1835: The first recorded crime solved through forensic ballistics seems to have occurred when a servant was suspected of murdering his employer. A Bow Street Runner, Henry Goddard, compared the homemade lead projectile used in the shooting with the bullet mold owned by the servant, and confirmed their relationship through markings on both. He also traced the paper patch, inserted into the muzzle-loading gun between the powder and the ball, as having been torn from a newspaper found in the servant’s quarters.
1863: During the Civil War, Confederate General Stonewall Jackson died after taking gunfire during the Battle of Chancellorsville. The bullets were removed and examination showed them to be .67-caliber rounds that could only have come from the nearby 18th North Carolina Infantry Regiment; Union forces used .58-caliber Minié rounds. Jackson was a victim of not-so-friendly fire and showed it was possible to determine the specific type of firearm used in a shooting. In 1864, the Union followed a similar procedure to determine that General John Sedgwick was killed by a Confederate sniper firing a British-made Whitworth rifle.
1889: French criminologist Alexandre Lacassagne tried to match a fired bullet to an individual gun based on barrel striations. This seems to be the first time an investigator took that obvious next step.
1897: A Virginia appellate court allowed testimony regarding the similarities between a bullet from a crime scene and a test-fired one, based upon weight.