument is to be used. Opening of the cover permits hinged doors at each end
of the case to open outward for access to the chart at one end and the
accessories at the other. All connections to the instrument are made directly
under the right end of the panel, which include the hose connection for the cuff
inflation bulb, the tube from the blood pressure cuff, a connector for the hand
electrodes of the electro dermal recording unit, an extension cord, and a tube
from the pneumograph. Space is provided directly below the attachments for
storage of the accessories, and they may be stored without disconnecting the
accessories form the instrument.



1. Successfully detected deception with a pneumograph, an
instrument that graphically measures an examinee’s inhalation and
2. He demonstrated that changes in breathing patterns accompany


1. Determined that respiratory changes were indicative of deception.
2. Found out that changes in systolic blood pressure were of greater
value in determining deception than changes in respiration.



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1. First to suggest the use of the galvanograph for detecting deception
based on the work of several predecessors.
2. Theorized that the galvanic skin phenomena was influenced by
exciting mental impressions and that the will have no effect upon it.


1. First to use the term “PSYCHOGALVANIC REFLEX”.
2. Believed that the electrical phenomenon was due to the activity of
the sweat glands.




1. Proposed that lie test based on lie detector should be admissible as
evidence in court.
2. The detection is based on using blood pressure variations for
deception detection.
3. He advocates the used of lie detection in court.
4. But it was not known if the same was followed.


1. French Scientist who discovered that electro dermal response is
caused by an increase in the action of the heart and vital energy
converted with human emotions.
2. He asserted that human body has the ability to generate store,
discharged high voltage of static electricity.

JACQUES D’ARSONVAL – (1851-1940)

1. French Scientist who declared that electricity is generated by the
body and named External Friction as source of generation.
2. He assorted those sweat glands which the body at times store the
electricity and at other times discharged them.
3. His works helped in the development of the galvanometer.


1. Michigan City, Indiana, USA, (Independent Lie Detector Specialists)
who invented the Electronic Psychometric using Electrodermal
Response as a basis for lie detection.
2. Both have proven that results of lie detection test (during) using
their instrumental 95% accurate.


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1. Made a third modification to the Larson Cardio-Pneumo
Psychograph, by adding a galvanometer. The new instrument
included a psycho-galvanometric record, electrodes on the palm
and back of the hand, as well as a continuous blood pressure
record, and a pneumographic record.

JOHN E. REID – (1945)

1. Devised an instrument for recording muscular activity.
2. The recording made simultaneously with blood pressure pulse
respiration tracings, renders much more accurate any diagnosis
based upon these later phenomena.


1. Generally overlooked in that history of the lie detector technique
is the fact that so called polygraph was in existence at least as
early as 1906.
2. Its invention, however as not for lie detection purposes, rather
for the use in medical examination.
3. Nevertheless, it did contain the essential features of present day
instrument and first construction was based upon the same
4. Its inventor was Sir James Mackenzle, the famous English
Heart Specialist which articles entitled “The Ink Polygraph” which
appeared in 1908 number of the English Journal.


1. Develop the control question technique which introduces a lie in the
polygraph chart to establish a yard sticks so that one would know
what the reaction really means.
2. If this person responds to this control lie to a greater extent than
does to the actual questions under investigation we assume and
establish the subject is telling the truth at that point.
3. If the reverse is true we state that he is not telling the truth at that

THE LEE PSYCHOGRAPH - This instrument was designed by Captain

Clarence D. Lee and known as the Berkeley Psychograph. It consists essentially
of four units:
a) Chart drive or recording unit
b) Pneumograph or respiration unit
c) Cardiograph or pulse-blood pressure unit
d) Stimulus signal unit


Psychology of the Lying Person

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The polygraph technique uses the principle that the bodily functions of a
person are influenced by his mental state. The physiological changes
accompanying deception are capable of being recorded, measured and
interpreted with reasonable certainty.

Telling a lie is usually an emotional experience. A conscious act of lying

causes the mind of the examinee, which produces an emotion of fear or anxiety,
manifested by fluctuations in pulse rate, blood pressure, breathing and
perspiration. The physiologic fluctuations that come with the emotion are in
nature automatic, self-regulating and beyond conscious control because they
affect the functioning of the internal structures that prepare the body for

The underlying psychology here includes:

1. The lying person fears detection, causing physiological changes to take

place in his body.
2. Fear of detection must be experienced by the subject; otherwise no
physiological changes will occur.
3. A person “tunes in” that which indicates trouble or danger by having his
sense organs and attention for a particular stimulus, and he “tunes out
“that which is of a lesser threat to his self-preservation or general well-
4. In a series of questions containing relevant and control questions, the
lying subjects will “tune in” on the most intense relevant questions and
“tune out “ the control question and may not be materially affected by
other weak relevant questions.
5. The truthful subject will direct his attention to the control question wherein
he consciously knows he is deceptive and “tune out” the relevant ones.

Theory of Polygraph Examination

A conscious mental effort of a mentally normal person lie causes

physiological changes within his body. The physiological changes could be
recorded by the Polygraph Instrument and diagnosed of evaluated by the
polygraph examiner.

The physiological effector mechanism in polygraph examination is the

Autonomic Nervous System. The autonomic nervous is the one responsible for
regulating mechanism that corrects the slightest deviation from a particular
standard within very fine limits. Sleeps, oxygenation of the blood temperature,
levels of potassium, sodium, calcium magnesium and all the essential chemical
substances that maintain the activity of all cell membranes are finely adjusted.
This is found at the center of the brain and its central controls is in the
“hypothalamus” – a group of nerve cells of the brain that reflexes – those that we

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cannot control consciously such as our heart beat, pulse rate, increase and
decrease in blood pressure and the expansion and constriction of arteries are
governed by the autonomic nervous system. When one of our senses detects a
threat to our well-being, it sends a signal to the autonomic nervous system, which
activates its sympathetic division regardless whether threat is physical or

In polygraph testing, the receptor is the ear of the subject, which receives
the threatening question or stimulus from the polygraphist. The stimulus is
transmitted from the ears via sensory neurons into the brain where the
hypothalamus analyzes, evaluates and resolves that particular question. It makes
a decision for the subject as to whether it is threatening situation. If affirmative,
the hypothalamus immediately activates the sympathetic subdivision of the
autonomic nervous system. When the sympathetic system is activated, it
immediately prepares the body for the fight or flight by the situation by causing
the adrenal glands to secret hormones known as epinephrine and
norepinephrine, so that the blood will be distributed to those areas of the body
where it is most needed to meet the emergency, such as the brain and the larger
muscle group. The chemical norepinephrine causes the arterioles in certain parts
of the body to constrict. Thereby preventing blood from entering those areas
where it is not immediately needed. Other obvious effect took place when the
sympathetic system is activated, the heart pumps blood harder and faster,
increasing blood pressure, pulse rate, and strength, thus furnishing more
oxygenated blood to those areas of the body where it is vitally needed to meet
the emergency, such as the brain when increased mental activity is demanded.
The second division of the autonomic nervous system is the parasympathetic
nervous system. It is functionally antagonistic to the sympathetic nervous system.
Its role is to maintain the homeostasis of the body necessary for normal
functioning. Therefore, it follows to re-establish the chemical balance of the body.

What are the Tripod Foundations of Polygraph Technique?

1. The Mechanical Leg Basic Premise - The polygraph machine is

mechanically capable of making graphical records containing reliable
information regarding physiological changes
2. The Physiological Leg Basic Premise - Among the physiological
changes that may be recorded and identified are those that automatically
occur only following the stimulation of specific nervous system component
and from which stimulation of those specific nervous system components
can be reliably diagnosed.
3. Psychological Leg Basic Premise - Under the polygraph leg premise,
the specific nervous system component whose stimulation can thus be
diagnosed are so stimulated by the involuntary mental and emotional
processes of the individual who is consciously attempting concealment of
deception specially if that individual has something at stake and the

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prevailing circumstances lead him to believe that exposure to detection is
quite possible though undesirable.


What is the ultimate objective of conducting Polygraph examination?

The ultimate objective of Polygraph Examination is to obtain the Subject’s

“ADMISSION or CONFESSION” of the offense committed.

General Purposes of using Polygraph

Polygraph Examination is generally used an investigative aid/technical aid

in the investigative process. It is used to verify if the statement of the
victims/complainant, establish the credibility of the witnesses, evaluates the
truthfulness of the suspects. It is also used for pre-employment screening and
loyalty check of personnel.

Generally, it deals with

1. Security risk – Leakage of Information Intelligence and Counter-

2. Criminal Law Infraction – Murder, Robbery, Theft, Rape etc.
3. Personnel Screening
4. Misconduct
5. Medical Measurements

Importance of Polygraph to a Law Enforcer

1. Most effective way of establishing the truth.

2. Guilt is separated from truth (guilty separated from innocent)
3. If scientifically determined (lie) the investigator can evaluate the evidence.
4. Saves time, efforts and money
5. Measures the efficiency and effectiveness of the law enforcer.

What is the Accuracy of the Polygraph Exam Result?

This has been the unending question among many of us. However,
practitioners have agreed that the accuracy of the polygraph results ranges from
85% to 100% depending upon the factors that affect it.

Factors that Affects the Accuracy of the Polygraph Results

Generally, the following are factors affecting polygraph examination

1. The instrument.

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2. The condition of the Subject.
3. The condition of the examination room.
4. The qualification and skills of the examiner.

Specifically, the 25% errors of lie detection test come from the following
1. Nervousness or extreme emotional tension experienced by a subject who
is telling the truth regarding the offense in question but who is
nevertheless affected by:
a. Apprehension induced by the mere fact that suspicion or
accusation has been directed against him.
b. Apprehension over the possibility of an inaccurate lie detector test
c. Over-anxiety to cooperate in order to assure an accurate test result.
d. Apprehension concerning possible physical hurt from the
e. Anger resentment over having to take a lie detector test.
f. Over-anxiety regarding serious personal problems unrelated to the
offense under investigation.
g. Previous extensive interrogation, especially when accompanied by
physical abuse.
h. A guilt complex or fear of detection regarding some other offense
which he had committed.

2. Physiological abnormalities such as:

a. Excessively high or excessive low blood pressure.
b. Diseases of the heart.
c. Respiratory disorder.

3. Mental Abnormalities such as;

a. Feeblemindedness as in idiots, imbeciles and morons.
b. Psychosis or insanities, as in maniac-depressives, paranoids,
schizophrenia, paretics, etc.
c. Pschoneurosis and psychopathia, as among the so-called
“peculiar” or emotionally unstable persons – those who are neither
psychotic or normal.

4. Unresponsiveness in a lying or guilty subject because of:

a. No fear of detection.
b. Apparent inability to consciously control response by means of
certain mental sets of attitudes.
c. A condition of “sub-shock” or “adrenal exhaustion” at the time of
d. Raionalization of the crime in advance of the test to such an extent
that lying about the offense arouses little or no emotional

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e. Extensive interrogation prior to the test.

5. Attempt to “beat the machine” by controlled breathing or by muscular


6. Unobserved application of muscular pressure which produces ambiguities

and misleading indications in the blood pressure tracing.

What are the limitations of the Polygraph?

1. It is an invaluable investigative aid, but never a substitute for investigation.

2. It is not a lie detector; it is a scientific diagnostic instrument.
3. It does not determine facts, it record responses to that which the subject
knows to be true.
4. It is only as accurate as the examiner is competent.
5. The test will not be given until enough facts have been established to
permit the examiner to prepare a complete set of suitable questions.
6. The test will not be given without the voluntary consent of the subject.
7. No indication will be given to any person or placed in any report that a
person will be considered guilty because he refused to take the test.
8. A test will not be given until the accusations have been explained with the
9. No attempt to use Polygraph for mental or physical evaluation of any
10. No examination will be conducted on unfit subject.

What are the Barriers to the Polygraph Examination?

There are instances where it is impossible to make an analysis of

polygraph tests because of the following:
1. Pathological liar (a person who cannot determine right and wrong).
2. Mental cases.
3. Persons under the influence of intoxicating liquor.
4. Narcotics related cases.
5. Various heart and other organic troubles.

Problem encountered by Law Enforcement Officer during investigation and

1. Determination whether subject is telling the truth regarding the crime index
2. Obtaining admission or confession from a suspect after his guilt has been
3. In cases of witnesses, informer and informant who are in possession of
helpful information who are willing but fearful or reluctant to disclose it to

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Qualities of a Good Examiner (Backster)
1. To make himself understand and not resented by subject, by his very
exposure to him.
2. Ability to establish or create a rapport with the subject.
3. Much investigative experience as possible.
4. Interrogation Experience.
5. Must be deeply involved in his work (even beyond the call of duty).

What kind of man should be conducting the Polygraph Test? (Fred Inbau)
1. Good educational background
2. Intelligent and some degree of maturity
3. Possessed with sense of values
4. Adequate period of training under someone who is experienced and
skilled in the technique.


The instrument used in the proper application of the polygraph technique

is essentially a pneumatically operated mechanical recorder of changes in
respiration, blood pressure/pulse heat supplemented with a unit for recording
galvanic skin reflexes, or an additional unit for recording abdominal respiration;
muscular movements and pressures; or a plethymograph for recording changes
in blood oxygenation. Attachments for the human body comprises of a rubber
convoluted tube for the chest area, a blood pressure arm-cuff on one bicep,
and, in some models, an electrode on two fingers or on the palmer side of one
hand. These attachments act as the detectors of the physiological changes and
transmit the same to the instrument where it is connected into mechanical
impulses and transformed into tracings of the respiration, blood pressure and
skin resistance or the likes.

How Does the Polygraph Instrument Work?

The polygraph simultaneously records various physiological phenomena

by means a horizontal kymograph. The resulting polygram indicates tracing of
external respiration in the thoraxic and abdominal cavities by means of a
pneumograph tambour assembly, systolic and diastolic contraction of the heart,
as well as pulse fluctuations with the resistance of a phygmonometer and
psycho-galvanic skin response by means o instrument connected electronics
sensors fixed to the person. Each phenomenon is recorded by a hallow-tube ink
styles moving across horizontally and vertically ruled being driven by a
synchronous electronic motor.

What are the Major Components of the Polygraph?

A. Pneumograph – this occupy the two/upper pens of the instrument which

records the thoraric and abdominal breathing patterns of respiration. This

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is accomplished through the use of a pneumograph consisting of two
hollow corrugated tubes about seven inches in length, each attached to a
unit by a rubber hose not longer than six feet and not larger than one
quarter inch in diameter. This breathing or pneumo unit is a low pressure
unit. The inhalation/exhalation of the subject causes the tubes to expand
and contract, thereby reflecting the change through billows to the pen into
the chart.
B. Galvanometer – this is the longest and the third pen of the instrument.
The electrodes are attached to the index finger and the ring finger of the
left hand, or to the palmar and dorsal surfaces of the left hand. The
electrodes used for obtaining the recording of the GSR or electro-dermal
responses, are fastened to the hand or finger by means of the passage of
an imperceptible amount of electrical current through the hand or finger
bearing the attached electrodes, a galvanometer unit provides recording of
the variation in the flow of the electrical current.
C. Cardiosphymograph – this is the fourth and the bottom pen of the
instrument. This cardio unit is a mechanically operated unit. It is a high
pressure system. This system records changes in mean blood pressure,
rate and strength of pulse beat by means of a medical blood pressure cuff
containing a rubber bladder that is wrapped around the upper arm, in a
manner that places the bladder against the brachial artery. The bladder is
connected to the rubber hose, past a pressure indicating gauge to a very
sensitive billows and its connected lever system that powers the pen. The
polygraphist inflates the bladder with a hand pump to a constant air
pressure that will provide tracing amplitude of 0.75 to 1 inch with a dichotic
notch situated about the middle of the diastolic limb of the tracing.
D. Kymograph – This is the chart recording unit of the instrument. It has a
synchronized motor that drives the charts at the rate of six inches per
minute and its speed constant is vital because the vertical lines, which are
spaced either at one-half or one inch interval, represents five or ten
seconds interval on the chart. This provides the polygraphist with a means
of determining pulse rater and question spacing.

What are the Detachable Parts and Accessories?

1. KYMOGRAPH or chart driving mechanism:

a) Chart roll arbor - Idler roller - Pen table - Paper guides - Sprocket
roller - Cutter bar - Off and on power switch - Synchronous motor

2. Pen and Inking System:

a) Capillary pen
b) Ink well plates
c) Ink dropper
d) Cuct bill

3. Pneumograph section:

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a) Rubber jellows
b) Beaded chain
c) Rubber flexible tubing
d) Pneumograph tube connection
e) Pneumograph connecting tube
f) Pneumograph distributing ink
g) Pneumograph pipe line
h) Vent valve and vent bottom
i) Tambour assembly
j) Sphygmomanometer
k) Resonance control

4. Cardio section:
a) Pump bulb assembly
b) Blood pressure pump connection
c) Blood pressure cuff assembly
d) Connector block
e) Sphygmomanometer pipe line

5. Galvanograph section:
a) Hand electrode
b) Electrode jellow
c) Galvanometer

Electrodes and Controls

1. RESONANCE CONTROL – It allows you to clear up or make a better

pattern when you have too much pulse pressure of the subject.
2. HAND ELECTRODE – This is fastened to the hand by a stretched band.
Function is to make electrical contact with the subject.
3. PANEL CONTROL – to allow the operator to control or adjust the
operation of the galvanograph.

There are other five important controls:

1. Off and on power switch – on switch is to energize the galvanograph

2. Subject’s resistance control – is to balance the galvo section to the skin
resistance of the subject.
3. Reactivity control – to adjust sensitivity of the galvo section.
4. Self-centered normal switch – is to select either mode of operation.
5. Self-centering mode – is when the circuit electronically centers the pen
itself after every excursion.


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1. Manual centering knob – used to place cardio in its proper place on the
2. Vent Valve – is used to left atmospheric pressure into the system and
used to release pressure all or parts of the pressure.
3. Resonance control – is used to decrease the amplitude of the cardio
tracing and used to sharpen the diacrotic notch.


Pen balance is critical. Pen is to be held on paper by friction of the. Inflate

pressure until you reach subject’s mean pressure. The mean pressure is the
midway between the systolic and the diastolic is the lowest pressure. In order to
get the arithmetic mean pressure, add the diastolic and systolic and the sum
divided it by two. To get the geometric mean pressure, plus diastolic, watch your
sphyg-dial when inflating the pressure, for maximum deflection.


1. Manual centering knob – used to position base line of the pneumo tracing
on the upper heavy horizontal line.
2. Vent – with the vent down, the system is closed and unoperative. With the
vent up, the system is open and ready for use.
3. Uses of the vent:
a) To stop the pen between the tests and to prevent possible tambour
b) To prevent pen from possible jam by moving up or down in one place
of the chart paper.
c) To stop pen during the tube adjustment.
d) To assists in gaining amplitude.
e) To let atmospheric into the system.


First observe subject for point of maximum chest motion. Placed tube at
point where maximum motion is observed. The tube must be smug. A tube that is
too loose will result in a distorted pattern. A tube is too tight will be uncomfortable
and distort the pattern. With female subjects the tube is almost, always placed
above the breast. Some females are abdominal breathers and tubes will have to
be lowered.


1. Sudden noise
2. Interruption
3. Extraneous thoughts
4. Sudden movements

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Turn power switch from off and on position. Then the galvo pen fails to
the bottom of the chart, and then galvo section is then ready for operation from
15 to 18 seconds after you have turned the switch to an on position.


Position of hands or tip of fingers for convenience, adjust the sensitivity -

Sensitivity test - Have subject take a deep breath, Touch subject ear or neck,
Quick motion within subject’s line of vision.


1. The ascending limb – pulse wave causes an expansion of the arterial

wall and an increase surface pressure against the cuff bladder thus forcing
air from the bladder through the tubing into the tambour. The increasing air
volume in the tambour increases pressure against the bellows and forces
the bellows forward.

This forward movement provides power to move the penfork in the

attached pen in a lateral clockwise or upward direction pen in a lateral
clockwise or upward direction of the chart surface.

2. Descending limb – when a pulsed wave passes beyond cuff bladder

attendant drop in a surface pressure against bladder reverses this
processes permitting the below to return to or toward its original position.
This return of the bellows to its original position is transmitted to the
penforks and attached pen as a lateral counter clockwise or downward
stoke on chart surface.

3. Diacrotic notch – is cause by the minor secondary pulse wave passing

under and beyond the blood pressure cuff. In the wake of subsiding
primary wave which momentarily halts or slow down the decrease in the
surface pressure against the bladder in turn causing a hesitation in the
bellow movement back to or towards its original position.


1. Ascending limb – with the expansion of the chest during the inhalating,
the air capacity in the pneumograph tube is increased creating a vacuum
within the system, which reduces the internal surface pressure against the
bellow. Thus moving the bellows backward causing a lateral clockwise or
upward stroke of the pen.

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2. Descending limb – cause by the exhalation thus reversing this process
causing an increase in internal surface pressure against the bellows, thus
moving the bellow to or toward its original position and producing a lateral
counter-clockwise or a downward movement of the pen.


1. The ascending limb – it is caused by the decrease of the subject’s

resistance which throws the established circuit out of balance and
modifies the electric current flow through the magnetic field surrounding
the pivot-movement of the recording pen.

2. Descending limb:
a) Physical cause – is caused by a reverse in the subject resistance
toward the original position thus bringing the circuit back to or toward
balance again producing a lateral clockwise or downward movement of
the pen.

b) Mechanical cause – the fine coil springs attached to the pivot

mountain pen cradle serve as counter balance for pen movement
either above or below the established base line and assists in returning
the pen cradle to or towards the original position.


Graph paper is lined and spaced in seconds. It is moving under pens at a

uniform rate of six inches per minute. Rate is kept uniform through medium of
synchronized motor. From one heavy vertical line constitute a five second
period. It is also one half inch. Cont the beats inside any five seconds scale
multiply by twelve. This gave you number of heartbeats at any point in the test.
For greater accuracy you count the beats in two five seconds area multiply by


Basis to all that has been said with regards to the utilization and accuracy
of the polygraph technique is the matter of the examiner qualifications and skills.

An Examiner must be an intelligent person, with reasonably good

educational background – preferably college degree. He should have an intense
interest in the work itself, a good practical understanding of human nature, and
suitable personality traits which may be evident from his otherwise general ability
to “get along” with people and to be well liked by his friends and associates. No
amount of training or experience will overcome lack of these necessary

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Types or kinds of Subjects for Polygraph Test are:

1. Subject whose guilt is definite or reasonably certain.
2. Emotional offender
3. Person who commit crimes in the heat of passion
4. Person whose offenses are for accidental in nature
5. Non-Emotional offender
6. Person who commit crimes for financial gain
7. Subject whose guilt is doubtful or uncertain

Three (3) General Types of Subjects

1. Victim or Complainant
2. Witness
3. Suspects

Take Note: All Subjects must be in good physical and mental condition
before he/she may be submitted for polygraph examination. The following may
not be submitted for Polygraph Test:

1. Person who has extreme nervousness

2. Person who has physiological abnormalities such as high
blood pressure/hypertension, heart disease, respiratory disorder,
toothaches, severe headaches and practically any painful ailments.
3. Person with mental abnormalities
4. Unresponsive persons, such as person who suffer mental
fatigue or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
5. Pregnant woman
6. Person below 18 years of age.



1. Lie-detector test should be conducted in a quiet private room.

2. Select a room with none of the usual police surroundings and with no
distraction within the subjects view.
3. Select a room without any windows at all.
4. The interrogation room should contain no ornaments, pictures or other
objects which would distract the attention of the person being tested or
5. This suggestion refers to the presence within the subject’s reach of small
loose objects such as papers, clips or pencils that he may be inclined to
peck up and further distract during the course of the interrogation.

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(EFFECT) – Tension relieving activities of this sort detract from the
effectiveness of this interrogation, especially during the critical phase when a
guilty subject may be trying desperately to suppress an urge to confess.

6. Estrange noise such as the ringing of a telephone or the conversation of

persons outside the examination room, of the presence of the arresting
officers or other spectators in the room itself, may produce disturbances
and distractions which will interfere with a satisfactory diagnosis of


When conducting the polygraph examination:

1. In order to conduct a satisfactory lie-detector test, kit is advisable for the

examiner to obtain from the investigators interested in the case, all the
available facts and circumstances forming the basis of the accusation or
suspicion directed against the person to be examined.
2. This will include, of course, the details of the case itself. Such information
is essential to the examiner so that he will be in a position to know
questions should be asked of the subject during the test.
3. The subject who is about to be tested should be informed of the nature of
the test and purpose of it. The instrument should be pointed out to him as
one which is capable of determining whether or not a person is telling the
truth about a given matter. He should be informed that it records certain
bodily changes and that the instrument will not cause any physical pain
except for a slight temporary discomfort occasioned by the blood pressure
4. The writer made it a practice, at this point in the proceeding to tell to the
subject somewhat as follows: “If you are telling the truth you have nothing
to worry about, this instrument will indicate you are telling the truth, and I’ll
report the fact to the officers who requested me to make the test. The
machine itself will show it; and I’ll tell you so, and then I’ll ask you to let me
hear the truth. That is fair enough, isn’t it? And you don’t mind taking the
test, do you?”
5. Experience has indicated that such statement tends to relieve the
emotional tensions in a person who is telling the truth, and at the same
time they offer no relief to the liar. Moreover, the asking of as regarding the
subject’s consent has proved worthwhile in those cases where the criminal
confessions are obtained as a result of the test.


