Britain’s national forensics lab is auctioning off their stuff, start your own CSI

Grabbing a bullet can be harder than you might think. If it's buried deep inside a wall, how could you get your fingers around it? For that matter, you really shouldn't be getting your fingers around this bullet—you might get charged with some crime. The solution is obvious: you need a tool to pull out that bullet. Such a tool exists. It's called a bullet puller; you've probably seen one on innumerable cop shows. And right now you can get a set of seven bullet pullers for the low, low price of 150 pounds sterling, or about $240. These bullet pullers are used, but they come with some good history: they were valuable parts of Britain's top-notch Forensic Science Service.

The FSS closed up shop last fall and is now having a clearance sale to get rid of a whole national lab's worth of criminal-busting tools, from standard office materials to more exotic and expensive scientific equipment, all of which could be yours. How about seven boxes each containing 3,840 pipette tips (26,880 total)? Or an $80,000 high-performance liquid chromatography machine? Or a Hamilton Microlab Star Plus liquid-handling robotic workstation, which you can control from a Windows XP or Windows 7 computer? Or a couple of duffel bags for holding guns? (They're Kevlar but pretty thin; if a piece goes off inside the bag, the bullet probably won't stay inside.)

Now, you might be wondering what modern-day (and, uh, real) Sherlock Holmeses are going to be tracking down modern-day Jack the Rippers if all this gear is getting sold on the Internet. The Guardian wondered that, too, and answers that local police forces and private companies are increasing their workload to try to pick up the slack.

In any case, I wouldn't recommend buying the bank-note counter. I can tell you right now what it's going to say: £40 less than you had before.

Image: Troostwijk Auctions