Date of Award

Summer 8-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Forensic Science



First Advisor or Mentor

Peter Diaczuk

Second Reader

Patrick McLaughlin

Third Advisor

Andrew Winter


Polymer coated bullets were designed to limit a shooter’s exposure to lead. However, despite the advantages that these bullets give there are still difficulties which arise in a forensic firearms examination. Unlike in a typical metal coated bullet, individualizing striations will typically not be imparted to a polymer coated bullet making it unable to be linked to a specific firearm. Due to this difficulty any information that can be gained at the scene of the crime could be crucial. Some obtainable information includes the angle of ricochet and the angle of incidence of the discharged bullet as well as traces from the polymer coating found at the impact mark. In this project the ricochet angle and angle of incidence were calculated using a trigonometric equation, and the velocity was also measured with a chronograph. The data was collected using 9 mm Luger Federal brand total synthetic jacket (TSJ) bullets and 9 mm Luger Federal brand full metal jacket (FMJ) bullets. The selected substrates were sheetrock®, sheet metal, and durock® cement boards. Upon the collection of the velocity data the TSJ bullets had a significantly lower average velocity (p-value of



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.