1. Do not wait until the last minute to ask a person to take the test.
2. Do not tell the subject everything that you know about the offense or about

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3. Do not fail to investigate the case before you ask a person to take the test.
4. If for some reasons, it must be temporarily taken, the investigator must
continue investigating the case.
5. Do not depend on mass screening of possible suspects to produce a real
or the guilty one.
6. Do not tell anyone that the lie detector will decide whether one is innocent
or guilty. The court will make the decision.
7. If the test indicates that the person did not tell the truth or if the person
confesses after the test, do not think that the investigation is over.



with the investigator handling the case or person requesting it. The group
involve in this stage are the Victim / Complaint, Suspects, Witnesses. This
stage includes obtaining and evaluation of facts, determining the areas the
subjects needs to be asked and the investigator must furnish the examiner
of the following:
a. Sworn statement of the suspect / witnesses/ victim/ complainant,
Incident or spot report, B.I. of the suspect, witnesses, and victim /
complainants, rough sketch or pictures of the crime scene and
other facts such as Specific article and exact amount of money
b. Peculiar aspect of the offense or any strange set.
c. Exact time the offense was committed.
d. Known facts about the suspect’s action or movement.
e. Facts indicating any connection between the suspects, victim and
f. Exact type of weapon, tool or firearms used.
g. Result of laboratory test.
h. Unpublished facts of the offense known only by the victim, suspects
and the investigator.

2. PHASE II - PRE-TEST INTERVIEW with the subject - The primary

purpose of the pre-test interview of to prepare or condition the subject for
the test.
a. The appraisal of subject’s constitutional right.
b. Obtain subject’s consent to undergo polygraph test by signing a
statement of consent.
c. The taking of personal data of the subject.
d. Determining his/her suitability as a subject.
e. Evaluating the psychological preparation of the subject.
f. Informing the subject of his involvement with the case.

The following rights of the subject must be informed clearly to him/her:

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a. The right to remain silent
b. Anything he/she say may be used in favor or against him/her
c. The right to have a lawyer of his/her own choice
d. Right to refuse

As earlier noted, subjects will not be scheduled for examination when

a. are obviously fatigued or in ill health.
b. are physically injured or in pain.
c. their judgment is obviously influenced by or impaired by drugs or
d. have just suffered emotional trauma.

The examiner’s interview with the subject prior to the test is of

considerable importance, both for the purpose of conditioning the subject for the
examination and also in order to provoke and observe the helpful indications of
guilt and innocence which are often forthcoming at this time.

The following is the detailed outline of the pre-test interview which has
been found to be effective. (We are assuming in the case illustrated that the
subject has already been advised of the fact that he is to be given a lie-detector

a. As the examiner enters the waiting room to request the subject to

accompany him into the examination room, the greeting which the
examiner extends should be cordial, but firm.
b. Upon entering the examination room the subject should be
requested to sit down in a chair alongside the instrument, and
immediately thereafter the examiner should proceed to the taking of
the consent of the subject.
c. Then fill up the necessary data asked in the interrogation log.
d. Afterwards inquire from the subject whether he has been on a lie
detector test before. No further comment should be made by the
examiner but he should listen carefully to whatever the subject
himself may say.
e. If the subject has not told of the purpose of his appearance in the
testing laboratories, the examiner should explain that a lie detector
test is desired of him as part of the investigation regarding the case.
Much time should be spent in the preliminary interview as the
circumstances reasonably warrants.


conduct of Instrumentation and Actual Test.

After the pre-test interview, the examiner should proceed to place the
attachment on the subject. The first to be attached is Pneumograph, then the

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Cardiosphymograph and the Galvanograph. Review all the questions with the
subject before the actual examination is made. The examiner should discourage
any comments or statement by the subjects. Test instrument must be given to
the subject.

a. Upon completion of the necessary preliminary preparation the

instruments is attached to the subject.
b. The blood pressure pulse cuff is wrapped around snugly around the
subject’s upper arm and the pneumograph tube adjusted around the
c. If female subjects or around the body, if male subjects or around the
torso of male subjects.
d. The cuff is then inflated to a point approximate midway between the
systolic and diastolic blood pressure. That is midway between the
pressure produced by the output action of the heart and that
maintained at the time of the hearts intake action.
e. The synchronous motor carrying the paper upon which blood pressure
pulse respirations recording are made is then set in motion, the motor
being so timid that the paper moves along at the rate of a out six
inches per minute, then ten to fifteen seconds after the instrument has
been set in motion, the inked filled pens of the instruments are
permitted to make their blood pressure pulse respiration tracings
before the question are asked of the subject.
f. During the test period the subject is informed that he will be asked
several questions which should be answered by either yes or no
answers, and that they are so brief and to the point.
g. Approximately five to ten seconds after this instruction first question
is asked and then the other questions follows after or at the interval of
fifteen or twenty seconds.

Take Note: The questions may be written in advance of the test or in the
course of the test during the intervals between the asking of each question. The
phraseology of the test question is an extremely important aspect of the
examination. The questions, and every word used in the questions must be
unambiguous, unequivocal, and thoroughly understandable by the subject. The
questions must be states as simply as possible, and with a complete avoidance
of such double inquires as “Did you shoot him and then run into the house”? All
questions must have only a single, unambiguous meaning. Avoid lengthy
questions and avoid legal terms such as rape, murder, embezzlement, etc.

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Limiting Scope of Questions - The relevant test questions used in any
examination should be confined to a single case investigation. The Polygraph
technique is not effective for stimulation testing regarding two or more unrelated
occurrences. With all the gadgets attached to the body of the subject, the
instrument will start running by applying pressure on a button. The subject then
will be asked to answer the following standard test questions:
a. Irrelevant questions (unleaded/immaterial questions) – these
are questions which have no bearing to the case under investigation.
b. Relevant questions (leaded/material questions) – these are
questions pertaining to the issue under investigation. It is equally
important to limit the number of relevant questions to avoid discomfort
to the subject. Relevant questions must be very specific to obtain an
accurate result.
c. Control questions – These are questions unrelated to the matter
under investigation but are of similar nature although less serious as
compared to those relevant questions under investigation. The use of
control question is considered by many polygraphists to be the most
reliable and effective questioning technique. These are usually asked
if there is doubt in the interpretation of the subject’s response to
relevant and irrelevant questions.


includes all consideration that bears on the examination. This is done just
after the instrument is turned off. If the Polygraph test result indicates
deception, the examiner will then proceed to conduct short interrogation.
The purpose of which is to obtain confession. However, if the Polygraph
indicates that the subject is innocent; the examiner will just release the
subject cordially and thanks him/ her for his/her cooperation.

The purposes of further questioning after the test are:

a. to clarify the findings;

b. to learn if there are any other reasons for the subject’s responding to a
relevant question, other than the knowledge of the crime; and
c. to obtain additional information and an admission for law enforcement
purposes, if the results suggest deception.


The polygraph test consists of asking the subject/ person though the
transducer of the instrument, a list of prepared questions in a planned sequence;
comprising of not more than twelve. At least 3 test charts are taken, each lasting
not more than four (4) minutes with a rest interval of five (5) to ten (10) minutes
between charts.

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There are two general types of questions to be constructed and maybe
supplemented by other types of questions:

1. General Question Test – most commonly applied.

2. Peak-of-Tension Test – usually used as supplementary test.

There are five set of tests that maybe applied:

Test I – General Question Test - Purposes: To get the standard tracing

of the subject and to establish a true telling pattern for the initial part of the
Test II – Number Test (Psychological Test) - To check the possible
deliberate distortion when the chosen number is asked and to obtain a
chart wherein the subject is not under stress.
Test III – Spot Responder - To determine the responsiveness of the
subject to crucial question on spot responses.
Test IV – Mix Question - To compare the degree of reaction between
control and relevant question.
Test V – Silence Answer Test (SAT) - It is a confirmatory test with the
silence answer test.


This consists of a series of Relevant & Irrelevant Questions asked in a

planned order. Questions are so arranged as to make possible a comparison of
responses to relevant questions with a subject’s norm made during the
answering of irrelevant questions. There are other types of questions asked in
the GQT:

a. Weak Relevant Question – it concern some secondary element of the

crime or problem and deals with mostly in guilty knowledge and partial

b. Strong Relevant Question – it is defined as verbal stimulus of primary

important projected in the form of a question which overcome a
psychological excitement level and causes pneumograph,
cardiosphygmograph, and galvanograph tracings changes from the
subject’s physiological norms.

c. Evidence Connecting Question – it is designed to stimulate the guilty

subject and focus his attention on the probability of incriminating proof that
would tend to establish his guilt.

d. Knowledge Question – this question is designed or begun to probe

whether the subject possess information regarding the identity of the

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offender, the location of evidences or items of secondary element of the

There are rules to be followed in the formulation of questions such as the


1. Questions must be simple and direct.

2. They must not involved legal terminology such as rape, murder, etc.
3. They must be answerable by yes or no and should short as possible.
4. Must be short as possible.
5. Their meaning must be clear and unmistakable phrase in a language that
the subject can easily understand.
6. They must not be in the form of accusation.
7. Question must never contain an inference which presupposes knowledge
on the part of the subject.
8. All questions must refer to one offense only.
9. All questions must refer to only one element of an offense.
10. They must not contain interferences to ones religion races or belief.

General Question Test (GQT) Sample

1. Have you ever been called by the name Allan? (Irrelevant)

2. Is today Monday? (Irrelevant)
3. Do you have anything to do with the robbery at SM/ Shoemart last
night? (Weak Relevant)
4. Are you over 20 years of age? (Irrelevant)
5. Were you one of those who robbed the SM/ Shoemart last night?
(Strong Relevant)
6. Have you been involved in a robbery case this year? (Control
7. Do you drink water? (Irrelevant)
8. Was the pair of gloves found at SM yours? (Evidence Connecting-
9. Do you know of anyone involved in the robbery at SM/ Shoemart
last night? (Knowledge Question-Relevant)
10. Have you ever been involved in any robbery in your entire life?
(Secondary Control - Relevant)
11. Have you deliberately lied to any question I have asked you?
(Relevant-Check Question (optional))


1. Check Question – last question asked in the lie test. It is direct question
that relates to the fact that the subject has told the truth to all questions
asked in the lie test.

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2. Fishing Expedition Test Question – Used to vagrants or loiters for
routine interrogation. No idea about what offense has been committed.
Examples: a. Have you ever been arrested before? b. Are you wanted
anywhere now by the police? c. Have you stolen anything since you have
been in tour?


Aside from the standard tests described above, the following special tests
may be performed and incorporated as part of the procedure or may be used as
supplementary tests depending upon the result of the standard test in order to
draw a better conclusion.


The subject may be given this test if he is not yet informed of the details of
the offense for which he is being interrogated by the investigation, or by other
persons or from other sources like the print media. This valid test is only made
possibly when there is no widespread publicity about a crime where intimate
details as to the methods of commission or certain facts of the case is known
from the victim and investigator.

The questions formulated are similar in nature and construction, only one
of which is true and the perpetrator who would naturally be in possession of such
unpublicized knowledge will usually exhibit a rise in the tracing up to that
particular question followed by a decline thereafter, caused by the relief of
knowing that a dreaded question dangerous to his well-being, is past.

Examples of Peak-of-Tension Test:

a. Do you know whether the stolen watch from Allan is a Seiko? (This is an
introductory phrase plus padding question)
b. Is it an Omega? (Padding)
c. Is it a Rolex? (Padding)
d. Is it Timex? (Relevant question)
e. Is it Alba quartz? (Padding)
f. Is it a Citizen? (Padding)


This test is applied when the response to relevant and control questions
are similar in degree and in consistency and in a way that the examiner cannot
determine whether the subject is telling the truth or not. The subject is asked
questions aside from the irrelevant, relevant and control questions, a new series
of relevant questions dealing with a real incident and that which the subject could
not have committed.

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If the subject does not respond to the added relevant questions, it
indicates that the subject was being deceptive as to the primary issue under
investigation. However, no conclusion can be drawn if the response to added
guilt complex is similar to the real issue questions.


This test is conducted in the same manner as when relevant and control
questions are asked but the subject is instructed to answer the questions silently,
to himself, without making any verbal response causes distortion in the tracing
such as sniff or clearing the throat.


Known Solution Peak of Tension - This is administered when a fact

relating to the event is known only to the perpetrator of the offense and the
victim, police and client. This material fact, whether it be particular sum of
money, a particular make of weapon, etc. is inserted into test comprising a list of
similar items, the examinee is tested to determine his guilty knowledge.

Proving Peak of Tension - This is administered to obtain information that

might prove valuable to an investigation. It is designed to determine the location,
disposition, modus operandi and amounts on the list of possibilities.

Pre-employment Test - This test seeks to verify information contained in

a job application and develop relevant information deliberately committed by the

Periodic Testing - This is conducted for the purpose of determining the

honesty of employees assigned to sensitive position. It also acts as a constant
deterrent to employee’s dishonesty.


Step 1. – The stimuli

Step 2. – The absorption of the stimuli by the body senses which consist of
hearing, seeing, smelling, feeling, testing and extra-sensory faculties. (Body
Step 3. – The complicated process that takes place in human being
manifested itself in what is called emotion.
Step 4. – The action of the automatic nervous system
Step 5. – The actual physiological changes that takes place with in the body
as a result of the autonomic nervous system and the well of the subject.
Step 6. – The final occurrence in the reaction chain (Electro dermal

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Voluntary Response - Include those over which the subject has definite
control and include breathing rate and amplitude. Eye movements, facial
expressions, muscular movements-contraction and relaxation, oral or implied
answers, and the expressions of stipulated emotions.

Semi-Voluntary Response - Include metabolism changes emotional

expressions reaction time in replies and eye-movements. The average subject
has some control over these.

Involuntary Response - Include electro dermal response, perspiration

rates, adrenaline flow rates, blood pressure and pulse rate chemical changes of
the body fluids, psychological reactions, brain electrical currents, saliva flow
rates, body temperature changes, genuine emotion, face color changes,
tremor and polarization of body currents. The average subject has no control
over these phenomena.

What are the Physiological Phenomena as basis of Detecting Deception?

A. Blood Pressure and Heart Beat Frequency

Increase of blood pressure and heartbeat frequency following relevant

questions and the suppression in breathing are the criteria for detecting

Ink curves as shown on the heartbeat recorded on a moving graph paper

of a polygraph represent the beat frequency (pulse) and the two pressures (blood
pressures) - a. Systolic or high pressure - They exist when the heart is
contracted and the values are open with the blood rushing into the arteries, b.
Diastolic or Low pressure - This exists when the values are closed and the
heart relaxed.

Take note: Normal blood pressure is 120/80

The Heart is an automatic organ that continues to bat even when removed
from the body of provided with proper blood. The rate and force of the heart beat
as regulated by two sets of nerves – a. the sympathetic set - which accelerate
the beat and b. the cranial Autonomic system - which retard the beat.

It is also known that adrenaline - a certain hormone increases the

heartbeat frequency.

B. Breathing as a means of detecting deception. Breathing consists of two


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Inspiration - caused by the contraction of the diaphragm and expansion
of the chest cavity those results in the air rushing into the lungs.

Expiration – caused by a relaxation of the diaphragm and contraction of

the chest cavity resulting in the air rushing out of the lungs.

Take Note: The following affects the breathing rates:

1. muscular exercise (muscle movement/jogging)
2. anticipation of muscular exercise (thinking to
perform heavy work)
3. recalling mentally emotional experience
4. mental activity
5. anxious expectancy
6. shock
7. surprise

C. Electrodermal Response

This is the most current popular name for the human body phenomenon in
which the body, mainly the skin, changes resistance electrically upon the
application of certain external stimuli. It consists of two categories - Normal
Response and the Abnormal Response.

Examples of Abnormal Responses

1. Machine Fright Response - Interference abnormal

response that originates in Step 2 (fright to the machine) of the reaction
chain or situational fright. It appears on the first question or so and no
longer appears throughout the test.
2. Physical Movement Response - Interfering response caused by
voluntary physical movement by the subject during the lie test and is found
between steps 4 and 5 of the reaction chain. The result of such physical
movement causes physiological (muscle) changes to take place within the
body that shows up electrodermal response.
3. Outside Interference Response - Interfering response originating in step
1 of the reaction chain in the form of unwanted auditory or stimuli. The
slamming of the door or the ringing of telephone, a cough or sneeze by
spectators in the room or any unusual noise to which the subject is not
accustomed at the location, will usually produce outside interference
4. Mental Tie-up Response - Interfering response which originates between
step 2 (machine fright) and step 3 (emotion) in the reaction chain. Other
name is guilt complex.
5. Deception Response - Abnormalities as a result of telling a lie (more on
psychological and such also is accompanied by physical changes).

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To facilitate evaluation and interpretation of test charts, markings are
made with the use of signs and symbols to enable the examiner to determine the

1. exact time the test commenced and terminated

2. initial and final blood pressure and galvanograph readings
3. particular point where each question asked started and ended.
Corresponding identification of the question, and the type and time of
answer given by the subject
4. duration and amplitude of reaction patterns
5. any instruction given or repetition of question made
6. any movement, cough tracing by the suspect or outside distractions that
7. mechanical adjustment or re-adjustment made
8. extraneous factors affecting test chart such as paper jams
9. time interval between questions; and
10. chart number, name of subject, time, date, and place taken

SIGNS AND SYMBOLS (commonly used in Chart Marking)

X / 60 / 1.5 A - first markings of the examiner on the chart

XX / 60 / 1.5 A - examiner’s mark after the test
X - start of the test
XX - end of the test
60 - millimeter of mercury shown in sphygmamometer dial
1.5 - ohms of skin electrical resistance
A or M - refers to automatic or manual galvo amplifier used
| | - point where each question begins and end (also
called stimulus mark)
+ - Yes answer to question
- - No answer to question
A - adjustment
T - subject talked instead of answering with single Yes
or No
R - subject request for repetition of question
C - coughing
N - noise
S - sigh by the subject
PJ - paper jam
SN - subject sniffed
BI - breathing instruction
OS - tracing changed caused by outside stimulus
M - movement
IM - movement instruction

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L - laugh
B - used to signify belch
C+ - increase in galvo sensitivity
C- - decrease in galvo sensitivity
Y - yawn
IS - ink stop
CT - clearing of throat


A. The accuracy of instrumental detection of deception is dependent

upon the examiner’s ability to diagnose truth or deception by reading and
interpreting a subject’s charts. The polygraph chart is the composite record of the
pneumograph, cardiograph and galvanograph tracing from one series of
questions. The chart is ruled vertically to represent time element at an interval of
either in second, five seconds of ten seconds division and horizontally in fractions
of ¼ inch for amplitude measurements. There are three heavy spaced horizontal
lines that serve as the guideline for the 3 tracings. The motor that pills the chart
under the recording pens has a constant speed of either 6 or 12 inches per-
minute. A single test may consist of three or more charts taken from one series
of questions.

B. The pnuemograph tracing normally, found at the top of the chart,

is a record of a subject’s respiratory action during the questioning process and is
classified as normal or abnormal. The pneumograph pattern consists of
inhalation and exhalation strikes with a normal amplitude of form ½ to ¾ inches.
The normal cyclic rate is from 13 to 18 breaths per minute and may vary in
reasons of exceptional physical build condition or respiratory defect. The
classification of abnormal is generally applied to those patterns that deviate from
the norm established by the individual.

Descriptive types of breathing are:

Normal; Rapid; Slow; Shallow; Deep; Serrated inhalation / or both;
Deviations caused by coughing and mechanics of answering
Pneumograph changes from the individual norm which may be
indicative of deception are:
Change in rhythm or regularity; Change in amplitude or volume;
Change in the inhalation / exhalation ratio; Notched or serrated
inhalation / exhalation strokes; Change of base line; Loss of base line;
Hyperverventilation; Suppression; Respiratory block

C. The galvanograph tracing, normally located at the center position.

If the chart, when properly balanced takes from of as lightly wavering line across
the middle portion of the chart with a minor response to spoken stimuli. Galvanic
tracings which may be indicative of deception are:
1. Vertical rise at point of deception

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2. Double saddle response
3. Long duration and / or degree of response following point of
4. Plugging salvo tracing

D. The cardiosphygmograph tracing normally found at the bottom of

the chart, is the three physiological phenomena, a systolic stroke, a diastolic
strokes and a dichotic notch. Normal pulse rate of the average individual is 72 to
80 beats per minute and may vary due to the emotional tone of the subject.
Amplitude or volume is also subject to variation and dictated by the physiological
structure of the person and the cuff pressure. Tracing taking the form of specific
responses indicative of deception are:
1. Increase or decrease in blood pressure
2. Increase or decrease in pulse rate
3. Increase or decrease in amplitude
4. Change in position or disappearance of dichotic notch
5. Extra systoles (premature contradiction of an auricle or ventricle
while fundamental rhythm of the heart is maintained)

E. In the interpretation and analysis of charts taken in a Peak of

Tension Test, the following area considered in the evaluation of the level
1. An increase or decrease to point of deception then a level tracing.
2. An increase to point of deception and the an increase
3. A decrease to point of deception and then an increase
4. Level tracing to point of deception and then a decrease or increase
5. Erratic to point of deception and then an erratic tracing
6. Smooth to point of deception and then an erratic tracing
7. Any changes that may occur at point of deception

F. Other factors; that specific response to be considered as possible

deception in chart evaluation
1. Distribution of reactions
2. Degree of reactions
3. Trend of gross curve
4. Rate of change of the curve
5. Latent period of reaction
6. Duration of reaction

G. For an effective chart interpretation, the following rules must be

1. There must be a specific response
2. To be specific, it must form a deviation from norm
3. It must appear in at least two (2) test charts
4. The best indication of deception is the simultaneous specific
responses in the three (3) tracings of the chart.

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When does the Polygraph Result is Admissible in Court?

1. When the examination is conducted upon a court order.

2. When business suffers economic loss and the employee of that business
who refuses the exam is implicated.
3. When the polygraph is made a condition or precedent to employment in
continuous employment.
4. When the nature of the subject’s relation to the public so demand. (Public
Trust is paramount).

What Law or Jurisprudence give the Basis of Admissibility?

The first appellate court decision upon the admissibility the results of a
deception test was rendered in 1923 by a federal court in Fry V. United States, in
which the accused (on trial for murder) offered as evidence the results of a
Marston “systolic” blood pressure” test. The trial court refused to permit Dr.
Marston to testify concerning his results, and upon appeal this ruling was
affirmed. The reason which impelled the court to arrive at the conclusion of
inadmissibility are very clearly stated in the following except from its reported

Ten years after the Fry case decision the Wiscons Supreme Court was
called upon to consider the admissibility of the results of a Polygraph
examination. In this case, State V. Bohner, defense counsel offered to prove that
the results of a Polygraph examination established the truthfulness of the
defendant’s alibi to a robbery charge, which offer the trial court refused. Upon
appeal the Wiscons in Supreme Court sustained the trial court’s ruling and held
that although the Polygraph technique may have some utility at present, or may
ultimately be of great value in the administration of justice a too hasty acceptance
of it during this stage of its development may be assumed to have.”

Two cases regarding the admissibility of the results of tests conducted

with a galvanic skin reflex recorder were decided by the New York court in 1938.
One of the cases, People V. Kenny, was a trial court decision; the other, People
V. forte, a decision of New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals. In the
Kenny case the defendant (on trial of robbery) offered in evidence the testimony
of the late Father Summers of Fordham University regarding the results of a test
conducted with a galvanometer. Over the objection of the prosecuting attorney,
the trial court admitted the evidence and permitted the jury to consider the
witness opinion as to the defendant’s innocence or guilt. The court in the Kenny
case apparently was impressed with Father Summer’s assertion to the effect that
this “pathometer” was “effectively 100 percent efficient.” Moreover, the effect of

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the Kenny case must viewed in the light of the latter and more authoritative
decision of the New York Court of Appeals in the Forte case.

In the case the defendant (on trial for murder) requested the court’s
permission to be tested on the same instrument and by the same examiner
(Summers) as in the Kenny case. This request was denied on the ground that
despite the view taken by the court in the Kenny case, the validity of such a test
judicial acceptance. Upon appeal the trial court’s ruling was affirmed by the New
York Court of Appeals.


1. Pre-employment Screening – it provide a safe method in verifying

statements of a job applicant, prevent false evaluation and false judgment
as reported by previous employer who carry a personal grudge against
him Done when the subject is applying for a job.

2. Periodic Screening – conducted to organic employees only, act as

constant deterrent to employee’s dishonesty and create a bond of mutual
strength among employees. We call it as personnel check.

3. Intelligence Testing – provide a scientific method of testing the

intelligence of a person.


1. Prevent false evaluation and unfair judgment due to personality conflicts

reported by a previous supervisor or employer.
2. It does away with lengthy waiting while employment application is being
check, telephone, telegram or letter.
3. Eliminate the potential hazard of a person knowing to work along side with
other who might endanger their live or job security.
4. Provides a safe method for a person to be cleared of unwarranted
suspicion and unjust accusation and malicious gossip.
5. It will create a bond of mutual strength between employees.
6. It create a desire for incentives


1. Provides an accurate method, whereby the employment background of an

applicant and relevant issues collateral thereto can be immediately
checked and verify at a negligible cost.
2. Detect the chronic alcoholic job jumper and accident prone person.
3. Reveals some of the unusual aspect concerning the psychologically mal-
adjusted agitator amateur and professional theft in private industry.

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4. Reduces costly personnel turnover by helping management put the right
person on the job and ascertaining an applicant attitude toward job
5. Acts as constant deterrent to employee dishonesty and permit basically
honest employee to work in greater harmony with basically honest


Lists of stimulus and non-stimulus word are read to the subject who is
instructed to answer as quickly as possible. The answers to the question may be
“yes” or “no”. Unlike the lie detector, the time interval between the words uttered
by the examiner and the answer to the question is recorded

When the subject is asked questions with reference to his name, address,
civil status, nationality, etc. which has no relation to the subject-matter of the
investigation, the tendency is to answer quickly. But when the questions bear
some words which have to do with the criminal act the subject allegedly
committed, like knife, gun or hammer which was used in the killing, the tendency
is to delay the answer.

