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Author Topic: Help with 'used round storage' storage required  (Read 17368 times)

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Offline jackgharris

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Help with 'used round storage' storage required
« on: June 03, 2010, 10:26:19 AM »
(NB - apologies for cross-posting - also put this in 'technical assistance', then noticed this forum is much more active)

Dear members,

I'm delighted to be able to make my first post on this fine and informative forum. I've been very impressed with the information available here.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jack Harris, and I am a researcher at a Small Arms Clearing House in Belgrade, Serbia (though I am from the UK). Please see for more information. We are an agency under the auspices of the UNDP that deals with various issues related to Small Arms and Light Weapons in the region.

One such current issue is the upgrade of weapons tracing systems in the region, which as I;m sure you can imagine are not very comprehensive. There are plans to build an IBIS-like system of weapon tracing - i.e. taking the 'forensic signature' from the bullets after they have been fired into a test chamber. Now, my issue at the moment is with the storage of the spent rounds. How is it usually done? Are small boxes used, or envelopes? If either, is there a specific material that must be used? What about the issue of moisture? Obviously, as these rounds may be used in evidence, they must be in A1 condition. Also, should the individual rounds be kept in a larger, lockable closet? Does anyone know of any reputable European suppliers for such things?

Many questions I know. Please believe that I have trawled the internet far and wide and can find virtually nothing on the subject. The only solutions available are for live, bulk ammunition - wholly unsuitable for the purposes that we are looking for. Similarly, police equipment supply warehouses seem to have nothing of the sort.

Many, many thanks for any help that anyone might be able to give. I appreciate it immensely, and if anyone has any specific questions on SALW issues in South Eastern Europe, I'll be more than happy to help.

Best wishes,

Jack Harris.

Offline Steve Scott

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Re: Help with 'used round storage' storage required
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2010, 12:56:12 PM »
To store our test fires, we currently use a 'slide box''s a white paper/cardboard box that has a tray that slides into the outer container.  We mark these with Make, model, SN#, our lab's case number, caliber, type of gun (semiauto pistol, revolver, etc.) and the rifling profile (6R, 6L, etc.)  They are stored in map drawers that are built into our cabinets in our work space. 

We buy the boxes from a company called Box-It.  They are also available from Fisher Scientific if I remember correctly.
Steve Scott

Offline Dan Alessio

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Re: Help with 'used round storage' storage required
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2010, 02:03:08 PM »
We store our test fired bullets and cartridge cases in 3 x 5.5 inch manila envelopes, typically two of each per envelope, but you can certainly put more in.  We store the envelopes in eight drawer locking file card cabinets in a secure evidence storage room.  Stored in order by case number.  We can get around 1200 test fires envelopes per cabinet.  In 14 years we have not had any problems with moisture or degredation here in rainy Oregon.

Offline Nat Pearlson

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Re: Help with 'used round storage' storage required
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2010, 02:23:07 PM »
We use similar envelopes as those described by Dan and store them in bankers boxes of appropriate size.  If you plan to use them as evidence in the future you will have to address proper seals, chain of custody and controlled access to storage location.  These supplies should be readily available outside of forensic suppliers.


Offline afss

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Re: Help with 'used round storage' storage required
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2010, 02:39:20 AM »
Hi & welcome,

In Israel we used these methods:
1. For calibers 6.35 mm and up, we used the plastic holders of the live ammunition. We marked each cartridge with an X-number, written on white adhesive paper (label with glue) with width of 5 mm. On this label, we put another layer of finger prints lifting tape, also cut to width of 5 mm. These two layers keeps the cartridge from falling into the case holder. We could put up to 10 cases in one box and up to 5 cartridges per case.
2. For caliber 22, we used wooden plates, cut to the size of the plastic holders mentiond above. Than we drilled holes caliber 22+ to depth of 1/2 the length of the cartridge.
3. Bullets we stored in small plastic containers such as film containers.

All the above containers were put in drawers and were divided by: Caliber, type of weapon, make & model.
All the data was stored in a computerized data base.

These are very cost effective storing methodes and we also had the advantage of beeing able to examine the cartridges, under a field microscope, without having to take them out of the boxes.
Hope this will help.
Talk softly and cary a big gun!

Offline Shane

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Re: Help with 'used round storage' storage required
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2010, 11:23:44 AM »
A bit off topic but:

I'm actually going to be IN Belgrade Serbia in about 1 1/2 weeks.  (28 June to 4 July)  I would be interested in seeing a "Small Arms Clearing House".  Could I come for a tour?

We keep our fired ammunition components first in little ziplock bags (One "item" per bag, but mutliple test fired components from the same firearm may be considered one "item"), then inside 'bubble' padded envelopes, each envelope being case file related.  Then the padded envelopes are put in bins (available from standard industrial suppliers) and sorted either by case file (for scene items) or by calibre (for seized gun test fires).  Then the bins are kept in a locked "dense storage" system, similiar to what files are stored in.  Humidity & tempertature controls are nothing more fancy than normal office room temperature standards.  That may not be good over the long term, but it hasn't been an issue in the years that we've ever had to link cases.

I could go into further detail... in person. :)


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