The FBI Has Almost Every Gun Ever Manufactured

If you've ever watched a crime show, you've probably wondered how law enforcement was able to figure out the exact weapon used in a crime. That's easy: they probably have the same one. The FBI keeps a collection of more than 7,000 firearms spanning 80 years inside the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia.

The gun collection is used to compare firearms and other samples in active investigations with virtually every handgun and rifle known to man. As John Webb, a firearms examiner in the Lab's Firearms/Toolmarks Unit, tells "Often, an investigator will receive a part of a firearm or a firearm that isn't functional. We can take that and compare it with our reference collection, determine what isn't functioning, and repair it so we can obtain the test fires we need to conduct examinations with bullets and cartridge cases."

Either the guns come from closed investigations, they're donated, or they're purchased. Some are so old they could be displayed in a museum, but they're better served helping the FBI. A case could hinge on linking a firearm component to a similar part on a reference gun, so the FBI aims to own a duplicate of every firearm possible in their collection. Learn more about the FBI and their gun collection by watching the following videos.

Inside The FBI Reference Firearms Collection

FBI agents train with guns, sure, but guns are also used to help solve crimes. Learn more in the following video.

The Science Of Forensics

Find out how much law enforcement uses science in its investigations.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. If a body has been dead for more than 12 hours, the blood coagulates and stays in place. 02:06

  2. Your body uses energy to make your muscles relax, not contract. 02:41

  3. The Kastle-Meyer Test uses phenolphhalein and hyrdogen peroxide to detect blood. 07:10

How Detectives Solve Crimes

Criminologist Cheryl Allsop runs down the many methods detectives use to solve crimes.

Written by Curiosity Staff November 17, 2016

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