Montana Treasures: Forensic Gun Examiners - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Montana Treasures: Forensic Gun Examiners

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Travis Spinder and Lynette Lancon are Montana's real-life "Forensic Files" scientists. TV shows may shed false light on what they actually do but there's no denying their job is unique. 

"We look at evidence from crimes to determine if particular bullets and cartridge cases were fired by a particular gun, and testify in court to our results if we are asked to," said Lancon. 

So whenever a gun is sent to the lab for testing, one of the first things they have to do is shoot it. For most guns, the 500-gallon water tank will do the trick.

"It's so we can recover bullets, so we can use those bullets to compare to the evidence that we receive in a case," said Lancon. 

Then they use a comparative microscope to determine if the bullet matches the gun, based off markings left by the rifling inside the barrel.

Perhaps the most important part of their job is when they get out of the lab and step into the courtroom.

"Testifying is probably the best part because that is where you get to explain what you do, so you get to inform the jury on what you do and tell them what you came up with," said Spinder.

The impact of their testimony isn't taken lightly. 

"I know that what I do has huge consequences. It can put people in jail and ruin lives, but I know I am doing it right and doing the best I can do," said Lancon.

But it's not just your typical pistol these examiners come across...like this converted flashlight gun or shampoo silencer.

They are the only two examiners employed by the state in all of Montana. It's a job they feel lucky to have.

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