The test is not concerned with the answer, be it a “yes” or “no”. The
important factor is the time of response in relation to stimulus or non-stimulus

Like the use of the lie detector, the subject cannot be compelled to be
subjected to the test without consent.


When a person speaks, there are audible voice frequencies, and

superimposed on these are the inaudible frequency modulations which are
products of minute oscillation of the muscle of the voice mechanism. Such
oscillations of the muscles or micro tremor occur at the rare of 8 to 14 cycles per
second and controlled by the central nervous system.

When a person I under stress as when he is lying, the micro tremor in the
voice utterance is moderately or completely suppressed. The degree of
suppression varies inversely to the degree of psycho logic stress on the speaker.

The psychological stress evaluator (PSE) detects, measures, and

graphically displays the voice modulations that we cannot hear.

When a person is relaxed and responding honestly to the question, those

inaudible frequencies are registered clearly on the instrument. But when a
person is under stress, as when he is lying, these frequencies tend to disappear.

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Basic Procedure

a. The examiner meets the requesting party to determine the specific

purpose of the exanimation and to begin formulation of relevant questions.
b. A pre-test interview is conducted with the subject to help him or her feel at
ease with the examiner, to provide an opportunity to specify matters, to
eliminate outside issues, and to review questions that will be asked.
c. An oral test of about 12 to 15 “yes” or “no” questions is given which is
recorded on a tape recorder. The questions are a mixture of relevant an
irrelevant questions.
d. Immediately following the test or are a late time, the tape is processed
through the Psychological Stress Evaluator for analysis of answer.
e. If stress is indicated, the subject is given authority to provide additional
clarification. A retest is given to verify correction and clarification.

Advantages of Psychological Stress Evaluator over the Lie Detector


a. It does not require the attachment of sensors to the person being tested.
b. The testing situation need not be carefully controlled to eliminate outside
c. Normal body movement is not restricted.



The term “truth serum” is a misnomer. The procedure does not make
someone tell the truth and the thing administered is not a serum but is actually a

In the test, byosine hydro bromide is given hypodermically in repeated

doses until a state of delirium is induced. When the proper point is reached, the
questions truthfully. He forgets his acts or may even implicate others.


This method of deception detection is practically the same as that of

administration of truth serum. The only difference is the drug used. Psychiatric
sodium amytal o sodium pentothal is administered to the subject. When the
effects appear, questioning starts. It is claimed that the drug causes depression
of the inhibitory mechanism of the brain and the subject talks freely.

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The administration of the drug and subsequent interrogation must be done
by a psychiatrist with a long experience on the line. Like the administration of
truth serum, the result of the test is not admissible in court.


The apparent stimulation effect of alcohol is really the result of the control
mechanism of the brain, so alcohol, like truth serum, and narcoanalytic drugs
“inhibit the inhibitor”.

The ability of alcohol to reveal the real person behind the mad which all of
us are said to wear (“mask of sanity”) is reflected in the age-old maxim, “In vino
veritas” (“In wine there is truth”). (Pathology of Homicide by Lester Adel son,
Charles Thomas, 1974, p. 895)/


It is the alternation of consciousness and concentration in which the

subject manifests a heightened of suggestibility while awareness is maintained.
Not all persons are susceptible to hypnotic induction. The hypnotic state is
characterized by:

a. That it is a comfortable state or complete relaxation in which the

subject will readily and willingly to cooperate in every way with the
b. That it is not actually a sleep.
c. That the subject will do whatever he is told to do.
d. That the hypnotizer will not order him to do anything injurious.
e. After the test, the subject will wake up with feeling of comfort and

The result of this method is not acceptable in court due to the following

a. It lacks the general scientific acceptance of the reliability of

hypnosis per in ascertaining the truth from falsity.
b. The fear that the truer of fact will give uncritical and absolute
reliability to a scientific device without consideration of its flaw in
ascertaining veracity.
c. The possibility that the hypnotized subject will deliberately fabricate.
d. The prospect that the state of heightened suggestibility in which the
hypnotized subject is suspended will produce distortion of the fact
rather than the truth.
e. The state of the mind and professionalism of the examiner are too
subjective to permit admissibility of the expert testimony.

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A good criminal investigator must be keen observer and a good

psychologist. A subject under stress on account of the stimulation of sympathetic
nervous system may exhibit changes which may be used as a potential clue of
deception. And since just one or a combination of the following signs and
symptoms is not conclusive or a reliable proof of guilt of the subject, their
presence infers further investigation to ascertain the truth of the impression.

Signs or Clues of Deception

1. Swearing to God.
2. Failure of subject to look straight into examiner eyes.
3. Rapid movements of adams apple among males. Hysteria among
females or woman.
4. Shedding tears of both sexes.
5. Arrogance or indifference to interrogation.
6. Bitting upper and lower lips after a hot stimulus is profounded.
7. Changes on the color of the face.
8. Complete and total denial of the case under investigation.
Questioning accuracy on the polygraph machine.
9. Sarcastic laugh of the subject.
10. Force laugh of the subject.
11. Restlessness of the subject.
12. Show of the unnecessary movements of legs and head.
13. Changing seats from chair to chair.
14. Frequent excuses to go to the comfort room.
15. Asking the examiner for a drink or a smoke.
16. Over perspiration despite of an air-conditioned room.
17. Answering questioning by beating around the hush when
questioning and answered yes or no.
18. Asking the examiner to repeat the question although propounded
19. Asking counter remark who me.
20. Making reference to prominent people and mutual friends.
21. Shifting blame to someone else.
22. Pointing the guilt to other.
23. Refusal to submit to polygraph examination. Consenting to
polygraph examination but refuse to sign the consent (written).

Physiological and Psychological Signs and Symptoms of Guilt

1. Sweating
2. Color Change
3. Dryness of the mouth
4. Excessive activity of the Adam’s apple

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5. Fidgeting
6. “Peculiar feeling inside”
7. Swearing in the truthfulness and assertion
8. “Spotless past record”
9. Inability to look at the investigator “straight in the eye”
10. “Not that I remember” expression


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A FINGERPRINT is a composite of the ridge outlines which appears on

the skin surface of the bulbs on the inside of the end of joints of the fingers and
thumbs. The ridges appearing in a fingerprint are commonly referred to as
papillary or frictional ridges. The ridges have a definite contour and appear in
definite individual details by which positive identification can be made.

Take Note:

Ridge – literally, the top of long hill

Ducts – these are little pockets underneath the skin where oils or sweats
are carried by small holes to the surface of the skin.

Ridge Destruction: Creases – little white lines that are found on a

fingerprint that look like sears (burn/blister). These are not permanent, and will
not show any turning or “puckering.” Skin conditions such as warts and blisters of
temporary impairments caused by certain occupations, e.g. bricklayers,
carpenters, have no permanent effect and the individual characteristics revert to
their natural alignment once the temporary skin condition has been corrected.


Are there any ancient records concerning the use of Finger and Palm

1. On the face of a cliff in NOVA SCOTIA, there has been found prehistoric
Indian picture writing of a hand with crudely marked ridge patterns.
2. Scholars refer to the impression of fingerprints on clay tablets recoding
business transactions in ancient Babylon and clay seals of ancient
Chinese origin bearing thumbprints. Some of these seals can be seen in
documents identified with the Tang Dynasty (618-907) refer to fingerprint
being impressed upon business contracts. It is conjectural as to what
extent these earlier instances of fingerprinting were intended for actual
identification of the persons impressing the prints. History shows that
Emperor Te In Shi was the first on to use fingerprint in China.
3. In the Bible, Apostle Paul concludes in one of his epistles with the words,
“The Salvation of Paul with my own hand, which is the token in every

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epistle, so I write.” Some have inferred from these words that Paul used
his finger impressions as a distinctive signature.
4. In Persia, 14th century, various government papers were reportedly
impressed with fingerprints, and a government official who was also a
physician made the observation that no fingerprints of two persons were
exactly alike.
5. In Holland and China, identification of individuals was by means of
branding, tattooing, mutilation, and also manifested by wearing clothes of
different designs.
6. In Old Mexico, the Aztecs impressed their hands accidentally or
intentionally on the molded and still soft clays of their hand-made idols to
serve as their trade marks. The authorities stamped their hands on the
death warrants for the men and women who offered their lives to sacrifice
for their idol-gods.
7. In France, numerous rock carvings and paintings featuring hand designs
and fingerprints have been found on the granite wall slabs in the Neolithic
burial passage of the L’lle de Gavr’nis. Other specimens were also found
in the Spanish Pyrunees caverns, the numerous digital relics left by
Indiana at Keuimkooji Lake in cliff dwellings in Nova Scotia, in the Balearic
Islands, Australis, New England coasts and in Africa.
8. In Babylonia, the first use of fingerprints for personal identification
originated when Babylonian Magistrates ordered their officers in making
arrests and property confiscation to secure the defendants’ fingerprints.
9. Kom Ombo Plain, on the east bank of river Nile, Egypt, lump of hundred
much found in Sebekian deposit which shows a portion of an adult palm
during 12,000 B.C.
10. In Judea, Paul, the Apostle, used his own fingerprints to sign his letters (II
Thessalonians 3:17 – “I, Paul, greet you with my own hand. This is the
mark in every letter. Thus I write.”). Other significant quotations are found
in Job 37:7 – “He sealeth up the hand of all men, that every one may know
his works.” Revelations 13:16 – “It will cause all, the small and the great,
and the rich and the poor, and the free and the bond, to have mark on
their right hand or on foreheads.”
11. In Jerusalem, fingerprint relics were found in clay lumps during the 4 th
and 5th centuries of the Christian Era. The excavation of Palestine by the
late Dr. Bade yielded fragments of such specimens (fingerprints).
12. In China, fingerprint is called “Hua Chi”. The value of fingerprints for
purposes of identification was found on a Chinese clay seal made not later
than the 3rd century B.C.
13. During the Tang Dynasty, fingerprints were used in connection with the
preparation of legal documents. Kia Yung-yen, an author during this time
stated that, “Wooden tablets were engraved with the full terms of the
contract, and notches were cut in the sides where they were identical so
that the tablets could later be matched or tallied, thus proving them

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14. The code of domestic relations as described in the Chinese Law Book of
Yang Hwui states: “To divorce a wife, the husband must write a bill of
divorcement and state the reasons or grounds that are due for
action, and then impress his palmprint thereon.” For contracts,
fingerprints were also used as signatures of those who were illiterates,
who could neither read nor write. This was under the subject of “Land
15. Early in the 12th century, in the novel, “The Story of the River Bank,”
fingerprinting found itself already in the criminal procedure of China; and in
the 16th century, a custom prevailed in connection with the sale of children.
16. In Japan, deeds, dotes, and certificates to be used as proofs were sealed
by the mark of the hand (Palm-print) called “Tegata.” In the treatment of
criminals, the imprint of the thumb (bo-in or bo-an) was taken. The
criminal signed only by thumb-print with regard to his sentence and it was
considered as an inferior sort of signature.
17. In Constantinople, in a treaty of ratification, the sultan soaked his hand in
a sheep’s blood and impressed it on the document as his seal.
18. In England, Thomas Bewick, an English engraver, author, and naturalist
engraved the patterns of his own fingers on every wood-work he had
finished to serve as his mark so as to establish its genuineness.

Are there any early publication concerning Fingerprints?

1. 1684-Nehemiah Grew published a report which was read before the royal
society of London, England. He described the ridges and pores of the
hands and feet.
2. 1685-G. Bidloo published a treaty describing sweat pores and ridges.
3. 1685-Midle wrote a book, “Human Anatomy,” in which he included a
drawing of the thumb print showing the ridge configuration of the whorl
4. 1686-Professor Marcelo Malpighi, an Italian anatomist
(GRANDFATHER OF DACTYLOSCOPY according to Dr. Edmond Locard
– “Father of Poroscopy”), commented in his writings on elevated ridges
on the fingertips and alluded to diverse figures on palmar surfaces.
5. 1751-Hintzo wrote on the ridge formation, but dealt with the subject from
the viewpoint of anatomy rather than identification.
6. 1764-Albinus followed along the same lines as Hintzo had written.
7. 1788-J.C.A. Mayer stated in his book (Anatomische Kupfertafein Nebst
Dazu Geharigen) that although the arrangement of the skin ridges is never
duplicated in two persons, nevertheless, the similarities are closer among
some individuals.
8. 1823-Johannes Evangelist Purkinje, (FATHER OF DACTYLOCOSPY) a
Czechoslovakian professor of anatomy at the University of Breslau,
published a thesis in Latin (Commentio de Examine Physiogico Organi
Visus Et systematis Cutansi – A Commentary of the Physiological
Examination System: Dec. 22, 1823, Breslau, Germany) describing the

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ridges, giving them names and established certain rules for classification
(nine groups). He involves vague differentiation of fingerprints or use
them for identification.
9. 1856-Herman Welcker took the prints of his own palm. In 1897, (forty
one years later) he printed the same palm to prove that the prints do not
change. (Principle of Permanency).
10. 1883-Kollman, an anthropologist who wrote his book on ridges and pores.
He did not associate fingerprints with identification.

What are the historical events concerning Fingerprints as Method of


1. 1858-Sir William J. Herschel (FATHER OF CHIROSCOPY), in Hoogly,

district of Bengal, India, he used fingerprints in India to prevent fraudulent
collection of army pay account and for identification of other documents.
He printed the palms of natives in order to avoid impersonation among
laborers. Prints of the entire palms were used instead of signatures. The
first person Herschel printed appears to have been one RAJYADHAR
2. 1880-Dr. Henry Faulds, an English (Scottish) doctor stationed in Tokyo,
Japan, wrote a letter to the English publication, “NATURE” – “On the
Skin Furrows of the Hand”, (dtd Oct. 28, 1880) on the practical use of
fingerprints for the identification of criminals. He recommended the use of
a thin film of printers ink as a transfer medium and is generally used today.
3. 1880-Sir Francis Galton, a noted British anthropologist and a cousin of
scientist Charles Darwin began observation which led to the publication in
1882 of his book “Fingerprints.” Galton’s studies established the
individuality of classifying fingerprint patterns.
4. 1882-Gilbert Thompson, a U.S. geological surveyor in charge of a field
project in New Mexico used his own fingerprints in commissary orders to
prevent forgery.
5. Isaiah West Taber – A photographer in San Francisco advocated the use
of the system for the registration of the immigrant Chinese.
6. 1883-An episode in Mark Twain’s life on the Mississippi relates to the
identification of a murderer by his thumbprint.
7. Twain (Samuel L. Clemens) further developed his theme. Eleven (11)
years later, he causes the publication of “Puddin Head Wilson”, a novel
based on dramatic fingerprint identification demonstrated during a court
trial. His story pointed out the infallibility of fingerprint identification.
8. 1888-Sir Edward Richard Henry, succeeded Sir William J. Herschel at
his post in India. He became interested in fingerprints and devised a
classification of his own and published his work in book form and titled it
“Classification and Uses of Fingerprints.”
9. 1889-Sir Richard Henry at Dove, England read a paper detailing his
system before the British association for Advancement of Science.

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10. 1891-Juan Vucetich, an Argentinean police official, installed fingerprints
files as an official means of criminal identification; based his system of the
pattern typed by Sir Francis Galton; and he also claimed the first official
criminal identification by means of fingerprints left at the scene of crime.
11. In 1892, at La Piata, Argentina, a woman named Rojas who had
murdered her two sons and had cut her own throat, though not fatal,
blamed the attack on a neighbor. Bloody fingerprints on a door post were
identified by Vucetich as those of the woman herself which led to her
12. 1892-Sir Francis Galton, an English Biologist, wrote his first textbook.
He devised a practical system of classification and filing. 1894-Sir Francis
Galton’s report on fingerprint as a method of identification, along with his
system, was read at Asquith Committee of London, England. His system
was officially adopted on February 12, 1894.
13. 1900-Alphonse Bertillon’s system of body measurement had by this time
spread throughout the world.
14. 1901-Sir Edward Richard Henry was appointed assistant commissioner
at Scotland Yard. His system was so applicable that Henry emerged as
the “Father of Fingerprints,” at least as the first man to successfully
apply fingerprints for identification. 1901-marked the official introduction of
fingerprinting for criminal identification in England and Wales.
15. The system employed was developed from Galton’s observation and
devised by Edward Richard Henry, the Inspector-General of Police in
Bengal, India. He later became commissioner of London’s Metropolitan
16. 1914-Fingerprints were officially adopted in France, replacing Bertillon

What are the important dates concerning the development and use of
fingerprint in the United States?

1. 1882-Gilbert Thompson of the Us Geodetic survey used thumb print for

camp orders on an expedition to New Mexico. This was not official but it
was proven useful (the record was dated Aug. 8, 1882).
2. 1902-Sir Henry P. Forest, chief Medical examiner of New York Civil
Service Commission and an American preacher in fingerprint science in
the US for the New York Civil Service commission to prevent applicants
from having better-qualified persons to take the test for them.
3. The New York Civil Service Commission, on Dec. 19, 1902 required all
civil service applicants to be fingerprinted. Dr. Henry P. Forest, put the
system into practice.
4. 1903-New York State Prison in Albany claims the first practical,
systematic use of fingerprints in the US to identify criminals.

5. 1903-Fingerprints identification was adopted in the following

penitentiaries: Singing Sing, Napanoch, Auborn and Clinton prisons

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6. Captain James Parke of the institution installed the identification system
where the fingerprints of prisoners were taken and classified and the
fingerprint system was officially adopted in June of the year. Today, New
York State uses the American system that is similar to the Henry System
and represents the system initiated by Capt. Parke in 1903.
7. 1904-Maj. R. Mccloughry, the warden of the Federal Penitentiary of
Leavenworth when the office of the Atty. General of the U.S. granted
permission to establish a fingerprint bureau therein. It was the first
national government use of fingerprints.
8. 1904-John Kenneth Ferrer (Perrier) of the Fingerprint Branch of the New
Scotland Yard, attended the St. Louis Missouri Worlds Fair. He had been
assigned to guard the British Crown Jewels. American police officials
became interested in fingerprint through him and he became their
9. 1904-The City of St. Louis Missouri, became the first city to adopt
fingerprint. The police department officials adopted the system on
October 29, 1904.
10. 1905-Fingerpritning was officially adopted by the U.S. Army. It was
known as the first military use of fingerprint.
11. 1907-Fingerprinting was officially adopted by the U.S. Navy (January 11,
12. 1908-Fingerprinting was officially adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps.
13. 1910-Frederick A. Brayley published what appears to be the first
American book in fingerprints.
14. 1911-The State of Illinois, made the first criminal conviction based solely
upon fingerprint evidence. It was known as the first judicial ruling on such
evidence, (People vs Jennings, 252 Illinois 543-96 NE 1007, 43 LRA
(NS) 1206 for 1991).
15. 1915-The International Association for Criminal Identification was
founded. The word “criminal” was later dropped from the Association’s
name. It is the first organized body of professional identification experts.
16. 1916-The Institution of Applied Science established at Chicago, Illinois
was the first school to teach fingerprint identification (June 16, 1916).
17. 1916-Frederick Kuhne published a book entitled “The Fingerprint
Instructor,” which probably the first authoritative book in fingerprint to be
circulated in the U.S. Munn and Co., served as the publisher.
18. 1919-Marked the publication of “Fingerprint and Identification
Magazine” (Chicago). The first monthly journal devoted exclusively to
fingerprint science, (July 1919).
19. 1920-The Exceptional Arch, a new pattern, was adapted to Henry’s
system by American experts. The pattern was added after the study made
by the assembly members at annual convention of the International
Association for Identification in 1920.
20. 1922-Haken Jersengen, the sub-director of police in Copenhagen,
Denmark introduced first a long distance identification to U.S. at a police
conference here. The method was adopted and published in a magazine

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entitled “Publications” of the International Police Conference, (New York
City Police Department, 1932).
21. Mary K. Holland – the first American Instructress in Dactyloscopy.
22. 1924-The Identification Division of the FBI was established after J.
Edgar Hoover was appointed Director.
23. 1924-The book entitled “Single Fingerprint System” by T.K. Larson, was
first published in U.S., (Berkley, Police Monograph Series) D. Application
and Co., New York City.
24. 1924-The First National Bureau of Identification was created by the act
of Congress. The bureau was established within the U.S. DOJ
(Washington DC).
25. 1925-Harry J. Myers II installed the first official fact fingerprint system for
infants in Jewish Maternity Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
26. 1925-The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania used compulsory foot and
fingerprinting of new born infants and mothers which was enacted into law
by Act of General Assembly as approved on April 20, 1925.
27. 1932-The International Exchange of Fingerprint date was initiated with
a number of other nations on February 15, 1932.
28. 1933-The Bureau of Identification, U.S. Department of Justice, adopted
the single fingerprint identification system. The first national use of single
print for identification purposes for certain crimes only, (Feb. 1933).
29. 1933-Latent fingerprints section, for making technical examination of latent
prints or have inked prints on an individual basis was instituted on
November 10, 1933. The Civil Identification on Section was
30. 1937-The Institute of Applied Science installed Photographic and
Firearms Identification (Forensic Ballistics) laboratories. The institute was
the first private school in U.S. which installed laboratories for instructional
purposes only.
31. 1938-A book by Harry J. Myers II, “History of Identification of
fingerprints in U.S.” was published in Fingerprint and Identification
Magazine (Chicago, Illinois, Vol. 20, no. 4, Oct. 1938).
32. 1946-the 100th millionth fingerprint card was received in the identification
division of the FBI. The total grew to 152 million in May 11, 1959.
33. 1967-“Minutiae” was initiated by the FBI, a computerized scanning
equipment to read and record fingerprint identifying characteristics.
34. 1972-the prototype automatic fingerprint reader was delivered.
35. 1973-implementation of the first phase of the automated Identification
System (AIS-1), which was to establish the database consisting of the
name, description, and criminal record of all first offenders with birthdates
of 1956.
36. 1978-Journal of Forensic Science – reported that certain properties of
perspiration and body oils contained in latent print residue will luminesce
without pre-treatment and to a degree that photographs could be taken
when activated by continuous Argon-ION Laser. Hence, the FBI’s Latent
Print Detection System was put into use.

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37. 1979-AIS-2 replaced AIS-1. This phase involved the automated
searching by name and other descriptor information of incoming fingerprint
cards against the database.
38. 1979 (Oct. 17, 1979)-A latent fingerprint was developed and lifted from the
hand of a victim in Miami, Florida murder resulting in identifying the
suspect. This was the first known case where a fingerprint from a human
skin was used in the identification, prosecution and conviction of a
perpetrator of a crime.
39. 1982-Missing Children Act was signed into law which requires the
Attorney General to acquire, collect, classify, and preserve any information
which would assist in the location of any missing person (including an
unemancipated person as defined by the laws of the place of residence of
such person) or assist in the identification of any deceased individual who
have not been identified.
40. 1983-Completion of the conversion of the FBI criminal fingerpint
searching from manual to automated searching. Also, AIS records
became available by mail upon request of the National Crime Information
Center’s (NCIC’s) interstate identification index (III) – an interstate record
41. 1984-AIS records became available “ON-LINE” through the NCIC
program. Records from the NCIC and AIS, and participating state and
local telecommunication networks became available w/in seconds to
authorized criminal justice agencies.
42. 1985 (Jan. 2) – a contract was awarded for building the final phase of the
Identification Division Automated System (IDAS).
43. 1989-IDAS implementation. Its features are: integrated document
transport equipment; on-line automated technical fingerprint search; and
simplified processing flow. All, for expeditious response time of fingerprint

What about Historical Development of Fingerprints in the Philippines?

1. 1900-Mr. Jones was the first to teach fingerprints in the Philippines in the
Phil. Constabulary.
2. 1918-The Bureau of Prisons records show that carpetas (commitment
and conviction records) already bear fingerprints.
3. Under the management of Lt. Asa N. Darby during the American
occupation in the Philippines, a modern and complete fingerprint file has
been established for the Philippine commonwealth.
4. 1937-The first Filipino fingerprint technician employed by the Phil.
Constabulary was Mr. Generoso Reyes. Capt. Thomas Dugan of New
York City Police Department and Mr. Flaviano C. Gurrero of the Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) gave the first examinations in fingerprints.
5. 1933-The first conviction based on fingerprints was handed by the
Supreme Court of the Phil. in the case People vs. Medina and this case is

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considered the leading judicial decision in the Philippine jurisprudence
concerning fingerprinting (December 23).
6. The science of fingerprinting was first offered as a subject in the Philippines
through the effort of the Plaridel Educational Institution.

What are the basic principles of Fingerprint Science? (3 dogmatic


1. Principle of Individuality (Variation) – There are no two fingerprints that

are exactly alike unless taken from the same finger.

2. Principle of Permanency (Constancy/Perennial/Immutable) – The

configuration and details of individual ridges remain constant and
unchanging till after the final decomposition of the body.

3. Principle of Infallibility – That fingerprint is a reliable means of personal

identification and all courts accept and adopt fingerprint as a means of
personal identification.

What are the two main layers of the Skin?

1. Outer scarf or Epidermis

2. Inner Scarf or Dermis

Take Note:

1. Stratum Malpighi or the layer of the Malpighi – the ridges are

formed into patterns by virtue of the fact that the epidermis is penetrated
and molded by the dermal papillae
2. Damage to the epidermis alone does not result to permanent ridge
destruction, whereas damage to the dermis will result to permanent ridge
3. We can identify many fingerprints which we cannot classify.

