Beginners Guide: IFM Terminology 

To better help readers understand the terminology used to describe IFM, take a look at our helpful guide 

Terminology and Acronyms of IFM


  • Intentional Firearm Microstamping (IFM)When the internal pin or breech of a gun is laser imprinted with a code linked to the gun itself. Upon firing, this code is stamped onto the cartridges of the gun for forensic purposes.
  • Heuristics: Heuristics algorithm explains how, even when a code is skewed, our brains are still able to process the letters and numbers.
  • NIBIN (National Integrated Ballistic Information Network): This is a system used to examine unintentional ballistic markings left on cartridges in the hope of matching a gun to multiple crimes.
  • Lizotte-Ohar Partial Microstamp Code Extraction Method: Developed to extract as much information as possible from Intentional Firearm Microstamping, no matter the resulting impression imperfections subject to the gun’s violent multivariate environment.
  • Straw Purchasing: Traffickers who employ people with clean backgrounds to make gun purchases to supply firearms into criminal networks.
  • COMPSTAT: A system used to triangulate and pinpoint trafficking hotspots through the utilization of past identified criminal areas.
  • Unintentional Firearm Microstamping (UFM): Markings from the internal portions of a firearm when fired leave unintentional ballistic markings and striations on a cartridge. Law enforcement, in the past, has used these unintentional markings to connect cartridges to firearms from crime scenes.
  • EBIS: Enhanced Barrel Identification System 
  • ATF: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

  • AFTE: The Association of Firearm and Tool Mark
  • ISACS: International Small Arms Control Standards

  • ITI: International Tracing Instrument

  • NRA: National Rifle Association

  • FBI: Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • CAAT: Campaign Against the Arms Trade

  • NFA: National Firearms Act
  • NCIC: National Crime Information Center

  • ISACS: International Small Arms Control Standards
  • FFL: Federal Firearms License 

  • IAFIS: Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System

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