View Full Version : Laser-Marking Firearms/Microstamping

07-17-2009, 3:22 PM
Maybe more than one microstamping patent/vendor will be available in time for 2010 in CA. :(

From the July issue of Manufacturing Engineering (the on-line version does not have the Techfront section). The magazine link is http://www.sme.org/manufacturingengineering

Laser-Marking Firearms

Fiber laser marking machines for microstamping, made by Laser Photonics (Lake Mary, FL) http://www.laserphotonics.com, are now being used by firearms manufacturers to indelibly mark products.

Firearm manufacturers have long marked their parts with logos, numbers for inventory purposes, and to fulfill UID requirements. Methods for marking were as varied as the parts. Some parts were cast or molded with logos, while others had serial numbers marked with dot-peen machines. Using a fiber laser system for direct parts marking reportedly increases quality and throughput, and makes permanent marks.

Microstamping provides links between crime-scene evidence and the original weapon used in the crime. These etched or engraved unique markings - such as an alphanumeric code - on gun parts, in turn generate unique marks on spent cartridge cases; microstamped marks could also be applied to individual pieces of ammunition. These marks could be examined at crime scenes using equipment as simple as a magnifying glass.

The goal of microstamping is that if one or more fired cases from a ballistic imprinting firearm is/are left at a crime scene, it should generally be possible to obtain the unique firearm ID from the case(s), and trace the gun from the manufacturer, to the distributor, to the dealer, and to at least the first retail customer.

Although more in-depth studies are needed on the durability of microstamped marks under various firing conditions, and their susceptibility to tampering, as well as on the cost impact for manufacturers and consumers, proponents of microstamping believe it's a step in the right direction. California recently passed a law to require microstamping on internal parts of new semiautomatic pistols sold in the state by 2010.

Firearm manufacturers are marking various metals from steel to aluminum, brass, nickel, and copper. Parts being marked using the fiber laser systems include barrels, handles, and hammer pins.

07-17-2009, 3:27 PM
1. They ain't gonna give it away so it's 'encumbered' proprietary technology.

2. It depends on the Roster, and the Roster will be gone.

07-17-2009, 3:39 PM
Thanks, Bill. We'll know for sure soon enough.