State the principal uses of fingerprints - Some of the uses of fingerprinting


1. Identification of criminals whose fingerprints are found at the

scene of the crime
2. Identification of fugitive through a comparison of fingerprints
3. Assistance to prosecutors in presenting their cases in the light
of defendants’ previous records
4. Imposition of more equitable sentence by the courts
5. Furnishing identification data to probation and parole officers
and to parole boards for their enlightenment in decision making

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6. Exchanging of criminal-identifying information with identification
bureaus of foreign countries in cases of mutual interest
7. Means of personal identification
8. Recognition by the government of honored dead
9. Identification of unknown deceased
10. Prevention of hospital mistakes in the identification of infants
11. Identification of persons suffering from amnesia where
fingerprints are on file
12. Identification of missing person
13. Personal identification of victims of disaster works
14. Identification of unconscious persons; and
15. Licensing procedures for automobile, firearms, aircraft and other

Give some important Events, Dates or Personalities showing the basis of

the Legality of Fingerprinting

1. In 1911, an Illinois court, in the case of the People vs. Jennings (252 Ill.
534, 96NE 1077 (1911) ) pass upon the admissibility of fingerprint

2. In that case, fingerprint evidence was admitted as a means of

identification may give their opinions as to whether the fingerprints found
at the scene of the crime correspond with those of the accused. The
court’s conclusion were based on a comparison of the photographs of
such prints with the impressions made by the accused, there being no
question as to the accuracy or authenticity of the photographs. It was
stated that the weight to be given to the testimony of experts in the
fingerprint identification is a question for the jury.

3. Following the Illinois case was one in New Jersey, State vs. Cerciello, in
which fingerprint evidence was permitted to be introduced.

4. In the Cerciello Case, the defendant argued that it was an error to allow
the testimony by experts explaining the comparison of fingerprints
obtained from the defendant voluntarily with those fingerprints found upon
a hatchet near the body of the deceased when the body was discovered.
The New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals held, “in principle, its
admission as legal evidence is based upon the theory that the evolution in
practical affairs of life, whereby the progressive and scientific tenderness
of the age are manifested in every other department of human endeavor,
cannot be ignored in legal procedure.

5. In the case of State vs. Conners (87 N.T.L. 419, 94 Atl. 812 (1915) ) it
was held competent to show by a photograph the fingerprints upon the
balcony post of a house entered, without producing that post in court, and

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to show by expert testimony hat the fingerprints found on the post were
similar to the fingerprints of the defendant.

6. In the case of Lamble vs. State (Lamble V. State, 96 N. T. L. 231; 114

ATL. (N.J.) 346 (1921) ) which involved the discovery of fingerprints on the
door of an automobile, the court was of the opinion that it was not
necessary to produce the door as an evidence. The court stated that a
photograph of the fingerprints noted on the door should be sufficient along
with the identification of the fingerprints by an expert to show these of the
defendant. The court referred the case of States V. Conners (Supra).

7. In the case of Commonwealth vs. Albright, (101 Pa. Sup. C.L. 317
(1931) ) a fingerprint expert testified that the fingerprint on a piece of
glass, establish to be from a pane in a door that had been broken to effect
entrance to the house was the same as the impression of the defendant’s
left index finger and he explained in detail the points of identity which led
him to that judgment. The court stated, “it is well settled that the papillary
lines and marks on the fingers of every man, woman and child possess an
individual character different from those of any person and that the
chances that the fingerprints of two different persons may be identical are
infinitesimally remote.

8. In a California case, People vs. Coral (224 cal. 2d300 (1964( ), the court
stated, “it is completely settled law that fingerprints are the strongest
evidence of the identity of a person.” This Doctrine was reasserted in
another California case, People V. Riser (47 cal. 2d566 (1956) ) in which
the court stated, “fingerprint evidence is the strongest evidence of identity
and is ordinarily sufficient alone to identify the defendant.”

9. The US Supreme Court in the case of Schmerber vs. California

(Schmerber v. California, 384 us, 757, 763 764 (1966) ), held that the
introduction into evidence of fingerprint impressions taken without
consent of the defendant was not an infringement of the constitutional
privilege against self incrimination. The high court held that it is
constitutional to obtain real or physical evidence even if the suspect is
compelled to give blood in a hospital environment, submit to fingerprinting,
photographing or measurement, write or speak for identification, appears
in court, stand or walk, assume a stance or make a particular gesture, put
on a cloth that fits him, or exhibit his body as evidence when it is material.
The Schmerber case points out the fact that the privilege against self-
incrimination is related primarily to “TESTIMONIAL COMPULSION”.

10. In the Philippines, several decided cases could be cited where fingerprint
evidence was admitted, considered and appreciated by the appellate
courts with even lesser number of ridge similarities. In the BILANGAWA

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vs. AMADOR case, (Court of Appeals No. 37320-b), a fingerprint expert
and constabulary sergeant testified and successfully defended fingerprint
evidence based on eight identical ride points.

11. People vs. Medina (59 Phil. 330) - The first leading judicial decision in the
Philippine jurisprudence on the science of fingerprinting.

Admissibility of Fingerprint Testimony

Expert’s testimony as to the identity of thumb marks or fingerprints is

admissible. The method of identifying fingerprints is a science requiring close
study. Where thumb impressions are blurred and many of the characteristic
marks far from clear, thus rendering it difficult to trace the features enumerated
by experts as showing the identity of the impressions, the court is justified in
refusing to accept the opinion that a distinct similarity in some respects between
the admittedly genuine thumb mark and the questioned thumb mark is evident.

This method of identification of persons has become a fixed part of our

“SYSTEM OF JURISPRUDENCE”. Proof of the accused found in the place
where the crime was committed under such circumstances that they could only
have been impressed at the time when the crime was committed may be
sufficient proof of identity to sustain conviction.

Number of Ridge Characteristics as Basis for Absolute Identity

There are no national or international rules or laws that fix the number of
ridge characteristics that must be present in both the questioned and standard
prints that should be used as a basis for establishing absolute identity. Experts
of different countries differ in the requirements of the minimum number. In
England, the minimum is 16 and in USA, the minimum requirement is 12.
However, fingerprint experts in these countries believe that identity can be
established in lower number of guidelines laid down by the famous French
Criminalist Dr. Edmond Locard:

1. Clearness of the pattern.

2. Rarity of the type
3. Presence of core or delta in the decipherable part
4. Presence of pores
5. The perfect and clear identity of the width of ridges and furrows, of the
direction of the lines, and the angular value of the furrows.

Weight of Fingerprint

The weight to be given to evidence of correspondence of fingerprint when

offered to prove identity of the accused as the person committing a crime is for

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the determination of the court in the light of all the surrounding facts and

To warrant a conviction the fingerprints corresponding to those of the

accused must have been found in the place where the crime was committed
under such circumstances that they could only have been impressed at the time
when the crime was committed.

Can Fingerprint be destroyed?

John Dellinger, a notorious gangster and a police character, attempted to

erase his fingerprints by burning them with acid but as time went by the ridges
were again restored to their “natural” feature. The acid he applied temporarily
destroyed the epidermis of the bulbs of his fingers but re occur later.

Locard and Witkowsji of Lyons, who performed rather painful

experiments on themselves by burning their fingertips with boiling water, hot oil
and hot metal had shown that after the healing of the epidermis (outer skin), the
original patterns of fingerprints reappeared.

Can Fingerprints be forged?

The authorities conducted various experiments and although they could

almost make an accurate reproduction’s till there is no case on record known or
have been written that forgery of fingerprints has been a complete success.

Give the reasons why Fingerprints is one of the most Infallible Means of
Personal Identification

1. Fingerprints are already formed about 3 to 4 months of intra-uterine life

and will remain unchanged throughout life until the final decomposition of
the body.
2. The pattern formation formed by the papillary ridges contains peculiar
characteristics upon which a person can always be identified by fingerprint
3. Almost every police and law enforcement agencies throughout the
world accept, adopt and utilize the fingerprint system as a means of
absolute identification of a person.
4. The court and other authorities had taken cognizance of its importance
and reliability as a means of identification.
5. That fingerprint will speak for itself as it shows the owner thereof in
accordance with the principle of re ipso liquitor (a thing will speak for


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Allied Sciences of Fingerprints

Dactyloscopy – identification of persons through examination and

comparison of fingerprint. Taken from Greek words: Dactylos – a finger and
skopien – to examine

1. Poroscopy – Science of palm print identification.

2. Chiroscopy – Science of palm print identification.
3. Podoscopy – Science of foot print identification.

Pattern Interpretation

1. Arches – 5%
2. Loops – 60%
3. Whorls – 35%

Take Note: According to studies, the appearance of arches is less

followed by whorls and the loops.

What are the Types of Ridge Formation?

1. Recurving ridge – is a ridge that curves back in the direction in which

it started.
2. Converging Ridges – Two or more lines forming an angle, a ridge
whose closed end is angular and serves as a point of convergence.
3. Diverging ridges – Two ridges running side by side and suddenly
separating, one ridge going one way and the other ridge, another way.
4. Bifurcating ridges – A single ridge which splits into two ridges forming
a “Y” shape formation or structure.
5. Island, Eyelet, lake or Eye – it is a single ridge which bifurcates
where the bifurcating ridges converge at a certain point to form again into
a single ridge.
6. Dot or Series of Dots – They are fragmentary ridges formed like a dot
or dots.
7. Short or Series of Short Ridges – they are fragmentary ridges
formed by short or series of short ridges.
8. Ridge Ending - It is a termination or ending of ridge or ridges.
9. Fragmentary Ridges – They consist of disconnected sequences of
short ridges embodied intensely. These ridges are considered in the
classification of fingerprints if they appear as dark and as thick as the
surrounded ridges within the pattern area.
10. Ridge Hook – It is a ridge that divides to form two ridges which are
shorter in length than the main ridge.
11. Ridge Bridge – This is a connecting ridge between two ridges.

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12. Incipient or Nascent Ridge – This is a kind of ridge which is madly
formed, thin, short or broken which appears in the depressions between
two well formed ridges.
13. Sufficient Recurve – The space between shoulders of a loop, free of
any appendage, and a butting at right angle.
14. Appendage – A short ridge at the top or summit of a recurve usually at
right angle.
15. Core – It is a point on a ridge formation usually located at the center or
heart of a pattern.
16. Delta or Triradial Point – It a point on the first ridge formation at or
directly in front or near the center of the divergence of the type lines.
17. Envelop – Is a single recurving ridge enclosing one or more rods or
18. Friction ridges – Are strips of skin on the inside of the end joints of
our fingers and thumbs by which fingerprints are made. They are also
called papillary ridges or epidermal ridges.
19. Furrows – Are depressions or canals between the ridges which maybe
compared with the low area in a tire tread.
20. Rod or Bar – is a single ending ridge at the center of a recurving ridge
of a loop pattern.
21. Up thrust - Is an ending ridge of any length rising at a sufficient
degree from a horizontal place.
22. Dissociated ridges – are unusual ridge structures having no well
defined patterns; the ridges are extremely short, appear like a series of
“patches” caused by a disturbance of developmental process at early fetal
life of the individuals.
23. Shoulder of a loop – It is that point at which the recurving ridge
definitely turns or curves.
24. Puckering – As growth ceases at several ends, the ends curl slightly.
25. Creases – Are thin, usually straight narrow white lines running
transversely or formed side to side, across the print, causing the puckering
of the ridges.
26. Staple – Single recurving ridge at the center of the pattern area.
27. Spike – an ending ridge at the center of a pattern which forms the up

Type Lines and Pattern Area

1. Type line – basic boundaries of most fingerprints.

2. Pattern area – The part of the fingerprint which lies within the area
surrounded by the type lines.
What are the Rules on Core and Delta Location?

The rules in CORE location are:

1. The core is placed upon or within the innermost sufficient recurve.

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2. When the innermost sufficient recurve contains ending ridges or rod rising
as high as the shoulder of the loop further from the delta. The exemption
to this rule is when both shoulders are equidistant to the center of the
sufficient recurve.
3. When the innermost sufficient recurve contains an uneven number of rods
rising as high as the shoulders, the core is placed upon the end of the
center rod whether it touches the looping ridge or not.
4. When the innermost sufficient recurve contains an even number of rods
rising as high as the shoulders, the core is placed upon the end of the
further one of the two center rods, the two rods being treated as though
they were connected by a recurving ridge.

Take Note - Always base on the entrance of the pattern in the fingerprint.

The rule in DELTA location is:

1. A dot can be a delta when there is no other alternative.

Rules in Delta location when there is a choice between two or more Delta

1. The delta may be located at a bifurcation which does open towards the
2. When there is a choice between a bifurcation and another type of
delta, equally close to the point of divergence, the bifurcation is selected.
3. When there is a series of bifurcation opening towards the core at the
point of divergence of two type lines, the bifurcation nearest to the core is
chosen as the delta.
4. The delta may not be located in the middle of the ridge running
between the type lines toward the cores but at the nearer end only. The
location of the delta depends entirely upon the point of origin of the ridge
between the type lines toward the core.
5. If the ridge enters the pattern area from the point below the divergent
type lines. The delta must be located at the end nearer (inner terminus) to
the core.

Ridge counting and Ridge tracing

1. Ridge Counting – It refers to the process of counting the intervening

ridges that touch or cross an imaginary lien drawn between the core and
the delta.

Take Note - It applies only to loops.

2. Ridge Tracing – Is the process of tracing the ridges that emanate from
the lower side of the left delta towards the right delta to see where it flows
in relation to the right delta.

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Divisions of Fingerprint Patterns

1. ulnar
2. radial

1. Tented
2. Plain

1. Plain whorl
2. Central pocket loop whorl
3. Double loop whorl
4. Accidental whorl


1. Radial Loop - “R” - derived its name from the radius bone of the forearm;
it is one type of fingerprint patterns in which the ridges run its direction to
the radius bone or to the thumb.

2. Ulnar Loop is one type of fingerprint pattern in which the ridges flow
toward the ulnar bone or little finger. Ulnar loop therefore derived its name
from the ulna bone of the forearm, or little finger. Its symbol is letter “U” in
classification purposes.

Take Note - A pattern to be a loop must have the following four (4)
essential requisites:
a. It must have a core
b. It must have a delta
c. An imaginary line must pass
between the core and the delta
d. It must have a ridge count of a
minimum of at least one (1)

3. Plain Whorl - Symbolized by letter “W” in the classification. It is a

fingerprint pattern which there are two (2) deltas and in which at least one
(1) ridge makes a turn through one complete circuit, an imaginary line
drawn between the two (2) deltas must touch or cross at least one (1) of
the circuiting whorl ridges within the pattern area.

4. Central Pocket Loop Whorl - Symbolized by letter “C “ in the

classification. It is a fingerprint pattern which for the most part of a loop,
but which has a small whorl inside the loop ridges, sometimes called a

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composite pattern, which means that it is made up of two (2) patterns in
one, a whorl inside a loop.
It has two (2) deltas, one of which appears as the edge of the pattern
area, as in plain loop. And one shows inside the pattern area just below
the counterpart ridges.

5. Double Loop Whorl - Symbolized by letter “D” in the classification. A

double loop whorl is a pattern consisting of two (2) separate and distinct
loop formations. One of the loops surrounds or overlaps the other, also
called COMPOSITE PATTERN, like the central pocket loop whorl. It
arises from the fact that these patterns are a composite or combination of
two 92) patterns in one, with two cores and two deltas.

6. Accidental Whorl - Symbolized by letter “X” in the classification. It is a

pattern which is a combination of two or more different types of pattern
except in the PLAIN ARCH. It is a pattern which is a combination of two or
more different types of pattern except in the PLAIN ARCH. It can be a
combination of a loop and a whorl, a loop and a central pocket loop whorl,
or any combination of two or more different loops and whorl type patterns.

7. Plain Arch - Symbolized by letter “A” in the classification. It is a

fingerprint pattern in which the ridges enter on one side of the pattern and
flow towards the other side with a rise at the center with not more than one
of the four (4) essential requisites for loop pattern and with no recurving
ridge, no angular formation and no upward thrust.

Take Note - It enters to the left and flows towards the right.

8. Tented Arches - Symbolized by letter “T” in the classification. It is a

variety of arch family, but their ridge formations are not simple as those of
the plain arch, also considered TRANSITIONAL PATTERN between a
plain arch and a loop. Generally speaking, TENTED ARCHES are formed
in any of these three (3) way formations, to wit:

a. One or several ridges in the center of the form an up thrust.

b. The ridge or ridges in the center formed a well defined angle.
c. The pattern may have two or three or four essential requisites
of a loop pattern.

Take Note - An up thrust must have an

ending ridge.


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Real Impressions - Impressions of the finger bulbs with the use of the
printing ink on the surface of the paper. Any other coloring materials may be
used but less visible and indelible.

Methods of Producing Real Impressions

1. Plain Method.
2. Rolled Method

Methods of Recording real Fingerprints

Step 1- Ink the roller. Apply a small amount (about ¼ inch long stream) of
fingerprint ink on the right side of the slab, toward the back. Roll out a two to
three inch wide layer of ink on the back portion of the slab-lifting the roller off the
slab after each stroke and return to the starting point (do not use a back-and-
forth motion with the roller). Repeat several times until a thin film of ink forms on
the roller.

Step 2 - Next, using the same roller motion (without rolling back and
forth), spread the layer toward the front edge of the slab, until a smooth, uniform
coating of ink forms. The front edge is where the fingerprints are rolled. When
the ink on the front edge becomes too thin, replenish the ink roller on the back
edge of the slab and repeat step two.

Porelon Pad Method - No advance preparation is needed to use the

Porelon pad. However, the pad surface should be cleaned occasionally to
remove oil and dirt deposits by wiping the surface lightly with a soft, dry, lint-free

Print Matic Method - Like the slab and roller method, the Print matic
method requires that the ink is embedded within the Print Matic roller, and
coating the slab requires only a few passes of the roller in the same direction to
apply a thin, even layer of ink.

Equipment Used in Preparation for Taking Fingerprint using Slab and Roller

1. INKING PLATE – A 12 inches plate is long enough for most set of 0

fingers. The width of the plate should not be less than 8 inches, ten (10) is
a better width. A 10 inch plate is also wide enough to ink a complete palm
in one operation whenever it becomes necessary.
2. CARD HOLDER – The simplest is a U-shaped spring clamp. Made of
spring steel, stainless steel or brass of gauge sufficient to hold its shape in
heavy usage.
3. ROLLER – 6 inches long, and 2 inches in diameter. The handle should
have supporting posts or legs to suspend the rubber roller from developing

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flat sides and to keep unused portions of the plate and table top from
being smeared with ink.
4. INK - black printers ink is the most commonly used for taking fingerprint
impression. It is a consistency suitable for rolling into a thin film and it is
quick drying when transferred to a card as an inked impression. Yet it
does not dry too fast. Usable for several hours after a film has been

What are the reasons why FOUNTAIN PEN INK, COLORED INK AND
STAMP PAD INK are objectionable to be used as fingerprint ink?

a. They are too thin

b. Dry too quickly
c. Stamp pad smears easily
d. Impressions using stamp pad reproduce ‘weave” of the pad
stamp covering the inked impression.
e. Unsatisfactory for comparison purposes.

5. FINGERPRINT STAND – 32 inches high, the inking surface of a

fingerprint stand should be approximately 12 inches above the top of an
ordinary desk making the printing surface approximately 44 inches from
the floor for the average person.
found to be adequate for receiving five rolled impressions across the card
the size convenient for handling and filing.



1. Cleanliness of equipment
2. The right kind and correct amount of ink.
3. Proper distribution of ink on the glass slab or inking plate.
4. The distance of the subject from the inking on the fingerprint card.
5. The advice of the operator to the subject to relax and never to aid in the
6. The pressure exerted must be slight and even the rolling be continuous
movement including lifting.
7. The nail of the fingers should be at rights angle to the slab or to the card
before starting the rolling and always roll the fingers until the other side of
the nail is reached (180 degrees).
8. The inking and printing must always reach below the first of the fingers.
9. The thumbs should be rolled towards the subject’s body and all other
fingers away from the subject’s body.


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1. The first and most important step is clear the plate thoroughly.
2. A daub of printer’s ink is deposited near the edge of the plate away from
the operator.
3. The subject’s hand and fingers must be relaxed.

Most operators stand on the left side of the person whose prints are being
taken for the simple reason that more people are right handed and then normally
work more efficiently and do better advantage toward the right. Therefore, most
fingerprint stands are made so that the printing is done on the left front corner.

Take Note:

Rolled Impression – the subject must be relaxed

Plain Impression – the subject may not be relaxed


1. Temporary Disabilities

a. fresh cuts or wounds or bandaged fingers

b. Occupational marks (dry skin) – carpenters, bricklayers, etc.
c. Excessive perspiration

2. Permanent Disabilities

a. lack of fingers – in-born or amputated

b. crippled fingers – bent or broken
c. deformities – webbed, extra fingers (poly dactyl)
d. old age
e. split fingers/thumbs


1. Excessively sweating fingers - Impressing shall be made after

temporarily suppressing sweating by wiping fingers with a lightly squeezed
piece of gauze to which formalin alcohol liquid (100 ml. of ethyl alcohol
liquid containing 1-3 ml. of formalin pharmacopoeia) is applied.

2. Fingers with stiff joints - Impressing shall be made after shaking a

subject’s hand grasped by the wrist up and down several times to
smoothen the joint movement. In this case, if the impressing plate and the
glass plate are placed somewhat higher while having the subject stand
somewhat away from the table, handling would be easier.

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3. Fingers with stiff surface skin, coarse fingers and fingers
suffering from dermatophytosis - Wrap fingers in a steamed towel for
several minutes then impress. In this case, somewhat denser ink and
somewhat weaker impressing will be better.


1. Fingers soon after death - Wipe out fingers with a piece of gauze
containing alcohol if they are stained. In case where satisfactory roll
impressions are not obtainable by the ordinary impressing technique, the
impression paper shall be cut to a proper size, and impressing shall be
made onto it using such aids as a fingerprint taking pallet from a dead

2. Stiff fingers of a clenched fist - Impressing shall be made using an aid

such as a spatula for taking fingerprints from a dead body.

3. Blanched and wrinkled fingers

Take Note:

Finger without percolate - Wipe them with a piece of alcohol –

containing gauze, soften them thoroughly with your finger tips, stretch wrinkles,
and then impress.

Fingers with percolate - Take their mold with silicon after drying with
lycopodium powder. In order to obtain fingerprint impressions from silicon molds,
strippable paint or cortex shall be used this technique is as follows:

Fingers with peeled-off surfaced skin - Wind that surface skin around
the operator’s finger. Apply ink to it and impress. When the true skin is exposed,
take photo after applying ink to the true skin or drying it with an aqueous marker
in water or alcohol.

Finger of Charred Body - In case where it is feared that they will

disintegrate by even the slightest, their photo shall be taken as they are.

Mummified fingers. Take their mould with silicon, make films with
strippable paint or cortex, and impress.


Chance Impressions - These are fingerprints which are imprinted by

mere chance or without any intention to produce the print. Chance print may be

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1. Plastic impression – impressions made by chance on cellophane
tapes or any plastic materials.
2. Visible prints – impressions made by chance and visible without
chemical treatment.
3. Latent prints – impressions which are visible grossly but made visible
by the addition of some substances. These are fingerprints found at
the scene of a crime.

Search for Scene of Fingerprint Impressions

In order to collect scene fingerprints, it is necessary to clarify where they

were impressed. Most scene fingerprints are usually found at the points of entry,
and departure, places ransacked, etc. Therefore, searching for scene
fingerprints should be made with emphasis on such places but be thoroughly
made on their surroundings. Further, there may be cases where a suspect uses
gloves, wipes out his fingerprint after committing a crime, or makes other actions
in connection with fingerprints. Thus, even when glove impressions or other
traces of actions have been found as result of a fingerprint search, it is necessary
not to give up but to make a thorough search all over the scene of the crime.

How to collect Chance Fingerprints?

The methods of collecting fingerprints are roughly classified into eight, i.e.,
solid method (powder method), liquid method, gas method, lifting method, flame
method, molding method, photographing method and development with lasers.


This solid method is also called the powder method since powder is used,
and is the most basic method.

The kinds and properties of powders commonly used are as follows:

Name color adhesiveness composition

Aluminum silver extremely crushed

Powder (gray) white strong aluminum foil
Highnium silver moderately charge-proof
Grayish strong processed gray
Ultranium grayish weak resin and areic
Acid processed
Aluminum powder

Black black weak mixture of

Powder carbon black
and graphite

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Brown powder sepia weak manganese
(black powder B-5) dioxide
White powder sepia weak powder mixture
of zinc oxide and talc
Lead pure weak Basic lead carbonate
Carbonate white
Lycopodium light extremely spores of club
Powder yellow weak moss
Yellow powder yellow weak yellow color,
Lycopodium yellow color
Red lead vermilion weak trilead
Tetroxide Powder
Indigo purple weak Indigotin (for drying)
Fluorescent yellow weak organic zinc
Powder sulfide or Zinc sulfide
Magnetic blackish weak
Powder gray electrolytic
Iron powder

Each powder has its own properties of color, adhesiveness, grain size,
delineability, etc. A suitable powder is selected and used according to the
conditions of impression and object. Sometimes, two or more kidns of powder
are used in mixture. This is called mixture powder. By using mixture powder,
color and adhesiveness can be adjusted. For example, by mixing lead carbonate
with indigo, the disappearance of fingerprints lifted to gelatin paper can be
prevented, while by mixing aluminum powder (gray) with lycopodium, the
excessive adhesion of aluminum powder (gray) can be prevented.


