A part-declared blind testing program in firearms examination

W. Kerkhoff* (Corresponding Author), R. D. Stoel, E. J.A.T. Mattijssen, C. E.H. Berger, F. W. Didden, J. H. Kerstholt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


In 2015 and 2016 the Central Unit of the Dutch National Police created and submitted 21 cartridge case comparison tests as real cases to the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI), under supervision of the University of Twente (UT). A total of 53 conclusions were drawn in these 21 tests. For 31 conclusions the underlying ground truth was “positive”, in the sense that it addressed a cluster of cartridge cases that was fired from the same firearm. For 22 conclusions the ground truth was “negative”, in the sense that the cartridge cases were fired from different firearms. In none of the conclusions, resulting from examinations under casework conditions, misleading evidence was reported. All conclusions supported the hypothesis reflecting the ground truth. This article discusses the design and results of the tests in more detail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-263
Number of pages6
JournalScience & justice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


  • Blind testing
  • Bullet and cartridge case comparison
  • Fake cases
  • Part declared testing
  • Proficiency test
  • n/a OA procedure


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