Residual stresses in injection molded polymer parts can have a major effect on product performance and are therefore often undesirable. Two different models for residual stress formation in injection molded products exist in the literature. The first model assumes that stresses in molded parts are identical with free quench stresses. Deviations are attributed to molecular orientation effects. The second model assumes that no slip occurs and that stresses are related to the holding pressure. Careful measurements should be able to differentiate between these models. In this study the layer removal stress measurement technique was improved by using an excimer laser for the milling operation. In that way stress relaxation during measurements was avoided and thin layers of uniform thickness could be removed. Both resolution and measurement accuracy were greatly improved. Stress distributions in polycarbonate plates molded under low holding pressures turned out to be of the free quenching type, whereas those molded under higher pressures were of the pressure type. All stress distributions could be predicted by a recent theory that comprises the two models as limiting cases.