Powdering methods include the brushing method, rolling method, spraying

method and light hitting method

1. The brushing method is a method where, after affixing powder to an

object to be examined with a brush (developing brush) to whose tip a
small quantity of powder has been affixed a fingerprint is developed by
lightly sweeping it with another, powder less brush (finishing brush) to
remove excessive powder.
2. The rolling method is method where, after placing a proper quantity
of powder on an object to be examined, lightly moving it by bending and
tilting, spreading out powder all over the object to have powder adhere to

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the fingerprint, the fingerprint is developed by flipping the back side of the
object to remove excess powder.
3. Also, there is another method called the sprinkling or tapping
method where, after having powder adhere to a fingerprint by lightly
tapping the object to be examined, the fingerprint is developed by lightly
tapping a part of the object with one’s fist, etc. to remove excess powder.
4. The spraying method is a method where, after evenly spraying
powder over the object to be examined from a distance of approximately
30 cm, the fingerprint is developed by removing excess powder by an air
spray or with a brush, etc. This method is suitable for cases where
development is made from a porous or solid object using lowly adhesive
5. In cases where development has been made by using fluorescent
powder, the effect is doubled if observed by utilizing an ultra-violet ray
6. The light-striking method is a method where, after having powder
adhere to a fingerprint by, say, lightly striking the object to be examined
with a brush tip to which powder has been applied, the fingerprint is
developed with another brush to which no powder is applied or by air
blowing with a blower-brush or a spray to remove excess powder. This
method is suitable for development from an object with a porous or
adhesive surface.


Collecting method by lifting fingerprint developed with powder include

methods employing cellophane tape, vinyl tape or other adhesive tape, and
methods employing silicon rubber.

1. The lifting technique with gelatin paper or lifter is as follows:

2. Cut gelatin paper or lifter to proper size.
3. Pull off the backing.
4. Direct the adhesive face toward the fingerprint.
5. Press on corner to the paper firmly to the object.
6. Press the rest of the paper to the object in stages, from the point already
affixed towards the fingerprint.
7. Press it lightly and evenly with your palm, etc. Less air should be
8. Peel it off after lifting.
9. Stick it to the backing in the same manner of lifting.

The lifting method using silicon rubber follows the following:

1. Stretch the above thinly and evenly onto a proper-sized piece of paper or
2. Add 5-10% by volume of hardener to silicon base.

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3. Mix them thoroughly.
4. Stretch the above thinly and evenly onto a proper-sized piece of paper or
5. Apply above to a fingerprint to be lifted.
6. Press lightly and evenly with a palm, etc. to prevent bubbles from being
7. Pull off after silicon has hardened.

Take Note: Method of Restoration - When the fingerprint collection by

solid method is over, the object should be restored to its original state by
removing powder which has been affixed to it. This is called “restoration.” Wipe
the object lightly with a piece of cloth or a brush which contains 0.5-1% synthetic
cleanser liquid or 2-5% soap liquid.


1. Affix some chemicals to latent or visible fingerprint to cause a chemical

change in the excreta elements.
2. Develop or clarify it.
3. Record the print by photographing it.

This method is effective for developing a latent print from an object such
as paper, wood or metal and to collect a visible fingerprint such as a blood
fingerprint. This is a chemical collecting method whose principle is that the
element of the chemical liquid reacts to the element in excreta or blood by
changing color.

1. Reagent (chemical liquid) - Reagents commonly used are ninhydrin,

silver nitrate, etc.
2. Method to affix reagent - Method to affix reagent include the painting
method, soaking method and spraying method.
a. The painting method is a method where an object is painted evenly
with a brush 9flat brush for liquid) with ample reagent to affix the
reagent to the fingerprints. This method is suitable for a large or
solid object to be examined.
b. The soaking method is a method to affix reagent to fingerprints by
soaking an object to be examined into regent in a tray or other
vessel. This method is suitable for cases where a small object is to
be examined for development.

The spraying method is as follows:

1. Fill a sprayer for liquid with reagent.

2. Spray evenly over the object to be examined about 30 cm. From the
nozzle for affixing the reagent to the object.

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a. This method is applicable to three-dimensional as well as
flat-surfaced objects either large or small.
b. The sprayer used for the thin method should be capable of
spraying as fine as mist as possible.
c. A ninhydrin sprayer is an aerosol-type sprayer exclusively
for fingerprints which sprays the reagent (0.5% acetone solution of
ninhydrin) by means of pressurized gas. Meanwhile, since silver
nitrate reagent corrodes the metallic portions of a sprayer, it should not
be used in development by spraying method.

Take Note: Method of Restoration - When the fingerprint collecting work

by the liquid method is complete, the article should be restored to its original
state by removing fingerprints impressed thereon and stains produced by
development, this is called restoration. Restoration methods vary according to
types of reagent used for development. For restoration of a case using silver
nitrate reagent, the object shall be washed in water after being soaked in 2%
alcohol liquid of corrosive sublimate. There is another method of soaking in
saturated solution of sodium thiosulphate after soaking in saturated solution of
iodine or of potassium ferry cyanide.

For restoration of a case using ninhydrin reagent, the object shall either be
applied with “Osyfull” oxygenated water) and be warmed, or be applied with 3%
solution of ammonium, or be soaked in hot water at 80 degrees or over.


This is a method where a latent fingerprint is developed by means of

coloring by affixing gasified reagent or by causing chemical change in elements
of excreta, and then collected by photographing or by lifting onto lifting material.
This method is suitable for developing fingerprints from papers, unpainted wood
and textiles.

Iodine is exclusively used as a reagent. The developed pattern

disappears with in a few minutes. Therefore, reduction is unnecessary.

a. The methods of affixing the reagent include a method where gas is

blown on to an object to be examined using an iodine gas generator or
a method where gas is filled up into a box in which an object has been
placed. Also, there is another method where gas is blown into a vinyl
bag in which an object has been placed.
b. Since the fingerprint developed disappears within a few minutes, it
is collected by being photographed.
c. One of the recently developed method is to develop a fingerprint in
white by affixing gas generated from cyan acrylic instant adhesive. It
proves effective for developing fingerprints from a blackish object,
especially the adhesive face of adhesive tape.

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This method follows the following:

1. Apply cyanoacrylate to a plastic or similar plate.

2. The place on which a fingerprint is supposedly impressed shall be
placed and fixed face to face about 3 mm above the plate.
3. Leave it under a cover.
4. The fingerprint is developed about 3 minutes later at the earliest.
5. The developed fingerprint shall be collected by being photographed.


This method includes a method where a visible fingerprint is directly lifted

to lifting material, a method where a fingerprint which has been directly lifted is
processed with powder, chemical liquid, etc., and a method where a fingerprint is
lifted using lifting material processed in advance with chemical liquid, etc., and
then preserved as it is or photographed. These are effective for collecting dust
fingerprints, oil/grease fingerprints, and blood fingerprints.

Lifting material - All lifting materials used for lifting under the solid
method, gelatin paper, lifter, cellophane tape, transparent vinyl tape, and other
adhesive tapes can be used; but in most cases, gelatin paper is used.

Lifting method - The method of lifting directly to the lifting material is

mostly used for collecting a dust fingerprint or oil/grease fingerprints.
The method using processed lifting material is to lift the material to whose
surface chemical liquid etc. has been applied in advance. This method is used
for collecting an oil/grease fingerprint and a just fingerprint.

Major collecting methods by tape of visible fingerprint are as follows:

a. Dust fingerprint - In cases where dust quantity is small, a

fingerprint shall be lifted directly to gelatin paper (black). Whenever
the fingerprint has become unclear after lifting, the transparent plate
shall be peeled off and photograph shall be taken by lighting from the
rear side, or the fingerprint shall be developed by having lycopodium
stick to the peeled backing by rolling method 7-9 days after lifting. Also
if the transparent plate is peeled off after lifting, its impressed face is
turned upwards, and the plate is soaked in ethyl alcohol for 1-3
minutes, its gelatin film hardens and further change is prevented.

b. Blood fingerprint - In cases where a blood fingerprint has just

been impressed on an unabsorptive object, it shall be directly lifted on
gelatin paper. In cases whir lifting is difficult as it has become slightly
dryer, it is better to apply gelatin paper to and lightly press the blood
fingerprint following the technique of lifting, to peel off the paper after

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moistening the blood, to stick aluminum powder or gray to the blood
fingerprint by brushing, and to lift it onto other gelatin paper.

c. Oil/grease fingerprint - When the surface is dry, it shall be

collected by lifting it onto Binio roll lifter as it is. If not dry, it shall be
lifted after drying in the shade. Meanwhile, in cases of fluid oil/grease,
a fingerprint cannot be collected by this method.


This is a method of developing or clarifying by affixing soot to a latent or

unclear fingerprint. The developed fingerprint shall be collected by lifting in onto
lifting material or by photographing. This method is suitable for collection from
metal or other object with a porous surface.

Soot-generating materials (burning material) include magnesium (photo

flash powder), camphor, pine resin, benzene, kerosene, edible oil, paraffin and


This is a method of collecting visible fingerprints with a molding material,

and is suitable for collecting from an object with so complicated and uneven a
surface that lifting with lifting material is unfeasible. This is also suitable for
collecting a latent fingerprint developed from a heated object.

The molding materials include silicon rubber, plaster, “Aljix”, strippable

paint, paraffin was, and plastic liquid. Collection shall be made by taking a
photograph or just preserving the mold.

Space age technology is being used to enhance latent prints that
heretofore were of insufficient quality to be used. While image processing has
been used for some time, the high cost of computers precluded the use of such
technology in most crime laboratories. Major advances in the “microchip”
industry and the resulting proliferation of relatively inexpensive microcomputers
have placed this technology within the budgets of many laboratories.


Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. The use of lasers

for detection of latent fingerprint is relatively new and dates from 1976. By 1985,
approximately 50 forensic science laboratories, or approximately 15 percent of
the crime laboratories in North America, used lasers.

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With nonporous items (e.g., plastic bags, glass, and so forth), the
evidence is first fumed with cyanoacrylate. If prints are not visible by means of
normal techniques employed, the material is washed with a methanol solution of
rhodamine. Excess rhodamine is washed off with methanol, using a laboratory
plastic wash bottle. If prints are present, the small amount of excess rhodamine
will adhere to them and show up under laser illumination can be used. A zinc
chloride solution is used to change the Ruheman’s purple coloration, caused by
the reaction of ninhydrin with the amino acids present in the prints, to a yellow-
orange color. The color change is luminescent in laser light, and visible prints
may be photographed.

On porous items of evidence (e.g., paper, cardboard, and the like),

evidence is treated in the usual way with ninhydrin. If prints are visible but have
insufficient ridge detail, laser illumination can be used. A zinc chloride solution is
used to change the Ruhemann’s purple coloration, caused by the reaction of
ninhydrin with the amino acids present in the prints, to a yellow-orange color.
The color change is luminescent in laser light, and visible prints may be

At this time there are three types of lasers used in latent print work: the
argon ion laser, copper vapor laser, and neodymium: YAG laser.


Techniques for developing latent fingerprints on human skin have been

devised, but have been successful only in rare instances. They may be
attempted in certain cases. The procedures are simple to use, inexpensive, and
can be accomplished by evidence technicians. The procedures work on both
living and deceased subjects.

The Kromekote card is used to lift the print from the skin surface by
placing the card over the skin in the suspected area and applying pressure for
about 3 seconds. The card is carefully removed and then dusted with black
fingerprint powder to develop the print transferred onto the card. The fingerprint
obtained is the mirror image of a normal print, which can be reversed through
photography. After the Kromekote technique is used, fingerprint powder
can be applied directly to the skin to develop prints. The literature reports that
the Magna-Brush gives results superior to a fiberglass filament brush. If a print is
developed by this method, it must be photographed and then may be lifted using
cellophane lifting tape.

Fingerprints on skin surfaces appear to last about 1-1/2 hours on living

victims. Deceased victims should be examined for latent prints on the skin as
soon as possible. The technique is still somewhat experimental, but the
simplicity and ease of use of the methods will result in greater use through
experience on the part of investigators.

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1. Whenever scene fingerprints have been found, confirmation by a witness

shall be made prior to collection.
2. Whenever scene fingerprints have been found, they shall be developed and
photographed prior to collection in order to clarify the position of an object
and positions of fingerprint impressions. Picture taking shall be made by
providing the fingerprinted object with a label containing the name of
incident, date and hour taken, place, witnesses, signatures, collector’s
affiliation and name, etc.
3. Whenever fingerprints are collected by lifting (printing0 then the grain of
wood, pattern, or other characteristics original to the object near the
fingerprints shall be lifted at the same time with lifting tape, etc. to clarify the
place where the fingerprints are impressed. In addition, the name of
incident, date and hour collected, object of collection, place of collection,
signature of witness, and collector’s affiliation and name shall also be
entered on the back of the lifting paper.

a. A scene fingerprint collection report shall be prepared to clarify the

relationship between the incident and the place of collection.
b. On the scene fingerprints collection report, all scene fingerprints
collected should be numbered in serial order, and be entered so as
to clarify which fingerprint was collected at which place by attaching
a scene sketch.
c. Meanwhile, for those fingerprints collected without taking
photographs, it necessary to clarify the impressed positions and
directions by solidly illustrating objects of collection portions thereof,

PRESERVATION BY PHOTOGRAPHY - Prints found at the scene of a

crime preferably should be preserved by photography. This procedure has many
advantages, including its leaving the object intact so that further photographs can
be taken if the first are unsuccessful. It also makes it easier to produce the
evidence before a court of law if the print has been recorded since parts of the
object that carry the print will be seen in the picture.


been left in material that has hardened or is able to withstand transport, and
when it is on an object that is small and easily transportable, it may be sent
directly to the crime laboratory. If removing the plastic print poses some special
problem, it should be photographed using oblique light to bring out as much
detail as possible. The fingerprint impression may then be preserved by an
appropriate casting material.

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surfaces, such as doorknobs, with latent fingerprints present are difficult to
photograph or do not lend themselves to the use of cellophane lifting tape. For
such surfaces, elastic or rubber lifter material works well. Rubber lifters are
commercially available items made of thin, rubbery material coated with an
adhesive. The adhesive is protected by a transparent celluloid material removed
prior to use and replace onto with different fingerprint powders.


common method of collecting latent fingerprint evidence today is by special
transparent cellophane tape. The material is supplied in rolls and is usually 1 or
2 inches wide. After the surface is dusted with fingerprint powder, the tape is
placed over the print. Care must be taken to prevent any air pockets. The tape
is smoothed down over the print with the aid of a signer and then drawn off.
Particles of fingerprint powder adhere to the sticky surface of the tape and
thereby transfer the fingerprint pattern. The tape is finally placed onto a card of
suitable color, contrasting with the powder used.

How long does a Fingerprint remain on an object?

Plastic prints remain for any length of time provided that the object on
which they are left or the substance in which they are formed is itself stable. In
investigations, it sometimes happens that police officers find fingerprints that give
the impression of having been made in dust, but on closer examination are found
to be dust-filled plastic prints in oil paint made years earlier.

Prints that have resulted from contaminated with blood, pigments, ink, and
oil are more resistant and can be kept for a long time under favorable conditions.
Latent prints on glass china, and other smooth objects can remain for years if
they are in a well-protected location. On objects in the open air, a print can be
developed several months after it is made. Fingerprints on paper are very stable
and will last for years provided the paper does not become wet and deteriorate.

What is the effect of temperature on the possibility of developing


When objects on which there may be fingerprints are found outdoors in ice
or snow, they must be thawed slowly and placed so that the thawed water does
not run over and destroy the prints. A suitable method of treating is to scrape
away as much snow and ice as possible, with the greatest care, before the object
is brought to a warm place. Only when the object is dry should the print be

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When plastic fingerprints are present in oil or grease, the thawing must be
allowed to proceed slowly and under close scrutiny since the print may easily be
destroyed by heat. Such prints should be photographed when they appear.

Damp objects should be dried in a room at ordinary room temperature. As

a general rule, never examine cold objects, especially metal, until they have been
kept for at least some hours at room temperature. In indoor investigations in a
cold house, the rooms should first be heated. The heating should be done slowly
so that water from thawing does not run off frosted objects of places.

What is the concept of fingerprint identification?

The identification of a fingerprint is to compare two fingerprints with each

other, to indicate their characteristics, and to determine whether they match or do
Since latent fingerprints are often partial and unclear, their identification
often encounters difficulties. Therefore, those who are engaged in identification
should make a correct identification. This also applies to the identification of
palm prints, middle phalange prints, basic phalange prints and footprints.

What is the method of identification?

Method of identification include those for comparing characteristics (type

and position) of friction ridges, of sweat pores (sweat gland outlets appearing on
friction ridges like eyes of needles) and of friction ridge edges (straight,
projecting, arch, pocket, table, etc.). In general, however, a method by
characteristics of friction ridge which are understandable easily and objectively is

In identification, the following matters should b examined with the

identification material:

1. Conditions of collection (method of collection, situation of both the object

impressed and the fingerprint left on the scene, time elapsed, etc.).
2. Kind of pattern, position impressed.
3. Kind of finger.
4. Situation of impression (whether slipped, twisted, duplicated or not; either
surface or true skin; and reversal fingerprint).

In comparison and pointing out of characteristics, the characteristics of a

latent fingerprint and of the formally impressed fingerprint shall be compared, and
matching points of characteristics shall both be noted by indication lines with
numbers for referencing. The indication lines and numbers shall be entered in

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A letter of identification shall be prepared bye entering therein such
necessary matters as the kind (latent fingerprints, finger seal, formally impressed
fingerprints, or so) and number of pieces of identification material, identification
item, identification process, identification result, identification date and identifier.

Meanwhile, in general, a photograph showing the identification material

enlarged three times is attached indicating on the photograph matching
characteristics by indication lines and numbers for easy comprehension.
Is there any electronic identification of fingerprints?

The computer has greatly affected how fingerprints can be taken. An

Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) can digitize fingerprint
information to produce inkless fingerprints. Latent fingerprints are scanned and
converted into an electronic image that is stored in a data base for rapid retrieval.

The live-scan method of fingerprinting stores and transmits fingerprints

digitally. The new method allows police to place a suspect’s finger on a glass
plate, which is then read by a special device to produce a digital image of the
prints. The image can then be transmitted over telephone lines to computerized
criminal records centers.

Laser fingerprinting eliminates the mess of inked fingerprints and also

many of the problems associated with them.

Take Note: Fingerprint evidence is maintained by:

1. For laboratory examination - Recording made upon receipt of

a. Name of agency requesting for scientific assistance or
submitting latent print.
b. Date or receipt.
c. Inventory of latent fingerprint evidence.
2. For field laboratory work - It is maintained by following the
procedures below:
a. Crime scene search for latent.
b. Develop the print by developing materials.
c. Photograph developed prints by powder on original.
d. Lifting latent prints.

Further maintenance is done by lifting the number of fingerprint evidence,

their descriptions, quantity and quality.


In testifying to fingerprint identification, the expert often prepares charts to

visually aid the court and jury in understanding the nature of his testimony. Many
times it is undoubtedly difficult for the laymen to perceive, from a vocal

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explanation alone, the full import of an expert’s testimony, due to its technical
nature; consequently, some graphic representation of the facts presented is
amply justified and rewarded.

The preparation of the charts is ultimately the sole responsibility of the

expert using them. As matter of interest to law enforcement personnel engaged
in fingerprint work, a brief explanation of such charts follows, along with
suggestions and remarks based on long experience in these mattes.
Aside from the photographic equipment, what are other the needed

A roll of scotch photographic tape -1 inch wide to outline the areas of the
fingerprints on the negative to be used: some stiff cardboard approximately 1/32
inch thick on which to mount the prepared charts, a tube of rubber cement and a
bottle of translucent ink, other than black or white.

A light-box on which to view the negatives while blocking, and a lettering

set to draw the lines and numbers uniformly on the charts, while not absolutely
essential, are helpful conveniences. A light-box is basically a frosted pane of
glass with a light beneath it to produce soft, even, none glaring illumination. If no
light-box is available, a clear window may be utilized in “blocking” the negatives.

If the expert finds it necessary to have an outside source prepare his

photographs, he should retain personal custody of the evidence during the
operation. The original latent print and inked print with which it is identical can be
photographed 25 times the actual size. This procedure eliminates guesswork in
enlarging both the same degree. Whatever areas of the two prints are deemed
requisite to illustrate the method of identification are then outlined (blocked) on
subsequent enlargements.

Generally, if the legible area of the latent print is small, it is well to show
the complete print. If the area is large, however, as in a palm print, an area
which will not make the chart too bulky or unwieldy may be selected.

In blocking, the negative is affixed to the window pane or light-box by

means of strips of photographic tape across the corners, with the side to be
blocked up. This prevents constant shifting of the negative while it is prepared.
The latent print should be blocked first. Corners of the blocked areas should be

If the latent print was developed or photographed as a light print on a dark

background, a reverse-color negative should be prepared and blocked in order
that both print may appear as black ridges on light. This is done by placing the
original negative adjacent to a new sheet of film and exposing it. The resultant
negative contains the same image as the original except that the color of the
image has been reversed.

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If the negative is a photograph of an opaque lift the print appears in
reverse position; that is, as a mirror image, and the negative will accordingly
have to be blocked from the dull or emulsion side in order for it to appear in a
position comparable to that of the inked prints. Failure to present the prints in
question in the same color and position may confuse the observer and nullify the
purpose for which the chart is made.

The degree of enlargement is not important in itself so long as the ridge of

the latent print is readily distinguishable by the eye. Ten diameters have been
found adequate, although any enlargement from 5 to 30 will serve. It should be
remembered however that small enlargements are difficult to see a few feet away
and that large ones lose some of the contrast between ridges and background. A
white border of at least 1 ½ inches or a width equal to one-third the enlarged
area should be left for charting purposes.

All of the ridge characteristics are ample to illustrate for, identification, but
it is neither claimed nor implied that this number is required. All fingerprint
identifications are made by observing that two impressions have the ridge
characteristics of similar shapes which occupy the same relative positions in the

Method involving super imposition of the prints are not recommended

because such a procedure is possible only in a very few instanced, due to the
distortion of ridges in most prints through pressure and twisting. Such a
procedure is not necessarily a test of identity. Likewise, presenting charts with
the shapes of the characteristic drawn in the margin is not recommended.
Individual ridge characteristics may vary slightly in actual shape or physical
position due to twisting, pressure, incomplete inking condition of latent print when
developed, powder adhering to background etc.

Identifications are based on a number of characteristics viewed in a unit

relationship and not on the microscopic appearances of single characteristic. The
chart will present a clearer, nearer and more pleasing appearance if it is
numbered clockwise and the numbers are evenly spaced. It is necessary
however, to place the numbers evenly around the photograph. Ordinarily, the
numbers are placed on three sides and the type of print (latent or ink) noted at
the bottom. In any case, the manner of numbering should be subservient to an
explanation of the characteristics in an orderly sequence; and, if the situation
warrants all of the points may be illustrated on a single side of the photograph.

A single line should be drawn from each characteristic to a numbered

point on the march. Care should be taken to draw the beyond it or obscuring it.
Erasures should be avoided. If the ink runs or blots, it is sometimes possible to
remove it with a cloth in denatured alcohol, without damaging the photograph.

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If the enlargement is great, that is 25 or 30 diameters, it might be well to
draw a small circle around each characteristic and then draw the line from a
circle to the number, since the ridge will be much thicker than the illustrating line.
All lines and numbers should be checked for absolute accuracy. The expert
should also study the enlargements for apparent discrepancies in the prints,
which he might be called upon to explain.

The chartered enlargements are readily mounted on stiff cardboard with

rubber cement, which may be purchased in small tubes. After cementing the
photograph to the cardboard, it should be placed under a heavy glut object which
will cover the entire surface to prevent wearing and wrinkling.


CLASSIFICATION IN GENERAL, in this context, refers to the sorting

things into division or group so that they can at later time be quickly located.

What are the steps in fingerprint classification?

1. Recording – Simply means the taking of fingerprint impressions, either

rolled or plain impression.
2. Interpretation – Simply means the naming or interpreting of a fingerprint
pattern. Loop (either radial or ulnar), Arch (plain or tented) or whorl (plain,
central pocket loop) whorl, double loop whorl or accidental whorl).
3. Blocking – This applies only to loop pattern either as ulnar or radial loop.
It means designating by symbol the type of patterns which each finger and
thumb bears and recording for each respective finger and thumb.
4. Classification – This refers to the classification proper this time you need
a complete set of ten (10) fingerprint patterns to obtain the necessary

What are the patterns that require special attention?

1. Doubtful – interpretation is very difficult.

2. Questionable – a doubtful pattern
3. Borderline – whereby in either case, it can be the combination of different
kinds of fingerprint pattern. And the classification of such is confused as
to its proper interpretation.
4. Approximating – sometimes the same as to that of doubtful.

Important points to remember in classifying fingerprints

1. Division – for purposes of classification and filing, all the type patterns are
divided into two groups; the numeral and the non-numeral.
2. Numerical – the numerical group is composed of set of prints containing
whorl pattern.

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3. Non-numerical – the non-numerical group is composed of sets of prints in
which no whorls are present.
4. Fingerprint analysis – the analysis of fingerprint is the identifying and
distinguishing of fingerprint pattern according to their design and
5. Classification formula – is the result of combining all the patterns of the
fingerprints and recording them in a specific order or manner at the top
right of the fingerprint card. It represents the patterns of all ten fingers of
both hands combined.
6. Filing – is an orderly manner of starting the card and grouping each card
and filing in a specific sequence according to the final classification
7. Pockets – the fingerprint cards are grouped according to the classification
formula and the classification of the extension used in the bureau.
8. Searching – means an attempt to locate in the file a print identical to the
current print and thus established identification.
9. Denominator’s meaning in primary classification – the denominator
written below the line constitute the total numerical value of the finger in
which the whorls appear, is the natural sequence of numbers from one to
thirty two (1 to 32).

What are the basic rules for tracing whorls?

1. Tracing always begins at the left delta and goes toward the right delta.
2. An uninterrupted ridge can be traced from the left delta to the right delta.
3. When the tracing ridge suddenly ends, the tracing is continued on the
ridge below it. A ridge must definitely end before the tracing may be
continued on the ridge below.
4. When a ridge bifurcates, the tracing is continued on the lower branch or
the bifurcation.
5. When the delta is dot, the tracing begins on the type line, which is the
ridge immediately below the delta.

