Volume 19, Issue 3 (July 1974)

    Casualty Criteria for Wounds from Firearms with Special Reference to Shot Penetration—Part II

    (Received 14 October 1973; accepted 3 January 1974)

    Published Online: July

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    The authors have previously shown [1] that the casualty criterion for wounds from firearms, particularly the shot penetration, is given by the energy/area of presentation of the missile in question. The impact velocity must exceed that required for penetration of human skin. The threshold velocity for skin penetration by steel spheres is given [2] as 125–170 ft/s. Against this the energy criterion [2–4] alone (which is quoted between 40–100 ft-lb or 5.5–14 m-kg) is misleading and subject to forensic misuse. Likewise, it is imprecisely reported [5,6] that shotguns ordinarily have an effective range of 30–40 yd, ignoring the shot size in question. For forensic purposes, a missile is effective as long as it penetrates into the human body, irrespective of the accuracy of the ammunition. A 12-bore rifled slug is quoted [7] as having an extreme range of 800 yd, and American Eastern Buckshot 0 (equivalent to British shot size SG) a range of under 700 yards. “Whenever a Police weapon is used, the extreme range must be taken into account” [7]. It can be shown that an American Eastern Buckshot 000 (equivalent to British shot size LG) fired from a shotgun with a muzzle velocity of 800 ft/s will have sufficient wounding power (corresponding to energy/area of presentation = 3 m-kg/cm2) even at a distance of ∼200 yd and a threshold value for penetration into human skin at ∼300 yd, vide infra. Obviously, it was of interest to evaluate experimentally the criteria for penetration of human skin by lead shot and the extent of this penetration further into human muscle as a function of energy/area of presentation, E/a, of the missile.


    Author Information:

    Wani, AK
    Director, senior analyst, and assistant chemical analyser, Forensic Science Laboratory, Byculla, Bombay, State of Maharashtra

    Mattoo, BN
    Director, senior analyst, and assistant chemical analyser, Forensic Science Laboratory, Byculla, Bombay, State of Maharashtra

    Asgekar, MD
    Director, senior analyst, and assistant chemical analyser, Forensic Science Laboratory, Byculla, Bombay, State of Maharashtra


    Stock #: JFS10215J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS10215J

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    Author
    Title Casualty Criteria for Wounds from Firearms with Special Reference to Shot Penetration—Part II
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30