Volume 23, Issue 2 (April 1978)

    Gunshot Wounds: Visual and Analytical Procedures

    (Received 14 June 1977; accepted 10 August 1977)

    Published Online: April

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    In most instances of death from gunshot wounds, the forensic pathologist is readily able to determine whether or not a particular gunshot wound was inflicted at contact, intermediate, or distant range. In some instances, however, such a determination is virtually impossible. Most difficulty occurs in differentiating a contact wound from a distant wound. A contact wound is apparent when soot is present on the outside of the skin, if there is a muzzle imprint, or if there is tearing of the skin caused by the effects of gas. However, determination of whether a wound is contact or distant can be a problem when (1) the body is decomposed; (2) the deceased has survived days or weeks after the initial wound; (3) the wound is a contact wound and there are multiple layers of clothing that filter out the soot and powder; and (4) the edges of the wound have dried in contact wounds with small caliber weapons.


    Author Information:

    Petty, CS
    Chief, Physical Evidence Section, Dallas, Tex.

    Stone, IC
    Chief, Physical Evidence Section, Dallas, Tex.

    DiMaio, VJM
    Chief, Physical Evidence Section, Dallas, Tex.


    Stock #: JFS10769J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS10769J

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    Author
    Title Gunshot Wounds: Visual and Analytical Procedures
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30