What are the rules for beginning and ending ridge count?
1. Ridge tracing begins at the extreme left delta and stops at the point
directly in front of the right delta.
2. In a double loop whorl, the tracing begins at the extreme left delta. When
the tracing passes inside the right delta, one stops at the nearest point to
the right delta on an up thrust.
3. In an accidental whorl having three deltas, the tracing begins at the
extreme left delta and goes towards the extreme delta. Any other delta
encountered is ignored.
4. If no up thrust is represented, one continues the tracing until a point
opposite the right delta, or the left delta itself, is reached.

What are the symbols in Blocking?

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Arches (Plain) A a
Arches (tented) T t
Radial loops R or / r or /
Ulnar loops U or \ u or \
Plain Whorls W w
Central Pocket Loop Whorl C c
Double Loop Whorl D d
Accidental Whorl X x

Take Note:

1. If a finger appears to be amputated (cut off) just place the symbol or

simple abbreviation as AMP and the date of amputation on the box of the
finger actually amputated.
2. In case of partial amputation, place the abbreviation symbol “TIP AMP”.


What is the Pure Henry System of Classification?

1. Primary
2. Secondary and small letter groups
3. Sub-secondary
4. Final
5. Major
6. Key


Procedure to be followed in obtaining primary classification

Numbering in natural sequence. The first step in classifying fingerprints

is the numbering of the finger and thumbs. The natural sequence, starting with
the right thumb as one and ending at the left little finger as ten is followed:

Right hand 1 2 3 4 5
Left hand 6 7 8 9 10

ODD FINGERS: The odd fingers are 1 (right thumb) 3 (right middle
finger) 5 (right little finger) 7 (left index finger) 9 (left ring finger).

EVEN FINGERS: The even fingers are 2 (right index finger) 4 (right ring
finger) 6 (left thumb) 8 (left middle finger) 10 (left little finger).

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Numerical Value of Whorls - Designated Value of Each Finger with Whorls

The Henry system designated the value of whorl according to the finger or
thumb on which they appear, and in the following sequences.
Right hand 16 16 8 8 4
Left hand 4 2 2 1 1

Total Whorl for Primary - In a set of prints, the numerical value is represented
by two (2) distinct totals. First: all whorls appearing on the odd fingers; and
second, all whorls appearing on the even fingers. The two totals obtained
constitute the primary classification. ODD and EVEN finger must never total
together. The ODD numbered fingers shall constitute as the denominator and
the EVEN numbered fingers as the numerator.

Arbitrary count of one (1) ADDED - To each total, an arbitrary count of one is
added. The purpose of the arbitrary count of one is to avoid a classification of
zero over zero in a set of print in which no whorls appear; this might be mistaken
for the letter “O” which has another specific meaning in the classification.

Number of Possible Combinations in the Primary - There are one thousand

and twenty four (1,024) possible combinations of primaries, beginning with “one
over one” and ending with “thirty-two over thirty-two”

Take Note: After getting the Primary Classification, you must file the
fingerprint in the following manner:
1/1 - Lowest Classification
32/32 - Highest Classification


1. 1/1, ½, 1/3, ¼, 1/5, 1/6……………………….. 1/32

2. 2/1, 2/2, 2/3, 2/4, 2/5, 2/6 ……………………. 2/32
3. 3/1, 3/2, 3/3, ¾, 3/5, 3/6 ……………………… 3/32 TILL
4. 32/1, 32/2, 32/2, 32/4, 32/5, 32/6 ……..…….. 32/32

Rules on Amputation and Fingerprint Missing at Birth

1. If one finger is amputated (AMP) or missing at birth (FMB) the

classification is based on the opposite finger with the numerical value.

Take Note: The numerical value of the (AMP) FMB) must not be changed.

2. If both fingers are amputated or missing at birth they are treated as whorl
with the respective numerical value and with meeting (M) tracing.


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Rank – The secondary classification follows the primary classification.

Position of Secondary – The secondary classification appears just to the

right of the fraction which represents the primary.

Meaning of Secondary – The numerator (WRITTEN ABOVE) indicates

the type of pattern appearing on the index finger of the right hand.

Denominator Meaning – The denominator (WSRITTEN BELOW) Indicate

the type pattern appearing on the index finger of the left hand.

Basic Types of Pattern that can Appear

1. Arch (A)
2. Tented Arch (T)
3. Radial loop (R)
4. Ulnar loop (U)
5. Whorl (W)
6. Central Pocket Loop Whorl (C)
7. Double Loop Whorl (D)
8. Accidental Whorl (X)

Sequence - Just as in the sequence of the primary classification, in filing,

the denominator does not change until the numerator has exhausted all the
changes of pattern in their orderly sequence.

Small Letter Groups - The small letter group of the primary classification
includes prints having plain arches, tented arches and radial loops on fingers
other than the indexes.

What constitute a small letter? For purposes of blocking a set of

fingerprints, the patterns of the index fingers are designated by a capital letter
and the patterns on other fingers and thumbs are designated by small letter.

Blocking - For purposes of blocking a set of fingerprints, the patterns of

the index fingers are designated by a capital letter and the patterns on other
fingers and thumbs are designated by small letter. These are placed in their
respective blocks.

Writing the Formula - For the purpose of writing the classification

formula, the same rule held true the capital letters designated on index fingers
and the small letters designated other fingers. The classification formula is
written at the top of the fingerprint card.

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Sequence in writing letter into Formula - The small letters are written
into the classification formula in their natural sequences as they appear on the

A small letter in the thumb will produce the writing of the classification of
the index fingers. Small letters in the middle, ring, and little fingers will follow the
writing of the classification of the index fingers.
This aRa would mean a thumb arch, and index radial, and a middle finger
arch on the TUr right hand, and thumb tented arch, and index ulnar, and a middle
finger radial on the left hand.

Importance of small letters - The absence of small letter groups are of

vital importance to the classification system as the small letter occurs relatively

Frequency - The small letter groups, after the index fingers have been
grouped (small) in the following sequence:
1st: The denominator by count (the lesser number of small letters
proceeding the greater).
2nd: By position (small letter to the left of the index finger proceeding
these at the right).
3rd: By type (a,t, r).


Sub-Secondary – The sub-secondary classification is the grouping of

prints according to the ridge count of loops and ridge tracing on whorls.

Reason fort Subdivision – The sub-secondary classification is the group

of print within the secondary classification, thus facilitating searches since it limits
the search to smaller groups of the fingerprint cards.

Position of Formula – The sub-secondary classification is placed on the

classification line immediately to the right of the secondary classification

Recording Ridge Count – The ridge count of the loops are recorded as
“I” (inner) and “O” (outer).

Recording Whorl Tracing – The whorl tracing are recorded as follows:


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Fingers Considered - In the sub-secondary classification, six fingers are
considered they are:

1. Right index finger

2. Right middle finger
3. Right ring finger
4. Left index finger
5. Left middle finger
6. Left ring finger

Established Number of Ridge Counts


One (1) to Nine (9) ridges ……………………… I (Inner)

Ten (10) or more ridges ………………………… 0 (Outer)

One (1) to Ten (10) ridges ……………………… I (Inner)
Eleven (11) or more ridges ……………………... O (Outer)

One (1) to thirteen (13) ridges ………………….. I (Inner)
Fourteen (14) or more ridges……………………. O (Outer)

Loops and Whorls in Sub-Secondary - In a set of prints having loops

and whorl only the sub-secondary classification may include two (2), but not
more than three (3) fingers of each hand.

“M SYMBOL” - The symbol (M) meeting appearing in a sub-secondary

classification, indicates a whorl in the figures being considered, since only a
whorl can have a meeting tracing.

“I” and “O” SYMBOL - The symbols “I” and “O” in a sub-secondary
classification may relate to a set of prints having loops and whorls or all loops or
whorls. Whether the prints are loops, whorls or loops and whorls may be
ascertained from the primary classification since “one” over “one” indicates no
whorls, thirty-two indicates all whorls and other primaries indicates both loops
and whorls.

Filing: The filing of prints within the sub-secondary classification is done

according to the following sequences:

First – I (inner) in loops

Second – O (outer) in loops

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First: I (Inner) in whorls
Second: M (meeting) in whorls
Third: O (outer) in whorls

As in all other components set of the classification formula, the

denominator does not change until the numerator has exhausted the entire

Summary of the Rules:

1. For AMP and FMB-Apply the rule on primary classification.

2. Whorl-Apply Ridge Tracing.

For loops (Ridge Counting)

Index Finger
1-9 ridge count………………………………………………… I (Inner)
10 or more…………………………………………………….. 0 (outer)

Middle Finger
1-10 ridge count……………………………………………… I (Inner)
11 or more……………………………………………………. 0 (outer)

Ring Finger
1-13 ridge count………………………………………………. 1(Inner)
14 or more ridge count………………………………………… 0 (outer)

For Arches

Use small letter (t) for tented arch.

Use small letter (a) for plain arch

If the index finger, middle finger, and ring finger are all plain arches just put
three dashes in the sub secondary classification and A2a in the Secondary
Classification. (Same is true when both index and middle fingers are the

If the index finger, middle finger and ring finger are all tented arches just
put three dashes in the sub secondary classification and T2t in the
Secondary Classification. (same is true when index and middle finger are
the same).

For Whorl Tracing

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Meeting (M) = 0, 1, 2, ridges either from the left delta or the right delta.
Outer (O) = 3 or more ridges below the right delta.
Inner (I) = 3 or more ridges above the right delta.

Take Note:

1. If the ridges in the whorl pattern is ulnar it is OUTER.

2. If the ridges in the whorl pattern is radial it is INNER.

a. Take only the loop excluding the whorl inside it.

b. Left Delta will always be the one to drop. And in counting its ridges
include ending ridges and bifurcation.


The final classification is the ridge count on the loop (ulnar and radial)
appearing in the right little finger.

Position - The final classification is indicated at the extreme right of the


No Loop in the Right Little Finger - If a loop does not appear in the right
little finger, a loop in the left little finger may be used. The little finger position in
the formula remains unchanged, except that the ridge count is noted as a
denominator rather than as a numerator.

Arch or Tented Arch - If an arch or tented arch appears in the little finger,
it is indicated in the classification formula by a small dash (-). If such a formation
appears in both little fingers, final classification is not obtainable. The Arch or
Tented Arch appearing in either or both little fingers is not ignored in the
classification formula since it is incorporated and designated as a small letter in
the secondary classification.

Both Little Fingers are used - Both little fingers are considered by some
bureaus and the ridge counts of both are recorded. However, the count of the
right little finger governs the sequence for filing within the final classification.

Whorl - If no loops appear in the little fingers but a whorl appears instead.
A final classification may be obtained by a ridge count of the whorl. Making a
ridge count of whorls (in either or both little fingers) is required in connection with
a large collection or group of prints, such as prints having a primary classification
of thirty two over thirty two.

Search - When a search is made within a group of cards, and when the
final is designated, only prints having the same final count or count are

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examined. Some bureaus allow a count of three on either side of the final

Little Fingers used only for Final Classification - The ridge of the little
finger is used exclusively for the final classification.

Little Fingers not used for Key Classification - At no time can the ridge
count of either of the little fingers be used for the key classification.

Importance of Final Classification - The final and the key classifications

may be considered the CONTROL FINGERS for filing and searching. They limit
the number of the prints to be examined each group.

Final not Possible - If the type pattern of either little finger is an arch, as
a tented arch, no final classification is obtained. This is indicated by a small dash


The major classification represents only the thumb of each hand. It is the
ridge count of the loop and/or the tracing of the whorl appearing in the thumb of
each hand (if such whorls appear).

Position - The major classification is placed immediately to the left of the

primary in the classification formula.

Right and Left Thumbs: Numerator and Denominator - The thumb of

the right hand appears in the classification formula as the numerator, and the
thumb of the left hand as the denominator.

Symbol for Major Classification - The major classification is written with

specific symbols, which indicates the respective patterns of the thumb as being
either whorls or loops.

Ridge Tracing or Ridge Counting - These symbols are governed by the

ridge tracing for whorls or the ridge counts for the loops.

Symbols for Loops: S (small) in loops (ridge count); M (medium) in

loops (ridge count); L (large) in loops (ridge count).

Loops Pattern in Both Thumbs - In a set of prints having loop patterns in

both hands, the ridge count of the left thumb governs the symbol for the right

Left thumb ridge count Right thumb ridge count

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1 to 11 SMALL (S) 1 to 11 SMALL (S)
12 TO 16 MEDIUM (M)
17 or more LARGE (L)

12 TO 16 MEDIUM (M) 1 to 11 SMALL (S)

12 TO 16 MEDIUM (M)
17 or more LARGE (L)

17 or more LARGE (L) 1 to 17 SMALL (S)

18 TO 22 MEDIUM (M)
23 or more LARGE (L)

Either Thumb Missing - When the thumb is missing, the missing one
acquires the same pattern, ridge count, or ridge tracing as the thumb of the
opposite hand. On this assumption, the classification proceeds as usual. Since
the left thumb, real or assumed, is the denominator, it governs the classification,
filing and searching.

Grouping the Prints - Because specific symbols have been given for
loops and others for whorls appearing on the thumb, the prints are grouped
according to their respective patterns.

Sequence - The filing for prints follows definite within each group.

Denominator governs the sequence - As in all other groups, the

denominator governs the sequence and remains unchanged until the numerator
has exhausted the entire sequence.

Sequence for Loops - Since the loops in the thumbs are indicated as
small (S), medium (M), and large (L), the sequence is as follows:



Sequence for Whorls - For the whorls in the thumbs indicated as Inner
(I), meeting (M), and outer (O), the sequence is as follows:



Loop and Whorl in Major - When the whorl appears in one thumb and a
loop in the other, a specific sequence is used.

Reference: One Thumb Missing - Although a classification was obtained

for one missing thumb, (as described above), it is necessary to continue the

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search in all possible references. The original pattern of the missing thumb might
be different from the thumb of the opposite hand.

Both Thumbs Missing - If both thumbs are missing, they arbitrarily

acquire the classification of meeting whorls, and no other reference searches are
necessary. No major classification is obtainable if one thumb pattern is plain
arch or tented arch. Such print will pertain to the small letter group (referring to
the secondary classification).

Radial Loop on Either or Both Thumbs - The major classification is

obtained if a radial loop is present on either or both thumbs because a ridge
count is possible. However, the print will be filed with the small letter group.


The key classification represents the ridge count of the right first loop
appearing in a set of prints, beginning with the thumb of the right hand but
excluding the little finger.

Little Fingers Disregarded - The little fingers are totally disregarded in

obtaining a key classification, for they are exclusively used in the final

Position - The key, no matter where it is found is always written at the

extreme left of the numerator.
Importance of the Key and Final Classification - The key and final
maybe considered the control figures for filing and searching. To limit the
number of prints, it is necessary to examine within a group.

Take Note: All answers obtained must be put/placed on the numerator of

the key classification. Write the Key at the Left of the entire formula, proceeding
all other components of the Classification Formula.

Little Fingers not used - If not used, the little fingers (regardless of their
type patterns or ridge count) as shown by the key for which they represent, are
reserved for the final.

Key no loops - Make ridge count of whorl appearing in the thumb of the
right at the extreme left delta. This may be used as a key.

Key not possible - If the entire set of prints is composed of plain arches
and tented arches, the key cannot be obtained.


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Emphasis should be placed upon the necessity for fully referencing all
scarred patterns. In connection with their proper classification, the following rules
should be observed:

When an impression is so scarred that neither the general type of pattern

nor the ridge tracing or count can be determined with reasonable accuracy, the
impression should be given both the general type value and the sub classification
value of the corresponding finger of the other hand.

When an impression is partially scarred, i.e. large scars about the core so
that the general type cannot be determined with reasonable accuracy, but the
ridges allow reasonably accurate sub classification by ridge tracings or counting,
the impression should be given the primary value of the pattern of the
corresponding finger and the sub classification value as indicated by ridges of
partially scarred impressions.

When an impression is partially scarred and the general type of pattern

can be determined with reasonable accuracy, but the ridges cannot be traced or
counted so as to fall within the proper sub secondary classification, the
impression should be given the ridge count or tracing value of the corresponding
finger of the other hand, if the corresponding finger is of the same general type.
The scarred impression should be given the probable value and reference to all
other possibilities.

When an impression is so scarred that neither the general type of pattern

nor the ridge tracing or count can be determined with reasonable accuracy, and it
so happens that the corresponding finger of the other hand is similarly scarred,
corresponding finger of the other hand is similarly scarred, both patterns are
given the arbitrary value of whorls with meeting tracings.


When one or more amputations appear upon a fingerprint card, it may be

filed separately from those having no amputations in order to facilitate searching.
It is to be noted that before it may be filed in the amputating group, the card must
contain a definite and unequivocal statement or marking by the contributor to the
effect that a certain finger or fingers have been amputated but which in reality
were merely injured and bandaged when previous prints were submitted.
1. If one finger is amputated, it is given a classification identical with that
of the opposite finger, including pattern and ridge count, or tracing, and
referenced to every other possible classification.
2. If two or more fingers are amputated, they are given classifications
identical with the fingers opposite, with no additional references.
3. If two amputated fingers are opposite each other, both are given the
classification of whorls with meeting tracings.

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When a fingerprint card bearing a notation of fingers missing at birth is
classified, the missing fingers should be treated as amputations in that they are
given the identical classifications in that they are given the identical
classifications of the opposite fingers and are filed in the amputation group. As
these fingers are missing from a prenatal cause, they would bane always receive
the identical classification of the opposite finger on any previous occasion.

If all 10 fingers are amputated or missing at birth, the classification will be:
M 32 W MMM.
M 32 W MMM

If both hands are amputated or missing at birth, the footprints should be

taken as they, too, bear friction ridges with definite patterns. A footprints file is
maintained by the FBI for identification purposes in instances where the subject
has all fingers amputated or missing at birth.

Partially amputated fingers often present very complex problems and

careful consideration should be given to them. The question often arises as to
the appropriate groups in which they should be filed, i.e., amputations or non
amputations. As no definite rule may be applied, it is a matter of experience and
judgment as to their preferred classification.

In those instances in which a partially amputated finger has half or more

than half of the pattern area missing, it is given the classification of the opposite
finger. It will be filed in the amputation group under those conducted in all
possible classifications of the opposite fingers only and are governed by the
rules concerning amputations.

Generally, a “tip amputation,” or one which has less than half of the first
joint amputated, will always be printed in the future. Therefore, a partially
amputated finger, with less than half of the pattern area missing is classified as it
appears and is referenced to the opposite finger. It will be field in the non
amputation group and reference searches should be conducted under the
classification of the opposite finger, and in the amputation group. It must be
referenced this way even though it never could have originally had the
classification of the opposite finger.


If fingers are injured to the extent that it is impossible to secure inked

impressions by special inking devices, the unprinted fingers are given
classification identical with the classifications of the finger opposite. If only one
finger is lacking, reference searches should be conducted in every possible
classification. If more than one finger is lacking, they should be given the
classification of the opposite fingers, but no be given the classification of the

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opposite fingers, but no reference searches should be conducted. If there are
two lacking, opposite each other, they should be classified as whorls with
meeting racings.

If, however, in the case of an injured finger, observation is made of the

ridges of the finger itself and indicated on the print, this classification should be,
insofar as it is possible, utilized. For example, a missing impression labeled
“ulnar loop of about 8 counts” by the individual taking the prints, should be
searched in the sub-secondary as both I and 0 but should not be referenced as
a pattern other than a loop. If the finger is used as the final, or key, it should be
searched enough counts on each side of 8 to allow for possible error in the
counting by the contributor using his naked eye.


On Fingerprint Identification

Nova Scotia

a. Pre-historic picture writing of a hand with ridge patterns was discovered in

Nova Scotia.
b. In ancient Babylon, fingerprints were used on clay tablets for business
c. In ancient China, thumb prints were found on clay seals.
d. In Peru, aerial photographs have exposed a huge ancient drawing which
can only be accurately viewed from the air. I have exhibited one of these
photos to the International Association for Identification and suggested it
as a "possible" fingerprint pattern. Aerial Photo in Peru & My Tracing
(turned over)

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e. In 14th century Persia, various official government papers had fingerprints
(impressions), and one government official, a doctor, observed that no two
fingerprints were exactly alike.

Why Fingerprint Identification?

Fingerprints offer an infallible means of personal identification. That is the

essential explanation for their having supplanted other methods of establishing
the identities of criminals reluctant to admit previous arrests. Other personal
characteristics change - fingerprints do not.

In earlier civilizations, branding and even maiming were used to mark the
criminal for what he was. The thief was deprived of the hand which committed
the thievery. The Romans employed the tattoo needle to identify and prevent
desertion of mercenary soldiers.

More recently, law enforcement officers with extraordinary visual

memories, so-called "camera eyes," identified old offenders by sight.
Photography lessened the burden on memory but was not the answer to the
criminal identification problem. Personal appearances change.

Around 1870 a French anthropologist devised a system to measure and

record the dimensions of certain bony parts of the body. These measurements
were reduced to a formula which, theoretically, would apply only to one person
and would not change during his/her adult life.

This Bertillon System, named after its inventor, Alphonse Bertillon, was
generally accepted for thirty years. But it never recovered from the events of
1903, when a man named Will West was sentenced to the U.S. Penitentiary at
Leavenworth, Kansas. You see, there was already a prisoner at the penitentiary
at the time, whose Bertillon measurements were nearly exact, and his name was
William West.

Upon an investigation, there were indeed two men. They looked exactly
alike, but were allegedly not related. Their names were Will and William West
respectively. Their Bertillon measurements were close enough to identify them as
the same person. However, a fingerprint comparison quickly and correctly
identified them as two different people.

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Will and William WEST

On Fingerprint Pattern Classification

The classification of fingerprints into distinct groups based on general

similarities allows the fingerprint examiner to search for an unidentified fingerprint
within a specific section of the fingerprint file rather than having to search the
whole file.

There are numerous fingerprint classification systems in use throughout

the world today. These systems are all based on three fundamental ridge
formations described by Purkinje, Galton, Vucetich and Henry. They are the arch,
the loop - radial and ulnar, and the whorl.





Individuals generally have a mixture of pattern types on their fingertips, with

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some correlation between the left and right hands. There is also evidence that
the general fingerprint pattern may be genetically determined. While the loop
pattern is the most common pattern, classification of individuals by assigning a
pattern type to each of the ten fingers in an ordered fashion, serves as a first line
of differentiation, however, no such classification is likely to be unique.





On Fingerprint Identification

Identification by fingerprints relies on pattern matching followed by the

detection of certain ridge characteristics, also so known as Galton details, points
of identity, or minutiae, and the comparison of the relative positions of these
minutiae points with a reference print, usually an inked impression of a suspect's
print. There are three basic ridge characteristics, the ridge ending, the bifurcation
and the dot (or island).

Island Dot Bifurcation Ending Ridge

Identification points consist of bifurcations, ending ridges, dots, ridges and

islands. A single rolled fingerprint may have as many as 100 or more
identification points that can be used for identification purposes. There is no
exact size requirement as the number of points found on a fingerprint impression

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depend on the location of the print. As an example the area immediately
surrounding a delta will probably contain more points per square millimeter than
the area near the tip of the finger which tends to not have that many points.

In image 1 we see part of a fully rolled fingerprint. Notice that the edges
are cut-off so you can safely assume that this is not a fully rolled impression. If
you take a look at image 2 you can see that I have sectioned out the centre
portion of this impression and labeled 10 points of identification. That was not all
the points found but simply the ones that could be mapped easily without
cluttering up the image.

1 2

Image 2 when measured 1:1 is just over 1/4" square. If you look closely
you should be able to identify 10 additional points that were not mapped with the
lines. In all I counted 22 points of identification on this 1/4" square section of the
impression. One thing to note here, you might be under the impression that
making a fingerprint comparison is relatively easy but you should keep in mind a
couple things.

First, image 1 and image 2 are both taken from the same image. In real
life you would have impressions made at separate times and subject to different
pressure distortions. Secondly, these images are relatively clean and clear where
many of the actually crime scene prints are anything but clear. Last you have to
consider that this is an easy comparison because you are blessed with having a
core pattern and a delta when in some cases you may have a latent that could be
a fingertip, palm or even foot impression.

Basic and composite ridge characteristics (minutiae)

Minutiae Example Minutiae Example

ridge ending bridge


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dot trifurcation

island (short opposed

ridge) bifurcations

ridge crossing
hook (spur) bifurcation/ridge


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That branch of chemistry, which deals with the application of chemical

principles in the solution of problems that arise in connection with the
administration of justice. It is chemistry applied in the elucidation of legal
problems. It is chemistry used in courts of law.


Are articles and materials which are found in connection with an

investigation and which aid in establishing the identity of the perpetrator of the
circumstances under which the crime was committed or which in general assist in
the prosecution of the criminal. It encompasses any and all objects that can
establish that crime has been committed or can provide a link between a crime
and its victims or a crime and its perpetrator.


1. It includes the chemical side of criminal investigation

2. It includes the analysis of any material the quality of which may give rise to
legal proceeding.
3. It is not limited to purely chemical questions involved in legal proceedings.
4. It has invaded other branches of forensic sciences notably legal medicine,
ballistics, questioned documents, dactyloscopy, and photography

What is the Role of the Forensic Chemist in Criminal Investigation?

The forensic chemist plays an important role in the scientific criminal

investigation. He may be called upon to aid an investigation in:
1. Determining whether or not a place / location is a clandestine laboratory
2. Examination of marked bills / suspects during entrapment (extortion case)
3. Taking Paraffin Test

There are four stages of work of a forensic chemist:

1. Collection and reception of specimen for lab. Examination
a. sufficiency of sample
b. standard for comparison
c. maintenance of individuality
d. labeling and scaling
2. The actual examination of specimen
3. Communication of the result of examine

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4. Court Apparatus

What are the Primary reasons which may contribute to the Destruction of
Physical Evidence?

