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18.9.2021 : 8:54 : +0200

Global Focus

The Ammunition Tracing Kit

Ammunition is a rapidly consumable good. During periods of intense armed conflict or high rates of crime, it is used up quickly and needs to be replenished often. Activists, journalists, and researchers increasingly view ammunition as a way to identify human rights abusers; parties to armed conflict; and, by extension, their supporters.

To allow for more accurate reporting and make findings widely available, the Small Arms Survey has designed and produced the Ammunition Tracing Kit. This user-friendly reference tool enables rapid, reliable, and responsible reporting of small-calibre (under 12.7 mm) ammunition in a variety of circumstances. It provides instructions for reporting on ammunition recovered at crime scenes and on cartridges collected during disarmament or weapons collection programmes; it also supplies guidelines for investigating parties to armed conflict or crime.

In addition, the Kit comprises the information needed to judge the validity and reliability of the collected data, understand the limitations of tracing data, and generate comparable information.

While offering guidance on issues such as safety considerations, the Tracing Kit also outlines the Small Arms Survey's comprehensive, evidence-based approach to ammunition tracing and its commitment to providing secure, impartial, and timely analysis of ammunition data.  

The Ammunition Tracing Kit contains:

  • A magnetic Ammunition Tracing Tool to measure cartridges, identify case composition, and photograph the ammunition.
  • A Bullet Diameter Guide to establish the calibre of small-calibre cartridge-based ammunition and to photograph it against a clean background.
  • Ammunition Tracing Protocols with important safety issues and guidelines for data handling and analysis.
  • An Ammunition Tracing Manual with instruction on how to complete the Ammunition Reporting Forms and how to submit them to the Small Arms Survey for analysis.

Ammunition Reporting Forms to record specific types of ammunition and their identifying features:


Download the full book in English:

Download the full book in French:



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