When Is A Gun Not A Gun?

FACL was contacted to perform firearm functions testing on a zip gun in September of 2020. If you are wondering what’s a zip gun, it’s an improvised firearm that was not built by a recognized firearm manufacturer.

Firearm Functions Testing

Police had confiscated the zip gun (pictured above) during a traffic stop. This zip gun was loaded with a .22 caliber cartridge in the chamber. This “loaded” condition led the police to presume that the zip gun was functional which was key to one of the charges against the defendant.

The client reached out to FACL because the Department of Justice crime lab was unwilling to test the gun. Testing the zip gun using a regular .22 caliber bullet would have been dangerous. However, FACL determined that the first level of functionality could be tested using blanks.

As the zip gun could not test fire the blanks, we were able to definitively prove that this zip gun was not functional and could not be used in a crime.

In addition to basic operability testing, another paramount assessment is trigger-pull testing. While not needed in this zip-gun case, these firearms tests determine if a misfire is possible by measuring the force required to engage the trigger. A defective trigger may cause the firearm to fire accidentally.

Our examiners are skilled at checking all firearm functions testing, including:

  • a firearm’s mechanisms
  • active/passive safety features
  • type of action
  • ammunition capacity
  • rifling characteristics
  • and regular functionality

These firearm function testing details are then captured in a report for the client to use in arguing their case.

Want to know if this type of analysis could be useful in your case? Call us at 510-266-8100 and speak directly to a firearms expert.