1. Improper packing of specimen

2. Failure of identification of specimen
3. Improper, precaution use in transmitting the specimen.

Who maybe a Witness? (Eye Witness – one who saw the fatal act)

ORDINARY WITNESS - State facts and may not express his opinions or
conclusions. He may testify to impressions of common experiments such as the
speed of a vehicle, whether a voice was that of a man, woman or child. Beyond
this he is closely limited.

EXPERT WITNESS - One who posses a special skill, be it in art, trade or

science or one who has special knowledge in waters not generally known to men
or ordinary education and experiments; one who is skilled in some art and trade
or science to the extent that he possesses information not within the common
knowledge of man.

What is the Difference between an Ordinary Witness with an Expert


1. An ordinary witness can only state what is senses has perceived while an
expert witness may state what he has perceived and also give his
opinions, deduction or conclusion to his perception.
2. An ordinary witness may not be skilled on the line he his testifying while
an expert witness be skilled in the art, science or trade he is testifying.
3. An ordinary witness cannot testify on things or facts he has not perceived
except those provided for any law while an expert witness must testify on
things which he has seen giving his opinions, deductions or conclusion on
the statements of facts.

What are the qualifications of an Ordinary Witness?

1. He must have the organ and powder to perceive.

2. The perception gathered by his organ of sense can be imparted to others.
3. He does not fall in any of the exception provided for Sec. 26, Rule 123,
Rules of Court.

Take Note: In the collection of evidence, “partial person” to collect

evidence are those who are capable of applying knowledge or theory to practice.
They maybe referred to as “Person by Practice”. The ideal person to collect
evidence is the Forensic Chemist.

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Take Note: Standard Specimen - Are known specimens to compare with
the questioned needed to aid in establishing a suspect’s relationship to the crime
under investigation.

What are the GOLDEN RULES in the practice of Forensic Chemistry?

In and out of the Crime Scene:

1. Go Slowly
2. Be thorough
3. Take note consult others
4. Use imagination
5. Avoid complicated theories

Failure to consider the golden rules will contribute to destruction of

evidence/specimen. The other reasons of forensic disaster are:

1. Improper packing of specimen

2. Failure of identification of specimen
3. Improper, precaution use in transmitting the specimen.
4. Lack of precautions to prevent tampering of the specimen.


What is the importance of studying blood?

1. As circumstance or corroborative evidence against or in favor of the

perpetrator of the crime.
2. As evidence in case of disputed percentage
3. As evidence in the determination of the cause of death and the length of
time the victim survived the attack.
4. Determination of the direction of escape of the victim or the assailant
5. Determination of the origin of the flow of blood
6. As evidence in the determination of the approximate time the crime was

What is BLOOD?

Blood has been called the circulating tissue of the body. It is refereed to as
a highly complex mixture of cells, enzymes, proteins, and inorganic substances.
It is the red fluid of the blood vessels. Blood is opaque. On the treatment with
either, water or other reagents becomes transparent lake color. It is finally
alkaline. Normally pH is 7.35 – 7.45.

Composition of Blood

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(45%) formed elements or the solid materials consisting chiefly of cells

1. Red Blood Cells or RBC (ERYTHROCYTES) around 4 – 5 millions of red

cell per cc. of blood.
2. White Blood Cells or WBC (LEUKOCYTES)
3. Blood Platelets (THROMBOCYTES)

(55%) PLASMA – The fluid or liquid portion of blood where the cells are
suspended. It is principally composed of:

1. Water ---- 90%

2. Solid ----- 10% ( largely protein in nature and consist of albumen, several
globulin’s and fibrinogen.

In the forensic aspect of blood identification, that is blood grouping, our

discussion will concentrate on the RBC and blood serum. Serum is pale
yellowish liquid just like the plasma.

PLASMA is the yellowish fluid of blood in which numerous blood

corpuscles are suspended. A straw-yellow liquid formed when blood to which
oxalate has been added to prevent clotting is allowed to strand.

SERUM is a straw – yellow liquid formed when clotted blood is allowed to

stand for sometime and the clot contracts.

Problems in the Study of Blood

Blood is difficult to be searched, the collection, preservation, packing and

transportation of specimen suspected to contain blood is another. Blood offers
little resistance to decomposition. It undergoes a rapid charge in its character
with the passage of time as process of clotting and drying commences almost
immediately on exposure to air. Sodium fluoride maybe added to blood to
preserve it for a week at room temperature or indefinitely in a refrigerator.
Between 40 – 50 degrees centigrade is the ideal preserving temperature for
blood and other perishable specimens. Collection of blood stains should be done
as soon as possible, mere washing of garments/clotting removes the blood.

Blood Collection

FLUID BLOOD are usually collected from victims of crimes of violence,

parent and child in case of disputed parentage.

DRIED BLOOD OR BLOOD STAINS are collected from smooth surface

like walls, finished floors, table tops, hard surface like axe, hammer, knives,

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stones, crowbars, glazed surface like glass, tiles, automobiles, bulky objects like
blackboard, linoleum sheets, doors, window frames, clothing, and blood
absorbed by the soil

Blood Examination

1. PRELIMINARY TEST - determine whether the stain contains blood or

another substance. Determines whether visible stains do or do not contain
blood. It is used to demonstrate the presence of blood.
2. CONFIRMATORY TEST - determines whether bloodstain really contains
blood. Test that positively identifies blood.
3. PRECIPITIN TEST- determines whether blood is a human or non-human
origin, and if non human, the specific animal family from which it
4. BLOOD GROUPING TEST - determines the blood group of human


1. Benzidine Test or Benzidine Color Test

2. Phenolphthalein Test ( also known as Kastle – Meyer Test)
3. Guaiacum Test (Van Deen Test, Day’s or Schonbein’s Test)
4. Leucomalachite Green Test
5. Luminol Test

Benzidine Test

This is an extremely sensitive test that can be applied to minute stain. For
many years the most commonly used preliminary test for blood. The Benzidine
test never fails to detect blood even when very old, decomposed stain with all
shorts of contamination is examined. The positive result is only indicative that the
blood maybe present.

REAGENT: Benzidine solution ( small amount of powdered benzidine

dissolved in glacial acetic acid) and 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide.
PROCEDURE: Place a small fragment/portion of the stained material on a
filter paper. Add a drop of benzidine solution and then drop of hydrogen peroxide
POSITIVE RESULTS: Intense blue color produced immediately
LIMITATION: Benzidine test is not a specific test for blood. Positive results
maybe obtained from substances as sputum, pus, nasal secretion, plant juices,
formalin, clay, gun. The reaction is weaker and produces faint coloration.

Phenolphtalein Test

This is an alternative test to benzidine test. It can detect blood in a dilution

of 1:80,000,000 parts. A positive results with this test is highly indicative of blood.

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The negative result is, therefore, valuable and is conclusive as to the absence of

REAGENTS: Phenolphthalein solution (1 – 2 grams phenolphthalein to

100 ml of a 25% KOH in water added with one gram zinc powder heated until
colorless) and 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide.
PROCEDURE: Place a small fragment/portion of the stained materia on a
filter paper. Add a drop of phenolphthalein solution and then a drop of hydrogen
peroxide solution.
POSITIVE RESULT: Rose color develops or deep pink color or
permanganate coor.
LIMITATION: Test is also given by copper salts, potatoes and horseradish.

Guaiacum Test

A fairly delicate test showing the presence of fresh blood in a solution of

1:50,000 dilution. It may not react to very old stains.

REAGENTS: Fresh tincture of guaiac resin (Few lumps of this to 95%

alcohol, then filter) and 3% of hydrogen peroxide or few drops of turpentine.
PROCEDURE: Place a small piece of the stained fabric on porcelain dish.
Soak with fresh tincture of guaiac. Add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide.
POSITIVE RESULTS: Beautiful blue color that appears immediately.
LIMITATION: The test also reacts with salvia, pus, bile, milk, rust, iron
salts, cheese, gluten, potatoes, perspiration and other oxidizing substances.

Leucomalachite Green Test

This is a test not as sensitive as the benzidine test

REAGENT: Leucomalachite Green solution ( 1 gram leucomalachite green

dissolved in 48 ml. glacial acetic acid and diluted to 250ml. water) and 3%
hydrogen peroxide.
PROCEDURE: A small piece of the stained fabric on a filter paper. Add a
drop of leucomalachite green solution and after a few seconds add drop of 3%
hydrogen peroxide.
POSITIVE RESULTS: Malachite green or bluish green

Take Note – The principle involved in blood testing is that the peroxidase
present in hemoglobin acts as carrier of oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide to
the active ingredients of the reagents (benzidine, guaiac, phenolphthalein and
leucomalachite) and produces the characteristic colored compounds by

Hemoglobin is the red coloring matter of the red blood cells of the blood.

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Luminous Test

It is an important presumptive identification test for blood. The reaction of

luminol with blood results in the production of light rather than color. By spraying
luminol reagent onto a suspect item, large areas can be quickly screened for the
presence of bloodstains. The sprayed object must be located in a darkened area
while being viewed for the emission of light. (LUMINESCENCE). Luminol test is
extremely sensitive test. It is capable of detecting bloodstains diluted up to
10,000X. Luminol is known to destroy many important blood factors necessary
for the forensic characterization of blood, so its use should be limited only to
seeking out blood invisible to the naked eye.


The actual proof that stain is blood consists of establishing the presence
of the characteristic of the red blood cells of the blood.

The three (3) confirmatory tests for blood are:

1. Microscopic Test - Useful for the demonstration of blood corpuscles for

making the distinction between mammalian, avian, piscine, and reptilian
blood and for the investigation of menstrual, lochial and nasal charges. In
short it differentiates mammalian, avian, piscine and reptilian blood.

Take Note: The Mammalian red blood cells are circular, biconcave
disc without nucleus birds, fish and reptiles red blood cells larger, oval and
nucleated amphibians-animal living on land breeding in water. Red blood
cells are larger than mammals, oval and nucleated.

2. Microchemical Test – also known as Microcrystalline test which include

Teichmann Hemin Reaction/Teichman Test/Haemin Crystal Test,
Haemochromogen crystal Test or Takayama Test, Acetone-Haemin Test.
One of the two popular microchemical test is the Takayama Test, a
delicate test for the presence of hemoglobin.
PROCEDURE: Place a small piece of suspected material on a
glass slide. Add 2 – 3 drops of Takayama reagent. Cover with glass slip.
POSITIVE RESULTS: Large rhombic crystals of a salmon pink
color arranged in clusters, sheaves and other forms that appears within to
6 minutes when viewed under the low power objectives. To hasten result
heat maybe applied.
REAGENT: Takeyama reagent (3 cc. of 10% NaOH, 33 cc. pyridine,
3 cc. of saturated glucose solution and diluted with 7 ml. of water.

3. Spectroscope Test – is the almost delicate and reliable test for the
determination of the presence of blood in both old recent stains. This is

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performed by means of an optical instrument known as


It is the standard test used to determine whether the stain/blood is of

human or animal origin

Reagent: Precipitin/antiserum

PROCEDURE: Scrape off blood stain if on hard material. Powder the

scrapings and exact with saline solution. If the stain is cloth, paper or similar
material, cut a small portion and then place in a test tube and add extract with
saline solution. Allow mixture to stand overnight. Centrifuge to clean the solution.
Dilute with saline solution. Layer an extract of the bloodstain on top of the human
antiserum/precipitin in a capillary tube.
POSITIVE RESULT: A white cloudy line or ring or band at the contact
points of the fluid that appears immediately or within one or two minutes.
LIMITATION: The precipitin reacts not only with blood proteins but also
with other body proteins as those as saliva, semen, mucus and other body fluids.


The Four Blood Groups

1. Group “O”
2. Group “A”
3. Group “B”
4. Group “AB”

Agglutinogen or Antigen

These are characteristic chemical structures or “principles” that the found

on the surface of each red blood cells which stimulates the production of
agglutinins or antibodies. There are two different agglutinogens or antigens

Antibody or Agglutinin

These are properties or “principles” contained in the serum which cause

agglutination or clumping together of the red blood cells. They are antitoxic
substances within the body which reacts when confronted with a specific antigen
to protect the system. There are two different agglutinins classified as Anti-A and
Anti-B. Agglutinins are demonstrable in about 50% of newly born infants.

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We have the four groups because of the presence of absence of two
antigens A and B in the RBC and two agglutinins Anti-A and Anti-B in the serum.


A&B NO A & NO B or

(+) Means agglutination or clumping of RBC

(−) Means absence of agglutination or no clumping of RBC

The Blood Typing (M-N System) of Blood

There are two agglutinogens in human red cells which defines three types
of blood. Namely: Type M, Type N, and Type MN.

(+) Means agglutination

(−) Means absence of agglutination

Inheritance of Blood Groups

Knowledge of genetics will make it easier to understand the principle

involved in the inheritance of blood groups. The inheritance of blood group is
predetermined by the presence and absence of two facts or GENES called Gene
A and Gene B.

GENES - any of the complex chemical units in the chromosomes by which

hereditary characters are transmitted, responsible for the transmission of
hereditary characteristics. They occur in pair. There are two genes or factors
called gene A and gene B. these are found in the chromosomes. Since
chromosomes go in pair, each of which carries or fails to carry one of these
genes. An individual’s called genotypes, where O represents the absence in the
chromosomes of either the A or B gene.

PHENOTYPES – the term used to denote the expression of the inherited

characteristic as found in the individual. Actually the blood groups

GENOTYPES - Are paired genes.

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Application of Blood Group Data

1. Questions of illegitimacy and relationships in may cause maybe solved by

means of the blood groups as determined by the agglutinogens A, B, M,
and N.
2. Determination of whether a man accused of fathering a child out of
wedlock could or could not be its parent.
3. Determination of whether a child born of a married woman could or could
not have been fathered by her legal spouse.
4. Determination of whether a child could or could not belong to a given set
of parents in the case of accidental interchange of infants in a hospital.
5. Determination of whether a child who has been lost and later recovered
after a long interval could or could not belong to a given set of parents.


SEMEN AND SEMINAL FLUID - is a whitish fluid of the male reproductive track
containing spermatozoa. Its part are:

1. seminal fluid
2. formed Elements Cellular
3. spermatozoa
4. epithelial cells
5. crystal and choline

Usual location of semen stain as Evidence

1. Under clotting
2. Clothing
3. Skin
4. Air
5. Vagina
6. Rectal contains of the victim
7. Around the genitals

Seminal Examination

There are four examinations for seminal stains or seminal fluid in the form of
stains namely:

1. Physical Examination
2. Chemical Examination
a. Florence Test
b. Barberio’s Test
c. Acid-phospahtase Test

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3. Microscopic Examination
4. Biological Examination

Collection, Preservation, Packing and Transit of Specimen

1. Seizure of apparel must be done as soon as possible.

2. In packiging of wearing appearel there should be no friction between the
apparel and the stain.
3. Specimen should not be rolled for transit.
4. Smaller objects like hair should be placed in a test tube and corked.
5. Specimen should be thoroughly dried before packing.
6. Fluid semen should be placed in a test tube. It maybe preserved by a few
drops of 10% solution of formalin during hot weather.

Determination of Spermatozoa in fresh semen

1. Transfers a drop of specimen to a glass slide.

2. Add a drop of water or saline solution and cover with cover slip
3. Examine under the microscope
4. Observe for the presence of spermatozoa

Elements which may obstruct detection of Spermatozoa

1. Nature of fabric
2. Age of stain
3. Condition to which the stain was exposed reaching the laboratory
4. Handling of the specimen


In the investigation of crimes involving the use of firearms, three most

important problems may arise, the problems of:

1. Determination of whether or not a person fired a gun with bare hands

within pertinent period of time
2. Determination of the probable gunshot range that is the distance the
firearm was held from the body of the victim at the time of discharge.
3. Determination of the approximate time of firing of the gun on the
approximate date of last discharge.

Kinds of Gun Powder

1. Black powder - consisting of 15% of C, 10% of S and 75% of KNO3 or

NaNO3. When black powder explodes

KNO3 + c + S K2S + N2 CO2

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2. Smokeless powder (which consist of cellulose nitrate or glyceryl nitrate
combined with cellulose nitrate and some stabilizers. When exploded the
following reaction occurs:

C12H14O4(NO3)6 9CO + 3N2 + 7H2O +


3. Cellulose nitrate

4C3H5(NO3)3 12CO2 + 10H2O + 6N2

+ O2

4. Glyceryl Nitrate

Possible Location of Nitrates when black powder explodes

1. Residue of the barrel of the gun.

2. In or around the wound
3. On the clothing of the fired upon at close range
4. On the exposed surface of the hand of the person firing the gun

DIPHENYLAMINE-PARAFFIN TEST - test to determine the presence of

nitrates, a test to determine whether a person fired a gun or not.

Paraffin test - test performed to extract the nitrates embedded in the skin.
Diphenylamine Test or DPA Test – a test that determines the presence
and location of nitrate, chemical needed is diphenylamine reagent.

Possibilities that a person maybe found Negative for Nitrates even if he

actually fired a Gun

1. Use if automatic pistol

2. Direction of wind
3. Wind velocity
4. Excessive perspiration
5. Use of gloves
6. Knowledge of chemicals that will remove the nitrates

Possibilities that a person maybe found Positive for Nitrates even if he did
not actually fired a Gun

1. It is possible that the gunpowder particles may have been blown on the
hand directly from the barrel of the gun being fired by another person.

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2. An attempt to shield the body by arising the hand in some instances result
in the implanting of powder particles on the hands of a person close to
one firing a gun..

How to determine probable gunshot range

The clothing is examined microscopically for possible powder residues,

singeing, burning, smudging and powder tattooing.

Determination of the Probable time the Gun has been fired

In the examination / determination of the approximate time of last

discharge we need the specimen firearm in the examination. The barrel is
swabbed with cotton and the residues examined under the microscope.

Take Note - Rust - Formation of rust inside the barrel after a gun has been
fired is a good indication of the determination of the approximate time the gun
has been fired. If a gun has not fired at all, no rust can be detected inside the
barrel of the gun. If a gun has been fired, iron salts are formed and are found
inside the barrel. This iron salts are soon oxidized resulting in the formation of

NITRATE - Presence of nitrate (NO2) is determined by addition of

diphenylamine (DPA) reagent. If the color becomes blue nitrates are present, and
we may say that the firearm could have been fired recently.

NITRATES - Presence of nitrates (NO3) is determined by the addition of

diphenylamine reagent. If the color turned yellow green, nitrates are present, and
we may say that the firearms could have been fired but not recently.

Factors Affecting the Presence and Amount of Gunpowder Residue

1. Length of the barrel of the gun

2. Type and cal. Of ammunition
3. Wind velocity
4. Direction of firing
5. Distance of firing
6. Nature of firing
7. Humidity


Explosive is any substance that may cause an explosion by its sudden

decomposition or combustion. Explosive is also a material either pure single
substance or mixture of substances which is capable of producing an explosion
by its own energy.

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Classification of Explosive (as to functioning characteristics)

1. PROPELLANT OR LOW EXPLOSIVES - Are combustible materials

containing within themselves all oxygen needed for their combustion that
burn but do not explode and function by producing gas that produces
explosion. Examples are Black powder, smokeless powder, firecrackers,
and pyrotechnics

2. PRIMARY EXPLOSIVE OR INITIATORS - Explode or donate when they

are heated or subjected to shock. They do not burn. Sometimes they do
not even contain the elements necessary for combustion. The materials
themselves explode and the explosion results whether they are confined
or not. Examples are Mercury fulminate, lead azide

3. HIGH EXPLOSIVES - Explode under the influence of the shock of the

explosion of primary explosive. They do not function by burning, in fact not
all of them can be ignited by a flame and in small amount generally burn
tranquilly and can be extinguished easily. If heated to a high temperature
by external heat or by their own combustion, they sometimes explode.
Examples are Ammonium nitrate, TNT, dynamite, nitroglycerine, picric
acid, plastic explosives.


Hair is a specialized epithelial outgrowth of the skin which occur

everywhere on the human body except on the palm of the hands and the sole of
the feet. Hair is not completely round but maybe oval flattened. Its width is not
always the same along its length. It starts out pointed and narrow and then strays
more or less the same.

Two kinds of Hair (among animals including human being)

1. Real hair ( generally along and stiff)

2. Fuzz hair ( generally short, fine at times curly and wooly)

Parts of Hair

1. Roots ( portion embedded in the skin

2. Shaft ( portion above the surface of the skin. The most DISTINCTIVE part
of the hair.
3. Tip ( sometimes termed point. The distal end of an uncut hair.

Parts of Shaft

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1. Cuticle ( outermost covering of the hair. It is consist of one layer of non-
nucleated polygonal cells, which overlaps like the scales on a fish.
2. Cortex ( the intermediate and the THICKEST layer of the and is composed
of elongated, spindle-shaped fibrils which cohere. They contain pigment
granules in varying proportion depending on the type of hair.
3. Medulla or Core ( the most characteristics portion of the hair. It si the
central canal of the hair that maybe empty or may contain various sots of
cells more or less pigmented and begins more and less near the root.

Take Note: Certain hair has no medulla. Therefore hair can be classified into
two categories namely a) hair without medulla b) hair with medulla.
Examination of Human Hair

1. Color
2. Melanin (brownish-black pigment in hair, skin, etc. it is the chemical
responsible for the color of the hair. Black and brown hair differs only to
the amount of melanin.
3. Length by actual measurement
4. Character of hair whether stiff, wiry or soft
5. Width (breadth)
6. Character of hair tip if present
7. Manner by which hair had been cut
8. Condition of root or base or bulb of hair

Hair Root

1. Living Root – often found on hair in full growth

2. Dry Roots – dead roots

Take note also the following:

1. Character of cuticle (the size, the general shape and the irregularity of the
2. Character of cortex (structural features are studied under the microscope)
3. Cortex is embedded with the pigment granules the impart hair with color. It
is the color, shape and distribution of these granules provide the chemist
with important points of comparison between the hairs of the different
4. Presence of dye in hair

Dye hair can be distinguished from natural hair. Under the microscope
dyed hair has a dull appearance and the color tone is constant, whereas natural
hair is not and the individual pigment granules stand more sharply.

Determine also of whether naturally or artificially curled and the character

of medulla.

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The Medulla

The medulla and cortex are the most characteristic portion of the hair.
Have more distinguishing qualities, thus they yield the most reliable criteria in the

Cuticle Medulla

diagnosis of hair.

Medulla or core or the central canal of the hair can be continuous or

interrupted. It is continuous in large number of animals, very often interrupted in
human, monkey, and horses. Medulla’s diameter can be absolutely constant. At
times alternately narrow and broader. The diameter of the medulla is very little
importance but the relationship between the diameter of the medulla and the
diameter of the whole hair his of great importance.

1. MEDULLARY INDEX or M.I (is the relationship between the diameter of

the medulla and the diameter of the whole hair. Its determination is
performed under a microscope with micrometer eyepiece.
2. HAIR WITH NARROW MEDULLA (less the 0.5) ( belongs to human
3. HAIR WITH MEDIUM MEDULLA (approximate 0.5) (belongs to hair of
cow, horse, others.
4. HAIR WITH THICK MEDULLA (greater than 0.5) ( almost all animals
belong to this

Comparison between Human and Animal Hair


1. M.I. is less than 0.5

2. Medulla may not be present
3. Scale pattern is fine and each one overlaps the other more than 4/5
4. Pigment granules are fine


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1. M.I more than 0.5
2. Medulla always present
3. Scale is coarse and overlaps less than ½
4. Pigment granules are coarse

Other Aspects of Hair Examination

1. Characteristic by race

a. NEGROID RACE HAIR - contains heavy pigment distributed unevenly

a thin cross section of the hair is oval in shape hair is usually kinky with
marked variation in the diameter along the shaft
b. MONGOLOID RACE - contains dense pigment distributed more or
evenly the Negroid race hair cross section of the hair will around to
oval in shape hair is coarse and straight with very little variation in
diameter along the shaft of the hair usually contains a heavy black
medulla or core.
c. CAUCASIAN RACE - contains very fine to coarse pigment, and more
evenly distributed than is found in Negro or Mongolian. Cross section
will be oval to around in shape, usually straight or wavy and not kinky

2. Characteristic by sex

a. Male hair is generally larger in diameter, shorter in length, more wiry in

texture than t hat of a female
b. Male hair averages approximately 1 / 350 of an inch in diameter,
female hair averages approximately 1 / 450 of an inch in diameter.

3. The religion of the body from which the human hair has been

a. Scalp hair ( they are more mature than any other kind of human hair
b. Beard Hair ( coarse, curved, very stiff, and often triangular in cross
c. Hairs from eyebrow, eyelid, nose and ear-short, stubby, and have wide
medulla. Eyebrow and eyelashes are usually very short and has a
sharp and has a sharp tip.
d. Trunk hair (very in thickness along the shaft and are immature but are
somewhat similar to head hairs. They have fine, long tip ends.
e. Limb hair (similar to trunk hairs but usually are not so long or so coarse
and usually contain less pigment.
f. Axillary Hair (is fairly long unevenly distributed pigment. They vary
considerably in diameter along the shaft and have frequently a
bleached appearance. It has an irregular shape and structure. Looks
like public hair but the ends are shaper and the hair is not so curly.

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g. Public hair-similar to axillary hair but are coarser, and do not appear
bleached. More wiry, have more constriction and twist and usually
have continuous broad medulla. Has many broken ends the clotting

4. The approximate age of individuals

a. Infant hairs are fine, short in length, have fine pigment and are
rudimentary in chapter. Children’s hair through adolescence is
generally finer and more immature than and hair but cannot be
definitely differentiated with certainly.
b. If it is noted that the pigment is missing or starting to disappear in the
hair, it can be stated that the hair is from adult. It is common for a
relatively young person to have prematurely gray or white hair(head
hair) but not body hairs.
c. The root of hair from an aged person may show a distinctive


Textile fibers-fibers that can be converted into yarns.

