Bullet Identification Technology: A Modern Crime-Fighting Tool

A 9mm hollow-point round, fired into concrete.
Fig. 1 - A 9mm hollow-point round, fired into concrete.

The key to the Ammunition Coding System is the unique alphanumeric code that is micro-laser engraved on factory-produced ammunition. This laser engraving is etched on both the projectile and the inside of the cartridge casing. Each code is common to a single box of cartridges and unique from all other ammunition sold. The ACS technology provides a method for law enforcement personnel to trace ammunition purchases and link bullets and cartridge cases found at crime scenes to the initial retail purchaser. The Ammunition Coding System allows identification in cases where as little as 20% of the bullet remains intact.

An encoded bullet.
Fig. 2 - The base of an encoded projectile.