Top 5 Forensic Ballistic Book Suggestions

Top 5 Forensic Ballistic Book Suggestions

Firearms have been in use since ages as a weapon either for defense or attack. With time, the use and possession of firearms is also increasing. Nowadays, firearms have become very common among the civilian population.

According to the 2022 analysis, there are more than 393 million guns in circulation in the United States, i.e. approximately 120.5 guns for every 100 people. The gun violence has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths annually in the United States. However, Firearms violence is not limited to the US only, it is a worldwide threat that is growing year-by year.

Ballistics is the science that involves the study of path of projectile during its flight. The projectile can be a bullet, stone, pellet or a bomb.

Forensic ballistics is the examination of firearms and its related evidence found at the crime scene. It is a well classified division of forensic science that involves the ballistic experts who examines the firearms and projectiles to aid the court of law in conducting justice.

Top 5 Forensic Ballistics Books For Students

Here, in this article we have suggested 5 must read books of forensic ballistics that will be very helpful for the students studying forensic science and wants to follow the field of forensic ballistics.

1. Handbook of Firearms and Ballistics: Examining and Interpreting Forensic Evidence

This book was written by Brian J. Heard and published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd. Publications.

This is one of the best books for the beginners as it introduces the basics of the ballistics, including history, classifications, uses, etc. of firearms and ammunition.

While reading this book the students will learn about the forensic examination of firearms, ammunition and gunshot residue in details.

Interestingly this book also provides the guidelines for the qualifications of ballistic experts and the types of cross examination questions that can be asked from them during the trials.

The updated second edition of this book have the description of newly developed analytical techniques, comprehensive glossary and new case studies.

In short this book is a full package that includes all the concepts related to forensic ballistics.

2. Forensic Ballistics in Court: Interpretation and Presentation of Firearms Evidence

This is another book written by Brian J. Heard that introduces the firearms and ballistics evidence and ways to analyse and present it as evidence in a court of law. 

This book elaborates basic concepts of all the three divisions of ballistics, all types of ammunition, and gunshot residue.

The book covers the importance of witness and accused statements and their interpretation in relation to the investigation under review. It also involves the real life case studies which makes the concept easier to understand.

3. Firearms in Investigation and Trials, Third Edition

This book is written by Indian author Dr. B.R. Sharma and published by Universal Law Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd.

This is a very good book for the students pursuing forensic ballistics in India as it involves the Indian laws and acts relating to firearms and ballistics.

It has the detailed concepts of ballistics and related forensic examinations described in an easy language. It also involves the important Indian as well as foreign case studies and case laws related to each topic, discussed at the last of each chapter. A well comprehensive glossary increases its value.

Apart from the forensic students, teachers and academicians, this book is indispensable to ballistics experts, medico-legal experts, and all of them who are concerned with accidents/crimes involving firearms.

4. Forensic Investigation of Unusual Firearms: Ballistics and Medico-legal Evidence

The book is written by internationally known expert Dr. J.K. Sinha and published by CRC Press.

This book is slightly different from other forensic ballistics books as it has the detailed description of “unusual firearms”, which are not commonly known.

In this book, the author identifies new class characteristic parameters needed to establish linkage of projectiles with irregular rifled and smooth bore barrels.

The book introduces the learners to unusual firearms and later discusses forensic investigation of fired bullets, medico-legal evidence, barrel marks on fired shots, and investigation of fired cartridges and shot charge.

This book is followed by professional forensic firearm experts, academicians, researchers, students, teachers, investigators, attorney generals, etc.

5. Textbook of Firearm Investigation, Identification and Evidence: Together with the Textbook of Pistols and Revolvers

This book is a concoction of the concepts of firearm experts and courts, written by Julian S Hatcher and published by Martino Fine Books.

It has the detailed description of elementary principles of firearms and ammunition. The book gives excellent elaborations about the field of cartridge case and bullet comparisons to determine if the one used in a crime came from the suspect’s gun.

The overviews of instruments involved in the examination and identification of fired bullets are discussed in this book, which makes it a good read book for the students and academicians pursuing the field of forensic ballistics, especially identifying the bullets.


Forensic ballistics is an important field of forensic science that involves the examination of firearms and related evidence found at the crime scene. This is a very elaborative field of forensics that needs in-depth knowledge of bullets and their examination.

The above mentioned books are the must read suggestions that every student pursuing forensic science and forensic ballistics should go through.

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