I came across the concept of the Miami Glock Barrels in an online conversation with an LEO from Miami. He had mentioned “Miami Glock Barrel” in his conversation and I had no idea what he was talking about. Miami Police Department partnered with Glock to intentionally have a groove in the rifling of the barrel so that bullets fired by their police officers can later be identified.
n the early 1990s several shootings involving Miami, Florida, Police Department officers using Glock firearms received widespread media attention. It also revealed the Glock weapons’ identification problem.
Glock is one of a few manufacturers that use a polygonal rifled barrel. Due to this particular manufacturing process, in most cases the weapon failed to leave an identifiable signature.
Originially, Glock responded to this concern by developing a technique known as the Electronic Spark Reduction Method (ESRM).1 However, an in-depth study by the Miami-Dade, Florida, Police Department (MDPD) Crime Laboratory Bureau (CLB) found that Glock’s ESRM failed to make the firearm easier to identify.
Not until 2001, after a suspect was killed during a shooting involving three officers and the examiners were unable to positively identify which officer had fired the fatal shot, did Glock develop a barrel that left a unique signature on the bullet.
In 2003, Glock introduced the Enhanced Bullet Identification System (EBIS) that has become known as the “Miami Barrel.” Now an extensive study, spearheaded by the MDPD CLB, is being conducted in more than 120 crime labs across 41 states to determine the effectiveness and identifiability of the Miami Barrel. Several smaller research studies have been conducted since the barrel was first introduced, but this new study aims to provide the in-depth data required by police agencies nationwide regarding Glock weapons’ use and identification.
Down at Big 3 East, in Daytona Beach, FL, I met a retired Dade Miami police officer and asked him about these Miami Barrels. He laughed. He said it was useless and many cops don’t have the special Miami barrel anyway. Sounds as useful as COBIS in NY. COBIS spend millions of dollars trying to create a catalog of barrel marks and bullet striations. However they were never able to solve a crime with their information.