Yarn-made of fibers which have been twisted together, linked thread.

Classification of Textile Fibers

The two divisions of fibers are Natural fiber and Synthetic or artificial fiber

Natural fibers are:

a. Vegetable fibers ( made of CELLULOSE. Examples are seed. Stem barks

or bast fibers, leaf fibers, cotton, woody fibers, fruit or nut fibers.
b. Animal fibers ( made of PROTEIN. Examples are wool, silk, hair.
c. Mineral fiber ( example is asbestos

Synthetic or Artificial Fibers are organic fiber such as

a. Cellulosic ( example rayon

b. Non-cellulosic ( examples nylon, casein fiber, resin fiber

and Inorganic fibers such as

a. mineral fiber ( examples glass fiber wool, glass rock, and slag wools
b. metallic fiber ( examples finewire filament, steel wool, tinsel threads.

Test Used for Fibers

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a. BURNING OR IGNITION TEST (A simple preliminary macroscopic
examination. A test that determines whether fiber is mineral, animal or
vegetable. A single fiber is applied with flame at one end and the following
are noted:
 manner of burning
 odor of fumes
 appearance of burnt end
 color of ash
 action of fumes on moistened red and blue litmus paper
 effect of fumes on a piece of filter paper moistened with lead

b. FLUORESCENCE TEST – frequently used to determine the general group

to which a fiber belongs. It is not reliable for positive identification of fiber.

c. MICROSCOPIC EXAMINATION – the fiber is placed on a slide teased and

covered. In general it is the most reliable and best means of identifying

d. CHEMICAL TEST - Staining Test – the fiber is stained with picric acid,
Million’s reagent, stannic chloride or iodine solution.

Picric acid + silk ---------- dyed

Picric acid + wool -------- dyed
Picric acid ) cellulosic fiber ---------------- unchanged
Silk + million’s reagent --------------------- brown
Wool + million’s reagent ------------------- brown
Cellulosic fiber + million’s reagent -------- no reaction
Stannic chloride + cellulose ---------------- black
Dissolution Test – if the fiber is white or light colored it is treated with the
following chemicals. If dyed, the fiber is first decolorized by boiling in
either 1% hydrochloric acid, acetic acid or dilute potassium hydroxide.
The fiber is then treated with the following and reaction observed.

10% NaOH
5% oxalic acid
Half saturated oxalic acid
Concentrated sulfuric acid
Concentrated and dilute ammonium hydroxide
Concentrated nitric acid

Characteristics of Common Textile Fibers

1. Cotton – unicellular filament, flat, ribbon-like, twisted spirally to right or left

on its axis; central canal is uniform in diameter. Cell wall thick, covered by

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a thick, structureless, waxy cuticle. Fibers taper gradually to a blunt or
rounded point at one end.
2. Mercerized Cotton – straight, cylindrical with occasional twist; unevenly
lustrous, smooth except for occasional transverse fold or wrinkles; cuticle
mostly lacking.
3. Linen – multicellular filament, straight and cylindrical, not twisted and
flattened, tapering to a sharp point. Cell walls thick, the lumen appearing
as a narrow dark line in the center of the fiber to appear jointed resembling
4. Cultivated silk-smooth, cylinder, lustrous threads, usually single but often
double, the twin filament held together by an envelope of gum. More or
less transparent, without definite structure.
5. Wild silk-similar to cultivated silk but broader and less regular in outline.
Marked by very fine longitudinal striations with infrequent diagonal cross
6. Artificial silk-cylindrical, lustrous, appearing like a glass rod.
7. Wool-easily distinguished by presence of flattened, overlapping epidermal
scales not found on silk or any of the vegetable fibers.


DOCUMENT - An original or official written or printed paper furnishing information

or used as proof of something else.

Packing, Preservation and Transportation of Evidence/Documents

1. Documents should be handled, folded and marked as little as possible.

2. If folding is necessary to send to the laboratory, the fold should be made
along old lines. Place it in a Manila paper envelope or brown envelope or
it can be placed in a transparent plastic envelope.
3. On receipt the document should be placed between two sheets of plane
white paper in folder.
4. Documents should not be touched with pencil, pen or anything that could
possibly mark them.

The Examination of Questioned Documents

The essential materials in a document examination of any kind are the

paper and ink or pencil or writings. The examination of paper maybe necessary
if we want to know the age of the document, the presence of alterations,
erasures and other forms of forgery.

Problems encountered in Document Examination/Analysis of Paper

1. Whether two pieces of paper originated from the same source.
2. Determine of probable age of paper.

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3. Determination of the composition of paper.

Composition of Paper

Paper is made of three components namely:

1. Fiber Composition
2. Sizing Material – to improve quality of paper
3. Loading Material – to add weight to the paper

Take Note:

EGYPTIAN PAPYRUS - one of the earliest substances used for writing. It

is form the name papyrus, that the word paper was derived.

FIBER COMPOSITION: practically all papers maybe classified form the

standpoint of their basic fiber composition into sets of fiber mixtures namely:
mechanical pulp-ground wood sulfite mixture, soda-sulfite mixture, rag sulfite

SIZING MATERIAL – added to paper to improve its texture. Examples of

sizing materials are rosin, casein, gelatin, starch.

LOADING MATERIAL – added to paper to give weight. It partially fills the

pores between the fibers of the paper. Examples are calcium sulfate and barium

The Four Tests for Paper

1. Preliminary Test - the test deals with the appearance of the document and
the following are observed:

a. folds and creases

b. odor
c. impressions caused by transmitted light
d. presence of discoloration and daylight and under ultraviolet light.
Take Note: WATERMARKS – it is a distinctive mark or design placed in
the paper at the time of its manufacture by a roll usually a dandy roll.

2. Physical Test causing no Perceptible Change - A test applied on paper

without perceptibly changing or altering the original appearance of the

a. Measurement of length and width

b. Measurement of thickness
c. Measurement of weight/unit area
d. Color of the paper

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e. Texture
f. Gloss
g. Opacity
h. Microscopic Examination

Take Note: OPACITY – the quality of paper that does not allow light to
pass through or which prevents dark objects from being seen through the paper.

3. Physical Test causing a Perceptible Change - This is done only if sufficient

samples are available and if proper authorization from the court is
acquired this can be done.

a. bursting strength test or “POP” test

b. folding endurance test
c. accelerated aging test
d. absorption test

4. Chemical Test - This test determines the fiber composition, the loading
material and sizing material used in the paper.

a. FIBER COMPOSITION – examination is purely microscopic and it

determines the material used and nature of processing.
b. LOADING MATERIALS – is determined by burning and ashing a
portion of the paper and then the ash examined.
c. SIZING MATERIAL – gelatin is extracted by boiling the paper in water
and the solution treated with tannic acid; rosin is extracted by heating
the paper with 95% alcohol. The alcohol evaporated and the residue
treated with acetic anhydride and strong sulfuric acid; starch is
determined by addition of dilute iodine solution; case in is determined
by addition Millon’s reagent.

The Analysis of Ink

Some of the most important questions that arise in the analysis of inks

1. Whether the ink is the same or like or different inking from ink on other
parts of the same documents or other document.
2. Whether two writings made with the same kind of ink were made with the
identical ink, or inks of different qualities or in different conditions.
3. Whether an ink is as old as purports to be
4. Whether documents of different dates or a succession of differently dated
book entries show the natural variations in ink writing or whether the
conditions point to one continuous writing at one time under identical

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Types of Ink

1. Gallotannic ink or iron-nutgall ink – the type of ink where age maybe
determined. Today the most frequently used ink for making entries in
record books and for business purposes. Gallotannic ink is made of a
solution off iron salt and nutgall. This ink can penetrate into the interstices
of the fiber and not merely on the surface, thus making its removal more
difficult to accomplish.

2. Logwood ink – made of saturated solution of logwood to which very small

amount of potassium dichromate is added. Hydrochloric acid is added to
prevent formation of precipitate. Phenol is added as preservative. This
ink is inexpensive and does not corrode steel pen. Will not wash off the
paper even fresh, flows freely.

3. Nigrosine Ink or Aniline Ink – made of coal tar product called nigrosine
dissolved in water. It easily smudge, affected by moisture, maybe washed
off from the paper with little difficulty. It is best determined by
spectrographic method.

4. Carbon ink or Chinese ink or India Ink – the oldest ink material known.
Made of carbon in the form of lampblack. Does not penetrate deeply into
the fibers of the paper so that it may easily be washed off. Not affected by
the usual ink testing reagents.

5. Colored writing ink – today, almost all colored inks are composed of
synthetic aniline dyestuffs dissolved in water. In certain colored inks
ammonium vanadate is added to render the writing more permanent.

6. Ball Point Pen ink – made of light fast dyes soluble in glycol type solvents
as carbitol, glycol or oleic acid. Paper Chromatography is the best way of
determine this type of ink.

Test for Ink

1. Physical Test – applied to determine the color and presence of alterations,

erasures, destruction of sizes with the use of stereoscope, handlens or

2. Chemical Test – a simple test wherein different chemicals or reagents are

applied on the ink strokes and the chemical reactions or characteristic
color reactions or other changes in the ink is observed. Reagents used:
5% HCI, 10% oxalic acid, tartaric acid, 2% NaOH, 10% NaOC1, C12,
H2O, KCNS, water.

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3. Paper Chromatography – a reliable procedure that can be adopted to
identify and compare ballpoint pen ink.

Determination of Age of Document

1. Age of Ink – no definite procedure which can be given for this

determination except when the color is black, because on the observation
that within a few hours, the color of ink writings becomes darker because
the dye contain therein is influenced by the light of the room, oxygen of the
air, acidity or alkalinity of the paper. There are several methods of
determining the degree of oxidation of the ink writing and apparently these
methods depend upon:

a. Physical phenomena such a matching the color of the ink writing

with the standard colors of with itself over a period of time.
b. Chemical reaction that may reveal some information concerning the
length of time the ink has been on the paper.

2. Age of paper through watermarks in certain case from the composition of


Other Aspects of Document Examination

ILLEGIBLE WRITINGS – unnecessary writings that are not capable of

being read usually made on checks, birth certificate, passport and transcript of

a. Erasure – means removal of writing from the paper. Can be made

chemically or mechanically.
b. Obliteration – the obscuring of writing by superimposing ink, pencil or
other marking material.
c. Sympathetic Ink or Invisible ink – substances used for invisible writing.
d. Indented Writing – term applied to the partially visible depression
appearing on a sheet of paper underneath the one that the visible
writing appears.
e. Writings on Carbon Paper – used sheets of carbon paper can be made
f. Contact Writing – black paper may contain traces of ink because of
previous contact with some writings.


What is GLASS?

Glass is a super cooled liquid that possess high viscosity and rigidity. It is
a non-crystalline inorganic substance.

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Composition of Glass

Glass is usually composed of oxides like SiO2 (silica), B2O3 (boric oxide),
phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5). For commercial use silica is the most important
oxide. It is the base of commercial glasses. It is made of silica sand and other
metallic oxides. Oxide is for fluxing, durability and reduction of viscosity. Glass
like window and plate that are made in mass production is fairly uniform in
composition. These may contain incidental impurities and the presence of these
substances in invaluable for the identification and comparison of glass by
spectrographic analysis. Glass has also presence of trace elements which
maybe sufficient to establish or negate the fact of a common source of two
samples of glass.

Analysis/Test for Glass

1. SPECTROGRAPHIC TEST – an instrumental method of analysis that

determines the presence of trace element. Shows the constituent
elements of a glass. It will not give sufficient information to establish the
origin of the samples examined. A rapid examination and an adequate
method for glass analysis since it requires only a small amount of sample.

2. X-RAY DIFFRACTION ANALYSIS – not as effective as the spectrographic

analysis. Determines the type of pattern of glass. The type of pattern
depends upon the composition of glass.

3. PHYSICAL PROPERTIES EXAMINATION – the most sensitive method of

determining differences of composition in glass samples and it depends
upon the study of the physical properties of glass. Properties like specific
gravity or density, refractive index.

4. ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT EXAMINATION – determines the differences in the

appearance of their fluorescence thus indication of physical and chemical

5. POLISH MARKS – optical glass and other fine glassware are usually
polished. In the polishing of glass fine marks are often left on the surface
that can sometimes serve as a basis of comparison.

Glass as Evidence of Crime

In the field of Forensic Chemistry, emphasis is placed on:

1. Automobile glass in case of hit and run.

2. Broken windows caused by pressure, blow or bullet in case of robbery.

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3. Broken bottles, drinking glass or spectacles found at the scene of assault
or other crimes of violence.

Analysis of Glass from Vehicle

Hit and run accidents represent a good percentage of crimes. If an

automobile or any vehicle for that matter is discovered in which fragments of the
lens can be found, a comparison maybe made with the fragments found at the
scene of accident employing the methods of analysis for glass.

How Glass Breaks?

When the blow strikes the glass on one of its surface, the front for
example. The glass first bends a little owing to its elasticity. When the limit of
elasticity if reached the glass breaks along radial lines starting from the point
where the destroying force is applied originating form the opposite surface of the
glass, because this is the portion or surface which is more subjected to stretching
by bending. The front surface is only pushed. While the radial fractures are
taking place the newly created glass triangle between the radial rays also bend
away from the direction of the destroying force. By this bending the glass is
stretched along the front surface and when the limit of elasticity is reached the
glass breaks in concentric cracks. These originate on the front of the glass
because of stretching.

Analysis of Broken Windows

Broken windows caused by bullet holes

On one side of the hole numerous small flakes of glass will be found to
have been blown away giving the hole the appearance of a volcano crater. Such
appearance indicates that the bullet was fired from the opposite direction of the
hole from which the flakes are missing.

If the shot was fired perpendicular to the window pane the flake marks are
evenly distributed around the hole.

If the shot was fired at an angle from the right, the left side will suffer more
flaking than the right. Excessive flaking on the right side of a window pane would
indicate a shot fired at an angle from the left.

Broken windows caused by fist or stone or hurling projectile

The direction of the blow in case a fist or stone smashed the window is
quite difficult but the principles of radial cracks and concentric cracks or fractures
will apply.

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The Principle of 3Rs Rule for Radial Crack

3Rs Rule – “Stress lines on a radial crack will be at right angle to the rear
side of the glass.”
The front side is referred to as the side that was struck.

The Principle of RFC Rule for Concentric Crack

RFC Rule – “Stress lines on a concentric crack will be at right angle to the
front side” that is the side from which the blow came, rather than the rear side.

PROCEDURE: Piece together as many as you can gather of the glass

fragments as possible. Select a triangular piece bounded by two radial cracks
and one concentric crack. The triangular piece must be adjacent to the point of
impact, it this is not a available select a piece as close as possible to the point of

Where there are two bullet holes in a window pane

The problem of which one was fired first becomes important to determine
who the aggressor is. It will be found that the fractures caused by the first bullet
will be complete, especially the radial cracks, whereas the fractures from the
second will be interrupted and end-stopped at points where they intersect those
from the first.

Fractures on Safety Glass

Laminated glass, which is now being used in automobiles, does not

shatter when struck sharply. Frequently the cracking of safety glass is not
complete; the radial cracks do not extend to the side of impact and the spiral
cracks do not extend to the other side.


What is a Casting Material?

It is any material which can be changed from plastic or liquid state to the
solid condition is capable of use as casting material.

The following are the criteria on which the value of casting material is

1. Must be readily fluid or plastic when applied.

2. Must harder rapidly to a rigid mass
3. must not be deformable nor shrink
4. must be easy to apply

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5. must have no tendency to adhere to the impression
6. should have of fine composition and surface
7. should not inquire the impression
8. should be easily obtainable
9. should be cheap.

The following are recommended formulas

1. Hastening – add one half teaspoonful of the table salt to the plaster.
2. Retarding – add one part of a saturated solution of borax to ten part
water to be used in making the plaster.
3. Hardening – to give a cast a greater durability it can be place on a
saturated solution of sodium carbonate, and allowed to remain in the
solution for sometime. It is then removed and dried.

Tools Impression maybe classified into Two General Classes:

These produced by such instruments like an Axe-hammer, pliers and

cutters which touch the area only once in producing the impression.

1. Compression Marks – which produced by a single application of tool is the

area of contact, for example: the impression of a single blow of a hammer.
2. Friction Marks – which are series of scratches or striations produced by
pushing a tool across the surface such as those produced by cutters
jimmy or axe.

Take Note:

Those produced by such instrument like saw or file which is applied in a

repeated strokes over the same area.

Cast of Human Body is important that the temperature of the negative

material should be below 110OF (43.3OC) a temperature higher than this will be
uncomfortable if not injurious to the subject. Cast of the human body is made by
the use of Negocoll and Hominit or Celert.

a. Degocoll – is a rubbery gelatinous material consisting essentially of

colloidal magnesium scaps.
b. Hominit – is a resinous material used for making positives from Negocoll
negatives. It is a flesh color and is used for external surfaces.
c. Celerit – is brown and is used for backing and strengthening the hominid.


METALLURGY – is the art of extracting and working on metals by the application

of chemical and physical knowledge.

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METALLOGRAPHY – is a branch of metallurgy that involves the study of the
microstructures of metals and alloys.

Metallurgy is applied to criminal investigation such as in:

1. Robbery
2. Theft
3. Hit and run
4. Bomb and explosion
5. Nail Examination
6. Counterfeit coins
7. Restoration of tampered serial numbers

Counterfeit Coins (coins made to imitate the real thing and used for gain)

Two kinds of Counterfeit Coins

1. CAST COINS – coins made in molds or coins made by casting method.

An impression of genuine coin is taken by use of plaster of Paris, clay, or
bronze. The plaster molds bearing the image of a good coin are filled
within a low temperature alloy made with lead or tin. Sand molds are used
for high temperature metals such as copper or silver alloys. Cast coin has
poor imitation. It can be easily detected. The surface is usually pitted and
uneven. The edges of lettering and designs are rounded instead of sharp.

2. STRUCK COINS – made by striking or stamping method or these are

coins made by means of dies. Consists of making an impression of a coin
on a metal blank by pressure. Stamping is done by way of steel dies.
Often well executed. Its detection is not easy since weight, specific
gravity, composition may all be good. Careful comparison of smaller
details of the designs with those of the genuine should be made.

Take Note: Examination of counterfeit coins is not wholly chemical.

Restoration of Tampered Serial Numbers

Tampered serial numbers are restored by the application of etching fluid.

ETCHING FLUID – fluid used to restore tampered serial numbers. Choice

of etching fluid depends on the structure of the metal bearing the original number.

1. For cast iron and cast steel – 10% sulfuric acid and potassium dichromate
2. For wrought iron and forged iron-Solution 1 : hydrochloric acid + water +
cupric chloride + alcohol and Solution 2:15% nitric acid
3. For aluminum-glycerin + hydrofluoric acid + nitric acid

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4. For lead – 3 parts glacial acetic acid and one part water
5. For stainless steel – dilute sulfuric acid or 10% hydrochloric acid in alcohol
for copper, brass, silver, and other copper alloys-ferric chloride +
hydrochloric acid + water
6. For Zinc – 10% sodium hydroxide
7. For Tin – 10% hydrochloric acid
8. For Silver – concentrated nitric acid
9. For Gold and Platinum – 3 parts hydrochloric acid and one part nitric acid

Principle Involved in the Restoration and Tampered Serial Number

When a number or any mark is stamped on metal, the crystalline structure

of the metal in the neighborhood of the stamp is disturbed. This disturbance
penetrates to an appreciable distance into the substance of the metal, but not
visible to the naked eye once the actual indentations caused by the punch have
been removed. When etching fluid are applied to this surface, the disturbed or
strained particles of the metal differ in the rate of solubility than those of the
undisturbed particles and this difference in solubility makes it possible in many
cases, to restore the number to such an extent that they can be read and

Trace Metal Detection Techniques (TMDT)

A difficult problem in law enforcement is that of linking weapons

( particularly undischarged firearms), tools, and like object to specific individuals.
The essential need for such identification in cases involving homicide, suicide,
assault, burglary, robbery, and civil disorders has resulted in the development of
a specific technique which shows whether an individual has been in contact with
a particular metallic object. The technique can be conducted by police officers
using simple equipment and the procedures described in this publication.
Research has determined that metal object leave traces on skin and clothing
surfaces in characteristic patterns with intensities proportional to the interaction
of weight, friction, or duration of contact with metal objects. The Trace Metal
Detection Technique (TMDT) makes such metal trace patterns visible when skin
or clothing is treated with a test solution and then is illuminated by ultra violet
light. Examination by ultraviolet light of the metal trace patterns which appear as
fluorescent colors on the hands or clothing of the suspect allows a police officer
to determine whether a suspect has been in contact with certain metal objects,
the type of metal or metals in the objects, and also to infer what type of weapon
or metal object was probably involved. The patterns fluorescent colors can be
analyzed with refference to the circumstances requiring the use of TMDT and
with other related information to provide an initial source of evidence. Physical
evidence obtained by the use of TMDT, however, should be use as an adjunct to
complete investigation.

Selection of Test Areas

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The areas to be examined are selected in relation to the circumstances,
the suspect item (handgun, rifle, tools, bludgeon, etc.), and to the normal
handling, use, possession, or concealment of the suspect item. For example, if
the suspect item is a handgun, in addition to the hands those areas of clothing
which may have been contact with the weapon and the skin areas directly
beneath should be examined. In the latter case, metal traces and patterns are
sometimes found to have penetrated clothing to the skin area beneath.

Application of TMDT Test Solution

The area to be examined is completely coated with the TMDT test

solution. a spray container is generally the most suitable for this purpose.
Whenever possible, the surface should be in a vertical position while being
sprayed to prevent the formation of puddles. Although the TMDT test solution is
nontoxic to skin surfaces, it should not be taken internally. Care should be taken
to avoid spraying the solution into the subject’s eyes. If spray does get into the
eyes, the subject should immediately flush his eyes with water for at least ten
minutes and obtain medical acid.

Drying the Test Area

The test area is allowed to dry for a period of two or three minutes. The
drying time of hands can be shortened by swinging the arms. Sunlight, breeze,
and hot air also shorten the drying process. The areas on clothing and other
materials should be allowed to dry thoroughly before examination.

Examination of Test Area by Ultraviolet Light

The TMDT solution produces a light yellow fluorescent on those parts of

the test are that have not been in contact with metal object. This pale yellow
fluorescence provides a background for metal trace patterns seen on parts of the
test area that have been in contact with metal objects. The metal trace patterns
will give off fluorescent colors that are unique to types of metal and appear as
silhouettes against the light yellow fluorescent background of the test area.
Examples of fluorescent colors produced by various metals are: steel/iron
(blackish purple),. Brass/copper (purple), galvanized iron (bright yellow),
aluminum (mottled dull yellow), and lead (buff, flesh tone, or tannish). The officer
first should identify the types of metal that have been in contact with the test area
by the fluorescent color that appear under the illumination of the ultraviolet light.
Essential to the officer’s ability to make this identification is his knowledge and
experience of what fluorescent colors are produced by metals such as steel,
brass, copper, lead, aluminum, tin chromium, iron nickel, silver and certain alloys
that can be contained in metal objects. After determining the presence of metal
traces in the test area and identifying the metals, the officer can next determine
the pattern of the metal traces revealed by the fluorescent colors. The location,

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size, and shape of metal traces on the hand from patterns that are characteristic
of the size and shape and the normal way in which weapons, tools and other
metal objects handled and used. The recognition of these patterns in conjunction
with the determination of what metals left traces on the skin are the basis for
identification of metal objects. In this way the officer can ascertain if the pattern is
pertinent to a suspect item to its having been in the possession of a suspect.

Detection and Identification of Metal Objects on the Hands

The shape, size and weight of the metals object, the duration of contact,
and the use of the metal object all combine to produce the location and intensity
of metal traces and their patterns on the hands.

On holding a metal object, metal traces depend on the object’s shape and
the size (more or less) of the hand that comes in contact with the metal surface.
The intensity is also proportional tot he actions and forces involved in using a
tool, striking blows with weapons, and the recoil from the discharge of firearms.
In addition, the intensity is increased when the suspect resists action to disarm

Detection of Metal Objects on Clothing

As noted earlier, metals leave characteristic traces on clothing surfaces.

Therefore, the suspect’s clothing should be examined by TMDT. In particular, the
areas to be examined are: gloves, hats, pocket, lining of coats, shirts, areas used
for concealment, and other areas of clothing where the suspect item may have
been carried, concealed, or otherwise been in contact. The spray is applied to
the test areas placed in a vertical p[position whenever possible. Clothing and
other materials vary in their absorbency, therefore some of these test areas may
require a heavier application of spray or two or more spraying to produce the
maximum fluorescence and appearance of metal traces and patterns. The
maximum appearance is obtained when a repeated spraying does not produce a
brighter fluorescence that the previous spraying and drying of the test area. Metal
traces sometimes penetrate clothing to the skin areas beneath. For example,
metal traces may be found on the hands even though gloves have been worn
while metal objects have been handled. Skin areas directly beneath clothing
areas where metal traces have been found should be examined by TMDT.
However, it should be noted the plastic, leather and rubber materials are
impervious to penetration of metal traces.

Procedures for Detection and Identification of Handguns by TMDT

Because of their unique shape and use, handguns leave characteristic
pattern and distinct signatures on the hands that are specific to types, makes,
models, and calibres of these weapons. The police officers, with knowledge and
experience in identifying the characteristic patterns and signatures on handguns

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by TMDT, can determine if a suspect has had a handgun in his possession and
the signature of the handgun by the following procedures.

Spraying the Hands

The suspect’s hands are extended from the sides of the body with the
palms in a vertical position and the fingers and thumb separated and extended.
The officer should make certain that the entire surface of the front and back of
the hands are covered by the spray.

Examination of Hands

The officer can next examine the suspect’s dry hands under ultraviolet
light. He should make a written